The elves of Lorwyn animate a parasitic plant called nettlevines to bind around their victims, creating twisted, but powerful and eminently controllable minions. Nettlevine is also eventually lethal for the afflicted victim.
The elves also use the nettlevine on trees, forcing them to take on a twisted life as a result of the nettlevine. These unnatural creatures are known as vinebred creatures, and are seen as a mockery of treefolk.
For disfigured elves, there are few choices beyond death or nettlevine. An elf who has afflicted himself with nettle vine will find that the parasitic plant will shorten his lifespan, but in the meantime, he gains immense strength.