The Mossmounds of the Drifting Woods are among the greatest natural mysteries of Nybelmar. Neither plant or animal, these huge growths, along with their Mosschildren are vital to the woods' survival. However, despite their apparent longevity and immobility, very little is known about them, leaving them shrouded in mystery much as they shroud themselves in clouds of steam.

Appearance. As their name implies, Mossmounds resemble giant piles of living moss that may have reached the heigth of eight to ten peds or more, and at this point almost thirty peds in diameter. However, even with a structure resembling that of moss both internally as externally, the way it has grown immediately dismisses any thought one is looking at actual moss. From the main mound various structures have been formed, each with its own function.

The most obvious of these are the large steam vents that dot the entire Mound's surface, ranging from large shafts, wide enough for a man to enter and often several peds high, to shorter ones that reach no higher than the waist. Whilst the former of these constantly spew forth large clouds of steam, the latter will remain inactive for a period of time, followed by a short and violent eruption of fumes and vapour.

Second, but probably the most common are the water outlets, of which three types can be found.

Special Abilities. Mossmounds have only a few special abilities. They are able to move, in a certain way, and react to heavy impacts by withdrawing themselves slightly from the impact spot, not unlike a slug when one touches it. Noteworthy however is their natural defence against just about anything that might want to damage a Mossmound. Would one place a blow against a Mossmound, one would find their fist to sink into the tissue, not unlike a deep patch of moss would. However, upon withdrawing, the skin will be agitated severely by the acidic secretions that appear to permeate the entire 'body' of the Mound. The more one disturbs the tissue, the more of these acidic substances are released, and the more powerful they get, to the point that excruciating pain and permanent scars are the result.

A last point of interest to note here is their apparent invulnerability to magic. Although the Compendium has not been able to do extensive studies in this respect, the Ter'ei'Vikh claim their magical songs cannot exert any influence over the Mossmounds or
Mosschildren whatsoever. Of course this has greatly limited the amount of knowledge available on these Mounds, and may be considered one of the reasons they remain a mystery in many ways. Return to the top

Territory. Both the Mossmounds and the
Mosschildren can only be found in the depths of the Drifting Woods on Nybelmar. As far as the Compendium knows no Mound has ever been seen outside of these woods. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Mossmounds do not show much 'behaviour' in the usual way. They produce their fountains of water or steam, but there seems to be no pattern in these occurences apart from the few 'regular' vents, that erupt at set intervals. They seems to shy away from heavy objects running into them, such as a falling tree, but only slowly. This movement seems to serve no other purpose than to gradually, often taking several days, remove the fallen tree from the mound as the slopes of the mound are adjusted to allow it to slide downwards easily. Without this mechanism, the Mossmound would slowly be covered with the debris of the jungle's cycle of life and death.
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Diet. No one has ever seen a Mossmound of Mosschild actively eat or drink anything at all. It is suggested that the Mossmounds feed directly from their surroundings in much the same fashion as a tree would, and that the
Mosschildren find some kind of nourishment inside the Mound, but neither of these theories has ever been proven true or false. Return to the top

Mating. As far as known, Mossmounds do not mate, or in fact, reproduce. No one has ever seen a sick or dying specimen, nor has anyone ever seen a creature that might have been a 'larval stage' or something similar. They are presumed to be sexless, and immortal. Ancient lore of the Ter'ei'Vikh has it that Mounds can indeed shrink into nothingness, slowly growing smaller over the years, and eventually disappearing below the water's surface. Likewise, new Mossmounds were claimed to appear sometimes, slowly growing from below the waters into the open air. However, no such occurrence has been recorded for at least three hundred years, and no official records are known to include such an event at all. This is perhaps one of the greatest unanswered questions about the Mossmounds, but unfortunately the lack of young Mounds makes further research impossible.
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Myth/Lore. As Mossmounds, with their enormous heat production are obviously a vital part of the
Drifting Woods tropical climate, the myth of the Three could very well be considered a true story. The underlying thought of this myth is that, like many other mysterious creatures and phenomena, the Mossmounds are the physical incarnations of Sar'estvokar's Guardian Spirits.

The story goes that in ages long past, during the period known to the people of Santharia as the Year of Darkness, or to the people of Nybelmar as the Breaking, the world went cold as ice. Large parts of the
Drifting Woods were dying from the intense cold, and the people were suffering. As life around them faded to a pale imprint in the snow and ice that descended from the skies, the surviving Vikhari, as they called themselves, fled to the very heart of their realm. There they called upon their most powerful magic, and built a living dome around the Lake of the Three, a trio of giant Mossmounds, said to reach higher than all but the tallest of trees. There, sheltered from the elements and drawing strength from the heat of the Three, the people of the Vikhari survived the cold, and with them did many animals and plants that would have died anywhere else.

When at last the sun returned to Caelereth, it was from this great shelter that life was returned to the forest. After the Breaking, the Three had spent all of their power, and slowly receded beneath the waters and disappeared. Many years later, the descendants of the people they saved, the Ter'ei'Vikh returned to the lake at the heart of the woods to build their greatest creation, the capital of the
Drifting Woods, Mūn'ti, the hanging city. But still the Ter'ei'Vikh claim that, would they ever be needed again, the Three will rise from the lake again and save the woods as they have before. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 18th Singing Bird 1667 a.S.

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