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Rayne (Alır)
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« on: 22 October 2012, 17:27:58 »

a) Category: Mushrooms & Fungus

b) Overview: Death Shroom ("Queprur’s Footstool", "Dead Man’s Cap") grows in shadowy places in mid-Sarvonia, usually occupying woods and other shady areas from the forests of Paelelon, where the Eophyrhim elves reside, to the dark Shadowlands of the north. While the mushroom may take any decomposing material as its home, from fallen branches to dead thickets, it is found most commonly on carcasses, either of felled animals or on corpses of the dead. They often grow in and around graveyards, perhaps attracted to the dead bodies beneath the soil. Herbalists will occasionally use the herb to forcefully expel materials from the stomach (in rare and extreme cases), though it is more commonly used to remove dead flesh or as a poison.


c) Description: The Death Shroom, though rather small (growing to about the ankle of a grown man), carries with it a tenebrous air. Its cap and stalk vary in colour from a dark brown to light brownish-green to a sickly yellow, depending on the amount of light. The cap has no set pattern, but looks as if it was cursorily painted with all the colours of rot and death. It lends to every scene an eldritch and eerie feeling, as though Queprur’s eyes were upon you.

The Death Shroom grows out from fallen animals or rotting flesh presumptuously, with a haughtiness that only Death can assume. It shows no mercy, remorse, or respect for the dead, but slowly feasts upon the remains until the carcass has been reduced to nothing but bone, then it seems to skulk off, withering away as quickly as it arose.

Like many mushrooms, the Death Shroom burrows up first as a kind of arrow or egg shape before opening its rounded cap. The underside of the cap hides brownish gills, the same colour as is roots, which are generally hidden in whatever substance it has managed to dig them into. Some relate that these mushrooms smell of rot and death, though it is hard to know whether the smell comes from the mushroom itself or that which it feasts upon… or both.


d) Territory: The Death Shroom tends to grow in shady or shadowy places: it can be found in dark forests, from the Paelelon Wood to the Shadowlands in the northern lands. However, it need not grow in a forest: it thrives in any place there is death and a little shade. They sometimes grow around fresh gravestones, in the shade of a corpse, and have even been seen in open fields bloodied and corpse-strewn by battles. Though of course, the fungus can’t survive in sunlight for very long without withering.

For those wishing to collect the Death Shroom easily, they can often be found around butcher shops, feasting on the unwanted or unappetizing remains of slaughtered animals, though many purists insist that the wilder Death Shrooms are the most potent—particularly as a poison.


e) Usages: Pray you should never in your life consume a Death Shroom, as it is a particularly awful and dangerous affair. In rare cases, herbalists will use a very small and highly diluted tincture of Death Shroom oils to forcefully expel the contents of the stomach. If, for example, one has recently consumed certain deadly poisons, a small amount of Death Shroom tincture can compel the stomach to push it out of the body. Of course, if you have consumed Death Shroom itself, this is of little use.

In cases of gangrene and other flesh-killing ailments, strong tinctures of the Death Shroom can destroy the dead flesh; however, it must be applied carefully for fear of getting the oils into the bloodstream, which may cause internal bleeding.

The Death Shroom can serve as a powerful poison, though not a very sophisticated one. Death by this mushroom is fairly distinctive, producing brownish-yellow vomit and awful stomach pains that eventually kill the consumer. Once ingested, the Death Shroom can kill in less than an hour. In rare cases, some have survived ingesting the mushroom in small quantities, but generally it kills within six hours. (It is generally assumed that if Queprur doesn’t take you eight hours after consuming the fungus, you will survive, albeit with permanent damage to the stomach).


f) Reproduction: The Death Shroom is generally assumed to create spores from its gills, usually soon after it spreads out its cap. Death Shrooms can turn from spore to mushroom very fast, it is assumed, based on how quickly they appear around the rotting remains of plants and animals. A Death Shroom may appear over-night, and can last several days to several weeks, depending on the amount of flesh it has to feed on.

While Death Shrooms may seem ubiquitous, usually only two or three will appear at any one time. They do not crowd the way some mushrooms do. Once they have consumed their fill, they will wither away.


g) Myth/Lore: The Death Shroom has no particular creation myth, but is very closely associated with Queprur, for perhaps obvious reasons. Among many villages, the Death Shroom is also called Queprur’s Footstool (despite its diminutive size). Much of this association was reinforced during the plague of Nyermersys, when the Death Shroom grew with great gusto around the decomposing bodies of the dead.

Because of its association with death, the Death Shroom has given rise to a number of superstitions. It is believed that if you touch the Death Shroom with your bare hands, death will come quickly to you or your relations. While there is little to confirm this particular superstition, you will rarely find those who tend graveyards gloveless when ridding their lawns of the deathly little fungus.
« Last Edit: 10 November 2012, 16:21:30 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #1 on: 23 October 2012, 13:00:53 »

Love it.  I read through the entry and each time I thought of a question the next paragraph answered it.  Very well done. 

I would imagine that once the shroom takes hold that it may be eaten by the unwary animal.  The animal in turn dies and the shroom blossoms once again in its new host.  In fact do you think the eaten remains of the shroom in the belly of a dead beast could be still alive and take hold inside the carcass?
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« Reply #2 on: 23 October 2012, 19:48:01 »

Nice! Cheerful, in fact.

Anyway. "Shadowlands of the nroth" -> "Shadowlands of the north".

Seriously, I like it.
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Rayne (Alır)
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« Reply #3 on: 23 October 2012, 21:41:30 »

Thank you!

And yes, I could see some animals accidentally consuming the mushroom. I assume that if the spores were consumed, then they might sprout once the carcass has deteriorated enough to allow sufficient oxygen to permit growth. However, I don't think the mushroom would try to get itself consumed.

I have made the change you pointed out, Ath. Fortunately it is small and near the top of the entry. Internet is terribly slow here!
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #4 on: 07 November 2012, 04:39:57 »

Small corrections ahead on this one as well!

Quote
Death Shroom ("Queprur’s Footstool", "Dead Man’s Cap") ...

Quote
... it is found most commonly on carcasses, either of felled animals or on corpses of the dead. They are often found in ...
(repetition)

Quote
color --> colour

Quote
Like many a mushroom, the Death Shroom burrows up first ...

Quote
... it can be found in dark forests, from the Paelelon Wood to the Shadowlands in the northern lands.

Quote
... but generally it kills within sixhours. (It is generally assumed that if Queprur doesn’t take you eight hours after consuming the fungus, you will survive, albeit with permanent damage to the stomach).
(numbers smaller than 13 should be written)

Another very well written Herbarium entry, and this one's definitely to my liking, as everything that deals a bit with the dark side of things is welcome in a fantasy world. This one's also nicely embedded in the world, and is a good reference whenever you deal with something decaying in your writing, great addition! Aura +1, Rayne! The Herbarium will have the double amount of entries in now times if you continue that way... ;)
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Rayne (Alır)
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« Reply #5 on: 07 November 2012, 17:50:17 »

Glad you like it! Changes have been made. Let me know if there's anything else.  :)
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #6 on: 07 November 2012, 19:02:54 »

Gruesome little shroom, innit ;)

What happens with the spores if they don't immediately find a rotting corpse to grown on? How do they get spread around for them to find such remains?
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Rayne (Alır)
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« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2012, 10:31:05 »

How do we know? Probably wind, like all other such spores, but the spores are too tiny to see, so it's impossible to know what happens if they don't immediately find a rotting food source.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #8 on: 09 November 2012, 04:28:47 »

Looks fine to me... I'm gonna mark this one for the update weekend, Rayne :)
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