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.
Appearance. 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.
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
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.
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
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 assumed that if
Queprur doesn’t take you eight hours after consuming the fungus, you will
survive, albeit with permanent damage to the stomach).
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
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.
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