Vine Agaric

A horrible symbiote of fungus and tree. All it needs to move and breath is some flesh…

Solitary (1d10 damage 12hp) 3 armour, slow [static], terrifying, large

It starts with a dying tree, crying out in pain. (Trees can feel pain, just not in any way that’s easy to understand. Druids know this, but can’t do much about it save lament the circle of life, and other mutterings. There’s a good reason most druids go mad.)

The cry is an unspeakable, inaudible cacophony. A lament to a long life brought low by rot, axe-head, or uncaring flame. Generally, this call goes unheard. But not always. Sometimes, the fungiform answers, granting the tree a strange new lease on life.

Dying tree and living fungus undergo a strange symbiosis. Alone, both would wither and crumble. Instead, the two forms bond and become a new form of life. The fungus fills the old bark: a new canopy erupts from the boughs, dark sap dries and crumbles into veiny spores. Spongy fungus-flesh grows in abundance.

This new relationship can prove fruitful. All manner of vermin are tempted by the tree’s red-and-white speckled panoply, only to discover too late how poisonous it is. Grey-green roots slither and crawl over broken corpses, cracking bones to feast on the marrow. The fungus expands further, becoming stronger but hungrier. The tree becomes a potent, patient hunter, kept back only back by its lack of mobility. Inevitably, the form seeks ever larger hosts, ones that can walk and talk and sustain it further, to spread itself anew.

Photo by Siska Vrijburg on Unsplash