Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mu Spore


“That’s no moon.”
—A noted knight

Mu spores are Colossal flying fungi the size of a meteor.  Mu spores are plant creatures of genius-level intelligence that descend to feed on the pitiful creatures below.  Mu spores rule like deities over underground caverns, raining hallucinogenic secretions on wretched populaces.  Mu spores are signs of the End Times.

…Or at the very least, they make great campaign-ending threats.  The last plant the mad druid commands to lay waste to civilization.  The last creature the death cultists call through their stone circle gate (devouring them as it passes through).  The last trick the nascent demon lord plays as it lays dying and discorporating from a vorpal strike.  The prophesied “cavern moon” that drops from the ceiling to feast on all sides of a drow city in the throws of a civil war.  The first scion of the Old Ones summoned by extraplanar gugs and moon-beast worshippers.  Etc., etc.  They are big, bad news.

PS: A mu spore can talk, too.  It’s never good when something has a swallow whole attack and can speak four languages.

Also, a final note: A spore is by definition a reproductive body, a precursor to the seed.  It is meant to germinate. 

So, dear readers: If a seed has 31 Hit Dice and clocks in at CR 21…and if (to quote the Bestiary 2), such a specimen is “the smallest of mu spores”…then just how big is the thing that grows out of a fully mature one of them?!?… 

A powerful asura sees the opportunity to lay waste to the gods’ creations.  It lures derro alchemists and the ships of Leng to the shores of the drow city of Zak’t’feth.  The resulting mix of trade and innovation gives rise to industrial chemical production—and pollution.  Adventurers from the surface world who try to stem the tide of drugs and reagents arrive at the drow city just as the alchemical pollution attracts—or births—a mu spore, who begins to devour Zak’t’feth as the asura beams in triumph.

Six mu spores hang above the 13 spires of the Aharalaya Mountains.  One drops flocks of dire corbies whenever the constellation of the Archer is overhead.  One is worshipped by gugs who brave the surface world to conduct orgies in its shadow.  One is a scholar, with demiliches circling its “head” like ioun stones.  All are voracious eaters, descending to feed at least once a century—but the Aharalayas are so rich in gems, mithral, and the mu spores’ own secretions that there are always foolhardy souls certain that the dormant mu spores will not awaken this year…

There are costs to killing a god—particularly an evil one.  In the Outer Astral where the bodies of dead deities float as giant asteroids, mu spores erupt from their mouths as the corpses begin to decay and petrify.  Sometimes the mu spores carry the godseed to new realities and rebirth; more often a spore hunts its parent god’s killer.

Pathfinder Bestiary 2 195

“Aharalaya” is my highly butchered Sanskrit for “abode of the eaters.”

Does anyone know the history of the mu spore?  First reference I can find is the 3.0 Epic Level Handbook, where it was a giant walking tree.  Into the Darklands and Lost Cities of Golarion have juicy tidbits here and there as well.

Also, four new followers in the past 24 hours?  Someone awesome must be plugging me.  Hi all!

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