A patch of tangled, lacey moss clings to the ceiling above, slowly pulsing with an eerie glow. Among the soft, feathery mass, stems gently writhe, periodically dusting the ground below with a twinkling of phosphorescent spores.
|Cavelight Moss||CR 6|
Str 25, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +6; CMB +13; CMD 23
Feats Ability Focus (Strength drain), Alertness, Power Attack
Skills Perception +11; Racial Modifiers +12 Stealth (when near darkglow moss or other luminescent plants)
The chemicals within cavelight moss cause the entire creature to glow and shed light as a torch. A cavelight moss cannot suppress this effect. It can, however, diminish the light produced to shed illumination as a candle.
Living creatures hit by a cavelight moss’s tendril attack or caught up in its grapple must succeed on a DC 20 Fort saving throw (Con-based) or take 1d6 Strength drain. A creature that makes its Fort save is immune to that particular cavelight moss’s Strength drain ability for 24 hours. On each successful attack, a cavelight moss gains 5 temporary hp.
Organization solitary or infestation (2–10)
Appearing as a large patch of bioluminescent flora, adventurers and subterranean inhabitants frequently mistake cavelight moss for a benign organism. This creature savors the taste of living flesh and renders its meal immobile before starting the long process of digestion. A cavelight moss glows a pale yet warm yellow light. When agitated, the light emitted changes to a cold blue hue.
Like normal moss, a cavelight moss is a collective of smaller life forms patched together and sharing sensations. Barely cognitive, a cavelight moss spends its time positioning itself above well-traveled sections of cavern. A cavelight moss mostly feeds on cave rats, snared bats, and crawling insects that call the darkened depths home. When a cavelight moss becomes aware of larger prey, it begins the slow and arduous task of quietly moving toward the larger creatures, staying safely outside the main area of habitation. Many underground denizens understand the dangers of cavelight mosses and seek to eradicate them when found.
A cavelight moss lives a simple existence, and when in a safe area inhabited by weak animals, one can survive for close to 200 years. The spores from a cavelight moss glow like their parent and when a particular specimen stays in place for several decades, the place where it grew may glow for years after its death. If flesh and blood creatures die in such an area, a new cavelight moss has the potential to grow. When a cavelight moss disperses spores over the area in which it hunts, the fallen carcasses of its victims allow the spores to germinate into new organisms. In lean times, these spores can germinate, albeit slowly, on guano or other areas rich in moisture and organic nutrients.
Only in extreme cases, where a cave system has no true protectors and food is plentiful, do these creatures ever congregate. When they do, they form a close-knit colony covering strategic locations where prey typically roam. When the source of food moves on, the entire colony slowly disperses, following the lure of living flesh. Cavelight moss tends to drain an ecosystem of food sources before moving on. Cavelight mosses avoid lit areas and remain a safe distance from any busy habitations, just close enough to capture any unwitting, wandering prey.