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Midnight Morel (CR 7)

These mushrooms typically grow in 5-foot-diameter patches, each burgeoning with dozens of pale stalks capped by conical, honeycombed caps in blue or black that can reach heights of 8 inches. These carnivorous fungi feed on small insects and other creatures by shooting tiny filaments that snatch food and pull it into their hollow caps, which also serve as digestion chambers.

Though this attack poses little threat to creatures larger than wasps or flies, a midnight morel’s method of reproduction is another matter. Whenever a living creature of Small or larger size comes within 5 feet of a midnight morel, the fungus exudes a cloud of invisible spores, forcing the creature to attempt a DC 18 Fortitude save to resist becoming infested. A successful DC 20 Knowledge (dungeoneering) check or DC 25 Perception check allows a character to notice the dangers presented by a midnight morel before coming within its spore range. Direct sunlight renders a midnight morel dormant, but doesn’t otherwise harm it (although both sunbeam and sunburst automatically destroy any midnight morels in their areas). Damage from holy sources (such as holy water or a holy weapon) destroys midnight morels, as does fire.

Once a creature is infested with a midnight morel’s spores, the spores remain dormant for 1d6 hours.

Sudden pangs of pain then spread through the target, causing it to become sickened and immediately take 1d6 points of Constitution damage. Every minute thereafter for 1d4 minutes, the victim must attempt a new DC 18 Fortitude save or take another 1d6 points of Constitution damage as its skin grows increasingly black, moist, and honeycombed, not unlike the cap of a midnight morel.

Now and then, filaments flick out from the honeycombs growing on the creature, trying to snatch tiny insects and other snacks.

A creature slain by this Constitution damage collapses and immediately transforms into a new patch of midnight morels, creating one 5-foot-diameter patch for each square of the creature’s previous space. If the victim doesn’t die, it remains sickened from the pain and its flesh remains discolored and honeycombed for as long as it continues to suffer the Constitution damage. This spore infestation is a poison effect, and thus can’t infest creatures that are immune to poison, like demons.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Worldwound © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: James Jacobs, Jonathan Keith, Jason Nelson, Todd Stewart, and Tanith Tyrr.