"Is this the largest organism in the world? This 2,400-acre (9.7 km2) site in eastern Oregon had a contiguous growth of mycelium before logging roads cut through it.Estimated at 1,665 football fields in size and 2,200 years old, this one fungus has killed the forest above it several times over, and in so doing has built deeper soil layers that allow the growth of ever-larger stands of trees. Mushroom-forming forest fungi are unique in that their mycelial mats can achieve such massive proportions."
—Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running
REASONS FOR GOING TO THE MYCELIUM METROPOLIS
- To find the ingredients to complete an obscure and powerful spell or ritual.
- To find a god-poison.
- To hire an invincible mercenary army.
- To find the fabled Homokaryotic Hammer.
- As part of a pilgrimage for a weird, musty god.
- Because you are a secret agent for the SLIME MOULD.
- To find help purifying a region of poison or radioactive taint.
- To find Old Mould Mouth.
- Banished there by a sadistic hell-sorcerer.
- To plead that a town in the path of the mushroom-men's autumnal warparth be spared.
- To become infected with old knowledge.
- Because you are so fucking lost.
O PLEASE GOD DON'T LET ME GET SICK AND DIE
At first glance the Mycelium-Metropolis is nothing more than a twisting mat of furry white fibres climbing endlessly through the old, rotten roots of the world tree. Travelling through this dank and musty labyrinth can be uneventful at first, but the longer you stay there the more apparent certain facts become.
- Footsteps and other dents in the Mycelium begin to fill up with mushrooms within a couple of hours. Entire journeys through the Metropolis can be mapped by this edible breadcrumb trail.
- Even here, in the heart of their empire, the moulds agree to nothing. Different mycelium sprawls butt up against one another in obvious competition. It's at these borders where you are most likely to run into Mushroom Warriors that are not immediately hostile.
- These patches of mycelial mat make up the districts of the metropolis. Each one differs wildly in flavor, amiability and toxicity.
- The more the mycelium is irritated, the more dangerous the Metropolis becomes. Here are just a few of the things that will cause mycelium to burn with anger and fruit posses of hostile mushroom men.
- Being shaken.
- Wanton Mycelium destruction.
- The smell of Slime Mould.
- Heresies (they can hear your blasphemous whispers)
- Desire to return home
- Love of children
- Speaking ill of the Metropolis
- If the mycelium turns hostile the the entire Metropolis will become a death dungeon the moment the Mushroom Militia are done fruiting.
- The doors to the Metropolis are great seals of wax, with no way to open them. Destroying the seals without care (or hacking through the roots themselves) will be taken as an act of war. This is usually discovered too late.
When dealing with Mushroom-Men it is important to remember that they are not fully developed creatures. They are precocious children, and ones with wizened, age-old parents, but they are still children nonetheless. Most are no more than a few hours old.
Any deals made with the mycelium must be made through the Mushroom Men, and mycelium never agree to anything that extend beyond one season. This season is usually autumn.
There are no books in the library but knowledge-mould can be inserted directly into the brain through a guest's nose or ears.
- Crazy old wizard. Does not wear a mask and yet does not die. Will talk endlessly about how he eats nothing but mushrooms and bran - and how his excrement is perfect mushroom food as a result. He is the creator of the Homokaryotic Hammer but was not powerful enough to retain possession of it.
- Old Mould Mouth. Lonely demon.
- Rotten Dryads. Smoke cigars made of dried leaves snapped greedily from their own bare branches. Will attempt to engage guests in disgusting sex that will infect and kill them. Their cigars are crazy valuable/addictive.
- Dangerous cheese fanatics. Nearly unidentifiable as humans beneath all their apparatus. Insistent that their creation will gain them great favor with the Emperor.
- Ogres. Huge, terrifying and covered in fungal growths, these gentle gardeners tend to tasks that the mushroom men are incapable of. They ferry important patches of mycelium on great journeys through the Underdark and run the wax vats used to seal off the Metropolis from the outside world.
- Ambassadors of granite. Live in a small, fortified complex of petrified wood. Currently engaged in simultaneous discussion with the Mycelium Metropolis and the Slime City. If their treachery is discovered they will be lynched.
TREACHEROUS SLIME MOULD
Slime City lies outcast on the outer edges of the Mycelium Metropolis. It is full of demons and shambling mould-men. The city and its inhabitants are even more toxic than the Mycelium Metropolis.
WHAT IS THAT MOULD-MAN'S BODY MADE UP OF?
- Piled layers of hardened yellow gunk, like packing foam.
- Glistening orange pustule-beads.
- Delicate fronds of toxic fur.
- Brittle, black, soil-like stuff that cracks as it walks.
- Powdery white composite that gently leaks from joints and pores and lands like a dusting of flour on every available surface.
- Brown, sticky tar.
- Hundreds of branching green arms.
- Bruised purple flesh.
- A big watery mess held in place by a thin, plastic-bag-like membrane.
- Tender luminescent nodes.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN SLIME CITY?
Not much. Everyone hates it there.The slime-moulds have a couple of things going for them though.
- They know secrets from all over the world, above and below ground.
- They are master-breeders of gelatinous cubes and other ridiculous oozes.
- They have the Homokaryotic Hammer, and abuse every inch of leverage this gives them over the Metropolis.