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D&D 5E EN5ider #371 - Fungus Among Us

There's a parasite coming to EN5ider today—an exploration of what might become of one of the real world's most disturbing fungi in realms of medieval fantasy!

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Lately on EN5ider:
  • 371. Fungus Among Us! Fungi are truly miraculous forms of life—some can create massive networks of connected mushroom colonies that span for miles, form into complex geometric shapes, or glow in the dark. Most disturbingly however is ophiocordyceps unilateralis, a parasitic fungus that takes over insects that host it. Join us in considering how such a creature might look in medieval fantasy with the Fungal Host template, including three varieties (cosmic entity, cultivator fungus, and magical experiment) and an example of the mechanics at work with the CR 4 infected owlbear! Designed by the fun guy Peter Martin, illustrated by Xanditz.
  • 370. Enchanted Trinkets: Exposed True Names. Most powerful otherworldly beings rightfully guard their true names, for any mortal that learns it gains power over them. Usually those brave and foolhardy enough to discover an outsider’s true name keep this stolen power for themselves—but some choose to go public instead. These unfortunate outsiders are summoned almost constantly, and their cosmic power is diluted among the countless mortals that purchase their names from street vendors and curio shops. This elevated Enchanted Trinkets article is the clever design of Andrew Engelbrite, illustrated by Guilherme Sommermeyer.
  • 369. Dangerous Scenarios: Fool's Gold. The first entry in this new article series is a harrowing night—and journey—within the Briny Lass, a moored ship that's been turned into an inn and tavern. Unfortunately for the adventurers the evening they visit someone has poisoned the brews, bandits have taken the place over, and by the time they wake up they are already at sea! The would-be pirate Joran Harrow and his ragtag crew of criminals are hard at work searching for a treasure rumored to be aboard but their entire endeavor has been fraying from the start, and with the right people kicking up a fuss those kidnapped the night before might yet make it back to shore in one piece before running afoul of the rocky waters around the Shark's Teeth Islands! Dastardly designed by Christopher Rippee, gorgeously illustrated by Indi Martin, and featuring cartography by Dyson Logos.
  • 368. Spells: Archmagic. Some magic finds its way into the repertoire of nearly every sorcerer and wizard, yet they linger on in spell lists and left unused as more potent options become available—but this need not be the case! This article presents new options for upcasting 19 of the most common spells ranging from alter self all the way down the line to web, giving players a new appreciation for some of the game's most common spells. Compellingly designed by William Fischer, illustrated by Kim Van Deun.
  • 367. ZEITGEIST #13: Avatar of Revolution - Part 1. The end of the ZEITGEIST Adventure Path is at hand! This action-packed climax intersects with the events in ZEITGEIST #12 to cover not only the epic defeat of Nicodemus and the end of the Obscurati cult, but also the fallout of the party's doings in the Gyre, the powerful rituals they've upended, and the tumult of their home world as it tries to cope with the reality-altering powers at play. This section of the adventure includes the Introduction, Act 1: World of Ruin, statistics for 3 airships, and 4 maps.
 
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Aaron L

Hero
Many worlds throughout the dark cosmos are marked across their globes with strange circles of standing stones, each slightly different, of indeterminable age, all held in superstitious awe and deep-set hereditary dread by any local inhabitants who see them... and the builders unknown to history.

It is rumored in the darkest texts of eldritch lore that the Mi-Go, the alien fungal masters of genetic engineering, use specially engineered strains of cordyceps to spread their foul race throughout the stars. And these standing stones are the key.

Specially tailored hybrid cordyceps spores are seeded into the atmospheres of worlds marked out for colonization, strains genetically typed to each animal species on the planet, and unnoticed, these spores gradually infect every animal lifeform on the world. At a specified time marked when the Stars Are Right, the spores germinate to grow into mycelial stalks that spread throughout every infected creatures body and slowly, painfully seize control of their central nervous systems.

Eventually the mass fungal infection drives every last animal creature of the world to gather at preprogrammed points located around the globe, sites specially prepared by the Mi-Go and marked with the special circles of standing stones arranged like fungal fairy rings, stones consecrated to the rites of cosmic foulness necessary for the propagation of their cosmically foul species; the standing stones enable these rites by focusing the attention of Shub-Niggurath, the Outer God of all the most unclean aspects of Sex, Birth, Aging, Death, and Rot, the Unholy Circle of Life.

The entire animal population of these worlds, beast and person alike, unwillingly gather together to stand at these mass spawning points, clustered together by the millions at each location, standing immobilized but in agonizing, soul-wracking pain as fungal fruiting bodies violently erupt from their skulls and sprout upwards, reaching from the tops of their heads to the sky... stalks which release thick ropy clouds of Mi-Go spores to colonize their new world.

And as this hideous tableau takes place, tens of thousand of Mi-Go fly in intricate eldritch patterns above the heads of their still-living but eternally tormented victims, as the airborne fungal abominations engage in a massive, world-wide unholy orgy of spawning and suffering, gruesome death and unclean birth, in the name of the Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young.
 
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Mike Myler

Advanced Fifth Edition: https://www.levelup5e.com/
Many worlds throughout the dark cosmos are marked across their globes with strange circles of standing stones, each slightly different, of indeterminable age, all held in superstitious awe and deep-set hereditary dread by any local inhabitants who see them... and the builders unknown to history.

It is rumored in the darkest texts of eldritch lore that the Mi-Go, the alien fungal masters of genetic engineering, use specially engineered strains of cordyceps to spread their foul race throughout the stars. And these standing stones are the key.

Specially tailored hybrid cordyceps spores are seeded into the atmospheres of worlds marked out for colonization, strains genetically typed to each animal species on the planet, and unnoticed, these spores gradually infect every animal lifeform on the world. At a specified time marked when the Stars Are Right, the spores germinate to grow into mycelial stalks that spread throughout every infected creatures body and slowly, painfully seize control of their central nervous systems.

Eventually the mass fungal infection drives every last animal creature of the world to gather at preprogrammed points located around the globe, sites specially prepared by the Mi-Go and marked with the special circles of standing stones arranged like fungal fairy rings, stones consecrated to the rites of cosmic foulness necessary for the propagation of their cosmically foul species; the standing stones enable these rites by focusing the attention of Shub-Niggurath, the Outer God of all the most unclean aspects of Sex, Birth, Aging, Death, and Rot, the Unholy Circle of Life.

The entire animal population of these worlds, beast and person alike, unwillingly gather together to stand at these mass spawning points, clustered together by the millions at each location, standing immobilized but in agonizing, soul-wracking pain as fungal fruiting bodies violently erupt from their skulls and sprout upwards, reaching from the tops of their heads to the sky... stalks which release thick ropy clouds of Mi-Go spores to colonize their new world.

And as this hideous tableau takes place, tens of thousand of Mi-Go fly in intricate eldritch patterns above the heads of their still-living but eternally tormented victims, as the airborne fungal abominations engage in a massive, world-wide unholy orgy of spawning and suffering, gruesome death and unclean birth, in the name of the Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young.
Just gonna drop this here real quick
 

Aaron L

Hero
Just gonna drop this here real quick
Oh yeah, I know. Great job on that one, too. :)
 

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