A tall, vaguely-humanoid-looking creature, its' head topped with a large mushroom cap, shuffles out of the darkness. It studies you warily, but shows no sign of aggression. You attempt to speak to it, but this only serves to frighten the fungus man and it runs off back in the direction from whence it came, leaving a trail of harmless spores floating in the air in its' wake.
Myconids are sentient fungi people that dwell in the vast subterranean caves and tunnels of the Underdark in the Dungeons & Dragons mythos (Forgotten Realms setting). While they are usually referred to in the male context, they are actually sexless. Unlike most of the denizens dwelling in this eternal darkness, Myconids are peaceful creatures that only wish to be left alone to tend to their fungal gardens and mind-meld with their fellows. They organize into "Circles"; each of these small communities is ruled by a King.
Myconids possess a number of unique abilities that allow them to survive in the dangerous and unforgiving Underdark. As can be expected in such an environment, they are capable of sight even in the absence of light. If a Myconid stands completely still, eyes closed and with its' arms at its' sides, it will often be mistaken for a normal mushroom--given that huge fungi grow in profusion throughout the Underdark, this is excellent camouflage. Myconids range in size from 2-12 feet in height, depending on their maturity (with only the King obtaining the largest dimensions). Myconids rarely use weapons, but they can physically attack with their fists if pressed, however, they abhor violence and will only do so as a last resort. All Myconids can release spores, but the type varies, again depending on the individual's level of development. The kinds of spores that can potentially be produced include (from least to most advanced):
Warns all nearby Myconids of imminent danger and/or calls for help.
Seeds the ground with spores that eventually grow into a new Myconid(s). These are automatically released if a Myconid dies.
Allows telepathic communication between two or more Myconids (they don't speak), or any other intelligent organism, regardless of what, if any, language it normally speaks/understands.
Causes any sentient creature to become completely docile for a short period of time.
These are normally used for mind-melding with other Myconids in their Circle, but they can also be employed against aggressors to confuse/distract them while the Myconids escape or otherwise deal with the threat. There is, unfortunately, an element of risk in this, as an opponent(s) sometimes become even more violent under the influence of these spores.
Used to temporarily animate the corpse of a non-Myconid for several weeks by coating it with Purple Fungus. Myconids never kill other living things for this purpose; they simply bring back any dead bodies that they happen to find while out exploring nearby tunnels, caves, etc. These "zombies" serve as bodyguards/servants for the Myconid community--only the King can create these entities and they are not classified as Undead, because it's living fungus that animates them, not necromancy.
Myconids prefer to avoid contact altogether with non-Myconids if they can (and for good reason, considering that Drow, Illithids, Kuo-Toa, and other similarly evil races are their neighbors). In most cases they will simply flee when confronted, but communication is possible, through Rapport spores, if the Myconids are approached carefully in a non-threatening manner. If forced to fight, they try to end the conflict without bloodshed by utilizing their Pacification or Hallucination spores. Myconids prefer to have their King's fungus-animated corpse servants engage in actual combat (assuming he has any available), not out of cowardice, but because having to perform an act of violence is very emotionally disturbing to them. Myconids never fight amongst each other.
Newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, super glue, plastic (transparent base only), and acrylic paint.
3.8 cm/1.5 in. x 4.8 cm/1.9 in. (widest point x highest point)
Three days: November 22, 27, and 28, 2010.