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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Location: The Mossy Caverns

Here's another thus-far-mapless location. It relies as much on the characters within it as the last one, but it's a fair site for a fantasy adventure.

The Mossy Caverns

The Mossy Caverns are a small complex of caves and tunnels through which the Burbling Stream flows.  These caverns are known to be a reliable place to find the uncommon Moonspore Mold.

It has been many years since Moonspore Mold grew at the mouth of the cavern, and many months since it was easy to harvest.  The last trip into the Mossy Caverns was by a local wilderness guide, Rebecka Ross.  She was brought back to town in the middle of the night covered in a charcoal-grey fungus that had paralyzed her.  Now, strange rock people have been seen entering and leaving the caves.  They are seen wandering around the woods, gathering herbs and roots, and few have even ventured into town, taking supplies from the medicine man's home and leaving unknown silver coins in their place.

Deep among the twisting caves and tunnels of the Mossy Caverns lives Doo'luhrig, a galeb duhr who has dwelt there for many years, undisturbed and not disturbing others.  Doo'luhrig was content to rest in his caves, occasionally rising to eat the fungus that grew within them.  Several months ago, Doo'luhrig stumbled upon a part of his caves he hadn't seen before.  A minor earthquake had opened up a new chamber.  He entered and examined the fungus within it.

The squashy, pink-purple fungus was Brain Moss, and as Doo'luhrig grew close, the compulsion to touch it grew strong.  As soon as he did, it moved; it grew outward onto his body, leaving behind only burst, grey bubbles on the wall.  Doo'luhrig tried to fight the fungus, but it was too late.

Trapped within the brain moss was the mind of the last creature who had died near it: a Drow priestess caught in a cave-in caused by the earthquake.  Her body had been broken by falling rocks, but as she fell, her mind had been pulled, tugged into a patch of fungus.  The priestess, Nakhazofel, grasped the nature of the Brain Moss quickly, as she found herself trapped within it.  And when the fungus grew onto Doo'luhrig, she found his mind simple and weak, allowing her to take almost full command of his body.  Her own body was broken and had begun to rot, so she had Doo'luhrig carry it to his cave and she preserved it using her knowledge of the various cave fungi.

Now, Nakhazofel waits in Doo'luhrig's old spot in the Mossy Caverns.  She has retained her priestess knowledge, though Lolth stripped her of her powers as soon as she left her body.  She is using her knowledge to collect the ingredients necessary to restore her Drow body so that she may return to being a priestess.  Using Doo'luhrig, she has animated several other galeb duhr and sends them on errands.  Not wishing to draw more attention than necessary in her clumsy, magickless form, she has been forced to have the galen duhr purchase some ingredients from the nearby settlement—rather than stealing them—spending from the small coin purse she had with her.

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