- Common Plants
- Unique Plants
- Unique Animals, Cryptids, Specters, and Monsters
All the known fungi, plants, and animals found in Omphalotus are listed here. As more are 'discovered' (read: 'as you and your fellow muns write them into the story'), they will be added below. These names are just for OOC reference; your characters can call them whatever they like since there's no record of actual names in Omphalotus.
WARNING: In real life, DO NOT eat mushrooms you find in the wild unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing! To do so could cost you your life! MANY of the mushrooms used as a visual reference here are extremely poisonous - eating that little purple one in real life won't shrink you, but it may well make you dead...
If you would like to have something added to the list, please use the following form in a comment to this entry -- just replace the CAPITALIZED text and delete the instructions in the (parenthesized) parts; please do not delete the *asterisks*. Thanks in advance.
This is only a guide for the more exotic fungi (read: "the stuff that's made-up".) There are other, far more commonplace mushrooms, lichen, and the such which you are welcome to reference and which do not need to be added to this guide.
Aphrodisiac Mushroom: A pink mushroom that grows on and around the chocolate tree. As the name implies, these have a powerful aphrodisiac effect, ranging from mild euphoria and infatuation to the irresistible urge to copulate. Effects are temporary and tend to leave as suddenly as they first appear. Like the Laxative Mushroom, they grow near the chocolate tree, although they can be found elsewhere, as well. The two types are near-indistinguishable from each other: both are varying shades of pink, fragrant, and have a nutty taste that's quite appetizing, especially in combination with the chocolate-like parts of the chocolate tree.
Brain-Mimicking Mushroom: One of the many Organ-Mimicking Fungi, resembling (surprise, surprise) a human brain. The taste and texture are surprisingly similar, and it serves as a suitable nutritional substitute for the flesh-eating among us. These can be found in the Nightmare-Fuel section of the Mushroom Kingdom, usually hanging from the walls or rocks or even from other plants. The Bleeding Tree's branches play host to many of these nauseating fungi, where they hang down like hideous fruit. When these mushrooms grow too big and heavy, they fall to the ground with a sickening, wet squelch.
Bread Mushroom: A squarish, football-sized white mushroom with the consistency and taste of bread, including a fluffy, porous interior. Quite abundant, they are commonly found growing on dry spots, such as rocks, all around the caves. They can be sliced and baked to make toast and crackers. They turn soggy and mushy when wet, and mildew in a matter of days once picked or if damp (yes, the bread mushroom can be attacked by penicillium fungi).
Cheese Mushroom: Branching clumps of yellow-orange mushrooms that have the taste and consistency of cheese (cheddar, to be specific). These may also be squeezed to extract a milk-like substance. These mushrooms tend to grow near water, be it shallow pools or rain puddles.
Communication Spores: An omnipresent spore in the air of the caves that allows characters to communicate easily with one another. These spores do not translate written word, recordings, or languages that are either relatively unknown, or have few speakers (ie. Al Bhed or ancient Aramaic). The sounds you hear over the mercury network ARE translated, just as easily as if your character were listening to an unseen person shouting or speaking over a bullhorn. Moreover, the spores heighten your ability to focus on individual sounds. It won't let you hear noises you normally couldn't detect, but it will help you better separate background noise from the conversation you wish to focus on. The effects wear off after a character has been outside of the caves for longer than two weeks. However, simply stepping back into the cave system is enough to reactivate it. No, your character not needing to breathe doesn't make the spores ineffective.
Contraceptive Spores: An omnipresent spore in the caves that prevents characters from becoming pregnant. The effect of these spores wear off after two weeks. Should a pregnant female become exposed to these spores, it will cause a miscarriage. Similarly, eggs laid by non-Omphalotus natives will become duds upon exposure to these spores, even if it is laid outside the caves. No, your character not needing to breathe make the spores ineffective.
Giant, Petrified Mushroom: These dramatically-sized specimens can be found in Mushroom Kingdom (amongst other places, mostly in larger rooms), particularly in the regions open to the sky. Many measure as much as three meters across, and it's by climbing these natural platforms that one can access Topside. They're inedible, unless your character has jaws capable of biting through rock. But even if you could, it wouldn't taste good.
Growth-Inducing Mushroom: If you've previously ingested the Shrinky Shroom, these will restore you to your normal size. If you already are normal size, they'll inflate one randomly-chosen body part - such as a foot - to four times its size for several hours before it 'deflates' again. If your character was down-sized upon being brought into Omphalotus, the Growth-Inducing Mushroom will not restore them to their original size (only to the size they were upon arrival in the Cenote). The Growth-Inducing Mushroom and the Shrinky Shroom grow side by side. The Growth-Inducing Mushroom is the taller of the two, though both are purple, smooth, and with a bulbous head.
Heart-Mimicking Mushroom: One of several Organ-Mimicking fungi found in the Nightmare-Fuel section of the Mushroom Kingdom. As the name implies, they mimic a human (and, sometimes, non-human) heart. They are slick and slimy to the touch, and a suitable nutritional replacement for actual heart-tissue. These particular shrooms have formed a pseudo-parasitic attachment to the Bleeding Tree, on whose trunk they can be found, hanging by the thick, vein-like stalks at the tops and bottoms. If you look closely, you'll see that the points at which they join with the tree are where tiny fissures and cracks in the bark have allowed the strange, blood-like sap to seep out. These mushrooms actually feed off this sap, and even pulsate with the digestion of nutrients. Not surprisingly, these mushrooms are a suitable, ready-made container for the Blood Tree's, er, 'bounty', should any blood-suckers in the cast feel like taking a few home for a dry spell. Note that attempting to put a stake through these heart-shaped fungi, however, will not, in actuality, slay the 'demon tree'.
Ice Cream Mushroom: Primarily found in the Ice Caverns, in between the entrance and the lake. The ice on the lower parts of the walls and floor, and even a few icicles above, are covered in what either look like soft, bulbous layers of off-white cloud caps that your finger seems to puncture with no problem, or smooth, colored pistule-esque caps popping out of the landscape that are sticky to the touch, both cold, both with a small, hard as steel gray stalk that is easily plucked out from the cap - and voila, you now have a spoon substitute to enjoy your delectable dessert! Just as a warning, though - just like normal ice cream, these will start to melt once you leave the Ice Caverns. These are the Ice Cream Mushrooms, and there are two types of them: Helado and Mochi.
-- Helado: The soft and bulbous mushroom. This one tastes like normal ice cream, cool and creamy. The flavor? A surprise - every mushroom has a random flavor, even though all of the Helado look the same, so you never know what you'll end up with. Thankfully, none of the mushrooms are toxic, though some flavors will likely not be very appetizing and may be downright gross (hot dog-and-zuccini-flavored ice cream, anyone? No?). These also vary in size - the larger the cap, the more "scoops" there are to eat. Just be careful not to eat one too big - you might get sick from it, just like with normal ice cream.
--Mochi: Just like the Japanese ice cream, Mochi is the second type of ice cream mushroom, tasting like ice cream with a rice-based outer shell. It even looks like normal mochi upon examination. Unlike Helado, the flavors aren't as random or a surprise - the color showing through the outer layer is generally a good indication of the flavor underneath - but it's also sticky to eat. Only one serving of mochi per cap, similar to regular mochi balls.
Illuminated Fungi: There are various types of stalked mushrooms, bracket mushrooms, lichen, and molds throughout the caverns that use bio-luminescence. Sometimes it's a faint glow, sometimes it's bright enough to use as a torch. Once picked, the luminescence generally wears off after several minutes.
Illusion Room / Illusion-Spore Mushrooms: These bright, fiery-orange, gently glowing mushrooms can only be found in the Room of Illusions, where they grow in bracket-like clumps all along the walls, stacked one atop the other. The hallucinogenic properties of a single mushroom are unquantifiable (unless you'd like to test it on a Smurf?), but the spores pumped into the air by the large numbers growing in the Room of Illusions are known to put characters to sleep for several hours, and produce wild, incredibly life-like hallucinations of alternate places and even people. Characters experiencing these illusions for the first time would swear they're real. What's more, in a group walks into the room together, all members will share the same experience, even able to interact with each other during. Taken out of the Room of Illusions, these mushrooms wither and die in a matter of minutes.
Laxative Mushroom: Very similar in shape and color as the Aphrodisiac Mushroom, these mushrooms are a powerful laxative. Like the Aphrodisiac Mushroom, they grow near the chocolate tree, although they can be found elsewhere, as well. The two types are near-indistinguishable from each other: both are varying shades of pink, fragrant, and have a nutty taste that's quite appetizing, especially in combination with the chocolate-like parts of the chocolate tree.
Omphalotus: The namesake of the cave system and lake. Sometimes called the Jack o'Lantern mushroom, it's an orange-colored, stalked mushroom that tends to grow in clusters. It's quite toxic, but it closely resembles the tasty chantrelles mushroom, so the two are often confused. In the dark, omphalotus glow faintly around the gills. The omphalotus found in Omphalotus, however, are far larger than their real-world counterparts (think man-sized or larger), and tend to congregate around the lake's shore, under the rocky overhang, and at the small island there. Being larger, the glow they give off is also brighter.
Organ-Mimicking Fungi: General, broad category of fungi that take on the various shapes of human (and sometimes inhuman) internal organs, such as the heart and liver. They range in color and texture, but most are shades of red, salmon, and/or purple. A few are sickly-pale. Most have a shiny, almost slimy coating, though they do come in a matte, semi-porous texture, such as the Brain-Mimicking Mushroom and Heart-Mimicking Mushroom. All Organ-Mimicking fungi have roughly the same nutritional value as the organs they simulate. A zombie, for example, can subsist perfectly well eating just those, without ever nomming on a castmate. They can be found in the Nightmare-Fuel section of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Revival Spores: An omnipresent spore that is capable of reviving the dead. The source of these spores is unknown, but it wears off after a character has spent a month living exclusively Topside (as with the Communication and Contraceptive spores, the effects are reactivated upon re-exposure to the caves, making the character good for one more month). These spores increase your body's healing abilities dramatically, knitting together broken skin, muscle, tendons, and ligaments, tamponing a gushing wound, and reanimating damaged tissues (think Wolverine-like self-healing).
A character who dies inside the caves will come back to life, with perhaps some scars leftover from whatever it was that caused the death. In cases where the cause of death is still affecting the character's body -- such as being crushed by a fallen boulder or stalactite and being left there, or being run through with a weapon which is still lodged through a vital organ -- the obstacle must be cleared before all dead tissues can be reanimated.
Characters who die Topside will be similarly revived, unless the effects of the spores has faded away due to lack of exposure to the caves. In this case, a body found Topside may be brought back into the caves and reanimated. However, if the body has already begun to decompose, signs of damage will be severe. Should too much of the structural integrity be compromised, the organs unable to fully heal as a result, your character may need to compensate by resorting to less... conventional foods (basically, they come back Undead. Welcome to the League of Nightmare-Fuel Enthusiasts!)
For all spore-revived characters, the length of time for reanimation will vary, depending on the damage. Ingesting poison, for example, means revival within an hour. Same with drowning, once the body is pulled out. Ingesting tissue-corroding acid, or being crushed by fallen rocks/pulverized by a pissed-off Decepticon, may take a couple days. Regardless, once the character is ready to rejoin the living, they might bear some scars or other adverse affects. For example, if your character's brain was bashed in, they might experience memory loss of any given degree, or even suffer permanent brain damage, also of any given degree (it's up to the player how bad it is, based on the interactions you wish to have from now on). They might also find their open orifices slightly stuffed with newly-sprouted mushrooms which, though a nuisance, don't prevent breathing, only slightly muffle hearing and speaking, and can be pulled out quite painlessly. Because they were revived by shrooms, your character will also spend the next 24 hours high as a kite (whether it's a good trip or a bad trip is totally up to you). If you don't wish to RP the scenario, your character can simply get lost in the tunnels until they come down off their high.
Russian Glowcaps: A fairly tasty kind of luminescent fungus - a mushroom that glows in the dark. It is bioluminescent, just like a firefly. If your character eats these while touching or carrying batteries anywhere on their person, they will charge the batteries (why this happens is still a mystery). This mushroom is believed to have been imported into Omphalotus by accident, probably through spores carried on the person of a previous resident.
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Shrinky Shroom: These mushrooms will shrink an eater dramatically - the more you ingest, the smaller you get. This is useful for those who wish to be able to pilot their considerably downsized vehicles (or are just looking to horse around, or see eye-to-eye with any character smaller than themselves). The Growth-Inducing Mushroom and the Shrinky Shroom grow side by side. The Shrinky Shroom is the shorter, squatter of the two, though both are purple, smooth, and with a bulbous head.
Soap Lichen: When pulverized, this particular lichen produces a soapy substance that can be used for washing and cleaning. It can be found growing on rocks near a small pool beside the lake. It's a natural degreaser, and works quite well on stains.
Sponge Shroom: Closely resembling a loofah or sea sponge, this mushroom may be used to scrub dishes, stubborn stains on your clothes... and it also exfoliates the skin when properly used.
Toothpaste Mushroom: Seemingly nondescript white mushrooms that grow in groups by the pussy willows. However, the caps on these are much squishier and more filled out than most mushrooms, and if you squeeze the sides of the cap together, a sticky thick white substance billows from the top. This goop has the same properties as normal toothpaste, and even has a slightly minty scent to it. Swallowing's not recommended, if only that it doesn't taste all that great going down. Like the pussy willow these mushrooms regenerate every morning.
Truth-Teller Mushroom: This bright blue mushroom works as a rather potent truth serum; those who consume it are compelled to tell the truth for approximately half an hour. The effects only work verbally, so those affected are still able to use misleading body language. Additionally, these mushrooms only work 90% of the time, so they're not to be relied on. Also, just because a character believes something is truth, it doesn't necessarily make it truth.
Umbrella Mushroom: This is a large (as in, roughly three feet in diameter) purple mushroom with a particularly stiff, inflexible stem. It's generally found in open areas which recieve rainfall - curiously, they seem to hold up to the rain quite adequately, and can even be picked and used to shelter from if, should the need arise. It's probably best not to use them in a high wind, though...
Waffle Mushroom: You can't eat ice cream without something to put it in! The same applies for ice cream mushrooms, which will melt and become goopy in your hands once you leave the Ice Caverns. The solution lies in the passage to the Ice Caverns, with these mushrooms that come in various sizes. They have the same taste and concistency as a waffle cup or waffle ice cream cone, so all you need to do is pluck an ice cream cap and put it into your bowl. Voila! You have an ice cream mushroom cone or bowl! Enjoy!
COMMON PLANTS (by location)
As for all categories, you're free to invent and to improvise and borrow from life, but when deciding where to write something into the story, please use your common sense - if it belongs in a big forest, it's probably going to need to go Topside. If it doesn't need acres and acres, you can stick it anywhere. Fruits and vegetables will generally be in the Larder and Seasonal Gardens, herbs, spices, and medicinal plants in Centralia.
Topside: Surrounding the Lake, there are sections where you'll find reeds, algae, lemnas, duckweed, waterlilies, and reeds. As you move away from the water, there are larger plants, such as palms, and eventually deep, jungle-like forest, complete with hanging vines. These lush areas eventually become more and more sparse, giving way to plants that require less water, such as cacti, ranging in size from the tallest saguaro to the smallest desert rose, and various succulents. Eventually, even these become sparse to the point of near nonexistence.
Lake Omphalotus: As stated above, the plants growing immediate around the lake include various reeds, lilies, and so forth. However, growing under the shadow of the rocky overhang of the one section of the caves that leads directly to the Lake are gigantic, orange omphalotus mushrooms, which glow in the dim and especially at night. These mushrooms have almost completely taken over the small island under the overhang. Diving under the water, however, you can also find clusters of small but colorful coral reef.
Centralia: Most plants here will be located in the central garden, though fungi and ivies tend to cling to the rock walls, as well, and moss and other hardy plants capable of handling foot traffic often carpet the ground. Larger ferns and short palms hug the terraces, as well, especially clustered around the, er, 'bottomless pits' that characters will most likely use as latrines, as well as smaller, more willowy specimens of fibercloth trees (addressed in more detail below, under "Unique Plants") within these niches. Overall, Centralia has various fungi (especially manna, krema, and bio-luminescent types), small cacti (including peyote), coffee beans, common flowers, waterlilies and often duckweed (where groundwater seeps up as pools and ponds), various plants suitable for tea, plants that can be used as natural dyes (such as indigo and saffron), plants for medicinal purposes (such as aloe, chamomile, and willow, although the willows are mostly near the center, and can also be found in the Dawn Garden), et cetera. It's up to your character to recognize and process these plants, however.
The Larder: As well as the vegetation found in the Gardens (these vary by season, but oddities can pop up at any time), the Larder also has more general vegetation - ferns, brush and scrubs, climbers, grasses of various heights, and a good amount of groundcover. Nearer to the streams and channels, water-loving plants can be found.
Dawn Garden: artichoke, apples, beans, beetroot, blueberries, carrots, garlic, grapefruit, lemons, lettuce, mandarins, mulberries, mushrooms, oranges, rockmelon, passionfruit, peas, pineapple, potato, shallots, spinach, strawberries, sweetcorn, tomatoes.
Midday Garden: apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, currants, grapes, lychee, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, passionfruit, peaches, pineapple, plums, raspberries, strawberries
Twilight Garden: apples, beans, broccoli, cabbage, capsicum, celery, chestnuts, cucumber, eggplant, figs, lettuce, ginger, limes, mandarins, mushrooms, onions, oranges, pears, peas, pomegranates, potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, various squash and calabash, and various nuts
Midnight Garden: white flowers, various types of pale holly, and mistletoe.
Bleeding Tree: Gnarled, dark, and leafless, these nightmarish trees, rather than producing sap like a normal tree, produce a substance that is uncannily similar to that of blood (blood type O). In fact, these trees can be used for transfusions (should you somehow procure the means to perform one). They can be found in the Nightmare-Fuel section of the Mushroom Kingdom. There's two fungi of note that are closely related to this tree: the Brain-Mimicking Mushroom -- which, among other places, loves to hang from the branches of this tree, like pale, oversized fruit -- and the Heart-Mimicking Mushroom, which actually lives only on the Bleeding Tree, at the lower part of the trunk (most of them clustered at about chest-level with a typical human). While the blood-like sap isn't always bleeding out (it tends to gush and seep out when you least expect it, but most especially at night and in winter, when temperatures drop just enough to make the bark extra-brittle), overall, it's a pretty nauseating sight.
Carnivorous Plants: Beware of nomming plants! These range from the standard Venus Fly Trap, pitcher plants, and sundews, to the more exotic - anything from opportunistic plants that will take a slurp on anything that falls inside it, to those that will actively attack passers-by. Some can cause damage if they manage to chew on you for a bit, but most will simply suck you in then spit you out after a minute or so, slimed and perhaps traumatized, but no less worse for wear.
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Chocolate Tree: There is one chocolate tree that provides all the chocolate in the caves. It's quite large, and resides in a remote location of the Larder, in an offshoot cave. The bark is edible and bittersweet, like dark chocolate. The leaves range from shades of brown to creamy white, are thin and glossy, and taste like various types of milk and white chocolate, or even a swirl of each (like those pretty Belgian chocolates). There are small, hard, brown "berries" or "seeds" on this tree, which on closer inspection prove to be cocoa beans. Where the bark has been peeled off, the core of the tree is bitter and nasty to eat, and there is no sap or nougat center, so please refrain from hacking at branches or cutting it down.
Bark and leaves can be eaten direct, or boiled to create chocolate milk. Further boiling to extract water vapor produces chocolate syrup and sauce. Rather than burning, the leaves and bark melt upon exposure to heat (leaves, being thinner, melt at a lower temperature; in fact, just the heat of your hand is enough to make them mushy). The cocoa beans are used exactly like regular cocoa beans. Attempts to grow saplings from root cuttings or at planting the beans will yield only frustration and, after a few days, dirt that smells suspiciously like spoiled chocolate and mildew. The bark and leaves are constantly regrowing, so there's plenty for everyone, if you're patient and wait a couple days.
Interesting Note: This tree and the surrounding loam are the main homes for the pretty pink Aphrodisiac and Laxative mushrooms, which grow all along the bottom of the trunk, along the exposed roots, and the soft dirt and moss under the tree's shade (it's theorized that the fallen leaves and bark of this tree fertilize these mushrooms).
Fibercloth Tree: Hanging from their boughs, like Spanish Moss, these trees produce a cloth-like material that can be used as-is, or sewn to make clothing or other necessities, ranging in density from filmy and loose to thick and course, depending on the age of the tree. A subspecies of this tree produces varying types of long, rope or thread-like material, in a variety of thicknesses, from sewing thread to yarn to rope. The material is completely hypoallergenic. These trees are found mostly in Centralia, but are scattered elsewhere, as well.
Pussy Willow: More specifically, it looks to be an American Willow, aka Salix discolor. It is a six-foot-tall tree located in the Dawn Garden, wider than it is tall. It is the only tree of its type in the whole of Omphalotus; because it is in Dawn Garden it has no mature leaves, instead perpetually blooming its soft spring flowers each and every morning, also known as catkins. Incidentally, these catkins are much, much hardier than their real world counterparts; while the stem is easy to break off the main branches of the tree and are bendable, it's difficult to snap them in half. Not only that, but the bud of the flower has the texture and feel of tiny bristles. Toothbrush bristles, that is...
Animal life in the caves is diverse and complex, most mostly on the small side. Once you get to the Lake or the rest of Topside, however, the chances of encountering larger specimens grow exponentially. The Lake, in particular, plays host to various unique wildlife. Lake Omphalotus has a strong halocline, and can host both fresh- and saltwater animals.
Arachnids: Small spiders and colorful, translucent scorpions. Some have rather potent venom, others are merely nuisances. None are deadly. They mostly avoid people.
Crustaceans: Found in the lake. Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish, many colorful, some quite large. Crabs are known to nest around the shoreline. Many like to congregate near the shallows and around the coral reefs.
Eels: The deeper portions of the lake contain small, colorful electric eels and large Moray eels. Rarely, these critters will venture closer to shore. There MAY even be a potential man-eater of an eel down there, if you swim down deep enough...
Fish: A wide variety of freshwater fish are found in Lake Omphalotus, from small and colorful to some very very LARGE specimens. The large fish you can catch vary depending on the season. Small silver and red fish swim through underground canals in the Larder, as well, and can be caught at randomly-scattered pools.
Frogs and Toads: Found mostly in areas with plant life and access to water or rain, like the Larder and Centralia. Many are brightly colored and toxic. They can be heard quite clearly at night, especially in the so-called rainy season.
Insects: Fireflies, dragonflies, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, millipedes, centipedes, pill bugs, gnats and other biting insects, and a variety of caterpillars, butterflies, and moths. Some sting quite painfully.
Invertebrates: Worms, nematodes, etc are found exactly where you'd expect them, and come in various shapes and colors. Feel free to play around with the diversity. There are underwater invertebrates, as well, such as tube worms.
Nudibranchs: Wildly colorful, often poisonous sea slugs that dwells deep in the waters. They are often found clinging to the coral reefs.
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Rodents and other small mammals: Can be found both Topside and below. Generally no larger than a rabbit. Squirrels and bats are frequent. Some hibernate when it starts getting cold.
Snakes: These snakes, while large, are not poisonous or dangerous to humans - they feed on bats and kill by constriction. A bite is still painful, however. Smaller inhabitants, especially, are warned to be careful.
Squid and Cuttlefish: Ranging in size from minuscule to "dinner", these guys roam the deeps and occasionally come up to the shallows, especially to spawn.
Wild Boars: Can be found both Topside and below. The ones found Topside can grow quite large and are often aggressive, whereas the smaller ones below are mostly timid.
UNIQUE ANIMALS, CRYPTIDS, SPECTERS, AND MONSTERS
If you'd like to request creatures such as Omphie or the Thieves to interact with you, please go here, drop us a comment, and a mod will be glad to help you plot and set up a time to play. The vast majority creatures in this list you are welcome to NPC as part of your narrative, with or without a mod, the exceptions being the above two. NCP'ing certain actions with them is fine (hunt them, be attacked by them, get vague glimpses of them, etc), but please do not A) attempt to communicate with them, or B) attempt to clearly identify the Mysterious Lake Monster on your own! As with all things, we appreciate your cooperation in this.
Caterpaca: Half a caterpillar, half an alpaca, and a foot long including the neck and head. At first glance, these fuzzy things don't appear to have any legs, but its eight hooved feet are tiny and hidden beneath the long fur of its body. They're generally placid and can easily be picked up and petted, although they may spit if startled. Caterpacas can be found in warmer weather in the fibrecloth trees - perhaps they're actually spinning the cloth?
Cave Unicorn: These pony-sized creatures have the basic body plan of a white-furred, narrow-boned horse, though with many clearly distinguishing features: their feet each have two toes, each with a large, hooked, pale gray or white claw, their tails resemble a lion's, the dentition clearly marks them as predators, and both sexes have a single long horn growing from their foreheads. They live in packs of three to five adults, typically including one male, a few females, and their offspring, which are born one at a time.
They have adapted to be specialized Mimic-hunters. The largest pack member - usually the stallion - will flush out a warren. Once he touches one and engages the transformation, the rest of the pack will attempt to pin their prey down. Once the Mimic is pinned, the Unicorn that originally flushed it out will use the horn as a precision lance, usually aiming for the heart. Probably as a result of this elusive preferred prey item, Cave Unicorns are very aggressive, and have developed highly ritualized greeting behaviors to help distinguish the real unicorns from a Mimic clone. Cannibalism is not uncommon.
Interesting Note: For reasons largely unknown, they are highly resistant to electricity. The horns seemingly act as lightning rods, grounding them through specialized neural pathways that force excess energy down and out through their claws. Perhaps this helps them cope better with the random energy fluctuations of the caves? Or perhaps they once had predators or rivals that used electric-based attacks.
Chocobo: Tall, feathery birds, usually yellow, but not always. They are docile, sweet creatures that can be convinced to act as a mount for a human, like a bipedal horse. They are often nervous, though, and usually need to be approached with caution (and with appealing, edible Greens) lest they run away or attack in self-defense. They cannot fly, and might be compared to an emu or ostrich. They often make "Kweh~!" and other warbling-type sounds. Mostly found Topside, where flocks nest in the deeper forested portions. They prefer open-air, though an especially docile one might be coaxed into the caves. Some (rare) types of Chocobo are surefooted climbers, able to scale tall mountains. Others (also rare) can swim, and thus cross deep water. They are quite fast, though they love to eat, and some are known to get so fat they can barely move! (Ironically, these Fat Chocobos tend to be the flock alphas.) Riding astride a Chocobo, it is quite a simple feat to cover vast terrain, such as desert, quite quickly.
Geepie: An unusual species of sheep/goat hybrid, Geepies are small hoofed animals that can be found all over the Larder. They have soft fuzzy fur in varying shades of gray and white (though there may be the occasional black or brown), that can be cut and spun into yarn or used as-is for stuffing or insulation. They are also known for their production of a highly nutritious milk. Attempting to catch a Geepie for these treasures can prove to be quite the challenge, however, as they are fast on their feet and have a phenomenal jumping ability.
Kodama: Tree spirits found in the oasis region up Topside. These are small white humanoids, ranging from six inches to two feet in height, with large, bulbous heads and mask-like features. While not harmful, the sight of a forest full of them, all rattling away, can be somewhat startling, and they will react violently towards any attempt at cutting down their chosen trees. As far as we can tell, these spirits are not native to Topside, though they're not sentient enough to tell us more.
Mimics: These are cute, fuzzy rodents resembling a small, short-eared bunny, mostly found within the Larder but sometimes venturing in to the Gardens. However, upon contact with anything possessing live DNA, it'll absorb and copy the genetic information, creating a perfect clone of the organism that has touched it. (Non-living things such as clothing or weapons are not, however, copied, thus the clone will be completely naked.) The cloning effect lasts a short period of time (about an hour or two), and the transformed Mimic retains its original behavior - skittishness, a short attention span, and other... rabbit-like tendencies. They hibernate during the colder months, and while they have the ability to mate at any time, there is a definite time of year when they are more active in this pursuit.
Interesting Note: It is believed these "bunnies", lacking reproductive parts of their own, reproduce via this unusual means. This theory is given credence by the fact the cloned DNA cannot be overridden, only waited out. These critters are quite fast, so perhaps the most suitable mate is determined by which Mimic can catch-up (no, Mimics CANNOT breed with non-Mimics... though they might try, especially once they get ahold of DNA that HAS reproductive parts). Further, it may be a defense mechanism, giving the Mimics greater size and strength to fend off attackers and get to safety while the stunned would-be-predator hasn't quite figured out what just happened.
'Omphie', the Mysterious Lake Monster: There's been rare sightings of... something (something big) at the bottom of Lake Omphalotus, which is rumored to occasionally breach the surface. Is it a whale? A giant fish? A sea-serpent? A cluster of other, smaller creatures? Is it a hoax? A misunderstanding? Could it be a giant, sea-faring fungus? Who knows! The mystery will only be revealed when/if the mods decide to unveil it. All your character may (as of yet) know about this elusive creature is that: it is big, its coloration under the water is impossible to determine, and it seems to enjoy randomly sneaking up on you and making a (quite literal) splash, and could even overturn a boat or splash high enough to create problems for something flying above the lake. If your character is able to dive deep enough and for long enough, he/she/it might catch glimpse of something fitting this description ducking in or out of the various underwater caves and tunnels. Attempts to follow it will prove, for the most part, futile.
Note: while random, brief encounters with "Omphie" are fine, attempting to communicate with it or describe it in great detail does require modly intervention. Please drop us a comment here to request such interactions. However, if you'd like to discover a lake creature of your own and have your character believe it is 'Omphie', that's perfectly fine (we like Red Herrings).
Restless Spirits/Ghosts: An odd and diverse group of specters residing in Mushroom Kingdom's Nightmare-Fuel Section. Why they are here or how long they've been here for is a mystery, but they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and display a variety of mannerisms, from glowing orbs to full-bodied and humanoid to wraith-like to monstrosity, from timid to curious to aggressive. Some are able to speak, while others can only make nonsensical sounds. Some may attempt to communicate with you, whereas others will only run away, or else chase you down. Some seem to be trapped in cyclical patterns, unaware of anything around them, while others are quite clearly aware of their surroundings and can even interact. While they're not necessarily tied to the Nightmare Fuel Section -- some might occasionally wander into Mushroom Kingdom proper, or even into Centralia -- that certainly seems to be their preferred haunting ground. If your character is of the soul-devouring variety, you are welcome to hunt these down and ingest them -- their numbers never seem to dwindle.
None of the spirits and ghosts of Omphalotus are native inhabitants. All were brought here in some way - either as spirits to begin with, or as previous residents that met an unfortunate end. You can have spirits and ghosts from any fictional source, and you're welcome to elaborate on their lives and unlives as you please. Some of the many diverse spirits you may encounter can include the following:
- The Friendly Ghost: a quiet, friendly spirit who doesn't speak but enjoys spending time around people. If you're friendly, it may reward you with a gift.
- Preta: cannibalistic and aggressive, these spirits are of low intelligence and attack on sight, attempting to devour the souls of any unfortunate that draws near. They speak only gibberish.
- Ghost Soldiers: a variety of former soldiers, all with distinct personalities and histories. May attack if provoked.
- Atman: aggressive and tortured, Atman is the great observer, often providing an unfortunate victim with startling insights before it attacks. It's not truly malicious, but it will use force to send intruders on their way.
- Mischivious Ghost: a trickster with a malicious side, this spirit thinks nothing of luring someone into a possibly lethal trap.
- Maiden Ghost: the ghost of a young, grieving woman - she seems to have a minor ability to project her emotions to anyone nearby, crippling them with nearly overwhelming grief. In her better moods, she is willing to converse with others, although most of the time she prefers listening to speaking.
- Sluagh: like Preta, Sluagh devours souls - unlike Preta, it's not quite as mindless, often constructing traps to lure a victim into its clutches. It doesn't speak, but it does seem intelligent.
- Companion Ghost: intelligent, although it rarely speaks. It enjoys being around people, and if it takes a liking to someone, it's usually willing to help fight at their side.
- Spirit Guide: these spirits and their lanterns can act as a guide, particularly to those that are lost. It can be tempermental, though, and may attack without warning. This spirit, while guiding someone, will often speak and divulge stories about previous inhabitants; if it chooses to attack, it will go silent.
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Sandworms: Large, burrowing, worm-like creatures found in the sands of Topside. They range from just a foot or so in length to big enough to swallow a wyvern without difficulty. They inhale sand through their gaping maws, crushing through random rocks with row upon row of tooth-like projections. The tilled sand is then excreted through the back. Small protrusions all along their bodies propel it through the ground. In loose sand, they can move quite quickly, and breach air high enough to pluck a low-flying wyvern right out of the sky, but they can't chew through large chunks of rock, nor at all through metal, and they drown if exposed to water, so they cannot burrow their way inside the caves.
Thieves: Strange, mysterious creatures roaming Topside. For reasons unknown, they steal any newly-born or newly-hatched right after birth/emergence. They strike without warning, move silently, and are blindingly fast and irrationally aggressive. If you see one, there are probably hundreds around, and if the small, initial scouting party is having difficulty securing the prey, they will emit an ear-piercing shriek, prompting the others to swarm. They're small, hairy, and vaguely ape-like, though they move constantly, so it's difficult to get a clearer description. What they do with these stolen tots is a mystery. All that witnesses know is that the child is still alive at the time of the kidnapping, as their cries are usually the last thing the bereaved parents will hear before the thieves disappear as suddenly as they appeared.
Note: While strictly physical interactions with these are fine, attempting to communicate with them does require modly intervention. Please drop us a comment here to request such interactions.
Tsuchinoko: A legendary snake-like cryptid originally from Japan, planet Earth (although, how it got into Omphalotus remains a mystery). They are between 30 and 80 centimeters in length, similar in appearance to a snake, but with a central girth that is much wider than its head or tail, and as have fangs and venom similar to that of a viper. Some accounts also describe the Tsuchinoko as being able to stand up straight on its tail and to to jump up to a meter in distance.
According to legend, some Tsuchinoko have the ability to speak and a propensity for lying, as well as a taste for alcohol; and some have been heard to even snore and cry. Legend also records that it will sometimes swallow its own tail so that it can roll and move like a wheel, similar to the equally mythical hoop snake or an ouroboros. They are delicious and give a stamina boost when eaten, but are also very rare.
Unknown Draconian: There are a few creatures in this world whose existence are unconfirmed. Some have left clues, as with the giant, wingless dragon whose skeleton lies about a two-hour walk from the edge of the Topside forest. Are there more of these? Can they get any larger? Thus far, nobody knows. If there are more, surely they are to be found in the various mountain chains that line the planetoid, but those are few and far from Omphalotus' caves.
Wyvern: A type of smaller, two-legged dragon that roams Topside. It's fierce and irrationally aggressive, but doesn't breathe fire. It does, however, breathe other noxious fumes. If it can't attack by diving down at you, it can and likely will give chase on-foot, and is quite fast.
Need inspiration? Here's some useful starting points (you may, of course, draw inspiration from wherever else you'd like).
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