|Official Name||Shademarsh Mushroom|
|Common Name||Heartpoppers, Gris-Asesino|
|Common Use||Poison, hallucinogen|
|Habitat||Dark, damp locations such as swamps|
The Shademarsh Mushroom is an unassuming brown-capped mushroom that can be found growing in swamplands on several continents. Once a harmless fungus, the magical energy that came with the Cataclysm twisted it into a dark poison. When the mushroom is consumed, it causes heart palpitations and feelings of dread; these effects can reach dangerously high levels unless the poison is cured or purged from the body.
For hundreds of years, Shademarsh was simply a mushroom found in Daendroc and commonly consumed by slaves under the Elven Empire. Following the Cataclysm, however, the fungus was mutated and started producing poison. Former slaves would unsuspectingly continue consuming the mushrooms and find themselves suddenly overcome with severe panic, paranoid hallucinations, and a rapidly beating heart. The mushroom became universally avoided as practically every single person who consumed it died. Even more strange, among those who survived the mushroom's effects, many ended up dying not long afterward. Along with its harmful effects, it was later discovered that the mushroom also gained an addictive trait that tempted its victims into eating it again. With these new abilities, Shademarsh Mushroom became an easily procured poison for dark intentions. People who used the mushroom also carried the its spores with them, allowing it to spread to other parts of the world where it can be found in uncommon patches within swamps and thick forests. It has become common knowledge to avoid these mushrooms, but it still kills the occasional foolish traveler who eats it.
The Shademarsh Mushroom is an unremarkable looking fungus standing around six inches tall with a beige stalk and a large brown cap measuring up to four inches across. It has a soft, rubbery texture and is easily broken apart. It is distinguishable by the short, black hairs that hang around the rim of the cap. Like most fungi, Shademarsh also grows in cool, shaded areas such as the mouth of caves or the bases of thick swamp trees.
Uses and Abilities
The primary use of Shademarsh Mushroom is as a torturous poison. To take effect, the mushroom must be consumed. Moments later, the victim will experience sweating along with feelings of paranoia and anxiety, as if they are constantly in danger or about to be harmed. These feelings increase in intensity for several minutes, during which the victim's heart will start pounding faster. After five minutes, breathing becomes labored, muscles will spasm causing movement to be strained, and headaches are induced as vision starts blurring and sounds become throbbingly loud. At this stage, the victim often loses consciousness and will shortly die without treatment.
Vomiting the poison is a fast treatment that can alleviate the symptoms if done immediately after eating the mushroom. The victim will still suffer the effects for the same amount of time but to a lesser non-fatal extent. Beyond that, it is rare for victims to survive without treatment, but in all such cases, they always end up in a coma until they are cured by purging the poison from their body. One method to do so is to have the victim drink a powerful healing potion, though this is more difficult to accomplish with comatose victims. The poison will not dissipate on its own and any comatose victims will remain so until cured or dead.
Victims who manage to survive the poisonous effects of the mushroom will notice a strange feeling of relaxed elation and a craving for more of the Shademarsh Mushrooms. This is the mushroom's secondary addictive property which lingers on for a couple of days after consumption and which makes it a truly dangerous mushroom. It has also caused the fungus to be used as a narcotic where small pieces of the mushroom are diluted in liquid and then consumed.
- It is common for victims of the mushroom to believe their heartbeat is growing increasingly louder until it starts causing earthquakes.
- The mushroom is reported to have a very bitter taste.