Date: Sun, 7 Mar 1999 01:26:40 EST
From: Acererak the Eternal
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List
Sphacelus: Realm of Zuggtmoy
A Fungus Amongus
By Randy Richards
Zuggtmoy, the Demoness Lady of Fungi, breeds fear and loathing from her rule of Abyssal layer 222. Known as Sphacelus to it inhabitants, it is a ghastly layer of demonic slimes, molds, jellies, puddings, oozes, and fungi abominations the likes of which no sane human should ever witness. Dangerous fungi animals are the norm, and the land is caked with mud, rotten logs, standing water, decaying plants, and other unspeakable dead things. Fungi dinosaurs roam the fungal jungles, and the fungi forests are filled with fungi demons, fungi dragons, fungi undead, and every other fungi monstrosity one can imagine. Tiny, normal, giant, huge, and gargantuan-sized fungi grow from every imaginable surface, including living beings. The air is heavy with spores that make breathing difficult and risky. In its eternal night, a mist
hangs in the air and moisture accumulates on everything. Onlookers tend to feel they are tiny ants on the floor of a cave, swamp, moist forest, or jungle.
Zuggtmoy's fortress on this plane is inside an unimaginably massive morel mushroom, nearly half a mile tall. Inside are literally hundreds of rooms connected by tubes, slides, gelatinous doorways, and membranes, each surrounded by sticky strands of hyphae, mycelium, and rhizoids. It is a nightmare to most outsiders, even other demons. The fungi fortress, called Sporangia by its demonic inhabitants, releases giant spores from its continuously rupturing sporangium. These spores float away to all parts of her plane, landing to germinate into the monstrous creatures that populate this layer of the Abyss.
The fortress and the surrounding lands contain the ever present tanar'ri, primarily of the fungi variety. Encounters with smut demons are common, as well as many other types of pudding, ooze, mold, jelly, and slime demons. A few of the more powerful, intelligent creatures grow "living buildings" that are difficult to harm. Some have complex floor plans and multi-levels, but many are single-room designs. These structures are entered through wet, gelatinous membranes that normally only allow access to certain individuals. The purposes of these living complexes are varied, some for homes, fortresses, temporary camps, or shelter from storms.
Except near the area of Zuggtmoy's fortress, the fungi forests and jungles are not always the norm. Random periods of localized storms bring light, kill the fungi, and promote a riotous growth of strange, rank, and twisted flora for 24 hours. One might see giant, knurled redwoods, oaks, and pines spring up in a few hours, and amidst these are patches of retch plants, choke creepers, quickwood, hangman trees, mantraps, snappersaws, thornslingers, tri-flower fronds, evil treants, giant sundews, thornies, bloodthorn, twilight bloom, boring grass, firethorn, and hundreds of other
deadly, unknown species - some undead. A few bizarre creatures roam during this time, such as bog hounds, darktentacles, varrdigs, gibbering mouthers, obliviax moss, shambling mounds, and black unicorns. The accelerated plant growth is almost as dangerous as the deadly fungi, ripping apart the land and tossing great chunks of rock and debri into the air. After this unrest the night returns, the plants die from lack of light, and the fungal landscape returns to feed. This process is repeated eternally throughout the layer.
Except during storms, the air of Sphacelus is heavy with spores. As a result, the air is thin and should be treated as if located at a high altitude. Creatures breathing the air without some sort of filter must save vs. poison once per hour or contract a spore sickness. This affliction has varied effects on the individual, each of which can be eliminated by a cure disease spell.
Spore Effects Table (d20)
1 subject to hallucinations for 2d4 rounds (see basidirond, MM2/15)
2 internal fungus growth causes decay that in 24 hours ends in death
3 loses 1 point of Constitution per turn, dies of hypothermia
4 gains displacer ability, appears 3 feet away for 6d4 hours
5 falls down, helplessly coughing and weezing for 1d8 rounds
6 small, non-dangerous mushrooms grow over entire body for 6d4 hours
7 ages 1 year per day until cured
8 slowly transforms into a mushroom over 4d4 turns
9 blind for 1d6 turns
10 loses 1 point of Constitution per turn, dies of heat stroke
11 grows double in size for 1d4 turns
12 dies in 1d4 rounds, purple fungus "animates" body in 1d4 rounds, it follows but takes no other action whatsoever
13 skin turns green for 1d4 weeks
14 receives 1 point of damage per round until cured
15 gains ESP ability for 24 hours
16 dies in 5d4 rounds, body tranforms into an evil mold man in 1d4 rounds
17 becomes totally passive, unable to do anything but sit and grin for 3d4 turns
18 shrinks to 1/8 of an inch tall, with clothing, but not other possessions
19 blue fungus forms on skin, dehydrates over 3d6 turns, dies a dessicated husk
20 gains 1d6 points to random ability scrore (maximum 19) for 4d4 turns
Random Sphacelus Encounters:
Average Encounters (roll d100)
01-15 roll on Special Encounter Table (see below)
16-17 olive slime
18-19 mustard jelly
22-23 ochre jelly
24-25 gray ooze
26-28 gelatinous cube
29-30 myconid (CE alignment)
31-35 giant ant
36-40 vege-monster (roll any random monster from MM)
41-52 vege-animal (roll a random mammal from MM)
53-54 green slime
55 slithering tracker
56-57 violet fungi
71 gas spore
72-73 basidirond (MM2/15)
74-75 zygom (MM2/132)
76-77 shambling [fungi] mound
78-80 thorny (CE alignment)
81-85 brown mold
86-88 russet mold
89-90 yellow mold
91-92 black pudding
93-94 brown pudding (MM2/102)
95 white pudding
96-97 dun pudding
98-99 mold man (CE alignment)
00 undead monster (roll on same table again, result is a zombie version)
Special Encounter Table* (d100)
01-15 abyssal mushroom
16-17 arctic beacon
18-19 bird's nest
20 black slime
21-23 cobblestone mold
24-25 displacer mold
36-52 replicant jellyroll
53-54 jungle beacon
55 mold golem
56-57 netted rhodotus
58-64 living building
65 myconid vampire
66-67 parachute veil
68-69 pudding morel
71 slime dragon
72-73 slave mold
74-75 snare cup
76-77 purple mold
78-80 spiky scarlet cup
84 indigo temporal
88 jelly wraith
89-90 white werepudding
93-94 whistling toadstools
95 wind mycena
96-97 white marasmius
98-99 Roll on Fungi Demon Table (see below)
00 ooze demi-lich (subterranean chamber)
* New Monsters (e-mail Acererak@aol.com for descriptions)
Fungi Demon Table (d100)
01-05 Tanar'ri (roll randomly from MM)
06-50 Smut demon*
51-58 Fungi demon*
59-66 Pudding demon*
67-74 Ooze demon*
75-82 Mold demon*
83-90 Jelly demon*
91-99 Slime demon*
00 Servant or courtesan of Zuggtmoy
* New Monster (see description hereafter)
Demon Types of Sphacelus:
Smut Demon [least tanar'ri] (1-6): AL CE; AC 7; MV 3 (bipedal), 12 (rolling); HD 2; THAC0 19; #AT 2 or 1; Dmg 1-4/1-4 (arms) or 1-6 (bounce); SZ S (2' diameter); ML 10; XP 975; SA flesh rot; SD +1 or better weapon to hit.
Smut demons appear as bulbous teliospores, covered in irregular ridges surrounding indentations in their skin. Their spindly arms and legs resemble violet-fungi branches. On a successful hit, the excretions from these short branches causes 1d4 points of rotting damage to a victim's flesh. Smuts can draw these appendages into their bodies to engage in their favored mode of travel, which is to roll (at a rate of 12). Their resilient bodies cannot be harmed by falling any distance, and in fact they bounce up to 20 feet in any direction if dropped from a height of at least 5 feet. A bouncing smut can surprise an unsuspecting victim, purposely jumping from an elevated location to activate this ability. A bounce can be used as an attack form, causing 1d6 points of damage if hit.
Fungi Demon [greater tanar'ri] (1): AL CE; AC -3; MV 12; HD 11+4 (98 hp); THAC0 9; #AT 1; Dmg 8-32; SZ H (14' tall); ML 15; XP 27,000; MR 70%; SA spore clouds; SD only hit by +2 weapons or better.
A fungi demon appears as an 11' tall toadstool of the blackest complexion. She is accompanied at all times by 1-4 abyssal mushroom servants, and 1-2 black slimes. If forced into hand-to-hand combat, she can club opponents using her clasped hands for 8-32 points of damage.
At will, one per round, she can release spore clouds that create the following spell effects: charm person or mammal, charm plant, darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, entangle, plant growth, warp wood, teleport without error, and roperskin. Twice per day she can release spores with the following affects: rot (reverse of slow rot), cause disease, animate fungi, knurl, thornwrack, fungi biceps, age plant, and fungi corpse animator. If severely threatened, she does not hesitate to release gate spores, to bring in a nalfeshnee demon (55% chance of success) or 3d8 smut demons (90% chance), which she can attempt but once per day.
Pudding Demon [greater tanar'ri] (1): AL CE; AC -4; MV 18; HD 11+1; THAC0 9; #AT 1; Dmg 8-32; SZ L (10' diameter); ML 19; XP 20,000; MR 55%; SA acid; telepathic suggestion; spell-like powers; SD immunities, division, only hit by +1 weapons or better.
The white body of a pudding demon gives off a glowing, unearthly pulsating light in a 30 foot radius which she can quell at will. Her pale form is striated with brown, black, dun, and gray swirls. She normally appears with a humanoid upper-torso and a blob from waist down, but she can just as easily assume a normal pudding form (any color or type). She moves extremely fast, at a rate of 18, and can travel as quickly on floors and she can on walls and ceilings. Her amorphous form allows her to move through cracks that are at least half an inch wide. She is immune to acid, cold, and
poison. Electricity or a blow from a weapon divides her into a duplicate version of herself which has all the powers, abilities, and memories of the original. This duplicate can only exist outside the original body for 20 rounds, at which time it shrivels and dies.
Any creature touching the surface of a pudding demon with its bare skin must save vs. paralyzation or the victim's arms and legs are paralyzed for 5d4 rounds. The creature slowly drains life levels from any being so anesthetized (1 level/turn). As the energy-drain withdraws the life force, the victim appears to age horribly until it dies old and shrunken. When the victim nears death, she secretes highly acidic digestive fluids which begin to dissolve him (8d4 damage/round) until nothing is left but bones and possessions. She can only dissolve organic matter (5-inch thickness of wood in 1 round).
At will, one per round, a pudding demon can use these spell-like powers: darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, teleport without error, cause serious wounds, and pudding acid. Twice per day she can use these spell-like powers: earthmaw, knurl, thornwrack, giant insect, creeping doom, fungi corpse animator, improved invisibility, mirror image, and perform a telepathic suggestion. Once per day she can attempt to gate in a glabrezu (45% chance) chasme demon (60% chance) or 2d6 smut demons (85% chance). Annulus is always accompanied by 1d6 white puddings and 1d4 black puddings of low to average intelligence.
Ooze Demon [lesser tanar'ri] (1-3): AL CE; AC 0; MV 12, Fl 18/C; Sw 3; HD 8+1 (73 hp); THAC0 14; #AT 2 or 3; Dmg 4-16; SZ M (6' tall); ML 12; XP 17,000; MR 45%; SA paralysis; spell-like powers; SD regeneration, only hit by +1 weapons or better.
An ooze demon is lavender in color, and has full control of her semi-liquid body. In humanoid form, she usually appears as a beautiful female form with wings, but a male form is also possible. The race of this humanoid shape is dependent upon her choice, usually the race she is dealing with at the time. She can move through cracks, bars, or any other spaces that allow air to move, at half her normal movement rate. In water she is effectively 99% invisible in her ooze form, and 80% on land.
In humanoid form she can project her arms, and form her hands into blobs to attack for 4d4 points of damage each. In ooze form, she attacks with up to three pseudopods simultaneously, inflicting 4d4 damage on each successful hit. Due to her secretions, victims of either attack must save vs. paralysis or be paralyzed for 2d8 turns. Attacks made upon her using a physical weapon is risky, as it becomes trapped inside the creature unless a bend bars/life gates rolls is successful. Weapons so trapped cannot be removed until she wishes it, or she is dead. A piece of her cut away from her body wriggle and slurps back, repairing half the hit points lost in the attack (assuming the piece can reach her, otherwise it withers and dies in 2d4 rounds). She regenerates 1 hit point per turn.
At will, one per round, an ooze demon can use these spell-like powers: darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, teleport without error, warp wood, raise water, undetectable lie, and gelatinous slime. Twice per day she can use these spell-like powers: heat metal, obscure object, misdirection, transmute water to dust, water walking, undetectable alignment, and telekinese 500 pounds of weight. Once per day she can attempt to gate in a hezrou demon (25% chance), or 1d8 smut demons (75% chance).
Mold Demon [lesser tanar'ri] (1-2): AL CE; AC 1; MV 12; HD 7+3; THAC0 13; #AT 2; Dmg 1-6/1-6; SZ L (7' tall); ML 13; XP 10,000; MR 40%; SA cause disease; spores; spell-like powers; SD immune to piercing weapons, only hit by +1 weapons or better.
A mold demon has sharp thorns for claws (which cause disease if hit), and thin, weed-like tufts that cover her entire humanoid body. She normally appears a mixture of gray, green, and brown, but her color varies depending on her surroundings and mood, and can run the gamut from the darkest black to the brightest red. If any part of Sterigma is severed or cut away, it regrows in 1d4 turns. Dismembered parts grow into 1d4 fungus men in 1d4 rounds. Each of these creatures is under control of the mold demon.
Once per round she can "sneeze" spores from her mouth (up to 5 feet away), and the target must save vs. poison or become paralyzed. Victims die in 2d4 rounds unless a cure disease spell is applied. A dead target becomes a 4HD, chaotic evil mold man in 1 turn, under her control. She is immune to all piercing weapons, even most enchanted ones. She is always accompanied by 1d8 fungrelmen, 1-2 mold golems, and one semi-intelligent thorny (MM/293) of chaotic evil alignment.
At will, one per round, she can use these spell-like powers: darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, teleport without error, cause serious wounds, entangle, and endothermic mold. Twice per day she can use these spell-like powers: putrefy food & drink, badberry, misdirection, wraithform, improved invisibility, and obscure object. Once per day she can attempt to gate in a vrock demon (35% chance), or 1d6 smut demons (60% chance), and cast harm.
Jelly Demon [lesser tanar'ri] (1-2): AL CE; AC 1; MV 12; HD 7; THAC0 13; #AT 1-6; Dmg 1-4/1-4/1-4/1-4/1-4/1-4; SZ M (5' tall); ML 12; XP 14,000; MR 35%; SA gaze attack; pseudopods; anesthetization; spell-like powers; SD only hit by +1 weapons or better.
Made of a transparent material, a jelly demon is nearly invisible (99% chance) in normal light, and moves without a sound. Jelly demons prefer a giant, snake-like shape, and normally stand as if a cobra, ready to strike. However, she can just as easily assume the form of a blob, effortlessly sliding her way through cracks and under doors. If her body is split, the piece turns into a random jelly monster that obeys the commands of the demon. In any form, she can move as easily on floors as she can on walls and ceilings. She is always accompanied by 1d6 slithering trackers, and 1-2 varrdig grue elementals (MM2/73).
Upon close inspection of her "head", two slanted indentations can be observed in place of eyes. Once per turn, she can use these "eyes" to turn a creature into jelly, the sockets glowing during this attack. The intended target must save vs. petrification or succumb to this deadly stare. Jellified victims become slithering trackers (MM/279) under control of the demon. She may also thrust up to six pseudopods at up to six different targets, each causing 1d4 points of bludgeoning damage if a successful hit. A maximum of 4 pseudopods may hit a single target per round. Victims struck by a pseudopod must save vs. paralyzation or be anesthetized for 1d4 turns. As a last resort, she surrounds a victim with her gelatinous body and draws forth all its plasma in 10 rounds. This requires an attack roll by the jelly demon, and if successful she dehydrates 1/10 of the creature's hit points each round. At the end of this time the trapped, desiccated victim is ejected.
At will, one per round, she can use these spell-like powers: darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, teleport without error, cause serious wounds, hypnotism, and gelatinous slime. Twice per day she can use these spell-like powers: putrefy food & drink, hallucinatory [fungi] forest, and undetectable alignment. Once per day she can attempt to gate in a vrock demon (30% chance), or 1d6 smut demons (55% chance).
Slime Demon [lesser tanar'ri] (1-2): AL CE; AC 1; MV 15, Fl 18 (C); Sw 6; HD 7; THAC0 13; #AT 1; Dmg Special; SZ L (7' tall); ML 17; XP 15,000; MR 30%; SA olive slime gout, suffocation punch; spell powers; SD fire increases HD, only hit by +1 weapons or better.
This slime demon resembles a winged humanoid covered in lichens and wet slimes of every color. Her form has no distinguishable face or other defining features, and she leaves a trail of wet gelatin in her path. She is always accompanied by 1-12 different slimes that cling to her body, one of which can be ejected at a target per round (DM rolls randomly for slime type).
Six times per day she can breathe out a gout of olive slime which can turn the target into an olive slime creature (see MM/276) under her control. Instead of this attack, she may opt to extend a single pseudopod from her body that attaches to the face of her target as a blob. The victim temporarily loses 2 Constitution points each round the blob of slime is in place, and when he reaches zero he is dead, suffocated. The pseudopod can be removed if a successful bend bars/lift gates roll is successful. Those that fail die and become green slimes in 1d4 rounds.
A slime demon's body radiates warmth, and instead of avoiding fire she thrives on it. Devouring a normal fire temporarily increases her HD by 1. All light, fire, and heat based spells cast directly on her add 2 HD instead of one. When Stipe reaches 14 HD, she divides, which reduces her back down to her normal HD. The resulting creature is a 7 HD flareater (MC2/57) that obeys Stipe's commands. If she does not divide in 4d6 turns, her HD returns to normal.
At will, one per round, she can use these spell-like powers: darkness, cause fear, detect illusion, detect invisible, dispel magic, teleport without error, badberry, rot (reverse of slow rot), putrefy food & drink, and gelatinous slime. Twice per day she can use: cause disease, contagion, charm person of mammal, and dig. Once per day he can attempt to gate in a dretch demon (65% chance), or 1d4 smut demons (35% chance).
Zuggtmoy's Servants and Courtesans:
Zygosporr (98 hp)
Fungi demon Zygosporr is second in command in Zuggtmoy's realm and is completely loyal to the Lady of Fungi. Although she seeks to inherit her kingdom, but she will only do so in the event of Zuggtmoy's death. It is she who rules while the Lady is gone, receiving directions telepathically even from her forays into the prime material plane. Zygosporr is very clever in the workings of demonic politics, and during Zuggtmoy's imprisonment it is she who kept the realm intact. Neither the upper or lower ranks realized the demoness was absent. The strategy paid off, as not a single rival significantly attacked during the absence.
Annulus (89 hp)
As the lieutenant of Zuggtmoy's armies, pudding demon Annulus is responsible for recruiting and assembling the most hideous, dangerous, fungi monstrosities available for battle. She is a defector from Juiblex's rule, seeking instead a higher position in Zuggtmoy's empire. This has caused a rivalry between the two factions, and Annulus takes great joy in sending troops into battle against The Faceless Lord. It is rumored Juiblex has plans to make layer 222 a part of his own realm by using a recently acquired artifact. This prompted Annulus to seek an alliance with the chasme demons, a successful venture which for now gives Zuggtmoy the edge.
Sstolon (73 hp)
Ooze demon Sstolon is the spy of Zuggtmoy, relaying important information from enemy camps, or slithering into inconspicuous cracks to eavesdrop on supposed allies. It is Sstolon who prevented a coup by Zuggtmoy's previous lieutenant, Basid. At a crucial moment, Basid had planned to turn the Lady of Fungi's own troops against her, and shift the tide of war from Zuggtmoy to Juiblex. At the moment just before the betrayal, jelly demon Pileus assassinated Basid and moved Annulus up in rank to take her place. Victory was Zuggtmoy's.
Sterigma (66 hp)
As the bodyguard of Zuggtmoy, mold demon Sterigma is responsible for her personal security. Assassination attempts are commonplace in the Abyss, and Sterigma has intervened in hundreds over the years. This symbiotic relationship has placed the mold demon in an interesting position. Present for even the most secretive of meetings, Sterigma knows more about Zuggtmoy's secret operations than anyone. During Zuggtmoy's capture on the prime material plane, Sterigma stayed by her side to suffer the same imprisonment.
Pileus (49 hp)
Jelly demon Pileus is the assassin of Zuggtmoy, and currently her only male servant. It is he who slew the traitor Basid during a pivotal battle with the forces of Juiblex, thanks to the keen spying of Sstolon. Pileus is also responsible for steeling into enemy camps to eliminate their leaders. On a few rare occasions, Pileus has made journeys to other Abyssal layers and successfully removed intractable enemies of Zuggtmoy. Pileus has so far failed in all attempts to eliminate Juiblex, as he is too heavily protected.
Stipe (45 hp)
Slime demon "Stipe" is Zuggtmoy's courier and gopher. In battle she carries important messages to front line commanders. In politics, she relays both threats and promised treaties to demons of other realms. Some suggest Stipe knows more about Zuggtmoy's affairs than anyone, but this is not true, as Sterigma maintains this honor. Although she has never been captured, many of Zuggtmoy's enemies have tried based on this misconception.