Dangers of the King’s Forest: Tenday Mold

1. Tenday Mold is a little bit of everything: mold, rot and fungus.

2. Should your character ask about it, he or she is likely to be informed that the dead god Moander bequeathed Tenday Mold unto Cormyr as a parting gift; something meant to trouble Cormyreans for all of eternity thanks to their efforts to see that deity driven out of the Forest Kingdom once and for all.

3. Others will tell your character that elves made Tenday Mold, and that the legends of elves ruling the region before there ever was a Cormyr are true. Tenday Mold was just one of several methods the elves used to slow the advance of humans into their woodlands, and that the elves “forgot” to take it with them when they left once and for all.

4. Of more practical concern to your character will of course be the question of just what Tenday Mold does. Accounts vary of course, because the chances of encountering someone who’s been infected and survived are small—DM’s choice, as suits the needs of the campaign—but most NPCs will tell you some version of the following: If you are caught in a burst of Tenday Mold and it gets on your skin in a warm, moist spot—such as under your armor, in your armpits or your crotch—or if you inhale a cloud of it, there is a good chance it’ll take hold and grow, much to your detriment. (DM’s choice on chance of being infected, and on a saving throw, if any, to resist the infection.)

5. Once it starts growing on flesh, Tenday Mold is nigh impossible to kill without killing or at least seriously harming the infected (i.e., it can be burned off, provided your character does not mind being set fire too; just as the infected flesh can be carved off). Druids know how to remove it safely, as do forest denizens like Dryads and Pixies—who are just as vulnerable to Tenday Mold as humans, elves, orcs, or any other humanoid creature—but you’d better be good at convincing such denizens to help you, or be quick to offer a favor in return for aid (read: accepting the equivalent of a [i]geas[/i] placed on your character as the healing takes place).

6. Tenday Mold does not only grow on skin. It bores into the body, devouring muscle and solidifying over joints, making a victim immobile within 1d4+2 days after infection. Once immobile, your character will come to smell so bad that anything living (i.e. that has to breathe) will be driven off. Thus can the mold can grow and kill its victims without interruption.

7. Magical healing in the form of one-spell-heals-damage clerical magic does not cure Tenday Mold; hit point loss is of course remedied, but the mold keeps right on growing—even if a character is returned to full hit points. The right combination of healing-type spells must be cast (DM’s choice as to what spells work, and in what order if multiple spells are required, plus any required Healing Skill check or not). Characters at full HP suffering from Tenday Mold remain in excruciating pain.

8. In 8+1d4 days your character’s body will be fully covered in mold and spores, your character will draw his or her last breath and die (assuming starvation hasn’t killed your PC already). Your PC’s corpse will be frozen in place, and will look like a statue covered from head to foot in thick, powdery mold. Your character is now the latest in a long line of green, gray and blue mold covered humanoid-looking forest statues to be found in the deeper, darker parts of the King’s Forest.

9. (For what it’s worth, the stench fades away after your character dies.)

10. A thick, calcified crust will have formed underneath the mold—this what maintains the statue shape. Mounds of puckered spores will have formed in the center of the various colored patches to be found on your PCs corpse. The spores are very sensitive to movement and to the presence of flesh and blood creatures; your PCs corpse will burst in a 20’ radius if anything the size of a Halfling or larger comes within the area of effect, be it humanoid or forest creature or fantastical beast.

11. Druids and rangers that sight your PC’s corpse will mark the area as dangerous and to be avoided. A goodly act among druids is to cast spells causing bushes or vines to grow swiftly around or over your dead character’s form.

12. Rangers trained in the King’s Forest know that Honeysuckle eagerly takes root on Tenday Mold. If it’s planted near your PC’s corpse, the vines will encase it in about a month. This living shell consumes the mold and spores, and in any case dampens the eruption of spores (which seem still able to sense living creatures that wander by), reducing the explosive radius to 5’. Such growth produces flowers of varying colors, and the leaves are tinged with hues of blood red and deepest blue.

13. If the spores on your PC’s corpse explode, little is left behind. The shell in the shape of your PC’s body will be gone. All their flesh and bone is of course gone too. Anything your PC carried or wore that was incapable of rotting away will have been shot out in several random directions at the same time. However, if your PC’s corpse was covered in vines, all that didn’t rot can be found in a pile on the ground, covered in brittle bits of white that look like eggshells.

14. Wise adventurers know to look for human-high mounds of vines, and to carefully prod at them from a safe distance in the hopes of getting at whatever valuables might be found to lie inside.

15. Unscrupulous adventurers will lure or lead the unwary (such as other novice adventurers or the desperate) into the presence of Tenday Mold shells in order to set them off. After the explosion, the bad guys will attack and slay the unfortunates, then make off with whatever is revealed beneath the shells, as well as the property of the newly slain, as Tenday Mold settles quickly to the ground and then dies if it doesn’t find a new host to grow on.

16. Adventurers on the run from superior forces (or from one of the handful of Hill Giant-sized Owlbears that have reappeared within the last century in the King’s Forest) have been known to make for parts of the King’s Forest where Tenday Mold can be found, in the hopes of infecting their foes and creating a diversion by which they can escape.

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