Darkwood Moss (5e PlantFungi)
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|“||While it is hard to get, 'tis great for my remedies.||”|
|—Dr. R. Kingston|
This dark moss is fuzzy, like frizzy hair. It has small, phosphorescent spores that illuminate the darkness in which it dwells. It feels soft and springy when touched despite appearing a bit slimy on first glance. This moss is indigenous to the Underdark, where it grows on rocks and in some rare underground forests.
This moss is, according to legend, born from the blood of an ancient archdruid who fled persecution. Supposedly, she was a dark elf pursued by elves from the World Above. She had sustained grievous wounds and collapsed on a rock before a grove in the Underdark. Her blood stained the earth nearby. From her fertile blood sprang forth clumps and spreads of this dark simple plant. This material is rich in minerals, since it came from her life. However, it is said that non-dark elves cannot use it without incurring her wrath in some way. It therefore has a negative connotation in elven superstition, though this has not been proven.
Darkwood moss grows sparsely in areas that can accommodate its moisture and air quality requirements. It is not known to be eaten by other creatures, yet it does not grow rampant either. It grows only on porous rocks in the Underdark, and on a few trees in the underground forests. Darkwood moss cannot abide by sunlight. It shrivels up and crumbles quickly when exposed.
Growth and Harvest
The fickle conditions needed to host darkwood moss result in scant caverns of the Underdark which are used as moss nurseries. Drow are primary cultivators of this moss. They use it in a variety of medicines. The moss grows little phosphorescent spores for only a month or two during its pollination season. There are not many good pollinators that are indigenous to the Underdark, and so the moss rarely spreads its seed far. It can take up to an entire year for a small patch of moss to mature.
On its own, the moss is perfectly edible. It is rich in nutrients. However, due to its scarcity, it is not allowed to be used for common consumption. Those who are well versed in botany and Nature know that it can be used to create a healing draught. This draught takes around 3 days to extract the essence out of a half-pound of moss and make it into a single-use vial of dark liquid. This potion can be ingested or even applied directly to wounds. The wound creature regains 2d8 hit points upon use.
Other Common Uses
When the essence of the moss has been extracted for potions, it is common to use the remaining plant matter for dyes. This is boiled in water to extract a deep violet color that is commonly used by drow to add hues to their clothes and even stain armor. This brings out the phosphorescent quality of the plant more prominently. Clothing and armor stained with the dye from the moss glows with a soft blue light, casting out bright light for 10 feet from the article. This very same byproduct of plant leftover is used to fuel lanterns, as it burns very well. It only 4 ounces of moss to keep a lantern lit for 6 hours compared to 1 flask of oil.
This moss can also be applied raw to wounds. It has a coagulant quality which can staunch bleeding. This use is very unconventional and rare since most applications of the plant raw are not recommended, as it does cause more waste.
The potion made from this moss is simply called a moss potion, usually priced at around 150 gp. Dried bundles of the remnants of this moss are sold as lantern fuel cheaply for 1 sp. Clothes and armor stained with this moss' dyes have their sale value increased by 5 gp.
Darkwood moss Traits
Underdark healing moss
Age. This moss usually rejuvenates once a year. Old cells last about 1 year before dying.
Size. 3 inches
Coagulant. Applying a quarter pound of this moss to a dying creature that bleeds stabilizes them with 0 hit points.
Random Height and Weight
|0′ 0'2"''||+1d4||1 lb.||× (1d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
This moss is a bit of a thinker to use in campaigns. It can be abused by players to create potions at lower levels, granted that they have the correct tools. Therefore, it should be placed sparingly throughout. It is often a closely guarded resource for drow, which could add to world-building an Underdark culture.