Waxen Polyspore Species in Excilior | World Anvil

Waxen Polyspore

Transmutation preservation

We don't have time for these juvenile debates. Elizio is apt to lose his leg - and probably his life - if we don't get our hands on some polyspore. And fast.
Ilza Kruz Coello, Sceraisian butcher, 2476 AoR
he waxen polyspore is a fungus that is ubiquitous amongst the jungle regions of Excilior. It is inedible, but it holds two key properties for casterways. Its waxy, bright-red ring is a strong preservative of human tissue and can be critical in stanching wounds, or in preserving the injured until they can receive more substantive medical care. The stem of the fungus, as well as the center of the crown, is typically covered in white powdery spores. In small doses, the spores may be harmless. But if a sufficient volume of the spores enter the bloodstream and colonize the host's system, that person will eventually become inundated with the polyspore. This condition can go so far as to turn the victim into a pariah, with the dermis eventually turning an ashen white and millions of tiny, hairlike sprouts growing forth from the skin. While the fungus's preservative qualities are extremely useful, the unfortunate side effects of waxen polyspore colonization are also indirectly responsible for the discovery of bomination and the creation of the monstrous subclass of humans knows as the daemen.

Basic Information


axen polyspores are found naturally in two forms. Its simplest (and most common) form is that of a flat fungus spreading across its surroundings in an amorphous blob. Such configurations have no cohesive shape and are characterized by a white, powdery coating. This white "powder" is formed by the fungi's signature spores. Under the proper atmospheric and meteorological conditions, the fungus can sprout an upward-reaching stalk that ends in a small cap. When the fungus reaches this state, the spores will appear longer and thinner (they are often described as "hairy" or "furry"), and the cap will acquire a ring of red, waxy bulbs.

Genetics and Reproduction

s the name implies, waxen polyspores propagate by spores. If the polyspore has not grown into a full-fledged mushroom (meaning that it has no cap, no stalk, and its spores still consist of a basic, powdery coating), these spores can be slowly released into the air, or they can hitch a ride on passing fauna, which will eventually transport them to a new location where they can potentially spawn a new colony. If the polyspore has grown into a traditional mushroom shape (meaning that its spores are no longer powdery, but have instead begun to grow into hairlike appendages), then propagation happens from those embryonic hairs eventually lengthening, growing outward, and colonizing any free patch of surrounding soil.

Growth Rate & Stages

ike most fungi, the rate at which waxen polyspores grow and/or spread is entirely dependent upon nascent conditions. A small colony of polyspores, no more than a few centimeters in diameter, can live on, without spreading or launching stalks, for years at a time. Conversely, under ideal conditions, waxen polyspores can spread rapidly and extensively to the point that they turn large swaths of the jungle floor into a snowy blanket. If a colony grows beyond a couple meters in diameter, it will almost always have advanced to the stage where it is launching traditionally mushroom-like stalks upward, with those stalks soon sporting their own crowns of vermilion bulbs.

Ecology and Habitats

They're so proud of their so-called secrecy. But I can spot one of those fuckin Agnoscio from a mile away. All I gotta do is follow the polyspores.
Marin Rollan Icorevicz, Ucaranian Reaper, 3522 AoG
olyspores thrive in environments that are wet (this applies to nearly all of Excilior), hot (this applies to most of Excilior), and feature uniform periods of sunlight from day-to-day and season-to-season (this mostly applies to the jungles that dominate Excilior's northern equatorial regions). Prior to the Age of Rivals, this meant that the fungus was rarely encountered south of the 13th parallel. However, with growing cognoscenti knowledge of the fungi's preservative effects, and with growing Agnoscio knowledge of the polyspores' role in bomination, the fungus has been artificially transplanted to climes that are much farther south. Of course, this doesn't meant the fungus thrives in these unnatural environments, but casterways have introduced it to a great many regions where it would not otherwise have spread.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

ses for waxen polyspores occupy two extremes. On one side, the vermilion, waxy, bulbous outcrops are vital for fighting bacteria, preserving tissue, and (quite literally) saving the lives of many desperate, injured souls. On the other side, this same preservative quality is believed to be a key factor in the horrific creation of daemen. Even for those who are never confronted with the nightmare of bomination, there is always a risk that a patient, being treated with preservative polyspore bulbs, will have too-large-a-volume of spores introduced into their bloodstream. And if that happens, the patient will eventually suffer permanent disfigurement in the form of snowy, wispy, hairlike tendrils that will sprout from their skin for the rest of their life. While most cognoscenti would classify the waxen polyspore as a boon to modern medicine, its amoral misuse, coupled with its potentially dangerous side effects, leaves it with a complicated legacy surrounding its practical utility.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

olyspores can be found amongst nearly all of Excilior's jungles. Although they are known across all three continents, they are particularly bountiful in the Silent Jongle, and across the jungles of northern Isleprimoton. Their unfortunate connection to daemen and the process of bomination have led some casterways to assume that they are only found in northern Isleprimoton, or even just in the Silent Jongle. But those with a greater botanical knowledge of Islemanoton's and Islegantuan's jungles recognize this assumption to be false.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

ue to its unfortunate association with bomination, waxen polyspore is sometimes known as daeman root. The Inqoan know it as the dead cap (not because of any negative connotation - but because it is valued for its ability to kill bacterial infection). The Sontsu refer to it as nahn, which roughly translates to don't.


he waxen polyspore's beneficial properties have been known, and have been leveraged by casterways across the planet, since at least 1218 AoE. Although early casterways rightfully feared the potential side effects of waxen polyspore colonization, for long stretches of recorded history the fungus has represented one of the few genuine options available for those looking to treat the wounded and combat infection. Hesitance to use the fungi in its natural form was (sadly) justified in the worst possible way when the Sceraisian Agnoscio Nilton de Sourta first discovered the hideous process known as bomination in 2681 AoR. Since the development of his aberrant technology, general use of the waxen polyspore has slowly waned. But it is still a vital tool in the toolkit of many field medics and rural physicians.
WAX-ehn PAHL-ee-spohr
Scientific Name
Diascia parthenium
Average Height
10 centimeters
Average Weight
70-90 grams


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