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Short introduction

The Muscánsa (Tarrabaenian; Tamôl: gegala) is a type of slime mould, that is mostly found in cave entrances, but also in very old and dense forests. It's name means 'fly lasso' as it hangs from the ceiling or from the underside of thick branches or in hollow trees like a string or rope. It is yellowish in colour, making it attractive for it's prey, mostly flying insects.

"Faugh, is that Joun snot up there at the ceiling?"
 - Kudaiyê to Arthien

Appearance and behaviour

Colonies of Muscánsa normally cover an area equivalent to the size of two to three palms. From where they are attached to the substrate they let a few strings hang down. The colony is of a more washed out colour at the base, but the tips of the strings are yellowish. The surface of these strings, but also of the base is covered by a clear, sticky slime that not only prevents dehydration, but also serves as a trap for flying insects that are drawn to the fruity colour of the slime mould.
These slime moulds don't move around like others do and are pretty stationary. When conditions are too bad repeatedly, a colony might be pushed to move elsewhere. For this they wait for a rainy day and then try to find a new place to stay. Forest dwelling colonies often move around on the tree they are already on.

Cultural role and use

Due to the Samthô-wide distribution of this species of slime mould, it plays a certain role in cultures of every continent. Peculiar to mention is, that the Mahâmrissârati from Sheshane collect strings of the colonies and cook them in water spiced with salt and vinegar. The brew in which the strings were cooked is used in Mahâmrissârati's famous fresco paintings as a varnish. It is difficult to handle as it is very sticky, but after it is dried out it leaves the murals with a matte finish, protecting it from humidity and rubbing, while losing its stickyness.
The cooked strings are then put into warm water and the remaining slime is brushed off. They are gummi-like in texture and hard to chew. Cut up into little pieces they are often served as a cold side dish in a thick, sweet and salty gravy.

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2 Jan, 2022 01:40

People always neglect their slime molds in world building, and it's a damn shame. All the uses are super neat too!

3 Jan, 2022 19:47

My thought's exactly! And since my world is supposed to have a 'hollow earth' you can expect more weird fungi to show up in Samthô! Happy you liked it and also happy to write more eventually,

My world is Samthô - a 'as realistic as possible' fantasy-world, that's still in its childhood stage.
A current addition to Samthô is my contribution to the rivers ant waterways challenge: Paunis