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Fungus Magic

The man whore what might have been a navy uniform, it was filled with holes protruding from which were bundles of greenish mushrooms. His flesh was crawling with a black rot that twitched as he lumbered towards us. My finger squeezed the trigger of the plasma rifle, the bullet sunk easily through its festering hide, it didn't seem to care. It was then that I felt my leg liquify.
— a soldier
  Fungus magic is the perverse mirror to manipulation and alchemy. Its practice is common in Araborea, but it can be invoked anywhere as long as there is a proper supply of molds of mushrooms around.  

Forbidden Secrets

  Like manipulation, fungal magic can be used by anyone as long as they have the resources and the knowledge of how to cast the spell. The secrets of how to invoke fungal magic are far better-kept ones than those of its brighter counterpart. However, those that venture into the Araborean wilderness in hopes of uncovering them might just stumble upon the forbidden knowledge inscribed on a conveniently placed standing stone. There are few fungus magi with enough sanity left in them to effectively take on apprentices.  

The Price you Pay

  When a fungal spell is learned the magic develops a parasitic relationship with the caster's body. Whenever the spell is cast the infection grows, spreading its black tendrils of rot towards through their nervous systems. With rest and careful treatment, the growth can be contained, but a careless mage can easily lose control of their body. Such possession is often temporary, but it leaves scars. Mushrooms often sprout from areas where the affected nerves were too close to the skin, and when the infection reaches the brain it can result in permanent neuro abnormalities.  

Horrid Effects

  Fungus magic can only affect materials in which spores could take root. It thrives on moist earth and organic materials, especially living flesh. In places that lack such accommodations, the magic is prone to backfiring on the caster. Even when invoked in a good environment, the mage has little control over the details of how the spell plays out. They simply direct the awfulness in a direction and watch it do its work. Fungal magic wishes to lay its spores in the bodies and minds of its victims. This is often achieved by a slow and agonizing death or horrific injury. The magic can work in strange ways and might achieve its goals in a fashion not in the wielder's best interest.

A Wild Animal

  Fungal magic is very much a living thing. It is an angry parasite that wants only to multiply, corpses are the perfect place for it to do so. If the magic doesn't feel as if its wielder is willing to cooperate in such a goal it will likely abandon them, often leaving destruction in its wake.   When invoking fungal magic, the caster's only say in the manner is where the power is pointed and how focused it is. Skilled magicians can aim their magic at great distance and could focus the energy through a needle's eye. Amateurs often have to let the magic control itself if they want to find a target of any kind, which can sometimes lead to unfortunate consequences.

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Cover image: by juh juh ...

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