Kinisweet Species in wow that's a lot of stars | World Anvil

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wow that's a lot of stars is a sci-fi setting about adventure, exploration, and discovery. Every person, place, and thing has a story to tell, if you listen closely.   Setting Intro | Visitor's Guide | Author's Intentions
Kinisweet is a sickly-yellow mushroom from Devali. It grows in tight confines of dark, damp places, and has only been found on the continent of Sagaria. When threatened, it releases spores that make most mammals sneeze uncontrollably. However, it is said to have a very pleasant scent.


Small with a yellow cap, these mushrooms look like several others that grow in the region. What sets them apart is the faint blue ribbing underneath the cap and the strong sweet scent it produces. Insects drawn to the scent help carry the mushroom's spores to more regions. In the event it attracts less helpful creatures, the kinisweet releases a puff of spores that trigger a sneezing fit that turns most animals away.  
Do you smell that? I think it's coming from this mushroom.
— Someone about to regret their decision


These mushrooms are notoriously difficult to find. Their preference for dark, cramped spaces means they grow where humans often can't go. The cave systems that can fit a human also are subject to flooding with the tides, giving small windows where a person could traverse them safely. The more accessible place to find them is in the roots of trees or hiding in a hollow. Even humans can follow the scent from feet away, and more nasally-sensitive pets can be trained to help.   Once found, harvesting needs to be done very carefully. A harvester comes armed with a cup and a lid, and can capture the mushroom inside before its spores get a chance at freedom. A gas mask can help, but avoiding any contact with the spores is preferred, since they can linger on clothing or even the mask itself to infect you later on.  


Like most mushrooms, kinisweet is complicated to cultivate and has little guarantee of success. Devali's unique soil helps, but kinisweet can only thrive in a very specific environment, with narrow temperature and humidity ranges before it starts to wither. Some in Sagaria have found ways to grow at least a few, nestled into crevices in walls, but no one has been able to keep the mushroom or its spores intact off planet.  
It's probably for the best such a potent sneeze-inducer can't be more broadly accessed.
— Someone who hates fun


Kinisweet's primary use has been in a form of home defense. The very few communities that survive in Sagaria have to do so through creative ingenuity, without any of the conveniences of more civilized life. Rather that waste ammunition or risk personal safety against one of Sagaria's many predators, these communities have devised methods of using kinisweet or its spores as a deterrent. Not even the fiercest of predators can continue an attack while sneezing.   Some of these communities have built their borders to grow kinisweet within, but this is incredibly difficult to maintain due to the mushroom's specific needs. Others have found ways to harvest the spores and make ammunition or traps using it. The spores must be harvested and stored following a very specific process, else they lose their unique trait that makes them so effective.

Cover image: by Aaron Lee, Nick Ong, Norah Khor


Author's Notes

This article was written as part of Summer Camp 2023. Follow the link to learn more.

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Aug 14, 2023 23:41 by Deleyna Marr

The quotes add laughter to an already good article!

Aug 16, 2023 00:49 by Rin Garnett