WORMSKIN

4/16/2013

Petty Food: Fruit of the Tree of Forsaken Lore

Fruit of the Tree of Forsaken Lore
This stunted tree is found growing in some wet and lonely borderland. Its branches are sickly white and mottled with a blooming yellow fungus. The tree gives off an indescribable reek that is especially pungent on the skins of its black, bladder-shaped fruits. Only 2d6 of these fruits will ever be found hanging from the tree's lower branches. They are quite heavy and take a pair of human-sized hands to hold properly. The fruit's surface is greasy, often crawling with small insects. A dull knife will reveal its sweet and oily meat -- the juice of which contains a powerful intoxicant. 

Legend claims that the tree feeds on the rotting form of an old goddess who died of despair. This goddess acquired knowledge of a particularly potent and poisonous nature -- contaminated lore that was ultimately her undoing. As her body decays, the tree takes sustenance from her dark knowledge, of which its fruit are a kind of repository.

Any mortal character who consumes the flesh of the fruit of the Tree of Forsaken Lore has a 50% chance of becoming permanently Chaotic. He/she must save vs spell to avoid total psychic deformity. Success indicates that the character is particularly resilient to the fruit's edifying juices. Failure indicates that the character will revert to an atavistic form. (Roll 1d6 -- 1,2: medium-sized sickly primitive animal; 3,4: ambulatory fungus; 5,6: stationary fungus.) Affected characters gain 1d6 INT and lose 1d6 CHA.

[Note: I'm not really sure how to portray the sort of transformation caused by eating this fruit. On the one hand, I see the body and mind of the character becoming deformed and in some way primitive. But this change occurs because of a particular expansion in intellect. So the primitive or degenerated appearance does not equate with stupidity.]

3 comments:

  1. A sort of primeval metamorphosis of body and mind, then?
    I imagine one's mind regressing towards primordial hidden truths while the mortal's brow evolves from humanoid head into mushroom umbrella-like top, expanding in knowledge and cosmic awareness, physically and mentally.
    Nature-connected mystics like D&D druids might actively seek it out as a form of transcedence into plant or beast.

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    Replies
    1. I like the metamorphosis idea! Did you pick up the PETTY GODS Expanded book? This tidbit is in there.

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    2. Did find it recently, thanks.

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