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16 April 2014 @ 06:13 pm
Warlords of the Mushroom Kingdom: Mandragora and Amanita  
Mandragora


For as long as there has been a Kingdom of Flowers, the mandragora have ruled it.

At least, that is the story the mandragora themselves tell, and it is what is written into the official history of the kingdom. Many amanita have a different story, of an invading force of wanderers who spilled out of the Warp, fleeing some nameless terror that they claimed had corrupted and destroyed their golden homeland. The amanita outnumbered them, but their scattered pastoral villages were no match for the unified hierarchy of the invaders, and so began the Kingdom of Flowers. At least, that is one story.

Mandragora are very tall--often six feet or more--with delicate features and long, pointed ears. Their skin comes in all the shades of bark, from the ghost-pale of a beech to the cinnamon-red of the arbutus to the dark browns and blacks of the maple, and the shades of their hair and eyes are as varied as the leaves of the forest. In the Kingdom of Flowers, both male and female mandragora tend to wear their hair long, though while males often leave their hair loose, females will often bind their hair up in elaborate hairstyles.

The nobility and mandragora are tightly associated in the common mind, but this is not strictly accurate. There are commoner mandragora, either because of dynastic power struggles, ancient treason, or the vagarities of fate, and there are noble amanita who have been elevated over the centuries and whose descendants continue to rule. But nonetheless, the vast majority of the nobility, the high ranks of the army, the priesthood, and all rulers of the kingdom have been mandragora. They are organized into houses that originally began as family groups and expanded over time to become combination secret societies, social organizations, blood relatives, and power blocs.

The most famous are the former rulers of the Kingdom of Flowers, the House of Peach, whose king was overthrown by the Dragon Emperor and whose current head is captive in his palace, but there are many others. The House of Daisy, who rules the Floral colony in the Raptok isles. The House of Rose, which held the throne before the House of Peach until a bloody civil war between twin brothers shattered their power base and allowed the House of Peach to seize power. The House of Verbena, famous for its facility with sorcery and for originally developing the Barrier between the Kingdom of Flowers and the Kappa Wastes. The House of Snowdrop, whose estates border the Forest of Shadows. The House of Hollyhock, nearly exterminated in the war against the Dragon Emperor and whose members are now bandits in the wilds of the Kingdom of Flowers.

The houses claim the right to rule through their direct creation by the three Great Goddesses: Nyahré, Goddess of Sorcery, Night, Knowledge, and Time; Diang, Goddess of War, the Earth, the Forge, and the Harvest; and Tharu, Goddess of the Sky, Storms, the Hearth, and Healing. Despite being the nominal national religion, worship of the goddesses is not widespread outside the mandragora, and most of the amanita merely attend temples on festival days and offer the prescribed prayers and sacrifices. The priesthood still has incredible influence in the kingdom, however, because all legal sorcerers are also priests. There are three schools of floral sorcery, one for each of the goddesses, and while unlicensed tutelage is available from hedge wizards or those who have left the priesthood, hideous tortures await those who practice sorcery without royal sanction.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0 points
Stat Modifiers: Charisma +1, Willpower +2, Strength -1, Constitution -2
Size: Medium.
Special Abilities:
  • Mental Link: The mandragora point to their ability to accept bonded servants as part of their divine right to rule. This functions as the Mental Link Talent, except that bonding anyone not an amanita or mandragora costs double.

  • Sorcerous Aptitude: The mandragora are natural sorcerers, and the power of creation comes easily to their hands. Mandragora have 5 more base Spell Points and add their Magic Stat Bonus as additional Spell Points.


Amanita


The mandragora may consider themselves the heart of the Kingdom of Flowers, but a heart on its own is merely a lump of flesh. The amanita are the backbone on which the kingdom was built and the hands that keep it running. They keep trade flowing, farm the mushroom fields, build the houses of the mandragora, and fight and die in their armies and their petty wars.

Amanita are shorter than mandragora, rarely topping five feet. They look like nothing more than mushroom people, and their trademark "hats" are actually a part of their bodies. Their skin is tough and fibrous, making them more resistant to injury than mandragora, and giving them a weathered, rugged appearance. They often grow thin fibrous tendrils around their mouths that look very similar to a beard or moustache. As they age, they get more and more mushroomlike, gnarling further and further until they're almost indistinguishable from the trunks of the mushroom forests from a distance.

The mandragora stand on pomp and ceremony, but the amanita live close to the earth and put their faith in the soil. They'll say the prayers and burn incense in the temples of the Great Goddesses, but while there are some who have truly adopted the practices of their mandragora overlords, most of them pay homage to the spirits of sea and sky, of hill and forest. Their rites take place in the mushroom forests and caves under the hills, far from the eyes of the nobility, and they consider themselves the real foundation of the Kingdom of Flowers because it is they who keep the peace between the land and its inhabitants.

Most amanita in the Kingdom of Flowers concern themselves with their village and their family. They are farmers, and craftspeople, and merchants, and herders of mooshrooms, with local interests and local ties. The recent war has disrupted those ties, however, and many amanita have been dispossessed of their land and forced to take to the road or to resort to hunting and gathering or banditry to survive. Some of those bandit bands concentrate on the kappa, and have won surprising victories. The mandragora consider themselves the true guardians of the Kingdom of Flowers, but the amanita may yet prove them wrong.

Statistics
Cost to Play: 0
Stat Modifiers: None.
Size: Medium.
Special Abilities:

  • Tough Skin: The hardy flesh of the amanita gives them a natural AR 3. They do not suffer any additional penalties for wearing armor.

  • Herbalist: Their fungal nature and close contact with the earth gives the amanita a natural insight into plants and their uses, granting them a +2 bonus to the Craft: Herbalism skill and all other skills dealing with herbs.

  • Blending: The amanita can easily blend into the wilds, especially if they stay still. With two rounds of preparation, an amanita gains a +5 bonus to Stealth rolls as long as they spend 1 AP per round to maintain their concealment. This bonus rises to +10 if the amanita isn't moving. It only works in areas containing foliage or underground.
 
 
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