Man-eater BasidirondDread Nursemaids of Ascogenea
Man-eater Basidironds are among the few fungi besides the mysterious Myconids that actually exhibit signs of coherent intelligence. Both alien and terrifying to behold, they strike an irresistible toll to that which has been touched by Ascogenea. Found at the hub of expansive, bio-luminescent fungal groves these Basidironds are its caretakers. As the porous fronds and slimy tendrils of its garden ebb and flow in light and motion, the Man-eater Basidironds deliver crimson honey to the countless moldy lips. These nursemaids of the Demon Queen’s spawn ensure that her progeny grow fat and vile. When a nearby Dark Elf, Grey Dwarf or Derro community hear rumor of a Basidirond rockery, they are sure to send out their most experienced collectors. The sheer number of poisonous and deadly fungi found throughout the garden ensure that any wealthy alchemist can be promised the rarest of components to concoct a unique potion or poison, that is, should the collector survive the expedition.
The average Man-eater Basidirond stands several times the height of a Dark Elf, and has a curious rotating gait that involves the use of all three of its crooked, stalk-like, legs in sequence. Its bulbous body is topped by a tall, bud-like structure of overlapping “petal” folds, which acts as a maw. Sprouting from its midriff are three long tendrils that it can extend and retract in a flash. These Basidironds exhibit a curious form of bioluminescence themselves; they flash at odd intervals and in strange patterns, each unique to individuals and with no relevance unto others.
A slow-moving predator; these creatures wander along the walls and ceiling, equally as along the floor of their expansive cavern territories, ever in search of food for their charges. Often concealed by the vast flora they manage, Man-eater Basidironds attempt to get close enough to grasp their victims with long sticky tendrils. Such unlucky individuals are quickly plucked and dropped into waiting maw – an organic pestle of sinew and barbs that quickly macerates their trophies to a gory pulp. The resulting mess is sieved through entrails to many pulsating slits along its underside which spray nutrient-rich plasma to waiting mouths.
The Basidirond life cycle is largely mysterious, though they are known to start sessile; after maturing, they gain the ability to walk and start to process flesh in its grinding petals. What is little known, but to the most learned, is that Man-eater Basidironds live in sets of three. This Basidirond triumvirate will tend to their large nursery that also include many immature, Baby Basidironds. These Babies seem to form a defensive measure, to make themselves invaluable to their predator parents. There is also at least one recorded attestation of Baby Basidirond gardens sweeping small prey toward their parents, almost like cilia, in an alien symbiosis between young and adult. These three share a collective mind which is also dispersed throughout their garden. The entirety of the colony; Man-eaters, garden and Babies form a single malign entity.
Grasping Tendrils. The Basidirond can have up to three tendrils at a time. Each tendril can be attacked (AC 16; 10 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying a tendril deals no damage to the Basidirond, which can extrude a replacement tendril on its next turn. A tendril can also be broken if a creature takes an action and succeeds on a DC 15 Strength check against it.
Spider Climb. The Basidirond can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on a ceiling, without needing to make an ability check.
Multiattack. The Basidirond makes two attacks with its tendrils, uses Reel, and makes one attack with its Bite on any creature that can be Reeled to its mouth. Or may use its Clouds of Mycorji action.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 3) slashing damage.
Tendril. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 20 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is Grappled (escape DC 14). Until the grapple ends, the target is Restrained and the Basidirond can’t use the same tendril on another target.
Reel. The Basidirond pulls each creature Grappled by it up to 20 ft. straight toward it.
Swallow. The Basidirond makes one bite Attack against an adjacent Medium or smaller creature it is Grappling. If the Attack hits, that creature takes the bite’s damage and is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is Blinded and Restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the Basidirond, and it takes 10 (3d6) slashing damage at the start of each of the Basidirond’s turns. The Basidirond can have up to one Medium or three smaller creatures swallowed at a time.
If the Basidirond takes 15 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the Basidirond must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet it. If the Basidirond dies, a swallowed creature is no longer Restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of Movement, exiting prone.
Clouds of Mycorji. (Recharge 6) The Man-eater Basidirond vibrates vigorously releasing a cloud of spores that persist in a 20 ft radius about its body until the start of its next turn. Any creature stating its turn within this cloud must succeed on a DC14 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The poisoned creature takes incapacitated condition while it imagines itself on the terror world of Mycorji – Ascogenea’s home. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The same hallucination is shared by all who are affected by the spores. Some typical hallucinations include:
- Yellow putrid mushrooms begin to rapidly burst out of the afflicted’s skin causing an inconsolable burning itch. Those affected can only attempt to scratch them off. They are unable to take any actions or reactions but may move.
- The afflicted see dozens of Shriekers sprout for the ground and screech in a horrific cacophony. Afflicted drop what they carry and cover ears. They are unable to take any actions or reactions but may move.
- The afflicted suddenly fall, helplessly, out of control past fungal horrors that rip at their body. Afflicted flail hands and legs wildly and are unable to take an action, reaction or movement.
- Those afflicted watch in horror as their allies are morphed into Violet Fungi. If they are within melee attack range, the hallucinatory fungi lash out with their tendrils. Afflicted attack nearest character at disadvantage.
- Black slimy tendrils erupt from the floor entwining the characters in their fetid grasp. The afflicted take the restrained condition; unable to move, but may take an action and reaction.
- A huge flaming eye appears above them and its soul-penetrating gaze causes them to freeze in fear. They are unable to take an action, reaction or movement.
Entanglement Grapple. When two or more Baby Basidironds score a hit on a creature in the same turn, then the Grapple save is at disadvantage for that character.
Grasping Tendrils. The Baby Basidirond can have up to two tendrils at a time. Each tendril can be attacked (AC 12; 10 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying a tendril deals no damage to the Baby Basidirond, which can extrude a replacement tendril on its next turn. A tendril can also be broken if a creature takes an action and succeeds on a DC 13 Strength check against it.
Multiattack. The Basidirond makes one attack with its tendrils and uses Reel
Tendril. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is Grappled (escape DC 13). Until the grapple ends, the target is Restrained and the Baby Basidirond can’t use the same tendril on another target.
Reel. The Basidirond pulls each creature Grappled by it up to 10 ft. straight toward it.