The Argan are a race of mushroom humanoids ranging anywhere from 3 feet to over 6 feet in height and are brightly colored fungi whose physical features vary greatly from colony to colony and even often, within each colony themselves. Their colonies and shrines can be found nearly anywhere within a forested region.
A mushroom shaped head piece.
IF DERIVED FROM THE BODY OF A(n):
Angori - Horns (spikes) here and there on body
Gnome - Taller or elongated cap
Ixifar - Feathered necklace or belt
Riven - Large spotty volva patches on their cap
Yteyra - A small spiraling horn on the tip end of their cap
Argan are intelligent fungi who seek the sharing of knowledge of the world around them and food with those who travel the lands. They live in the dark forests in various colonies, consisting of many Argan who all live and work together. A Sovereign can preside over multiple circles, but usually only do to settle aggressive or long lasting disputes.
Most of Argan's time is spent in a form of communal meditation in which the Argan are able to share thoughts and feeling with one another. Hallucinogenic spores are used to create the dreamlike connection with other Argan. Many Argan consider this to be their only purpose in life.
Most are true neutral. Good Argan are fairly common and evil are very rare. The Argan reproduce through spring, timed with the seasonal winds to facilitate smooth travel for the new young spore.
The Argan are born from the fertilization of the dead remains of another race, by drifting spore released by adult Argan. The spores grow rapidly, in a matter days, as a large colony. The race of that infected body greatly dictates the look and personality of the new Argan.
Little is known about Argan history as it is passed on telepathically from the mature to the new spores, and is rarely shared with other races. It is well known, however, that the Argan are very rare, having been hunted to near extinction for their tasty meat. It wasn't until long after the shattering that the Argan began making efforts to reach out to other races with the hopes of developing a rudimentary relationship of peace. This undertaking has only had scant success.
With their numbers increasing, greater care in disposing of bodies properly became routine for communities of other races located near an Argan colony. This was in an effort to maintain the a low Argan population count. The bodies of fallen loved ones and the revered were always shown respect, but now time is taken to bury even the remains of the enemy
Any historical knowledge that is shared by an adventuring Argan pertains solely to that Argan's colony, and not to the race as a whole. This is due to the nature of how Argan colonies are formed, as well as how knowledge in general is shared among colonists. As one colony prepares to send its spores out into the world, it shares its knowledge, telepathically with its spores before releasing them upon the winds. When that colony of spores settles, upon finding a suitable dead body and forming its own colony, it then gains its own knowledge and experiences to add to that of its parent colony. Thus, when it, too, readies its own spores for their journey into adulthood, their combined knowledge will eventually be passed on to their new offspring.
The Argan race is split up into subspecies according to the race of the host body that spores land on and sprout from:
- Angori: When new Argan develop from an Angori's remains they grow to be much larger and be more aggressive warriors than their cousins and have horn like spikes form on their stems and/or caps.
- Dwarf: The Dwarven race has developed a natural immunity to being host to a new Argan colony. Spores may fall on an exposed Dwarven body, however rare that is, but the spores quickly die and never grow.
- Empyrean: there are no known Empyrean-spawned Argan to have ever existed. It is most likely not possible under any conditions.
- Faun: Argan will take on a greater appreciation of art and natural beauty. Members of this type Argan will be healers and far less aggressive.
- Feral: (Mau, Kitsune, Ulf, Tuuraibao, thrakka) - The mottled colored Feral-spawned Argan are adventurous, impulsive and easily distracted. Of all of the race-spawned Argan, the feral-spawned are more likely to get themselves - and their companions - into trouble, while also just as easily finding the means of escaping such danger.
- Gnome: The tinkers of the race, have elongated caps. Argan sprouting from a Gnome are curious to a fault. This trait often leads them headlong into perilous danger.
- Goblin: the Argan will be about 4 feet in height, with a sickly green coloring. Argans spawned from Goblins tend to be cunning and greedy, often attempting to establish itself as the 'Leader' of any group it finds itself within. Overall, it will most likely be viewed as a nuisance by any other.
- Human: Differing from all other Argan, they are preoccupied with procreation, these selfish Argon are flamboyant and spend much of their time peacocking for the attention of any and all they encounter. Their plain bodies and dull features do not bolster this activity.
- Ixifar: Display feathery gills and/or ring around their stem. These Argan avoid any area that is more moist than simply damp. This dislike of water goes way beyond what is normal for Argan. Swamps and all waterways are avoided at all cost.
- Fairy: Tireless pranksters, Argan with a Fairy host are the most playful of all Argon. They grow to about three feet in height. Parties, sweets and games fill their lives.
- Uordeq: Evil fills the minds of the Argan deriving from an Urodeq's body. The hold little regard for the lives of others, whether or not they are Argan, even their own lives are put into jeopardy far too often.
- Riven: Seem as monstrous to some, these Argan will devour others of their own kind to grow larger, in hopes of becoming Sovereign. Their caps have larger, more prominent remains of their Volva on their caps.
- Sylvan: (Elf, Dryad) - taller, slender and graceful, the sylvan-spawned Argan tend to be haughty in personality, but also even more closer to nature than other Argan, tending toward wild places, standing aloof from others.
- Troll: The hideous, twisted form of these Argan attribute to their low charisma and poor social graces. Many become enchanters and craft magical items to trade for gold and food to satiate their gluttony for both.
- Yteyra: Due to their magical nature, Yteyra-spawned Argan are as rare as the unicorn from which the host race was branched from. A single, spiraling horn form on the tip of their caps, their flesh a shining white color. These Argan tend to be healers, always seeking to help others, offer whatever small kindnesses they may.
They do have a very distinctive hierarchy within each colony based upon age and size as follows:
Spores: Young released on the winds
Hyphae: Young Argan that sprouts from the spores
Mycelium: Adolescent Argan
Sovereign: leader of the colony; typically the largest and/or oldest.
Argan thrive in large groups, where they tend to stay until they reach maturity at which time many young will spawn, as spores, from several parents within a few days of one another. These new, young Argan spores will drift throughout the forest, stopping only once a suitable carrion for a new colony is discovered.
Each colony is usually presided over by a sovereign, which is typically either the largest or the eldest of the Argan living in that group. A sovereign will travel to settle disputes in another colony if that dispute persists for too long or it's presence is requested for such a judgement.
The Argan are friendly folk who speak a muddled form of Velysh. They have an aversion to water and refer to wells, well pumps and watering holes as torture devices.
Their colonies are scattered buildings throughout a mushroom colony. They are constructed simply, using wood and mud. The homes look like a normal human-built buildings, but with mushroom cap shaped roofs.
The main focus of an Argan is the gathering and sharing of knowledge, wisdom, and experience. While not an adventurous race, the Argan do venture to the borders of their colony and study, in great detail, the environment, surroundings, flora and fauna that is a part of their immediate world. Their focus upon such a finite area is such that they can share any difference, down to the minutia: such that things from an upturned blade of grass to a lightening struck tree would not escape its notice, even after returning to the spot years later.
An adventuring Argan will take this focus with it out into the world, using its finely tuned skill to assist it as it learns about its new environment, surroundings and companions.
When approached peacefully Argan happily provide shelter, food and guidance to any race. Dwarves and Gnomes enjoy even better treatment as do the Druids.
Most sub-races of Argan view the Fae and Faun as a bit of a nuisance, what with the Fae quickly flitting about, seemingly with no direction and the Faun finding them as quite palatable.
Unless sprouting from human remains the Argan do not identify as one gender or another, they simply are. Furthermore, since their meaningful conversations are done telepathically, they seldom give themselves names, rather, they are given nicknames by friends from other races who feel it necessary to promote individuality.
As each member of a colony helps to shape the belief-system of their colony by the telepathic sharing of knowledge, wisdom, experience and beliefs, each individual colony tends to gravitate to one immortal. Prior to the Shattering, and with their closeness to the earth and developing as a community, the various Argan colonies venerated Antasia, Drelani and Espidrel.
Loreyza - When these immortals faded with the Shattering, Loreyza became the fungal-folks focused immortal. Peaceful creatures, they have an inability to understand such immortals as Arimir or Githal (unless spawned from aggressive races such as the Angori), nor could they even fathom following such larcenist beings as Thirsife or Tenaebrus.(unless spawned from such races as Urodeq, Goblin or Riven.)
Istansia - An Argan spawned from an Ixifar may well revere Istansia.
Avaren - In recent years, a greater number Ixifar born Argan have begun to follow Avaren as their chosen immortal.
Etejeril - Those Argan spawned from the dark-hearted Urodeq may well raise his voice in service of Etejeril, Hexadus or Secronis.
Arimir - Angori born Argan find comfort in following the immortal Arimir and make frequent pilgrimages to his ancient battlefields to pay homage.
Argan are not, by nature, outgoing nor adventurous. They tend to enjoy colony life, spending their time gathering and sharing knowledge within their own colony group, readying that knowledge to pass along to their own spores when the time was right to start their new colony.
However, there are those few, typical of the Mycelium generation, that have a desire to not only share their own knowledge beyond the borders of their group, but to gather wisdom and experience that may not otherwise be available to them within their colony. And, thus, those few adventurous Argan will leave their colonies to further their own awareness.
Unfortunately for these Argan, they do not typically return to their colonies, tending to spend the remainder of their lifespans adventuring and obtaining an expertise not typical of an Argan. This is unfortunate, not only for the Argan itself, but for the next generation of colonization, as that knowledge gained by this adventurous soul will not be passed along to their descendants.
"I would be happy to help, it would be no truffle at all." - A phrase given when accepting a task.
"With a cap that small, I question its morals." - Slightly derogatory remark, made privately, of others.
"Steer clear of the soup." - Words of caution, well wishes or simply good-bye.
"Lost their moral compass." - Expression toward an Argan who does things its own way or becomes adventurous.
"Remain a fungi and you will be lichen-ed." - Be kind to others and you will receive the same.
"You continue, to be a fungi." - A common phrase used when parting ways.
"Oh, shiitake!" - Cussing at a mistake made or poor circumstance encountered.
"We are the champignons!" Chanted at the end of a victorious battle.