Underdark Bounty Hunters
Harrumphry, The Unsporetunate
Suicidal Myconid looking for love in all the wrong places
Once destined to be a fungus of great height, years of torture left it stunted and withered at barely 4' tall – when not slouching.
Moist to the touch, but deceptively hard, its karatin-esque exoskeleton is a network of nasty scars (from the drow wizards) and half-hearted suicide attempts (from its emo phase). Some have said it has a particularly "damaging scent," a byproduct of the of "tastymeats" (corpse bits) it stashs into side pouches to absorb later.
Touching it might remind you of shark skin mixed with wet velvet stretched over a block of ice, plus the stinging sensation of nettle announcing the begining of a nasty hallucination.
Poor spore, and several years ago, Harrumphry was but a tiny fungal corpuscle, living blissfully among its people, the decidedly-hippieish Myconids: a race of sentient, pacifist fungi communing in the Underdark. Circles of myconids spent all day "melding" – becoming one with each other and letting shit get real trippy, but in like an idyllic, transcendental way.
But one fateful day, young Harrumphry was 'nidnapped by an ominously-cloaked drow. For months, Harrumphry was subjected to dark magic experiments and sunshine at the hands of its captors. Clearly the worst of the drow, the captors were careful to hide their faces and keep their minds locked to Harrumphry's telepathy, leaving the little spore confused and alone. The spore began to grow into a full-bodied chanterelle, but something was…different. Communing with others was a distant memory. Love was a lie. Comfort was forgotten. Once pleasantly asexual, though deriving positive feelings from other fungi, the mushroom had slowly become a pansexual, insatiable objectophile. The drow had achieved their goal: they had turned an innocent young spore into a death cap, a Cursed Myconid.
One day, Harrumphry found itself suddenly, inexplicably freed. Harrumphry raced back to its ancestral Circle, a distant memory of belonging beckoning. What Harrumphry found was abandonment: the myconid saw Harrumphry for what it was – cursed, putrid – leeched of goodness and unable to live a life of peace; they looked into Harrumphry's mind and were horrified at what they saw. An ultimatum: Harrumphry must leave and never return, or face execution. Harrumphry fled.
A novice to the underdark and the world at large, Harrumphry suffered greatly those first few months. Saved mostly by his telepathy, Harrumphry made its way to Mushroom City. Harrumphy's motto became "when in doubt, blend in." This was, admittedly, easy to do as a mushroom in Mushroom City. Soon Harrumphry grew bold. Pickpocketing, breaking and entering, impersonating, stabbing, really excelling at any of the quiet, agressive arts. As long as Harrumphry could avoid speaking, it was on the way to becoming a fungi of some renown.
Harrumphry found something it was good at, and was quickly in demand for its ability to not be noticed at all. Given a week or more, Harrumphy found that it could trigger a kind of reproductive fruiting, breaking down its exoskeleton under a web of temporary mycelium, and then emerge in a vastly different array of shapes – some of them even useful.
Yet through all this: the pickpocketing of ever-greater targets, the impersonation-for-hire of loved ones or crime lords supposed dead, the stabbing of anything that moved - just to see if it, too, would bleed and die (so far, yes), the growing desire to feed on rotting meat, through all this, the thing most elusive to Harrumphry is love.
The months of torment (sporement?) and torture (sporeture) had triggered a kind of self-identification as an object in Harrumphry. Or maybe it was simply that, deep down, Harrumphry knew it was safer to love objects…because an object can't leave you. Whatever the case, Harrumphry was desperate for the kind of love it saw in pubs and brothels and heard about in the minds of passing gnomes and dwarves. But Harrumphry is hopelessly attracted to objects: the smoother and warmer, the better, round edges are ideal. Harrumphry badly burned itself once trying to make love to a particularly winsome coal.