SWEET SLEEPER MUSHROOM

 

APRIL 2022 ART PROMPT

Eager to expand our knowledge of faerie flora, field agent Wynna returned to the faerie territory to collect more information on the sweet sleeper mushroom. Included below is an account of her findings:

 

"Though our older encyclopedias include information on a number of mushroom species, I wanted to add a new entry to expand our ever growing collection of articles. As we are free to research whatever we like, I decided to pick one of my favourite mushrooms to investigate - the sweet sleeper mushroom.

 

My first goal was to ascertain the range of this notorious little mushroom's territory. I knew they could easily be found in the faerie territory's mushroom forests, but I wanted to know if they expanded even further. As this was not a task I could possibly do alone, I put in a request to a few of my siren contacts to ask around and find out if other faeries had seen these mushrooms in areas further away from the mushroom forests.

 

It was far from an ideal solution, but there was little more I could do on that front. The problem with sweet sleeper mushrooms is they are rarely ever noticed. Barely 1 inch / 2.5cm tall, they prefer to grow under the leaves of ferns out of the way of direct sunlight. Their deep, emerald green colour also allows them to blend in perfectly to the lush hues of the faerie territory's ferns. (Tulin informed me that the human territory has ferns as well, but their colours are not as vivid as the faerie variations.)

 

More commonly, you realize you found these tiny mushrooms only after they've knocked you out cold for a good hour. Sweet sleepers typically have the common structure of a stem and a round, fairly flat cap. However, when the sweet sleeper comes to the end of its four month life cycle, its cap folds in on itself to make a new teardrop shape form with all its dark green gills exposed. It is in this state that the sweet sleeper, when stepped on or otherwise crushed, releases its shimmering, sleep-inducing spores.

 

Though my trials were a bit embarrassing to conduct, I did learn more about the potency of the sweet sleeper's spores. To begin with, I should note that sweet sleepers grow closely side by side in clusters around the size of an adult human's handspan. After numerous counts, I've found the average number of sweet sleepers in a clump to be about seventy. Crushing fifty is when I began to feel the effects of the spores. I had expected the potency to increase linearly, but instead I was surprised to find it increased exponentially. At fifty-five mushrooms I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, yet I barely felt anything when I crushed forty-five.

 

Returning to the issue of range, I did find a small number clusters in the mixed forests that also included giant mushroom trees, but as soon as the giant mushrooms were gone so were the sweet sleepers. My siren contacts reported much the same when I checked in with them on my way back to headquarters.

 

I intend to pass on the information I gathered to my alchemically inclined acquaintances, and in return I hope to get a sample of their potions. I'd love to test out their potency on Tulin and Sakino as revenge, for there is no doubt in my mind they'll have a good laugh at my expense when they find out how many times I put myself to sleep testing the mushroom's raw potency out in the wild."

 

Key Features:

  • Deep emerald green colour

  • 1 inch / 2.5cm tall

  • Grows closely side by side in clusters around the size of an adult human's handspan

  • Normal form has the common structure of a stem and a round, fairly flat cap

  • At the end of its life cycle, the cap folds in on itself to make a new teardrop shape form with all its dark green gills exposed

  • Releases shimmering, sleep-inducing spores when crushed in teardrop form

 
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HOW TO PARTICIPATE

 

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PARTICIPATION PRIZE

 

All participants will be granted a special Ecologist Discord role depending on how many contests they have took part in:
 
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