SPOILSPORE




CLASS: BOTANICAL (FUNGOID)

   This animal-fungal hybrid was engineered to quickly convert refuse into mold-rich compost, its spores allowing it to rapidly decompose organic material.

BIOLOGY:

Boneless except for a soft, cartilaginous skull and telescopic spine, this flexible, rubbery monster spends much of its time contracted completely into its surprisingly tough, mucus-covered mantle, its secondary eyestalks keeping watch as it sleeps hanging upside-down from a ceiling or tree branch.

The filmy slime secreted by a Spoilspore's mantle is thick with symbiotic molds and bacteria. On contact with a foreign organic medium, this microbial concoction begins to feed and replicate with incredible speed, breaking down even the toughest organic materials in mere minutes.

Though it prefers a diet of fruits and toadstools, the Spoilspore is not averse to feasting on the putrefied remains of a fellow monster or other large animaloid. It is in turn commonly fed upon by terrestrial gastropoda, constantly attracting large numbers of slugs and snails.

BEHAVIOR:

Spoilspore have a well-earned reputation for cowardice, laziness and melancholy, preferring to wallow alone in their own wistful gloom and lonesomness. Most social interaction will quickly drive a Spoilspore back into its protective mantle, and positive reinforcement only exacerbates its cynicism and negative self-image.

The persistent enough may find that the Spoilspore simply values mutual, distant understanding over active companionship, and that it gleans a sort of satisfaction from its own dour mood. In short, the monster "likes" to not actually like anything, and similarly "likes" for its unhappiness to simply be accepted and respected. At its most "content," a Spoilspore can be heard softly sighing from within its slimy mantle, quietly contemplating the sheer pointlessness of existence.

APPLIANCE:

The Spoilspore's fungal cocktail has a number of agricultural, medical and culinary uses. It can break down a variety of matter into a dripping compost enjoyed by a variety of other monsters, insects, annelids, mollusks, microorganisms, plant life and of course a wide range of unrelated fungi.

Mycotoxins in a Spoilspore's slick mucus cause an icy, numbing sensation in living organisms and are difficult to wash off, drying like glue and easily clogging important orifices, though the slime's true power lies in its effectiveness as an infection vector. When threatened, the Spoilspore floods its own slime with a polyDNAvirus replicated by its own genome, capable of shutting down a host immune system and accelerating fungal growth. What would be a merely irritating skin rash from the monster's fungal cocktail can quickly escalate into debilitating tissue loss and even toxic shock, eventually reducing the victim to a shrunken, colorfully mold-caked husk.


TACTICAL MECHANISMS:


ELASTIC FORM: the Spoilspore is extremely soft, stretchy and flexible.

SLIME COATING: a Spoilspore's slime can render it as sticky or as slippery as it desires.

NUMBING TOXIN: the touch of a Spoilspore can render an area insensate for hours.

MOLD: a Spoilspore can infest living or nonliving material with fast-growing fungus, even fatally decaying another monster.






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Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik

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