In the category of deep research on creating a fungal-based magic system for my latest fantasy novel, I’m finding out that death and fungus go hand in hand.
First off, the cool deadly fungus names
- Latin American Death Cap
- Guangzhou Destroying Angel
- Medusoid Mycelulem
- Fool’s Mushroom
- Deadly Dapperling
- Deadly Parasol
Of course this list does not contain the simply poisonous mushrooms. And, in a nature bats last moment, a number of these murderous mushrooms look like edible varieties of fungus.
How do these little woodland morsels kill you?
They attack your liver, your kidneys, and your central nervous system.
In some cases, they even cause heart attacks as with Yunnan Sudden Death Syndrome.
Here are some of the people rumored to have been poisoned by mushrooms
- The Buddha
- Roman Emperor Claudius
- Pope Clement VII
- Tsarita Natalia Naryshkina
So should you listen to folk wisdom about which mushrooms to avoid?
Here’s some false folklore that might lead to you getting poisoned or worse…
“Avoid brightly colored mushrooms” FALSE Destroying angels are white!
“Poisonous mushrooms taste bad” FALSE Survivors have reported that the deadly Aminatas taste good. Like chicken. (just kidding)
“Insects avoid toxic mushrooms” FALSE The death cap is often infested with insect larvae.
Want to learn about how I use fungus in my fantasy magic system?