Chokesprout is a fast growing fungus that requires only two things to flourish, moisture and warmth. It spreads across the surface of muds and shallow bodies of water in a fibrous carpet of white tubules.
Chokesprout originated in the Gant swamps where it grows on the thick armored carapaces of the meter long swamp insects as well as creating entire fungus bogs. The insects there devour the fungus at a voracious rate, which is the main reason why the fungus grows so rapidly. A spore to grow to fruiting size in a matter of a few hours, growing as much as two inches as hour in ideal conditions.
Conditions within a normal human, or demihuman mouth closely matches the ideals for chokesprout growth. This is where the fungus has gained its name. Many an explorer has awoken with his mouth almost closed off by fibrous growths of the plant. Removing it is generally unpleasant as many small fibers have generally infested the mucus membranes of the mouth and nose, making the matter dangerous and painful.
On rare occassions said explorer hasnt awoken in time and ends up choking to death with his mouth and nose completely obstructed by the stuff. To prevent this ignoble fate, there are a number of things that can be done. The most common cure is to wear some sort of covering over the mouth and nose in areas where the fungus is known to be a problem. this is also done by avoiding areas where the thick white mats are found. Only a fool sleeps in a fungus soft bed.
Other remedies include drinking some sort of acidic beverage, with fruit juices or a dilution of vinegar being popular. This makes the mouth too acidic to support fungus growth. A folk remedy is to avoid cheeses and milk before sleeping as this alters the pH in favor of the fungi’s growing conditions.
Fungi Bogs - The PCs crossing a swampy region find a thick fungus bloom that makes the ground look solid until they reach a deep spot and vanish through the previously solid seeming mat. After they leave the bog, all of their clothes and gear are infested with the spores. Wet food goods sprout tubules in a matter of hours, and they run the risk of a choking death from the stuff.
Bad bad Salad - After a long rain, farmers find chokesprout bubbling up from the soil, and it is spoiling their crops. Its not long before the cost of basic non-preserved foods goes through the roof. Options for food on the road fall to smoked and dried goods, stores that were intended for the winter. A small famine ensues with the PCs feeling a little leaner for it. What if the PCs are the ones who brought the spores from their previous encounter in the bog.
The Fungi-Golem - a demented swamp gnome has constructed a golem from the chokesprout and blackwood. When the weather shows signs of rain, he unleashes the pale monster to rampage, and in its wake the fungus sprouts in profusion. fighting the monster is difficult as it can fully heal its wounds in an hour, no matter how grevious.