In it’s natural state, Manjaweed is a glowing fungus that lives on the back of large oak trees. It has several uses for the warrior, but it’s considerable advantages often come with a heavy price. Many states and countries have signed up to treaties and conventions banning it’s use in wartime, at least against *civilised* peoples.
If it is put onto a piece of wood, the wood will glow brightly, providing a torch that is useful underground. If it hits poisonous or flammable gas, it will not set the gas alight but instead will slowly dim dramaticly as part of it dies, thus giving the holder a warning of gas. Many miners use it whilst prospecting for new seams and it has saved many lives and prevented many tunnel-destroying explosions.However,unless the wood is from the oak tree, the fungus will turn it to dust within an hour.
There are those who put it on weapons too. This gives the same effect of the torch in darkness, and it can be used to fool credulous people into thinking that the sword is magical. Many swinderlers have sold “Magic Swords” to adventurers that are merely ordinary swords covered with this tree. Within around a week the fungus has weakened the metal so badly that the next time the weapon is used in combat, it will break. Also, in the areas where the fungus is illegal, a weapon like this can get it’s owner fined or thrown into prison to await trial.
A wound from one of these weapons will be infected with spores, and within hours if not washed clean will be immensly itchy. Scratching enlarges the site of infection and the spores can get transfered to the mouth.
If the fungus is eaten or the spores are ingested, the short term effect is to send the person insanely angry, causing them to fight for up to an hour in a berserker rage. Whilst the person becomes a much better fighter, his or her judgement fails and it is hard even to tell friend from foe or fighter from unarmed civilian.If he or she was in any way racist, the racism will be increased tenfold or more.
Even after the rage has worn off, the person will be cantankerous, grumpy, egoistic, and hard to live with, and unless a cure is found the effects can last for weeks. Use or possession of this fungus outside mines is a crime in three kingdoms, two republics, five city-states and a duchy, and is frowned on in most other areas.
There have been cases where this fungus has been slipped into someone’s drink at a council meeting, causing short term mayhem. Even if the poisoned one can be restrained until the blind rage has worn off, he or she is left too angry and self-obbsessed to be a good politician, and will alienate all his or her friends.
If thrown into a fire at night , the fire will flash so brightly for a few seconds that anyone not prepared will lose his her her night vision for about a minute
Poisonous Politics-The Mayor of a town has been poisoned with this, and the PC’s are going to have to find out who is to blame. Either they are City Guards doing it for the town , or the former Mayor is paying them to investigate for him.