known as Daoles, named "Ghun Daoles" by mist hunters which roughly translates to
the "Cursed Lantern" has only been recorded south of the Deep Winds Portal or
along the southern fringes of the
Mists of Osthemangar. For example, the Daoles produces an eerie, turquoise
glow which encourages small insects to land on its bulbous head. A couple of
minutes after an insect, usually the lightshard fly, lands on a Daoles, it dies.
Although the method through which this is done is not fully understood,
alchemists think that the peculiar phenomena is the plants "hunting system".
Whenever a prey item is lured towards the Daoles it begins to release this weak
poison into the air.
Appearance. The Daoles are remarkable long stalked mushrooms with small heads. Starting off as a fungi growth the Daoles begins to develop on a cave wall or floor, or anywhere else where moisture pools. The exterior skin of the stem has rubbery properties making it quite flexible. Moderately sized holes can be noticed around the circumference of the mushroom head, the purpose of these are not fully understood; however, whenever a insect moves near or lands on the plant the flaps that cover these holes open and the holes start contracting rapidly. A couple moments after this occurs the insect drops dead.
The Daoles is not a pretty plant. Infact this fungi seems fairly colourless, almost transparent. However, when darkness falls the Daoles will release a luminous aura, this gives the Daoles fungus a kind of eerie beauty.
After examination of the interior of this fungus, Eleanna Kalrinwenens, a gnomish alchemist, discovered that the Daoles was composed with a liquid possessing many of the characteristics of water. However there are a number of properties that are quite unique, one such property is the moderately acidic nature of this substance. It is believed that this dangerous property reacts with another similar property, this is believed to be the method the Daoles uses to generates its luminous display.
Eleanna Kalrinwenens also discovered that the Daoles is also able to release a minor toxin from the small holes on the circumference of its hat, this poison is harmless to animals as large as humans, but highly dangerous to smaller animals; at least that is Eleanna's theory. The Daoles thrives in moist, dark conditions to increase the efficiency of its luminous display. Another interesting thing about the Daoles is that it isn't edible, it has been concluded that it is made up of an acidic substance rather then normal water, so eating it would be result in a painful demise.
Territory. This strange form of plantlife is usually found growing around a newly discovered series of deep caverns located a few leagues away from the Deep Winds Portal in large concentrations. Besides the Daoles, the xaul hive and bulk swarms of lightshard flies is also believed to exist in this region.
The Daoles are also found growing in small bunches in the ruins near the edges of the mist, it is speculated that the Ghostling Brownies that live in that region are growing gardens of them, however there is no confirmation of this.
Usages. The Daoles plant produces two alchemical substances, which have not been identified as of yet by gnomish experts, however, when these specific substances come into close contact they produce light, but only as long as the plant is alive. Making these fungi lanterns quite popular with miners, who need a reliable light source not only to find their way safely through complex tunnel systems but to be used as a trail to help lost miners find their way back to the surface, the applications of the Daoles in Caelereth are infinite. But the Daoles are also used by adventurers, wanderers or journeymen who are brave, or foolhardy, enough to enter the Mists in search of them.
Eleanna, the discoverer of the Daoles warns others not to seek these plants out due to the xaul creatures found deep within the Mists seem to have developed a close relationship with the Daoles. By ingesting the fungus they are able to use the alchemical cocktail it produces to heat their bodies. However, the chance of running into a xaul adds to the initial danger of havesting Daoles and deters many from seeking them.
Reproduction. The Daoles have no gender, and therefore do not need to pollinate other Daoles. Instead they mate with themselves, when a seed grows into a new plant that plant is categorized in the same family as the Daoles that spawned it. A family of Daoles aren't normally found in the same area as other members but are occasionally found in close proximity of a mother plant. Families can be identified by the dark grooves on the top of the mushroom cap. Each member of a family has a individual marking exclusive to that plant, but has the main features of their marking occur in all of their family's markings, this phenomenon is known as a family fingerprint. A family's fingerprint is totally unique.
The Daoles have two methods of transporting their seeds, each method is designed to be used a certain number of times and transport the seed a certain distance.
The first method is referred to as 'pod dropping'. Which is more of a growth method then a reproduction method really, but because it involves seeds, I will place it here. Pod dropping happens when a Daoles grows in ideal conditions. In a nutshell, several small, papery pods drop away from underneath the mushroom's hat, each of these pods are filled with around a hundred seeds. From the pod a Daoles expansion plant grows, once it reaches the main Daoles, it literally merges with it becoming part of the main plant.
The second method is a full fledged seed transportation method and involves the Daoles' relationship with the xaul, a fearsome meat eating reptile that is around the height of an adult human, these beasts co-exist with a large number of other xaul creeds in a massive hive structure, they are aggressive and should be considered highly dangerous.
The xaul needs a property found only in the Daoles in order to insulate themself. But in exchange the Daoles use the xaul to carry their seeds. When a xaul eats a Daoles, it will eat the mushroom cap as well, this is were the seeds are located. The Daoles seedlings are coated with special gel that protects the seeds from the xaul saliva or stomach acids. Then when nature calls, the seeds will have something nice and fertile to grow in.
During the time these peculiar plants surfaced, a great many theories have been
formulated. Some scholars say that the gods, namely
Queprur, attributed to this mysterious
mold and its mesmerizing moonlight. While others say that the plant originated
from the Netherworlds or was mutated by
the dark energies of the Netherworlds
and Deep Winds Tower.
But others still believe that this plant, like the newly discovered xaul and lightshard fly, originate from a subterranean realm deep below that was opened to the world by a massive earthquake during the War of the Chosen. This last theory has intrigued many who have researched the Daoles, xaul and lightshard flies because this theory answers a number of questions, like 'why have there been no records of these lifeforms until after the War of the Chosen' or 'why these lifeform co-exist so perfectly'.
However these are just theories, the only field work accomplished successfully on the Daoles was done by one Eleanna Kalrinwenens, who managed to infiltrate the cavernous region, intending to gather information on the xaul queen. Eleanna didn't achieve that goal, only managing to record small amounts of data on xaul runners, drones and warriors. However, she did figure out the Daoles' relationship with the xaul, and by the end of her examination Eleanna got more information on the Daoles then the xaul.