The shell fungus is a large fruiting underground mushroom with two distinct sections - a thick main root that grows deep into the soil and an upper body consisting of a ruffled cartiledge ring surrounding a distinctive tri-valve chitinous shell. Within the tri-valve shell is a fleshy white inner core.
The shell fungus is found only in the woods of southern Ithria. It is usually found only in deep forest, usually growing at the foot of an oak tree.
Because of their location and the fact that the low lying fungus is often obscured by dirt, grass and leaves, they are difficult to find.
The core of this mushroom is a rare culinary delicacy that greatly enhances the flavor of meats, stews and sauces. It is prized by master chefs and individual mushrooms fetch high prices at market.
This rare mushroom has evolved an unusual defense mechanism. When threatened, it retracts the core and closes the shell tightly. The protective shell has three parts that close up tightly.
The only thing harder than finding this mushroom is harvesting it. They are notoriously difficult to dig up because of the very deep roots. The shell completely encloses the core. The shell casing is more difficult to crack open than the strongest coconut. If the shell is pried open, the core can be cut out without killing the mushroom. It will grow back within a month. Some wealthy nobles, particularly in Drakkel, have taken to keeping these rare mushrooms in their gardens where specially trained harvesters pluck the cores.
This website was last updated March 31, 2019. Copyright 1990-2019 David M. Roomes.