Rot: A Compendium is a series of stories that is aimed at describing the creatures found in the Lore/The Forest of the Rot. Stories in this series will be archived here.
The Forest of the Rot, often referred to as ‘The Forest’ or ‘The Rot’ by locals, is an especially biodiverse region located within the Mothpony realm. Legend has it that long ago, a primordial evil arose to ‘purify’ the land of all non-Rot life, shedding spores and creating horrendous monsters to continue the spread of Rot throughout the world.IT was defeated by our Goddess, Saturniidae, and sealed within the very earth she herself used to be trapped within.
Though personally I’ve never had any stake in spreading fairy tales, the truth is that nobody has any explanation as to how it came to be – and as loathe as I am to admit it, stranger legends have been proven to be true. But regardless, the Forest is still standing.
It spreads slowly, consuming the surrounding biomatter and regurgitating it as more Rot, albeit at an incredibly slow pace. We can hold back its natural advances with relative ease, and most beasts of the forest are content to consume nothing but Rot – the very foundation of their being.
Shambling hulks of Rot, spore-spitting monstrosities, and nimble hunters all have their own place in the Forest’s cannibalistic ecosystem. The Forest itself displays an almost hivemind-like intelligence at times, and Rotbeasts of different species can rarely be found working together to achieve the acquisition/infection of more biomass (Raids on nearby Mothpony towns), but these displays have been observed scant few times.
It should be noted that the term ‘Rot’ eclipses a bit more than just the Forest, and we as a society have tamed more than a few of the more docile beasts that can be considered part of the ‘Rot’ family. ’Rot’ is entirely different from rot, as in regular decay. Rot has been observed to primarily manifest itself as fungus-like in composition, but the biosphere of the Forest is so inexplicably diverse that it’s not atypical to see other organic structuring (such as bones and chitin) to crop up. Now that it’s been established just what Rot is, I will be jotting down the occasional observation in this handy Compendium, to be used as a reference point mainly regarding the different Rot creatures found in the forest.
It’s dangerous work being a Rotdelver, but someone’s gotta do it. The cover is a… Work in progress, to say the least. I botched my own name so hard that I fear I’ll simply have to purchase an entirely new cover. At least I hadn’t started on any illustration.
Notes On The RotEditThere are many different biomes in the Forest - while one sector of the Forest may contain dry land and mouldy scrub-brush-like fungi, another may be almost entirely under a thick layer of marshy mud and grows what appears to be mundane willow trees (though upon further inspection have far more hair than is considered typical). As with the environment around them Rotbeasts vary greatly and not all of them are comprised out of fungus, though most non-fungal entities are limited to arthropod- or annelid-based derivatives.
Mammalian Rotbeasts appear to be possible but are entirely limited to entities that have succumbed to a Rot infection rather than through co-'evolution' with the Rot.
"True" Rot or "Black" Rot primarily spreads itself through a kind of fungal infection that gradually overtakes the mind and body of the infected entity and can infect nearly any non-Rot-based organisms, however this strain of Rot is only found deep within the Forest nowadays.
"Grey" Rot, so called not because of its coloration but because of its limited affects on living creatures, is the Rot found at the edges of the Forest and is responsible for expanding the Forest's borders. This kind of Rot infests plant life but cannot easily corrupt flesh and blood and can be burned back with relative ease, though in some contaminated areas the buildup of Rot can cause the cleansing process to become more difficult. Care should be taken to avoid the inhalation of Grey Rot spores, as light infection can occur in the lungs.
Both forms of Rot manifest themselves as a black mold, but it is safe to say that True Rot will never be found near the edges of the forest. The Rot appears discontent to limit itself in the influence it places on its natives, and the things it can't convert or otherwise alter via fungal corruption are still hardly safe from its biosphere-altering mechanics; It should be noted that the methods behind the Rot's madness are not fully understood at this juncture in time.
List of Rot CreaturesEdit