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Illustration of a thick, round, gray-purple mushroom with a pointed cap.

 

Safety Rating: Dangerous.

Environment: Temperate Forests.

Fairy Circles: Each fairy circle fungus produces a ring of mushrooms that has a magical effect on anyone who enters it. They are called fairy circles because a number of fairy communities are heavily involved in cultivating and breeding them. As a result, there are many different varieties of fairy circle fungus, each of which produces a mushroom with a distinctive appearance.

The Exploding Lavender Fairy Circle is a type of fairy circle with magic that can only be accessed by those who have formed a magical bond to the forest. Only characters that have lived in the forest for at least one year are able to form this type of bond.

Details: The mushrooms of the Exploding Lavender Fairy Circle grow in a thirty foot ring. When triggered, the largest of these squat, gray-purple mushrooms explodes into a swirling cloud of shimmering gray, white, and purple spores that surrounds the player characters. This cloud is large enough to affect people both inside and outside of the fairy circle. It smells like lavender and everyone that comes into contact with it falls asleep and enters a dream world. Once asleep, the characters are nearly impossible to wake.

There are only two ways out of this dream world. The first is to convince an extremely powerful being with a bond to the forest to release the sleeping people from the dream. This is usually a powerful fae being, but can also be a different type of supernatural entity or an elder druid from the forest. The second way out is for the characters inside the dream to find one of its exits. Spaces that are sacred to the Deity of Mystery, Dreams, and Fate serve as universal gateways between dreams and the waking world. Alternatively, if the characters can find the fairy circle that sent them into the dream, they can use it to return.

While only powerful beings can release people from the dream, anyone with a bond to the forest can trigger the Exploding Lavender Fairy Circle to release its spores. The person triggering the fairy circle does need to be physically present in order to trigger it, but they can be far enough away to avoid the cloud of spores. The fairy circle is also triggered if someone moves into it, or if one of its mushrooms is touched.

Lore: Powerful magical beings with a bond to the forest can enter the dream world, or even influence it from outside. They have been known to create obstacles, hide things, and cause distractions. In addition, their great power allows them to shape large areas of the dream world.

Magical Spores: Any character inside the cloud of spores must roll their magical defense. This includes characters that don’t normally sleep. If someone with a bond to the forest is caught in this magic, they do fall asleep, but they know that they are dreaming from the moment that they enter the dream world.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that the character falls asleep immediately. When they enter the dream world, they don’t know that they are dreaming.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that the character can take one action before they fall asleep. When they enter the dream world, they don’t know that they are dreaming.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character gets two actions before they fall asleep. When they enter the dream world, they don’t know that they are dreaming.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character gets two actions before they fall asleep and they know that they are dreaming from the moment that they enter the dream world.
  • Alternatively, a full success or outstanding success could mean that the character does not fall asleep. Awake characters can protect sleeping characters and give them indirect help from outside. For example, if a bard plays some calming music to a sleeping character, then in the dream world that character will be prepared on any roll where being calm is helpful.

Entering the Dream World: When a character enters the dream world, they think that they are suddenly waking up from a strange dream. It is the day before this character left on whatever journey brought them to the fairy circle. They have no idea that they are actually inside a dream.

If there are multiple characters, it is best to go through each character’s initial experiences in the dream world individually, starting with the character that got the fewest successes and ending with the character that got the most.

Dream Signs: This is a realistic dream, which makes it hard for those who are unaware that they are dreaming to know that something is wrong. However there are several different dream signs that they can notice. Each time that a character comes across a new dream sign, the character gets to roll to recognize that they are dreaming.

The first dream sign is that reflections in mirrors, and other highly polished surfaces, are blurry or distorted. The second sign is that writing is gibberish. When a character looks at writing, they understand it, but the actual letters and numbers don’t make sense. The third dream sign is the presence of someone who shouldn’t be there. Finally, as the dream progresses, strange and improbable occurrences will start happening, each of which will also be signs.

Recognizing that They Are Dreaming: When a character that doesn’t know that they are dreaming encounters a dream sign, they roll their mental defense to identify everything as a dream. Alternatively, if someone tells an unaware character that they are dreaming, that character can roll their mental defense to find out if they are able to fight the dream magic enough to believe that person.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that this seems normal to the character. They are convinced that this is the waking world.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that something feels off to the character, but they can’t quite place what it is. If someone told them that they are dreaming, then they are uncertain of whether or not this is true.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character recognizes that they are in a dream.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character recognizes that they are in a dream and they become alert to all of the little differences between the dream world and the waking world.

Getting Out of the Dream: Even when the characters know that they are dreaming, it is challenging to leave the dream world. To do this, the characters need to find one of the dream exits. One way to exit is to travel through the dream world to the fairy circle that sent them into this dream in the first place. Entering that fairy circle and triggering it will send the characters back to the waking world. However, if the fairy circle has been moved or hidden in the dream world, finding it could be difficult.

Another popular exit is through locations that are sacred to the Deity of Mystery, Dreams, and Fate. Many multifaith temples have rooms dedicated to this deity. In order to use this exit, the characters need to travel to a multifaith temple, find the room, and then dive into the pool of water in its center.

Here is a description of the room. “It is a round room with rough stone walls. Its floor slopes gently down to the large, perfectly circular pool of water that has been carved into its center. The pool has a shallow edge that shows crystal-clear water. The bottom then quickly drops away into deep blue and then the most complete blackness you have ever seen. Above this void the water is utterly still.”

Communication Between Dreaming and Waking: While people who are trapped in the dream world can’t be woken, limited communication with them is possible. Sleeping people sometimes make small sounds or movements when experiencing strong emotion, and if they focus intensely on a single word they can sometimes get their sleeping body to say that word. Conversely, if an awake person repeats a word or plays music to a sleeping person, these will sometimes get through to that person in the dream. Communication Magic can do more to facilitate communication, and various types of protective and enhancing magic can cross over between awake and sleeping people.

Time in the Dream World: Time flows at a different rate in the dream world than it does in the waking world. Most commonly time moves faster in the dream world, but whether this is true or not, and the scale of any speed differences, depends on what is narratively interesting for the game.

 

Exploding Lavender Fairy Circle is part of the Crossroads Setting for the tabletop role-playing game, Magic Goes Awry. Click here to go to the list of wild and whimsical magical plants from the Land of Crossroads.

 

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