Grasp of Orcus
The corrupted ruler of Neverlight Grove
Myconid communities normally have only a single sovereign – the largest among them, who stands alone and outside any circle. Sovereign Phylo, however, welcomed the wandering Basidia and its two circles of followers into Neverlight Grove some years ago and began sharing the responsibilities of leadership with Basidia. For a long time, this arrangement cause no conflict, and the two sovereigns became close friends.
After the arrival of Zuggtmoy in the Underdark, however, things began to change. Phylo unwittingly welcomed Zuggtmoy to the Grove, where she melded with it in secret, seducing it with the promise of a paradise for the mushroom folk if Phylo would lead them to become her followers on the Prime Material Plane.
Its mind completely lost inside the demon queen’s insidiously mad vision, Phylo became enthralled by the promise of plentiful soil and moisture, perpetual rot, and beautiful transcendent dreams to be shared in a neverending communal melding – all offered to the Grove’s folk as generous and wondrous gifts from the Lady of Decay.
Everyday melding became a subtle ideological war between supporters of the two myconids sovereigns, with Phylo slowly convincing the people to follow the new path. As more and more myconids wittingly became vessels for Zuggtmoy’s demonic spores, Neverlight Grove became a more extravagantly festive place. The quiet, contemplative joy of the mushroom folk’s way of life was inexorably replaced by decadent, enraptured euphoria – and the madness that euphoria hid.
Eventually, after Winds of Jaquiche discovered the truth about Zuggtmoy’s presence and influence, Basidia and its remaining followers left the Grove en masse, leading Jaquiche to Blingdenstone and leaving Phylo and its followers to their own twisted devices.