The Groundling is a root-like creature that tends to entrap forest wanderers. Some believe them to be symbiotes but this is not quite right. The relationship between them and the victim is not a mutual one. They prefer to take over the body of the victim and keep it alive while feeding on their mental energy and brain matter.
They look like roots and, when attached, form some type of hair structure. In reality, the creature has buried itself into the brain of the victim and lives by feeding off of the nutrients of the body. As long as the body is healthy, the symbiote remains content. If the body withers or dies, then the symbiote falls dormant until another host touches it. To entice other sentient creatures, the Groundling sends out a soft mental command. Anyone within a 50' region can hear the voice in their mind. Once it is touched, a mental signal is sent through the victim and the creature works its way up to the brain structure.
When the Groundling attaches itself, it immediately takes over and makes use of any special abilities belonging to the victim. It can use any spells or magic items that the victim has. At this point, it will return to its village and resume its former life.
From the victim's point of view, they have the feeling that they are paralyzed. They can see their body performing actions but they can't control what is happening.
When interacting with a person that is hosting the Groundling, the person will be acting as he or his race has always acted. There are times, though, when the person will stop talking and then resume.
When Groundlings talk among themselves, they will extend one of their root structures out to touch another Groundling root. The victim can hear what is going on through this form of communication.
Although the Groundling may have the abilities of the victim, it doesn’t necessarily make it a better warrior. Since a lot of fighting and combat is automatic and based on muscle memory, the Groundling will have an understanding of what to do but not the physical skill to actually perform the maneuver. It will execute any physical combat maneuvers in a haphazard and unskilled manner.
If able, they would prefer to run away or use any form of magic (spell or item) to finish the conflict.
Image Size: 11” wide x 14” tall
Original Pencil Drawing on Bristol Paper
Signed by Doug Hoppes (artist)
Provided with separate Bainbridge Clay Coated Archival Foam Board (1/8” thickness)