The dwarves of the Tortoise Conclave have brought their traditional mushroom farming methods to the Kirinal Concordance Zone in order to bring a "taste of home" to their settlements here in the lowlands. To their surprise, the mushrooms have developed into brand new strains in the, supposedly barren, but magical soil around the Pit.
Them "hexomatata" mushrooms are way too strong to eat on their own! (Don't ask me how I know!) But when it's brewed down into some delicious psychic beer, the buzz is nice and mellow. Getting to use magic temporarily is just an added treat!
For many years, the dwarves of the Tortoise Conclave imported mushrooms from their homelands at great cost to make their traditional "undermountain" cuisine. Eventually, the enterprising Thane McDrakon figured out how to grow the finicky mushrooms in the humid grounds beneath his eponymous prison. The locally produced mushrooms were a valuable cash crop for the Thane.
As the mushrooms grew in the barren, yet magical soil around the Kirinal Pit, the mushrooms began to change. The most valuable of the new varietals were named "hexocybin mushrooms." These blue mushrooms contained potent magical properties that granted very temporary magical abilities to those who consumed them.
After some fatalities among those eating them directly, the dwarves figured out a way to denature the poison but keep the arcane properties. They brewed the mushrooms into Psychic Beer.
As the mushrooms continued to absorb the magic of the Pit, the grags of McDrakon's Prison were horrified to discover that their most valuable crop had gained sentience. The Myconid Mother, an ancient intelligence that had been dormant in the mycelium woke up and began crying for help. The grag's underlings hid her away under the prison and attempted to keep her muffled.
Then one day her cries into the earth were answered, the Oak Father burst through the walls of the prison and stood guard over the Mother's mycelium. For some reason, he allowed them to harvest her mushrooms, but he attacked anyone who tried to approach her core.
Very recently, a group of Zone Authority Police investigating the Oak Father's disappearance discovered him and the fact that the grags were keeping a sophont prisoner without cause. They released her and she retreated to the Ki-Rin Forest with the Oak Father.
The grags and the dwarves are in a panic. They mushrooms left behind stopped reproducing and their most valuable cash crop literally walked away from them. They search for a replacement, or a way to return the Myconid Mother to Thane McDrakon's Prison.
Thane McDrakon's Prison
The main prison complex in the Tortoise Conclave Canton, the dwarven "slice" of the Zone. It also functions as a work camp producing a variety of goods, most famously psychic beer.
The famous Myconid Mother is an awakened mushroom and celebrated in the Zone for her relationship with the Oak Father. Her mysterious origin remains to be explored.