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Updated: Dec 18, 2023

“On its surface, the thing seems idle and unphased, perhaps a testament to despair’s gentle pressure into hopelessness. But, upon closer inspection, this creature is a well of profound power with which one should not trifle.”

- Cal’fir, Ancient Oneironaught

Desilopods are ungulous, patient creatures that stalk the undergrowth of cognic forests and jungles. They are primarily defensive things that aim only to consume despair energy from whatever is in their reach. In the wild, they do so only to the degree that will sustain them - never invoking more than would throw the other niches of the surrounding ecosystem out of balance.

Ghastly Gastropods

Resembling giant snails, desilopods move slowly. Their bodies, composed primarily of viscous mucus, function like a gentle river or stream that leaves the usual snail trail behind as it moves. But, when it feeds - whether off the despair found in wyrld treighs or lesser/decomposing despairlings - it quickly swells into a tsunamic monstrosity, drowning all in its reach to enjoy the taste of their slow demise - and the hopelessness that comes with it!

The Lights of Hope

Despite their appetite, desilopods are actually small fonts of hope energy. This gives them their eerie appearance – the gentle, blue glow of processed hope energy from the despair. This is due to the nature of despair and hope. When a desilopod consumes despair, its body processes that cognic energy and takes the parts of it that would leave one feeling hopeless and discards the rest. It literally digests the ‘less’ from ‘hopeless’**

On an evolutionary scale, desilopods have developed the clever ability to use this hope energy as a form of healing for themselves and their kin. Adventurers hoping to take advantage of this interesting feature might do well to befriend these creatures - or otherwise harvest them - and make rations of the Hope Potions from the energy shedding off these creatures.

A Slick Road to Despair

When encountering a wild desilopod, adventurers and oneironaughts will know they have found a desilopod nest when they struggle to wade through the muck of slogging mucus. While moving through this muck, any non-despairling creature does so as if through difficult terrain.

If combat were to take place in an environment such as a desilopod nest, any hostile desilopod would acquire the unique ability to melt into the surface layer of mucus and regenerate itself anywhere there is another pool of it - as if teleporting to that location. Creatures that start their turn in this mucus must make a DC 15 dex save or be knocked prone until the end of their turn - at which point they can make the same save as a free action. Any creature that starts their turn prone in the mucus makes a DC 12 Hope save or has their suffering increased by one level.

**the corollary of this experience in the mortal plane is seen when we, as mortal creatures, find the will to turn a hopeless experience into a hopeful one! Think of the last time you felt failure, or like you could not do something you set out to do. Did you not, after some time and maybe some reflection, learn from that experience? Did you not take the hopelessness and turn it into hope?

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