|CR||By class level|
|Environment||Any (Croban V)|
Source: Alien Archive 3, pg(s). 50
Hortuses are a species of peaceful, intelligent but lethargic fungi from Croban V, a planet conquered by the Azlanti Star Empire. They are enslaved by the Azlanti, who wanted to take advantage of their ability to alter an atmosphere's chemical composition.
Hortuses' caps and stalks take various forms resembling mundane fungi found across numerous worlds. Their interior is filled with thick ligaments, which protect them from kinetic weapons but can be severed by slashing ones. On average, hortuses stand 4-1/2 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds.
Hortuses' unique biology allows them to alter atmospheric conditions to their liking by expelling a combination of spores and chemicals.
Over millennia, hortuses converted the barren Croban V into a green paradise. Due to their self-created sedative-like atmosphere, the hortuses gradually became passive and contented, and when the Azlanti arrived, they met almost no resistance as the hortus 'leadership' only wished to preserve their society's lax living conditions.
The Star Empire enslaved the hortuses and do not offer them citizenship, but are content to allow them their sedentary lifestyle in exchange for their ability to alter atmospheres. Most hortuses never leave the borders of Croban V; those who do are usually scientists or agents of atmospheric change working for the Star Empire. Hortus colonists are often deposited in large numbers by the Azlanti; over time, they transform small, self-contained regions to be more hospitable to humans.
A few hortus renegades operate outside Azlanti supervision, either because they are genetically less susceptible to their species' spores or have managed to avoid large congregations of hortuses. Many of them oppose the Azlanti, while others simply wish to explore the stars.
- Template:Cite book/Alien Archive 3
- Saif Ansari. (2018). Citizens of the Star Empire. Escape from the Prison Moon, p. 47. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-067-5
- Rob McCreary, Jason Keeley, and Lyz Liddell. (2018). Empire of the Aeon Throne. Escape from the Prison Moon, p. 43. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-067-5