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ursulav's avatar

Monk of Mycology

The Monks of Mycology, despite the name, were an entirely secular order specializing in the study of fungi. After years of intensive training in finding and identifying mushrooms, the young monks were bonded telepathically to intelligent truffle pigs and sent forth into the world.

The other people with telepathic animals--horses, dragons, birds of prey, wolves and so on--were extremely sarcastic about the whole pig thing. The monks ignored this, for three reasons.

1) Pigs are highly intelligent animals, unlike birds of prey, which are only intelligent about things that matter to birds of prey, and dragons, whose brains can be compared to a homicidal grapefruit.

2) While dragons and wolves are all very impressive in battle, most of the Monasteries of Mycology kept on staff a number of grizzled warriors bonded to thousand-pound battle-boars. An angry sixty-pound wolf is an alarming sight, but a half-ton of enraged boar is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. The Monasteries had no problems whatsoever with security.

This was occasionally important because:

3) White truffles retail for up to $2000 a pound.

This last fact meant that, while people with the charismatic telepathic mammals were off working as mercenaries or hunting guides, the Monks of Mycology tended to retire early and comfortably, and dedicate themselves to philanthropy, gardening, radish-collecting, or anything else that amused them, while their pigs led a pampered existence in heated sheds attached to the house.


I started this painting in late 2006, about the same time as the Wizard of Tea painting, and finally was in a mood to finish it. Three and a half years is probably the longest I've ever gone before finishing a piece, and I found out that most of my sketchwork on the original was wrong and needed tweaking, but it seemed like a shame to waste all those carefully painted mushrooms, and hey, who doesn't love a telepathic truffle pig? (All the mushrooms are real species, if memory serves.)

Prints are available for $10 and $20 (much less than truffles!) plus shipping at Red Wombat Studio: [link]
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© 2010 - 2021 ursulav
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Skaramine's avatar
A 600 pound buddy with tusks is always more impressive than a 60 pound wolf. :D
angelahedderick's avatar
There are so many reasons we love you . . . this is just the latest. I will sauté a morel in your honor today.
Love this picture and the story that goes with it.
TheDiggerMan's avatar
I want this to be an rpg class!
Yishana8's avatar
I studied microbiology at college, (includes fungi) - would have loved to be sent out on fungus forays with a truffle pig.  We could have helped with the college's catering/finances as well...
TrickyCreature's avatar
That's quite a funny idea. I like it. I laughed, when I read the 'homicidal grapefruit' thingy, although I have got a lot of respect for dragons.
blogsobrelaarena's avatar
I was caught reading in full interest a great time. Delightful deviation.

Now i'm starting to thing the whole human-mushroom-pig thing is even considerably viable lol
AAAAAAAAAAW! I'll take the pig
tree-whisperer's avatar
tzigany's avatar
And do they arrange for their radishes to marry kohlrabi?
Touch-Not-This-Cat's avatar
Have you seen 'Secret of Kells'?
karookachoo's avatar
The monk is missing fingers O.o this is distracting to me for some reason...
audgotter's avatar
Thank you for shining an artistic light upon mycology, its always so misunderstood..
Justria's avatar
Love this concept so much! And yeah, a wild boar could take a wolf out any day.
MehLeeSah's avatar
Wow like how do you come up with all these backstories?!?! I LOVE 'emm
MangaNut01's avatar
Double comment equals fail. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, great picture again!
MangaNut01's avatar
I love it! That is so cool and the story concept is a amazing!
MangaNut01's avatar
I love it! That is so cool and the story concept is a amazing!
inshadowz's avatar
I'm almost five months behind on my Deviant Watch list, rushing through to get up to date. Of the deviations that make me stop for a moment on my hasty way, yours are at the very top of the list. For this one, however, I've stopped and stayed. There's something in how you've done the monk's eyes and facial expression that makes it hard to pry my attention away from her. Mostly the eyes, I think. Call it a “Mona Lisa Moment” if you like. Plus you uploaded this on my birthday :)
YyanaOni's avatar
Thank you for making this, I love pigs! ^.^
EthnisArt's avatar
This is an awesome picture, made all the more awesome by the hilarious yet informative and thought evoking comment that follows it.
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