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Monk of Mycology by ursulav Monk of Mycology by ursulav
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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Skaramine Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
A 600 pound buddy with tusks is always more impressive than a 60 pound wolf. :D
angelahedderick Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
There are so many reasons we love you . . . this is just the latest. I will sauté a morel in your honor today.
AndrewLKolodziej Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2015
Love this picture and the story that goes with it.
TheDiggerMan Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I want this to be an rpg class!
purplepolkadots59 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yishana8 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
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 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
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.
DivineLightAngels Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Islander-60 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent! :)
blogsobrelaarena Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
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
Feliangimus Featured By Owner May 3, 2011
AAAAAAAAAAW! I'll take the pig
tree-whisperer Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2011  Hobbyist
tzigany Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2011  Student General Artist
And do they arrange for their radishes to marry kohlrabi?
Touch-Not-This-Cat Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010
Have you seen 'Secret of Kells'?
karookachoo Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
The monk is missing fingers O.o this is distracting to me for some reason...
audgotter Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
Thank you for shining an artistic light upon mycology, its always so misunderstood..
Justria Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Love this concept so much! And yeah, a wild boar could take a wolf out any day.
MehLeeSah Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2010
Wow like how do you come up with all these backstories?!?! I LOVE 'emm
MangaNut01 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Double comment equals fail. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, great picture again!
MangaNut01 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love it! That is so cool and the story concept is a amazing!
MangaNut01 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love it! That is so cool and the story concept is a amazing!
inshadowz Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2010
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 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Thank you for making this, I love pigs! ^.^
EthnisArt Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an awesome picture, made all the more awesome by the hilarious yet informative and thought evoking comment that follows it.
LittleNjo Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
if i ever where to play dnd this would be my character, its so quirky and perfect..... brilliant...just brilliant
frazeocity Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2010
Interestingly, king boletes (big stout guys with mottled maroon caps on the right) frequently grow in the same areas as some species of amanita (smooth red capped ones on the left). So at least in that sense, this painting isn't too far off from reality. Of course, one is a prized delicacy that's been hunted for thousands of years all over the world, while the other will make your liver explode like an incendiary grenade, so it's best not to get the two confused.
Aeslynn676 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
You have a knack for making the wierdest characters, and making them work. Ever thought of making a D20 game?
ayuICHI Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh, it's quite lovely. <3
kittako Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2010
Wow, beautiful drawing! I like the mushrooms :D
jedi-gert Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Mmm.. I see morels in the front :D
alexluna Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Student Interface Designer
I am in love with this. The concept is hysterical and touching. I ♥ the telepathic piggies. Wonderful color scheme. I like how you chose the desaturated neutrals of mushrooms as your color scheme. And as usual the character design is wonderful. Now, the title says Monk, but this one looks like a woman. Can monks be women? Or would they be Monkettes, Monkas...WoMonks? Hehehe.
tharal2814 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2010
haha amazing
westernphilosopher Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I just love your art. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration.
caesaraugustus Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know, that actually makes sense.

I think your next painting should be about a Viking raid on such a monastery
Marty-Party Featured By Owner May 19, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I absolutely love this painting and the description.
But I'm curious; If this was a DnD class, would it be a monk, druid, shaman, or ranger? or perhaps a custom/prestige class?
I'm about to play in a session of DnD this summer, and I'm really attracted to the idea of playing a Monk of Mycology.
aoi-yuki-yume Featured By Owner May 16, 2010
Love the story!
glowworm56 Featured By Owner May 16, 2010
THis is cute--love the pig.
Natural20 Featured By Owner May 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Gorgeous concept, wonderful story. Amazing as always!
Redmagesalyre Featured By Owner May 13, 2010
Nice story behind this, and I like the whole telepathic truffle sniffing pigs. I have heard about truffle-hunting dogs as well, don't know if they're as wide-spread as the pigs. However, I like the pig, he's cute and good work with the mushrooms, especially the morel.
Agrafkak Featured By Owner May 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I was right when i thought at first "I've seen her before". Good Yoy finished that work. I also have works that just sit there and do nothing, unfinished.
Wyrdhaven Featured By Owner May 4, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Have you seen the movie "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels"? a quote from that comes to mind...
Linake Featured By Owner May 3, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww, no phallic mushrooms this time? ;)
Dama-Pikowa Featured By Owner May 1, 2010
The story it carries with itself is great! And the picture as well :D
Duessa Featured By Owner May 1, 2010
Kishasa Featured By Owner May 1, 2010
GoldenDruid Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Nice detail on the shrooms :D
sketcherjak Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010
lmao! Homicidal grapefruit!
OpheliaRosenblut Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW. I want in. Where do I sign? XD

I love pigs. Pigs are amazing, and the piggie here is so pretty! And the mushrooms!!
Shadsie Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The monks must eat very well. (To those of us who love mushrooms, anyway).
Hawksong76 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2010
Amazing and wonderful!
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Submitted on
April 27, 2010
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