The most notable feature of the members of the Marshal Mushroom family is that they grow fruits that when fully grown become distinct individuals completely separate from the main fungus. The most well known member of the Marshal Mushroom family is the Giant Rock Marshal whose fruits make up that which is also referred to as the Dwarven race.
The main purpose of the fruits is to collect the spores that the main fungus needs for sustenance and reproduction. The fruits are equipped with large amounts of fine hair with which to catch the spores and bring them to the main fungus (this is why dwarves don't wash their beards).
The Marshal Mushrooms reproduce continuously. The main fungus is always growing a replacement fungus within itself. Once the replacement fungus is strong enough it takes over control of the nervous system of the main fungus. It becomes the new main fungus and starts consuming the old one from within.
Once in a while a Marshal Mushroom produces multiple offspring. When this happens one of the new fungi is expulsed from the main fungus and care of it is handed over to a Marshal.
A marshal is a special fruit designed specifically for transporting the new fungus to a suitable location where it can set root. A retinue of the standard fruits commonly accompanies the marshal. The retinue will protect and aid the new fungus until it is strong enough to bear its own fruit. After this the members of the retinue will return to the site of their original fungus.
Occasionally the offspring of the fruit fails in taking over the nervous system of the old main fungus. This invariably results in the death of the offspring and the likely death of the main fungus a short while later.
When an offspring fails a large number of fruits are sent out, attempting to locate and obtain a twin offspring from a nearby fungus. The twin offspring can replace the failed one and with it the fungus can live on. Should no suitable replacement be found in time the fungus will die.
Even though the main fungus might die the fruits will live on. However, with the fungus gone they no longer have a purpose. In some cases the fruits may attempt to join in with another fungus. Whether or not this will be permitted varies from case to case. Sometimes a fungus will need additional fruits while other times it wont.
The Giant Rock Marshal Mushroom is not the only member of the Marshal Mushroom family. However, it is the best known and the most influential one. Most of members of the Marshal Mushroom family are very small and very rare. They have little influence on the world around them other than as unwelcome parasites or pests, ruining crops or buildings; sometimes even livestock.
The size of the main fungus is often, but not always proportional to that of the fruit at a rate of roughly one to one hundred. This means that the main fungus is usually a hundred times as large as a single fruit. There are however exceptions and in a few rare cases the fruits are even larger than the main fungus itself.
All but one of the known types of Marshal Mushrooms grow multiple fruits. The exception is the Lunar Marshal: a rare type of airborne fungus, which grows only a single large fruit. The fruit then carries the fungus with itself.
Sentient Fruit Marshals
The majority of the Marshal Mushrooms grow non-sentient fruit. The few exceptions are collectively referred to as Sentient Fruit Marshals. The Giant Rock Marshal belongs to the Sentient Fruit Marshals along with a few others and is by far the most common one.
Apart from the Giant Rock Marshal there are three other known subterranean types with sentient fruits. There are also two known aquatic types, one known airborne type and no known surface dwelling type with sentient fruits.