My understanding of Hallownest can be a little vague, but below those leafy caverns is a fungal grove, once home to peaceful creatures not quite bug and not quite plant.
The Fungal Wastes is a humid area located near the middle of Hallownest with connections to several other areas.
The noxious caverns of the Fungal Wastes are covered in mushrooms of all kinds. Besides this, caustic pools of acid are abundant throughout the area.
The Fungal Wastes are populated by the Mushroom Clan, a territorial group who pose a threat to anyone who wanders nearby. The Mantis Tribe make their home further into the area and are equally unwelcoming to outsiders. One of the main features of the area is the large Stag Station in the west part, Queen's Station.
Various NPCs are present throughout the area. Leg Eater has a shop where he sells fragile Charms in the north-east part of the Fungal Wastes. Near his shop, Cloth can be found hiding under the ground. Quirrel can be encountered twice in the area, once in the Stag Station and later in Mantis Village. In the very south of the area near Mantis Village, Bretta can be freed and returned to Dirtmouth. The boss Elder Hu is found in the north-east near the entrance to the City of Tears. In the Mantis Village, the Mantis Lords can be challenged to gain access to an entrance to Deepnest.
A Charm Notch can be picked up after defeating two Shrumal Ogres in the north part of the Fungal Wastes. Three Charms are found throughout the area, Dashmaster in the south-east, Spore Shroom in the south-west near Deepnest, and Mark of Pride in a chest in Mantis Village when the Mantis Lords are defeated. After picking up the Mantis Claw from Mantis Village, a Mask Shard can be acquired in Queen's Station.
The native population of the Fungal Wastes mainly consist of the Mushroom Clan and the Mantis Tribe. The Mushroom Clan is a group of fungal creatures who have a shared mind. They share a border with Deepnest, whose inhabitants they were in conflict with. When the Pale King arrived in Hallownest, they accepted his rule due to their strong belief that his foresight could protect them.
However, the Mantis Tribe who live in the south part of the area had no love for the kingdom of Hallownest. The Mantises agreed to a truce where they would retain sovereignty over their territory, and in return, they would keep the beasts of Deepnest at bay.
The Fungal Wastes was an important area for travellers. The Pilgrim's Way, a road leading from the Forgotten Crossroads to the City of Tears, passed through the caverns. Queen's Station connected Fog Canyon and the Fungal Wastes to the Stagways, becoming a hub of travel for travellers who wanted to visit the outer edges of Hallownest.
When the Infection spread across the land, the Mushroom Clan became infected and started becoming aggressive to outsiders. While the Mantis Tribe did not fall to the Infection, they retained their tradition of attacking anyone who wandered near their village.
How to access
The Fungal Wastes can be accessed from the south part of Fog Canyon, which connects to Queen's Station. To progress further into the area, the Mothwing Cloak is required.
Another way to first enter the area is from the southwest part of the Forgotten Crossroads, near the Hot Spring. The Mothwing Cloak is also required to enter this way.
Sub-area: Queen's Station
Queen's Station is a run-down Stag Station which serves as a connection between the Fungal Wastes and Fog Canyon. In Hallownest's prime, Queen's Station was a bustling hub of travel, said to have been one of the busiest stations in the kingdom. Even though the station is decayed, it is still possible to hear the ringing of the bells and the voices of bugs.
Willoh can be found in one of the Stagway tunnels where she is eating fungus. Quirrel can be encountered in the main hub after arriving from Fog Canyon for the first time. The east part of Queen's Station contains a Mask Shard which can be acquired after getting the Mantis Claw.
Sub-area: Mantis Village
Mantis Village is the home of the Mantis Tribe, a group of mantises who are able to resist the Infection. They have a rich history, and their culture predates the birth of the kingdom of Hallownest. The border of their village contains heads of beasts mounted on poles to deter any wanderers. Since the mantises shunned technology brought about by the Pale King, they made their buildings from sinew and bone.
While initially hostile, the mantises will become neutral after the Mantis Lords are defeated.
The Mantis Claw ability can be picked up in the west part of the village. Quirrel can be found near the entrance of the main village when the area with the Mantis Lords is entered for the first time. After the Mantis Lords' defeat, the charm Mark of Pride can be found in a chest in the south-east. Their defeat also opens up a connection to Deepnest.
Sub-area: Fungal Core
Fungal Core is a small area with several hidden tunnels which is accessible after acquiring the Monarch Wings. Its main features are a lore tablet which can be read with Spore Shroom equipped, and a big mushroom corpse which can be Dream Nailed.
The bottom of the zone leads to a hidden Mask Shard in Deepnest.
- It is possible to stand on the pink mushrooms by using Desolate Dive/Descending Dark while above them.
- There are several lore tablets in the Fungal Wastes, but they require the Spore Shroom charm to be equipped in order to read them.
- While wearing the Spore Shroom charm near a lore tablet, the background music will turn quiet and a chorus of voices speaking the same gibberish babbling of Mister Mushroom can be heard.