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Yes it does. Some mushrooms are a source of food and some are poision and hurt your minion. You can look up in the guide which ones are which and just be careful what you pick up when you are playing

I saw the same thing. They had at lease 4 tribes in the top left side of the map behind 2 lengths of wall. It was a blue tribe, and they use Cinderella names like "bashful", "doc", "sleepy". After they all came together to destroy my castle, I respawned to go investigate. I was able to attack the wall without them attacking me. So I kept attacking the wall until they were out of wood to repair it. Once the wall was destroyed they all came out at once and went in different directions and dominated the map. It looked to me like it was a bot because it definitely wasn't controlled by a regular person because all the tribes moved at the same exact time.