This tiny creature, found in Northern Sarvonia, particular to the Bay of Calinth area, is an unassuming creature that spends the majority of its time searching for food. Somewhat rare, it has become a much sought after commodity in the Remusian cloth dying industry. This is due to the colour made, Dhura Blue, is the tribal colour of the Remusians, and is unique to their society.
Appearance. This small snail has a shell that ranges from a light tan to a deep golden colour. It has no outer markings. The Dhururian Snail ranges in size from two to four and a half nailsbreadths in length and one half to one and a half mut in weight. These snails have two sets of antennae that grow out of their heads. The first set has their eyes on them, which seem to provide very poor eyesight for the mollusk. The second, and more important, set is where its organs for smell are located. The Dhururian Snail can smell an egg nest up to 500 fores away. The flesh of the snail is a grayish green in colour, darkening to almost black as it ages. It is the black fleshed snails that are favoured for the production of Dhura, the blue dye favoured by the women of Remusia, though the lighter coloured ones are used when dark ones are too hard to find.
The Dhururian Snail has an uncanny sense of smell. This is demonstrated in its ability to find the buried egg nests of the females. Snails up to 500 fores away have been drawn to a new nest. This is needed, as the nests are buried for the protection of the eggs.
The snails also have a hard chitinous shell on their backs that protect them from the elements and any predator hungry enough to try and digest its foul tasting flesh.
Having a small air bladder inside of it, the Dhururian snail is able to “dig” into the soft mud of the bay, by “blowing” holes into the mud. This is how it digs the nests for its eggs, and how it buries itself in the mud.
Territory. The Dhururian Snail makes its home predominately in Northern Sarvonia's Bay of Calinth. It is sometimes found in the Ice Sea, though this is unusual. It is a rare animal, and can only be found in shallow waters of the bay, usually attached to rocks, feeding on tiny particles of edible matter. It makes its home in the rock pools there; burying itself in the mud should the water become too shallow or too cold.
The snail seems to need the frigid waters of the bay, and that is why the species has not expanded very far from there. To be sure, attempts at raising the creature have proved futile, and it is assumed that this has something to do with the temperatures needed. However, this does not explain why it is not found in all the northern waters. More intensive observations of this creature will be needed in the future, so that the making of Dhura can be brought to the tribes of the Caltharians. Indeed, it is the Caltharians that have shown the most interest in the snail, as it could have a direct impact on their economy.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Dhururian Snail has few predators, as the taste of its flesh is extremely foul, having been compared to rancid fish. It spends its life as a solitary creature, not even coming together to mate, instead burying its eggs in the mud. This snail spends all of its time feeding, or traveling in search of food. Its activity cycle is not dependant on the time of day, as it is equally active day or night. The only time that these creatures stop their normal way of life is during extremely cold winters.
It has been observed that during particularly cold winters, the Dhururian Snail will hibernate for periods of up to 3 months by digging a pit in the mud and burying themselves in it with the use of their air bladders (see Special Abilities). Once the waters have warmed up somewhat more, they will dig themselves out, again using their air bladders, and continue their normal routine of eating and laying eggs. The Dhururian Snail has an average lifespan of up to 4 years. Attempts to farm these creatures have proved futile.
Diet. The Dhururian Snail is voracious in its appetite. It will eat almost anything edible that it comes across. It feeds mainly on plants and algae, but it will also consume the carcasses of dead fish. It does this by use of a tiny mouth on its underside that is ringed with sharp teeth, though too small to pose any threat to most live animals.
Mating. There does not seem to be any real difference between male and female Dhururian Snails. It has even been suggested that the snails contain both male and female organs. To reproduce, a snail will dig itself an egg nest, perhaps 3 nailsbreadths into the soft bottom of the bay. It will then fill the nest with eggs and abandon the nest after covering it with a layer of mud, which usually contains 10-20 eggs. Later, another snail will find the nest and dig up the nest, whereupon it will then deposit sperm into the nest, fertilizing the eggs. This snail will once again bury the nest. Providing the nest is left undisturbed, the eggs will hatch in 3-6 days. This cycle of laying eggs only happens twice in a snail’s lifetime, though they may fertilize any number of nests. It is assumed that since the creature has both male and female features, that they do not have as many eggs as creatures that are strictly female.
Usages. The taste of the Dhururian Snail is such that most species do not feed upon it. However, there is one use that has been exploited by the Ice Tribes around the Bay of Calinth for generations; the art of dyeing. The snails are placed in a large tub then crushed and allowed to ferment for a period of no less than eight days and no more than ten days. They are then heated to a boil until they become a thick broth. Cloth is then soaked overnight in it. When the cloth is removed and given time to dry, it will turn to a deep blue hue. This colour has become known as Dhura. It usually takes around 1000 snails to make enough Dhura to dye one thick cloak. Given the rarity of the snail, this has made Dhura coloured cloth a fairly expensive commodity. Ironically, those employed in the Dhura dying trade are often looked down upon, due to the horrendous smell that goes along with the fermenting of the snails.
Myth/Lore. There's a story about the dye made from Dhururian Snails, and it goes like this:
The Dhura Robe. The story of Dhura was that in times long gone, an old woman from the Remusian city of Sorsokon was well known for the quality of her dyed cloth. So great were her works that her name became known far and wide. One day, Uraghadze Hanno-eck-Icsain, Uraghadze Ice Hand came to her, begging her for a colour to give the father of his beloved, in order that he might ask her hand in marriage. The old woman tried a number of different colours, but none suited the young man's fancy. Determined not to disappoint, the old woman told the hunter that to get the one colour that would not fail to impress the girl’s father, he would need to seek the object that first called her name. Uraghadze searched for months, driving himself mad as he searched for the object that called her name. Then one day the young man traveled near the shores of the Bay of Calinth. To his delight, a snail was sitting atop a rock, singing out the name "Dhurura".