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Author Topic: THE DHURURIAN SNAIL Eight Winds Bay Mollusk  (Read 11052 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: 28 April 2007, 07:28:10 »

THE DHURURIAN SNAIL

OVERVIEW-- This tiny creature, found in the north country, in particular Eight Winds Bay, 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 cloth dying industry.

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 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 color, darkening to almost black as it ages.  It is the black fleshed snails that are favored for the production of Dhura, the purple dye favored by the Adlin women, though the lighter colored ones are used when dark ones are too hard to find.

SPECIAL ABILITIES – 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 Eight Winds Bay.  It is sometimes found in the Sea of Tears, 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 it 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 ob 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 Caltharian’s 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 males 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 tribes around Eight Winds Bay 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 purple hue.  This color 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 colored 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-- The story of Dhura was that in times long gone, an elvish woman from the elvish city of Adlin 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, a human prince 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 prince's fancy.  Determined not to disappoint, the old woman told the prince 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.  The young man 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 Eight Winds Bay.  To his delight, a snail was sitting atop a rock, singing out the name Dhurura. 

Gathering up the snail, the young man hurried back to the old woman, who took the snail and created a bolt of cloth in a colour of purple that none had seen before.  So impressed was the girl’s father, that he gave his daughter's hand to the young man.  The father then had the cloth turned into a magnificent robe, which he wore on her wedding day.  In honour of his daughter, the colour became known in time as Dhura and the snail, the Dhururian Snail.
« Last Edit: 11 August 2007, 02:27:07 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #1 on: 28 April 2007, 22:24:42 »

Please read the resource book.  Once you've gone through it and applied the stuff it asks for, I'll give you your first Uri.  cool
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #2 on: 28 April 2007, 23:15:26 »

Will do. grin 
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« Reply #3 on: 28 April 2007, 23:16:29 »

Drasil hon - could you perhaps make 'the resource book' or similar phrases into a hyperlink?  Because even I didn't know what you were referring to / where to find it?  (I know, Art's moved everything around since last week....)   Smooch smooch....

 Altario:  Welcome!   Great to have a snail!  (Or should that be another snail?  Surely this isn't our first... I seem to recall something like 'The Jekkin' if my ancient brain cells aren't failing me...)  Please try to avoid  overly modern phrasing such as 'omnivorous' and 'hermaphroditic' (tempting though they are - I know I'm overly scientific at times!) and replace them with expressions a medieval bestiary writer might have used.  Assuming a medieval writer could have observed the snail's dual genders in the first place.... :)     
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #4 on: 29 April 2007, 02:47:20 »

Yes, the hyperlink idea is a great one, as somethings are hard to find when you're new....I will try to find different words for those you mentioned...another snail, huh?  I had looked up Snail and couldn't find anything, so I'll look up the entry you mentioned...was trying to add something new...Oh well, thank you for the input, I will continue to research and add.
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #5 on: 29 April 2007, 03:02:32 »

Please say hi to the Aglan Slug
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Avrah Kehabhra

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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #6 on: 29 April 2007, 03:05:11 »

lol...yes, i frequently used this as a reference, as well as online references for snails (thank you Wiki)
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Miraran Tehuriden
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« Reply #7 on: 29 April 2007, 03:06:38 »

By the way, compendium searches on 'Jekkin', 'jek*', and '*kkin' allfailed to come up with a slug or snail.
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Avrah Kehabhra

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« Reply #8 on: 29 April 2007, 03:08:43 »

*shakes head*  Does anyone ever read the stickies anymore?

Judith/Altario (sp?): Its the second Sticky...the one entitled Bestiary Resource Book.  buck
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #9 on: 30 April 2007, 23:24:34 »

duh..boy is my face red...I read the resource book every time i click on Create Beasts, lol...

ok, I have edited the entry in red.  Give it a thorogh look after Drasil.  BTW, what is URI short for? 

Hope that this fits in well in the world.  As I was creating the snail while still in RPG mode, I did not know about the other areas of the map that were being developed.  Should you think that the snail would be better suited to one of these areas, that would be great.  I had tried to place it in a spot where i thought it would make the least impact in the developed world, seeing as the Dhura trade could be built up around it.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #10 on: 30 April 2007, 23:41:51 »

An URI is a very detailed check of an entry, by posting the entry again and commenting and correcting with coloured changes/comments, Altario. Named after the member who used it for the very first time, Uragel.
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« Reply #11 on: 03 May 2007, 00:54:02 »

Who does dive this deep that he finds it?

Why is it called Dhururian snail?
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #12 on: 08 May 2007, 02:31:05 »

I have changed the habitat from Deep water to Shallow water, as I think that makes more sense. 

As for the name....I threw a 30 sided die, it came up 4, 4="D", so I racked my little brain until I thought of a name that started with a "D" (and that is a quick peek inside the mind of an idiot buck).  As for how it came into the Santharian lexicon, with that I could use some suggestions :P
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #13 on: 18 May 2007, 02:50:07 »


Perhaps Dhurura was the name of the individual who dicovered the dye factor. She could have been a Adlinean woman looking for new/exotic colours to use as trade goods, who did some experimenting with various insects, plants, etc to try for new dyes and found that this snail produced a rich purple.

But that's just off the top of my head, feel free to use it or discard it if you think of something better.

Alysse
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #14 on: 18 May 2007, 12:47:44 »

Edits in red.  Thank you Alysse for more great ideas.  I used your idea with some minor tweeks.  Let me know what you think.
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