Treehouse snail Species in E L A Q I T A N | World Anvil

Treehouse snail

Sophie was leaning against an oak tree when a smacking blob caught her attention. By now Sophie was very familiar with the treehouses in the forests. But now she saw a miniature version that was reminiscent of a toy. She looked at it carefully and saw it slowly moving again. Little horns crawled out from under the house and stared into Sophie's huge eyes. Before the horns could crawl back into the shell, Sophie pulled the snail from the bark and placed it on her hand.
Excerpt from the novel-
 
Treehouse snails are not a strange freak of nature, but were created from a failed growth spell by a young druid. They are twice larger than ordinary snails and their shells take on the strangest treehouse shapes.
Tree house snail by Blue Fairy 74

At a Glance

Scientific name: MAELSISTI eryxtho
Common name: Treehause snail
Line: Snails
Lineage: none, because it was created magically
Habitat: Forests of Brictaelgis
Life expectancy: 10 to 20 years
Size: 15 to 20 cm long, house 10 to 15 cm
Weight: approx. 65 g
Speed:15 m/h
Appearance: Body ocher-colored, mucous layer depends on the inhabited Tree, house depending on the surrounding area
Diet: plant fibers, mushrooms
Sexual maturity: at one year
Offspring: 50 to 60 eggs


 

Their Creation

While normal snails have existed since the Age of Myth and Shadow, treehouse snails are a younger species at around 7,900 years old. The story of their creation is a popular legend among goblins and is told to them from an early age.
 
During the middle of the 5th millennium, the young goblin Aella Graybark lived in the forests of today's Taen Wotris, who had discovered her interest in earth magic at an early age. At that time there was no Druid circle and therefore no rules for correct use, so anyone could experiment with it.   Aella had already gained plenty of experience with earth and stone magic and now began to study growth magic. After the first easy exercises such as growing grasses and flowers and different colors for all kinds of plants, she ventured into more complicated sayings such as the growth of trees or the coloring of animal fur. But up until that point she had never created anything completely new.   She has been fascinated by snails since she was a child. She collected them and made small terrariums in which she kept the snails as pets. By adulthood, this developed into a small snail garden with a wide variety of species. She studied their houses and recorded their life cycles. Some goblins even claimed that Aella had spoken to them.   Tthe idea slowly matured in her mind to create a new, beautiful species that would go down in history as the most beautiful snail in Brictaelgis. But on the day Aella wanted to perform the magic, a violent storm was brewing over the forests and Lanis, the god of storms, caused the wind to rush through the trees and violent thunderstorms to descend. Although Aella was afraid for her treehouse, she was also impatient and didn't want to wait for the storm to pass. So she cast her spell and repeated several times the formula that was supposed to turn an ordinary snail into a new species. As she was about to repeat the spell a third time, the window was smashed by a branch, the wind whistled through and pink flowers - a symbol of the fertility goddess Brictissa - swirled around the room. Aella was so frightened that she made a mistake and muttered tree snail instead of dream snail. But it was too late. The magic worked and so she had to watch as the snail slowly grew and her little house was transformed into a tree house. Aella tried everything to turn the snail back, but she didn't succeed, so she kept the snail and put it in her zoo.   After a while, the zoo attracted curious children who wanted to take the snail home with them. Aella now realized that she had created one of the most wonderful creatures after all. She allowed each child to choose a snail from her garden and transformed them into treehouse snails with a variety of houses, which from now on could reproduce on Brictealgis.   At the same time, Aella also understood how much power she had and that the gods would intervene in spells if they went too far. In the years that followed, she did everything she could to store her spells carefully and developed the first rules to prevent misuse of earth magic. Many of these rules found their way into the teachings of the Druid Circle, which is why Aella Graybark is counted as one of the Urdruids of Brictealgis.



 

Physiology

The ocher-colored body of the snail can be up to 20 cm long and is covered in a slightly shimmering layer of mucus, which can take on different colors depending on which tree the snail is on. The houses grow up to 15 cm tall and mimic the tree houses in their surroundings. These mimicry effects result from the magic of Aella Graybark, who, according to her diaries, originally wanted to create a snail that could merge with its surroundings.  
Snail on bark of a red poplar tree by Blue Fairy 74
The snail can travel at a speed of 15 m/h, making it three times faster than its normal counterparts.   The four horns of the “head” are used for smelling, tasting and seeing. Goblins also discovered that the posterior antennae respond to fluorescence.   The house consists of a porcelain-like layer of limestone. The snail absorbs the kaolin and lime-containing elements for the structure through its mucus from the forest floor.

Reproduction & Development

Treehouse snails reproduce like their usual relatives. They are hermaphrodites, which means that gliding over another treehouse snail for several hours is enough for both to be fertilized.   However, they do not bury their eggs in loose soil, but rather they are laid under slightly loose tree bark about eight weeks after fertilization. After about 60 days, tree house snails hatch. The snails are fully grown and sexually mature after a year. If cared for well, treehouse snails can live up to 20 years.


Diet & Life

Tree house snails mainly eat dead tree bark and wilted leaves, which they gnaw off with a rasp tongue.   They also like to eat fluorescent mushrooms that occasionally grow on some trunks. When the fruiting bodies form at the end of the Brictaelgian summer, small colonies of snails are often seen in these places. Since some fluorescent fungi contribute to the death of trees, the snails are also a kind of tree police that delay the death of the trees for years.   During the brictaelgic winter, the snails retreat to the root regions of the trees and bury themselves under the leaves. In addition, they close the entrance with a chalky shell lid that looks like a cut tree slice.


 

Use

Abandoned houses and shell lids that have been left behind or thrown off after the winter are popular collector's items among goblins to hang on strings and use for mobiles and wind chimes. The bowl lids are also very suitable as incense to promote sleep. They smell of wood and forest resins.
 
Goblin children create small gardens with the houses, which serve as homes for their dolls. Live snails are often used in snail races because of their speed.

The meat of the snail, whose taste and consistency is reminiscent of very dry and tough duck, is an ingredient in stews. However, since it has to be cooked for a very long time, it is mainly used in times of emergency.
Doll garden with snail shell by Blue Fairy 74

 

In response to Strixxline's unofficial challenge




Cover image: Molluscs of the Element Nature by Blue Fairy 74 - Midjorney-Collage

Comments

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Mar 30, 2024 12:32

Omg these are adorable! Thank you Aella for creating these cute critters.   Them mimicking surrounding houses is a lovely touch.

Mar 30, 2024 13:03

Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Apr 2, 2024 12:54 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Omigosh, I love them. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Apr 2, 2024 15:21

Aww thank you.

Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.
Apr 8, 2024 09:11

Genial, wenn es eine super "in-world" erklärung gibt, warum eher typische Fabelkreaturen tatsächlich existieren - und das sie der Grund sind warum der Erschaffer dann merkt: "Ich glaube wir brauchen Regeln...!"
Spitzen Entstehungsmythos!
Und wie immer tolle Illustrationen!

Aber eine Frage noch:
Ich vermute mal, dass sich so ziemlich alle Tiere die normale Schnecken fressen, sich auch über diese größere (und andersartige) Variante hermachen, oder?

Have a look at my entries for:
  • moonflower-writing's Food, Glorious FOOD! Unofficial Challenge: Lende a la Terascoa
  • BasicDragons's Unofficial Dragon Challenge 2024: Parg-nél'rush, der Walddrache
  • DaniAdventures Romance-Ception! Challenge Ballade von der Silberelfe
  • My Adventure April short story Einer dieser Tage
  • Apr 10, 2024 15:17

    Vielen vielen Dank, es kam einfach beim Schreiben. Leider ist es oft so, dass gut gemeinte Dinge auch negativ genutzt werden können, worüber sich viele Erschaffer kaum oder nicht in solchen Ausmaßen Gedanken machen - siehe die Spaltung des Atoms - ich weiß, man kann diese Schnecke nicht damit vergleichen, aber ich denke, du verstehst, worauf ich hinaus will.
    Ähm ja, zwar ist das Fleisch sehr zäh, aber es gibt sicherlich ein paar Igel, die ganz wild darauf sein könnten.

    Stay imaginative and discover Blue´s Worlds, Elaqitan and Naharin.