Shell Passing | World Anvil - Isekai Codex

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Shell Passing

Growth of the Brachyur

Amongst the flowing waters of the ocean floor, a group of Anomukin gathers for a simple celebration, lining themselves up by size from the largest to the smallest. This is a delicate process, making sure that the line is correctly done and that even small differences in size are noted for what is about to happen. Without this precision, the following days and years could be difficult for the Anomukin in line as their lives are about to change due to this line.   The largest in the line removes his shell, each in the line doing the same in turn. With a signal to all, they pass their shells to the next smallest, everyone receiving a new shell, a new home, as they have outgrown the one that currently resided on their backs. Such a simple gesture has become a ceremony of sorts for these people, a day of celebration and growth that happens frequently.   Shell Passing is an important celebration of the Brachyur, although only the Anomukin tend to take part in this tradition. As creatures that molt, the Clawfolk and Crabfolk will regrow their own shells, but the Anomukin cannot, causing the need to change shells as they grow. As a way to help each other, the Anomukin line up frequently throughout the year, passing their smaller shells to others while the largest in the group is aided in finding a new shell.


Time passes differently on the ocean floor as the sun cannot be used to track the passing of the days. Those that travel to the surface for the Brachyur often note the passage of time when they return, but there is little need for these people to track time or define a specific day for a certain occurrence. The only way they truly mark the passage of time is growth and their molting, often marked by the celebration of Shell Passing for those that do not grow their own shell.   Depending on the area and the group of Anomukin involved, the Shell Passing ceremony can happen numerous times throughout the year depending on how fast the Anomukin grow and how quickly shells need to be passed on. Some Clawfolk and Crabfolk are assigned the duty of scouring the ocean floor for larger shells to give to the Anomukin that are the largest and have passed their shells on and require a new one.   The ceremony of Shell Passing is very dependent upon the area in which the Brachyur live and how many people live in a given area. Some of the larger cities throw parties where food and companionship abound but the smaller villages may only watch as the Anomukin line up and the shells are passed, often cheering while it happens.
Anomukin Shells
Anomukin shells come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and variations. These people rarely care what their shell looks like, but often prefer to change frequently throughout the year to shells that better fit their growth.


Author's Notes

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23 Jul, 2023 19:55

I love this idea so much. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
26 Jul, 2023 17:20

Love this take on the prompt, it's brilliant!

Cait x
Sage tlcassis
Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia
1 Sep, 2023 22:24

Wow - lots and lots of story potential here. One can easily imagine a situation in which the largest Anomukin is vulnerable or even killed while searching for a shell - and it is always the same person over and over. That would really mess with a person. Or one of the Anomukin grows too fast and there aren't enough shells the right size. Would a larger Anomukin give his shell (and possibly his/her life) to ensure the smaller one is protected? Who would that be? Or maybe, it's a more irl situation where the smaller Anomukin are left vulnerable? Are there predators who wait for this to happen to get them when they "trade up"? Very interesting idea.

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