Species: Moss Snail
Birthday: Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A tiny snail has hatched from your egg. Its shell was plain right after hatching, but only a few hours later, the first small tufts of moss have begun to appear on it. The little one is kept it in a small glass bowl, as it might be dangerous to let a fragile creature run around unchecked. It escapes from time to time, but no harm has come to the small snail yet. Each time the moss snail hatchling leaves, it either finds its own way back or someone else brings it home. It seems to be comfortable as long as it is fed often and the inside of the bowl is moist enough for the moss to grow.
While moss snails are not much to look at, they are among the most valuable and sought-after creatures in The Keep. The moss growing on their shells is a key ingredient in many potions; it helps in combining the various elements of an elixier to a whole, and even for those potions where it is not required, adding some snail moss will increase its potency manifold. Even though many alchemists and herbalists have tried, so far no one has been able to cultivate the moss artificially. The only place it grows is on a live moss snail. Considering how small the snails are, there is never enough moss to go around and an ounce of the plant can fetch a high price among those who brew potions regularly. There used to be many moss snail breeders, and these little companions were not treated well, with hundreds crammed inside one tank. There are only reputable sellers now, due to strict regulations enforced by magi. Moss snails are usually bought, as it is difficult to find them in the wild. Their shells allow them to hide very easily and blend in with nearby plants. In the wild, these snails predictably live near moss, making it difficult for predators to find them. Though they are herbivorous, moss snails avoid eating any moss. Instead, they make meals of other plants, though they love to eat fruit and vegetables the most. Their eating habits sometimes annoy farmers and gardeners, but as moss snails are nocturnal, they are usually long gone before anyone finds them.