The shell of your moss snail has now grown to a bit more than two inches in diameter, and it doesn't seem like it will grow any larger. This little companion fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, but moss snails don't like to be held for long. They're content with exploring their surroundings at their own pace, though they move extremely slowly. Most moss snail hatchlings are happy living in glass tanks, with their every need cared for. As they age, though, many of these companions prefer to leave the safety of their tanks and travel about the castle. These snails cling to walls to avoid being stepped on, but one should be alert to their presence anyway. There are always a few more adventurous adult moss snails who make it to the garden, where they're happy to devour things. Gardeners go through daily and pick up these snails, as they would otherwise destroy the gardens. So, if one is missing an adult snail, be sure to check in the gardens or with the gardeners. Another way to find a missing snail companion is simply to folow the trail of slime it creates. This slime has a bit of magic to it, though not as much as their valuable moss. The sticky substance allows moss snails to move across any terrain without injuring themselves. Adult moss snails are capable of taking care of themselves, but it is more important to keep an eye on the hatchlings. If one really doesn't want their companions to wander about, they should look into raising more snails. Some magi have huge glass bowls created for their snail companions. These bowls are truly large, and have to be shipped in from faraway places. They're used to house hundreds of moss snails, and in these living situations, the snails have enough room that they never leave. Adult moss snails love the company of others, though younger snails tend to be too busy eating or sleeping to interact. In the months before winter, it is important to feed moss snails excessively, so they can build up their fat reserves before going into hibernation.
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.
Sprite art: Cassowary/Munin | Description: Morgaln/Damien