Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mollusks/Exotic Bivalves (Encounter Table/Wermspittle)

Mollusks / Exotic Bivalves: Table I (D12)
  1. Lithophagous Mussels. Terrestrially-adapted bivalves that use their pallial gland secretions to dissolve and erode their way into limestone formations, leaving behind club-shaped depressions referred to as Gastrochaenolites. The fossilized borings of Lithophagous Mussels sometimes serve as nests or egg-receptacles by various cthonic species and in some cases these strangely shaped pockets have been dug out of the surrounding rock or subterranean coral-strata and used as ceremonial objects by Jlong-Jeel and other creatures. The sorcerous applications of these things is debatable and can sometimes spark heated discussions in certain street cafes known to be frequented by emancipated Molefolk and the like.
  2. Red Razor Clams. Very, very sharp bivalves known for exceptionally succulent meat. Their shells are harvested for use as non-metallic cutting edges.
  3. Black Shells. Reknowned for their incredibly bitter flesh, when pickled these clams help preserve anything else packed-in with them, even during heat waves or through a miasma attack, as long as the jar, bottle or vessel remains sealed. Cooks from the old airships used to go foraging for these things both as a major delicacy for their captain's tables, and as a preservative for long expeditions. 
  4. Gutter Clams. Strange, green-black bivalves known for their jagged, misshapen shells, extensible adhesion palps, and annoying tendency to cluster around drains, spouts, and gutters until they block the flow of water. Once considered a nuisance, Gutter Clams have become an essential food source for refugees who now cultivate the things in Wermspittle. Certain taverns have experimented with smoking the greenish-meat of these strange land-adapted climbing-clams, but they have yet to catch on as anything but a desperate meal for the poor in the winter-time.
  5. Clamp-Shells. Large, semi-amphibious clams that prefer very muddy waters and roof-puddles. Related to the Gutter Clams, these perverse things lurk at the edge of their chosen stretch of mud and attempt to ambush anything that comes close enough for them to flip themselves up out of the muck and mire to snap shut on their victim. Once they affix to a target, they clamp-down like a powerful vice and will not let go until either poked with a hot needle, exposed to open flame, or able to close all the way and drop off with a good amount of flesh in their shell which they will slowly digest over the course of a few days. Torture-Surgeons as well as some legitimate doctors are known to pay good money for particularly large Clamp-Shells.
  6. Marsh Carbunkle. Dark blue-black and slightly conical, these peculiar clams prefer sag-bogs, attic-swamps and rooftop algae pools. They have a much sought-after shell, the interior of which is extremely pliable when soaked in a mixture of jelly-distillate and ether. The material is harvested by Roof-runners, urchin-gangs, and others as a handful of shells can buy a meal or two even in the worst part of the winter, if one knows whom to sell them to and as long as they avoid the notice of their competitors. The flesh of Marsh Carbunkles is nasty, slippery and not suited for consumption unless one knows the secret to converting it into either blue chowder or using it as filler in autumn-sausage. Folklore insists that there are special, exceptionally-blue Marsh Carbunkles that produce a wonderful azure pearl that might or might not have significant magical powers, but so far no one has acknowledged ever finding such a thing.
  7. Jask's Snappers. Deep red clams that cluster around drains in the deeper sewers where they greedily suck up the dirty water and form crude lumps of aggregate material that they then expel to form a mound of strangely shaped sewer stones around their anchor-point. If a Snapper is soaked in kerosene or alcohol for a while, it not only becomes flammable, it will explode like a grenade, so long as the shell remains sealed. The trick of converting these clams into little bombs is known only to a few close friends of Jask, who isn't likely to share the secret with just anyone, at least not without extorting a heavy price.
  8. Brewer-Clams. Tight-packed masses of scores of amber-tan bivalves that adhere to the insides of vats used in settling-out large batches of beer. These clams have been specially bred and adapted to filter the beer and subtly re-balance the PH level of the fluid so that it has a delicately balanced amount of carbonation that results in a significantly reduced foaminess of head. Those who prefer it, swear by it, but those who enjoy headier brews look down on the 'clam-piss' that comes from this process. This, of course, has led to even more opportunities for bar room brawls. As though such a thing were actually needed.
  9. Wise Clams. Bulging, obese-seeming bivalves securely anchored amid elaborate spirally labyrinths of accumulated debris, cast-off junk, and bits of masonry salvaged from collapsed buildings and rubble-piles by their servants and friends. Anyone bringing a Wise Clam a gift of salvaged statuary, piece of marble facade, ornate tiles, or the like will be welcomed into their ever widening circle of influence. Those who give the Wise Clam a suitable gift can ask it for advice or information. They are psychic and will use their powers on behalf of their friends, and anyone who contributes to their nest-labyrinth is considered a friend. It is whispered in some taverns and cafes that eating the flesh of a properly prepared Wise Clam can expand the mental faculties of the diner, but few who claim to know how to cook these things agree upon the technique or recipe involved.
  10. Davy's Buckler. Oblong brownish-red clams that affix themselves in shady spots such as under leaky eaves or below persistent blockages created by Gutter Clams. The meat is only really edible if heavily seasoned and converted into dried strips of jerky. The brittle shell becomes tough and durable when properly smoked, traditionally over a fire of rolled tar-paper. Urchins are the most common users of these bucklers, but it is unclear whether the shells provide exceptional protection or if it's some odd placebo-effect due to the firmly-held beliefs of these roof-dwelling children and those who carry on their oral traditions. Anyone not knowing who Davy is/was or might have been according to the folklore of the Urchins is fair game to be robbed or worse. No roof-runner will ever reveal such a thing to a ground-lubber.
  11. Glazier's Clams. Translucent bivalves whose shells can be molded into replacements for glass window panes, if a glazier knows the ancient tricks of this sort of thing. The shell so treated is quite durable, but a bit too thin for clear viewing and half the weight and a quarter the cost of a comparable pane of glass. These shells are generally unsuitable for use in cold-frames, hot houses or herbariums, but they have been used in the creation of specialized, over-lapping shutters and blinds in some greenhouses. It is allegedly possible to fashion a sort of skrying mirror from these shells, but the technique is little known and probably buried within some forgotten tome moldering away in one of the many private libraries slowly rotting away in the abandoned districts.
  12. Fan Dancer Clams. Weird, alchemically-polluted clams that slither about the roofs of the abandoned districts of Wermspittle flapping their ornately grotesque shells like stiff, baroque wings. They might be harmless, or they could be carnivorous, some definitely have strange powers, but none of them are edible and most have their own ideas concerning how they should be treated that can give grown men nightmares for the remainder of their days.

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