C is for Clams

Clams, oysters and other mollusks of the Empire

Rivers and lake of the Old World are full of life. Monsters or fishes are cliché. A game master can easily add some diversity by describing and using all the clams, oyster and other mollusks that live in fresh or salty, flowing or backwater. Those animals aren’t found only in the seas. Here are some ideas to use as encounters or plot hooks.



1
Precious shell. One specie is famous to produce shell of great beauty. Those shells are used by jewelers for ornating necklace or furniture. How easy to find and catch the animal is of course factored in the pricing.
2
Gourmet delicacy: The animal is used as ingredient in recipe for preparing meals for nobles and riches of the Empire. Might be a new trend related to alleged virtues like being an aphrodisiac.
3
Food resource: The animal is just a local food resource. Nothing special about it or make it appear like being special by it size or color.
4
Aggressive specie: those animals aren't passive or harmless. Use any other monstrous trait and apply it. From acid jet, poisonous spines, soporific cloud and everything else you need or want to use. For instance, one can introduce adhesive clams with a special ability to digest metal or leather. That’s a way to force character to stop by an armorsmith or leathersmith to have their equipment repaired. Of course local tradesmen price are 25% above normal.
5
Religious / legal complication. Some ancient tradition related to old faith, obscure laws dating from the ruling of a mad lord or local interpretation of religious tenet govern how these animals are treated. Like fishing, eating are prohibited or enforced. Or only locals can eat them on Markettag. Of course players don’t know that yet.


Illegal: these animals are addictive, invasive or tainted. They must be destroyed or not traded. Of course a black market exists and characters might become involved one way or another
6
Alchemical or spell component. Diving to find some component can be a perilous and challenging quest. For instance, bioluminescent compound found in some oyster but only during yearly reproduction season. Clams living in hot springs that are powerful component to cast spell protecting against fire elements.


Extend this table with your own ideas.

-JMT

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