Sunday, October 2, 2016

Even a snail will eventually reach its destination

 
The mighty Temple Snail. Pictures Mangled By: Me
 
Pictures Mangled by Me: Any picture with this in its caption means it is a collage I made using 19th and early 20th century illustrations. All these illustrations are public domain, meaning I didn't rob anyone by using these pictures for my own gains. 
 
A giant form, gliding slowly forward with glacier surety. Human face, massive, looming before a squat building anchored to a shell on its back. It's body is slug-like, face's human skin transitioning to a mottled and slime texture where it is joined to the body. The shell visible below the building spirals in what few curves that can be seen. A confused look on its face, it voices a hooting so deep that it is felt more than heard. Movement from the structure on its shell, someone exits the building...

Poor and gentle beasts they were, before the start of the wars. This is an account of their former existence, an excerpt I saved from flames lit by Agents of the city. The mutilation of these poor souls is something Agents feel the city should be unaware of. - Peculiar Author

Mart'Ni, Eru (6M – 243). Traveling Shepherds: The Beliefs and Practices of Traveling Pastoral Clergy. Infinite City: Noismer Publishing House. Pg. 83

Any work concerning the Pastoral Clergy and their travels must also include an accounting of how these travels were made possible. 

The Pastoral Clergy tends to contain more women than men. Art By: Sergius Hrudy
 
Pastoral Clergy are capable of engaging in their transient lifestyle due to the relationship each cleric forms with a Keong. The Keong are a race of titanic, and sapient, gastropods. While they possess cognitive abilities that are inferior to humans, it is essential to understand that these beings are people.

The Keong reside in temperate plains of Rarebit within the Fa Lin peninsula, often called the Fiend Peninsula due to transdimensional rifts commonly found in the area. Their large nutritional needs mean that food scarcity is a constant threat with little to no flexibility between population and food levels.

Those of the Pastoral faith provide a guaranteed source of nutrition in exchange for carrying Pastoral temples on their backs. Their shells are gently shaped using miracles granted to the clerics by their Shepard Saints. The shells are shaped into tables to allow the temples to sit evenly upon them.

A scene from the Rarebit Peninsula. Art By: Edmund Dulac

Once attached, the temples are blessed with a number of miracles that remove the Keong's needs for food and water. Over the Keong's centuries long lifespan, they form bonds of friendship and love with the clerics assigned to the temples on their backs.

The Keong travel in a fortnight long circuit that connects with a large number of villages in a particular area. Once at a village a cleric will preside over a number of services before leaving, only to return fourteen days later. These travels persist until the cleric succumbs to their own mortality, at which point the Keong engages in a lunar month of mourning.

After the month, a new cleric begins the bonding process with the Keong, and their religious circuit begins anew.

Keong / Temple Snail
OSR / AD&D / LotFP
Activity Cycle: Primarily Day
Alignment: Neutral (they tend to be very docile unless provoked)
Intelligence: Low-Moderate (They display an intelligence beneath humans but above most animals)
Treasure: Whatever can be found within the temple on its back.
AC: 21 / -1
Move: 20 ft
HD: 12 + 12
THAC0 / To-Hit: 8 / +12
# of Attacks: 1 (Headbutt OR Spit Acid)
Damage -
Headbutt: 2D10 + 6
Spit Acid: 5D4+5
All Saves: 11
Size: 20 Long Wide and 40 feet Long. Temple usually 15 feet wide by 25 feet long.
Special Attacks -
Spit Acid: A Temple Snail can spit acid at an opponent within 60 feet (no range increment). Those struck with the spit must make a save versus Poison or take another 2D4+2 next round.

Special Abilities -
Susceptible to Salt: A handful of salt burns a Temple Snail as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

Immune to Mind Effects: The numerous blessings on them and the temple ensure they can never be forced to do anything, even by the clerics themselves.

Experience Award: 4,000

Inhabitants: A temple typically will have a single Cleric/Priest of level 1 to 3. On rare occasions a novice cleric may travel with the master cleric for purposes of training. This novice cleric will have a single Cleric/Priest level at the most. 

It is said that the skin of Pastoral Clerics possessed a radiance. Now they are no more. Art By: Odilon Redon
 
Pathfinder / 3.X
CR 9
XP: 6,400
N Gargantuan vermin
Initiative: -4
Senses: Senses Dark Vision 60ft.; Perception +1

DEFENSE
AC: 22, touch 4, flat-footed 22; (–4 Dex, +20 natural, –4 size)
HP: 126 (12d8+72)
Fort +12, Ref +0, Will +5
DR: 10/slashing or piercing Immune acid, mind-affecting effects
Weaknesses: Susceptible to salt

OFFENSE
Speed: 20 ft.
Melee: Headbutt +15 (4D8+12)
Ranged: Spit acid +3 (8D4+8 acid). Must make a Fortitude save (DC 22) or take another 4D4+4 acid damage next round.
Space: 20 ft.
Reach: 20 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 35, Dex 2, Con 22, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Attack: +9
CMB: +21
CMD: 25 (can't be tripped)

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Spit Acid (Ex): A Temple Snail can spit acid at an opponent within 60 feet (no range increment). With a successful ranged touch attack, the target takes 8D4+8 points of acid damage (no save). The target must make a Fortitude save (DC 22) or take another 4D4+4 acid damage next round.

Susceptible to Salt (Ex): A handful of salt burns a giant slug as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

The caretakers of the Temple Snails were replaced by soldier, their temples replaced by forts. Art By: Albert Robida

Pits and Perils
Attacks: 1
Level: 7
Move: 20'
Size: H
Side: N
Number: 1
Treasure: Type II

Susceptible to Salt: A handful of salt burns a Temple Snail as if it were a flask of acid, causing 1 Hit of damage per use.

Immune to Mind Effects: The numerous blessings on them and the temple ensure they can never be forced to do anything, even by the clerics themselves.

Spit Acid (Ex): A Temple Snail can spit acid at an opponent. This spit works like the Bolt spell only that it does 1D4 hits of acid damage with the same bonuses for level as the spell. The Temple Snail may only do this 3 times per day.