Snail Mail just got a whole lot weirder.
Flail Snail Fails
The Flail Snail is an elemental creature of earth. It’s shell grants it various antimagic properties. They attack with the five mace-like tentacles on their head, and will pack a real whallop right off the bat, but slowly lose steam and become easier to fight.
Flail Snails exist on the Elemental Plane of Earth, and seem to originate from there. However, they seem to also exist in the Prime Material Realm, and are highly sought after for the myriad of uses their bodies have. Half a dozen different magic items use Flail Snail ingredients, and more use them combined with others.
Originally from their own plane, Flail Snails seem to show up rarely, but in a massive variety of places of earth relation: Valleys, Mountains, Sewers, and even Asteroids. This rarity could be connected to their alien place of origin, or their extreme value to alchemists and hunters.
When fighting against a Flail Snail, you’re going to be taking a lot of damage right off the bat. But when 10 damage has been dealt, a Flail is removed, and the Flail Snail has less power behind it’s punch.
The bright and shimmering shell gives it advantage on saving throws vs spells, and all spell attacks targeting it have disadvantage. This means that the Flail Snail has an easier time dealing with magic. When a spell misses, the Flail Snail’s shell activates a multicolored effect that can cause different reactions with the people around it.
The Flail Snail also has two forms of defense-specific actions. It can cause bright and flashing colors to project from its shell, which causes attackers to have a harder time fighting it, by lightly blinding them. It can also tuck into it’s shell, bringing it’s already high 16 AC to a massive 20 AC. The one downside to tucking in and getting protection, is the lack of ability to attack.
One final, and pathetic, ability of the Flail Snail is related to it’s tentacle Flails. If it loses all five, but doesn’t die, it will hide back into it’s shell, and emit a sad and shrill shrieking noise. After 5d6 minutes it will die, unless it’s flails are healed through the regeneration spell.
By far the best part for the hunters of a Flail Snail are getting to slowly carve it up and sell it’s parts. For instance, it’s shell alone can be sold for a clean 5,000 GP. The many alchemical and magical properties of a Flail Snail corpse would make a list a mile long, so let me share just a few.
It’s shell can be ground up and added to dye so that a clever crafter could make a Robe of Scintillating Colors or it can be carved up into up to three shields, which are perfectly crafted into Spellguard Shields.
The digestive organs of the Flail Snail can be boiled and broken down to use as ingredients for an Elixer of Health, which is how it negated poisons.
It’s skin and mucus can be ground and used as an ingredient for Potions of Fire Resistance. This mucus could also be used in a Potion of Climbing.
One would assume you could also turn the flails into some form of weapon, but they’re very weak when not connected to the greater snail body.
The taste of a Flail Snail, is one of salt. Pure and unfiltered, just, sticky, hard-to-swallow, salt. It sticks in your mouth and your throat, and it just won’t go down. The worst part is, if you don’t mix it with some sort of softener, you’ll actually get it stuck in your throat, as it solidifies into a glass-like substance.
A Flail Snail smells very similar to it’s taste. Salty, like the ocean, but with a distinct, uncomfortable, wet muddy smell as well. Like a pit of mud filling with just enough water to break out the bad smells and earth rot.
The feeling of being whacked by the flails of a Flail Snail is a mixture of soft-yet-solid fleshy mass. It hurts bad, and can break bones easily. The mucus feels like almost dry glue, just barely grasping you and attaching you to whatever surface it’s on. The shell feels slick and metallic, like a chrome-plated version of a seashell.
The sight of this bulbous and aggressive mass is light colors with a slightly translucent skin. You can see the insides of it moving around, like the skin and mucus is a foggy shower curtain.
Flail Snails don’t make much noise besides the squelching and squishing of moving around. The one noise they do make, and are known for, is their death cry. They shriek and wail the entire time they die, and it’s honestly heartbreaking and pathetic. Think of it like the sound a dog or a cat makes when you step on their tail, except it’s over the course of 5d6 minutes.
All in all, the Flail Snail is unexpected in every sense of the word. Every time you read through the statblock, you remember something weird that it has that you completely forgot. Whether that’s a magical shell, a full head of flails, or the fact that it’s an Elemental, you’re always learning new things about the Flail Snail.
So why not learn how to love it instead of fight it? The Flail Snail just wants to be left alone. But, if threatened, it will mess your face up big time. Unless it gets attacked, then it’ll cry and you’ll feel terrible about yourself.
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Image Sources: Wizards of the Coast
Roll a D20 to see what the Flail Snail is up to.
1: Enslaved by cruel pirates.
2: Trying to climb a tree to eat fruit.
3: Smacking the tree with its head to get fruit to drop.
4: Sitting in a hole, eating bugs.
5: Squishing along the beach, looking for a new shell.
6: Rolling down a hill, enjoying the dirt and rocks sticking to it’s gluey skin.
7: Eating a rock. Slowly.
8: Jiggling along to a really good viola player.
9: Playing Chess against themselves. Slowly moving from one side of the board to the other.
10: Regrowing a Flail.
11: Rubbing it’s Flails in ink and then painting on a canvas. It’s not bad actually.
12: Giving a small child a ride.
13: Playing the drums with their Flails.
14: Leaping off a small hill while spinning their Flails, in an attempt to fly.
15: Sleeping in their shell. Children are painting on it’s shell.
16: Dragging around various large objects for a person with a whip.
17: Sitting on the shoulder of a large Earth Titan.
18: Trying to escape a really hungry Xorn.
19: Making glass on a large wheel for some windowmakers.
20: Making bubbly noises happily.