Razor Shell(Ensis arcuatus incognitus)

Not quite your regular tasty shellfish.

These are not your regular razor shells that are often fished for in the sea bed and make a tasty shellfish treat, but a rather more sinister variety.

In the desolate wastes of a dried up sea bed lurk the razor shells. These are close descendants of the more mundane razor shells found under the seas sands, but have been forced to evolve as their habitat dried up.

The shells still eke out an existence beneath the harsh wastelands of the dry seabed and have managed to do so via some remarkable adaptations. Their original cylindrical, cut throat razor, shaped bodies have grown longer. The bottom most section which is deepest in the sand sports long barbs, which help anchor it in place, but still allow it to burrow forward (downwards). A denser and harder shell protects the organism from heat and water loss, allowing it to go for long periods without water, while also providing internal pockets wherein moisture can be stored in times of rain.

Its most remarkable and devious adaptation however is the means whereby the shell is able to sustain itself. Where its ancestor filtered the water for tiny organisms, no such contemporary nourishment now exists. Instead the shell has had to become a devious ambush predator. The upward facing portion of its body has developed a barbed harpoon tongue of razor sharp hard mother of pearl. This harpoon is held inside the shell waiting for pressure from above, the Razor Shell having positioned its top end just below the ground level. When sufficient pressure is applied, coiled muscles shoot the harpoon upward. This action is similar to that employed in the nematocyst of the hydra polyp or jellyfishes stingers.

The razor is not as subtle in subduing its prey as a jellyfish however as it has no poison. Instead it relies on the devastating damage its harpoon does as it pierces its preys flesh. This is where the Razors length and anchoring barbs, as well as its extremely strong muscles, play their role.

The part of the shells body that is attached to the harpoon can stretch to double its normal length. With the harpoon anchored in place, its prey is unable to escape and eventually succumbs to exhaustion, blood loss and shock. This does not mean that the Razor Shell waits for its prey to die; indeed thin feeding tubes extend through a small hollow at the tip of the harpoon and start to dissolve and devour the preys living flesh moments after the harpoon strikes.

While Razor Shells can grow up to a meter long and project harpoons that could be lethal to larger animals, their primary prey is smaller animals. However they do not appear to be able to distinguish potential preys SIZ and often cause a nuisance as they lacerate feet or damage horses inner hooves and cause lameness. Most shells encountered are a more manageable size of roughly thirty centimetres, although there are always travellers’ tales of monstrously sized shells that have skewered horses from beneath the ground.

Razor Shell

STR2D6(6D6)*Move 1
CON2D6 7-10Hit Points 10
SIZ1D6 + 2 5-6Fatigue 19
POW1D6 + 48-9
Hit LocationMelee (D20)Missile (D20)Points
Lower Shell01-0501-026/4
Upper Shell06-1803-196/4
Harpoon Tongue19-20206/5
WeaponSRAttack %Damage
Harpoon175+101D4 + 2 (1D4)#

Note: The shell lies in wait just below ground level and will shoot its harpoon directly upwards as soon as it perceives pressure from above. As such it has a very high probability to hit. Due to its position in the ground it will only be able to strike the lower limbs of large prey, whereas small prey can be struck in most logical hit locations.

# Damage is always impale damage. Treat as a regular impale but also note an additional 1D4 damage per round that the harpoon remains in the wound where the Razor Shell still lives and starts digesting its prey.

* The higher STR score is to represent the shell anchoring itself in the ground should its victim try to match STR on the resistance table in order to pull the shell from its burrow.

Skills: Hide 100%
Armour: 6 point shell armour.

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