Elder Scrolls

The Fickle Nature of Mudcrabs

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Since first documented, the common Tamriel Mudcrab has always been described as vicious and dangerous, but dispatched by even a lowly farmer, given a sturdy pitchfork. Their Chitin is prized by alchemists of certain schools (though I would never use it), and their meat has been regarded as a delicacy in some parts of Tamriel, particularly Morrowind.

By their nature, they seek to defend their rivers, streams, and beaches from what they seem to think is a threat to their territory. They tend to cluster in groups and attack any that come by, fearless, with an overblown sense of their combat prowess. Nothing could turn away the ire of the common mudcrab save for a well-placed strike of an arrow or axe.

In my time studying the specimens on the shore of the Bjoulsae, I've noticed an odd tendency in recent months. Where normally, I must tread carefully to avoid their notice lest I am forced to kill the subject, recently, I've been able to make close observations, even so far as to pet the carapace without them reacting.

Last week, I sat in the middle of a clutch, unmolested, fervently noting all the details I tend to miss in more distant studies. However, they are not completely docile. They will respond if directly provoked. I observed as a Bear tried to pry one open, and a whole clutch came to the defense of their kin, forcing the bear to flee.

I am positive that they notice me. It's not just ignorance. One even came over and ran his feelers over on my hands, as if he were studying me! What has changed? Is it a breeding season? Could there be something in the water affecting their behavior? Could the troubled times be affecting them? I will continue my observations to find out more.


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