Agents and Reagents: Ingredient Classification 8: Chitinous Plates

Although many of the more rudimentary armories across Tamriel favor the use of this raw material in their armor (befriend the Ashlander tribes of Vvardenfell, and they will love to instruct you on the benefit of these shells, compared to the leather armor favored by the western provinces), most folk haven't heard of the method of sealing parts of crab together with organic resins and wearing it for protection. Instead, most travelers carrying a burden of belongings, or poachers using the waterways of this realm as their hunting grounds, offer chitinous plates for sale, which we gladly accept.

Although ancient legends say that the now-extinct Snow Elves kept huge incests fattened in deep caves before harvesting their almost impenetrable plates, we must make do with the shells of mudcrabs, dreugh, and other vicious, pincer-wielding monsters that lurk in the mud of by the banks of a river. Oc course, slaying such unpleasant (and occasionally delicious) beasts is only half the battle; the quality of the carapace is critical to the price we pay.

I do not wish to be seen as a zealot, but I've never met and orc who hadn't ruined the carapace he was gruffly trying to sell by battering it first. Subtlety and forethought are needed when extracting the meat and organs from under the shell. Small daggers or specialized Argonian tools are recommended for keeping a carapace sturdy; otherwise those without the necessary finesse end up with cracked or peeling shells which we happily purchase, but at a price that can send the short tempered and ham fisted into conniptions.

Cracked Carapace

The shell of a creature that has been damaged during combat or subsequent removal.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Causes an adversary to protest greatly at the might of your strikes, whether with weapon or fist.
  • Keeps diseases at bay, whether you are coughed on by a corpse or bitten by bats.
  • Sends a wisp of ice to writhe about your weapon, which may afflict the enemy with the element of frost.
  • Summons a foul and pestilent vapor to hang from your weapon, which may inflict the enemy with a pox.
Flimsy Carapace

During removal, the sinews binding the carapace ripped or the piece wasn't suitably wrapped during travels.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Improves the ability to wound of those wielding axe, dagger, hammer, or sword.
  • Conjures the lick of flames to dance about your weapon, which may burn the enemy with fire.
  • Sends a crackle of energy to dart about your weapon, which may add a nasty shock to your strike
  • Dips your weapon in a purple poison that may sicken the enemy.
Sturdy Carapace

A carefully pried series of plates, with only minor blemishes, removed with great skill.

Proven Benefits (in Enchanting):

  • Reverses the deterioration of your health due to combat or fatigue.
  • Allows you to run up a hill and keep your breath, or to lift an Orc's mace and keep your strength.
  • Seals wounds and heals illness, regardless of infliction or infection.
  • Bestows a benefit surely vampiric in nature: magical harm to the for and occasional curing to the instigator. 
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