Many of the monsters I’ve covered so far in my compendium are indeed rather frightening, but perhaps the one that poses the greatest threat is the skree.
Imagine a creature designed with only a single purpose: To exterminate all other life. Now imagine ten such abominations. Now imagine a hundred… a thousand… tens of thousands! Endless hoards of horrors created for war!
There are many varieties of skree, and each functions as a segment of an army. Each has a specific purpose in mind. And that purpose is death.
Some have razor-sharp legs, each coated with a deadly venom with a pair of scythe-like arms that slice through anything that stands in their way.
Others tunnel through rock and stone, destroying whatever feeble fortifications you erect so the armies may flood forth and decimate all.
Others spit gobs of acid that melt through steel!
And all have no mercy. They care nothing for your pleas and cries. They will butcher women and children alike and overrun the world.
So why haven’t they done so I hear you ask?
Quite simply… the dwarves.
For one cannot speak of the skree without also mentioning the dwarves and vice versa. Each is dedicated to the other’s destruction.
It is the dwarves in their fortress cities who keep the skree from swarming over the lands and consuming all in their wake.
The Great War never truly ended for the dwarves you see. Perhaps you’ve wondered why they seek riches and metals? Why they forge greater weapons than any other mortal race?
It’s simple. They’ve never stopped fighting. Never stopped waging war and fighting tooth and nail with the merciless skree.
They may seem greedy, and indeed they are, but there is a reason for that.
They have to be. Wars are expensive. They burn through blood and steel faster than any of the rest of us while they fight their never-ending war.
But, I digress… this is not a treatise on the dwarves and their culture, but rather one of the skree.
As you may imagine, the skree aren’t exactly easy to get information from. Sure, we can study their bodies, but that tells us little that we don’t already know.
We can’t talk to them either. I have found reports of the aptly named matrons being capable of intelligible speech, but they aren’t exactly forthcoming. The skree aren’t here to negotiate. They don’t engage in diplomacy or trade, at least not that I can find any record of, and so our opportunities to learn about them are few and far between.
However, after poring over countless documents and doing a bit of fieldwork, I have a few theories.
It is my belief that the skree follow a type of theocratic rule. I’m unable to confirm this, but from what little I have found it appears that the matrons who seem to act as the highest class of their society are all devout worshippers of an ancient primordial.
For, while their goddess is sealed away I have found evidence to suggest they still devoutly follow her and await her return so they might break through the fortress cities of the dwarves and finally swarm like a plague across the land.
I hope that day will never come…
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University