Having already covered spitters and scuttlers, it’s time I wrote on tunnelers. These horrific beasts make the skree even more of a nightmare to deal with than they already are.
It’s well known that dwarves live underground. The reason for this being so they can keep the skree hives under pressure and prevent them from breaking out onto the surface where their incredible numbers make them all but unstoppable.
Getting around underground, especially with dwarven geomancers around to stop you, is far from easy.
Tunnelers are the skree’s solution to this.
They burrow up and into the dwarven cities, creating a tunnel in their wake that other skree use to join the battle.
When they erupt out of the earth, tunnelers are indeed imposing. They look something like a beetle, only infinitely larger. Their sheer size and powerful mandibles make it a dangerous endeavor to kill one, but the true threat is the army of skree racing up the tunnel behind them.
Killing them means little as the army of skree will carve up the tunneler from behind and spew forth out of its corpse in mere moments.
I wondered how the tunnelers managed to borrow so fast without the passage simply collapsing from a lack of support, and from my research I discovered a curious adaptation.
Tunnelers secrete a substance that hardens and solidifies the passages they create, preventing cave-ins and generally making the earth extremely hard to close behind them. Even by magical means.
Tunnelers are surely the nightmare of any army. When your fortifications mean next to nothing, and the enemy can spring up wherever they want. Behind your lines. On your flanks. In your camps. Inside your lines.
They are the heralds of death. The first thing you see, bursting out of rock and earth, and the harbingers of far worse things to come.
- Nicholas Wolfram, Professor of Monsterology at Lestria University