Skelts are dark creatures found in the north of the County.
Habitat and Range
Skelts are aquatic, found chiefly in cold, slow-moving rivers and bogs. However, given the chance they will inhabit any slow body of freshwater, such as Caster's canal. Skelts, like most other creatures of the dark, shun salt and as such do not live in oceans, bays, estuaries, etc. Skelts, though emerging to travel and feed, make their homes in the caves and crevices of their natural habitat.
Skelts are found in the north of the County, such as Caster's waterfronts, where fresh water abounds, but because of their rarity and the mystery surrounding them it is quite possible that skelts live in other bogs of the County as well.
Skelts resemble huge, pale insects with long, thin, multi-jointed legs. Despite their size, Skelts can fold themselves into very narrow space. The exoskeleton of their segmented bodies are hard and rigid like a crustacean. The Skelt's most distinctive feature is its blood-sucking proboscis, which is “a long hollow, bony tube protrudes from its snout. The tube’s sharp and pointed at the end so the creature can suck up the blood of its victims”.
Like other creatures of the dark, Skelts are chiefly nocturnal. They hide in caves and other burrows during the day and come out at night to hunt, either swimming through deep water or scuttling across short areas of land to find the warm blood of mammals. The skelt's long snout is quite efficient in sucking the blood of its victims, as it turns a red color as soon as feeding commences.
Magic and Lore
The Skelt is greatly prized by water witches, who use it in their rituals. They allow it to drink the blood of a sacrificial victim over a period of days. Once the victum is dead, the witches dismember the skelt alive and eat it raw. This triples the power of blood magic gained.