|Official Name: Medskala.|
|Common Nicknames: Scaleback, Mudfiend.|
|Habitat: Marshland and bogs, mainly those of Nordligga in Nordskag.|
|Current Status Rare.|
Feared as a merciless killer, and told of in the oral tales and stories of Nordskagian people, the Medskala is the apex predator of the Kingdom of Nordskag. Although similar in more ways than one to their serpentine cousins, these snakes are much bigger, more dangerous, and extremely cunning. The Medskala is reputed throughout Nordskag and generally given a wide berth by Nordskagians out of fear of being consumed.
First Recorded Encounter
While there had been hearsay about the presence of creatures in the Nordligga bogs, and rumors of people going missing, the first recorded report of a Medskala is told in an old document from the days of King Friedrich Ragnvald, in 103 A.C. After King Friedrich made efforts to expand into Nordligga, he sent Spydenhed patrols through the marshes and hills so to map out the environment. One such patrol was unfortunate enough to go into the deeper, darker marsh territories and was set upon by some mysterious snake-like beast who ambushed them. Two of five soldiers were killed, one reportedly squeezed to death in the snake’s coils and the other crushed in its maw. After more people began disappearing in the northern bogs and quagmires, most Nordskagians attributed it to the frightening reptiles.
The Medskala is not a commonly found creature, being quite cunning and reclusive in the swamps which it calls its home. Medskala is a rare sight in Nordskag, meaning only the most daring of hunters or the more curious scholars and studious types try to seek it out. However, due to the ever-changing fashion trends in Aloria, the scales of a Medskala have become an especially valuable commodity in some of the Northern states for their dark sheen and tough coating.
Medskala vary in height from the ground, some reaching the knee height of an average Ailor, others meeting 3 feet in height. In length, however, this changes drastically as Medskala have been known to reach 20 feet. Looking much like a snake, the Medskala’s head is roughly arrow-shaped with dark green eyes placed either side of the head and a small frill cresting each cheek. The Medskala, while not having any limbs, have a rather flat tail which helps propel them through the thick mud and waters of the Nordskag marshland. These huge snakes have been known to unhinge their jaws and swallow beings as large as Orcs, meaning that they’re quite the formidable foe.
Notable Physical Traits
Most Medskala have scales in shades of ochre and brown, though the patterns are known to be diverse. Diamond patterns are apparently most common, though some of the large snakes have adapted over the years to get light patches or blotches upon their scales in order to blend in better with the sludge and muck. These patterns tend to be valued more than the regular diamond-backed Medskala skins, given the rarity. Such scales are also reputedly quite tough. Medskala are also venomous, though as the serpents have grown over the many years of their existence and adapted to utilise their strength and surroundings, the venom has lost its potency. In smaller doses Medskala venom does little more than provoke nausea, severe lethargy, and heavy burning sensations in a victim’s chest and bite wound. In large doses, which a Medskala is unable to give itself, the victim is often put into a mild coma. For these reasons, the Medskala is a valued hunting target.
Origin and Diversity
It is thought that the Medskala originated sometime during the Cataclysm, though this is unclear and is only down to speculation. More likely, they expanded their range out of necessity during that time, preying upon the vulnerable. There are usually an equal amount of males and females in the Medskala population at any given time. Medskala live comfortably in colder climates, hence why they are well suited to Nordskag.
Life Span and Development
The exact lifespan of a Medskala is unknown, but none have been witnessed to survive more than thirty years. Medskala are born from eggs which the mothers hatch in secluded clutches deep into the Nordskag marshes, and the great snakes develop to their full size over a period of four years. Their fangs usually come in during their third year, and can supposedly grow to the length of a man’s hand.
A wild and unforgiving beast, the Medskala is regarded as a clever and cunning reptile due to its habits of trapping prey by ambushing it and dragging it back to its watery lair. A Medskala is reported to be ruthless and indiscriminate when it comes to prey, being a merciless killer who would latch its fangs onto the nearest source of life should it provide a hearty meal.
Territory and Groupings
Medskala are known to be individualistic, solitary creatures who live lonesome lives within the marshes of Nordskag. Medskala usually settle in territories of one to two mile ranges wherein they can have a nest and hunting area. The majority of territories are located in the thicker, more overgrown parts of the marshes and bogs where these snakes can remain hidden in the thicket and slime.
- In Nordskag, local folklore tells of the Medskala as a harbinger of Alu, the Old Gods deity of death and tragedy. Because of this, the Alumose marshes in Nordligga are generally avoided.
- King Olai Schaksson of Nordskag was known for his love of the Medskala, so much so that he allegedly wore a cape sewn from the scales and hide of one.
- Those who manage to slay a Medskala are known as impressive hunters, though the numbers of those who have killed one are remarkably low.