“The great hulk of the scaled beast lay wheezing before me, and I am not ashamed to say that I was frightened: though it was injured, I knew the dragon could easily tear me in twain. The young monk, however, knelt beside the creature’s head, whispering to it in a strange growling tongue. I questioned the woman, but she ignored me completely, engrossed in examining the scaly monster. After much badgering, she said merely, ‘I do not mean to be rude, but you are quite a distraction. Please, leave me to my work.’” -Jeron’s Great Journeys, Book III, Chapter 4
Swordbiters are parasites. They are long, thin and silver, and digest metal, somewhat like rust monsters, but smaller and more insidious. They resemble stick insects, but when they cling to metal they are very well camouflaged, and one can be biting your sword for a week before you notice it. They cannot be removed by hand, as they are very strong, but if the blade is inserted into fire they will leap off to escape the flames. Sometimes, old treasure hoards are infested with them, and the first glimpse you get of the "glittering" weapons is a pile of rusted swords encrusted with these thin silvery insects.