Found to frequent larger rivers and its tributaries,
Skirrins are small, fish-like creatures. Skirrins feed
on algae and insects nearby shores and can be easily
identified by their lurid, off-yellow colouring. Occasionally
mistaken for a 'cloud of pee', it has become a popular nickname
for the creatures between merchants and sailors. Thought to
be relatively harmless with their first appearance several years
ago, the Skirrin soon became regarded as a nuisance.
When started, Skirrin converge into a mindless shoal that swims
blindly in a straight line away from the potential threat. This can
lead to Skirrin become stranded on the shore (and promptly) dying, or
more in dire cases -- when they choose to swim inwards into deeper water,
ramming into passing or docked ships or rafts. This wouldn't be a cause
for concern, were it not for the creatures ability to pass through most
solid objects and leave small, gaping holes in their wake. Which have
a tendancy to sink ships. Especially if there are three hundred small
The scales on a Skirrins head are extremely hard, verging on
being unbreakable. In their frenzied moments of panicked fleeing,
they become dynamic underwater missiles, breaking clear through wood or
plank of any unfortunate ship that they may encounter on the way.
These missiles can also become airborn, should they flee shoreward.
There have been few accounts of fatalities from Skirrin, though a deal of
injuries have been recorded from the occasional fisherman who were too
close to the shore and happened to be ankle-deep in the water during a
landward fleeing of the Skirrin.
To deter Skirrin, Skirrin-wards are strapped over the sides of the ships. Long,
rope-wreathed tresses of bells and trinkets. With the noise and the racket,
the ships often succeed in scaring the Skirrin shoreward and away from the
ship. This is however, detrimental to anyone being on the shore.
A yearly Skirrin-hunting competition is held at the shore of the afflicted river,
by the village of Tekosilot, where young men from the fishing community
prove their worth by entering the waters (without getting a Skirrin lodged
within their bodies - although it occurs quite commonly during the event)
and retrieving a strand of Skirrins eggs from where they build their nests
upon river weeds in the sand-beds below the water. The eggs are considered
a delicacy and it also serves to keep the population numbers down. Skirrin
eggs have a translucent green appearance, and when left to dry outside of
the water become a hard and chewy and a more solid lime-green.
Skirrin's origins are still obscure, but it has been rumoured that they
were deliberately introduced after being smuggled in from a foreign land
to harm the economy. This might have been successful were it not for the
ingenuity Tekosilot, the profits garnered from selling the eggs, and the
invention of the Skirrin-Wards.