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Belt of Deltora300
Adin knew that he was the one who must fill the medallions in the belt.

Skimmer is in need of more information! Skimmer is lacking more detail in the History, from The Third Door.

Skimmer
Skimmer
General information
Alternative name(s)

Slay

Habitat

Caves underneath and inside the Wall of Weld

Diet

Meat, Jell

Status

Extinct

Attributes

Winged, pale skinned, large needle teeth, sensitive eyes.

Chronological information
First appearance

The Golden Door

Last appearance

The Third Door

The skimmer, known as the slay outside of Weld, was a leathery-winged bat-like carnivore that preyed on the humans and animals that lived in Weld. It attacked Weld in large numbers during the skimmer season each summer.[1][2]

History[]

The skimmers were genetic mutations that evolved from a clink colony that had settled inside the Wall of Weld. In the presence of jell, the skimmers adapted to the harsh environments in the dark cavities of the Wall, developing wings and bodies better suited for flight, at the cost of becoming sensitive to light.

Eventually the Skimmers began to leave the Wall at night to hunt within the city of Weld and the villages around the Fell Zone.

The Golden Door[]

Skimmers plagued the residents of Weld during a specific season. They would come out at night in large numbers and look for any prey among the Weld houses. Dirk, Sholto, Rye and Lisbeth prepared every evening for the skimmers that would come by sprinkling salt around the house and placing skimmer repellent. Skimmer attacks were becoming more and more common and this led to tumult in Weld. Weld residents, including Dirk, were getting increasingly angry with the Warden who did not take much action to reduce the skimmer attacks.

One day Dirk, Sholto and Rye were going to the square where they learned about a new challenge to go beyond Weld to find the skimmer source. The Warden was looking for volunteers who wanted to save Weld from the skimmers by destroying the enemy who sent them. Dirk and his friends Joliffe and Crell signed up the same day. They left Weld and Rye and Sholto did not hear from them anymore until the Warden sent a notice indicating that Dirk was presumed dead. Sholto also chose to volunteer for the quest after he became eighteen leaving Rye and Lisbeth behind.

One day Rye visited healer Tallus who was examining a dead skimmer specimen at that moment. It had been caught by a water trap that had been designed by Sholto. Tallus commented that the skimmers were getting larger and stronger. After leaving Tallus, Rye took a detour and saved a young goat at one of the houses that had fallen victim to skimmer attacks. He took the goat home but as soon as he got there he fell asleep. He was woken by Lisbeth only moments before dawn and they had to quickly get the house ready for the skimmers. In the haste Rye had forgotten about the goat and as a result it was torn to shreds by the skimmers.

Rye eventually went beyond Weld to look for his brothers and the skimmer source. After going through the Golden Door he learned that the skimmers did not fly during the night in the Fell Zone and the place beyond the Fell Zone, at least not to in that part of Dorne.[1]

The Silver Door[]

In an alternative future, the Shadow Lord discovered that jell had the ability to help plants and animals adapt to different conditions quickly. The people of Dorne were enslaved, forced to collect jell in great amounts. In the Harbour the Shadow Lord used the jell to breed skimmers that could hunt in sunlight, intending to use the monsters as a weapon in a plot to conquer the land of Deltora, off to Dorne's west. However, Rye, Dirk and Sonia went through the Silver Door to find Sholto and the skimmer source. Sholto had gone through the door long before Rye, Dirk and Sonia. He took on the identity of Vrett and worked undercover with the new breed of skimmers in the Harbour. He made plans to destroy the skimmers but quickly realised that it was almost hopeless because fire could not be used and the sea was behind a heavy valve.

Rye, Sonia and Bird's party were all captured and taken to the harbour to be used as test subjects for the new breed of skimmers. In the harbour Rye encountered Sholto who initially made no sign that he recognized Rye. Later he freed Rye from the prison to inspect a possibility to destroy the skimmers. They went to a room called the "dispatch area", which held a large number of living skimmers. He had come there in order to open a special, circular door at the end of the room. A pipe could be attached to this circular door in order to transport the skimmers between the dispatch area and vessels in the harbour; these vessels could carry the skimmers and use them to conquer other lands.[2][3] Rye eventually managed to open this door with the magic key from his bag of nine powers that the Fellan in the Fell Zone had given him a thousand years ago. When he opened the door all the skimmers in the dispatch area drowned when the room flooded with the water of the ocean that was outside, on the other side of the door.

Subsequently, Rye and Sholto made their way to the test area where Sonia and Bird's party were going to be used as test subjects for the skimmer test. After Rye silently managed to get all members of Bird's party to touch each other they could be brought to safety by using the feather, armour shell and hood. Eventually Brand suddenly screamed that the test subjects were gone and this startled Pepper who tore of the hood causing the companions to reappear in mid-air. A fight in the test area ensued during which the skimmers were eventually set loose by the supervisor. In the end one of the Ak-Baba was set free, as its cage was next to the testing area, and a fight between it and the skimmers emerged; the Ak-Baba would prove to be victorious.[2]

The Third Door[]

While coming back in Weld Rye, Dirk, Sholto and Sonia learnt that the skimmers in the harbour beyond the Silver door were not the only ones in existence. In the Keep they inspected damage that could have only been caused by the skimmers and later they also saw skimmers lying dead on the ground. As the companions helped with the situation in the keep, they encountered Tallus who showed Sholto a copy of The Lantern with an article about his new skimmer defence that he had designed. Tallus also got in an argument over the new defence with the Warden who did not think it will work.

The companions were able to escape the Keep and go beyond the wall again. Beyond the Third Door Sholto encountered a dead skimmer that got entangled in a bunch of vines. As the companions moved inland they learnt that the skimmers were not a problem inland as they did not fly so far. Later Rye tried to free Jett who had been imprisoned for attempting to murder Chieftain Farr. Rye got in an argument with Jett who believed that Farr was sending the skimmers to Weld and that is why Jett tried to kill him. He told Rye about his suspicions that Farr was going to use the pipeline to sent more skimmers to the Fell Zone without troubling the people in New Nerra. These skimmers would fly straight to Weld and wreak havoc on the city. This all proved to be untrue when Rye, Sonia and Jett saw the skimmers emerge from the Fell Zone during a skirmish between Rye and Jett on the pipeline.[3]

Habitat[]

Skimmers were native to the interior of the Wall of Weld.

Anatomy[]

Skimmers are four-legged, winged animals that look like enormous bats covered in pale, velvety fuzz. The snout is very similar in shape to a rat's and the ears are large like those of most species of bats, while the eyes are pale white, similar to chips of pale china. The mouth is also different from that of most bats in that it is filled with large needle-sharp teeth, perfect for biting through flesh. Long, broad venomous spurs jut from the legs, just above their claws while the feet sport eagle-like talons which are sharp as razors. Skimmers could grow as big as a half-grown Weld goat.

Behaviour[]

Skimmers were voracious predators, leaving their nests in swarms each night, descending upon any man or beast they caught in the open, paralysing the hapless victim with the venomous spurs on their hind feet, and tearing it apart in a feeding frenzy, similarly to sharks. Skimmers would even slam their bodies into windows and doors if they believed prey was on the other side. Their eyesight, however, was extremely poor, with even the tiniest amount of light causing them immense pain. It is presumed that, like bats, they used echolocation to detect prey, although it is also possible that they hunted by smell. If the latter is true, it would explain their feeding behaviour-sharks only go into their "feeding frenzy" once they smell blood in the water, so it would make sense that skimmers did the same when they got the scent of blood.

Diet[]

Skimmers were hypercarnivorous beasts that fed exclusively on flesh.

Trivia[]

  • The fact that skimmers were sensitive to light may be a nod to the old saying "As blind as a bat". In real life, bats have perfectly good vision, although they do use their echolocation instead of sight to see where they are going at night. However, this sensitivity to light may also be a reference to the fact that most cave-dwelling animals either have very small, weak eyes or do not have any eyes at all.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rodda, Emily. The Golden Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. January 1, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rodda, Emily. The Silver Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. April 4, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rodda, Emily. The Third Door. Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia. October 1, 2013.

See also[]

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