The Vraal is a lizard-like creature that roams Dread Mountain and the Shadowlands. They are part of the Shadow Lord's army. Aggressive creatures created and bred only to fight, they are often used to fight prisoners in the Shadow Arena.
Tales of Deltora
The first seven Vraal were unleashed by the Shadow Lord during the Battle for Deltora, when Adin fought its army at the plains of Hira. Only the Jalis knights had the strength to stand against them in fair combat and were eventually able to kill them all.
After the battle, the Shadow Lord kept the Vraal chained underneath the Shadow Arena, where they fought prisoners and Grey Guards for sport. One of these prisoners, Jarred, became the first person to escape from the Shadow Arena.
Vraal frequently broke free of their prisons in the Shadow Arena and roamed the wastelands of the Shadowlands, killing anything in their path. Occasionally one would find its way to Dread Mountain to prey on Kin and Dread Gnomes alike.
The Deltora Book of Monsters
The Shifting Sands
After being captured by two Grey Guards after the Rithmere Games, Lief overheard them talking about the games being used to collect prisoners for the Shadow Arena. One of the guards said that, if the prisoners died on the way, the guards themselves would be the ones fighting the Vraal.
Lief, Barda, Jasmine, and Prin encountered a wild Vraal while attempting to reach Dread Mountain. The companions attempted to fight it, but were heavily outmatched. Lief's arm was slashed and Barda was nearly killed before Prin drove the Vraal away with Purple Moss.
While Lief, Barda, Jasmine and Emlis travelled to the Shadowlands, they encountered a Vraal near the Grey Guard Factory. They managed to escape it by entering the factory. It then savaged a pod of Grey Guards before being driven off.
Vraal are highly aggressive creatures, created by the Shadow Lord for the sole purpose of fighting. They live to fight and do not know the meaning of retreat. A Vraal considers fighting for their lives a sport and constantly seeks out more powerful and resilient enemies. If their eyes and ears are injured, they will flee in blind rage.
Although Vraal often act like wild animals, they do not have a low level of intelligence. In fact, a Vraal is highly intelligent when it comes to battling opponents. When the Vraal battled the companions on Dread Mountain, it smelled the fresh blood of Lief after it injured him. It relished the chance to taste fresh human blood since the blood of Dread Gnomes was thin and sour. The Vraal in the Shadowlands and Dread Mountain still wore the remainders of the iron collar that shackled it underneath the Shadow Arena. The one in the Shadowlands even considered it a testimony to its new freedom.
Vraal look like large bipedal lizards with hoofs for feet. They are taller and broader than the average man, covered in dull green and yellow-striped scales. With hulking shoulders, powerful arms, claws like knives and lashing tails, they are a menacing sight to behold.
Although not visible until opened, Vraal's mouths are full of long, needle-sharp teeth. Vraal have a pair of burning orange eyes beneath the protective ridges and folds at the front of their faces, as well as a set of eyes on either side of their head. Their side eyes do not see as well as their front eyes, but they allow them to see to either side and spot prey coming up from behind.
In the anime, the Vraal's appearance was changed greatly. It had a more triangular head, no visible teeth and the claws on its hands were greatly reduced. A single eye rested inside the Vraal's throat. The tail was also longer than depicted in the book and was the primary weapon.
Wild Vraal dwell in the Shadowlands and around Dread Mountain. The majority are kept chained underneath the Shadow Arena.
Vraal are carnivorous predators, eating Dread Gnomes, humans, Kin, Grey Guards and any other animal or creature unfortunate enough to encounter them. It prefers the blood of humans as it is “fresh” and ”sweet”, to that of Gnomes’, which it describes as “thin, bitter, like stale green water”.
- Rodda, Emily. The Deltora Book of Monsters. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
- Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2005.
- Rodda, Emily. The Maze of the Beast. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
- Rodda, Emily. Dread Mountain. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
- Rodda, Emily. The Shifting Sands. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
- Rodda, Emily. The Shadowlands. Scholastic Australia. 2002.