Watch out for the skritt. Oh, one is amusing enough, but imagine two…or twenty…or two hundred of the blasted things! No, you’d better exterminate the entire colony of them now and be done with it—before things get out of hand.
—Dlixx, inventor of the ‘Better Mousetrap’ Mass Trauma Wargolem
The Skritt are a race of scavengers that bear a strong resemblance to rats. They were forced up from the subterranean homes by the Great Destroyer and now find refuge in the Maguuna Jungle. They intend on spreading to other parts of Tyria
in the coming times. Some of the oldest writings in Tyria mention the Skritt. They speak of the simple appearance of the Skritt, and how one could be so easily deceived by the cunning race.
The Skritt come from deep beneath the surfaces of Tyria, and have had a long lasting rivalry with the Asura
. In fact many Asura believe in the extermination of all things Skritt. Many mistake these cunning creatures for simple vermin, but upon closer inspection can clearly see that these beings wear clothing and carry weapons. Skritt speak in a very fast and confusing manner, many cannot understand their speech. For years many believed that they were incapable of speech, only using quick chirps and squeeks to communicate at a speed so fast it sounds like simple buzzing to human ears. One can easily see that this is untrue however, once Skritt are observed in large groups their intelligence seems to grow. A lone Skritt has enough intelligence to survive and perform basic tasks, but when many Skritt congregate and decide to work together their intelligence seems to greatly increase. A colony of several hundred Skritt works almost as a hive mind, due to their ability to communicate with one another at almost unimaginable speeds. Colonies of Skritt working together have enough intelligence to rival even the Asura. The Skritt are seen as moochers by the Asura and many others that come into contact with them. Even in large colonies the Skritt are not skilled craftsmen, tacticians, or scientists. They are able to to craft crude weapons and simple things necessary for survival, but little else. However the Skritt are curious creatures, and if given enough time around another species inventions will learn how to replicate them almost flawlessly.
Conflict with the Asura
Because the Asura and the Skritt both spend a majority of their lives underground, they have long had territorial conflicts with one another. Resources and territory is scarce underneath Tyria, and the Skritt and Asura have been at each others throats for as long as most can remember. One would assume that the Skritt would easily be eradicated by the much more intelligent Asura, this is untrue. While the Asura have the advantage of technology and intelligence, the Skritt have power in numbers. The Skritt's extremely fast reproductive cycle allows them to replenish their numbers much faster than the Asura could ever dream, evening the battlefield. The Asura use this quick reproductive cycle as an excuse to regularly massacre the Skritt, telling the people of Tyria that the Skritt would overpopulate the lands if they were not killed.
When the Skritt and Asura were forced out of their underground dwellings by the Great Destroyer, their conflict did not disappear. The Skritt had difficulty adjusting to the surface and many died due to separation from their colonies, and the Asura were delighted at this. Believing that the Skritt had been wiped out for good, the Asura payed little attention to them anymore. However many Skirtt survived and are living in isolated groups, still pestering the Asura when given the chance. The Skirtt have began to make alliances with the Sylvari
, they are relatively trusting of these races. They still encounter danger when near Asura or Charr
, as many still see the Skritt as vermin.
Skritt leaders naturally evolve into their positions. The Skritt do not have elections or trials of skill, instead the Skritt who is most efficient in conveying information to the rest of the colony. Once a leader has clearly taken his/her place they are respected and trusted by the colony, usually unanimously. The Skritt value numbers and the exchange of information above all else, as this is their best chance of surviving, and commune in mass once every moon. This is done usually once every full moon. When all the Skritt gather at the chosen location, they share mass amounts of information about current events and prepare for difficulties they may face in the coming month. The Skritt only have a faint sense of 'faith' and have a stronger feeling of empathy. The Skritt believe that life only exists so that one may have pleasures and create good memories. They are hedonists and scavengers. They will gladly let another do the work that awards them with happiness, and though they are scavengers they are not the kind that will freely dig through ones trash or steal from deserted campsites. They are more the type of scavenger that will convince an adventurer that their sword is too heavy and not worth their time, so why not give it to them? They do not value shiny objects that many scavengers look for, as they have little practical use in relation to survival.
Skritt live in 'scratches', which are large hallows or caverns and are far too lazy to run farms or mills. The Skritt do have some architecture and choose to build huts close to a common area where items they scavenged can be seen and used by the colony. Skritt male and females are nearly indistinguishable from one another, and only some Asura can tell them apart, as they are one of the only races to have had prolonged interactions with the species. A female Skritt will give birth to a litter roughly three to five times during their lives. Sadly however many Skritt young die before they reach maturity because of their lack of intelligence, this is a sad turn of events because it is widely known that Skritt parents care a great deal for their young. They pamper them in the finest items they find while scavenging to show their love. Many races that have interactions have a difficult time conversing with the species because of how alien their speech is. Skritt regularly assume that other species understand them, and will speak very quickly expecting others to understand them.