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Bestiary: drowner

Bestiary: drowner

Muire d’yaeble? Trifle, really. Fighting them is pretty easy, although when a colony appears in the area, one has to get really busy and really wet to eradicate the whole thing.  Most times, when I see such a contract, I don’t get off my horse. There are no precious ingredients hidden in that filth, maybe the brain and a bit of cadaverine; and the payment is shit. Not worth it. And the hunt itself? It’s best to lure the bastards out of the water. When you fight one in its environment, you halve your chances of success. And you have to remember that if you see one drowner, there’s probably a lot of them hiding nearby. If you want to earn your money and be honest about it, you have to kill them all.

— Njall of Ard Skellige, a Cat School witcher

What plagues our village are carrion-eaters that live in the waters, creatures called “drowners” by the common folk. They lurk under the water,  nearby the lake and pond shores, places often approached by people, only to suddenly jump out, catch victims in their clawed hands and drag them into the deep. I didn’t believe those stories until I saw such a nasty creature with my own eyes – it drowned a peasant that was returning home from the tavern. That is why I ask you, my liege, to allow me to hire a witcher. The peasants are too afraid to sail out and that may impair the Baron’s finances.  

— from the letter of Ludwig Boreisa, the mayor of Fishery, to his senior, Baron Vulko Strenger

So it dragged me into the water and I thought that was the end of me. Here, on me neck. You can still see the beastie’s claw marks. Then there was a lot of things happening at once, something grabbed me by my hair and dragged me out to the shore. From there I saw a man wearing black, standing knee-deep in the water, hacking the monsters with his sword. I started screaming only when I realized that the thing holding my neck was that filth’s hand… cut off. So now you now, good sir, why nowadays I don’t even like getting close to a well.

— Istvan, once a ferry operator on Pontar

Tomasz Lewandowski

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