- "Let me tell you what to do. Dig a pit that's ten by two. Ash and elm and rowan too."
- ―Children song
The scrael are spider-like creatures considered to be demons by the commonfolk.
Scrael are black as slate and spider-shaped, about the size of a wagon wheel. Their feet are razor-sharp and they have no obvious eyes or mouth. The body of a scraeling is hard and smooth and feels like pottery. The tensile strength of its limbs can be compared to stone. It is also asserted that it has no blood or organs, appearing grey on the inside like a mushroom.
Scrael are known to always travel in packs of at least three. They are dangerous adversaries who attack living beings and cut them up with their feet. Fighting a scraeling with a sword is useless. However, they do exhibit some weaknesses. Specifically, they are susceptible to iron and fire. Pressing an iron piece to the body of a dead scraeling will cause a sharp crackling sound and an acrid smell of rotting flowers and burning hair. Keeping a piece of a scraeling's body would draw other scrael to your location. In order to destroy any traces of a scraeling completely, the body must be burned with rowan wood in a fire in a deep pit.
In The Chronicle EditWhile on his way to Baedn-Bryt, Carter encountered a scraeling two miles outside Newarre, past the Oldstone Bridge, where it attacked him and killed his horse, Nelly. Carter was ultimately able to kill the creature and leave with fairly minor injuries. He brings the body of the scraeling back to the Waystone Inn, where Kote uses an iron shim to determine whether or not it is dead, further adding to the impression of it being a demon. That night the inn's visitors disposes of the Scrael in what the Tehlin church deemed the proper way. Though this is supervised closely by Kote.
Later, Kote journeys out of town and into the woods to secretly bait and kill any remaining scrael near the town. He apparently does this by taking a piece of the original and also building an enormous fire to draw their attention. While Kote is preparing for battle, Chronicler stumbles upon him in search of sleeping grounds. Though Chronicler does his best to assist Kote in the affront he is fairly quickly debilitated and Kote displays his martial skill, killing five scrael on his own.
Their susceptibility to iron leads fans to speculate that the scrael are Fae creatures.