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Firetooth Skink

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Firetooth Skink
Threat levelLow to medium
Major featuresSexual dimorphism, lizard-like
Most common inNyka, the Aperture

It is relatively common to see brief flashes of light on the Aperture floor, told in some stories to be the Last Breath of a Fallen Star. However romantic their appearance, the lights are actually sparks made by the highly specialized teeth of the male Firetooth Skink. It could start a fire if there is something to burn, but its home is almost entirely made of stone, so this adaptation is used more commonly to attract the eyes of light-starved adventurers. With the promise of warmth and sight, this cat-sized lizard lures its prey into the mouth of the female Skink, which is more than eight times its size.

Appearance and behavior

Unlike most common lizards, the male Firetooth Skink has adapted a set of long, sharp teeth and a large jaw to sustain the muscle contraction required in igniting a spark with them. This gives his otherwise smooth, sleek body a somewhat lopsided look, making him seem more infantile and harmless than he is. It is rare to get close enough to this monster to see it, even in the light it creates, since it generally keeps its distance and uses the safety of mystery to attract a potential meal.

The female Firetooth Skink is rarely seen in its entirety. Upon maturation, she buries herself in the solid rock of the Aperture wall so that only her head remains in air, emerging only to lay eggs that are monitored by the males. When her mouth is open, her head is the size of a small house and can easily fit a human or similarly sized Aperture beast. Her digestive system has evolved almost complete efficiency, so that waste does not build up in her cave. What little does is occasionally cleaned and eaten by males whose tiny bodies can fit between her body and the stone around her. The male Skink’s main source of food is the scraps left in the female’s teeth after the prey is eaten.

At any given time, there are usually no more than a dozen female Firetooth skinks living in the Aperture, each with up to twenty males. To prevent competition, the female usually eats female hatchlings, but those that survive mature quickly and find it easy to dig a hole for themselves (or occupy an abandoned one) and collect a harem of young or banished males.


Everything that is known about this monster is written in a book called The Firetooth Skink: A Study in Polyandry, by a Nykan monk and scholar named Nathan Prest. They are almost never seen above ground, and until the book’s publication, the story of the Last Breath of the Fallen Star was a common one among the people. Many prospective monks are advised to seek out an empty Skink nest to sleep in during their three-day trial in the Aperture, as many other beasts avoid the smell and the chances of it being reoccupied are slim.