The Talismans of Shannara
The Skaar Invasion
Tall, lean and cadaverous. A skeletal frame with skin stuck tight against its bones. Its face was a skull in which the jaw hung open slackly and the eyes stared out without seeing. It wore no clothing; its body was neither male nor female, but something in between. Its breath clouded the air before it, a vile green mist.
It lacked any semblance of identity: it was human-shaped but had no skin or bones. It was a raging cloud of darkness, buzzing and shrieking. The cloud looked like flies or mosquitoes trapped in glass, so thick that they blocked out the light. The wicked sounds it emitted seemed to warn it hid within its spectral form an evil too dreadful to imagine.
More recognisable than the previous two. Armoured head to foot it bristled with spikes, cutting edges and weapons: maces, knives, swords, battle-axes and a huge spike strung with skulls and finger bones laced together in a chain. A helmet hid its face but eyes that were as red as fire peered through the visor.
Cloaked and hooded and as invisible as night. No eyes could be seen within the cowl and no hands showed to be gripping the reins of its sinewy mount. It hunched forward like a very old man crippled by age and time, bent and gnarled but there was no sense of weakness about it. It rode steady and sure – all that crippled it was the weight of the burden it bore for the lives it had taken. A scythe was slung across its back.