|“||Come to me little kittens. Come and taste the power of the ancient times.||„|
|~ Skroa (before defeating the mightiest beast-men fighters)|
Skroa the Cunning is a major villain in the French comic book series Les Légendaires (The Legendaries). He is the last member of his demonic kind, and competed against Darkhell for the conquest of the world of Alysia. He returns early in the story but he is not seen for many tomes, until he attempts to steal a divine artifact to take over the world. Much later, he strikes a bargain with the beast-woman Sheibah to return once more but he is killed by another one of his rivals, the female demon Amylada.
Skroa is the last of the Galinas, a kind of bird-like demons, and a powerful Demon Sorcerer. Centuries before the start of the series, the Galinas and another kind of demons known as the Chiridirelles waged war to near extinction. Skroa eventually defeated Amylada, the last of the Chiridirelles, and built himself a castle. He took Amylada captive and performed experiments and unspeakable tortures on her for six hundred years.
Skroa established himself as a Demon Sorcerer and built up his forces with the intention of taking over the world of Alysia. Unfortunately for him he found a rival for world domination in Darkhell, the dreaded Dark Sorcerer. Both sorcerers eventually fought and Skroa was defeated and trapped in a glass prison that nullified his magic powers. Quite ironically, Darkhell submitted him to the same fate he inflicted upon Amylada and kept him as a guinea pig for experiments and tortures as awful as that he had performed himself.
A few years before the start of the series, Darkhell gained the Stone of Jovenia, one of the six Mystical Stones holding powers over all things that the gods used to shape the universe, planning to use it to gain eternal youth. The Dark Sorcerer tested the Stone on Skroa, turning him back into a powerless bird. Yet, before Darkhell could use the Stone on himself, the Legendaries (the group of heroes who opposed him) stormed his castle and engaged a fight against him. In the ensuing fight, the Stone of Jovenia was broken, destroying the castle and turning everyone in the world back into children.
Skroa is arguably one of the most despicable villains of the series, and considering how bad the others can be that is saying something. He is cruel, ruthless, ambitious, arrogant and selfish. He cares only about his own interest and is willing to leave thousands to a certain death to reach his goal, cynically stating that such people has no place in the world he intends to shape. In stark contrast with the genuine fatherly love that Darkhell displays towards his daughter Ténébris, Skroa calls his creatures his "children" but he makes clear that he considers them as lowly servants, and cannot stand their displays of affection.
Despite being a highly powerful sorcerer and a deadly foe in battle, Skroa is not much of a fighter. He is cowardly and never hesitates to flee when the odds are against him, even by a very small margin. He fights by striking his foes at distance, by neutralizing them with magic or overwhelming them with his creatures, and only deals the finishing blow when he is sure of his victory. As such he can be taken by surprise when confronted with weaker yet faster and more experimented foes. However, underestimating him would be a very, very bad idea.
True to his nickname, Skroa is a very intelligent and resourceful schemer, who was able to use the Legendaries to lead him where he wanted to twice. He mostly works by using others from behind the scenes and placing his servants to pull the strings to his advantage. He also displays this intelligence in his battle tactics. However, not unlike many similar villains, he tends to be overconfident to a fault.
Powers and Abilities
Skroa is an extremely powerful sorcerer, whose raw magical might and mastery of magic is only rivaled by that of Darkhell. As a bird-like demon, he also has huge physical strength and powerful talons, and is able to fly and to use his feathers as darts.
Skroa can teleport and masters a wide array of spells; and fights with blasts of dark energy and by infusing his feathers with his Dark Magic to turn them into dangerous projectiles. By infusing his feathers with his magic, he can also cast spells on what they touch. He mostly uses his power by launching his feathers on rocks to create huge and powerful golems. (He is able to do it with feathers he used as projectiles, using two magical effects in one move). Moreover, he also used his ability to create beings from his body parts to give birth to living clones of himself from his limbs. But since he must mutilate himself to do so, he only did it once.
Role in the Story
ReturnAt the beginning of the story, the Legendaries (the knight Danael, the mage princess Jadina, the beast-man Gryf, the Elementary Elf Shimy and the barbarian Razzia) travel through the cursed land of Klafooty (a pun on "clafoutis", a kind of French cake) searching for a way to reverse the Jovenia Incident. There, they encounter an amnesiac boy with incredible yet uncontrolled magic powers called Elysio, who travels with his bird pet Vertig with the same goal in mind.
Elysio eventually befriends the Legendaries and travels with them, but they come across the Zar-Ikos ("les Zar-Ikos" being a pun on the pronunciation of "les haricots", the French for "the beans"), a kind of plant-people created by Darkhell. It turns out that Elysio is none other than the Dark Sorcerer, who lost his memories after his defeat at the hand of the Legendaries.
The Zar-Ikos capture the Legendaries and prepare a potion to give Elysio his memories back. Vertig then helps the Legendaries escape by spitting water on Shimy's face, enabling her to user her elementary power to turn into water and break out of her restrains before freeing the others. The Legendaries abduct Elysio before he can drink the potion and turn back into Darkhell, and are saved by the Silver Falcons: a group of elite knights who were turned into monsters by the Guardian; a being created by the gods to protect the six Mystical Stones who rules over Klafooty.The Legendaries enter the Guardian's castle and fight through the deadly trials they must overcome to gain the Stone of Crescia; but they all die one by one until only Danael is left. Before Danael can use the Stone of Crescia to give back the population of Alysia its real age, Vertig appears out of nowhere and swallows the Stone, turning back into his real form: the Demon Sorcerer Skroa.
It is then revealed that Skroa's prison was destroyed in the chaos following Darkhell's defeat. As he flew through the ruins, he found out that Darkhell was turned into an amnesiac child. Knowing that the child would search for a way to get back his memories, Skroa decided to remain by his side as a pet bird, intending to steal the cure his "master" would find for himself.
After Elysio's encounter with the Zar-Ikos, Skroa choose to help the Legendaries prevent Darkhell's return and followed them through the Guardian's trials. (The Guardian knew about it, and even confronted him knowing his real identity, but being absolutely neutral he let him be.) As Skroa is about to kill Danael, Jadina (who was saved thanks to Gryf’s sacrifice) strikes him from behind with a bolt of magic and wounds him, prompting him to teleport away. But the princess was too grievously wounded in the trials and she dies in Danael’s arms. Fortunately, the Guardian revives them all and restores the Silver Falcons back to normal to reward their efforts.
Attack on Jaguarys
|“||One piece of advice: Before taking on one enemy, make sure that the previous one is really dead.||„|
|~ Skroa (attacking the protagonists from behind)|
Long after the deities left Alysia, they have returned and are disgusted by the fact it is now only populated by children. As such, they order the Legendaries to find the Horn of Sygma left by the God Misery within two weeks, and use it to give back the population its real age; otherwise they would destroy the world. (They also reveal that the potion would have been useless.) Meanwhile, an ominous figure clad in a hooded cloak watches the entire exchange. An ominous figure whose yellow eyes and blue-green feathers betray his identity: Skroa.
On their way towards the mountain of Lovinah, and the secret city of the jaguarians (a kind of beast-men to which Gryf belongs) where the Horn of Sygma is located, the Legendaries meet a young ninja apprentice called Shun-Day who asks them to let her help in their mission. She witnessed the deities' apparition and taking part in such a quest is the last step required in her training.
The Legendaries welcome her in their group and gradually befriend her along their journey. Upon reaching the mountains of Lovinah, it becomes clear that mankind hates and fears the jaguarians, who are frequently killed or sold as slaves for gladiator fights, a fate that Gryf suffered before joining the Legendaries.
The more the Legendaries venture into the mountain, the more Gryf's health decreases, and he passes out for entire days because of a violent headache. At some point, they are attacked by slave-drivers wanting to capture and sell Gryf, but Skroa -who is tailing the Legendaries- brutally slaughters their attackers without them knowing. Things turn for the worst when Gryf inexplicably turns into a feral killing machine who attacks his friends, grievously wounding Shimy before being drugged into sleep by a jaguarian looking exactly like him.
It turns out that Gryf is in fact Anoth-Cha the prince of Jaguarys, the jaguarian kingdom, who lost his memories when he got captured by slave-drivers who took away his Katseye: a talisman which protects the jaguarians from a genetic ailment called the Chakounia, the very same disease which turned Gryf into a feral beast. Gryf's twin brother King Kel-Cha also reveals that the power of the Horn of Sygma keeps Jaguarys in an alternate space safe from human persecution, which can only be entered when invited by a jaguarian.
However, the Legendaries need the Horn to save Alysia from Dawn and Dusk and Danael is (grudgingly) resolved to sacrifice the jaguarians for it. Before they can solve their different Skroa manages to enter the city, destroying many buildings and killing dozens of jaguarians. Danael and Jadina recognize Skroa and offer to team up with Kel-Cha against the Demon Sorcerer.
Skroa reveals that he was after the potion stolen by "El Diablo", but decided to go after the wish-granting Horn of Sygma upon witnessing Dawn and Dusk's appearance. He intends to use the Horn to become so powerful than even the twin deities would cower away before him, and then take over the world he would have "saved". But since each wish cancels the previous one, the jaguarians would lose what protects them from mankind and be doomed to extinction. Yet, Gryf resolves to take the Stone of Crescia from Skroa's belly to reverse the Jovenia incident without endangering Jaguarys.Skroa creates an army of golems to overwhelm his foes and kills one of Kel-Cha's closest bodyguards. A healed Shimy then enters the fray and uses her power over earth to wipe out Skroa's golems and to crush the demon under a giant boulder, seemingly killing him. Jadina then notices that Skroa cut off his right arm and they understand that Shun-Day, who always concealed her right arm is in fact a creature of Skroa born from it... and she volunteered to get to the Horn of Sygma to "protect" it.
It now becomes clear that Skroa sent Shun-Day to infiltrate the Legendaries with a plausible motivation (and false certificates to boot); so that when the Legendaries, including Shun-Day who is technically a part of him, would be granted access to Jaguarys, he would be granted access as well. He would then distract the Legendaries and the jaguarians while Shun-Day would steal the Horn from him.
The Legendaries, along with Kel-Cha and his remaining bodyguard, rush in time to stop Shun-Day, who reveals her true form. Gryf attacks her in a rage but she displays immense strength and knocks him out with surprising ease. Just when the others are about to overwhelm her, Skroa appears behinds them and paralyses them all with a spell. As Shun-Day happily runs towards him, he viciously backhands her, scolding her for displaying affection while she is but a tool to him.
He then orders her to kill Gryf and his friends, who are telling her that she does not deserve the way Skroa treats her, but she cannot resolve to do it and instead removes Gryf's Katseye talisman, causing him to fall prey to the Chakounia. A feral Gryf rushes towards Skroa before the demon can strike him with a spell and hits him so hard that he regurgitates the Stone of Crescia, turning back into a harmless bird.
Danael then agrees to let Shun-Day depart freely with her "father", warning her not to cross the Legendaries' path again. Dawn and Dusk appear right after and take back the Stone of Crescia, ordering the Legendaries to sacrifice the jaguarians to undo the Jovenia Incident. However, an incensed Gryf (who got his Katseye back) punches Dusk and tells the twin deities that they lost all right over Alysia when the gods left it eons ago. It appears that this very attitude was what the twin deities were wainting for all along. Very pleased with this, they leave Alysia untouched. Still, Dusk who knows the future cryptically states that one of the Legendaries will bring about the end of Alysia for real.
Alliance with SheibahFew months after Skroa's attack on Jaguarys, the powerless demon and his "daughter" got captured by vengeful jaguarians and sentenced to death. However, the Jaguarian High Priestess Sheibah convinced King Kel-Cha to spare Skroa's life in exchange for his cooperation.
After the God Anathos reincarnated himself within Danael and crushed the Legendaries, Gryf came back to Jaguarys to heal and train, and Sheibah told him that she was working with Skroa and Shun-Day to create a new type of Katseye that would enable its bearer to use the Chakounia to increase his strenght tenfold without ill effects. Sheibah offered Gryf to get the first of those special Katseyes and use it against the God of Evil, which he did.
However, the High Priestess had ulterior motives to work with Skroa. Indeed, she wanted to get her revenge on mankind since some slave-drivers stole her son Razorcat's Katseye, condemning him to an incurable Chakounia. Some times after Abyss's defeat, she left Jaguarys with her son and Skroa, enlisting the Sorcerer’s help to gain the four pieces of the key to the prison of the evil god Eternity, since Skroa knows their location. Sheibah wants to become Eternity's host and use his power to restore Skroa and Razorcat to normal, before wiping out mankind. Gryf, who got engaged to Shun-Day, calls forth the Legendaries to track down Sheibah and end the threat.Skroa's life would come to an end when the Legendaries caught up with the High Priestess. Indeed, Razzia rescued Amylada from the ruins of the demon's old lair and promised her to kill him if she would replace his right arm that Anathos cut off and grant him her power.
Upon seeing Skroa, an enraged Amy rips him to shreds just as he was fleeing the scene out of abject terror, no longer caring for his pact with Sheibah whatsoever. But Amy's wrath has yet to be quenched and she is now howling for Shun-Day's blood. Furious at Razzia for trying to hold her back, she possesses him and attempts to kill Shun-Day (who is shape-shifted as a female jaguarian), but Gryf confronts her to protect his betrothed, stating that she is innocent of her creator's crimes.
The conflict is eventually solved when the Legendaries, Shun-Day, Sheibah and Razorcat are taken to the flying island of the Chiridans, a civilisation based on Ancient Greece that was destroyed by the war between the Galinas and the Chiridirelles. The Chiridans now exist as spirits forced to abduct and possess people, and guard Eternity's prison. It is later revealed that Skroa used Amy's cells to create Shun-Day, (probably the source of her shape-shifting powers) making her Amy's daughter of sorts. Learning this, Amy becomes fiercely protective of Shun-Day, but alas her daughter gets killed in Eternity's rampage.