The Talath Uichel was noted for the size and voracious appetite of its Bloodflies or verivarkaat, which had been known to drive reindeer and elk mad, sending them galloping midlessly into the Lhúchir or Everhir. The mosquitoes spawned in the marshy pools of the Lakeland (and, to a lesser extent, throughout the Herd and Fire Tundras) in the summer. A verivaras was the size of a child's thumb, with nearly a six-inch wingspan and an inch-long proboscis for stabbing and drawing blood. The mosquitos could swarm in the tens of thousands, assailing any warm-blooded creature. Anyone caught unprotected in such a swarm died a slow and horrible death as their blood was drained, bite by bite, each insect leaving a small but intensely itching red welt that remained for two to ten days. Anyone caught in a swarm of verivarkaat (protected or unprotected) could be overwhelmed with anxiety and run away, heedless of other dangers and slapping themselves ceaselessly in an attempt to be rid of the insects.


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