- "The raiding army of Dark Elves aboard the Umbral Tide, a notorious Black Ark of the Naggaroth fleet, was surprised in the Black Way by a Lizardmen army. Beached by powerful spells, the city-sized ship was swarmed over by Skinks, Kroxigor and Salamander Hunting Packs that rose out of the water to clamber aboard. Although the ship’s many towers launched flights of quarrels, the flame-spouts of the Salamanders soon silenced them, save for the cries of the hopelessly burned. Not a single Dark Elf survived and the ship’s massive hull remains, sticking out of the mudbanks, as a skeletal reminder of the fate of those who dare enter Lustria."
- —The Battle of the Umbral Tide[1a]
Salamanders are giant, predatory reptiles that stalk the swamplands and estuaries of the Lustrian jungles. Propelled by four thickly muscled legs and a powerful tail, they are swift-moving creatures whether on land or in water. Salamanders are voracious hunters, and their favoured method of catching prey is to swiftly close the distance, moving through underbrush or even submerged under water. Once within range, they launch a burst of highly corrosive liquid from their gullets, a substance so volatile that it bursts into flames upon contact with the air.[1a]
The burning pitch-like substance sticks to victims, burning them alive, whilst already beginning the digestive process. The creature’s neck-frills and back sails provide a cooling mechanism, ensuring the cold-blooded creature does not expire from the heat generated within its own body. It is difficult to catch and train a Salamander, but Skinks known as Handlers manage to do so. Using sharp-tipped jabbing spears, Skink Handlers goad Salamanders into position, and then prod them until they are angry enough to spit flames. Although sometimes employed by Skink artisans to fire kilns, the Salamanders are most often used in warfare.[1a]
Poking a beast as violent as a Salamander is a hazardous task, and over the course of their duties many Skink Handlers are eaten or covered in flaming bile themselves. On the battlefield, Salamander Hunting Packs often cover the army’s flanks. Skink Handlers attempt to move their beast into a clear firing position, a difficult task as the Salamander often wishes to charge straight forwards into combat. If the Handlers line it up correctly, they can coerce a Salamander to spout its flame upon the foe, before allowing the creature to finish the job with tooth and claw. The Skinks have learned that Salamanders are particularly effective at burning foes out of fortifications. The burning liquid splashes through embrasures to burn alive any within. So were the wooden palisades of the Norse colonies destroyed, and defenders removed from the towers of the beached Black Ark, the Umbral Tide.[1a]