Les Sculteurs ( plus précisément, ils disent : « Nous qui façonnons la pierre ») ou plus communément Dredge sont l'une des espèces de The Banner Saga.
Deep in the shadows of the Age of Myth, the Loom-Mother discovered how to weave life into her tapestry, the fabric of the universe. She created the beasts of land and sea, and wove the elements of reason into her creations of humans. All of these threads - some short, some long - had a beginning and an end. Other gods attempted to mimic her, but lacked the skill or patience necessary to master the art. Some gods twisted beasts into new shapes and monsters. Others wove her creations together, making cross-breeds of human and animal, and so were created the varl and the horseborn. One spiteful god took the humans and twisted them wretchedly, hid them away in the depths of the earth, and they became the dredge.
With unending threads of life, the dredge numbers grew along with their need for more space and more food. Their god prodded the dredge into waging war against the other creations. The dredge became hated and feared among the mortals. Some believed them to be the dead returned to the world to punish the living. The dredge, it turned out, could be killed, but only through bloody battle. Disgusted, the Loom-Mother punished the errant god, but in her anger accidentally killed him. Panic spread among the gods, and thus began the war among the gods which left every god unmade.
The mighty varl pushed away the legions of dredge, driving them farther and farther into the northern territories. As the tide turned, the varl began venturing into the deep north and slaughtering dredge settlements for sport. Eventually, the dredge retaliated with vengeance and hatred, ravaging human and varl lands in a bloody struggle that lasted nearly a decade. This conflict became known as the Second Great War. Ultimately, the Valka took up their enchanted spears and drove the dredge away to a mysterious fate.
As penance for their hubris, the varl established massive forts in the frozen north to remain vigilant against any future return of the dredge. Any re-emergence of the dredge was quickly stamped out, and over time they all but disappeared. But, soon after the Sun mysteriously stopped in the sky, the dredge have suddenly reappeared, and are swarming the land from the mountains to the sea, threatening all in their path.
Although the dredge have long represented a deadly threat to the humans and varl alike, the perspective of our heroes has evolved considerably during the course of the Saga. Once considered to be mindless beasts, intent on destruction, it is now clear that the dredge have a civilization of their own, composed of families, just as humans are. The dredge slingers and hurlers have been revealed to be female, and dredge children have been found in the wreckage of the battlefields. A living dredge infant was found with its deceased mother at the godstone of Ingrid. Absent the commanding force of a nearby Sundr, many of the dredge encountered appear to be confused and frightened, refugees in their own right, more concerned with their own survival than with conquest and war. As the spreading darkness drive human, varl, horseborn, and dredge alike before it, we can only imagine what will happen next as all that remains gathers in Arberrang.
- ↑ The story of the dredge is inspired by the Norse concept of draugr or haugbui: undead vikings that return to smite the living. This is what many mortals believe them to be. The more enlightened mortals, however, realize that there is much more to be learned.