Dreughs are an ancient species of aquatic, octopus-like beastfolk, commonly hunted for their hide and the wax from their shells. They are sometimes known as water dreughs. For one year of their life, dreughs undergo karvinasim and emerge onto land as aggressive crustaceans to breed. During this period they are known as land dreughs or Billies. Unlike their aquatic counterparts, the land dreughs show no signs of their usual intelligence and kill indiscriminately, using powerful shock attacks and even going so far as to cocoon living victims in mud to feed their young.
Dreughs are found mostly in northern, western and eastern Tamriel, but can usually be found anywhere coastal. They are known to inhabit the Inner Sea and the Abecean Sea, migrating into the waterways of the Iliac Bay. Land dreughs can be found as far inland as Cyrodiil and Craglorn. Although altercations can happen when swimming in these waters, the dreughs are mild-mannered, and usually scavenge for food. After their year on land, dreughs undergo meff, where they digest their unneeded skin and organs and vomit the congealed remains as small fibrous balls called "grom". Dreughs are known to be immune to paralysis, poison and disease and resistant to magic, but have a low tolerance to frost. They can regenerate health in darkness and in water, but cannot enter holy places. Their infamous shock attacks are unique to land dreughs, and those in the water must rely on melee attacks. As well as using dreugh wax in alchemy, their hide is used by the Dunmer to make traditional armor and weapons.
The origins of the dreughs are clouded in myth. In the Iliac Bay region, they are rumored to be the remnants of a prehistoric civilization from long before the First Era. Some scholars argue that the land dreugh is actually a distant relative of the true dreugh from further back on the evolutionary timeline, perhaps even related to Spider Daedra. The ancient Chimer once had dealings with the dreughs; Tribunal Temple teachings speak of the treacherous "Altmer of the sea" and their castles of glass and coral. Their protracted conflict with Dunmer hunters is blamed for their devolved intelligence and the destruction of their civilization.
According to conflicting legends, the dreughs once ruled the world in the previous kalpa, and Molag Bal had served as their chief. When the dead carapace of Bal's old image was dropped into the new world, a Chimer child from Gnisis wore it to scare his village, but instead became the Ruddy Man. Vivec did battle with the Ruddy Man, and their fighting created the West Gash region of Vvardenfell. Vivec was victorious, and gave the carapace to the Queen of Dreughs to guard; instead, the dreughs gave it to a wayward shaman of the House of Troubles, and the Ruddy Man appeared again ten years later at Tear. After defeating him a second time, Vivec gave the carapace to the devout and loyal mystics of the Number Room, who made it into "a philosopher's armor". According to the teachings of Mankar Camoran, the tyrannical dreugh-kings ruled over Mundus and enslaved the oceans of Lyg before their world was destroyed by Mehrunes Dagon.
- For game-specific information, see the Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, ESO, and Legends articles.
- Dreugh names
- Creating ESO: The Dreugh
- Brenus Astis' Journal — Brenus Astis
- Events of ESO
- 2920, Sun's Dawn — Carlovac Townway
- Revolting Life Cycle of the Dreugh — Fronto Maecilius
- Events of Daggerfall
- Events of Morrowind
- Daggerfall User's Guide
- The 36 Lessons of Vivec — Vivec
- Mythic Dawn Commentaries — Mankar Camoran