The Scorpion

“What is it?”

“One of those…things from the Wastes, isn’t it? The scorpion men…”

The crowd murmured as the newcomer scuttled through the city streets. They stood eight feet tall, and as long again, a chitinous torso giving way to a segmented body and a curled stinger, borne along on six spindly legs. A scor’ani.

It’s back was piled high with strange and exotic goods, and it bore them quickly and efficiently to their destination. Though Meriden brimmed with strange folk from far and distant lands, every now and then someone would still turn heads.

Arriving at the building it sought, the scor’ani reached out a pincered hand and wrestled with the door, squeezing into the small establishment.

“I have brought thesssse thingssss for you,” it hissed to the proprietor.

The halfling lowered his paper, regarding the woman before him over the top of his half-moon glasses as if she were any other visitor. “I wasn’t expecting you this soon.”

“The ssssandssss were kind. The godssss made ssssafe travelssss for me,” she said. She reached behind her, undoing one of the straps keeping her luggage at bay, and placed a subset of the items on the counter. “Assss requessssted.”

The halfling folded his paper neatly, placing it to one side, and inspected the items. He picked up a small, jeweled scarab and held it up to the light, adjusting his glasses. “You promised more than this.”

“Your information wassss unreliable. The Badezaarssss did not make it eassssy for me.”

“I deal with you because you promised unmatched skill.”

The scor’ani dropped her head slightly. “Unmatched alone, yessss. Even the sssstrongesssst can be bessssted by great numberssss.”

The halfling leant over the counter, resting on his elbows. He stared the scorpion down. “I don’t pay you for half filled promises and excuses.”

The woman’s chitinous face contorted, almost as if she were frowning. “You musssst undersssstand, what I have brought issss of great value sssstill. It issss sssstill worth my payment…”

“But it’s not everything,” the halfling said, not breaking eye contact.


“Bring. Me. Everything.”

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