Segwyn is waiting at the bar, an empty flagon in front of her, in the morning. When all are assembled, you leave Gren Noval through the Roaring Gate. You catch up with The Parade nine days later. It has stopped again, and you approach it from the rear. A commotion is heard, just as the party is climbing out of the carriage. “Man scorpions!” a man screams, as many scramble to run to the head of The Parade.
Seven man scorpions emerge from the woods, and make their way towards The Parade. They appear somewhat weak, given their size, but are still quite menacing, armed with daggers, spears, and, of course, barbed tails.
Segwyn curses, claps her “hands”, and sends a blue shock wave towards the group. It strikes the front-runner, a large, snarling male with a shiny, black carapace, blowing him to pieces. The rest of the group is knocked to the ground. “Deal with this, and don’t let them hurt anyone,” Segwyn barks. She raises her staff into the air, shouts a few magic phrases, and disappears with a loud pop. The man scorpions find their bearings just as the party engages them.
Lady Dahlia is the first to react. She dashes forward with speed and confidence, producing a small crossbow from her handbag, and fires a bolt that lodges itself deep into the arm of a man scorpion wielding both club and scimitar. The beast howls, a combination of pain, rage, and surprise. Karl fires an arrow at the man scorpion in the hopes of finishing it off. Unfortunately, he just misses. Dropping his bow, he dashes forward shouting “Get behind me!” while drawing forth a ranseur.
Rico quickly looks around. Seeing that the party stands between The Parade and danger, he moves to provide some protection for Lady Dahlia. As he does, he grabs a strip of leather from his waist and launches a stone at the wounded man scorpion. The stone strikes him in the jaw, instantly shattering it. The man scorpion drops to the ground, either dead or unconscious, as one of his companions, armed with a pair of wickedly curved daggers, moves forward to guard him from further assault.
Aelric is the next to react. Swiftly drawing his rapier, he charges at one of the nearer man scorpions, running it through! The beast gives a look of surprise that quickly changes to hatred. With its final act, it stabs at Aelric with its deadly tail, but he dodges, and it slides, lifelessly, off of Aelric’s blade. “Why does it have to be scorpions? I hate scorpions!” he exclaims, adjusting his fedora.
One of the man scorpions scurries over to Rico and slashes with its daggers, scoring a light hit to his chest. Raivik responds by firing a shot at it with his short bow, but he misses. Another man scorpion dashes up behind Rico and scores another hit with a dagger. Despite being flanked by the monsters, Rico maintains his stoic demeanor as he does his best to fend off their attacks.
Jora quickly sizes up the situation and dashes forward while deftly undoing the chain that she keeps slung around her waist. As she approaches her destination she’s got the chain swirling above her head rapidly and with a sudden freeze manages to send one end of it flying directly at the face of one of the man scorpions flanking Rico. The chain connects, leaving a gash that would be unsightly on anything other than a man scorpion. As it is, the creature’s appearance remain unaffected, except for the look of hatred it levels at Jora.
Adakias draws his bow, shouting “Have at you, foul beasts!” as he fires an arrow at one of the man scorpions. It strikes the beast in the shoulder with enough force to cause him to stagger. Taking advantage of this, Glyra strides forward and attempts to strike it with her quarterstaff. The man scorpion parries at the last second with both daggers.
The last man scorpion scurries forward, flanking Aelric and thrusting his spear at him. He easily evades the blow.
Dahlia bashes a nearby scorpion over the head with her pink purse, yelling “Get away from me you foul beast!” Karl rushes forward shouting “Look out, Aelric!”. He swings his huge ranseur at one of the scorpions flanking Aelric, striking a mighty blow that severs the beast’s deadly tail near the base. The man scorpion roars in shock and pain, and Aelric takes the opportunity to slip away from his flanked position, striking at a nearby scorpion attacking Rico. He scores a light hit with his rapier. Rico swiftly lashes out with his right fist, which the scorpion manages to evade. Nearly as quickly, he comes about with a round house kick with his right foot, catching the scorpion in the stomach, knocking the wind out of it.
Raivik slides a step to his right, loosing a shaft that buries itself in the neck of the man scorpion with the severed tail. Blood now spurting profusely from both ends, the monster perishes amidst screams that turn to gurgles. Jora slips over to flank a man scorpion, opposite Rico, and swings at it with her chain, but misses. Adakias takes several steps and fires an arrow at the farthest man scorpion, striking solidly it in the chest. There is a loud crack as Glyra finishes off one of the scorpions surrounding Rico with a swing of her quarterstaff that catches the beast directly in the skull.
The man scorpion surrounded by Jora, Dahlia, Aelric, and Rico makes a dash for The Parade. The beast ducks Karl’s ranseur, but Rico’s elbow catches it, shattering its hopes of escape, along with its face. The last remaining man scorpion scurries off into the woods from whence it came.
The threat now extinguished, the party turns to The Parade. All traces of fear and panic have completely vanished, as though they were never there. The normal merriment has begun once more, with people laughing, juggling, and dancing. The only evidence of anything being out of place are the bloodied bodies of the man scorpions stain the grass, but nobody within The Parade seems to notice.
The threat extinguished, Karl retrieves his bow and looks about for a missing arrow. Jora and Rico set about to removing the tails of the man scorpions, prompting Adakias to ask “I understand taking valuables from the corpses of our foes, but what, pray tell, do you plan to do with those scorpion tails? Are scorpion tails going for much these days?” Jora gives him an innocent look and mumbles something about chocolate.
Rico responds by telling him “It is common practice to accept gifts, especially from those to whom you have taught a lesson. We liken it to giving an apple to your teacher.” He then takes the weapons off of the bodies of the man scorpions. “We cannot leave these out here so close to The Parade. A child could come upon them and there could be trouble. We should also send someone back from the paradde to bury the bodies.