Description

These unpleasant knives are valued by assassins and murderers, and few who are on the receiving end of a Scorpion's Sting survive to tell the tale. The weapons are often curved, in shapes reminiscent of scorpion tails or the fangs of venomous creatures. Sometimes the blade or the handle is marked with the rune Rhyv, or with a depiction of a poisonous creature or plant, but many are studied in their nondescript appearance - and for good reason.

In 143YE it was made illegal to carry this weapon within the Empire; possession resulted in a fine, with an equally serious fine for the artisan who crafted the blade if they could be identified. In some cases magistrates chose to levy both fines on the bearer of the knife where they refused to name the person who supplied them with it. As Senator Ravani de Sarvos said during the debates that lead to the law being passed: "There is simply no reason for a civilised person to carry one of these nasty little toys, except that they mean to commit murder." While the Navarri senators in particular disagreed, the law was passed by a sizeable majority.

In Winter 378YE, however, the Senator for Hercynia, Bloody Trees Rhain of Winter's Vigil striding persuaded the Senate to remove the prohibition against this weapon. He cited the need for weapons to fight vallornspawn husks - creatures which are extremely susceptible to the kind of venom the Scorpion's Sting produces. It is now legal to make and carry the weapon, although some magistrates still view the use or even possession of this weapon during the commission of another crime to exacerbate the seriousness of the criminal activity, and hand down harsh penalties as a consequence.

Rules

  • Form: Weapon. You must be wielding this weapon to use its magical properties.
  • Requirement: Any character can bond to this item.
  • Effect: Once per day, you may call VENOM with this dagger. You are also affected by venom when you use this ability.
  • Materials: Crafting a Scorpion's Sting requires seven units of beggar's lye and five ingots of ambergelt. It takes one month to make one of these items.
The Ambassador tried to catch her breath, but did not take her eyes off the man on the other side of the bedchamber. He kept his long, slim blade pointed roughly at her heart, holding the curved dagger in his other hand in an almost negligent grip. Her own sickle-shaped short swords were held in the traditional Two Moons style, ready to catch and break his rapier should he try to thrust.

"You fool, you've killed us both." she tried to keep her voice light, playful, but she could feel the venom in her blood, and knew that a few lucky strikes from the assassin would result in her death. Her gossamer robe was stuck to her skin with fearsweat and the blood from the single stab-wound in her shoulder.

"You should have thought of that, madame Ambassador, before you agreed to spy on the Empire." The assassin's voice likewise was light, unconcerned, as if they were discussing minor matters over a glass of wine.

"The venom is in your blood too, assassin. When my guards break down that door you will not draw two further breaths ..."

The assassin shrugged, one-shouldered. He was breathing heavily, two nasty gashes in his chest from her twin blades turning the front of of his white shirt a deep, angry crimson.

"It does not matter to you, Madame, because by then you will be far beyond the help of even your peoples' famed apothecary skills."

He shifted slightly,and she moved almost at the same time to place one of the pillars of her great canopied bed between them. The assassin had a crossbow on his back, but if he tried to ready it she would strike fast enough to kill him and he knew it.

"My Signeura told me a story when I was young," said the assassin suddenly, out of nowhere. "Perhaps you have heard it? It concerns a scorpion who wished to cross the river Gancio, and a frog who served as his ferryman. Perhaps you are familiar with it?"

The Ambassador made an impatient gesture.

"Yes yes, my people have a similar tale. Halfway across the scorpion stings the frog, despite having promised not to do so. They both drown."

The Assassin chuckled then, and with a smooth motion slipped his curved dagger into his belt. The Ambassador flinched, but he made no further movement.

"Do you recall what the scorpion says to the frog at the end?"

From outside the Ambassador heard the sound of her guards breaking down the outer door to her apartments. She began to smile, and stood up a little straighter. All she needed to do now was hold the Assassin off for at most another minute ... she chose to indulge him, to keep him talking.

"Yes of course. The frog asks 'Why have you done this you have doomed us both!' and the scorpion replies 'because it is in my nature.' I did not know your people were so prone to suicidal behaviour."

The Assassin shook his head.

"My Signeura ends the story differently." He said with a wry grin. With a quick motion, his empty hand dipped into a hidden pouch and came out holding a tiny amberglass bottle. He flicked the top of the bottle off with his thumb.

"In the version my Signeura tells, the frog asks his question - "What have you done, you have doomed us both!"

Without blinking, or taking his eyes off her, he gulped the contents. He shuddered, the sweat beading across his visible skin tinged with pink. The Ambassador gasped in sudden understanding. She looked desperately around for something to protect herself, to delay him further, but knew it was futile.

"And the scorpion replies 'Foolish frog! Like all my family, I can swim ....'"