Vol. 105: Man-Scorpions

Vol. 105: Man-Scorpions

Man-Scorpions

RPS: 5/10 or higher depending on RCC

At a Glance: The Man-Scorpions have one of the most tragic stories of the multiverse. Sexism, racism, and ignorance have almost completely wiped them out as a people. 

Appearance & Lifestyle: Todays Man-Scorpions exist as two separate and warring factions: The Brood and The Parlous. 

The Brood are hated and feared throughout the multiverse. They are ruthless killers and diabolical fascists. They especially despise females of any race. They, like the Dark Dwarves, consider themselves to be the “Master Race”, above all others. They follow a very strict religion based on the worship of a Praying Mantis made of fire named, “Taze-shaz”. Taze-shaz claims to be a god but like all other gods is only a multidimensional being. 

Taze-shaz is a fire elemental living mostly on the Plane of Fire. She is also the 3rd of the “Sister Gods” made up of Thanisis, Tixie, and Taze-Shaz. Taze-shaz gets her power from her followers burning things to ash, especially living things. She is the goddess of flame, smoke, and most of all, ash. 

The Brood dress very conservatively and plainly. Neutral colors, simple functional clothing without flair or adornment. Their lives revolve solely around the worship of Taze-shaz. The religion permeates every aspect of their society, from their politics, to their education systems, to their interactions with other races, and so much more. 

The Parlous are welcome throughout the multiverse. They share the rare distinction of being members of the Multiversal Senate as part of a race separated from their whole. The Man-Scorpions are the only race that has been allowed to enter the Senate without being a unified race. Only the Parlous are welcome. 

The Parlous are artists, poets, singers, and story tellers. They are some of the most sought-after fashion designers in the multiverse. They actively deny the teachings of Taze-shaz and do all they can to oppose her. They celebrate life and do all they can to bring beauty and wonder to all the other races of the multiverse. 

The Parlous dress in bright, provocative colors. Their fashion is always cutting edge. Parlous cover themselves head to toe in tattoos. They do this to distinguish themselves totally from the Brood, whose religion forbids tattoos. Parlous children receive their first tattoo at age 5 (It will ALWAYS be a face tattoo) and throughout their lives will continue to gain more, usually yearly. Usually by age 30 a Parlous will be completely covered in tattoos. A Parlous to have reached this state is said to be “Shelled” and it is a celebrated event. Newly shelled Parlous are commonly thrown a huge Shelling Party by family and friends where they receive gifts. 

Because of this, Parlous fashion for themselves tends to be quite revealing. They delight in having all their tattoos on display as often as possible. 

There are (almost) no She-Scorpions. (This will be clarified below) The Man-Scorpions exist as a completely male, completely homosexual race. They reproduce by stealing the eggs of other races and fertilizing them. Races like the Naga, Merfolk, Lizard People, and more lay caches of eggs to reproduce, usually of 8-12 eggs or more. These races are often targeted by the Brood for their eggs. 

The Parlous do not steal eggs but make friendships and arrangements with egg laying races to acquire eggs when they are ready to start a family. 

The Brood and the Parlous are locked in a civil war that has gone on since recorded history began. The religious fanaticism of the Brood has made any attempt at reconciliation impossible. The details of this war will be explained below in the history section. 

Despite all of this they do share some characteristics in common. Man-Scorpions appear as humans with one major difference: They have a gigantic scorpion tail coming out of their back! 

All Man-Scorpions also possess the ability to turn their hands into massive claws. Some can even turn their feet into claws! (About 2%)

Man-Scorpions tend to be very tall and very muscular. Most stand 7’ to 8’ tall. The weight of their huge tails and heavy claws make being physically fit a must. About 25 % of Man-Scorpions have alopecia, which they embrace. This occurs in both factions equally. 

The one piece of fashion both factions are drawn to is sunglasses. They are rarely seen without them. The Brood wear them as part of their religion. They believe only other Brood may see their eyes. Anyone else who see their eyes must be killed, preferably by fire. The Parlous wear them to spite the Brood. They know that the Brood MUST wear sunglasses, so they wear them as well but as fashion and political statements. 

Their love for sunglasses is so strong that both factions have specialty classes that do nothing else but invent super high-tech, often enchanted sunglasses. These sunglass engineers are called, “Sighters” by both factions. 

Powers & Abilities: The powers of Man-Scorpions vary by class. They are further broken up by faction. The two divergent sects of Man-Scorpions have honed different skill through time and now possess entirely different classes from each other. Usually certain families will possess certain powers and abilities they will pass onto their children, teaching them to empower and hone these abilities as they grow older. 

They do possess some powers and abilities universally. All Man-Scorpions have large telescoping scorpion tails. On average these tails are as long as the Man-Scorpion is tall and can expand up to three times that size in length. Each tail has a “Mini-Brain” right behind the stinger allowing the tail to have incredible reaction time and almost act independently in battle. All Man-Scorpions start with +1 attack with their tail and gain another extra tail attack per round every 5 levels. 

These tails are also almost indestructible. The only vulnerable spot being a very small area right below the stinger where the mini-brain lies. For this reason, most Man-Scorpions wear a “Stinger Ring” as armor that covers this vulnerable area. 

Likewise, the claws produced by Man-Scorpions are also nearly indestructible. They also possess supernatural crushing strength. Most Man-Scorpions have a crushing claw and a cutting claw. Though having two of the same type of claw is not uncommon. (About 25%)

All Man-Scorpions are immune to poison and are +2 to save vs disease and infection. Both factions also take NO DAMAGE from fire or heat! ½ damage from magical fire. They thrive in heat. They do not care for the cold. The Brood especially hate the cold. They consider touching snow to be a “lesser sin which should be avoided.” The Parlous are more open to colder temperature but also would prefer not to be in them, because how can you see my awesome tattoos if I’m wearing a sweater?!

This is where the similarities end. From here each faction has its own powers and abilities determined by class or family. 

The Brood tend to have stealth like powers that allow them to infiltrate deep into other races territories where they can steal eggs and other things and escape unnoticed. Their classes include:

Camouflagers: Who possess the ability to blend into their surrounding like a chameleon, letting off no heat signature and leaving no footprints!

Armor Tails: Who can cover their entire bodies in the same armor that protects their tail. This armor absorbs ALL MAGICAL and PSIONIC DAMAGE healing them for 100% of the damage! 

Spitters: Who can spit acidic poison from their mouths, tails, and claws, doing painful and continuous damage over time.

And many more.

The Parlous have powers that provide them with mobility and speed. They developed these to counter the Brood, but also to make themselves more sought after by other races, whom they rely on for eggs and more. Their classes include:

Twin Tails: Possessing 2 tails each with different abilities and their own attacks, these Man-Scorpions are a nightmare to face in close combat.

Clawmen: Whose claws can transform into many different shapes and sizes and are truly indestructible. Attacks with their claws have a chance to stun who they hit. (10% chance at level 1 + 5% per level) 

Molters: Who can create “Shell Clones” instantly. These shell clones are exact copies of the Man-Scorpion and can attack on their own. They look like they are made of translucent scorpion shell. They are not exceptionally strong  (20% of the Molter’s HP and Strength) But can be produced in great numbers and let off a small explosion when they are destroyed (1d6 fire damage + 2 per 5 levels, 4’ radius)

Ands many more. 

History: The Man-Scorpion’s tale is not for the faint of heart. They are an incredibly old race, not ancient, but appearing with frequency throughout the multiverse around the same time as the goblins and fairies. 

The earliest historical records (held by the Trementians and the Elves) talk of a single race calling themselves, “The Scorplock” But even during this time a divide between the sexes is noticed. 

The names Man-Scorpion and She-Scorpion may seem quite obtuse for a race but as we will soon see the distinction between the sexes became the underlying force for their evolution and their culture. As such the names are not surprising. 

In their earliest times the Scorplock were a matriarchal society. This is also not surprising as She-Scorpions are far more powerful than Man-Scorpions. All She-Scorpions possess supernatural strength and endurance. They are also larger in size being on average 8’ to 10’ tall. 

As far as anyone can tell the earliest times of the Scorplock were peaceful. Even then they were an entirely homosexual society. The women stayed with and loved the women and the same with the men. The She-Scorpions would arrange a great meeting annually to be held on beaches or near other bodies of water. These annual meetups between the She-Scorpions and Man-Scorpions were called “Bed-Nestings.” It was a time of heavy drinking and partying, during which the She-Scorpions would lay huge caches of eggs and the Man-Scorpions would fertilize them. These raucous parties would last several days to a week and then they would end. Both sexes would leave members behind to protect and watch over the caches until they were born. 

When the eggs hatched the She-Scorpions would gather the girls and the Man-Scorpions the boys and they would go their separate ways entirely until the next year.

Then Taze-shaz arrived. She was new to this realm like her sisters but arrived somewhat later than they did. As such she felt pressure to find worshippers of her own. But who would do? That’s when she came upon the Man-Scorpions. 

She sensed in them the unrest they had with the She-Scorpions. They coveted their strength and endurance. They were annoyed that they alone planned the mating ritual each year. But they lacked the strength to do anything about it. Taze-shaz had an answer for that…

Taze-shaz presented herself to the Man-Scorpions as a male god. She had the appearance of a gigantic Praying Mantis made of fire and she terrified the Man-Scorpions. But she stroked their egos and offered them power of their own. Power enough to stand up to the She-Scorpions. And many accepted. 

It should be noted that these ideas the Man-Scorpions had were simply untrue. The She-Scorpions went out of there way to try and assist the Man-Scorpions. They also made attempts each year to include the Man-Scorpions in the planning of the Bed-Nestings, but very few men ever bothered to help. 

So Taze-shaz twisted the hearts and minds of the Man-Scorpions and gave some among them a portion of her power. They became powerful Fire Mages, able to pull power from the Plane of Fire itself! Now they would see who was strongest! 

At the next Bed-Nesting the Man-Scorpions throughout the multiverse let things begin as always, but as the sun set on the first day, they attacked! They unleashed their new powers against the She-Scorpions with devastating effect. Currently the Scorplock were not immune to fire. That gift we be given to the Man-Scorpions by Taze-shaz later. So it was that almost all the She-Scorpions present were killed. When the eggs hatched, not long after, they killed all of the female babies. The shores of the multiverse were soaked in the blood of the innocent. 

Taze-shaz was pleased with her new followers and set about creating a religion completely devoted to herself. She began demanding more and more of the Man-Scorpions, specifically the burning of their enemies. And the Man-Scorpions obliged. A civil war between the sexes erupted. Man-Scorpions had the advantage with these new and surprising powers and what followed next was a holocaust. Taze-shaz, empowered by the Man-Scorpions, infused more and more of her power into them. The systematic extermination of the She-Scorpions had commenced. Overtime the Man-Scorpions became immune to fire, a power they would pass on to all future generations. And soon after that, it was over. The Man-Scorpions had completely eradicated the She-Scorpions. 

The population of Man-Scorpions had suffered as well, but for some time now they had gained the ability to fertilize the eggs of other races. So, they began hunting for them. Taze-shaz gave the Man-Scorpions the ability to perform a ritual allowing them to jump to other universes. This allowed them to discover other egg laying races they could steal eggs from.  These newly empowered Man-Scorpions became a scourge to the multiverse. Egg laying races spoke of them like boogey men and lived in fear of them. Nonegg laying races also lived in fear of being conquered or enslaved by them. They possessed considerable power and fought with a religious zealotry. 

99.99 % of all babies born from stolen eggs are born male. The females are burned. In this way they continued, for many many generations. But then things began to change.

The multiverse was still young even now and few races traveled from universe to universe. But some where starting. Trementains, Swaft, Elves, even the Graze, had started visiting other realities And they all eventually ran into the Man-Scorpions. The Man-Scorpions themselves had been taught about the multiverse from Taze-shaz. And they had just barely begun traveling it. And suddenly they were not the only ones with a ticket. 

First encounters with new races varied in success usually dependent on what sex was encountered. Encounters with men faired slightly better. Encounters with females were deadly.

Despite their fascist attitude they could not help but be fascinated by the visitors from other universes. They tried for a short time the act of diplomacy. Taze-shaz warned her followers against this, but the exoticness of the Trementians and Swaft was too alluring to not explore. 

For a brief time there was a general peace. But then the other races started finding out about their past. And their continued practices…

The elves especially made a huge effort to turn the Man-Scorpions from these barbaric ways. But Taze-shaz was there after every meeting, stroking the Man-Scorpion’s egos and making them feel good. 

It came to a head when a group of elves were caught trying to smuggle a She-Scorpion baby off of a world. One of the elves was killed on sight and the other burned alive with the child while the 3rd watched. He was told to report all he saw to the other races and that this is what would happen to ANY race that stepped foot on a Man-Scorpion homeworld. 

The Man-Scorpions became isolationists and went back to raiding worlds for eggs and plunder. But something had taken root. The kindness of the Trementians, the wisdom of the elves, and the adventurous spirit of the Swaft, had begun to blossom in the youth among the Man-Scorpions. They knew something was wrong. 

Small groups began meeting in secret. They arranged meetings with other races who taught them the truth about the multiverse. Most of them encountering females for the very first time. They loved it.

The truths of the multiverse were a thirst-quenching water to them. And they could not get enough. They began becoming bolder. Less secretive. They took the name Parlous because they believed they were living a daring lifestyle. They took the symbol of a storm cloud shooting a rainbow lightning bolt. And they swelled in numbers. 

For a long time, the older population turned a blind eye. Chalking it up to youthful angst. But it didn’t take long to realize it was getting bigger. Now it was time to put a claw down. Parlous meetings were banned. Anyone found with a member of another race would be burned. Anyone found traveling to another universe without permission would be burned. Associating with females was punishable by death, by burning. 

The youth rebelled but the consequences were swift and brutal. The older generation took to calling themselves the Brood after an old religious story they told about “protecting the brood.” 

Lines were drawn. Soon huge groups of Man-Scorpions were fleeing to other universes. Aided by Elves, Trementians, Swaft, and more they were escaping. The Brood began locking down their worlds. And association with Parlous was made a crime punishable by burning to death. But even still, storm clouds with rainbow lightning were being spray painted in every city. 

It became important for the Parlous to distance themselves from the Brood, so they began tattooing themselves. The art and act of tattooing became a sort of religion for them. The Parlous became the most sought-after tattoo artists in the multiverse. 

And this became the new normal. And they have existed that way to this day. The Parlous live in cities throughout all of reality. They are kind, friendly, and attempt to create beauty wherever they go. The Brood live in the shadows. Following their flaming god, killing, stealing, eggnapping, as they please. The Brood seek out and kill Parlous as part of their religion. A killed Parlous will be burned to death and then staged in a way to completely embarrass them. The Parlous have something the Brood do not though. Friends. The other races of the multiverse have gathered around them and help protect them. Making everyone feel like family. 

2 final notes. One being that even by the end of the Panic there are starting to be She-Scorpions again! 99.99% of all Man-Scorpion eggs are still born male. But every once in a while… She is born. But she is not out of danger. She-Scorpions are hunted by the Brood like nothing else. Literal suicide squads will be sent in search of the child and will die to kill it. The Brood have also deployed weapons of mass destruction, plagues, orbital weaponry, and more extreme methods to kill a single She-Scorpion baby. As such these miracle girls must live in great secrecy. For some the risk becomes so great that they turn to the Multiverse Warriors for help. To ensure their child’s life they will, with great sorrow, hand their child over to the Multiverse Warriors to be hidden away at one of their secret academies. Rumor is that these girls are trained by the Multiverse Warriors in a secret fighting style only they are capable of using. Masters of stealth, none of these She-Scorpion Ninjas have ever been seen, but it is rumored they hide in every shadow, seeking justice for the wronged, and protecting women and children. 

Finally, it should be noted that some Parlous have turned to heterosexuality. But Parlous parents don’t mind if their son is straight. As long as he is a good person first. 

About the Illustration: Here we have a Trementian standing in front of a VERY old Psion Orb! (They were quite clunky initially…) And an elven mage casting a spell 😊

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