SoS: A PLAGUE OF SCARABS
Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Lucreza learns of a scarab plague and of the man behind it. Will she believe the tale and help or write it off as the foolish fears of the uneducated?
(a #swarmofscarabs tale)
It must have been the alcohol talking in my last letter. I’m in a room above right the common room in the Sailor & Frog Inn and I can hear that orc, Bhaltair, playing. It’s really not that good. In fact, it’s so bad that I think the human drummer in the other band could play a lute better – which is saying something because that drummer can’t keep a beat to save his life. Either Bhaltair is having an off-night, or last night I overindulged in beer and it clouded my judgement. To be honest with you my friend, I suspect the latter. I was highly amused by the image of an orc playing a lute and my imagination most definitely got carried away.
Today was a good day to rest and to learn things. I wish you could have been here; you would have loved to see the marketplace. If you had been here, I may have even stopped at a vendor or two and made some purchases. As it was, I was more interested in finding out about the people and ship I will be travelling on.
After a hearty breakfast I went to the docks and found out a bit more about the people I will be travelling with: Gaius, Bhaltair, and Michael. A goliath, a half-orc - which explains why he’s not a complete buffoon – and a human. It’s a curious assemblage and I asked Gaius about why they are travelling together. I did not expect his response.
He painted a picture of a world in danger: Our world. Gaius told me of a plague of scarabs that is not contained to just one continent. They roam far and wide, across vast deserts and raging seas, devouring all in their path. Terrifyingly, unlike locusts, these scarabs do not eat crops; they eat flesh. Most horrific of all, he says they are controlled by someone who is actively seeking to destroy our world. I can’t even fathom that someone would want to do that. But Gaius was earnest when he was speaking to me. I thought, “Even if it isn’t true, he believes it is”, so I humored him and let him continue his tale.
Before I could ask him why they were heading to Thalasia, Gaius volunteered the information. One of the people working with this evil mastermind had chartered a ship to our homeland to do gods-know-what. That’s why he was open to granting me passage as a guide for their group.
When he was relating all of this to me, I thought that perhaps this cataclysmic event is true, but more than likely they were just passing through an area where these scarabs happened to be and took it as an omen. After all, Gaius may be a smart goliath, but he is travelling with a half-orc, and the half-orc is the one in charge. This person they think is controlling the scarabs is probably some cleric or other magic user trying to contain the plague to minimize damage. I didn’t want to openly contradict my travelling companions before our journey even begins – especially since one of them is Bhaltair and I’ve already made him upset with regaining my rightful property from him – so I kept quiet while he told his tale. Pretending like I believe it gets me free travel and an opportunity to study the wooden construction of the Black Rose, so I don’t really have a problem keeping my thoughts to myself on the matter.
My skepticism of this end-of-the-world nonsense was prevalent in my mind, until Michael, the human, allowed me to see his “pet” scarab. I’ve never seen anything like it before; it appears to be a variety of one of the scarabs that Gaius told me about, except this one eats metal. After a close examination, this creature appears to be made of some arcane magic and its insides are also completely metal. Apparently, because of its diet they’ve had some trouble trying to keep it fed while keeping their weapons and armor safe. It’s rather large for a scarab, about the size of my hand and it has crystals growing out of the back of it. I wonder how attached Michael is to the thing, or if he would let me dissect it?
I also wonder if the others are mechanical or regular flesh? If they’re normal, why is this one different? Is it some sort of sheep dog designed to keep the others in check?
Anyway, Michael kindly took me aboard and showed me to my quarters. They are small, but to be honest, I was expecting to have to sleep in the galley with the crew so having a room of my own is nice.
They must have felled a forest of Ebium wood to make this ship! It’s magnificent and I get to travel on it! I hope to learn a lot from the journey. It looks sleek enough that I will most likely make it home before several of my letters do. I’d almost place a wager on that, but as you know, I only bet on a sure thing and sea travel is anything but sure.
I’m rambling. Perhaps even two beers are a bit much for me...
My fellow travelers and I have a few more things to do about town tomorrow and then we will be off. I plan to post this letter (along with the others I’ve recently written) first thing in the morning to see which does get home sooner.
Take care of Sasanna for me. I’ll see you soon my friend.
Lucreza Amakiir is the creation of yours truly: Rachael Murphy
The world and main plot points of Swarm of Scarabs, and Zappy Zappy are creations of the Swarm of Scarabs GM: Jonathan Edwards
Gaius Freezeheart is the creation of the player Joshua Panzer
Michael is the creation of the player Horace Robison