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There were three types of scorpion common in the odhans of Seven Cities, none of which displayed any toleration for either of the others:[1]

  • Birdshit scorpion - seemingly the smallest, even puny. It was flat and black and looked like its namesake.[1] Its poison was a sickly green.[2]
  • In Out - an amber scorpion so named for its transparent exoskeleton through which, if one was inclined to look carefully, various poisons could be seen racing beneath its carapace.[1]
  • Red-backed Bastard - outwardly the meanest of the three scorpion types.[1]

In House of ChainsEdit

In the Malaz 14th Army, the sergeants of the 4th, 5th, and 6th squads each adopted a scorpion and organised a fight to the death between them. Originally Strings' idea, each sergeant would share in the profits of the 9th Company's wagering. Each squad selected a Holder to care for their entrant and a Trainer to prepare it for the contest.[1]

  • Strings' 4th squad adopted a Birdshit scorpion which they called "Joyful Union"
  • Gesler's 5th squad adopted an In Out which they called "Clawmaster"
  • Borduke's 6th squad adopted a Red-backed Bastard which they called "Mangonel"
    • Holder - possibly Lutes
    • Trainer - possibly Lutes

After a period of "training", the squads came together and pitted their scorpions against one another and took bets on the outcome.[4] Maybe organised the betting as he had an extraordinary head for retaining facts.[5] Ibb served as the colour commentator reporting details of the fight to the rest of the 9th Company's camp through a word-line system.[3][5]

The competition began with each squad's sergeant inspecting the competitors and swearing a vow that each of the competitors was a valid entrant into the contest. Gesler hedged his vow by expressing his suspicion that Strings was pulling a con on the others. His skepticism was aroused by the fact the 4th squad sergeant did not seem concerned he had drawn the weakest if the three scorpions.[6]

The scorpions were placed in an arena formed by a ring of daggers placed edge inward at a spacing of two finger-widths apart. The contestants were placed in the arena, and to everyone's surprise but Strings, Joyful Union was revealed to be two scorpions which quickly moved to slay their competitors. An enraged Stormy attempted to draw his blade on the cheaters, but Gesler held him back saying they had sworn their approval of the entrants.[7]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Captain Faradan Sort joined her new command with the 14th Army and immediately crushed Joyful Union under her boot heel before a horrified Bottle.[8] Maybe and Lutes found a huge scorpion of a type unknown to them to replace Mangonel. But before they could place Sparkle into the ring, Bottle informed them to spread the word that the competition was off. He advised them to get rid of the female scorpion before its distress scent attracted hundreds or thousands of aggressive males.[9][10]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.624-625
  2. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.632
  3. 3.0 3.1 House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.631
  4. House of Chains, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.748-752
  5. 5.0 5.1 House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.625
  6. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.629-630
  7. House of Chains, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.628/631-632
  8. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.196-198
  9. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US SFBC p.201-203
  10. The Bonehunters, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.97
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