Serpentoid Site Scouts

A pair of snakes with arms, lurking in the grass. One holds a telescope.

PDF version

“Smell that?” Kerigoo hissed, his tongue flickering as he tried to identify the unusual scent on the wind. Debraa slowly lowered her spyglass and began to taste the air in turn, her eyes roving over the human fort that sat four hundred furlongs to their south. She nodded silently; it smelt quite different to wood or peat smoke, yet somehow similar enough that it had to be something burning.

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Snakes should be sexy!! (according to drunken orcs)

Following on from Why Do Humans Constrict, here’s another short story which involves humanoid snakes discussing human orcish nature. In this case, the widespread trope that snakepeople would have breasts for no other reason than ZOMG SEXY!!1! This makes no sense to me, and it has occurred to me that they’d find this idiotic and annoying.

As usual, the PDF version is uploaded here.

Graa idly scratched the back of his neck as he lay atop the cart, not really listening to the head of the caravan talking with the guards outside Cleggan. Something about checking their import permits for three carts of lumber from Tooreen. It made little difference to him or the rest of the band; their role had been to guard it against theft, and they had done so. In the meantime, the lumber was getting invitingly warm-

The gates squeaked open, drawing him back to the immediate surroundings. As the carts slowly rumbled inside the settlement, his eyes and tongue began to rapidly dart over the scenery. It looked like any other village in the region: a mix of dwellings built from stones that had apparently been piled higgledy-piggledy on top of each other and topped with a roof apparently made of dried grass stems – how it kept the water out was something he had never figured out – with the local temple being the only one that looked like somebody had put some actual thought and care into building it. And of course, the obligatory drink-dwelling that had been strategically placed almost in the centre, right at the crossroads.

“Hey, Eggs! What’s with the snakes?” somebody called as they drew to a halt near the water. Graa mechanically tracked the orc, and dismissed him as a threat as he saw the Fomorian held a bucket in one hand and a short, stubby brushing implement in the other.

“Caravan guards,” the merchant who had hired the slitherfolk replied. “Anyway, here’s the planks you asked for.”

The orc who had addressed the merchant bared his teeth, something that Graa had been repeatedly told was their way of showing satisfaction or mirth. Even knowing that it was almost certainly the result of satisfaction, he still felt his blood briefly begin to pump before the more rational part of his thinklump reminded him that it wasn’t meant as a threat.

“More importantly,” the merchant ‘Eggs’ continued, turning to face Graa, “here’s your pay. Twenty pounds, as agreed.” Graa nodded appreciatively as ‘Eggs’ – apparently an alias among acquaintances – counted out and handed over two faded gold coins and ten silver ones. Slowly, Graa and the rest of his band slid down off off the carts and gathered off to one side for his to dole out the pay. One gold coin for himself, one for Maroo, and the silvers were divided among Debraa, Achoo and Praa.

“Something fresh to drink?” he asked, gesturing towards the drink-dwelling. A chorus of olfactory agreement met his flickering tongue.

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