UPDATE: The giant scorpadillos were included in Knockspell #3 and I have posted updated stats for them to match the published versions.
“This whole place is filled with pits!” moaned Janella as she struggled to her feet. This one was probably about ten feet deep, just like the others they had fallen int that afternoon. “Do any of you up there still have any rope?”
“Hold on,” muttered the elf Artimis as he pulled off his pack and began rummaging through it for his rope. “I managed to get across fine. Isn’t that the third time you’ve set off a trap door? How much did you eat last night?”
The cleric decided not dignify that with a response. She tried to brush some of the dirt out of her robes but realized it was hopeless. They’d have to be replaced.
From above, there was the sound of a sudden gasp and a dropped sword clanged on the stone floor. It sounded like that man-at-arms that Ronadare had hired, Janella figured. She shook her head. That poor guy had no idea what he was getting himself into when he signed on with this bunch. “How about that rope?” she called up, irritated.
“Just hold on,” came the reply from Artimis. “I said I was–” but his voice trailed off. He certainly needed someone to keep an eye on him, Janella thought. He’s distracted by every little thing.
Up in the corridor, Artimis knelt over his pack, coil of rope held forgotten in his hand. He looked back across the pit opening at the other two members of the party, his mouth open in shock. He dropped the rope and reached for his bow, pulling an arrow from the quiver at his side.
The scene across the opening was beyond belief. Ronadare was on his hands and knees looking down into the pit. Completely unnoticed beyond the kneeling halfling, their man-at-arms had dropped his weapon and was staggering against the cold wall of the corridor, seemingly choking. Behind the stricken man was an unearthly-looking four-legged beast, nearly the size of a black bear. A small head with pointed ears protruded from a shell-like body, and a massive jointed tail, like that of a scorpion, arched over it, a deadly-looking stinger on the tip. It was this, Artimis realized immediately, which must have struck the man-at-arms from behind.
“Look out!” Artimis shouted, loosing an arrow at the creature. The halfling didn’t waste time looking and immediately rolled to one side. The plunging stinger missed him by inches. Artimis’ arrow struck its mark but bounced away harmlessly into the darkness. Meanwhile, the man-at-arms began to cough up a nasty, pasty foam. With a gurgle, he collapsed, his body wracked by a fit of convulsions.
Artimis nocked another arrow while Ronadare reached for his sword and Janella called from below in a vain attempt to find out what was happening. Silently, the creature advanced, its menacing tail jerking this way and that as it prepared to strike again…
No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Movement: 90′ (30′)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2 (bite, sting)
Hoard Class: VII
These creatures seem to be the twisted creation of a demented sorcerer from ages past. Combining the armored body of a huge armadillo with the poisonous sting of a giant scorpion’s tail, these beasts are equally at home in labyrinths or in the wilderness. They are naturally aggressive and do not hesitate to attack.
Anyone stung by the tail of a giant scorpadillo must save vs. poison or immediately go into convulsions and die in 1d6 turns.
The underside of the giant scorpadillo is armor class 7, but the creature is low to the ground and such attacks are difficult at best. If means to strike at the vulnerable underbelly are found, the giant scorpadillo will curl up into a ball to avoid them. This maneuver leaves the tail free to continue attacking anyone within five feet.
This account of the meeting with the dreaded giant scorpadillo was played out in grisly detail not long ago during a Labyrinth Lord session. Fortunately for the party, an elven hunter that had been rescued from a trap earlier in the day used a few well-placed arrows to keep the monster at bay while the halfling and another fighter closed in to deliver some killing blows. Alas, it was too late to save the poor man-at-arms. The deadly scorpadillo poison finished him off.
For an iconic image of the giant scorpadillo, check out the classic at Jeff’s Gameblog.