Ger gingerly approached Offals tent. His name was not really Offal, it was Offell, but everyone in the regiment called him Offal. Offal was not human. The regimental histories first mentioned Offal nearly one hundred years ago. Offal crafted the regiments ceremonial drinking cups from the skulls of the defeated enemies. A humanoid creature emerged from the tent. Ancient intricately carved black leather armor enveloped the boney frame. The dark armor provided a stark contrast to the pale variegated gray dry wrinkled skin.
Offal smiled showing jagged greenish teeth and said, There
is a spring in your step, Ger. Did you get some tail?
A slight blush crossed Gers face as he replied, In more
ways than one. Ger handed Offal a blood soaked rough canvas bag.
Offal opened the bag and pulled out a long, bloody tail. He
carefully examined the tail and asked, Tiefling?
Ger nodded yes.
Offal brought the tail up to holes in his face that served
as a nose, sniffed deeply, and said, Young, female Tiefling.
Ger smiled and replied, That is why I have a spring in my
Offal said, I will give you twenty gold for it.
Ger said, No. I want it as a trophy.
Ah. I understand. That will cost you.
How much? Ger asked.
Offal said, I can tan the skin and stuff that for ten. If
you want the bones as a periapt that will cost you another three hundred.
Ger muttered, I aint no officer. Cant afford more than
Make it fifty-five, and I get to keep the meat.
Inwardly Ger shuddered at the thought of Offal and the meat
of the Tiefling. Ger said, All I gots is fifty-three.
Offal hefted the tail and said, Must be a good ten pounds
of meat. He licked the bloody cut end of the tail. Licking his cracked lips
with a purplish black tongue Offal said, Ok, fifty-three it is.
Ger handed Offal a small bag of coins.
Offal said, Give me a couple of weeks.
Ger left quickly.
Offal retrieved his finest scalpel. He honed the scalpel on
an oilstone. Offal was careful to make sure no one saw the lubricant for the
oil stone. He doubted the regiment would allow anyone to live who created oil
by extracting it from the bodies of human babies. It only took a couple of
drops to hone the scalpel.
Offal used the scalpel to remove the skin from the tail. Ger
held the regimental record for skinning prisoners. Offal never entered the
skinning competitions. He knew his decades of experience, speed, and skill
would frighten the regiment and end his meal ticket.
Offal boned the tail putting all the bones in a large bowl.
He took the bowl of bones over to a rack of amphora. He placed the bones in the
bottom of an empty amphora. Offal pulled on a pair of heavy leather gloves
before opening one of the sealed amphora. Carrion beetles normally ate dead
flesh. Offal had scars on his hands proving the beetles could not tell he was
alive. The confusion of the beetles was justified. Offal opened the amphora. He
scooped up handfuls of detritus rich with beetles to cover the bones. Offal
knew the beetles would expertly clean the bones of any remaining meat and
Offal now turned his attention to the meat. He dug through
his pantry selecting some small turnips. He skewered the meat alternating
chunks of the Tiefling with the small turnips. Offal liked his meat bloody rare
and hot with burnt edges. The crisp texture of the turnips gave contrast to the
tender meat. Offal reminisced, it was almost fifty years since his last taste
of Tiefling flesh. Tiefling was sweeter and less gamey than Elf. Offal licked
his dry, cracked lips enjoying the smooth texture of the meat. He savored the
taste. The Marazzer provided ample human flesh. They gave Offal the bodies of
the ones they skinned. In contrast, Tiefling was a special treat. Wistfully
Offal hopefully thought about eating the heart and liver of the female Tiefling
that provided the meat for the evening feast. He hoped Ger would soon bring him
the rest of the Tiefling.
Over the next few days Offal tanned the skin and stuffed it
with straw and cotton. He carefully pulled the cleaned bones from the amphora.
Using gold and silver wire he wound the bones into a spiral pattern with the
largest bones on the outer edge. He created the charm using arcane spells and
When complete, Offal admired his work. This was not the most
powerful artifact Offal created over his decades but it was the most impressive
he had made in years.