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Scorpion People

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"Things get more imaginative later, though. This time, for example, you fight a topless lady with a scorpion for an arse! Push that motherfucking boat out!"
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Scorpion people are chimeric beings combing the physical characteristics of scorpions and of humanoids. They almost always have segmented tails tipped with poisonous stingers, since it's the signature physical feature of a scorpion; they're often also poisonous in general, and some have claws while others do not — if they do, these can either replace their hands or, if the scorpion person is centaurine in shape, be attached to their waists, where the scorpion's mouth would be if it weren't attached to a human body.

Scorpion people have been around for quite a long time — centaur-like scorpion people first appear in Sumerian and Baylonian myths, under the names of aqrabuamelu or girtablilu, as powerful guardians of places the gods don't want humans poking around in. Many modern works use this as inspiration and depict them as guardians of holy sites in desert settings. These scorpion centaurs are the likeliest to be called girtablilu.

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Scorpion People can also appear as a more exotic or threatening alternative to Spider People. In general, scorpions are perceived in fiction as an Unpleasant Animal Counterpart to spiders: while heroic or benevolent spiders are far from unheard of, scorpions are much more universally portrayed as aggressive or outright evil — Scary Scorpions sees far fewer inversions than Spiders Are Scary. Further, scorpions are often perceived and portrayed as more dangerous or powerful than spiders typically are. Thus, in much the same way that scorpions are sometimes used when something more dangerous or intimidating than spiders is needed, scorpion-based humanoids can serve as a more threatening or dangerous replacement for Spider People, and are more likely to be portrayed as aggressive or simply antisocial. This disparity may owe itself to the real-life fact that scorpion stings tend to be more painful and dangerous than spider bites.

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Regardless of how they're used, they appear most often in desert-themed settings, usually ones inspired by the deserts of North Africa and the Middle East or by Ancient Egypt.

Overlaps with Our Centaurs Are Different when the scorpion person specifically has a human torso on a scorpion's body. Compare Big Creepy-Crawlies, which are nonhumanoid giant arthropods.


Examples:

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    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: The Amonkhet cycle, set on an eponymous plane based off of Egyptian Mythology, features the monstrous Scorpion God, who has an entire scorpion replacing his head and growing from his neck. The set also includes the Soulstinger, a dual-typed Scorpion Demon resembling a gray-skinned humanoid with the lower body of a scorpion and grotesquely elongated arms ending in two additional stingers.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Nemesis is a shapeshifter and chooses to switch out her human legs for a monstrous scorpion body during her fight with Diana.

    Films—Animated 
  • Scroop from Treasure Planet is a scorpion-like alien with pincers for hands and a humanoid upper body.
  • The Scorpion from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a cyborg with robotic scorpion legs and a mechanical pincer instead of wearing a scorpion suit like most incarnations of the character.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Mummy Returns: Mathayus, the Scorpion King, is transformed into a being with the body of a giant scorpion, a pair of scorpion claws attached to his waist and another pair of claws instead of arms after Anubis claims his soul.

    Literature 
  • The Ravirn series has a version like this, but the one seen most often has the "humanoid half" take the place of the scorpion tail, with pincer-like finger on the hands.
  • Werenight features a demon that's a scorpion/human hybrid conjured by the Big Bad in the first fight in the story. It doesn't have a scorpion body, but it does have scorpion claws instead of arms, scorpion legs instead of human legs, and scorpion mandibles.
  • In Way of the Tiger, the evil god Nil, Mouth of the Void is the father of many different kinds of monstrous beings. Among his children are the Sons of Nil, which are scorpion-men who have the world's deadliest poison in their blood. The main hero, the ninja Avenger, has some of this blood in his equipment.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: The Scorpion Zodiart gained a One-Winged Angel form that transformed it into a giant with a humanoid top and a bottom with a scorpion's legs and stinger.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Mesopotamian Mythology provides the Ur-Example and the Trope Maker — and also the earliest known example of centaur-like creature of any kind, predating Greek centaurs by a considerable stretch — in the form of the scorpion-men, who are humans from the waist up and scorpions from the waist down, with a pair of huge scorpion claws. The Enûma Eliš lists them among the monsters created by Tiamat in her war against the gods, and in The Epic of Gilgamesh a pair of gigantic scorpion-men guards the gates to the tunnel the sun passes through each night.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu. The T.O.M.E. (Theatre of the Mind Enterprises) supplement Pursuit to Kadath has the Dragon Warriors, a set of monsters created by the Cthulhu Mythos deity Yig. One of them is Choara, a giant black scorpion with the torso, arms and head of a human.
  • Chaosium: In the supplement All the Worlds' Monsters, the humbaba is half human, half giant scorpion with a tail six to nine feet long.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Throughout the game's many editions and settings, a fair few types of scorpion centaurs have cropped up:
    • Basic D&D has the manscorpion, a basic scorpion-centaur with three-fingered, taloned hands sometimes mistaken for claws. Manscorpions stuck in Forgotten Realms, where they're known as "stingers" or "tlincalli". They're hostile desert-dwellers, and primarily live in complex underground cities tunneled out of the desert soil.
    • The 3rd Edition Creature Collection includes the sandmaskers, beings created in a Deal with the Devil. They have a scorpion claw instead of their left arm, and an additional pair of claws dragging on the ground on their hind ends.
    • 3rd Edition introduces the Scorpionfolk, also called the Girtablilu, which have the distinction of having four arms on their human torso — one pair ending in human hands, the other in scorpion claws. In later editions, they're reimagined slightly to have conventional human torsos, with the scorpion claws being attached to where they'd be in an otherwise normal scorpion.
    • Mystara's manscorpions, also called the Nimmurians or sohktars, were originally desert-dwelling barbarians who eventually settled in the vaguely Sumerian civilization of Nimmur, originally founded by a race of winged minotaurs called the enduks. This lasted until the sohktars betrayed the enduks, ran them out of their homes and claimed Nimmur for themselves, an act for which they were cursed with extreme albinism and intolerance of the sun, forcing them underground.
    • In Eberron, where scorpions replace spiders as the Drow's animal obsession, the traditional driders are replaced by the nomadic, savage scorrow, who are dark elves from the waist up and giant scorpions from the waist down.
  • Pathfinder: Girtablilu are highly religious scorpion-centaurs inspired by Mesopotamian myth. They have scorpion claws growing from their waists, can control regular scorpions, and guard tombs and holy sites in the deserts of Garund, where they live in devoutly theocratic societies. Their stings, of course, are highly poisonous.
  • Rifts: The centaurine Scorpion People are among the servants of the Mesopotamian gods.
  • RuneQuest: The Glorantha campaign setting has scorpionmen.
  • In Titan Quest, Scorpion-people are met in Egypt, but they're not centaur-like.

    Video Games 
  • In Age of Mythology, there is the Scorpion Man myth unit that is unlocked by the Egyptians when worshipping Nephthys. They can sting any enemy to inflict poison on them. They are based on the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns, with large pincers instead of hands.
  • Altered Beast: In Project: Altered Beast, the Final Boss Anastasia's second form has a giant scorpion-like body, complete with the long tail, and a human torso on top. The arms on the torso changes as its health bar is depleted; the fifth form has them change into scorpion pincers, making it a full scorpion-human.
  • The Scorpikis from EverQuest are the half-scorpion half-Iksar creations of the ancient Iksar sorcerer emperor, Venril Sathir. In the centuries after his death, the Skorpikis have made the lands surrounding his tomb their home. While they are largely hostile to everyone in Everquest, players can build up faction with tribes of Skopikis in EverQuest II.
  • In Heroes of the Storm, one of Zagara's alternate skins, associated with the Ancient Egypt-themed realm of Luxoria, is "Desert Queen Zagara", a scorpion-woman in ornate armor and leader of the "Scorpid Swarm".
  • Dark Souls II has a female scorpion hybrid named Scorpioness Najka as a boss. Her much smaller mate Manscorpion Tark is an NPC you can recruit to aid you in your battle with her (provided you wear the Ring of Whispers that lets you understand him).
  • Mega Man: Mega Scorpio, the boss of the Opening Stage in Mega Man X7, is a giant scorpion-like Reploid with a humanoid torso and claws instead of hands that Red Alert used to track down Axl after he escapes from the Crimson Palace.
  • Shantae: ScorpGals are a recurring enemy resembling red-skinned humans with six-legged scorpion torsos, and are found in desert areas. They attack either with their stingers or with scimitars. The first game also had a desert area populated by male scorpion people.
  • Smite: Serqet, the Egyptian goddess of scorpions and poison, is depicted as resembling a human woman with a large scorpion's tail arching behind her back.
  • In the Warlords Battlecry series, the Swarm (a faction of Big Creepy-Crawlies loyal to Melkor the Horseman of Famine) includes two of these; Scorpionmen are the pincer-armed variant and are the Swarm's cavalry unit, while Scorpionpriests have humanoid arms and are the faction's main spellcasters and generals.
  • In Path of Exile the god Shikari mostly takes the appearance of an enormous scorpion, but her tail ends with a human body mutated and fused to function as her sting. Gods are of human origin and generally lose their minds in the process of ascending to divinity, so this sting was the original person.

    Web Comics 
  • Goblins: One of the alternate versions of Kin encountered in the Maze of the Many, instead of being a yuan-ti like other Kins, is a scorpion centaur with a deadly sting.

    Western Animation 

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