The Manirishian Deserts. Unmoving. Uncaring. The often still wind did little to stir the dunes rising high into the icy blue sky. But nothing else in this place could be considered icy. The blistering sun beamed down upon the browned and tan hues, scorching all it laid it's sweltering gaze upon. From the top of a dune, one could look on and on, seeing nothing for miles. It is said that places like these are the conduits of the gods- that the desert, in all its absence of creation, shows most blatantly the goal of a creator.
But whatever created this place eons ago was raging now. Not far, in that usually still place, was the rumbling, writhing duststorm, blazing across the desert. Anything unfortunate enough to be caught in its wide path would no doubt be buried under tons of sand, doomed to lay the rest of eternity unearthed beneath its grainy weight. It barreled now towards a small outcropping of man-made creation in the sands of the desert. A mountain range, barely peaking above the dunes, with the buried remains of a city protruding mere meters out of the ground. It may as well have looked as though it was a complex of single-floored buildings. Beneath that sea of sand, however, it was possible their remains traveled for dozens of feet below. But with the towering wall of sand approaching, it was likely they too would be lost to the desert.
But oblivious to this was Dominique. As he crouched in the shade of a building, he eyed across the sun-baked street between sides. Sunbathing on the sloped roof of a building that gently declined beneath the sand was an Elder Snapper. Massive beasts, a meter high and several long, from tip to tail. They were, in essence, large scorpions. They held intense strength in their claws, yet only the young had stingers with venom. A ten-inch spine like this one had, though, was most certainly deadly without it. The paladin had woken up from camping in the building to see the beast there. Perfect.
He had been extremely hungry, having scarce food in his pack. Spotting the creature meant he was close enough to having a meal; all he needed was to kill the thing. With how old this one looked, it should have been relatively easy, as age withered away the creatures joints and power. Despite the unsavory look, one held enough meat beneath its armored carapace to feed a man for days on end, something he could certainly use. The flavor could have been worse, too- if you closed your eyes and concentrated, it could have been very much like the similarly armored beasts of the sea. If only.
Dominique stepped softly through the shaded, sandy innards of the building towards the window he'd crawled in through. He would need to act fast to kill it. Even older snappers could kill the unsuspecting traveler, and one this big would only need one good strike or grab before it would wretch him to suffocate beneath the dunes. Suffocation in sand- a death that he often had nightmares about. No. Not today. Today, Dominique would feast.