A lucky break! That bastard Vane didn’t get everything. I’ve found a stash at the bottom of my sock drawer—that isn’t really where, but I’m certainly not going to tell you where I hide things. In any case, I have product!
Salamander Scales. Where to begin?
What is it, I wonder, that you imagine when the word Salamander passes through your hearing? Is it a drake that springs to mind? That fearsome beast—terror of a thousand tales, bane of Knights and Dwarves, hoarder of gold? Do you picture some cinder-belching newt? A fish-eyed lizard with a knobbly tail and frog fingers, that glows with some inner light? Or perhaps you envisage a serpentine incarnation of elemental fire, enigmatic dweller of the Deep Places, that inexorably works its way, like magma, through the narrow cracks in the Earth.
I’ll tell you honestly, I’m not sure which is closest to the truth. I’ve seen a great many things, but a Salamander, live and whole, is not among them—and the man who sold me these scales last year was ungraciously tight-lipped about it all, even after the six pints I plied him with down at Maggie’s. Still, he swore they were the real thing, and I’m inclined—having seen the burns that have made a ruin of the left side of his face—to take his word for it.
The scales are small and diamond-shaped, and have the look and feel of stone. If they did come from a dragon-like terror, they must have come from between his toes. It’s possible my source has long sold the rest, and I’ve been left with scraps. There’s the chance what he caught was a fledgling, and he barely escaped with his life, fleeing from its tempestuous mother. Never has a fiercer foe existed than a dam in mind of her young. And maybe he was simply ashamed of having been so thoroughly bloodied by a creature the size and figure of a breakfast sausage.
Whatever the case, I am certain of one thing. He brought me something special. I can feel it when I hold them, these little slivers of warmth that send a thrill through my arm. They seem to glow with an inner light, and they possess the most remarkable property: flame is drawn to them. They consume it, as a man does air—so keep them away from your candles unless you fancy sitting in the dark.
With an eye ever pointed toward the practical, as soon as I got my hands on them, I had them set in silver, that you might carry one with you wherever you go. And that is how I present them to you now, few enough though they are—the first meager offering of many, after my ruinous encounter with the bloody Nightshade gang. Get yours while you can, for supplies are severely limited. You never know when the opportunity to gain mastery over fire itself will come round again.