Captain Joseph, Commanding Officer of the Third Marine Battalion, sat facing several of the locally remaining prominent men of Orwell's Point. The local merchants and community leaders glared uneasily at their opposite counterparts made up of ex-slaves who glared back with equal resentment and malice.
"Thank you all for making your time out of your busy schedules to meet me here," Joseph politely greeted the people. "Now before we start, I-"
"Wait, my lord!" One of the merchants cut in before Joseph could finish speaking. "Why are we here with those... sla-, second rate citizens?"
"Second rate?" The ex-slaves contingent cried out indignantly. "What makes you so superior? Money?"
The merchant smirked and made a mock helpless gesture, "See, my lord, this uneducated sla... people... will only impair what plans you have, my lord!"
"What?" The ex-slaves where more riled up by the comments and the trap the merchant had forced them into. "You stinkin-"
"ENOUGH!" Joseph banged the table with his palm. "I called you here not to have you act like bickering housewife shopping in a damn market!"
Both sides immediately quiet down, while the locals hid grins behind their hands and smirked at the ex-slaves who fumed angrily, glaring fiercely back.
Joseph gave out a long sigh and addressed both parties. "I want both sides to stop all manner of aggression right now!"
Both parties silently shook their heads inside, knowing that there is no way it is possible of what Joseph was asking of them.
"We have cultists running amok in the city and that is just the least of our problems heading towards us!" Joseph simply said. "And I am not talking about the army the Empire is sending over to retake take this place, but this..."
He switched on the display on the wall behind him and the gathered people gasped in surprise at the images that were shown. "What is that amazing artifact?" Some of the merchants stared at the lifelike and vibrant images shown on the screen."
"Now if I can have your attention on the screen," Joseph carried on ignoring the amazed cries and questions. "This just happened several hours ago at a city not too far from here, about two five day weeks distance of travel away."
The locals and the ex-slaves watched as a giant snake rampaged over a city, seeing it snatch tiny figures with flailing hands with its massive mouth from the ground.
"How is that possible?" The gathered locals and ex-slaves mumbled in unbelieving tones among themselves.
"We recorded this calamity from the air with... magic..." Joseph explained. "You all have seen our flying machines, that was how we found out that, that city was attacked by such a creature."
"Now, it is highly possible, this creature will come to target us next," Joseph said. "When that happens, anyone still remaining behind these walls will end up very much like that city's inhabitants."
Both sides were shocked by the words of Joseph. "This the reason why I gathered all of you here to make plans on how to save as many people as possible should the situation comes to that point!"
"Look, I am not telling you all to bury your grievances in a day or two, I know its hard after so long of resentment between the two sides," Joseph added. "But I would like you all to set aside that for the good of your own people."
The gathering tribes and clans of Oerkins grew larger and larger as more and more Oerkins responded to the summons with all haste. The Great Serpent after feasting its fill had hidden among the rubble of the ruined city, awaiting the Sun to set before it moves out to hunt to sate its ever growing appetite.
The Oerkins were restless as they waited impatiently for more of their brethren to join them while the Shamans and Elders prepped spells and magic formations to defeat the Great Serpent.
The other merchants and slaves loitering around the outskirts had pulled back further and set up camp, most of the masterless slaves being forcefully assimilated into the folds of the merchants.
Others seeking freedom braved the endless plains and set off with barely any supplies and disappeared away from the sight of the city.
"We wait no longer!" The Elder Shaman declared to the rest of the Oerkin Elders. "It will be dark soon!"
"But our brethren have not all joined us!" One of the Elders replied. "Not enough warriors!"
"The Thing is strongest without the light!" The Shaman snapped. "We must act... NOW!"
The rest of the Oerkin Council looked at each and before nodded. "So be it! It will be a glorious day to die!"
The Elders and Chiefians left to prepare their warriors for war while the Shamans gathered together. "Eldest... our powers will be useless against that Thing!"
"We can't summon any warriors to our aid either," The Shamans said. "That Thing has eaten their souls! We can't call them back to fight for us!"
The Eldest Shaman shook wrinkled head and said. "We must call upon the aid of our forefathers!"
The rest of the Shamans looked at each other in surprise, "But Eldest! We can't defile their eternal rest!"
"Now is not the time for such customs!" The Eldest berated the rest. "Only with their strength, may we win!"
"I- it shall be done!" The rest of the Shamans bowed in submission to the Eldest. "We will head off to the ancestral graves immediately..."
"Do it fast, or we will not be here when you all return..."
The charge into the ruined city started off with a war cry, as hundreds and hundreds of Oerkins roared out at once. They slowly picked up the pace as they neared the tall gates left wide open in the haste of the city inhabitants' race to safety.
They swarmed the wide rubble littered, cracked streets of the city, rushing towards the center of the city as the Great Serpent had nested in.
"KILLLLL!" The Oerkins cried out as they saw the creature stirring to life. It had taken shelter inside the ruined Palace, coiling itself under the broken roof protectively, as it did not like the sun rays touching its body.
The Serpent opened its golden eyes and saw a mass of delicious looking life force rushing forward to it. "Hmmm, dinner timeee? How naiseee for them to offeeer themselvesss to missh!"
A volley of hand cannons roared out and the ruined walls of the Palaces exploded from the heavy shots of the Oerkins. Those without firearms charged straight past the ruins columns and walls, navigating their way over the fallen masonry and bodies to close in with the Serpent which eyed them with eagerness.
Shots slammed against the body of the Serpent causing tiny puffs of black smoke to pop out. The Serpent narrowed its golden eyes as it felt stings from the hot burning bites on its body. It slithered out of its cover and avoided the golden red sun rays of the setting sun before happily throwing its self against the Oerkins who wielded a variety of weapons.
"DIE CURSED ONE! DIE!" The Clan Chief of the Wolfmasters with his muscles bugling swung down hard with his heavy double blade ax against the body of the Serpent. He barely felt any resistance as his ax went through the smoky glazed body of the god snake.
A puff of foul smelling oily black smoke oozed out following the passage of his swung ax. The Clan Chief took a step to brace himself from his surprise when the body of the god snake slammed against his chest, sending him and dozens of other warriors flying across the rubble sown ground.
He cursed as a sharp pain cut into his chest and coughed out blood. The Serpent barely even spared him a glance as it happily snapped away at the numerous Oerkins surrounding it, tossing its triangular hooded head back to swallow any unfortunate Oerkin it had caught with its jaws.
A greenish glow suddenly covered the Wolfmaster's Clan Chief and he felt the pain in his chest numbing before fading away. He pushed himself up and saw the Eldest Shaman with his eyes closed, holding out his crooked staff and healing the wounded around him.
"Much thanks, old one!" He grunted in gratitude before turning back to glare at the god snake. "Our weapons could not harm that Thing!"
"It is a lord of darkness!" The Shaman warned. "Light! We need light!"
The Clan Chief nodded and bellowed to the Oerkins nearby, "Fire! Burn everything!"
The Oerkins warriors started using flints to burn whatever flammable material they could find, and soon a several torches and fires lit up the surroundings, casting an orange glow while the sun sets below the horizon.
The Shaman lifted his staff high up and chanted. Motes of light appeared before condensing into a ball of light and the Shaman pushed the Illumination spell into the air, which brightened the area.
The Serpent suddenly paused in its feeding frenzy as it noticed a source of light behind its back. It turned and snarled angrily at the elder Shaman. "Puny low livesss! I ssshall regain my powersss! You will never stop mee!"
"Our forefathers have done so once," The Shaman stood proudly staring back against the angry snake. "You will fail once more!"
"Heeheeeheeehee..." The Serpent hissed. "With jussst a few of you?"
The Serpent's eye narrowed into slits, "That fateful day... Ish feed and feed... the tassteee... ohh... how deliciouss... You forefatherss tasted sooo good..."
The Shaman's expression did not change as he raised his staff up and pointed at the snake. "We, Oerkin will stop you!"
"COMEEEE!" The Serpent roared and struck down towards the Shaman faster than the eye could see. The Clan Chief of the Wolfmasters gasped and tried to throw himself before the Shaman but the god snake was faster as it snatched up the shaman into its jaws. It laughed in triumph before turning to face the angry Clan Chief. "Yoou be neext!"
The Serpent widened its jaws and was about to attack the Chief when it suddenly gave a jerk. "Whaat!?"
A bright glow could be seen within the belly of the Serpent. The Clan Chief gave a bark of laughter, "You bite off more than you can chew!"
He charged forward with scores of other warriors as the Serpent was distracted by the glowing light in its belly. "The light! It makes the shadow god solid! Kill it quickly!"
Spears, axes, swords and hand cannons hammered against the suddenly less shadowy body of the Serpent. Thwacks sounded from the body of the Serpent as the Oerkins' weapons connected against its body. It roared its anger and pain as it felt the pain of the Oerkins' attacks.
"DOWN!" The Wolfmaster Clan Chief suddenly roared and threw himself face down on the ground as the pissed off God whipped its body wildly, crushing and throwing bodies into the air. It shrieked loud enough to shattered the eardrums of the nearby Oerkins.
"CURSESSS!!!" It hissed as the glow in its body grew brighter with no signs of stopping. "ISH REMEMBER YOU! ISH SHALLL DESSTROYY ALL OF YOOU!"
"KILL!" The Oerkins roared out and charged against the madden Serpent. The cold weapons of the Oerkins dug into the black flesh of the Serpents, spewing foul smelling smoke and ichor all over the area while Oerkins were crashed underneath the squirming body of the Serpent or were bitten into pieces and swallowed.
Roars of hand cannons merged with the war cries of the Oerkins as they charged constantly against the Serpent which snarled back in equal ferocity.
The group of Oerkin Shamans riding the swift wind wolves looked back to the distant city with sadness as they felt the Eldest's life force among them fade away. "We must hurry! We must bring the Ancient Horde or all is lost for our race!"