The plains were burning. Thick oily black smoke rosed into the skies, where it was visible hundreds of kilometers away. The creatures living in the vicinity fled from the inferno that was raging on in the heart of the plains.
The fire was constantly accompanied by thunderous roars that could be heard echoing away dozens of kilometers away. No sane creature nor person had remained close by, as they all fled away from the angry pressure of the Serpent God.
"Seagull Two to One, presents delivered!" The comms in Goldan's headphones cried out. "Place burning up hotter than hell!"
"Roger, RTB! Stay high, don't get caught by that thing!" Goldan replied as he turned the plane back towards base, before leaning back and watching the burning fields.
"That is for the guys of Seagull Three!"
Lebo the Hunter crouched low, using the tall grass for concealment and watched the squirming Serpent God thrashing about in the distance. Fires raged all around it as it cried out in pain and anger while rolling about the scorched earth, creating large furrows of churned earth.
He had wrapped a dirty sweat stained animal hide across his mouth and nose, as the thick ash and smoke hugged the area around the Serpent God. He frowned as he watched two strange crossed shaped objects flying off in the skies, that barely looked like any wyvern or dragon he has ever seen in his whole life of hunting monsters.
Despite his misgivings, he bowed and gave a prayer of thanks to the strange flying creatures as he watched how they burnt the hidden Serpent God out of its hiding place. He picked up his quiver filled with throwing spears and carefully backtracked away from the enraged Serpent.
Once he was certain he was far enough from the snake, he turned heels and ran, heading towards the army that was awaiting his scouting report.
It was rudely awakened by the same hellfire that came out of nowhere. The dirt ceiling above it collapsed and buried it while shockwave baffled it all over, making it confused and hurting its insides.
Liquid hellfire scorched and stuck to any of its exposed flesh, while the air around it was superheated up by the rivers of fire. Nasty storm clouds soon formed above the raging inferno as the superheated air rose up into the atmosphere, and chain lightning thundered and flashed in the clouds.
Its injuries were barely healed when yet it suffered again, feeling the hellfire burning right into its core. It thrashed about, trying to rub the hellfire off its body as it dug its way out of the earth. It wondered how was it found, was the Gods of Fire working with the mortals against it now?
It opened its jaws and screamed out its rage, knowing that its injuries will lessen its time on this realm and it must feed or its powers will be too weak to remain here. It rolled about on the ground and slithered its way out of the inferno, making sure to avoid the swaths of hellfire an ignored the energy draining sun rays on its body as it looked around desperately for prey.
Thousands and thousands of Oerkin had gathered together by the call of the Great Summons. It has been over a hundred years since the last Great Summon was invoked and all the warriors of the Great Clans and Tribes had gathered before a massive inferno raging in the distance.
"Is that where the Evil One is?" One of the gathered Lesser Chiefs asked.
The gathered Chiefs and Elders of various clans and tribes glazed upon the burning plains. "Where are the rest? Have they all been defeated?" Another young Oerkin chief asked.
The Elders and Chiefs looked at each other uneasily. "We have no news, wait for the scouts to return!"
"Are we fighting?" Another called out while the Elders and Chiefs ignored the questions. "What are we waiting for?"
"All of you! Silence!" One of the Elders with an angry expression roared out. "We observe more before making any rash acts!"
"We wait for the scouts to return?" A commanding voice broke the unease among the chiefs and elders. A young Oerkin with perfectly sculpted muscles wearing a sleeveless hide armor with a brace of black powder revolvers hung on his hips and great ax dangling over his back stroll to the center of the gathered Oerkins. "How long must we wait? We have gathered here for over three days!"
His dominating presence forced the Oerkins to give way to him and he stood before all the chiefs and elders. "Me, Turok! Son of Drokk, Great Chief of the Wolfmasters!" He roared out his credentials.
"Son of Drokk, we greet you!" The elders and chiefs gave a respectful bow to the young chieftain of the largest Oerkin Clan. "Your Father will-"
"Yes, yes!" Turok waved the pleasantries away. "My Father missing still! Together with a thousand of the Wolfmasters warriors!"
The other lesser chieftains also cried out, "We have three hundred warriors missing!"
"Five hundred of the Tusk Clan!"
"Enough!" The Elders and Chiefs on the front roared out. "Wait for the scouts to return!"
"Not only that!" Turok growled. "Where are the Shamans? I see none here! Even our clan's Shamans are missing!"
His words made the rest of the young chieftains uneasy as they looked around themselves while the Elders and Chiefs sighed. "The Shamans have all gone to get help..."
"Help?" Turok narrowed his beady eyes. "From who? And where? All the Great Clans and Tribes had gathered to the call of the Great Summon! Who else can the shamans call? Unless..."
"Yes... Our ancestors!" One of the Elders confirmed his thoughts. "As of now, we waiting for them to arrive..."
"Why do we need..." Turok frowned. "Wait... the missing warriors! Every single one defeated?"
"Yes..." The Elders and Chiefs nodded sadly. "We do not wish to spread this news!"
The sons of the chiefs that perished in the battle with the Serpent God looked around themselves in shock at the news.
"There are three thousand warriors!" Turok cried out! "How could it be possible!"
"It is the truth!" The Elders and Chiefs replied. "We are fighting a Great Evil!"
"But... the bodies! Their spirits?" Turok clenched his fists in anger. "Where are they?"
His question was met with silence until Turok turned away from the gathering of Elders and Chiefs. "I shall gather my warriors for war! We have waited too long! Now it is injured we must take this chance to kill it!"
Turok suddenly stopped and turned back and said, "That Evil has to be stopped! Like how our fathers had done so for the greater good of the Oerkin race! That Thing feasts on the spirits of all things living, if we want to live free after death, we must fight!"
With that, he walked off, with the rest of the sons of the Chiefs following behind as they went to rally their warriors to fight.
A stench of old and rot followed the army of undead as they marched tirelessly across the plains, drawn to the black clouds of smoke in the far horizon. Surrounding the undead army was the Oerkin Shamans who spent all their powers to keep the spirits in check and also by maintaining a magic barrier over the undead as the sun rays greatly weakened the spirits.
The shamans watched the smoke given off by the fires with great unease as they approached nearer. They all had felt the loss of the Eldest Shaman who stayed back to fight the Evil, and now massive forbidding clouds gathered over the thick smoke with flickers of lightning and roars of thunder.
"We must hurry! I fear the Great Summon might be in trouble!" One of the Elder Shaman using a short ranged telepathy spell spoke into the minds of the shamans nearby. "We should be able to make it to the Summon by nightfall!"
The other Shamans nodded and together, they squeezed out all their remaining mana to keep the barrier protecting the undead stronger, to allow the spirits more energy to move faster as they kicked their wind wolves mount, urging them to move faster.
The shrieking shell screamed past Aaron's head and he ducked and the Orc riding the wind wolf ahead of him disappeared into smoke, flames, and gore. The riderless wolf tumbled head over heels with its rear end missing and trailing blood and gore everywhere as it rolled across the plains.
He turned his head away from the splatter of blood as his mount rode through the billowing dust and smoke. Flecks of blood and bits of flesh cling onto his body and clothes which he quickly brushed them off.
He turned back and cursed as he saw the crab like tank following him instead of the other split off parties of Orcs. His remaining escort of five Orcs was all that remained of the ten that followed him.
He watched a line of tracers erupted out from the side of the crab tank, the rounds ripping up the other party of Orcs that rode away in another direction. Most of the Orcs and wolves tumbled down from the lethal spray of bullets and Aaron cursed again.
He stared at the thick smoke rising in the distance and wondered what was all about before he turned his attention back to the tank that was chasing and hunting him. Should he surrender? They probably put him on trial and lock him up somewhere right? Better than being dead... He thought.
But he touched his chest where the emptiness of the snake amulet used to sit and felt a tingle of fear down his spine. It is better to live free than be subjected to a cell as he knew that the Serpent can get into places and walls, doors, and locks meant nothing to it!
Well, at least he has some backup plan. Aaron dug into his saddlebag and pulled out an M7A1 rifle. He turned and yelled at his escorts, "We fight! Enough running! Use the anti armor rounds!"
His escorts grinned happily as they too pulled out weapons from their side saddles on their mounts. retrieving their revolvers cannons. They expertly loaded up the four round chambers of the revolver cannons with special green tipped 20 mm shells and Aaron gave a command, the riders all suddenly as one split and galloped back towards the chasing spider tank.
Drake perched on the warped hull of MAW Unit Zero Two frowned at the sight of the Orc cavalry looping back while swinging their black powder arms. Slow suddenly cried out, "The sides!"
He turned and saw the other split of parties also looping back towards them and wondered if they were planning to fight. He knelt down and braced himself properly before raising his scoped M1 rifle and snapped off a shot and missed.
Undeterred, he took aim again and fired at the charging human, aiming for the larger wind wolf rather than the rider. The 6.8 mm bullet spun out of the barrel with a trail of flames and gases. It struck the charging wolf in the face a split second later and despite the innate barrier of air protecting the wolf, the wolf flinched as the bullet slowed down and dumped its remaining kinetic energy against its coat of fur that acted as an absorbent armor.
The remaining kinetic energy was enough to bruise the wolf painfully and as it flinched from the hit, it accidentally tripped over its own legs and tumbled over the ground while flinging its rider off its back.
The rest of the Orcs fired as they closed the distance between themselves and the spider tank. Their anti armor shells scoring potholes against the armor of the MAW, making both Drake and Slow duck flat to avoid getting hit by sprays of hot lead and shrapnel.
The guns of the MAW opened up as the Orc riders rushed them, easily blowing chunks out of their bodies and before long, there was barely a single Orc still alive around them. Some of the wolves not wounded too badly whimpered and limped away from the monster that killed its owners.
Drake peered over the hull of the MAW and saw the human pushing himself up unsteadily and growled.
"Now for the final meal!"