Chapter 4

AT 1082 (AZ 1454) - Midsummer
Near Iakobin, Notos

After so long at sea, there was no describing how good in felt to be on land once more. How much longer had it been since Python felt grass? Had he ever known the world of light awash in blue and green? It did not matter. His mission drove him onward, but first, there was an opportunity for him and his tribe to put the humans to the test and feed. It would be good preparation for the day they reached the land of Zephyr and its great capital city.
It was a journey of three days from the mouth of the river where they first made landfall to the nearest port. The only human cities Python ever knew were the ruins of Old Euros found in the Darklands. However, the city they approached was little improvement over those ruins, except that it teemed with life. More than enough to sate the hunger of his tribe.
Python knew little of humans beyond what the traditions of the elders said about them and so he esteemed them little. His great ancestor once ruled over humans, so overwhelming the inhabitants of this city should be no great challenge. There was no need for craft or subterfuge. His tribe would wash over their wretched city as an unstoppable wave and leave only ruin in their wake.
The humans were slow to react. No alarm was raised until Python's tribe was already behind them and even then, many did not bestir themselves until it was too late. Flimsy buildings of weather-worn wood and mudbrick could not withstand the crush of his tribe pressing forward. For sturdier buildings, there were still windows and doors that could not keep out the slithering invaders. It was not long before the entire city was thrown into a mad panic, just as Python had hoped.
Most of the humans tried to flee as best as their clumsy legs could manage. Some tried to hide, a futile attempt to elude those of his tribe set to hunt and kill. A few were too old or infirm to do much of anything and fewer still were those who mustered the courage to fight back. Among their number were common folk taking up any tool or whatever else was at hand to fight back. The remainder were something resembling an army, but even the poorest of the Monarch Lich's shambling revenants looked more the part of an army that could actually pose a threat to Python's tribe. They were not even worth the trouble of stirring the sleeping power within him.
It would have been little challenge to turn the city into a great nest for his tribe, but after a couple hours of rampaging, Python had his fill. This was nothing more than a diversion. Many had fed and now it was time to move on. More important things awaited them.
As suddenly as they had appeared, the serpents of Python's tribe withdrew, leaving nearly half the city in ruins. It was good practice. His tribe needed to know that the humans were nothing to be feared. They would need to strike just as boldly against the capital city of Zephyr when they arrived. Now that they had seen for themselves their own strength, there would be no hesitation. What could the humans of Zephyr do that humans of Notos could not?