– Brothers! Today I appeal to you not on my humble behalf, but on behalf of our great ancestors! Time has come…
Ndidi, Showing the Path, the high shaman of a small tribe of gnolls, stood on the truncated top of an ancient pyramid. He specially chose the weather and time of day so that the rays of the sunset sun created a yellowish halo around his figure, and a light breeze stirred the feathers on the ritual headdress. A tamed desert lizard hissed on his shoulder and bulged his dorsal ridge. Oh yes, he was preparing for this speech, and now no one could stop him. The shaman raised his hand with a staff and pointed them towards the lands where the lions ruled.
– … it’s time to remind these arrogant fools who they are dealing with! Do you remember who we are?!
The crowd of gnolls gathered at the foot of the pyramid murmured uncertainly. It was not even a full-fledged tribe, but just unkilled remnants that survived after another attack of the undead from Styx. Plus half a dozen loners who were not accepted into stronger tribes. But Ndidi saw potential even in such a gathering.
– We, – the staff drew a circle over the tribe, – the chosen people! A race of mighty warriors, skilful pathfinders, great sorcerers and shamans, who are used by small people as meat in senseless battles! Tell me, how long they, – the staff again pointed to the side, – will mock us? Sneer at the heritage of the great empire and dance thier dirty dances on its ruins?!
The barking voice of the leader-shaman was mesmerizing, saliva flew from the fangs of the hyena-like mouth. One might have thought that Ndidi had fallen into a sacred trance, and it was no longer just the gnoll who spoke to his fellow tribesmen, but the gods of the land of Kush themselves stood at the top of the pyramid. But the shaman was in a sober mind and perfectly understood what kind of words he was throwing into the crowd.
– What can we do, oh wise Ndidi? – you can ask me. Oh, I will answer you. We must declare ourselves with all the strength and power of the best people among these sands! For too long we have been abused and used. But tomorrow everything will change. Tomorrow we will go to war. And we will win it! – The shaman’s sickle cut the air with a whistle. – Tomorrow we will regain our lost lands. And then we will unite the other tribes and finally move from the eternal defense to the attack on the Pride of Lions. Victory and glory awaits us!
At the end of his speech, Ndidi threw both hands up and shook them, a wild half laugh, half bark escaped from his throat. The crowd below echoed him. The sun was setting behind the pyramid, painting the fangs and eyes of the gnolls scarlet and crimson.