Artist's romantic rendering of the first meeting between Corumm and the natives of Punth.
Eastern border of Cotis, Punth:
The road going east off Cotis proper was a sorry thing, more of a trail than a true road, more suited for pack animals than the tank column now making its way through the thick vegetation. Fucking Conglomo was always cutting corners, the road's surface felt as solid as soggy bread.
Cernan Hortez, mercenary, adventurer and thrice convicted arsonist was in overall command of the column. 4500 Corummese troops, 600 of Cernan's own 'associates' and a few native guides embarked on a journey of bloody retribution and legendary glory. A few well greased palms at the Ministry of War back in Mirzak had seen Hortez placed in charge of the operation, officially due to his 'vast experience with the natives'. That is to say the rape of native women and the theft of their gold jewelry.
The mission was simple enough: the natives were to learn what happened when they strayed into Corummese territory. Fifteen villages were to be punished, an arbitrary quota determined by some pencil pusher at the Ministry. Easy peasy.
'Take it slow Chechi, the village is not going anywhere' Hortez told the driver and relaxed on his seat, taking out the newest number of 'The Lusty Hekuvian Maid', a wildly popular publication between men of action like himself. He was almost asleep when someone poked him harshly on the shoulder, 'Boss, we're here'
Tossing the naughty exploits of 'The Lusty Hekuvian Maid' into the backseat, Hortez climbed out of the jeep to survey the area. The village was medium sized, with a road leading into a central square of sorts. A few stone buildings ringed the square and the rest of the buildings seemed to be huts made of mud and other low quality materials. Fields being worked by natives surrounded the entire village.
'I bet they keep the good stuff in one of those stone temples, alright boys move in, kill all the men and any women that resist. Our target is those stone buildings in the middle, for Corumm!'
The farming plots soon turned into a blood-stained killing field, with dozens of natives gunned down as they tried to escape. As the Corummese advanced, a group of men with feathered shields and spears came running from the village and tried a desperate charge. They never even got close, torn apart by gunfire and exploding tank rounds. The battle was soon over.
Hortez gave the men permission to claim the spoils of victory, thus they proceeded to ransack the houses and to force themselves on the women. He ordered a pair to hoist a Corummese flag on top of the stone temple before entering it. It was darker than he expected but he could make out weird carvings on the walls, they seemed to depict some dark sacrifices to some animal god. As Hortez moved forward a man jumped from the shadows in front of him.
Face painted and wearing many trinkets, a priest of sorts to be sure. He spoke in the strange tongue of the land and seemed to be warning Hortez not to go further. Undaunted, the brave adventurer brandished his pistol and shot the savage priest on the neck. He finally got to a type of altar and lying on top of it he saw what he had come for, his eyes opening wide in delight.
All manner of artifacts wrought from gold and precious stones lay before him, great golden vases and necklaces inlaid with jade, masks and ceremonial knifes with gems on the hilts, gold shaped like snakes and birds and terrifying idols. Only a small sample of the Teohuxul wealth that waited to be claimed by him.