Sorlag: Sorg Flesh-trader
Her clan harvested the most warmbloods; they gorged themselves and had flesh-stock left over. Many credited the Haruspex, who could open terrifying windows to the Other Place using the warmbloods’ steaming guts. As their best hunter, Sorlag credited herself. She would expose him by using the warmblood’s forcefield devices to spill his “sacred” bowel-bowl. Morning came, the ritual began, and all saw the Other Place—dark, metal, cold. Sorlag leapt with the device. But her claws had crossed the window. She saw the bowl topple as she was pulled in, screeching.
It had been whispered for centuries: that after the fall, a hatchling with a dire destiny would emerge from a scarred egg. The voice of the Haruspex called for silence the barren cavern as the tribe huddled near the blaze of the fire. Any emergence was cause for the tribe to stop and observe. But with an egg so marked, all eyes watched. The first tearing of the egg began slowly; yet even as a hatchling, this one emerged with a violence and speed that made even the old ones recoil, hissing into the night.
The Haruspex began the chant, filled with sounds and phrases that, though seemingly gibberish, struck fear in all who heard. That chant, in a tongue forgotten by all but a few ancients, spoke of the Other Place, its awesome power and mind-searing horrors, and of the Sorg’s fateful connection to it. And then the old Haruspex’s voice rose to a roar as he slowly held aloft the still curled, glair-covered hatchling and pronounced its name. Sorlag. And all looked up to the hatchling, even now struggling to be free from the grasp that held it.
The clan’s minders knew the legend that foretold of this special one. So they raised and trained Sorlag with great caution. And soon her strength indeed became something to fear. But although each minder concealed their fears, the truth became obvious to the whole clan: Sorlag knew no fear or pity, and she never would. The day came when all that remained to teach her were the Sorg ways of hunting, raiding, and killing. Others learned this slowly. Not Sorlag. Her taste for blood, for meat, for destruction drove her faster than the minders would go.
The Haruspex gave a command: Let Sorlag join a raid. But first, she must come to him—to learn secrets that, even at such an early age, should bring doubts and difficult questions. With the stone walls surrounding him, filled with the ancient carvings and the colors of quickly painted images, the Haruspex said, “Look,” pointing to it all. And did Sorlag give the ancient images even a cursory glance? No, said those who dared edge close enough to the chamber to bear witness. But the Haruspex extended a curled claw to her indifferent chin, to make Sorlag understand.
“The Sorg once ruled the world. Only five great clans existed, and they lived in sprawling cities. There was peace. But long after the Fall, the warmbloods rose to plunder our world! They had machines to dig and to think and to kill. They tried to banish us from our own lands. They tried to kill every Sorg, even smashing scores of our eggs before the hatchlings could draw their first breath. The Sorg retreated to the caves—these caves. And with one world gone, we made another. We would survive. We would fight. But then the Oruk created their own downfall.”
Sorlag stood up, hissing at the tale. She walked past the Haruspex and opened her mouth, tasting acrid air. Acid built in her throat, eager for a target, as she laid a claw on one image. A machine to kill Sorg. The Haruspex nodded. “Many, many cycles ago, Oruk machines learned the buried secret of the Other Place, with its blood, death, and horror. The machines passed the secret into the Oruk. The portal opened. In their madness some fled into it, no longer masters. They were like chunks of meat thrown to hungry beasts. This was the Oruks’ Fall.”
Sorlag left the cave. Those who had gathered outside backed away from her. Had the place and its story made her understand the Sorg ways? Had it made her even more brutal, more deadly? As they returned to the clan grounds, no one spoke—not even the Haruspex! Days later, when the clan grew hungry and the cycle demanded it was time to hunt the wandering, wild warmbloods and raid their camps, Sorlag took up weapons and strode to the front to lead. None questioned her right to be there. None questioned her seizing of leadership. None dared.
And that hunt would create unending strife for Sorlag and for all Sorg, for when a warmblood band is found, only one Sorg clan may claim it. The harvesting, slaughter, and slaves are for that clan alone! Only this law keeps an uneasy peace between the many raiding clans. But that night, Sorlag and her raiders found a group of Oruk pinned against a sheer cliff as another Sorg warband closed in—from a distant clan Sorlag did not know. Her raiders began to turn away, but Sorlag stopped them. She spoke only one chilling word: “Ours.”
Then Sorg fought Sorg as the warmbloods cowered. Sorlag’s bloodlust only grew with each kill. Suddenly, gunfire from above! Sorlag spun around to find her raiders dead, and the other clan’s raiders fleeing. She whirled back. There atop the cliff was an Oruk woman in a feathered headdress, her gun’s barrel still glowing red with heat. Sorlag leapt to the cliff and scaled it with her bare claws, but by the time she reached the top, the Hunter was gone. Sorlag had found her destiny. She would kill this Hunter … even if it meant following her into the Other Place.
Voice Over Lines
- Argh! I hate it when the little bones get stuck between my teeth.
- You look tasty! We’ll find out how tasty soon.
I smell something delicious.
- Now we play games.
- Ooh, you’re a fat one! Means more meat to rip from your bone.
- They won’t find all your pieces.
- You’re too droopy to sell. I’ll eat you instead.
- You lack the skills to succeed.
- Worthy savage. I believe your parts will sell very well.
- Shoot clean! It leaves the insides intact.
- I hope I didn’t hit anything expensive in there.
- Good anger release, Sorlag not so mad now.
- Mmm. Just like Sorg mating jelly.
- I will rip the meat from your bone.
- I will feast on your bone.
- You lack the skills to defeat me.
- Worthy savage! I will enjoy defeating you.
- You will be mine… to eat.
- A pity such fine resources must be wasted.
- That was delicious!
- That was scrumptious, I could just like my claws.
- What a hunt.
- Oh, how delightful!
- I think I’ll make a hat out of your skin.
- I confess, I do like it when gurgle.
- I should make a nice profit off of you.
- I hope there’s still some good parts left.
- Warm and breathless is best.
- You’re more use to me dead than alive.
- What are all these delicious presents? Is it my hatch day?
- I do so enjoy the slaughter.
- Allow me to show your insides as I take them out.
- Brood mother said there will be days like these.
- Your death is best served warm.
- I hate when the stringy bits get stuck in my teeth.
- I’ll need to bring more body bags next time.
- The hunt continues.
- Benefit of being the eldest? I was able to eat my brothers and sisters.
- Your blood is warm and delicious.
- Be careful not to spoil them.
- I had intended to kill you last, but I think I changed my mind.
- You will regret that.
- Clearly you don’t see how this is supposed to work.
- I’m not often the prey.
- Good shot, you won’t get another one.
- You’re ruining the goods.
- Why won’t you stand still and die?
- You’re beginning to irritate me.
- This hunt could be going better.
- You’re only lucky, never again.
- We’ll meet again.
- I’ve a lot of catching up to do!
- I’m coming for you!
- I can smell their fear!
- You are but prey to me.
- I’m going to skin you while you watch.
- I can already taste the warmth of your blood.
- I won’t mind picking you out of my teeth.
- I’ll shred you!
- I have your scent now, meat!
- Have a taste!
- Save me!
- I could use assistance!
- I ‘m being over run!
- There’s so much blood!
- They winged me!
- I am in need of healing.
- Filth, disgusting.
- I’m going to need some healing jelly after that.
- What are you doing?