Inside a large tent, sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun overhead, the war meeting was just about ready to convene.
At the head of a large makeshift table covered in maps of the surrounding regions, Chisk stood, or more accurately slouched in mock boredom, her back leaning against the edge of the table. To most onlookers, she seemed to barely pay any attention to the few stragglers filing into the shaded space, but her keen eyes were in fact taking in every detail. Such as the two dingoes that were finally making their way into the tent at this moment, one of them leaning on the other for support.
At her side, Duskbiter also observed the occupants of the room, mentally doing role call of the assembled horde leadership.
Right off at the other end of the table was General Siltscale, a massive dark-scaled goanna whose hide was mottled with white bands and scars that seemed to blend together. Whatever plans Chisk would suggest, Siltscale would likely challenge them. That was probably why she always stood at the other side of the room. It was less dramatic to argue with someone when you're standing right next to them.
Next to Siltscale was General Iretooth, a lithe female quoll with reddish-brown fur and pointed ears. The inventor general didn't look too happy to be standing so close to the notoriously disagreeable goanna, arms folded with distaste and glaring. One of the downsides of Chisk's leadership style was that someone as vain and rude as Iretooth was kept around, as Chisk found her insults entertaining more often than not.
Duskbiter's gaze roamed further along the line, and almost passed right over a short black-furred, white spotted quoll, whose presence was easy to miss. As the general specializing in infiltration, Starpelt had the uncanny ability to avoid detection even while standing in plain sight. It was almost impossible to detect his presence unless he let himself be noticed, like right now. He was eating a loaf of bread he had pulled out of his satchel, even though Duskbiter had told him numerous times not to eat at meetings. At this point, Duskbiter was too tired to care.
On the other side of the table, Swiftpaw was taking his place, alongside Vraskar. Out of all the generals, Swiftpaw seemed the most reliable, and in fact Duskbiter was the one who encouraged Chisk to appoint him to the position. It was nice to have someone around who wasn't overly disagreeable or strange.
Vraskar, on the other hand, was someone that Duskbiter strongly disliked. He and his loud bunch of ruffians were undeniably useful in battle, but outside of battle they were a nuisance. Those same traits, however, were exactly why Chisk liked them so much. Duskbiter could only hope that the rather unbalanced looking dingo didn't disrupt the meeting too much. As if these meetings didn't already get wild enough already.
Compared to all these battle-hardened generals, Duskbiter herself seemed almost comically normal. She was only slightly more capable in battle than an ordinary footsoldier, and she looked more suited to the farm she grew up on than in a war meeting of a massive horde. Still, she and Chisk had known each other since they were pups, and the warlord relied on her practical judgement and organized mind to run this massive operation.
Before Duskbiter could continue scrutinizing the rest of the crowd, Chisk slammed her warclub onto the table as a signal that the meeting was now underway. Duskbiter resisted the urge to admonish her for hitting the already unstable table, which wobbled slightly but miraculously held up.
Chisk was getting bored of all this pointless chatter, so like it or not the meeting would start now.
"As you all probably know, unless you've been asleep this whole time, we are about to reach Uluru. Even though we've already discussed our strategies in previous meetings, Dusky insisted we do this final meeting to make sure we're all on the same page. Since some of you are probably stupid, I guess this is necessary. I'm warning you though, we're making this quick and not getting into another argument that makes this drag on longer than needed. I'm especially talking to you, Scaley. If you annoy me too much this time, I'll make Dusky kick you."
Chisk barely noticed Duskbiter holding up her paws apologetically as Siltscale glared at the dingo with derision.
"Okay, I'll go through all this in one go so we can get this over with quickly. Don't interrupt, or I'll flick you on the nose!" Chisk began "We'll start with the usual fake diplomacy, sending in Dusky, 'cos she looks the most trustworthy and nonthreatening. We'll offer to spare their lives if they surrender, the usual spiel. Anyways, they'll definitely refuse, but while they're distracted, some of our forces will be sneaking into Uluru, to take it from the inside."
Siltscale interrupted, shouting across the room while pointing her claw in a way that was unnecessarily dramatic "And how do you propoze to do dat? The wallz of dat rock are zteep, even for uz goannaz, and I am not aware of any pozzums or koalaz in our forcez."
Before Chisk could go over and flick Siltscale's nose, Iretooth also interrupted. "Ha, every word you say just reveals your ignorance! Our wise leader personally asked my ingenious self to build special grappling hooks that will allow our fighters to scale those walls without breaking a sweat. In fact, I made all sorts of devices for our attack, but I don't even need to share that secret information with you ugly lot!"
Siltscale hissed in anger, and Duskbiter quickly intervened "Iretooth, please refrain from insults at this meeting!"
Iretooth's confident demeanor instantly shattered, and she shakily muttered "Gggghhh, no one appreciates my genius…"
Chisk grumbled "Scaley, Toothy, the two of you need to shut up."
Siltscale huffed in annoyance, crossing her arms and turning away, while Iretooth paled at the implied threat and shrank back.
Chisk continued, her mood suddenly cheerful. "Anyways, if the climbing plan doesn't work, I've got a two pronged attack plan as backup. The first prong will involve infiltration and poisoning, which I will entrust to Starry" She pointed at Starpelt, and several beasts jumped in shock at noticing him for the first time, despite how loudly he was eating. He casually waved at them. "I will also have Toothy assist with certain aspects of that, which will be kept secret for now. The second prong consists of our main fighting forces, which will besiege Uluru. Scaley and Swifty will lead the bulk of the forces. Since Scaley has so rudely interrupted me, I will let Swifty give his report on the state of our forces."