The Plain of Open Grass is hot, dusty, unpleasant, and almost entirely without redeeming features.

Some trade house or other has a farm down here; you think 'BMTH' in the name probably stands for Bitter Moon Tea House, but despite their friendly exterior there are quite a lot of distinctly assorted slaves - although no Flembics, thank the Gods - toiling away on this godforsaken patch of miserable land. It probably ought to be quite fertile, but it looks like there's a drought on.

Marine Patrol 1 is also distinctly assorted, and no-one really gets along. The PD GHG 3rd Guards Brigade are very obviously the sweepings, and individual skilled soldiers in their ranks complain about their lack of appropriate equipment. Caldborn's Regulars are acting like they're straight off the boat and really can't quite get used to the Amun-Sa soldiers who are seamlessly integrated in the Army, Navy and Marines units that have been stuck down here. The Army and the Navy units, meanwhile, never miss an opportunity to compete, with the Navy and the Marines being particularly unhappy about being stranded so far from any actual boats or bodies of water. And Harper's Heroes are paranoid after what happened the last time they went wandering around the innocuous-looking southern plains.

So when the 2nd Caldborn Regulars come screaming back to camp gibbering about giant snake monsters, everyone puts it down to sunstroke at first. Sure, they've got a few scrapes and they've misplaced one of their number, but they're so inexperienced he probably just got lost, and maybe they fell over a few times on their panicked sprint out of the sugar fields.

Just to make sure, everyone troops over to the sugar fields to have a look, at the insistance of Major Grey's Dragoons who have taken some semblance of command due to being all Flembic, having no long-standing arguments with anyone, and having all the guns. The Army and the Navy were arguing over who should get the honour or the drudgery of trampling around the fields in the hot sun anyway, and Harper's Heroes are pretty insistent about not taking the dangers of the New World lightly.

Alas, 2nd Caldborn Regulars didn't have sunstroke.

With well over a hundred troops against ten giant snake monsters - and unless the rumours were exaggerated, these weren't even the really big ones - it wasn't much of a fight.

The suggestion of the Free Islands mokosh in the PD GHG 3rd Guards Brigade that they would make a nice supper is studiously ignored.

As are the fires which denote the six Gnollish slaves making good on that suggestion later in the evening.

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The southern farmlands of the colony are infested with giant snakes! Whilst these giant snakes do not appear to have any kind of leadership or co-ordination, the civilians in the area are in great peril and have been protected only by the heroic efforts of our good Marines, bravely venturing far inland from the coast to do battle with the evil creatures.

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Sending your small coterie of giant snakes off to destroy the farming establishments of Southern Flambard, you receive no giant snakes back from the battle, but you do hear some satisfying rumours of how they upset James Higham's Marine Patrol 1 dreadfully by consuming at least one of their number before succumbing to the massive numerical superiority of the other force.

Apparently every man at arms they could scrape up in the area, including a whole bunch of Amun-Sa they'd scared up from somewhere and a number of dracoscions, was patrolling from the Plain of Dust. Bad luck, that.

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Someone let a bunch of giant snake monsters loose in the farmland of the Plain of Open Grass. Fortunately there was a sizable Marine Patrol 1 in the area which put the unpleasant creatures down, although one of them was careless enough to get too close.