Ketta Terace: Chapter 8

She felt as though all of her body had been sucked through a tube the size of a pinhole. She awoke finding the aches and pains of a poor night’s sleep, but not the trauma or the throbbing of her wounds as she remembered them. Slowly gaining her bearings, she could feel the patter of rain against her skin. The world was not dark as she remembered it, but cast in a soft green glow.

She felt as though all of her body had been sucked through a tube the size of a pinhole. She awoke finding the aches and pains of a poor night’s sleep, but not the trauma or the throbbing of her wounds as she remembered them. Slowly gaining her bearings, she could feel the patter of rain against her skin. The world was not dark as she remembered it, but cast in a soft green glow.

She looked down at herself. The mutilated and blown off hand was not restored, but translucent and glowing green fingers made up the difference. Her wounds and scars across her body glowed the same green beneath her ragged and torn coat. She stood, feeling a lightness and ease to her body. Her slim features were almost emaciated but she did not feel hunger.

Next to her was the sword. Like her wounds, it radiated green light.

The glowing light from her connected scars and the sword itself did not radiate more than a few feet around her. Within the green border, she could see the rocks and the mound where she lay. Puddles splashing in the rain on the stone below her shimmered in the light. All else beyond the rain was darkened. The curtains of rain felt claustrophobic until lightning snapped across the expanse. In the multiple flashes she could see the world spread out below her. She and the blade were no longer in the canyon where she had collapsed, but high above everything on one of the massive plateaus dotted across the landscape. They stretched out before her; the dark valleys and canyons, the square plateaus looming in their dark enormity.

Amylia’s mind snapped in recollection of the cliff where she had spoken with Failbe. Had that been real? The flash of vision told her that perhaps the two places might have been the same. Though the lands in her hazy dream were diverse and living where here...everything here seemed dead and grave.

It was no dream.

The voice was faint in her mind, as an errant wisp of thought.

“What?”

There was no reply.

“It was no dream…” She looked down at the blade and with her half flesh, half glowing hand she grasped the handle of the weapon. She pulled it from its sheath in the stone and raised it up to inspect the craftsmanship.

The blade hummed with power, all along the shimmering alloy of the blade were intricate writings etched and scored and folded by efforts of unimaginable skill and time. Amylia had known blades since she was very small. As she looked it over, her memory took her back only a few hours ago, which felt like a lifetime, when the Bolmorrean had charged her down. She had gotten her desperate wish and with a blade in her hand she felt the missing extension of her body returned, combined with this strange new power.

Yet the more immediate problem presented itself. She was now atop the plateau with no way down. How had she even gotten up there? Was this Failbe’s doing? She hopped off the mound and felt her feet impact the stone ground. In the pattering rain her bare feet splashed into one of the green puddles.

Another strike of lightning broke across the sky. It was very near and the thunder was like a bomb that blasted across her body. Leaping arcs of lightning danced across the pools of water and raced toward her. As the blue light approached she felt the blade in her hand vibrate and she lifted it. The electricity was absorbed into the metal from the water around her feet. Then the electricity dissipated.

In the distance another bout of lightning broke and in it’s light she saw something in the sky. A silhouette with massive spread wings was descending toward her. A moment of darkness transpired before more electricity appeared in the sky. Only this time it was not borne in the clouds, but spread from the silhouette, the creature that approached her with great speed. The undirected arcs crackled in spidery directions from this flying thing.

RUN!

The thought shattered across her mind.

This is too much for you to fight! You must make for the pathway down the stone!

Amylia could feel the power within her hands. Her will was strong, she had the sword, but this thought, this voice in her mind, spoke with the gravity of knowing what approached and she felt that it would be ignored at her own peril. With only a slight hesitation she turned and fled in the direction that had been divined to her. The far back corner of the mesa would have a descending and spiraling path cut into the sheer black stone walls.

She had neared the far corner. A stroke of lightning and thunder broke and she could see the place where the descending path began. Sliding across the smooth rock she ran at full tilt along the precipice of the sheer cliff towards the maw below. She made a sharp turn and hopped over the edge into oblivion. The fall was short before she felt the stone slap against her tough feet.

She looked up to see in another flash from the sky, the beast fly overhead. Through the rain, she could hear it’s wings beat against the air.

Don’t stop!

She listened to the voice and ran down the thin descending plane running down the cliff face. Her body flew down the pathway, propelled by her own legs and gravity, the way was shown by the glowing of her blade and wounds. In the green light she dodged the obstacles, the undulations, the rocky obstacles in her path, leaning nearer against the wall to her left and all too aware of the empty void of darkness to her right. She neared the corner of the mesa, the path making a sharp turn along the edge.

Again the precipice was directly ahead of her and she was moving full tilt towards it. Slowing herself down, her heels dug into the stone. As she neared the corner a flash of blue light darted across her vision and blinded her as it struck into the wall just beside her head. She fell back and slid across the wet stone towards the edge. Turning to her stomach as she slid, the sword was knocked out of her grasp. With all her strength she pressed against the stone to stop. Her feet dangled off the edge, but she was able to stop her momentum.

Laying on her stomach she took in a few breaths. She had nearly fallen to her death. Looking up, she saw the sword still glowing on the ground. Her hand and wounds continued to glow but they were fading. She went into a kneel and looked out from where the light had come from. She stared out into the rain. That was not from the sky, that strike was not natural, but directed at her.

In a flash, two more lights appeared out in the rain and in an instant they were eyes lead by eight lances of talons and followed by curled wings in a striking pose at her. She dove forward expecting something but not quite the massive creature that had appeared. One of the talons clipped her leg as Amylia dove towards the sword. She rolled onto it and turned to feel the wind from a massive thrust of it’s wings. The wet gust blew across her as the creature silently evaporated into the dark and rain.

She held the sword in her hand and looked at the handle.

“What was that thing?”

There was a few moments of silence before Failbe replied to her.

A Kracktang.

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com