Ketta Terace: Chapter 9

“A Cracker-Tang! What the heck is that?” Amylia asked Failbe.

It’s called a Krack-tang! I’m not even speaking out loud, that was your own brain refusing to comprehend!

Amylia frowned at the handle of the sword.

A moment later there was a screeching howl that echoed across the plateaus. Amylia readied herself in a bent stance on the thin corner of the plateau’s pathway. The path was little more than a ledge before the gulf of rain and darkness. From the space beyond the great winged beast swept down and appeared before her. Lightning charged in its beak and at the center of its four taloned feet, arcs of electricity dancing between each of these five focal points as its massive wings spread above Amylia. Its feathers blazed blue and white In the strobing light and a thick body with four legs poised to strike, a great feathery tail fanning out behind it. Its blue eyes of cold fire glared down at her from behind its massive beak.

She looked up at the true power of this creature and in a split moment it had risen to present all of its weaponry to her. The prisoner could not run, could not strike, she only lifted the magic sword of Failbe and hoped it would be enough.

Mid-air along the cliff face the Kracktang released its great energy. Lightning struck down at her and the sword. The energy was not fully deflected, it was not fully absorbed by the magic. Every fiber of Amylia’s body writhed in pain as her mind shut down and her muscles tensed. She tried to cry out, but found herself paralyzed as burns smoked within her jacket. The green lights of her wounds faded and all became blue light and electricity. And just like that, the moment was over and the Kracktang pushed away with its mighty wings. Amylia’s stunned body was thrown back by the gust and she and the sword smacked against the cliff face, left alone to the rain once again.

The green light began to return to her wounds as she lifted herself up to all fours. “How can this be?” she thought. Salvation was in the power that Failbe had given her. Was this all that salvation would amount to? Picked off before she could even understand what kind of a chance she was given? Handed a second chance to escape, to live, to get back home. How could a deal made with some kind of deity not be the key to her victory?

Amylia slammed her fist against the wet rock, frustrated tears mixing with the rain. She looked up to the sword and grabbed it.

Oh good, you are still alive. I was concerned for a moment. Like I said, you cannot fight this thing. You can only run to the lowlands where it cannot fly as freely.

“Shut up,” she said, taking off down the nearest pathway.

She could feel the power of the sword soothing what horrible pain the electricity had wrought and returning her muscles to their former strength. She made her way along the path that gradually descended down the plateau. Every step she took was one of caution, glancing to her right, into the empty rain where the Kracktang could be preparing to strike. She glanced nervously over her shoulder and around the upcoming corner.

Then from behind she felt the wet wind hit her back. She turned and dove around the next corner as a strike of lightning, talon, wing and feather passed behind her.

“What is this predator?”

It is a creation of the God of Light, one of many divine abominations made to ensure what is put on Ketta Terace will stay on Ketta Terace. As such, there may come a time, when I have gained enough power, we might hurt it or detect it. But for now it is beyond both of us.

“Great. So there are others?”

Amylia came to a steep incline in the path and on her bare feet slid down the rock towards the next turn around the plateau.

The gods make many things, but what they do not know is that often their creations take on their own life and grow beyond their intended purpose. Yes...there are more Kracktangs, but they are not alone in the sky and there is yet more in the earth and walking the grounds. This world was built to be a prison, in part...but also for cruel sport.

As she came to the end of the incline, she saw below her a large outcropping, a wide and level spot along the cliff that further cut into a recession within the plateau. She could make out that there was something, a collection or large pile of objects tucked away in the corner. Sticks and large oval shapes.

“It’s a nest!”

A flash of lightning shot across Amylia’s path as she slid down the incline. Splinters of rock and energy splashed off from the cliff face and showered over her. She fell back and looked to see the Kracktang’s massive beak turn towards her from the dark rain beyond the cliff.

She cried out as the beak snatched her up and she was taken by the beast. Its powerful jaw clenched around her body as its furious eyes of lightning looked to her. She slashed at its face with Failbe’s sword and cut the creature across the eye. Spidery trails of green sprung from the fresh wound mingled with arcs of lightning.

It cried out and dropped her.

And she fell through the empty air.

Plummeting with the rain.

Into the dark abyss below.

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