Ketta Terace: Chapter 14

Some held blaster pistols, crude ones like the one that had blown Amylia’s hand off, but most of them held spears or simple weapons. Amylia and the blind Skivri, Ben, held their hands up. The ten or so beings that had weapons drawn in their face were a smattering of different races, each looking more disheveled than the last, wrapped in old tattered prisoner garb or makeshift clothes made from large leaves and twine. They looked at her with eyes betraying their weariness and desperation.

“What do you want here?” one of them asked. The Ventoshi who had spoken had his blaster pistol pointed at her and his wolfish figure menaced down at her, his green eyes behind deep bags.

Amylia hesitated, but the Skivri spoke.

“We come for rest,” he growled with a series of uneasy clicks, “I have found a great warrior. Him is who killed the great Eel.”

Amylia turned to the Skivri. “I’m a female.”

The Skivri shrugged.

The Ventoshi’s ear flicked at this sound and a flash of surprise in his eyes.

“You? You killed the great Eel?”

Amylia nodded. “And the Kracktang on the mountain.”

The locals all looked around at each other, confused.

“The what?” Said the Ventoshi.

“The big bird thing, over...” she pointed over at the distant mountain where she had come from. “...Over there.”

“The Sky Clawer?”

“Are we gonna argue semantics now?”

“If you killed them, we need to see a trophy.”

The blind Skivri held up the tooth he had been carrying.

“It is here, tooth of the great Eel.”

The others looked in awe, their spears lowering and blasters losing focus.

“She be Amee-lilia the Eelslayer.”

Though Amylia prickled at the introduction, she made a strong pose to show her bearing. These prisoners needed to know she was powerful or more likely than not they would still try to kill her and Ben.

The welcoming party each looked her over and though no one said anything, their arched brows and concentrated faces told Amylia that they were contemplating the green streaks of energy over her body.

“Well then…” the Ventoshi said, stepping towards her. “We have questions, and trust is lacking in this hellish place...although, far stranger and more dangerous things stalk us than a glowing human and a blind insect.”

Ben made a series of angry clicks but said nothing. The Ventoshi lowered his pistol fully and this seemed to send a hint to the others. A few of them began to leave, seeing that these newcomers were not an imminent threat, their leader appearing to trust them for now.

“What would you ask of us Eelslayer? We have little, but every now and again someone makes it to us from the dropship. Tell me, did you see the message? Did you meet Torgel?”

Amylia tried to think. It was so sudden, the change in conversation made her dizzy, trying to remember even what had happened those hours ago. How long had it been? How long had she been here? It felt like years.

After a moment she was able to manage “Torgel?”

“The Bolmorrean. We sent him to collect trustworthy prisoners like us.”

Amylia fought through her memory. “A spiky leaf. Weeks ago he said...I never heard his name…”

The others around her saw that her strength was failing. Sure enough the stress of what she had been through taxed her physical body as much as her mental state.

“Listen, I’ve been through a lot. I can tell anyone my story if they want to hear it, but I need food, drink, and sleep before I start remembering things.”

“Right…” The Ventoshi turned to the prisoners who remained. “Take her to Atco’s House, get the lazy bum to give up a space for her, make sure nobody messes with her.” He nodded to the others who withdrew their weapons and bid her to follow them. Ben scrambled at Amylia’s heels as they passed under the eye of the Ventoshi.

The muddy town was slumped with ramshackle shanties and poor attempts at stone and mud structures. As the troupe walked along the silty path that snaked past pens and structures, listless and dirty beings looked out from their homes or from nearby vantage points to see the glowing Human walk within the ring of guards. Amylia was weary, but not entirely out of her wits to see the hulking Bolmorreans and lithe Muintir watching her from darkened shanties.

In little time they came to a modest and well-constructed stone house. It was large and well put together sitting at the bottom of a switchback path that ran up the cliff face. One of the guards banged on the door of the structure.

“Atco! You’ve got a tenant.”

Few moments passed before the door cracked open and a Mirrani stuck his head out. A gauze patch was over his forehead.

“No room here. I don’t want some demon tramp hanging out in my place.”

“Show some respect Atco, she killed the Eel. The Ventoshi wants her kept safe.”

The guard, a Pyra, menaced at the smaller being.

“If you stay the night...fine,” said the Mirrani, not looking at Amylia or Ben.

The door finally opened fully and within was a cozy hearth with a number of beings sitting on ramshackle tables. All about the corners of the structure were cots and beds improvised with natural materials.

The Mirrani, who was revealed to only have one leg and one arm on opposing sides, lead them, hobbling on a large stick-crutch past the cots and into a private room at the back of the structure. With less than kind words, Amylia was let inside the small room with Ben and the door was shut and locked behind her. Ben scraped and clawed at the door but it did not open. Amylia expected something like this, but she was in no position to object. A bed was propped in the corner and she made for it, falling on the stiff straw and descending quickly into a deep sleep where the cares of the world faded from consciousness.

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