It is in a world of corrupt, blood-spattered priests that one brave monk decides to make a stand. Rhyka a twenty-three year old warrior monk dedicated to the Order of Lud has a bounty on his head, set by corrupt priests who want to resurrect the dark power of the ancients for the second time in his short life.
Rhyka is the sole survivor of bloody massacre. Narrowly surviving a battle with a rogue priest and his warrior Activist, Rhyka is confronted by a six metre tall creature designed by the ancients. He must defeat this beast and enter the capitol city of Brizaria carrying dangerous artefacts, the possession of which could see him executed without trial. Upon entering Brizaria he must to convince the Lord High Scavenger, Jaggan-Kai that a faction of corrupt priests and their Activists foot soldiers are preparing to employ artefacts containing the dark power of the ancients to bring down the Scavenger Empire.
Unnaturally smooth walls rose fifty metres to where sunlight filtered in through a stained, but once clear, perma-glaz dome. The chamber appeared to be some three hundred metres in circumference with several openings to the outside. To his left, a broad staircase swept up to a gallery. He checked carefully for signs of Priest or Activist. Finding none, Rhyka started across the floor for the gallery. About halfway across, a harsh booming noise froze him in his tracks.
From the corner of his eye, Rhyka spied a gigantic predator rushing out a tunnel mouth, wings spread, arcing downward, thrusting with long tearing claws. His jaw dropped. Its wingspan must be forty metres from wing tip to wing tip. Cruel cat-yellow eyes, the size of a cartwheel, fastened him with a malevolent stare. Filled with unimaginable terror, he stood rooted to the spot. With a sinking stomach, Rhyka realised that his sword would be no more than a thorn to this brute. The beast must be some sort of Priestly watchdog.
The creature’s head was a metre and a half-long, supporting a bright blue crest. Its neck continuously twisted this way and that. Shades of light brown flecked the upper and under wings. From claw to blue topknot, Rhyka put the creature anywhere from fourteen to sixteen metres in height. Its beak was bone yellow as long as a small canoe and mottled brown beneath the jaw. Loose blue flesh hung about the eye pockets. Narrowly avoiding a snapping beak, Rhyka heaved himself to the right. His shoulder went numb when he hit the hard rock floor. Ears ringing, he got up and staggered through an opening to the outside, away from the beast. Weak and confused, Rhyka was vaguely aware that the creature was pursuing him.
Rapid movement caught his eye. It was the beast. He had to move faster. Startled, he started to slip and slide on the cloud-wet rock. Blind panic set in when before him, floating in and out of fog clouds on silent wings were hundreds of the creatures. He fought to maintain his balance and slow his momentum. Still sliding, he looked down the Spire to a flat outcrop directly below. It was a drop of five metres. Under normal circumstances this would prove an obstacle, but with a bung shoulder and fractured ribs, impossible. A fiery pain lanced through his foot like a sword through flesh as he twisted his ankle. His back arched involuntarily, causing him to over balance. He felt himself free falling through space. Time passed in microseconds. Horrified, he looked back to watch the creature pursuing him. It had launched into the soft-wet clouds.
A wake of air buffeted him further into space. As he fell, he turned over just as an incoming beast skidded to halt on the ledge below him. With a bone-jarring thud, he landed directly between the monster’s shoulder blades. The beast let out a squawk as it lumbered up the ramp with a sorely winded Rhyka clinging to its lightly furred back. Hissing loudly, a snakelike neck permitted that enormous beak to snap at him. As he pulled away, blinding pain surged through him. The monk’s world devolved into a nightmare of pain, rock walls, rippling fur-covered muscles and cries of animal rage, accompanied by dizzy body spins as the creature tried to dislodge him. Rhyka fought to maintain control of his senses and, though giddy and disorientated, he sensed the creature pause.
Expecting to be plucked to the ground, sawed in half and munched into pulp, he instead, found himself confined to a rocky alcove twenty metres across and twenty metres high. Coned light and a moaning wind entered via circular holes high up in the wall. The brute that had taken his fall was stationary. A huge head pivoted to observe the tiny human, who must have been no more annoying than tick. A yellow eye blinked twice, a clear membrane followed by a long grey eyelid shuttered down, then up again. A bone-coloured beak speared at him.
Rhyka’s heart hammered. He opened his mouth to scream.