The Critgha Horde, under cover of storm, launch their attack upon the Digha.
A biped stood on the precipice of a plateau, gazing across the wasteland. It had a purpose, to reach the bottom and find shelter amongst the woodland forest trees. For that is where it needed to be, to feel safe amongst its own kind.
The sun shone high amongst the clouds that day and blazed across the sparse land of vegetation some distance from the strange looking plateau, with its nooks and crannies of old caves and potholes.
A slight breeze blew across the fragile topsoil whilst little warm blooded creatures were resting in pockets of shade, where robust grasses protected them from the strong rays of the sun.
In the distance a dust storm was brewing under the midday furnace. At first glance it was a familiar site, a low dustbowl whipped up by the prevailing winds that thundered down from the mountains-towering above the plateaus and engulfing anything in its path.
After a while, one could observe a hint of a possible pattern to its movements, but not its direction.
It would first move left, and then right and then swerve in a great arc as if searching for a target. Anyone looking on and admiring the beauty of its power and grace as it picked up vegetation and tossed it to and fro with such ease, would be well justified to assume it was the usual run of the mill, desert storm. It certainly moved like one. In any case it was too early to tell if it would cross the dry wasteland before fizzling out.
As usual the storm died down before reaching its true potential-unlike that of a thunder storming tornado, but it did not die out completely. Its height greatly diminished as it approached and by now had covered half the distance between the plateau and the nearest mountain side.
It had changed shape too, no longer tall and funnelled, but wide and short, with arms and legs of dust and debris, thrown out from its centre mass in the shape of horns. To the biped observing, it was becoming clear that this was no ordinary storm-if it was a storm at all.
The biped had observed enough of the storm and felt it was in no danger making its way down the plateau from the caves and on to the desert terrain. It did not take long for such an agile creature, bounding from rock to rock and fusing with the vegetative terrain on and off like a chameleon-blending in with its surroundings. This was no ordinary biped, it was a Digha. Those creatures with a natural ability to move through soil and rock with ease and at times displaying ghost like attributes.
Occasionally the Digha would stop, pause and look around like any cautious prey and then continue on its path. The Digha repeated this several times before almost reaching the base of the plateau. It nervously glanced around one more time before stepping on to the wasteland floor. As it travelled away from the safety of plateau rock, it realised the storm appeared different.
The Digha ran across the terrain at even pace, constantly watching the progress of the low level storm moving away from its direction. It instinctively new that it must conserve its energy, incase it needed to draw upon some inner strength to flee from a predator.
The Digha then stopped and trained its eyes on the approaching storm. The storm had changed direction and was now heading straight for it.
It knelt and thrust a hand downward into the ground, penetrating and fusing with a rock. Motionless it began to focus as if listening to vibrations trembling through its torso. It was doing more than this. It was analysing like a seismograph and to its amazement what it found shook fear into it. Apart from the howl of the wind it could translate the shrieking sounds of something more fearful, a predator hidden within the dust storm. It looked harder into the dust cloud and glimpsed the outline of its enemy, a Critgha.
The Digha began to run again, this time lengthening its stride, knowing that it needed to reach the safety of the few trees some distance away. It knew the trees would provide shelter and protection from the approaching storm and what was contained within it. It needed to run faster before being detected, before the predators realised it was defenceless out in the open.
The storm was now much closer which made it easier to see the rough outline of its enemy. Creatures about waist height to the Digha began pounding the floor in earnest and determination to reach its prey. They had scented fear from an great distance and were determined to get to it and relish the taste of the kill.
The storm predator’s quickened their pace and continued to move at an alarming pace towards the Digha. Leaders of the pack outpaced their brethren and broke clear from the pursuing pack. They were determined to be the first to pull the Digha down, before it could reach the safety of cover.
Food in the wastelands was hard to come by and these creatures were determined that today they would not starve. The leaders were now moving at such speed that they began to flank the Digha.
The Digha looked to its left and right and realised it was being overtaken despite the speed it was running at.
It now knew it would not be able to make the trees in time, but ran even harder, since it had no other option. The Digha took one last glance and looked behind it and then forward again. A Critgha leader of the pack had completely over taken the Digha and turned to face it. Realising this, the Digha immediately stopped in its tracks.
The main pack were still way off in the distance but gradually gaining ground, with the youngest of them struggling with the pace and slowing the pack down. The pack leaders, two in this case, however, had started to circle the Digha, trying to determine where to attack first. They screeched through the uppers of their mouths, gaping wide with razor sharp teeth and snapping jaws. Occasionally they would twist their heads in the direction of the closing pack to judge the distance and timing of their imminent arrival, because the pair knew, that in greater numbers a kill would be swift and decisive.
The Digha turned to glance at the approaching pack still hundreds of meters away and sensed if it did not do something drastic, its life would be at an end. There were a few clumps of trees, which may give it chance to reach the forest, it thought. The Digha began to run in one direction and then dart in another, attempting to fake moves so that it could reach one of the trees.
However the jaw snapping creatures were having none of it and rather than wait for pack, mounted a vicious attack. Each lunged forward in turn, with sharp hind claws pounding the ground and forward attacking claws raised and pointing at the Digha on each charge. The Digha fought back, punching, kicking and swinging its arms and legs and with immense strength continued to edge its way towards a solitary standing tree. One of the creatures rushed in close and with great speed raised its head and sunk its teeth into the Digha’s upper leg. The Digha yelled, crying out with a loud bass sound and like a giant ten times its size, but refused to fall to ground, for it new, if it did, it would spell its doom.