Mantas are airborne creatures native to the northern continent's Plain of Fear which physically resemble the rays of tropical seas. The mantas first made a minor appearance in Shadows Linger, but later played major roles in the events surrounding Darling in both The White Rose and The Silver Spike.
Mantas primarily live in flight. Their colonies exist in intimate symbiosis with the gigantic windwhales. The juveniles, called kits, are born in the many crevices on the broad backs of the windwhales, where they remain until they are large enough for independent flight. Adult mantas feature wingspans of 30 to 50 feet, and can create dangerous electrical bolts to stun enemies or prey. Like all the creatures of the Plain, the mantas obey the commands of the menhirs, the talking stone servants of Father Tree.
The mantas appeared briefly in Shadows Linger. A group of them observed the flying carpet operated by the new Taken Whisper (with Croaker, Elmo, and Kingpin as her passengers) which was crossing over the Plain. Predictably, one manta attacked them, but Whisper used her "thaumaturgic craft" to fend it off. She gave up control of the carpet to do so, and Croaker barely kept himself from vomiting during the temporary free-fall. Whisper was wise enough to know not to attack the animals first, but to defend herself only.
The White RoseEdit
During The White Rose, Father Tree offered their protection to Darling, who used them as natural weapons against the forces of the Lady's Empire. When Darling and the Lady became allies against the Dominator, the mantas fought against their mutual enemy in the Battle of the Barrowland. After the Dominator escaped the Great Barrow and submerged himself in the floodwaters of the Great Tragic River, swarms of mantas blasted the water with their bolts to draw him out.
The Silver SpikeEdit
Just over a year later, a horde of mantas accompanied Darling and her friends and allies in her battle against the Wicker Man, a fight that encompassed locales in both the northern and the southern continent.