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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 21

by felistia


The shadows continued to darken as the pair made their way along the shoreline. Strange calls echoed out from the nearby forest, warping in the mist cloaked air as the last of the sun disappeared beyond the distant mountains.

“Almost there,” Felistia said, looking over her wing at Zoltar, who was trailing behind her.

He nodded nervously, before fixing his eyes back on the tree line. Nothing stirred, but still he couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling hanging over him.

He shivered, his back spines bristling as an evening breeze brushed over his scales. It was just the memories. Felistia seemed fine and from the sounds of it she’d been on the island for a while. If anything was wrong, she’d probably sense it before him.

“Here we are.” Felistia had stopped and was gesturing to a large rock column standing a few dragon lengths from the beach. Ocean waves lapped gently against its sea weed cloaked sides as misty tendrils coiled around it.

“We’re going to sleep on top of that?” Zoltar asked, squinting at the pillar. It wasn’t exactly his idea of an ideal place to rest.

“No silly,” Felistia batted him with her wing, before saying, “Here I’ll show you. Shiraku had a hard time spotting it on the first night too.”

“Wait…who’s Shiraku?” Zoltar blurted, but Felistia was already in the air and climbing. She’d nearly reached the top of the pillar when she stopped and hovered. Angling her wings, she plunged straight through the sea weed strands and disappeared.

Zoltar stood there blinking for a moment, before mentally slapping himself. Of course there was a cave.

Cringing at how he must look, he jumped skyward, following Felistia’s lead. He hovered, eyeing the sea weed hanging over the column. It all still looked very solid to him. What if he didn’t get the dive quite right and end up colliding with rock? He could break a wing.

“You coming?” Felistia stuck her head out from the strands, “The entrance is quite wide. You can’t miss it.”

Zoltar nodded, still somewhat doubting her, before tucking his wings and swooping. He braced himself for impact, but instead felt the slimy touch of sea weed as he flew through the cave opening.

Trusting out his talons, he came to a screeching halt.

Zoltar let out the breath he’d been holding in. He’d made it, without a scratch on him.

Turning around, he breathed a column of fire, its orange glow lighting up the cave. Cracks scuttled across the amber walls like small rivers on their way to the sea. Olive green moss flowered all over the ceiling, their delicate tendrils wet with dew.

Felistia was standing up against one of the walls, well clear of the entrance. Her scales gleamed like white gold in the flame’s orange glow as she walked over to him, “It’s not so bad once you get used to the positioning. You should have it down in a few days.”

Zoltar gave her a confused look for a moment. She was expecting him to stay here for more than one night? Why was she being so friendly?

“Shiraku should be back anytime now. Then you two can get acquainted,” Felistia continued as she picked up a few strands of foliage scattered across the floor. She placed them back onto a pile of grass in the back of the cave.

“Who’s Shiraku?” Zoltar asked, walking over to help her. There was another dragon living on the island beside Felistia? Another outcast no doubt. How many of them lived here?

“Oh she’d been living here for two to three years now. I lose count of the days,” Felistia said, absentmindedly as she patted down the pile into a large bed.

“Three years,” Zoltar echoed. How had the two managed to survive the island for that long, “That must have felt like an eternity?”

“Well, the days start to roll into one another once you’ve been here long enough. When your days are spent trying to survive, you lose track of time after a while. It’s better when you have company though. Before Shiraku arrived, I was alone on the island.”

“How long have you been here?” Zoltar asked, suddenly feeling rather sorry for the Ice Talon.

Felistia paused for a moment, before saying, “Fourteen years I think. I’m pretty sure it’s been longer than that though.”

When Zoltar didn’t say anything she stopped and looked at him with a sad smile, “It’s alright though. I mean I’ve got food, water and shelter. It’s not so bad once you get used to it. Besides, you won’t have to live alone. Three dragons is better than one.”

“But, I’m not going to stay here forever,” Zoltar blurted, before he could stop and think, “Who would want to live in a place where everything wants to kill you?”

Felistia tipped her head and batted him with her wings, “Shiraku was the same when her and her father showed up here, but she’s still here after all this time. Don’t you worry. You’ll get used to it in no time.”

Zoltar nodded sullenly, all the while scolding himself. He had to remember he was supposed to be an outcast. He had to stop and think before just saying stuff. Felistia may be friendly now, but he couldn’t guaranty she’d be so nice if she found out the real reason he was here. He had to be more careful.

Just then there was a rush of loud flaps outside and Zoltar hurried to move away from the entrance as another dragon tumbled through the opening.

“Shiraku, you’re back,” Felistia exclaimed, waving a wing in greeting at the turquoise blue dragon.

Zoltar pressed himself against the wall, his back spines flared in alarm as Shiraku’s jade green eyes landed on him.

“What is that doing here?” she spat, pointing a talon at Zoltar as her webbed back spines bristled.

‘Shiraku is a Sea Talon,’ Zoltar thought, panicking. He couldn’t spend the night with a Sea Talon. She’d probably kill him in his sleep.

“Shiraku, this is Zoltar,” Felistia said, a disapproving note to her voice, “I found him being savaged by a pack of Death Grippers this afternoon and offered him a place to spend the night.”

Shiraku hissed under her breath, lashing her webbed tail, “But he’s a Shadow Talon.”

Felistia shot the Sea Talon a warning look, growling, “Shiraku, don’t make me say something that you’ll regret.”

Shiraku’s eyes darted from Felistia to Zoltar and back for a moment, before she huffed. Muttering under her breath, she stomped off to the back of the cave and flopped onto one side of the grass pile, with her back facing the pair.

Felistia eyed her for a moment, before turning back to Zoltar, “Sorry about that. She’d doesn’t take well to new comers and well, you know how Sea Talons feel about your kind.”

Zoltar nodded, but somehow felt like she wasn’t telling him the whole story.

“Anyway, it’s getting late and it will be full moon tomorrow. Get some sleep while you can,” Felistia yawned, displaying her sparkling white fangs.

Zoltar couldn’t help the confused look that flashed across his face. What was so important about the full moon?

He decided not to press her about it as he watched her pad over to the back of the cave and lie down opposite Shiraku. She stared at the wall for a while as though pondering something, before closing her eyes after a few minutes.

Zoltar lay down near the entrance to the cave. There was no way he was going to sleep so close to a Sea Talon.

He stared out through the sea weed tendrils hanging from the cave entrance. Night had fallen over the island and the forest beyond the beach was wreathed in shadows. Eerie calls floated through the humid air, their sounds warped by the dank wind that blew over the trees. The two pale moons were slowly rising over the mountains, one a thin sliver, the other nearly full.

Every now and then a high pitched screech would rip through the night air, reminding Zoltar of what lay outside the cave. He looked up at the twinkling stars and sighed. How was he going to do this on his own?

Shiraku by @FlamingPhoenix


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Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:21 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Ahh...the meeting between Shiraku and Zoltar...the friendship these two eventually have is one of the best parts about these stories and getting to see quite how much they disliked each other at first is a nice little refresher to see where they began at. :D

Anyway let's get right to it,

The shadows continued to darken as the pair made their way along the shoreline. Strange calls echoed out from the nearby forest, warping in the mist cloaked air as the last of the sun disappeared beyond the distant mountains.

“Almost there,” Felistia said, looking over her wing at Zoltar, who was trailing behind her.


Off we go to the cave where it all begins I suppose. They definitely have to get towards shelter before things go very wrong in the dark.

He nodded nervously, before fixing his eyes back on the tree line. Nothing stirred, but still he couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling hanging over him.

He shivered, his back spines bristling as an evening breeze brushed over his scales. It was just the memories. Felistia seemed fine and from the sounds of it she’d been on the island for a while. If anything was wrong, she’d probably sense it before him.


That's certainly quite fair there, considering just how traumatizing the experience he had with this island was...walking around it at night has to be sending off alarm bells within poor Zoltar almost constantly.

“Here we are.” Felistia had stopped and was gesturing to a large rock column standing a few dragon lengths from the beach. Ocean waves lapped gently against its sea weed cloaked sides as misty tendrils coiled around it.

“We’re going to sleep on top of that?” Zoltar asked, squinting at the pillar. It wasn’t exactly his idea of an ideal place to rest.


Trust, me, its not the top of the pillar, that's probably going to keep you safe from attack by other creatures, but sleeping outside on a rock like that is definitely not a very comfortable way to spend the night nor is it going to do much against things like rain.

“No silly,” Felistia batted him with her wing, before saying, “Here I’ll show you. Shiraku had a hard time spotting it on the first night too.”

“Wait…who’s Shiraku?” Zoltar blurted, but Felistia was already in the air and climbing. She’d nearly reached the top of the pillar when she stopped and hovered. Angling her wings, she plunged straight through the sea weed strands and disappeared.


Oh you'll know very soon who Shiraku is....

Zoltar stood there blinking for a moment, before mentally slapping himself. Of course there was a cave.

Cringing at how he must look, he jumped skyward, following Felistia’s lead. He hovered, eyeing the sea weed hanging over the column. It all still looked very solid to him. What if he didn’t get the dive quite right and end up colliding with rock? He could break a wing.


Hmm, I don't think its that hard to make your way into that cave...but for someone who hasn't been there at all, it does make a lot of sense for Zoltar to have his doubts there...

“You coming?” Felistia stuck her head out from the strands, “The entrance is quite wide. You can’t miss it.”

Zoltar nodded, still somewhat doubting her, before tucking his wings and swooping. He braced himself for impact, but instead felt the slimy touch of sea weed as he flew through the cave opening.

Trusting out his talons, he came to a screeching halt.

Zoltar let out the breath he’d been holding in. He’d made it, without a scratch on him.


Woohoo...we've succesfully arrived at the cave...ahh...this place doesn't get much love later into the story...but it really is quite an important place for the relationships between the main characters of this story to develop here.

Turning around, he breathed a column of fire, its orange glow lighting up the cave. Cracks scuttled across the amber walls like small rivers on their way to the sea. Olive green moss flowered all over the ceiling, their delicate tendrils wet with dew.

Felistia was standing up against one of the walls, well clear of the entrance. Her scales gleamed like white gold in the flame’s orange glow as she walked over to him, “It’s not so bad once you get used to the positioning. You should have it down in a few days.”


Well Felistia is clearly expecting Zoltar to be hanging out for quite a while there...I'm guessing she assumed he'd moved there or something what with the story of him being exiled to that place.

Zoltar gave her a confused look for a moment. She was expecting him to stay here for more than one night? Why was she being so friendly?

“Shiraku should be back anytime now. Then you two can get acquainted,” Felistia continued as she picked up a few strands of foliage scattered across the floor. She placed them back onto a pile of grass in the back of the cave.

“Who’s Shiraku?” Zoltar asked, walking over to help her. There was another dragon living on the island beside Felistia? Another outcast no doubt. How many of them lived here?


Hmm...Zoltar sticking to asking the right questions so far here...this is certainly fun to get to relive them all meeting each other for the first time and learning about each other's pasts here.

“Oh she’d been living here for two to three years now. I lose count of the days,” Felistia said, absentmindedly as she patted down the pile into a large bed.

“Three years,” Zoltar echoed. How had the two managed to survive the island for that long, “That must have felt like an eternity?”


Three years is definitely a lot to survive inside the territory of a dragon tribe that would have no qualms with immediately killing off foreign dragons that visit them.

“Well, the days start to roll into one another once you’ve been here long enough. When your days are spent trying to survive, you lose track of time after a while. It’s better when you have company though. Before Shiraku arrived, I was alone on the island.”

“How long have you been here?” Zoltar asked, suddenly feeling rather sorry for the Ice Talon.

Felistia paused for a moment, before saying, “Fourteen years I think. I’m pretty sure it’s been longer than that though.”


Well, her completely having no idea how much time has passed is very reasonable there considering that things have probably been quite monotonous at the island all by herself.

When Zoltar didn’t say anything she stopped and looked at him with a sad smile, “It’s alright though. I mean I’ve got food, water and shelter. It’s not so bad once you get used to it. Besides, you won’t have to live alone. Three dragons is better than one.”


Hmm...is that a subtle hint that she's referring to Emerald as well here...is this the mysterious father of Shiraku that was briefly referenced wayyyy long ago in the prologue is she just talking about Zoltar here...ahhh so many possibilities here.

“But, I’m not going to stay here forever,” Zoltar blurted, before he could stop and think, “Who would want to live in a place where everything wants to kill you?”

Felistia tipped her head and batted him with her wings, “Shiraku was the same when her and her father showed up here, but she’s still here after all this time. Don’t you worry. You’ll get used to it in no time.”


She's definitely very confident in the fact that Zoltar is going to be hanging around for a long time to come here...its interesting to see how Zoltar isn't really talking any steps to rectify any of those assumptions either...you can tell he's just currently trying to process everything and is also terrified of his true story being revealed.

Zoltar nodded sullenly, all the while scolding himself. He had to remember he was supposed to be an outcast. He had to stop and think before just saying stuff. Felistia may be friendly now, but he couldn’t guaranty she’d be so nice if she found out the real reason he was here. He had to be more careful.

Just then there was a rush of loud flaps outside and Zoltar hurried to move away from the entrance as another dragon tumbled through the opening.


Well, if I remember correctly, this meeting was a ton of fun...for us the readers anyway...xD

“Shiraku, you’re back,” Felistia exclaimed, waving a wing in greeting at the turquoise blue dragon.

Zoltar pressed himself against the wall, his back spines flared in alarm as Shiraku’s jade green eyes landed on him.

“What is that doing here?” she spat, pointing a talon at Zoltar as her webbed back spines bristled.


And so it begins....

‘Shiraku is a Sea Talon,’ Zoltar thought, panicking. He couldn’t spend the night with a Sea Talon. She’d probably kill him in his sleep.

“Shiraku, this is Zoltar,” Felistia said, a disapproving note to her voice, “I found him being savaged by a pack of Death Grippers this afternoon and offered him a place to spend the night.”

Shiraku hissed under her breath, lashing her webbed tail, “But he’s a Shadow Talon.”


Yup...well its going to take them a while to work past that stigma...but ahh...their friendship is definitely something that makes the character development to come stand out very well.

Felistia shot the Sea Talon a warning look, growling, “Shiraku, don’t make me say something that you’ll regret.”

Shiraku’s eyes darted from Felistia to Zoltar and back for a moment, before she huffed. Muttering under her breath, she stomped off to the back of the cave and flopped onto one side of the grass pile, with her back facing the pair.


Establishing Felistia's tendency to hold this group together pretty early here...you can definitely see signs that she's a pretty good leader right from places like this when we just meet her. And knowing her past now, you can see why it would make sense that she's good at maintaining peace like this.

Felistia eyed her for a moment, before turning back to Zoltar, “Sorry about that. She’d doesn’t take well to new comers and well, you know how Sea Talons feel about your kind.”

Zoltar nodded, but somehow felt like she wasn’t telling him the whole story.

“Anyway, it’s getting late and it will be full moon tomorrow. Get some sleep while you can,” Felistia yawned, displaying her sparkling white fangs.


Well...I'm guessing the full moon is that Death Gripper ceremony situation...maybe that's where Emerald comes into the picture...ahh...well I don't remember all this exactly anymore...but well...I may as well read and find out...xD

Zoltar couldn’t help the confused look that flashed across his face. What was so important about the full moon?

He decided not to press her about it as he watched her pad over to the back of the cave and lie down opposite Shiraku. She stared at the wall for a while as though pondering something, before closing her eyes after a few minutes.


Well here comes that first and rather awkward night that the these three have to spend together..

He stared out through the sea weed tendrils hanging from the cave entrance. Night had fallen over the island and the forest beyond the beach was wreathed in shadows. Eerie calls floated through the humid air, their sounds warped by the dank wind that blew over the trees. The two pale moons were slowly rising over the mountains, one a thin sliver, the other nearly full.

Every now and then a high pitched screech would rip through the night air, reminding Zoltar of what lay outside the cave. He looked up at the twinkling stars and sighed. How was he going to do this on his own?


Aaand a lovely bit of imagery to bring things to a close here...I love how we end with sort of a collection of Zoltar's thoughts, ones that go surprisingly well with the dark and spooky ambience of the area around him...neat little ending there. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, another lovely chapter we've got here...these introductions are going really nicely, and I love how each character shines through even here when Shiraku is being introduced for the very first time and we've only known Felistia for a single chapter. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review. I had such fun writing these characters again. I was beginning to miss them.

It's so nice having a well established back story for each of them. In the last draft I was winging it a bit. (No pun intended. :D)



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!! :D

xD...fair enough :D



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Fri Jul 23, 2021 10:41 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here a short review! :D

On the first impression, I like the chapter a lot. I thought it was a great and well-thought-out idea to introduce Felistia like this, but not to leave the chapter itself only on her, but to make the focus also on Shiraku (From the sound of it, it already sounds a bit Japanese) towards the end. I like this pace where you introduce new characters without it being so stretching.

I think Felistia is a very open nature and also quite optimistic and helpful and also tolerates quite a lot and had the impression that she is also teasing Zoltar a bit.... If she's been living there for fourteen years, that also shows her endurance. I like that she's such a contrast to Zoltar, who hopefully will also help him regain some of his old qualities by being with someone who doesn't take advantage of him (hopefully).

So far I like Shiraku too and I'm looking forward to her backstory. I think her father was also mentioned, and I assume he has passed away. I'm also curious to know why Sea Talons don't like Shadow Talons. (I can't remember if that was mentioned anywhere in the first chapters).

From the rest of the structure, I like how the classic is still there with you. The nice introductory description at the beginning to get into the chapter and this alternation between the inner thoughts and the outer world. I think it's fitting how you portray that without focusing too much on either type.
I liked the way Zoltar slipped up a bit, and I'm still very curious to see when he really slips up or reveals the truth on his own. I like how the story is unfolding at the moment and it feels like a new beginning again, or a new bigger part. I like that.

Other points that caught my eye:

warping in the mist cloaked air as the last of the sun disappeared beyond the distant mountains.

I'm not sure here, but shouldn't it be "the last of the sun rays"?

He shivered, his back spines bristling as an evening breeze brushed over his scales. It was just the memories.

A great way to create a "flashback" and without giving the reader (the already known) information and experiences.

Felistia batted him with her wing, before saying,

I think it would sound better if you wrote "before continuing" instead of "before saying". It sounds a bit too simplistic like that when you read through the whole paragraph.

Felistia paused for a moment, before saying, "Fourteen years I think. I'm pretty sure it's been longer than that though."

Here's a bit of the same problem as before; the "before saying" sounds too simply worded for the standard you're using for your story. At least in the context of these sentences. But really, I just wanted to note that I'm burning to know what she was doing on the island for fourteen years.

How was he going to do this on his own?

I think here Zoltar is also thinking too narrowly and has tunnel vision. I like that and yet I think it becomes difficult for him to think for himself to think differently and not go by the steps Sidious has suggested. He can assume that Sidious is dead, and now go his own way to get where he wants to go.

Lastly, I would like to say that I like Shiraku a lot. I think there's so much detail without it seeming overloaded. I like how the horns (I assume that's another one) look like shells and the "beard" looks like the frayed fins of some types of fish. There is something sublime and yet also arrogant about it. I like the drawing.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review.
I did mention in the previous chapters (quite a few chapters back) that the Shadow Talons and Sea Talons had a war between the two tribes a far number of years back. Now that Shiraku has been introduced, I plan to expand upon that.




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