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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 29

by felistia


Images of fanged dragons leaping at him flashed through Zoltar's mind as he dropped the deer. It must be a Wisp Talon. How had one found him so quickly?

Flared his wings, he bared his fangs as he whipped around the face the intruder.

The Ghost Talon didn’t even flinch at his display of aggression. He instead rolled his eyes and remarked, “You know, if you hear someone coming up behind you, you attack. Don’t just stand there waiting like a dilapidated tadpole. It’s no wonder that Wisp Talon caught you yesterday.”

“Sidious,” Zoltar hissed, half relieved that it was him and not a Wisp Talon, but at the same time annoyed to see the Ghost Talon, “What are you doing here?”

Sidious gave him an amused smirk, “I’ve been following you the whole day. It’s not like I just happened upon you.”

Zoltar sighed, resisting the urge to bite the dragon.

“Anyway, we need to talk about that ... thing that happened last night,” Sidious said, waving a talon.

“We do?” Zoltar gulped, taking a step back. He’d been hoping that the Ghost Talon would just leave it. What was he going to tell him? The last thing he needed was Sidious making fun of Scorpus or moons forbid Nira.

“Yes, but not here,” Sidious motioned for Zoltar to follow him as he spread his wings, “Your hunt stirred up half the island. Every Wisp Talon in the area is racing towards this stream as we speak. We can talk once air borne.”

Zoltar nodded, while glancing around nervously. He could almost hear the thud of paws drumming against the leaf litter.

Opening his wings, he leapt into the air, pounding his massive black wings as he fought against the weight of the kill. Gripping his catch tightly, he swung west towards the maze and after Sidious.

Soon the two dragons were soaring high over the forest. Sidious glided effortlessly beside Zoltar, who was already beginning to feel the strain of carrying the stag.

“So,” Sidious hissed, not looking at Zoltar, “I take it you know that Shadow Talon?”

Zoltar shivered, trying not to relive the memories of the previous night, “Yes.”

When he did not say more, Sidious gave him an exasperated stare.

Zoltar avoided his eyes, unsure of what he should tell the Ghost Talon. He didn’t want to tell him everything, especially not Nira. Sidious couldn’t know about her.

“He was our tribes general,” Zoltar began, careful to appear as detached as possible, “He and I scouted the island a few days ago, before we came to Krakatoa. It appeared, at the time, that the Wisp Talons had killed him. I had no idea that he’d been alive this whole time.”

Sidious listened, but after a few moments seemed to lose interest after nothing of importaine came up. He instead shifted his focus on to the pouch around Zoltar’s neck.

“Aha … anyway, have you had any thoughts on how you plan to get the Wisp Talon gem,” he interjected, changing the subject.

Zoltar glared at him as his fear of Sidious’s reaction quickly turned back into distain for the dragon. Nothing. Not a word of empathy for his loss, no compassion for what he’d gone through.

Then again, what had he expected? A hug? Zoltar snorted and shook his head at the thought.

“Of course you don’t,” Sidious hissed in a mocking tone, “After all you’re too busy spinning a story for those two outcasts.”

He paused before staring at Zoltar, “And that’s all you need to do. You’re making good progress with that Ice Talon so far. You could do better with the Sea Talon, but then again, why would she warm up to you.”

He sneered, “Doesn’t matter. We only need the one.”

“What do you want with them?” Zoltar asked, trying to hide the worry in his voice.

Sidious ignored his question and went on to say, “And this new moon ceremony thing these Wisp Talons are doing, it’s quite interesting and most fortunate for us. From the looks of it the whole tribe leaves the village. It’s perfect.

“That gives us almost two weeks to have a plan in place. Try to have that Ice Talon wrapped around your talon by then. I have a feeling we’ll be needing her and don’t worry about the rest. I’ll take care of it,” he growled menacingly, his fangs flashing as he smiled.

A shiver ran over Zoltar’s scales. Surely the Ghost Talon wasn’t implying what he thought he was? He wouldn’t.

“Oh, and do try to stay alive until then. You’re no use to me if you end up as Death Gripper food.”

He cackled, apparently greatly amused by the idea, “Anyhow, I’m off to go catch dinner. I’ll be around.”

Still chortling, he swung north back towards to mountains peak.

Zoltar watched him go, biting back the desire to throw insults at the dragon.

“What a creep,”Zoltar hissed to himself as he continued on.

The afternoon sun blared down on Zoltar’s obsidian black scales as he flew, the weight of the kill causing his back to ache. Each wing beat was heavier than the previous as his strength began to give out and he was still a good half an hour’s flight from reaching the maze.

He began regretting his decision. He should have waited for a smaller antelope. Why did he have to go for a stag? Whenever he’d made a kill like this there had been other dragons to help haul it home. He’d never had to carry something this big this long. He had to rest. He could carry on after a short breather.

Besides, he needed to think over what Sidious had said before seeing Felistia again.

He scanned the landscape. The canopy was thick. Branches intertwined with one another, knotting together to make an impenetrable fortress. The only place he could land nearby was the lake.

Zoltar cringed at the idea. After yesterday’s incident with the Wisp Talon that was the last place he wanted to go.

He had to find a place to land though, otherwise he’d have no choice, but to drop the kill.

He couldn’t bear the thought though. All that work for nothing.

He’d have to try the lake. He could just sit along the bank. There was no need to go into the forest. If anything happened, he’d have an easy escape route. Besides, most of the Wisp Talons should be up north where he’d made the kill. The lake should be safe enough for a short rest.


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Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:19 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here with a short review!

A little later than planned, but here I am. :D Let's start right away.

It was a short but very intense chapter. It was marked by the flow of the dialogue and the build up for the chapters to come. Definitely a change of sorts and I have to say how the story is developing now, I found it very extreme and like it. Sidious having such an idea is cruel and fitting for his character. It also gives me the feeling that we are only far into the beginning of the story and there is still a lot to develop.

In terms of structure, I really liked how you manage to create the sequel. It is noticeable that the descriptions have decreased in the first longer half. On the one hand, I find it fitting that Zoltar's view turns into a kind of horse with blinkers and only has Sidious (and himself) in mind and no longer pays attention to the other, but I think that some smaller details would be helpful to make the very tense situation a bit more relaxed.

It seems like we've found a new plug in Zoltar's throat. He's kind of dug himself a grave where he wants to go now and I'm almost expecting some kind of twist here where he attaches a double life and concocts a plan with Felistia and Shiraku to go up against Sidious.

In general, I liked the chapter here. It had a good balance of moving the plot forward and also still a good overview of Zoltar and his inner life. I think you have a lot of suspense going on and you manage to make me curious over and over again about what will happen next. Everything opens up further and further, so that it hardly seems as if we have arrived at the worst betrayal.

Other points I noticed while reading:

Flared his wings, he bared his fangs as he whipped around the face the intruder.

Is it just me, or is she missing a word at the end? Shouldn't it be "of the intruder"? Or is it "around to face the intruder"?

“Anyway, we need to talk about that … thing that happened last night,” Sidious said

This little break helps immensely to see Sidious not only as a dark character who will stop at nothing, but he also seems to have a side that leaves him in a shocked state. I like the way you've worded this.

to lose interest after nothing of importaine came up.

A tiny mistake is here with the word importance :D

but then again, why would she warm up to you.”

Here is a question mark needed.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review.

Yes, there are lots of twists and turns on the horizon. This story is only just beginning. :D



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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: Okayyy....well this wasn't what I was expecting to happen, but this is definitely a seen I was looking forward to seeing, and well Sidious wasn't quite as horrible about it as I expected, but he wasn't exactly nice about it either. Soo....he's still very much evil.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Images of fanged dragons leaping at him flashed through Zoltar's mind as he dropped the deer. It must be a Wisp Talon. How had one found him so quickly?

Flared his wings, he bared his fangs as he whipped around the face the intruder.

The Ghost Talon didn’t even flinch at his display of aggression. He instead rolled his eyes and remarked, “You know, if you hear someone coming up behind you, you attack. Don’t just stand there waiting like a dilapidated tadpole. It’s no wonder that Wisp Talon caught you yesterday.”


Oooh, well we have ourselves an appearance of the one and only Sidious the Hideous, I wondered when he was going to show up again. We really do need to get a bit of an update on how he's reacting to what's been happening lately.

“Sidious,” Zoltar hissed, half relieved that it was him and not a Wisp Talon, but at the same time annoyed to see the Ghost Talon, “What are you doing here?”

Sidious gave him an amused smirk, “I’ve been following you the whole day. It’s not like I just happened upon you.”

Zoltar sighed, resisting the urge to bite the dragon.

“Anyway, we need to talk about that ... thing that happened last night,” Sidious said, waving a talon.


For a dragon that's fairly large, Sidious can definitely sneak around very well, I will give him that. His personality might be very hard to deal with but you can't argue that he certainly does have some skills....alsoo...looks like we are finally going to get to see the Ghost Talon's opinion on that whole thing. Let's see if he just solidifies his evilness or maybe shows a slightly better side to himself.

“We do?” Zoltar gulped, taking a step back. He’d been hoping that the Ghost Talon would just leave it. What was he going to tell him? The last thing he needed was Sidious making fun of Scorpus or moons forbid Nira.

“Yes, but not here,” Sidious motioned for Zoltar to follow him as he spread his wings, “Your hunt stirred up half the island. Every Wisp Talon in the area is racing towards this stream as we speak. We can talk once air borne.”

Zoltar nodded, while glancing around nervously. He could almost hear the thud of paws drumming against the leaf litter.


Hmm, well, that's definitely a smart move by Sidious. We did in fact rush to this chapter because of that aforementioned worry about it being Wisp Talons that were bearing down on Zoltar and making all that noise.

Opening his wings, he leapt into the air, pounding his massive black wings as he fought against the weight of the kill. Gripping his catch tightly, he swung west towards the maze and after Sidious.

Soon the two dragons were soaring high over the forest. Sidious glided effortlessly beside Zoltar, who was already beginning to feel the strain of carrying the stag.

“So,” Sidious hissed, not looking at Zoltar, “I take it you know that Shadow Talon?”

Zoltar shivered, trying not to relive the memories of the previous night, “Yes.”


Hmm, well that was a...how do we put it...a more genuine sounding question than I was expecting Sidious to ask. Perhaps he does have a little bit of a heart in him after all, or maybe he just wants to make sure the Shadow Talon he's overseeing is still able to continue doing the bidding of the Ghost Talons.

When he did not say more, Sidious gave him an exasperated stare.

Zoltar avoided his eyes, unsure of what he should tell the Ghost Talon. He didn’t want to tell him everything, especially not Nira. Sidious couldn’t know about her.

“He was our tribes general,” Zoltar began, careful to appear as detached as possible, “He and I scouted the island a few days ago, before we came to Krakatoa. It appeared, at the time, that the Wisp Talons had killed him. I had no idea that he’d been alive this whole time.”


Hmm, alright, I like how Zoltar is keeping his explanation short and as free of emotion as he can manage it. That's a good way to go with these sorts of questions. Sidious definitely isn't asking any of this because he feels any empathy or wants to comfort Zoltar so the less ammunition you give him, the better.

Sidious listened, but after a few moments seemed to lose interest after nothing of importaine came up. He instead shifted his focus on to the pouch around Zoltar’s neck.

“Aha … anyway, have you had any thoughts on how you plan to get the Wisp Talon gem,” he interjected, changing the subject.

Zoltar glared at him as his fear of Sidious’s reaction quickly turned back into distain for the dragon. Nothing. Not a word of empathy for his loss, no compassion for what he’d gone through.

Then again, what had he expected? A hug? Zoltar snorted and shook his head at the thought.


Well, Zoltar, you should've seen that kind of reaction coming from several miles away, so that's on you for getting your hopes up a bit, but hmm, well you do understand why Zoltar would at least have a little bit of hope there. Well anyway, Sidious established more of his evilness after all. Can't say I'm surprised at any rate.

“Of course you don’t,” Sidious hissed in a mocking tone, “After all you’re too busy spinning a story for those two outcasts.”

He paused before staring at Zoltar, “And that’s all you need to do. You’re making good progress with that Ice Talon so far. You could do better with the Sea Talon, but then again, why would she warm up to you.”

He sneered, “Doesn’t matter. We only need the one.”

“What do you want with them?” Zoltar asked, trying to hide the worry in his voice.


Oh I know exactly where that is going, Sidious's general disdain for dragons not of his tribe seems to be amplified by the fact that the two of them are outcasts and now it seem like he wants Zoltar to befriend at least one properly and then use them as some sort of trade or distraction or something in some way that's connected to that horrible ritual.

Sidious ignored his question and went on to say, “And this new moon ceremony thing these Wisp Talons are doing, it’s quite interesting and most fortunate for us. From the looks of it the whole tribe leaves the village. It’s perfect.

“That gives us almost two weeks to have a plan in place. Try to have that Ice Talon wrapped around your talon by then. I have a feeling we’ll be needing her and don’t worry about the rest. I’ll take care of it,” he growled menacingly, his fangs flashing as he smiled.

A shiver ran over Zoltar’s scales. Surely the Ghost Talon wasn’t implying what he thought he was? He wouldn’t.


Oh come on Zoltar, don't fool yourself. The Ghost Talon was being very, very direct with his intentions there. Protect poor felistia at all costs and don't let Sidious do anything. At this point, its pretty much impossible for Zoltar to really convince Sidious not to do it or fight him off, so Zoltar just needs to focus on getting that gemstone somehow without Sidious' plan being necessary.

“Oh, and do try to stay alive until then. You’re no use to me if you end up as Death Gripper food.”

He cackled, apparently greatly amused by the idea, “Anyhow, I’m off to go catch dinner. I’ll be around.”

Still chortling, he swung north back towards to mountains peak.

Zoltar watched him go, biting back the desire to throw insults at the dragon.

“What a creep,”Zoltar hissed to himself as he continued on.


Well that's about how we all expected that particular interaction between the two of them to go and Sidious definitely did not disappoint in that department of being his usual horrible self.

The afternoon sun blared down on Zoltar’s obsidian black scales as he flew, the weight of the kill causing his back to ache. Each wing beat was heavier than the previous as his strength began to give out and he was still a good half an hour’s flight from reaching the maze.

He began regretting his decision. He should have waited for a smaller antelope. Why did he have to go for a stag? Whenever he’d made a kill like this there had been other dragons to help haul it home. He’d never had to carry something this big this long. He had to rest. He could carry on after a short breather.

Besides, he needed to think over what Sidious had said before seeing Felistia again.


Hmm, that seems a little too much like an excuse for him to be in a vulnerable position at a dangerous time in the dark, but since the excuse is still somewhat an effective one, I'm going to let this one slide for the moment.

He scanned the landscape. The canopy was thick. Branches intertwined with one another, knotting together to make an impenetrable fortress. The only place he could land nearby was the lake.

Zoltar cringed at the idea. After yesterday’s incident with the Wisp Talon that was the last place he wanted to go.

He had to find a place to land though, otherwise he’d have no choice, but to drop the kill.

He couldn’t bear the thought though. All that work for nothing.

He’d have to try the lake. He could just sit along the bank. There was no need to go into the forest. If anything happened, he’d have an easy escape route. Besides, most of the Wisp Talons should be up north where he’d made the kill. The lake should be safe enough for a short rest.


Hmm, well I feel like this flight is only going to make things worse for him cause he has to end up flying a bit further just to safely take a break. I can see his reason for doing this with the whole situation with Sidious and Felistia, but I can only see this ending in disaster here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this one feels like perhaps a bit of an important chapter here. Some very interesting things certainly were said in this, so I'm expecting to see quite a few things going down soon enough. Well, let's see how this little rest stop ends up causing problems then shall we? ;)

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 can't wait for you to read the next chapter. (wink).



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!!

oh oh...




See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.
— Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451