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Chronicles of Valarian 5: Into the Storm

by Lezuli


“So, now that you’ve succeeded in victory over me,” Coyote smiled broadly at me, but it wasn’t one of kindness. “Which one are you going after next? The Bird of Storms? The World Serpent? The Sphinx Queen? The First Unicorn? Or,” his eyes glinted, “perhaps none of those. What about that wolf on that island you visit?”

I glared. “That wolf is not even worthy of a title. Why should I bother with him?” At least, I hoped he was not worthy of a title yet. If he was, then his fate would not be far behind. That was not something I wanted to witness. Even someone like me would be in danger if the fate Fen was foretold to bring about happened.

Coyote laughed, arching his spine far beyond the limits of a normal canine. “Oh, Val, you silly fox. How could you believe that? The time of chaos is upon us and the fates are finally starting to turn. Even you are wrapped up in the great tapestry of fate, no one can escape it!”

“Shut up!” I roared. I was furious at this mongrel. How dare he decide that I wasn’t in control of my own destiny? “I’m not part of any tapestry! I decide my fate!” Now more than ever. The Great Beasts were the keys I needed to finally break out of the prison of binding the Elders had trapped me within.

“Fate controls our destiny and we control fate,” Coyote replied cheerfully. “It is as simple as that.”

That made no sense and I was about to say as much when a loud boom of thunder in the distance interrupted me. I jerked my head to the horizon to see the rising luminous circle of the moon bloated out by grotesque storm clouds. The rioting clouds sparked with flashes of lightning and thunder rolled from it almost constantly. I had never seen a storm like that before in all my many years of life.

The calm desert breeze stilled and the crickets stopped their chirping. Hairs on the back on my neck stood up as the very air became electrified. This entire plain seemed to still, waiting for something to strike. The calm before the storm.

Until a barking laugh broke the stillness. I whipped my gaze around to fix it upon Coyote. His snout was pointed to the sky and laughs seemed to spill from his tongue like he had no control over it. “Looks like your next challenge had already been decided,” he laughed.

“What are you talking about?” I called over the thunder. Wind was starting to pick up, much fiercer than before. It rushed through the plains like it was trying to wipe this area clean of everything. The storm felt alive, like it was coming straight for me.

Icey fear quickly doused my flaming rage. The cool tendrils of fear and worry made their way straight down to my soul and made me wish that I hadn’t sent my scythe away. It would still be a little while before I could call it back. I only had my natural defences to protect myself against whatever was coming.

“You’ll see soon enough,” Coyote laughed. “Good luck little White Fox.” He transformed into his smoke form and flew away into the night, his voice almost ripped away by the rushing wind.

“No!” I cried automatically. My hand stretched out towards him reflexively. Then I realized that I didn’t want him to leave me and retracted my hand with a twinge of self-disgust.

What the Hades was I doing? Why was I suddenly so desperate for him to stay with me? I was Valarian of the Foxes, the Fifth of the Four Ancient Foxes. I needed no one. Least of all a mangy mongrel trickster who took one of my arms. I snarled at my own weakness. It was unfounded. I had beaten one of the Great Beasts. I was stronger than ever. I could take whatever this was.

My fear slowly unwound itself from my insides, replaced by my own confidence. The storm, standing out against the unblemished night sky like a bruise, was growing bigger. The thunder was louder, the lightning brighter, the clouds closer. Whatever it was, it was coming straight here.

I sank down to a crouch, my claws popped out of my fingers and fangs filled my mouth. Blue fire licked at my hair and clothes as my foxfire enveloped me, lighting up my surroundings with a pale blue glow. This was the best offence I could create without my scythe. Though, this was enough to take out armies. I could only hope that whatever was in that storm wasn’t more powerful than Coyote.

Something wet and cold splashed on my forehead, dripping down into my eyes. I blinked it away only for another to take its place. And another, and another. Soon, a wall of cold water was pouring down from the heavens in torrents. The pulsing rain was met with another boom of thunder so loud it made the rocks around me tremble. The final rays of twilight had disappeared behind the curtain of water created by this massive storm.

I slashed my hair out of my face and turned into a fox, keeping my foxfire alive around me. What was coming? Could I even defeat it? I had to, though. I had to live to be free again.

Suddenly, an ear piercing shriek like that of a bird of prey echoed through the storm. It was louder than the pounding rain, louder than the booming thunder and crackling lightning. It was the sound of a hunter finding its prey. The sound shot straight into my ears and burrowed in like a centipede, causing unimaginable pain in its wake. I cried out, my howl mixing with the sounds of a storm. Just when I thought I would lose my mind if I heard it any more it cut off and the pain disappeared.

My breaths were heavy as I cursed my ignorance. I knew what was going on now.

I should have figured that defeating Coyote would get the attention of the other Great Beasts. Although I didn’t think that it would bring one of the Master Beasts straight to me. It was the only explanation. Only one of the Master Beasts could create a storm on this scale. I was a fool for not clueing into it sooner.

A being capable of creating thunder with every flap of its wings. One who could command lightning, hail, and rain as easily as I used my foxfire. One of the original Great Beasts, the Bird of Storms.

Another piercing cry almost brought me to the ground. My foxfire flickered as my concentration was broken into pieces. I pressed my paws onto my ears in an effort to block out the cry. Spots swam in my vision as something materialized out of the dark clouds above me.

A crack of lightning split the sky and lit up the bird with its light. Every flap of house-sized bird wings sent another boom of thunder through the night. Dark blue feathers covered their body and wings. Shocks of electricity crackled through their feathers, lighting up the night with every flash. The talons adorning their feet were easily as sharp as the finest swords, their beak looked as if it could rend the flesh of any Supernatural into ribbons. Their eyes were large and dark, speaking of sights more horrible and wonderful than I could ever imagine.

I thought of myself as one of the finest Supernaturals, but this creature was greater than me by far. Here I was, Valarian of the Foxes, crouched on the ground like some groveling servant in its presence. Some fox I am, I thought bitterly as the last of my fire blinked away to nothing.

But I couldn’t do anything to salvage my pride.

I was but a kit in the presence of the thunderbird.

Those infinite eyes fixed upon me and a chill of true fear shot through me. Whatever fear I had ever felt in my life was nothing when faced with this being. Even the Elders would cower like kits faced with the thunderbird’s might.

“You are Valarian of the Foxes,” the thunderbird said to me, their voice no longer the hunting shriek of a bird of prey. Now they sounded like thunder, echoing deep and dark to my bones.

The thunderbird was talking to me. I did not know if that meant that they were going to let me live or kill me after hearing what happened. I knew there was no way I could fight that thing and win….But…

I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. I wanted to beat the Great Beasts and defeat my masters. I wanted to be free again.

With that realization, I found the strength to resist the might of the thunderbird. I forced my shaking legs to support me and did something I never thought I would do outside of the Elders. I released my tails.

All nine of my white tails spread out around me like a peacock’s fan. I sat, letting them settle around me and lit small orbs of foxfire on each tip. This was a symbol of strength I had seen the Elders do countless times to assert their superiority. I never thought I’d use it, but now seemed like the perfect time. “Yes,” I forced my voice to be strong. “I am Valarian of the Foxes. And you are the thunderbird.”

“I am the guardian of this land and its Balance,” the thunderbird replied, their voice shaking the grass in front of me. “You have defeated one of the beings under my skies.”

Coyote, that had to be what they meant. “I defeated the Trickster of the Plains,” I held my chin high, forcing myself to stare down the length of my snout at the massive bird hovering in the storm above me.

The thunderbird said nothing, making me worried that I would be struck with lightning soon. I had no idea if my immortality and regeneration extended to Great Beast lightning, but I did not desire to find out. “Thunderbird!” I called before it had the chance to electrocute me. “I was sent here to defeat the Great Beasts and learn the extent of the chaos to be caused by the unraveling of the Balance.”

“Is this of your own will?” they asked.

I faltered momentarily before answering. I usually would have dived head-long into the waters of sarcasm and derision to answer that. But it would be a very bad idea for me to bad-mouth a truly immortal Great Beast. “N-no,” I finally got out. “My masters, the Four Ancient Foxes, gave me this task.”

“I see.” I was usually fairly good at reading voices, but the voice of the thunderbird was impossible to read. It was purely thunder given shape. “If you wish to discover what will befall the residents of the Great Worlds, I am not the Beast to go after. Instead focus on Jormungar and the creatures under his domain. The World Serpent sees the threads of time clearer than any other in these worlds.”

I gritted my teeth. Jormungar, the World Serpent, said to reside at the bottom of a vast ocean. He was the creature that oversaw all of the Middleworld. The strongest and eldest Great Beast. He is said to be the only thing that could destroy a Great World.

And, of course, I would have to get the information I needed to be free again from him. The fates Coyote spoke of must have really hated me. But the World Serpent was between me and freedom. I had no choice but to claim victory over him.

Then something struck me. A grin spread across my face before I could stop it. “Are you suggesting I take down the Great Beasts directly connected to the World Serpent?” I asked the thunderbird.

Just like Coyote was connected to the thunderbird, there would be Great Beasts that were connected to the World Serpent. I only knew of a few, the Horned Serpent, the Hydra, and the Dragonfolk. All strong, yes. But, if I defeated the weaker ones and gained some of their power, then I could eventually amass enough power to take on Jormungar himself.

“The World Serpent and I are the strongest of the Great Beasts,” the thunderbird told me. “We have been rivals since our creation. I am not above using you as a way to finally become stronger than him.”

So even the almighty Great Beasts were held down by emotions. I would be lying if I said that didn’t help me regain some of my confidence. Seeing that the Great Beasts were no better than me. In the end, I suppose every creature on these worlds was the same. We wanted to be strong, we wanted to live the way we valued, and we would fight to keep what we cared for.

“Do we have a deal?” the thunderbird asked. “In exchange for helping me defeat Jormungar, I will not get in the way of your quest or punish you for the defeat of Coyote. A good deal, is it not?”

I transformed back into a human, brushing my rain-slicked hair out of my face, I smiled my most devious smile. “Indeed it is. You’ve got yourself a deal, thunderbird. I’m going to help you beat the World Serpent.”


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66 Reviews


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Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:08 pm
Andrewknorpp wrote a review...



Okay, this was interesting. I liked the Thunderbird, they were very cool and primordial. The quest for Val is becoming more defined, and I'm excited to see this little twirp be humbled a bit. Or, more likely, become more secure in himself, and therefore not have to always be proving his strength. Probably a mix of both.
But into specifics

Even someone like me would be in danger if the fate Fen was foretold to bring about happened.
Clunky and hard to follow
“Oh, Val, you silly fox. How could you believe that? The time of chaos is upon us and the fates are finally starting to turn. Even you are wrapped up in the great tapestry of fate, no one can escape it!”

Sensing Wheel Of Time vibes.
I jerked my head to the horizon to see the rising luminous circle of the moon bloated out by grotesque storm clouds.

Grotesque? Seems like a weird way to describe clouds. Also, that would be blotted, not bloated.
Something wet and cold splashed on my forehead, dripping down into my eyes. I blinked it away only for another to take its place. And another, and another.

Good description of rain
the thunderbird said to me,

If that's it's a title it should be capitalized.
But that's all just my two cents! Hope it helped!
He is said to be the only thing that could destroy a Great World.

So, there more than one world? And some of them are crappy and not great? That's kinda amazing.
That's it! The other reviewers covered everything else!
Excited to see where this goes!
Thanks, and keep writing.
-Andrew




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Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:25 am
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IconspicuoslyAlpacaing wrote a review...



Howdy Lezuli!

First and foremost, I have to admit that I'm going into this chapter cold. I haven't read any of the previous chapters, but I thing I might just have to after this. I've already read @starlitmind 's review, and I'll do my best not to repeat anything they've already said.

The very first thing I noticed was your unnecessary use of adverbs. A few examples include "smiled broadly", "I cried automatically.", and "stretched out towards him reflexively". Keep in mind that adverbs are not always a bad thing, but in most of these instances, they weren't needed. If you're familiar with this concept, feel free to skip the rest of this paragraph, as I don't want to talk down to you if you're already well versed. When you use an adverb, it's usually written as "I (verb)ed (adjective)ly". Like I said, it's not always a bad thing, but nine times out of ten, you'll probably want to avoid it. A good way to decipher whether or not you need the adverb is to ask yourself "could I replace this with a more specific verb?" Unless you're describing an aspect that is not typically associated with the action, or there isn't a word for what you're describing, you don't need adverbs. For example, saying that a character "smiled widely" would sound much better if they "grinned" instead. However, if they "smiled uneasily" or "smiled awkwardly", the extra description is needed. If this explanation was insufficient, I'd recommend taking to the writing side of youtube, as it is an endless well of generally helpful and/or truthful information.

Aside from that, I'd only be reiterating most of what starlit said, but I'd like to take the time to compliment you on your absolutely marvelous descriptions of pretty much everything, especially the storm. There's a wicked thunderstorm raging outside my window, and reading this really hit different when I could hear the thunder and the rain pelting my house. Excellent chapter, and remember to keep on keeping on!

-Alpaca




Lezuli says...


Thank you very much for your insight. I was not aware of the adverb thing and I'll keep that in mind for the next chapters!



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Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:35 pm
starlitmind wrote a review...



Hey you! :D I'm really liking this story so far, so here I am to review another one of your chapters! I'm going to point out things I notice along the way and conclude with my thoughts!

The First Unicorn? Or,” his eyes glinted, “Perhaps none of those. What about that wolf on that island you visit?”


Since the second part of this quote is a continuation, you don't need to capitalize "perhaps."

Even one like me would be in danger if the fate Fen was foretold to bring about happened.


This is a personal suggestion, but I think "Even someone like me would..." flows a bit better.

Coyote laughed, arching his spine far beyond the limits of a normal canine,


Even though you have a quote after this, this needs to end with a period since it's not something along the lines of "Coyote said,"

Even you are wrapped up in the great tapestry of fate, no one can escape it!


I like the idea of being "wrapped up in the great tapestry of fate." That's pretty cool!

“Shut up!” I roared, I was furious at this mongrel.


You need a period after "roared" :)

“Fate controls our destiny and we control fate,” Coyote replied cheerfully, “It is as simple as that.”


You can either replace the comma after "cheerfully" with a period, which I think works better, or lowercase "It"

I jerked my head to the horizon to see the rising luminous circle of the moon bloated out by grotesque storm clouds. The rioting clouds sparked with flashes of lightning and thunder rolled from it almost constantly.


Ooh, what a wonderful description!

I whipped my gaze around to fix upon Coyote.


I would personally write "to fix it upon Coyote" because otherwise it sounds a bit awkward (to me, at least) and it clarifies what you are "fixing."

His snout was pointed to the sky and laughs seemed to spill from his tongue like he had no control over it. “Looks like your next challenge had already been decided.” he laughed.


I love the way you characterize this Coyote dude. He almost seems a bit crazy and maniacal. The end of the quote should have a comma instead of a period, or you could capitalize "he" in "he laughed."

“Good luck little White Fox,” he transformed into his smoke form and flew away into the night, his voice almost ripped away by the rushing wind.


Since "he transformed" isn't something along the lines of "he said/spoke" or whatever, the end of the quote needs a period and not a comma :) And then you would capitalize "he"

The storm, standing out against the unblemished night sky like a bruise, was growing bigger.


Nice <3

Although I didn’t think that it would bring one of the master beasts straight to me.


You capitalize Great Beasts, so that makes me think you should as well with "master beasts"?

Every flap of house-sized bird’s wings


I would rewrite this like "Every flap of a house-sized bird's wings" or "Every flap of house-sized bird wings"

Those infinite eyes fixed upon me and I chill of true fear shot through me.


"infinite eyes" is cool! I believe you meant "a chill" instead of "I chill"

“My masters, the Four Ancient Foxes gave me this task.”


You need another comma after "Foxes"

A grin spread across my face before I could stop it,


This needs to end with a period instead of a comma

“Do we have a deal?” the thunderbird asked, “In exchange for helping me defeat Jormungar, I will not get in the way of your quest or punish you for the defeat of Coyote. A good deal, is it not?”


Ooh :o This is quite interesting! You need a period after "asked"

I’m going to help you beat the World Serpent.”


This is getting interesting! I am really loving this story so far! <3

And that's it! Like I said, I really love this story. It's so well built. I can tell you've put a lot of planning into this. I also really love your descriptions; they are all so vivid, detailed, and poetic. Quite unique as well. You're also really good at characterization; I can really visualize Val's character, as well as Coyote. I am really enjoying this story so far, and I can't wait to read more. I hope this helped! :D




Lezuli says...


I'm so happy you're enjoying Val's journey! The good parts just getting started...(maniacal laughter). Anyway, I also quite appreciate all the things you pointed out since I noticed none of it. Thank you very much!




History repeats itself. First as tragedy, second as farce.
— Karl Marx