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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 17

by felistia


The air crackled with electricity as the two dragons took to the air, the fine dust below them billowing up in the rush of wind from their wings. They rose rapidly, beating their wings as they raced the oncoming storm. Strong gusts of wind pelted them, threatening to hurl them from the sky.

They‘d almost reached the clouds when the rain started. At first it was a shallow shower, but before long it was coming down in icy torrents.

Lighting flashed around them, closely followed by a deafening roar as thunder ripped through the sky. Thick sheets of water battered against them, weighing down their wings as they fought through storm.

Finally after an exhausting climb, they broke through the top of the clouds.

The warmth of the sun was a welcome feeling as Zoltar leveled out into even flight. Below, the clouds churned and growled like an angry sea.

He was drenched and freezing. Hisster wasn’t looking much better as he glided beside Zoltar.

Shivering, Zoltar glanced over at him, debating what he should say. They had to talk about what had happened.

First, Hisster had gone to see Krakatoa however many moon cycles ago and no one had known about it. Well…at least he and Nira hadn’t known. They were only soldiers after all. Scorpus may have been in on it. He was the second in command after all.

Zoltar took in a shaky breath as he shook away the image of his old commander. He’d avenge him soon enough, once this was all over.

Still, how could they have kept a secret like this? It wasn’t exactly a small thing.

Just talking about a Power Stone Quest was big news. Only a few select tribes managed to earn the right to a Power Stone. It wasn’t like going and trading in fish. A tribe would have to work on its relations with other tribes for years before even thinking about it.

He couldn’t believe that Hisster had just agreed to do this for the Ghost Talons. It was unheard of to claim a Power Stone for another tribe. Not to mention almost impossible.

The whole point of the quest in the first place was to see if the tribe in question was trustworthy enough to have a Power Stone. That’s why they had to collect a Stone from each tribe. If one tribe didn’t see them as fit to have a Power Stone, they wouldn’t get that tribes stone. That was how the custom worked.

How in blue moons were they going to do this? Sure, they’d have four Stones before they started, but that didn’t make the task much easier.

The Wind Talons may give them a Stone. They hadn’t had a war with them in recorded history and trade before the eruption had been good between the two tribes.

The smooth sailing ended there though.

The Ice Talons without a doubt would refuse to give a Stone. Their Queen had tried her paw at a Quest a decade or so ago. The Shadow Talons had been one of the tribes to refuse her their Stone. No way would she give them hers after that.

The only way to get an Ice Talon Stone would be to steal it. That would undermine the whole point of the quest, not to mention that it could get him killed.

The Wisp Talons were another issue entirely. They didn’t seem to even abide by traditional tribe laws anymore. Did they even have a Stone to give and if so, how in blue moons would he get it? They seemed to kill strange dragons on sight.

Zoltar shook his head and stared off at the distant horizon as he rubbed his talons anxiously.

Even if they did manage to get all the Stones and completed the Quest, was it right to give the Ruby of Fire to the Ghost Talons? Everyone in Megalonia knew they were a slimy bunch.

The only reason they were sending them on this quest in first place was because they knew the Keepers would never give them the Ruby of Fire back. There was a reason it had been taken away in the first place. They’d used it to black mail and coerce other tribes into doing their biding.

What was to say that they wouldn’t do that again once they had the Ruby? They had no guaranty that the Ghost Talons would fight for them after they’d got their precious Power Stone. They were more likely to get rid of them, than help them. What was Hisster thinking?

“What in blue moons happened back there?” Zoltar burst out, unable to contain it anymore.

Hisster visibly flinched, faltering a little before regaining an even flight rhythm. He look over at Zoltar, guilt clouding his eyes, “You were never supposed to be the one to do it. Scorpus and I always agreed that it could be one of us, but…”

He turned away, unable to face Zoltar as he continued with a steel edge to his voice, “It doesn’t matter now. Krakatoa’s made up his mind. If we want his army, we’re going to have to do it his way.”

Zoltar lowered his eyes, feeling slightly guilt for yelling as Hisster. He’d kind of gotten himself into this mess if he was honest.

If Scorpus had been around, he would have never been invited on the mission. Not to mention that Hisster had wanted to go alone in the first place. Zoltar had insisted on coming. If he’d listened and stayed behind, Krakatoa wouldn’t have been able to force this Quest on him. Hisster would have been the only one there.

“You won’t be doing it alone you know. Sidious may not be the most…pleasant Ghost Talon, but he is the second highest ranking dragon after Krakatoa. He is good at what he does,” Hisster added.

Zoltar resisted the urge to snort. Sidious was a slimy eel of a dragon. Even those inside his tribe seemed to find him distasteful. If he was like that around his fellow tribe mates, how much worse would he be when he was alone with Zoltar?

Zoltar couldn’t bear the thought of it. Even the idea of doing this alone sounded better.

He heaved a long sigh. Sulking about this wasn’t going to change anything. The sooner he faced facts the better. He was going to have to do this and grousing about Hisster or Sidious wasn’t going to help. He needed to prepare. He had less than a day before Sidious returned. He had to be ready by then.


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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 baaack for another review!!!

First Impression: Okayy...another relatively low intensity chapter here, but the tension here is definitely starting to build here, the buildup towards the actual start of this quest is going wonderfully, and I can't wait to see that when it happens. :D

Anyway let's get right to it,

The air crackled with electricity as the two dragons took to the air, the fine dust below them billowing up in the rush of wind from their wings. They rose rapidly, beating their wings as they raced the oncoming storm. Strong gusts of wind pelted them, threatening to hurl them from the sky.


Okayy...we have our more standard start I, just some great description as these two begin flying off from there, although this appears to be a very stormy and gloomy description here, compared to the very sunny ones in most chapters...and it definitely fits with the state of the story at the moment.

They‘d almost reached the clouds when the rain started. At first it was a shallow shower, but before long it was coming down in icy torrents.

Lighting flashed around them, closely followed by a deafening roar as thunder ripped through the sky. Thick sheets of water battered against them, weighing down their wings as they fought through storm.


Ah, well, that's definitely not a fun situation to be flying through, its always the worst feeling when you're wing just continuously get pelted with rain, these two have to be pretty strong and experienced to fly in conditions like this.

Finally after an exhausting climb, they broke through the top of the clouds.

The warmth of the sun was a welcome feeling as Zoltar leveled out into even flight. Below, the clouds churned and growled like an angry sea.


Hmm, well, that's going to help a lot...hmm, and the fact that they can fly high enough to actually put that off is certainly an interesting detail, cause getting above the clouds requires you to go quite high in the sky and flying at altitudes like that as a bird is no easy task.

He was drenched and freezing. Hisster wasn’t looking much better as he glided beside Zoltar.

Shivering, Zoltar glanced over at him, debating what he should say. They had to talk about what had happened.


It definitely will be getting colder with the height they're flying at so with all the rain earlier, it has to be super uncomfortable for them there.

First, Hisster had gone to see Krakatoa however many moon cycles ago and no one had known about it. Well…at least he and Nira hadn’t known. They were only soldiers after all. Scorpus may have been in on it. He was the second in command after all.


Well, that's probably a good assessment there. This is the sort of thing that would be kept between only the leader and his highest officials and probably not told to the regular soldiers.

Zoltar took in a shaky breath as he shook away the image of his old commander. He’d avenge him soon enough, once this was all over.

Still, how could they have kept a secret like this? It wasn’t exactly a small thing.


Well, that's probably the point there Zoltar, talking openly about something like that is probably not a good idea unless there's a solid plan in place or if you're forced to like in this case.

Just talking about a Power Stone Quest was big news. Only a few select tribes managed to earn the right to a Power Stone. It wasn’t like going and trading in fish. A tribe would have to work on its relations with other tribes for years before even thinking about it.

He couldn’t believe that Hisster had just agreed to do this for the Ghost Talons. It was unheard of to claim a Power Stone for another tribe. Not to mention almost impossible.


Well, if a quest wasn't on that level of difficulty, there wouldn't be a story written about it now, would it?

The whole point of the quest in the first place was to see if the tribe in question was trustworthy enough to have a Power Stone. That’s why they had to collect a Stone from each tribe. If one tribe didn’t see them as fit to have a Power Stone, they wouldn’t get that tribes stone. That was how the custom worked.


Well, the ghost talons clearly don't want to respect that custom, they're just planning on having all the stones get stolen from the tribes, either that or the think the current condition of the Shadow Talons would mean the other tribes would be willing to trust them.

How in blue moons were they going to do this? Sure, they’d have four Stones before they started, but that didn’t make the task much easier.


Oh the task is certainly not going to be easy.

The Wind Talons may give them a Stone. They hadn’t had a war with them in recorded history and trade before the eruption had been good between the two tribes.

The smooth sailing ended there though.


Hmm, yes she definitely would give you the stone, if, of course, said stone was actually in here possession but that's a story for another day..;)

The Ice Talons without a doubt would refuse to give a Stone. Their Queen had tried her paw at a Quest a decade or so ago. The Shadow Talons had been one of the tribes to refuse her their Stone. No way would she give them hers after that.


Well, you can't even blame the Ice Talons for that one there, after all, if you don't give the stone, that's just inviting that tribe to never give you their stone...that's just an unavoidable situation at that time.

The only way to get an Ice Talon Stone would be to steal it. That would undermine the whole point of the quest, not to mention that it could get him killed.

The Wisp Talons were another issue entirely. They didn’t seem to even abide by traditional tribe laws anymore. Did they even have a Stone to give and if so, how in blue moons would he get it? They seemed to kill strange dragons on sight.


Hmm, well he certainly has plenty of potentially deadly quests to be embarking on to get the various stones, the poor guy is definitely not going to have an easy time of anything that's to happen here.

Zoltar shook his head and stared off at the distant horizon as he rubbed his talons anxiously.

Even if they did manage to get all the Stones and completed the Quest, was it right to give the Ruby of Fire to the Ghost Talons? Everyone in Megalonia knew they were a slimy bunch.


Well, we've definitely seen plenty of evidence to support the theory that the Ghost Talons are indeed a very slimy bunch.

The only reason they were sending them on this quest in first place was because they knew the Keepers would never give them the Ruby of Fire back. There was a reason it had been taken away in the first place. They’d used it to black mail and coerce other tribes into doing their biding.


Well, they're blackmailing the Shadow Talons...well, not technically but still yes...so yeah, it is pretty clear that the Ghost Talons certainly don't seem like the tribe that should be in the control of something like that and well...this is definitely a really interesting dilemma for Zoltar to have here...he has to deal with the fact that even if he succeeds and gets a place for his tribe to be in peace, he might accidentally unleash a worse thing upon all the tribes.

What was to say that they wouldn’t do that again once they had the Ruby? They had no guaranty that the Ghost Talons would fight for them after they’d got their precious Power Stone. They were more likely to get rid of them, than help them. What was Hisster thinking?


I daresay it was a case of there simply being no other option...

“What in blue moons happened back there?” Zoltar burst out, unable to contain it anymore.

Hisster visibly flinched, faltering a little before regaining an even flight rhythm. He look over at Zoltar, guilt clouding his eyes, “You were never supposed to be the one to do it. Scorpus and I always agreed that it could be one of us, but…”


Well, that is definitely either genuine regret on the part of Hisster or he's a really good actor...xD...I can't help but be slightly suspicious of everyone here...cause you know...once a theorist, always a theorist

He turned away, unable to face Zoltar as he continued with a steel edge to his voice, “It doesn’t matter now. Krakatoa’s made up his mind. If we want his army, we’re going to have to do it his way.”

Zoltar lowered his eyes, feeling slightly guilt for yelling as Hisster. He’d kind of gotten himself into this mess if he was honest.


Okay...he accepted Hisster's explanation there very quickly, I feel like he would perhaps talk about this a tiny bit more before he started feeling like that. At this point he's basically immediately feeling bad about yelling at Hisster, which is a tiny bit too soon in my opinion, it kind of sells the premise of Zoltar questioning his decision a little short there.

If Scorpus had been around, he would have never been invited on the mission. Not to mention that Hisster had wanted to go alone in the first place. Zoltar had insisted on coming. If he’d listened and stayed behind, Krakatoa wouldn’t have been able to force this Quest on him. Hisster would have been the only one there.


Well, Zoltar ending up being chosen for this definitely was Zoltar's doing there, but then with Krakatoa, you never know, he certainly may have requested someone other than Hisster to do this even if Hisster went alone.

“You won’t be doing it alone you know. Sidious may not be the most…pleasant Ghost Talon, but he is the second highest ranking dragon after Krakatoa. He is good at what he does,” Hisster added.

Zoltar resisted the urge to snort. Sidious was a slimy eel of a dragon. Even those inside his tribe seemed to find him distasteful. If he was like that around his fellow tribe mates, how much worse would he be when he was alone with Zoltar?


Well, here's the thing...slimy eels are really hard to get along with, that's a given, but they are also pretty good at dealing with potential threats cause they like to be alive, so having Sidious would certainly give Zoltar's questing team a bit more clout but of course Sidious would never ever do anything to help the other dragons, if things get tough, he certainly seems to type to save himself and leave the rest for dead.

Zoltar couldn’t bear the thought of it. Even the idea of doing this alone sounded better.

He heaved a long sigh. Sulking about this wasn’t going to change anything. The sooner he faced facts the better. He was going to have to do this and grousing about Hisster or Sidious wasn’t going to help. He needed to prepare. He had less than a day before Sidious returned. He had to be ready by then.


Ooooh, and so the preparation begins, and don't worry Zoltar, you'll find a few much better companions soon enough so you don't have to deal with Sidious all by yourself.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, another wonderful addition to this story, and ahh, as always I can't wait to see what's next, especially cause it looks like the chapter to come will involve Zoltar actually setting out on his quest and we can see how Sidious ends up interacting with him as well, which is sure to be entertaining to us readers....and horrifying for poor Zoltar.

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 agree that Zoltar did accept Hisster's opinion to quickly now that I look at it. Something to edit on the next go around. :D



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!!
:D



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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia

Mailice here with a short review!

We're seventeen chapters in now. That was fast, now that I think about it. But I'm also glad to be able to read on. :D

It was a very interesting short chapter written in an introspection, which I haven't seen so directly during your story. Usually there was a second half to read that talked more about the outside world. I found this change strange at the beginning and great in the overall view. It gives this chapter this renewed break in the world of thought. I like how Zoltar is thinking thoughts and how from that his inner life is getting louder and louder, to the point that the Hisster is shouting at.

Also, I don't know if that was a metaphor you deliberately put in, but when they're flying through the storm at the beginning and coming over the clouds, it could be a great comparison between Zoltar's inner life and his world around it. I like that he's sort of pulling "the storm" with him and is above it, and yet is caught deep in this web of worry and caution. And then when he starts to speak, it's like lightning striking after the thunder has been heard for a long time.

I also find it exciting to learn that Hisster has already discussed a possible quest with Scorpus. It gives me more and more this feeling that Zoltar is just a small character in a much bigger game than he knows. I also like the fact that the self-reflection not only explains one's own problems, but as a reader you get new information about the connections of the individual talons. I like that you learn more without it sounding like it's from a textbook. You've built that in dynamically and well.

Structurally, it was good, as were the previous chapters. I like your descriptions and how you try to tie it in with their flight. I also like that the chapter doesn't have anything grammatically wrong now. (at least I didn't notice anything). I'm just a bit divided when it comes to the chapter being so short. But I think even there, as a reader, you have to be patient for the next chapter to be able to evaluate it as a whole. For example, it would be very counterproductive now if everything went smoothly after Zoltar has so many worries and more or less gives a kind of foreshadowing.

Other points that struck me:

They'd almost reached the clouds when the rain started. At first it was a shallow shower, but before long it was coming down in icy torrents.

Again, I like this kind of metaphor, how the little synapses in Zoltar's brain become prickly thoughts that leave him unfocused. I think based on your description at the beginning, you gave a great natural summary to this.

Shivering, Zoltar glanced over at him, debating what he should say. They had to talk about what had happened.

I like how Zoltar occasionally "comes to his senses" and wants to talk; but he can't because he doesn't know how to phrase it. It reminds me of children when they don't dare ask an adult about something for fear of what might happen. You've done a good job of incorporating that here.

Zoltar shook his head and stared off at the distant horizon as he rubbed his talons anxiously.

Again, I draw a comparison with a child who is afraid to ask a question. You have managed this "anxiety" very well in this chapter and presented it well to the reader.

"What in blue moons happened back there?" Zoltar bursts out, unable to contain it anymore.

I don't remember if this has been mentioned in previous chapters, but this is the first time I've noticed it, as it's been more frequent; but "blue moons" seems to be a very intriguing and Talon-esque phrase. I like it.

In summary, it was a rather short chapter with a big impact on the continuation of Zoltar. I assume the goodbye between Zoltar and Hisster will come soon and even there I hope Hisster doesn't do anything rash.

Have fun writing!

Mailice.




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review. This chapter was quite difficult to write.

I was planning on adding more to it in the shape of his thoughts later on, but it felt repetitive.

I thought about adding on the first part of what will now be the next chapter, but it wasn't a good break. Sorry the chapter was so short.




I say, in matters of the heart, treat yo' self.
— Donna, Parks & Rec