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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter 6

by felistia


Zoltar didn’t know how long he’d been lying there, but it felt like hours. The light of the fire rocks glowed dimly off the cave walls as he stared at the tunnel outside.

‘What time was it?’

Groaning, Zoltar shifted his weight, trying to get comfortable on the rock platform he was resting on, but nothing seemed to work. He couldn’t fall asleep.

Just then, he caught movement out the corner of his eye. He jerked around to see a shadow flit across the cave opening.

A shiver ran over Zoltar as his back spines prickling. Sliding out of bed, he slunk over to the entrance, his hackles raised.

Carefully he peered around the corner, but to his surprise, nothing was there. He sniffed the air, trying to catch any unfamiliar scents. There was nothing, but even more disturbing was the complete lack of any smells.

Brushing it off, he continued to search, venturing further into the maze of tunnels. The light of the fire rocks grew steadily weaker as faint scuttling sounds echoed out from the growing darkness. Little tendrils of ghostly grey mist clouded the air around him and everything began looking strangely unfamiliar.

Unease began to churn in Zoltar’s stomach like an acidic storm. Something wasn’t right.

Swinging around, he tried to go back the way he’d come, but the tunnel had disappeared and was replaced by an empty black abyss.

Terror began to flood through him as he looked around widely. The fire rocks had vanished, plunging him into a hazy void.

“Hello,” Zoltar yelled, panicking as he desperately tried to find the walls of the tunnel, his talons scraping at thin air. But nothing met his claws, only a never ending emptiness surrounded him.

“Help!” he called again, taking a few steps forward.

That’s when his talons knocked against it, a cold, scaly thing that hissed and scuttled away upon contact.

Flailing wildly with his barbed tail, Zoltar tried to defend against whatever it was, but it had melted back into the darkness.

Silence enveloped him, a thick, tangible entity that stifled out even his own cries for help.

Then a faint brush of air rippled down his back scales and crackling growl broke the stillness.

Whipping around, Zoltar had just enough time to make out the snake like figure of a dragon before it lunged at him, a terrible scream erupting from its gaping jaws before it clamped down on his throat.

Zoltar sat bolt upright with a strangled yell, clutching at his neck. His heart was hammering in his chest as his breaths came out in quick, shaky bursts.

It took him a moment to notice the dark figure looming over him, their obsidian horns tainted red in the light of the fire rocks.

Flinching, he leapt back off the bed, landing with his tail raised and teeth bared.

“Wow, Zoltar. Calm down,” The dragoness yelped, her wings flared in alarm, “It’s just me.”

Dropping his barbed tail, Zoltar let out an abrupt snort as he realized how silly he looked. It was Nira.

“What made you do that?” Nira asked as she circled around the rock platform, a nervous grin on her snout, “I just nudged you. You were moaning in your sleep.”

“Oh it’s nothing. Just another nightmare,” Zoltar said, chuckling a little, though his heart was still pounding heavily against his chest.

Nira gave him a look, but didn’t say anything as she sat down and twined tails with him.

“When did you get back?” Zoltar asked as she rested her head against his neck.

“A few hours ago. You were asleep when I came in and I didn’t want to disturb you.”

Zoltar nuzzled her snout and rested his head on hers. He breathed a deep sigh as the tension began to leave his body. It had just been a dream. Nothing more.

Still, this time it had felt so real, as though he was really there. It was nothing like the ones he’d had repeatedly over the last few years. He’d grown used to them, though they could still be disturbing.

Just as he was about to suggest going back to sleep, Zoltar’s sharp hearing picked up on the faint knocking of claws on dirt as a shadow slid past the tunnel outside the room.

He was up in a flash, his heart once again ready to burst out of his chest.

Nira had heard it too and was on her feet, her eyes fixed on the wall outside. She eyed Zoltar and tipped her head towards the sound, gesturing for him to follow her.

Together, they slunk towards the opening, back spines bristling and barbed tails poised to strike.

Zoltar was the first to edge around the corner, his muscles wired to spring him out of the way of an oncoming attack, but the tunnel was empty. The only movement was the faint flickering of the fire rocks strewn along the walls.

Whatever had passed by had disappeared into the gloom of the passageways.

Zoltar tried to calm the churning in his stomach. These was how his dream had started.

A barrage of thoughts fought for his attention. What if the dream had been a premonition? It felt like too much of a coincidence that this was happening. Maybe he should just stay in his room? Maybe he was just seeing things?

“Zoltar.”

He felt Nira’s wing on his side as she pointed at the ground. Breaking through his fears, Zoltar put all his effort into focusing on the present.

“Shyfu tracks,” Nira continued, sniffing the scuff marks in the dirt, “It must be after the food store.”

Zoltar groaned inwardly. This was the second time this season that a Shyfu had found its way into the tunnels. Food was practically gone on the lava fields and now the serpents were looking for any scraps they could get hold of. Even if it meant going into a dragon den.

“Come on. We need to find it before it takes anything,” Nira hissed, her snout close to the ground as she hurried deeper into the warren. Zoltar followed.

They moved swiftly, but silently down the corridors. No one else seemed to have been woken by the Shyfu as all the rooms they passed were either empty or had a dragon deeply asleep inside.

It wasn’t long before they heard the quiet scrape of scales against the dirt floor. Slowing to walk, the two dragons slunk around the bend where the sound was coming from.


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Sun May 23, 2021 8:42 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Let's start right away:

I like the whole sequence of Zoltar's nightmare. You portrayed it well. Even though the descriptions here were kept minimalistic (which is understandable in a dream, after all), you managed to sum up the "unknown" in great words, and captivate Zoltar (and the reader) in a little creepy way. I especially like that the nightmare is very easy to interpret and comprehend in its closest point, as in a way it has already appeared that way to many people (I assume).

Also a plus point, which is my opinion, is that one knew from the beginning that it had to be a dream, by your presentation of this in italic form. I don't like it so much when a writer sets up dreams or the like like reality, as it can be easy to get lost in it. Kudos for not devolving into stereotypical means. :D

"Hello," Zoltar yelled,


I would add an exclamation mark or a question mark here.

Zoltar tried to calm the churning in his stomach. These were how his dream had started.


I'm not a fan of stereotypical story elements, and yet I have the impression here that I can understand not being able to shake off the feeling after a nightmare that someone is in the bedroom. I would maybe change this point here to a train of thought from Zoltar so it doesn't seem so repetitive.

I liked the chapter. Even though it felt a bit like filler, I liked that the story didn't directly progress here. I'm also glad that Nira is back and showed up at just the right moment.

What I think you could stretch a bit more is Nira's return and her giving a bit of an account of what she did and what she witnessed before Zoltar sees the shadow. That would give the chapter (which I think is a bit short) another interesting point. At least it would help to strengthen the bond between Zoltar and Nira. This is given by the many indirect hints and passive remarks in the last chapters, but I don't think I had read a real conversation between them for a while now. In fact, I think Hisster and Zoltar have had more dialogue together than Nira and Zoltar.

So if you were to revise the story at some point, I would add some more dialogue, like Nira trying to distract Zoltar from the nightmare with a memory they made over the past four years. "Do you still remember that?" or something. That would stretch the "filler-ish" a bit but have a positive effect on character development.

In summary, I can really say that it was a filler chapter. And yet you tried to get the most out of this that there is. Sometimes I think that's what's needed to keep some parts from being too close together.


Have fun with the writing!

Mailice.




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Sat May 15, 2021 4:19 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Hi! I'm baaack...aaand with this one I think I am finally fully caught up...and I can just review as you post 'em...let's see....

First Impression: Well...this is definitely sounding like a great chapter there to use as filler...one of our classic Zoltar terrible premonition dreams and wow...that is quite a cliffhanger....ahh...now I wish there was another chapter already out....you're just too good at this cliffhanger business.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Zoltar didn’t know how long he’d been lying there, but it felt like hours. The light of the fire rocks glowed dimly off the cave walls as he stared at the tunnel outside.

‘What time was it?’

Groaning, Zoltar shifted his weight, trying to get comfortable on the rock platform he was resting on, but nothing seemed to work. He couldn’t fall asleep.


Uh oh..italics detected..well..here comes a fun little dream sequence, of course from what I know of the dream sequences in this story, this is almost guaranteed to not be anything remotely good here.

Just then, he caught movement out the corner of his eye. He jerked around to see a shadow flit across the cave opening.

A shiver ran over Zoltar as his back spines prickling. Sliding out of bed, he slunk over to the entrance, his hackles raised.


Uh oh...here we go...

Carefully he peered around the corner, but to his surprise, nothing was there. He sniffed the air, trying to catch any unfamiliar scents. There was nothing, but even more disturbing was the complete lack of any smells.

Brushing it off, he continued to search, venturing further into the maze of tunnels. The light of the fire rocks grew steadily weaker as faint scuttling sounds echoed out from the growing darkness. Little tendrils of ghostly grey mist clouded the air around him and everything began looking strangely unfamiliar.


Oh dear...there definitely shouldn't be an absence of smell in that part of town...I mean small scuttling noise I would probably not consider bad....but paired with the absence of small...oh boy.

Unease began to churn in Zoltar’s stomach like an acidic storm. Something wasn’t right.

Swinging around, he tried to go back the way he’d come, but the tunnel had disappeared and was replaced by an empty black abyss.


Well...that's definitely staying very true to a dream there....everything just straight up vanishing.

Terror began to flood through him as he looked around widely. The fire rocks had vanished, plunging him into a hazy void.

“Hello,” Zoltar yelled, panicking as he desperately tried to find the walls of the tunnel, his talons scraping at thin air. But nothing met his claws, only a never ending emptiness surrounded him.


Oh dear...poor guy plunged into some kind of quite crazy situation there....something taking out the lights and straight up trying to sneak attack him. Well...I have a feeling its one of these shifty lava things....let's see.

“Help!” he called again, taking a few steps forward.

That’s when his talons knocked against it, a cold, scaly thing that hissed and scuttled away upon contact.

Flailing wildly with his barbed tail, Zoltar tried to defend against whatever it was, but it had melted back into the darkness.


Oh dear....scaly things....that's gotta be that Shyfu thing right...has to be...can't possibly be other scary scaly things in that mountain, can there?

Silence enveloped him, a thick, tangible entity that stifled out even his own cries for help.

Then a faint brush of air rippled down his back scales and crackling growl broke the stillness.

Whipping around, Zoltar had just enough time to make out the snake like figure of a dragon before it lunged at him, a terrible scream erupting from its gaping jaws before it clamped down on his throat.


Oww...I felt that one...oh dear....definitely a terrible nightmare there for poor Zoltar, although I get the feeling this could potentially also be some sneaky foreshadowing...maybe...

Zoltar sat bolt upright with a strangled yell, clutching at his neck. His heart was hammering in his chest as his breaths came out in quick, shaky bursts.

It took him a moment to notice the dark figure looming over him, their obsidian horns tainted red in the light of the fire rocks.


Oh gosh...that is definitely not what you want to wake up to right after a nightmare.

Flinching, he leapt back off the bed, landing with his tail raised and teeth bared.

“Wow, Zoltar. Calm down,” The dragoness yelped, her wings flared in alarm, “It’s just me.”


Oh whooops, we all just mistook poor Nira for some terrible dragon assassin....

Dropping his barbed tail, Zoltar let out an abrupt snort as he realized how silly he looked. It was Nira.

“What made you do that?” Nira asked as she circled around the rock platform, a nervous grin on her snout, “I just nudged you. You were moaning in your sleep.”


Well...that's a bit of a fun moment there...xD

“Oh it’s nothing. Just another nightmare,” Zoltar said, chuckling a little, though his heart was still pounding heavily against his chest.

Nira gave him a look, but didn’t say anything as she sat down and twined tails with him.

“When did you get back?” Zoltar asked as she rested her head against his neck.

“A few hours ago. You were asleep when I came in and I didn’t want to disturb you.”


Hmmm...well that's definitely a sign that he's been seeing this sort of thing quite a lot...

Zoltar nuzzled her snout and rested his head on hers. He breathed a deep sigh as the tension began to leave his body. It had just been a dream. Nothing more.

Still, this time it had felt so real, as though he was really there. It was nothing like the ones he’d had repeatedly over the last few years. He’d grown used to them, though they could still be disturbing.


Hmm...I have a bad feeling this dream is more than just a dream myself...just a hunch..

Just as he was about to suggest going back to sleep, Zoltar’s sharp hearing picked up on the faint knocking of claws on dirt as a shadow slid past the tunnel outside the room.

He was up in a flash, his heart once again ready to burst out of his chest.

Nira had heard it too and was on her feet, her eyes fixed on the wall outside. She eyed Zoltar and tipped her head towards the sound, gesturing for him to follow her.


Oh yup...here we go...what dangerous monster could be lurking outside this time?

Together, they slunk towards the opening, back spines bristling and barbed tails poised to strike.

Zoltar was the first to edge around the corner, his muscles wired to spring him out of the way of an oncoming attack, but the tunnel was empty. The only movement was the faint flickering of the fire rocks strewn along the walls.


Okay...everything seems relatively clear so far....but that's how they get you...

Whatever had passed by had disappeared into the gloom of the passageways.

Zoltar tried to calm the churning in his stomach. These was how his dream had started.

A barrage of thoughts fought for his attention. What if the dream had been a premonition? It felt like too much of a coincidence that this was happening. Maybe he should just stay in his room? Maybe he was just seeing things?


This is definitely some sort of premonition, thankfully its probably nothing like the ones in Final Destination...or so I hope.

“Zoltar.”

He felt Nira’s wing on his side as she pointed at the ground. Breaking through his fears, Zoltar put all his effort into focusing on the present.

“Shyfu tracks,” Nira continued, sniffing the scuff marks in the dirt, “It must be after the food store.”


Uh oh...not the food...

Zoltar groaned inwardly. This was the second time this season that a Shyfu had found its way into the tunnels. Food was practically gone on the lava fields and now the serpents were looking for any scraps they could get hold of. Even if it meant going into a dragon den.

“Come on. We need to find it before it takes anything,” Nira hissed, her snout close to the ground as she hurried deeper into the warren. Zoltar followed.


Well that seems like a smart move there.

They moved swiftly, but silently down the corridors. No one else seemed to have been woken by the Shyfu as all the rooms they passed were either empty or had a dragon deeply asleep inside.

It wasn’t long before they heard the quiet scrape of scales against the dirt floor. Slowing to walk, the two dragons slunk around the bend where the sound was coming from.


Oh dear....I sense a fight...well...lovely little cliffhanger there at any rate. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall...this was a fun little chapter here...and ahh...now I can't wait until we get the next chapter. Well...anyways....until then...:D

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

Stay Safe
Harry




felistia says...


Thank you again for another review. I know this is kind of a filler chapter, but I wanted to take some time to build the relationship between Nira and Zoltar. I also wanted to show off what life in the Shadow Lands is like. :D



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Mon May 10, 2021 9:04 am
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EM8650 wrote a review...



Hey there,
Firstly, i love how you started this chapter,
"Zoltar didn’t know how long he’d been lying there, but it felt like hours. The light of the fire rocks glowed dimly off the cave walls as he stared at the tunnel outside."
in my opinion it is a great way to blend the end of the previous chapter to the begging of this one.
Another thing you have done quite well is balance out the action and description, this is something i think a lot of young writers struggle with.
Finally, i love the way you ended this chapter on a cliff-hanger. This is a good way to keep your readers interested.
Overall i loved the chapter and i can't wait for the next.




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Thu May 06, 2021 5:51 pm
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BEASTtheHUN wrote a review...



I like the dream sequence, it was really well written. Some people I see struggle with dream sequences, but I think you did a good job. The cliffhanger is good. The start is really good. I mean, it is eye-catching, it is really good. The descriptions are good, as always. I can't wait for the next chapter, I wanna see some action. I like the characterization. Again I continue to come back to it because you do a really good job at it. I look forward to the next chapter. Until next time!




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review. :D




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