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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter One

by felistia


Zoltar soared over the Shadow Lands, the sunlight flooding his obsidian black scales and the wind tugging at his wings. Far below, wide open plains stretched as far as the eye could see. A clear blue river snaked through the emerald grasses, twisting and roaring on its way to the distant sea. Countless prey animals grazed on the lush vegetation, a herd of zebra scattering as Zoltar’s shadow swept over them. He grinned, flashing his fangs, as he watch them flee. It was such fun to watch them panic and run at the first sight of him.

Just ahead loomed Mount Mokewtu, jutting out of the vast grass lands like some great disfigurement in the earth. Pine forests clocked the rocky slopes of the mountain while snow frosted its twin peaks. In its shadow lay Zoltar’s home; the Shadow Talon village.

Caves spotted the mountain’s slopes as Shadow Talons walked in and out of the shallow tunnels. In the streets outside, dragons stood with the morning’s catch at their paws. Some had fish while other’s had game and all were hissing and growling as they went about trading their goods.

As Zoltar scanned below, he spotted a familiar snout among the crowd. He smiled as he recognized his brother, fighting as usual with a Shadow Talon bartering ostrich eggs. He swooped in to land next to his brother who was getting redder by the second.

“One ostrich egg is not worth a whole salmon,” Mouzan was roaring, waving the fish around like a wet rag. His barbed tail was lashing back and forth with such force, it sent dusk and pebbles scattering.

“Hey Mouzan,” Zoltar arched his eye crests, “Making trouble again I see.”

“I’m not making trouble. This reptile is a crook and he knows it,” Mouzan bared his teeth at the dealer, who looked at Zoltar beseechingly.

“Come on. There are other places to get ostrich eggs,” Zoltar said as he dragged Mouzan away.

The two wandered along the village’s main road, catching up on what was going on in each other’s lives.

“So how’s Nickeeta?” Zoltar asked.

“She’s doing alright. Tired from tending to the eggs, but okay. You?”

“Same old, same old.” Zoltar shrugged, stopping at a stall to examine some coconuts.

“Still not thinking about starting a family?” Mouzan arched his eye crests.

“You know I’m not interested in that yet.” Zoltar said handing the stall owner two small quail in exchange for the coconut he’d been eyeing. “I don’t feel that I’m ready for the responsibility involved in such a commitment. It’s hard enough dealing with Hisster without a wife and kids on top of it.”

“Oh, you know Hisster’s just difficult. He has to be, being chief and all that. Besides you get along so well with Nickeeta.”

“Yah, yah. I know,” Zoltar rolled his eyes, “I’ll marry when I’m ready and when I meet the right dragoness.”

They’d passed the raw produce section of the market and were now in the cooking area. A rich banquet of spices flooded their senses. On either side of them, Shadow Talons were rubbing chilies, preserved lemons, and other aromatic spices into large slabs of meat, before blasting them with tongues of red hot flame.

“Did you need to bring anything home?” Zoltar asked, turning to Mouzan.

“Well, Nickeeta wanted me to bring home some ostrich eggs.” He scowled, “I guess a chicken will have to do.”

“Well you could have had them if you’d given him the fish.” Zoltar said, stopping at one of the stalls where a female Shadow Talon was preparing a whole chicken. Her onyx black horns caught the light of the dancing flames as she shot fire from her mouth.

Mouzan flattened his ears and scowled, before turning to the Shadow Talon at the stall, asking “How much for a chicken?”

“That salmon you’re carrying will bring you two chickens,” she said, smiling.

“Deal,” Zoltar shouted, before Mouzan had a chance to argue.

“I could have handled it,” Mouzan hissed quietly as he handed over the fish.

“I know. It’s just that you tend to like arguing over nothing,” Zoltar said taking the two roasted chickens from the stall owner. He placed them inside the bag around his neck; its leaves would keep the meat nice and fresh.

Mouzan rolled his eyes and snorted as he and Zoltar headed home. Soaring over the village they passed the junior soldiers training grounds. Young Shadow Talons stood in perfect formation practicing lunging and guarding against invisible enemies. Older Shadow Talons stood on tall rocks overlooking the dragonets, instructing them.

“You know we should probably go see Scorpus after we’ve dropped the chickens off with Nickeeta,” Zoltar suggested, glancing at Mouzan who was floating just beside him, “It’s been a while since I’ve heard from him and I could go for a bit of excitement.”

They’d nearly reached their home on the far side of the mountain when the earth began to shake. Large boulders tumbled down the mountain side, crashing into trees with ear-splitting bangs.

Startled, Zoltar halted in mid-air, beating his wings to stay aloft. Mouzan had missed a wing beat and was trying to right himself as the earth below heaved.

Just as suddenly as it had started the ground stilled.

Zoltar dropped to the ground, shaking. His heart was pounding and his breath came out in short sharp bursts.

Mouzan crashed down beside him in a panic.

“Quick! We have to find Nickeeta. The cave could have collapsed.” Mouzan cried, breaking into a gallop.

Zoltar rushed after him, the thump of his racing heart filling his ears. He couldn’t bear to think what could have happened to Nickeeta. She wouldn’t stand a chance if the cave had collapsed. Zoltar tried to tear his mind away from the thoughts, but he couldn’t. Images of Nickeeta lying crushed beneath rocks flashed through his head, driving him forward. Maybe if they got to her in time, she could be saved.

They came skidding to a halt a few moments later. Apart from a few rocks thrown around the entrance to Mouzan’s cave, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Zoltar breathed a quiet sigh of relief. There were no signs of a massive collapse. Nickeeta must be alive.

Cautiously, Zoltar stepped inside, keeping a look out for signs of falling debris. Who knew what the earthquake had done to the cave's structure. Mouzan was close behind him. The echoes of their ivory claws clacking on the cold stone floor resonated through the tunnels. Fire rocks lit the interior of the cave, giving off an eerie red light that pulsed as they passed by.

“Nickeeta?” Mouzan called scanning the cave for familiar black scales.

“I’m down here,” a voice cried from the depths of the tunnels.

“She’s in the sleeping cave,” Mouzan cried in panic, dashed deeper into the mountain.

Zoltar kept close to Mouzan’s tail, his heart thundering in his chest. What had happened? Was she alright? Were the eggs okay? Nickeeta had been brooding over them for the last year and it was nearly time for them to hatch. His heart was drumming to the beat of his paws against the stone floor as they raced down the cavern.

Finally they reached the sleeping cave. Mouzan skidded to a halt, his claws creating a terrible scraping noise. Zoltar slowed to a stop behind him.

A Shadow Talon was crouched in the far corner of the cave, her bruised wings spread over a nest. Rocks littered the ground around her. Two boulders seemed to have trapped her barbed tail between them.

“Nickeeta,” Mouzan gasped, stepping forward to nuzzle her wings.

“Mouzan. Zoltar,” Nickeeta exclaimed in a relieved voice, lifting her wings to reveal her two eggs, still safe in the nest.

“Are you okay?” Mouzan asked as he and Zoltar heaved at one of the boulders trapping Nickeeta’s tail.

“I’ll be alright. They didn’t land directly on my tail.” she said, gritting her teeth as she dragged her tail out from between the boulders. Some scales had been knocked from her hide, but other than that there didn’t seem to be any broken bones or puncture wounds. “Oh, I was so afraid I’d be down here for hours,” she said, shivering

“Thank goodness you and the eggs are alright,” Mouzan cried, drawing Nickeeta into a hug. She nuzzled him closely, letting out a long sigh of relief.

“We came as soon as we felt the earthquake,” Zoltar started brushing dirt off the eggs and removing the rocks around the nest.

Mouzan nodded, still clutching onto Nickeeta.

“I’m going to find Scorpus. He and the other soldiers will be forming a rescue plan for any trapped dragons,” Zoltar said, turning to Mouzan and Nickeeta “You’ll be fine here right?”

“Yes. We’ll be fine,” Mowzan sighed, gently stroking Nickeeta’s bruised wings. “Scorpus and the others will need you.”

Zoltar nodded and dashed for the exit. Once outside, he leapt straight into the air, heading towards the soldiers’ camp outside the village. As Zoltar flew over the village, not much seemed to be out of the ordinary. Apart from a few rocks strewn across the paths, everything seemed normal. Maybe it had hit their part of the mountain worse than others.

But something in the back of Zoltar’s mind kept telling him there had to be more to this, more than just an earthquake. Things like this didn’t just come out of nowhere. The last earthquake had been less than two decades ago. It had caused a tsunami on the northern side of the Shadow Lands. It hadn’t done much damage, but if it had been on the south, it would have had an entirely different outcome. Zoltar decided to keep his ears and eyes open for possible side effects of the earthquake. It wouldn’t hurt to keep his senses on sharp alert.

Half an hour later Zoltar was walking down the winding tunnels where the chief and soldiers resided a few miles from the village.

The air was musty and clouded with dust from the earthen walls and ceiling. The fire rocks lighting the tunnels seemed to flicker and pulse as Zoltar strode past.

Finally he reached the end of the tunnel. It opened up into a magnificent room, the walls studded with various gemstones and precious metals. In the far left corner was a golden throne in which Hisster rested, his barbed tail lashing back and forth as he watched him enter. Scorpus and the other soldiers were there, their heads bowed in respect.

Zoltar, remembering the protocol, crouched with his wings spread and his head bowed so that his amethyst horns brushed the earth.

“Rise,” Hisster commanded, waving a talon.

Instantly they got to their feet. Zoltar caught a glimpse of female soldier he knew well. She was standing a few dragons away, scanning the others, looking. Nira caught his gaze and a flash of relief crossed her snout. Zoltar smiled as she looked back at the chief.

“I’ve called you here on account of the earthquake. I’ve just been consulting with Shadow Talons studying mount Mokewtu. The signs don’t look good,” Hisster said gravely, his paws clinched together, “The water on the mountain’s slopes has started to steam and fissures are appearing in the sides of Mokewtu as we speak. Experts think this afternoon’s earthquake was a warning of what’s to come. I don’t know how long we have. We could have months or a few days before the mountain bursts her seams.”

Zoltar’s mind was whirling. How could this happen? Shadow Talons had lived along the slopes of mount Mokewtu as far back as anyone one could remember. The mountain had never in Megalonia’s history erupted or so much as blown a puff of smoke. The Shadow Talons would have never settled on her slopes if they’d know she’d someday rupture. What would happen to their way of life, their homes and above all were would they go if Mokewtu did erupt?

“Sir,” Scorpus started, taking a step towards the chief, “We must evacuate the mountain. If Mokewtu blows there will be no one left apart from the few soldiers living here.”

Hisster nodded grimly, then turned to Zoltar and the other soldiers, “You must all go to the village and warn everyone. Scorpus and I will be along as soon as possible. We need to send for reinforcements. Quick, we must get everyone out before it’s too late.”

“Yes sir,” they said in unison, spreading their wings in salute, before turning around and sprinting back up the tunnel. Zoltar’s heart was pounding as they tore through the passages.

When would the volcano erupt? Would it be a small explosion or would it be a big one? How long would they have to leave the mountain for? Would they ever be able to return once the mountain had given way? Would he be able to get his brother in time?

Paws thudded against damp earth as the dragons emerged from the tunnels. Instantly they took to the air, wings beating and claws racking at the sky as they rose. Thunder clouds were looming over head and an ominous rumbling filled the air around Zoltar as he and the others race towards the distant village. The smell of wet moss and fresh dirt filled the air; rain was on its way.

Zoltar scanned the ground. With a jolt of fear he realized there were cracks slashed through the earth below. They hadn’t been there this morning. They didn’t have days to evacuate the village. It was a matter of hours, even minutes before it would be too late.

Nira was flying alongside him. She cast him a worried stare as she brushed wings with him, the terror shining in her eyes. Zoltar nodded. They both knew that they had precious time before tragedy struck.

Without warning a sharp pain sliced up his spine and Zoltar let out a roar of agony. His body seized up and he was sent reeling towards earth as a cruel wind stung his eyes and bit at his wings.

“Zoltar,” Nira cried, tucking her wings and diving after him.

Zoltar was barely aware of what was going on around him the pain was so intense. Everything was blurred and from what seemed some distance away he could hear his name being called. A figure swam into view, reaching for him.

Nira grabbed his paw, locking talons. There was a sudden jerk as she thrust out her wings and caught the air, slowing their fall.

They both crashed into the ground. Nira released her grasp as Zoltar collapsed, his whole body ridged as wave after wave of pain raced up his back.

“Zoltar! Zoltar can you hear me?” Nira roared, slapping her paw across Zoltar’s snout, trying to break through his pain.

“Y-y-you carry o-on,” Zoltar finally managed to gasp for where he lay coiled into a tight ball. His sides were heaving as his whole body shook with spasms. He kept having flashes of red and gold across his vison and explosions thundered in his ears. Suddenly a mountain loomed in front of him, its peak a blaze with scarlet fire. Burning rocks of roaring flame fell from the crimson sky. Screams pierced the air around him as black smoke choked his lungs. Then just as quickly as it had appeared the image disappeared and the pain vanished.

“What? And leave you here like this? You must be delusional,” Nira said.

“You m-must go on,” Zoltar hissed through gritted teeth, “We don’t have much time. It’s coming.”

“What? What’s coming?” Nira asked, her voice starting to shake.

They both looked towards the distant shadow of Mount Mokewtu.

Suddenly a thundering boom shook the air around them as the ground began to shake. The other soldiers were blown from the air. They hit the ground, just as another deafening roar filled the air.

The Shadow Talons watched in horror as the entire north side of the Mount Mokewtu collapsed in a tsunami of molten rock and ash. Smoke roared from the great fissure, pouring out the mountain and up in a giant mushroom cloud. Lighting flashed in its depths as it spread, blotting out the sun and sky. No sound broke the deafening howl of the volcano as it engulfed the Shadow Talon village in a cloud of smoke and fire.

Nothing moved. It was over.

“No,” Zoltar whispered, crumpling like a wilting flower. His eyes were squeezed shut, but still the tears flowed. His chest hurt like something was squeezing every rib in his body. A strange chill had passed over him and he was shaking. It was over. Everything, everyone was gone. His brother, Nickeeta, even the dragonets in the eggs were gone.

He looked over at Nira, blinking through the tears. She was just standing there, her face as hard as stone. No emotion crossed her face as she slowly sank to the ground. She curled up into a ball and covered her face with her wings. A quiet whimpering was all that could be heard from the ball of scales.

Zoltar turned back towards the mountain. Great plumes of smoke were still rising from the mountain as rivers of glowing orange lava streamed down its sides, but there was nothing left to destroy. Everything he cared about …his home… his family… his friends… were gone forever, lost to the volcano. What was he going to do now? There was nowhere to go. Even now as he stood here, ash was starting to rain down on the landscape around him. Nothing would survive.

A shaky gasp escaped his jaws as he surveyed what only a few minutes ago had been a thriving community. What was going to happen to him, Nira and the Shadow Talons left?

There was a flurry of wingbeats and he slowly turned to find that Scorpus and Hisster had arrived.

“What happened?” Scorpus asked, his eyes filled with horror.

Zoltar knew there was no need to answer as his commander sank to the ground beside him, grief stricken. Silent tears slowly trickled from the old warrior’s eyes. It was the first time Zoltar had ever seen him cry.

Hisster stood just a little way off, neither moving, nor speaking. He just stared out at the burning pools of lava. The light of the fires reflected into his eyes, causing them to shine a smouldering red. Zoltar couldn’t imagine how he must be feeling. He’d had a wife and three young dragonets. All had perished in the flames.

As the evening drew near and the sun began to sink behind the billowing clouds of black smoke, neither dragon moved. Even as day turned to night they stayed, staring out at what once had been their home.

Chapter 2: https://www.youngwriterssociety.com/work/felistia/The-Quest-for-Fire--Into-the-Mists--Chapter-Two-144539


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Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:42 pm
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Fiona says...



Hey there.

In general, your writing is quite proficient. I love your choice of words while describing as well as the use of figurative language along with it. Additionally, your characterization and the plot build-up is also good.

Moreover, I liked the way the story begun with a description of of the scenery and surroundings because I really enjoyed some of the phrases like: "A clear blue river snaked through the emerald grasses". these helped create a vivid image in my head and the distinctive words made the writing rich and interesting.




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Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:09 pm
FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...



Okay I am finally here to do the review on your chapter.

Okay let's start.

I'm just loving how you start off this chapter, so quite and peaceful, just the way it should be. It puts your reader at peace in a way. I'm just loving your description, it's amazing!!
I also love the way Zolter looks at the zebra when they go running, it just gives me a small glimpse of his personality.

Mouzan is just to funny, he is the total opposite of his brother Zoltar. In a childish way. XD It gave me yet again another good laugh. It was also funny how he just ranted about it to Zoltar. He could have got the ostrich eggs if he gave the fish!!
In a way I think Zoltar is the smarter one of the two.

The rush to see if Nickeeta was okay really got me worried, again! Mouzan's love for her and the eggs really shone through by the way he was frantically looking for her. It was really sweet, I'm glad Nickeeta's tail was only hurt.

Ooo Hisster is creepy, I wouldn't want to get on his bad side, that's for sure. He is the perfect type of chief, that holds respect from everyone. It's clear that Zoltar looks up to him.

That meeting had shivers running up my spine, there were so many big decisions to be made, that they only had a certain amount of time to make them in. I love the way you make it sound so urgent when they are talking about how much time they have until the volcano erupts. That was really well done.
Hisster handles everything so well. His a really good chief.

It seemed like they had just enough time to get everyone out of the mountain and away from it, but then Zoltar has some sort of vision, of the volcano exploding, and that got me really worried. Nira's concern for him was really sweet. I loved how she sticks by him, even though he tells her to go.

NO!! The volcano can't explode. Not yet! What about all those dragons that haven't been warned yet? All though shouldn't they know to get out of there because of all the earth quakes? A thought that came to me.

Not Mouzan and Nickeeta! They can't die. T-T

The ending to this chapter was great, it left me wanting more, just amazing! The flow through out the chapter was really good, punctuation perfect. Te build of all the characters really good so far! Amazing chapter, I will be off to review the next chapter soon. Keep posting.

Your friend
FlamingPhoenix.
Reviewing with a fiery passion.




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Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:48 am
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Dossereana wrote a review...



Hi @felistia, I am here to do a quick review on your chapter, so first of I am really sorry about the unlike and then a like again, that was a complete mistake. So lets get right into this shell we.

Zoltar soared over the Shadow Lands, the sunlight flooding his obsidian black scales and the wind tugging at his wings. Far below, wide open plains stretched as far as the eye could see.
Wow great description, when I first started reading this I was really surprised on how good your description was.

Countless prey animals grazed on the lush vegetation, a herd of zebra scattering as Zoltar’s shadow swept over them. He grinned, flashing his fangs, as he watch them flee. It was such fun to watch them panic and run at the first sight of him.
okay so honestly when I first heard your read this to me I don't even remember you saying Zebra, here Lol. So for a moment I was thinking that you had added something in Haha. I kind of thought this line a bit funny. I'm not sure if you meant for it to be funny. The way you are introducing the main character to the story is great.

Just ahead loomed Mount Mokewtu, jutting out of the vast grass lands like some great disfigurement in the earth. Pine forests clocked the rocky slopes of the mountain while snow frosted its twin peaks. In its shadow lay Zoltar’s home; the Shadow Talon village.
I love all the description here. And I was gobsmacked to hear what kind of name you put to gather for the volcano. I mean it just sounds so African. One thing that I did not say to you before. Is I am not really sure about the snow being there, I mean the snow should be melting for its a volcano. This just seamed a little weird to me, but hay that is superbly okay to leave.

So I think I should round about end the review here. I don't really want this hole drawn out thing, Lol. But really this chapter was super cool, and very epic already in the beginning. Witch that seams to be some of the things that can get a reader really hooked to the story.

So that is all that I can say. If I was being to harsh then I am really sorry pleas will you forgive me. So keep up the great and fantastically super work. :D

I hope you have a great Day/Night

@Dossereana Out In The Sky Of Reviews

YWS!!!!




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Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:08 pm
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Poetry wrote a review...



This was really good. I loved reading it, I hope to read more of your work, also I am just going to go read all the other chapters to stay with all of it. also if you could tag me for the next that would be wonderful.
you are such a good, writer,

Just ahead loomed Mount Mokewtu, jutting out of the vast grass lands like some great disfigurement in the earth.
I love these names so good, and cache.

“Y-y-you carry o-on,” Zoltar finally managed to gasp for where he lay coiled into a tight ball. His sides were heaving as his whole body shook with spasms.

believe me I got really worried at this bit, I thought you were going to do something really bad here with Zoltar. Also really nice hard name, really good for a dragon.

so really that is all I have to say, you keep writing I am going to go and read all the other chapters. :wink:

I hope you have a good Day/Night :D




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Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:22 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



HIIII!

I hope you don't mind my stopping by. I'm digging for a new novel on-site to read through, and I'm kind of a fantasy nerd. So I came across this one since there was a chapter sitting in the Green Room and I was like HMM. CAN I HELP WITH THIS ?? and then the first paragraph had a dragon in it and I was all in.

Speaking of, I love how you set things up right away with a dragon playing around with the animals below, surveying the land. It's so majestic and plays so cinematically beautiful. You've got a strong sense of vocabulary that you put to good use!

And omg these dragons have their own little village and their own little economy and their own little political system and omg <3 <3 <3

Where did the quail come from? Is he carrying a backpack? o: OH MAYBE HE IS? He goes hunting and then stuffs his prey in the backpack maybe!?

Oh he is carrying a backpack. Why is Zoltar carrying it though and not his brother since his brother was responsible for the trade? His brother probably came prepared with currency anyhow--fish, okay yes.

Omg an earthquake. ;.; I've lived through one of those before. It was so small, I slept through it. But my friends and mother claim it happened, so now I tell everyone I've survived an earthquake. I'M A SURVIVAAAAHH.

Why is zoltar shaking and out of breath? he's a dragon who was flying and uanffected by the earthquake. Unless he has a case of anxiety?

I've always imagined dragons to have claws rather than paws but i think they kind of refer to the same general thing. I always imagine kitty paws and dragon claws.

Mouzan or Mowzan? There was a spelling inconsistency in here.

I think it would be good to add more surprise and shock as the earthquake is happening. I don't know how long a dragon here lives, but the narration made it sound like two decades is a long time without an earthquake, so it wouldn't really be very familiar. If it's been a long time, there is probably going to be more shock and terror involved with such an anomaly. No one would really know how to treat it or what to do about it. Then again, if dragons do live a long time, they probably do know what it is and what to do and have already been investigating earthquakes for decades. An earthquake strong enough to cause cave-ins in a large mountain!? It seems like kind of a big deal!

Interesting how they keep referring to themselves as Shadow Talons. It's like referring to each other as Americans or Canadians when we're simply just... people. or some guy/girl. So the chief could be consulting with others or whatever they actually are, like sages or scientists.

Also "I've called you here on account of the earthquake." I don't think he called Zoltar?

The chief is speaking like the earthquake happened hours ago.

OMG THEY LIVE ON A VOLCANO. ;______;

OOF. Guess it was shorter than a couple of days. And the pain Zoltar was feeling suddenly stopped SO SUSPICIOUSLY. I wonder what's going on!? Is Zoltar connected to this somehow?!

It's a shame we didn't get to spend more time pre-volcano eruption, but considering it all happened in the first chapter, I'm impressed we got to know as much as we did. It was such a unique experience as you unveiled this advanced world of dragons, making them far more sentient than fantasy usually does. They're typically treated as beasts; this shows them as sentient creatures with just as much interest in the world as humans. It's so fascinating.

AND IT ENDED SO SQUICKLY. //sob

It's so interesting that the volcano eruption happened so suddenly. If they have Experts on this thing, then they'd have had some sort of indication this is happening, right? Like heat levels have been rising or some volcano-y sciency stuff? Maybe there's been an investigation going on for decades, so the dragons (or at least the council/scientists/whatever) had reason to keep an eye on the volcano and determine how long it's safe. If this is all true, then perhaps the volcano was forced by some magical or otherwise outside cause. IT'S VERY STRANGE. AND SUSPICIOUS.

I also would have liked to know Hisster and Scorpus too, but something tells me we'll have plenty of time for that. This was such a strong start, and it introduced us to several key characters rather well. I look forward to getting to know them more.

It also introduces us to the plot almost immediately, so the MC is already thrust into the noble quest. The chapter raises a lot of questions and intrigue, which leaves a lot of room for the next several chapters to keep the reader interested. It all sets this up for potentially a lot of adventure ahead. I look forward to reading more! :D

Keep writing!

Jabber, the One and Only!




felistia says...


Thank you so much for your review. It's great to see how the chapter appeared to you as you read through it. It helps me understand how to write better. Thank you. I do hope you'll continue reading.

P.S Would you like me to tag you when I release a new chapter?



JabberHut says...


Yes, absolutely! I intend to keep reading, so I'd love to be updated on new releases. Thank you! :D



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Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:41 pm
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Magestorrow wrote a review...



Hi, @felistia! I apologize for taking so long to get this review done, but I'm finally here to review your work.

Small Comments


Zoltar soared over the Shadow Lands, the sunlight flooding his obsidian black scales and the wind tugging at his wings.


Your opening sentence doesn't do much to hook me in, but it does a great job at setting up what the character is - a dragon - and describing what the character looks like. Because it's only the first chapter, it's hard to tell if Zoltar is the protagonist - but, if he is, then the reader can visualize him from early on in the novel.

It was such fun to watch them panic and run at the first sight of him.


I love this line because it's either a sign of a darker side of him, or just a good predator watching some prey.

Some had fish while other’s had game and all were hissing and growling as they went about trading their goods.


I'm not sure why this line sticks out to me so much, but I love how you show a glimpse of your world's culture through this detail.

“One ostrich egg is not worth a whole salmon,” Mouzan was roaring, waving the fish around like a wet rag. His barbed tail was lashing back and forth with such force, it sent dusk and pebbles scattering.


Going off of my last comment, I love the continued worldbuilding you have here - it's not to fully figure out what the currency there is, but it does give an example of what normal bartering rates are.

They’d nearly reached their home on the far side of the mountain when the earth began to shake. Large boulders tumbled down the mountain side, crashing into trees with ear-splitting bangs.


I see the conflict has begun~

“Oh, I was so afraid I’d be down here for hours,” she said, shivering


You forgot a period here. :)

Overall Comments


I'm not sure how I feel about pacing in this chapter. There's always the risk of an opening chapter being too slow, but I think you could afford to spend more time in the village. What happened to Zoltar was certainly a tragedy, but the reader has only just begun to meet the people he considers important when the disaster strikes.

But, besides that, this was a strong start to your novel! I remember reading some of your old works - your writing has really improved since then. You have a great grasp on grammar, your description is perfect, and your characters have more depth to them than in previous works of yours. My guess is that the rest of the novel is going to be them trying to pick up the pieces and move on from the disaster, either by rebuilding or going someplace new. I'm leaning towards the second option.

Good job on this chapter!




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Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:41 am
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ShadowVyper wrote a review...



Hey felistia,

Thanks for the request over on my WRFF thread! My current WIP is also a dragon story, so this definitely sounds like it'll be right up my alley! Looking forward to seeing what you have for me :D Let's get started...

Shadow Lands, the sunlight


Just kinda found it funny that your place is named the Shadow Lands but the first thing we hear about it is the sunlight, which is like, the exact opposite of shadows.

Pine forests clocked the rocky slopes of the mountain


I think you mean "cloaked" here not "clocked"

Caves spotted the mountain’s slopes as Shadow Talons walked in and out of the shallow tunnels.


I'm not sure what you mean by "Shadow Talons" in this case? Is it like, the residents of that town? If so you might want to come up with a new word, like Shadow Talonians" or something to indicate that? Because right now I'm not sure if Shadow Talons is a specific dragon? Multiple dragons? The city itself? This sentence is just kinda confusing since I don't know what the subject is.

In the streets outside, dragons stood with the morning’s catch at their paws.


Hmm... do dragons have paws? Seems like an odd way to phrase it. Maybe like talons? Or claws? Or something?

fighting as usual with a Shadow Talon bartering ostrich eggs.


Ohh do you mean Shadow Talon as the... idk species? of dragon? Like, "German Shepherd" but "Shadow Talon" instead? That's still a little confusing but makes a bit more sense I guess.

His barbed tail was lashing back and forth with such force, it sent dusk and pebbles scattering.


I think you mean "dust" not "dusk" here? Because dusk is like... when the sun goes down and it's that weird time between sundown and it actually being dark? And it doesn't make sense to send dusk scattering haha

“She’s in the sleeping cave,” Mouzan cried in panic, dashed deeper into the mountain.


Hmm... I think you should probably add something to Nickeeta's dialogue immediately before this. I was originally going to say his "cried in panic" doesn't really make sense here. Why is he panicked about her being in the sleeping cave? Wouldn't it make sense for her to be there if she's brooding over her eggs? Why is he panicking if she answered?

But then they get down there and it turns out she's in trouble after all, so the panic is warranted... but... he doesn't know that? Just be careful not getting too omniscient with your views since this is a limited POV sort of story. I think if Nickeeta had been like "I'm down here! Come help me!" or something... better xD Than that to give a hint that she was trapped would be good foreshadowing so that we know she's in trouble and not merely brooding her eggs.

“Nickeeta,” Mouzan gasped, stepping forward to nuzzle her wings.

“Mouzan. Zoltar,” Nickeeta exclaimed in a relieved voice, lifting her wings to reveal her two eggs, still safe in the nest.

“Are you okay?” Mouzan asked as he and Zoltar heaved at one of the boulders trapping Nickeeta’s tail.

“ “Thank goodness you and the eggs are alright,” Mouzan cried...

“We came as soon as we felt the earthquake,” Zoltar started brushing dirt...
Mouzan nodded, still clutching onto Nickeeta.

“I’m going to find Scorpus. He and the other soldiers will be forming a rescue plan for any trapped dragons,” Zoltar said....

“Yes. We’ll be fine,” Mowzan sighed...


Okay so two comments for this section.

1) Punctuation. So when you're punctuating dialogue, it's supposed to end with a comma and a quotation mark if there's a dialogue tag that comes after. So most of these are correct. However, if instead of having a dialogue tag you have an action (like the "Zoltar started brushing dirt") then it's supposed to end with a period and a quotation mark instead of the comma.

2) Make sure you're not over-using descriptors here. "Said" is not dead. Said is a nice dialogue tag word that kind of blends into the background of your readers' minds. So, for instance, when your reader is reading a bit of dialogue with "someone said" their mind tends to register the speaker but not so much the tag.

However, when you use unique words every time (sighed, exclaimed, cried, shouted, etc. -- you especially seem to use "cried" quite a bit) then it becomes fatiguing to your readers because those words don't blend into the background when your reader is following along with the story. In general I'd recommend using those words sparingly so that when you do choose to use them they have a stronger impact.

Once outside, he leapt straight into the air, heading towards the soldiers’ camp outside the village.


I'd like a bit more description here. I'm sure there was wing flapping if nothing else -- plus like can he really fly straight up or does there need to be forward motion? Did he have to soar in a circle as he gained elevation?

The air was musty and clouded with dust from the earthen walls and ceiling.


Shouldn't the dust have already settled if it's a full half hour after the earth quake?

In the far left corner was a golden throne in which Hisster rested, his barbed tail lashing back and forth as he watched him enter.


I would also like a bit more description here. I mean dragons are massive, and they've got tails and all that. Clearly he's not resting on a normal throne built for humans. I'd like to know a bit more what this looks like.

I’ve called you here on account of the earthquake.


How and when did the king call them? I'm pretty sure Zoltar just told his brother that he was sure he was going to be wanted so he went -- but we didn't actually see him getting summoned, right? So this bit of dialogue seems a bit off? Maybe more like "Thank you all for coming. As I'm sure you all recognize, this earthquake doesn't bode well for any of us" or whatever since he didn't actually do any calling anyone?

“Y-y-you carry o-on,”


This seemed a bit... hm. I'm not sure what word I want to use. Like overly dramatic? It's like watching an angsty, over-dramatic scene in a movie and isn't overly believable. Maybe scale back a bit on the stuttering?

~ ~ ~

Okay!

Overall, this was a strong first chapter! I like that we are introduced to the main characters and also an inciting event to get started right away. I think it's interesting that these dragons have a community and social structure and bartering system and such in place.

Usually when I think about dragons I think about them living in isolation on some desolate mountain lair somewhere. So it's interesting to see so much interactions and I liked seeing how much they cared about their families.

One thing that was a bit... strange... was the volcano erupting. Have you researched volcanoes? Often before they erupt they do a lot of rumbling and puffing out ash and such. You get a warning that the volcano is about to explode frequently. And also these are /dragons/ -- they can fly instantly.

So your incident here wasn't overly believable? Surely if the soldiers that were coming back to evacuate could tell the volcano was about to erupt, the others would too -- and even if they didn't, then once it erupted then the dragons should have been able to get in the air before the lava reached them. Sure maybe a dragon here or there might have gotten burnt or killed or something, but I'm having a hard time believing that an entire race of dragon could get wiped out by a single volcano erupting.

As far as characterization goes, you've got a good start. Zoltar has a strong narrating voice and all around seems like a fairly likeable character. I liked the interactions he had with his brother at the start of the chapter -- that makes him easier to relate to, having a relationship that humans can relate to in terms of siblings, so that detail was definitely good. I also liked the idea of like marriage and brooding eggs and such.

One thing I didn't quite understand is what the heck happened to Zoltar that made him fall to the ground? At first I thought it was an enemy attack but it doesn't really seem like that's what happened? But I'm not really clear on what DID happen, if that makes sense?

I think that's all I've got for you now, though! I'm excited to see where you're going to take this story! Let me know if you have any questions :)

Keep writing!

~Shady 8)




felistia says...


Thank you so much for your in depth review. You've brought out a lot of points that will be good to go back and look at when I rewrite the next draft of the story (again). Lol.

P.S Zoltar had a vision at the end. That's what made him fall to the ground. I plan for it to be an interesting part to the story later on. :D

Thanks again.



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Wed May 29, 2019 9:19 am
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Toboldlygo wrote a review...



Hey there! Toboldlygo here with my review!

As a general rule, your characters are likeable and real. I think it's wonderful to see work featuring dragons in a positive light! Too often, dragons are vilified and I really think this more balanced approach to them, presenting them as real characters, is much more interesting. I think Zoltar strikes me as quite the worrier. Mouzon is more hotheaded. Hisster... I don't know what to think of Hisster yet. I don't feel that I know him well enough. Also, is Zoltar a soldier or is he a volunteer? What exactly does he do in this society?

Also, aren't the Shadow Lands where Scar's group lives in The Lion King? Be careful of using things that are too close to anything in some other writer's world, as it could lead to copyright infringement issues, even though it's unintentional.

A couple of more nitpicky things I noticed.

“Oh, you know Hisster’s just difficult. He has to be, being chief and all that. Besides you get along so well with Nickeeta.” Wait, I thought Nickeeta was Mouzon's wife? Is there something more going on here? Mouzon sounds like he's implying that Zoltar and Nickeeta should be together, but that's his own wife, so why would he say that?

Also, in the section that began:

"But something in the back of Zoltar’s mind kept telling him there had to be more to this, more than just an earthquake. Things like this didn’t just come out of nowhere." I'm a major geology enthusiast, and unless these dragons know something that we don't know, earthquakes do pretty much come out of nowhere. We know what causes them, but now how to predict them. Now, there are certain types of legless reptiles (I don't say that word lol) can sometimes seemingly sense earthquakes, are dragons the same? And if so, how does that happen?

I'm looking forward to continuing the story!

Happy Writing!

Toboldlygo




felistia says...


Thank you so much for a review. :D



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Tue May 28, 2019 9:00 pm
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LordStar wrote a review...



Hi! Oliver here to review as requested.

Since you already have two decent reviews, I'm going to be a bit short with this.

The description is decent, if not a little forced/overdone. The characterization is good, and we can tell a lot about the characters by the way they interact with each other.

I'm a little put off by the length of the chapter. It would be better to break it up into two parts and upload them separately - though that may just be me, because I get bored reading long passages.

Fantasy isn't really my thing, so I don't think I'll be reviewing other chapters. This was good though, and I think your writing is fantastic. Really well done.

Keep writing,

LordStar.




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Wed May 22, 2019 4:45 pm
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Butterfly7 wrote a review...



Hello dear friend!

I'm here to give you a review, just like you asked. :) Let's start.

First of all, this is such a sad story! I felt the poor dragon's emotions. His brother died and his family, his home. That's so sad. Second, Just like @Querencia said, you're word choice was fantastic. Top notch. I love that too. By the way, I love how detailed this all is. You give each and every thing a perfect description and I love it! I saw one thing that I'd quickly like to point out. If you look here:

"He kept having flashes of red and gold across his vison and explosions thundered in his ears."

If you look at the word "vison" you spelt it incorrectly. It is supposed to be "vision". That's it. I really loved reading this. :)

---Butterfly---




felistia says...


Thank you very much. Sorry for making you sad.



Butterfly7 says...


Your welcome.



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Tue May 21, 2019 7:56 pm
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Querencia wrote a review...



Hello, felistia!

Fine day for a story about dragons. :) I used to try to write dragon stories all the time when I was younger, but it's been a while since I actually read one, so this has been really fun for me to read. Most of your style and word choice is really well-done, so I'm going to go for more of a broad look at the story so far.

In the vein of sort of logistic issues, I noticed that you said the dragons' "paws" a lot. I sort of imagine them with something more like claws, which have a lot more... finger separation? Dexterity? something like that. While there's nothing wrong with your vision of the dragons, there is the question of how they can do a lot of the things they do. Running, flying, and lifting rocks seems like no problem no matter how the dragons work. But "rubbing chilies, preserved lemons, and other aromatic spices into large slabs of meat"? That seems like quite the feat to do with paws--and how were the spices preserved? This is seemingly a pretty advanced society (considering one typically thinks of dragons as eating raw meat!) but I'm not sure how the dragons can physically do it. Not that you need to go dumping dragon anatomy on the reader first thing, but a little bit of insight to this might help our understanding of the dragons' abilities. ;)

At one point, you referred to Zoltar's possible future wife as a "dragoness", but I think in all other cases you just say a female dragon, or a female Shadow Talon. I would love to hear dragoness tossed around some more, but if you just stick with dragon for males and females throughout, that would be fine too--just as long as it's consistent. :) The other thing there is that you frequently refer to individuals as "a Shadow Talon". I understand that this shows that they are a member of the Shadow Talon community (right?), but it sounds a little awkward unless you're referring to the whole group as Shadow Talons. So maybe you could limit the number of times you use it that way, or cut it out altogether--see what sounds best to you!

The last thing that's a little more technical is that you have a lot of very human elements. Showing teeth in order to smile, Mouzan and Nickeeta actually hugging, and raised eyebrows. For animals, showing teeth is a sort of aggressive signal, so it would make sense for that to be the same with dragons. What I'm really saying is that you should work to create body language that works for the dragons, not adapting human body language. While the latter might work in some cases, like with tears, the hugging bit really didn't work for me. I think if you had something like rubbing cheeks/necks, that would have a more animal feel to it, but you clearly give us some human feel with the intelligence, language, and cooking already.

I feel like there's also a bit of issue with the plot. While it was really enjoyable to read, it was hard to see the direction it's going to go in. The one major conflict was the volcano, but I think that fell a little flat--there was no build-up and no real struggle to it. I think if you mentioned earthquakes occurring more and more frequently, that would make the most recent earthquake seem like a harbinger of something worse. Also, if Hisster didn't believe that the dragons needed to be evacuated, then that would cause a conflict between him and Zoltar. Then Zoltar's vision would seem all the more important, and very relevant as well. I expected Zoltar and Nira to go back towards to volcano--surely not every dragon would die all at once, and some could be helped to escape--and because they just stayed there and watched the destruction, it made the reader a little distanced from it as well.

While you don't have to add in all of these conflicts, or even any of them, it feels a little bit like a world was introduced, a few emotional attachments were made, and then it all disappeared without even an effort to fight back. I believe that the city being wiped out is setting up your story for the next events? But then I think the beginning dialogue is a little lengthy if the main goal is to show the destruction of the village. And we still aren't sure what this is the set up for, if that makes sense. What is their biggest problem? A lack of the shared resources? Missing their loved ones? It's hard to see where this will go.

Sorry if that sounded really long-winded! Aside from all of that, I really did like your style, and the way you wrote this made it seem perfectly plausible that a village of dragons could just be inhabiting a mountain, haggling over food items. Your imagery was very good, and the flow felt natural as the story moved along. I'm anxious to see where this goes next! Let me know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful day. :)

-Q




felistia says...


Thank you very much for the review. You bring up quite a few points that I agree with. I'll try to apply them to the story as I carry on writing and will apply them to the chapters I've written in the next draft of the story. :D Thanks again.



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Tue May 21, 2019 4:17 pm
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Liberty wrote a review...



Hello felistia!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight, depending on what side of the world you're on. I'm here to give you a review! Alright, let's get right into it. :)

So, just like TropicalRain said, your description was perfect and amazing! I loved it all. From the very first word to the very end. The volcano eruption description was kinda bone-chilling but it was awesome! You know, while I was reading the story, I felt like I was Zoltar... O_O It was a horrifying experience. Lol, now, I did see a few things that I'd like to point out. But before I start, you have to promise me that you will tag me when you post a new chapter, because this is one heck of a story! :smt023 Alright, let's start.

Mouzan flattened his ears and scowled, before turning to the Shadow Talon at the stall, asking “how much for a chicken?”


That bold word you see right there? It's meant to be capitalized, I'm sure. :mrgreen: Next one:

Images of Nickeeta lying crushed beneath rock flashed through his head, driving him forward. Maybe if they got to her in time she could be saved.


That first bold word actually doesn't sound right. maybe if you could change it to:

1. a rock

or

2. rocks.

It would mostly depend on how many rocks he imagined. The second bold words need to have a comma in between them. On wards...

It has caused a tsunami on the northern side of the Shadow Lands. It hadn’t done much damage, but if it had been on the south it would have had an entirely different outcome.


You kinda changed the tense at the first bold word, so you might wanna change that to had instead. :smt003 The second bold part needs a comma in between those two words too, by the way. Last one:

He kept having flashes of red and gold across his vison and explosions thundered in his ears.


You spelt that word wrong. Actually, I think it was a typo. It's supposed to be vision instead. That's it for today! Hope this helped and I'm off to read the next chapter! :D

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty500




felistia says...


Thank you. I proof read my chapters before posting, but being so close to the writing it's so easy to miss silly mistakes like this. Thanks again and I'll make sure to tag you for the next chapter. I've already release the ext three. :D



Liberty says...


Your welcome. And that's not a problem at all. I can understand. Also, I'm the little nit-picker around here. ;)



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TropicalRain says...



Wow this is a really well written chapter. Your description is amazing, I felt like I was apart of this world you have made. And your dialog was brilliant! I look forward to reading more of your work.
Keep writing!




felistia says...


Thank you. :D



TropicalRain says...


Your welcome.
Your a very skilled writer!




I drink tea and forget the world's noises.
— Chinese saying