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The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Chapter Twenty Six

by felistia


The wet sand seeped over Zoltar’s paws as he stood on the desolate grey beach, staring at the towering pillars in front of him. Ghostly white mist twisted around the gnarled columns like sea serpents ready to strike. The air was damp and cold, with the over powering stench of salt. Teal blue waves lapped at the beach, sucking at the coarse sand. Eerie wailing howls echoed through the maze, bouncing off the towering pillars of rock and into Zoltar’s keen ears.

He could hear the Wisp Talons angry roars echoing through the forest a few meters behind them, but they didn’t come any closer. He was safe for the moment, but with the sunlight fading fast and the shadows creeping ever closer, he knew they didn’t have long before they’d have to face the Death Grippers.

Emerald was panting beside him, her scales an ocean of rolling white and crimson waves.

“You okay?” Zoltar asked, a little worried.

“I’m…fine,” she gasped, shaking from head to tail, “I’ve just been through an attack and I’m out on the beach at full moon. Sure, I’m just fine.” She managed a weak smile.

Zoltar nodded. He couldn’t imagine how she was feeling, but knew it must be similar to the feeling he’d had the day of the eruption of Mount Mokewtu. It was a horrible feeling of overwhelming shock, anger and deep sadness. She would learn to cope with it, but it would take some time.

Zoltar glanced over at Felistia. She was standing a little way off, staring at the dark forest behind them, her wings drooping and her tail limp against the sand. Zoltar didn’t need to see her scales to understand.

“I’ll be back in a moment,” He said to Emerald as he turned and walked over to Felistia.

She was silent on his approach, but he saw her eyes drop from the forest to the beach.

“I’m sorry, Felistia,” Zoltar didn’t know what else to say. She must be feeling terrible. For the second time in her life she was leaving her home or at least a home of sorts and it was because of him.

“It’s alright Zoltar,” Felistia whispered, running her paw through the sand in a slow rhythmic motion, “I needed to leave sometime anyway. I can’t keep living my life thinking I’ll have a future tomorrow. Nothing will happen as long as I live on this island. I need to start living my life and stop holding onto the past, and my life is back home in the Ice Talon Kingdom.I have to find a way to get back there. You made me realize that Zoltar. You know what you want in life. I’m not sure what it is, but you seem sure.”

She smiled at him. It was sad, but warm at the same time and Zoltar felt the weight start to lift from his horns. She wasn’t angry with him or even resentful. He still needed to explain himself, but at least he could go into it knowing she’d understand.

Zoltar sighed, relieved, “You’ll get back home. I know you will.”

Felistia nodded and walked with him back to Emerald. The Wisp Talon was still shaking, but had managed to calm down enough to get her scales down to the same pebble grey as the beach.

“Come on then. Let’s go,” Zoltar said as he spread his wings to lift off.

Without warning, something moved in the corner of his vision and he heard Felistia gasp. Zoltar spun, wings still raised, ready to fight off the creature. A fire ball burned in his throat as he prepared to launch.

Then the creature materialized from the mist, her turquoise blue scales shimmering ever so slightly in the evening light

“Shiraku,” Felistia cried, running up to the Sea Talon, “Where have you been? I’ve been worried about you.”

Zoltar swallowed the fireball, smoke streaming from his snout as a result. ‘What was she doing here?’

“I went out for a walk… a long one. I had to do some thinking. Sorry I got you worried,” The Sea Talon looked guilty for a moment, but quickly regained her prickly personality, “What are you doing here anyway and why is there a rabid pack of Wisp Talons surrounding the beach? Honestly I leave for a day and this is what happens.”

“Well it’s a bit of a long story or so Zoltar tells me,” Felistia shot Zoltar a look, “We kind of had to leave in a hurry.”

Shiraku rolled her eyes and scowled, “Of course, it’s all his fault,” She flashed him a half a smile.

Zoltar scowled at the Sea Talon, but he was glad to see her safe.

He felt Emerald brush against his wing. She was almost completely invisible with just the faintest trace of an outline to make her out.

“Zoltar, I hate to break up the reunion, but we need to move. The Death Grippers will be here any second,” she whispered.

Zoltar nodded, “Felistia can we talk this over once we’re off the island? Emerald says we need to go and I couldn’t agree more.”

Felistia opened her mouth to speak, but her words were drowned out by a blood curdling screech slicing through the curling vapors. It resonated through the maze, twisting and distorting.

“Jumping jellyfish, what was that?” Shiraku cried, her spines raised in alarm.

“That was a Death Gripper,” Emerald whimpered turning a ghost white from head to tail.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got your back,” Zoltar growled as he eyed the shadows shifting through the rock columns beyond. He knew what was coming and he was ready for it this time.

“Wait, we’re leaving?”

“Yes, Shiraku. We can talk about it later. “Felistia stood beside Zoltar, her face hard as steel as she raised her silver wings.

“I have so many questions right now,” Shiraku muttered behind Zoltar.

Zoltar smiled, determination building with in him as he launched himself into the air, heading straight into the maze.


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Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:22 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Getting close to the finish line on Day 2 of the reviewathon.

First Impression: YES!!!Shiraku is back. So we'll have a very unlikely bunch banding together.

The wet sand seeped over Zoltar’s paws as he stood on the desolate grey beach, staring at the towering pillars in front of him. Ghostly white mist twisted around the gnarled columns like sea serpents ready to strike. The air was damp and cold, with the over powering stench of salt. Teal blue waves lapped at the beach, sucking at the coarse sand. Eerie wailing howls echoed through the maze, bouncing off the towering pillars of rock and into Zoltar’s keen ears.


Stunning setting to start things off.

“It’s alright Zoltar,” Felistia whispered, running her paw through the sand in a slow rhythmic motion, “I needed to leave sometime anyway. I can’t keep living my life thinking I’ll have a future tomorrow. Nothing will happen as long as I live on this island. I need to start living my life and stop holding onto the past, and my life is back home in the Ice Talon Kingdom.I have to find a way to get back there. You made me realize that Zoltar. You know what you want in life. I’m not sure what it is, but you seem sure.”


Some nice character growth. And I really hope we found out about her "Frozen Past". Am I right there?

Without warning, something moved in the corner of his vision and he heard Felistia gasp. Zoltar spun, wings still raised, ready to fight off the creature. A fire ball burned in his throat as he prepared to launch.


For something that is not a horror story this sure has a lot of jump scares.

“I went out for a walk… a long one. I had to do some thinking. Sorry I got you worried,” The Sea Talon looked guilty for a moment, but quickly regained her prickly personality, “What are you doing here anyway and why is there a rabid pack of Wisp Talons surrounding the beach? Honestly I leave for a day and this is what happens.”


I love this one. We need a snarky character to balance out this ragtag bunch.

Felistia opened her mouth to speak, but her words were drowned out by a blood curdling screech slicing through the curling vapors. It resonated through the maze, twisting and distorting.


Uh oh. The Death Grippers are coming!!!

“Yes, Shiraku. We can talk about it later. “Felistia stood beside Zoltar, her face hard as steel as she raised her silver wings.

“I have so many questions right now,” Shiraku muttered behind Zoltar.

Zoltar smiled, determination building with in him as he launched himself into the air, heading straight into the maze.


I'm reminded of that hero shot in the first Avengers film. It is time to TEAM UP!!!!

And that's it. Another small break before I come back and hopefully manage to finish the last two chapters of this story before the day is out.

Overall: Nice little setup to what should be an epic escape sequence in the next chapter. I supposed this ends with them getting to the mainland.

As always take what you think helps and forget the rest. Though in this chapter I don't think I could find anything wrong. It was perfect.

I'll be back soon to finish the first book off.

Stay Safe
Harry




felistia says...


Thank you again. You're going to love the next chapter. So exciting. Also this was why the Wisp Talons avoid the beach from your question before. :D



HarryHardy says...


Your Welcome! Oooh!! I'll be getting around those two chapters ASAP!!



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Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:27 pm
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Liberty wrote a review...



Heyo!

Hope you're doing well today or tonight. Here to drop of a review for you so without further ado, let's ~get started~

I know I've said this thousands of other times, but I just love the way you describe the dragons' surroundings. It's absolutely fascinating and it makes it so much easier for me to picture everything in my mind. Like the first paragraph. Especially, that one. <3

Anyway, I'm glad Shiraku is back!! I must admit I was starting to miss her scowls every now and then. :p I wonder how Zoltar will make Felistia and the other two drgaoness cooperate with each other. Because, like, they haven't met before, and Felistia is a Wisp Talon and just... I'm intrigued to see how this will unfold. :)

Honestly, now that I come to think of it, if there were Wisp Talons surrounding the beach:
a) how did Shiraku cross them so easily?
b) why aren't they attacking yet? Zoltar and the rest seem to be in a very easy target especially since they're not moving or anything, and just chatting.
c) speaking of Shiraku, how did she find them? I'm guessing it took a while for her to find the the rest, and she'd've looked disgruntled or something, but you didn't give any details about that so I couldn't really imagine anything about her.

Zoltar smiled, determination building with in him as he launched himself into the air, heading straight into the maze.

Let's go Zoltar!! =D

I'm so happy that they're starting their journey. Very hyped for the next chapter, so moving there now! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty




felistia says...


Thank you again for a review. :D

Emerald is the Wisp Talon FYI.

Shiraku was already on the beach when they arrived, but a little further down the beach. We'll see her side of the story in a few chapters. The Wisp Talons are scared to go onto the beach due to the Death Grippers, so they hang back around the edges.

Thanks again. :D



Liberty says...


Oh, my bad! I'm bad at keeping track of species. :/ Sounds good about Shiraku! c:



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Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:43 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



OHHH I'm so happy we see shiraku again! <3 It's a relief to find out she didn't stray far at all despite having stormed out the way she did. I kind of wonder how she talked herself into forgiving Felistia and Zoltar, though! And how did she know they were there?! I feel like we'll get some insight into her side of the story soon to explain her absence and reappearance. Otherwise, it feels like she was just quickly inserted like she was originally forgotten. XD

The pacing was a bit inconsistent, it felt like we were quickly wrapping up the loose ends as best we can, so it felt clunky and hastily pasted together. I'm also kind of sad we don't get to see the village or the elders or anything on that after all the build up beforehand, so I imagine we'll be revisiting this in a later installment -- book two or three.

It's so crazy to think that these four are safe to talk right now considering they were JUST in a chase, but the Wisp Talons won't travel near the Death Grippers due to the poooison potential, if I recall correctly. So it seems like they were safe because the Wisp Talons were afraid to continue into the maze, but now they have to go through the maze and face the Death Grippers -- I'M STILL SAD WE DIDN'T GET TO GO TO THE VILLAGE. I still feel like if the Wisp Talons know the four of them are just standing there, they'd dare to make a move for them since they aren't technically in the maze yet. It just feels like the Wisp Talons are giving up too easily. Maybe there's a backup sacrifice somewhere, so Emerald was not that significant a loss?

STILL. They are all fine. And Emerald is okay too!!

It was fascinating getting insight into Felistia's brain here and how she acknowledges her own character development. She was basically sentencing herself to isolation here on this island, and so her end-goal as a character was to find a reason to live, and she found one in her friends. This was an awesome development, and to watch her grow as a character and acknowledge her needs/desires/goals was really well done.

I feel like this whole first installment/book was more about Zoltar finding a reason to live as well. I kind of wish I was tracking this better as I read, but I do think watching Zoltar move on from the tragedy in his home town was the centerpiece of this book. Now he's reached a point where he's gained support from unlikely allies and proceeds with renewed confidence in saving his tribe as well as helping the others. I almost feel like in the end, Zoltar will be gaining allegiance with these tribes and finding a home with them, potentially finding themselves at odds with the Ghost Talons (I think they're called) later. BUT NOW I'M JUST THEORIZING, WHAT DO I KNOW ??

I LOOK FORWARD TO READING THE END. I can't believe you've gotten so far with this story, and I'm still so massively intrigued how things will turn out!! I'm so proud of you for getting so far with this draft, and it's so freaking good too!!




felistia says...


Thank you so much for another review. This chapter was hard to write for some reason and so needs some rewrites when I finish my first draft of the book. :D




Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.
— Willie Nelson