Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Action / Adventure


The Quest for Fire - Into the Mists - Prologue

by felistia


Artwork by @FlamingPhoenix

A cool autumn breeze rustled the copper leaves overhead as a crystal blue dragoness crept through the trees. Shafts of dying sunlight cut through the withering canopy as the sun slowly sank behind the northern mountain peaks.

The dragoness glanced up at the sky, her tail flicking back and forth restlessly. It was only an hour or two before night fell. She had to be back before then.

Picking up the pace, she continued on, the growl of waves hitting the shore growing louder in her ears by the moment.

‘Maybe this is too risky. What if they decide to start their patrols early tonight? I should just retrieve my catch in the morning. It won’t hurt to go hungry just for tonight.’ She fretted as she ducked a low hanging branch.

But what if the Death Grippers found the antelope? She’d worked so hard to catch it and it was the first decent sized prey animal she’d caught in nearly a moon.

No, she had this argument with herself almost every evening after the day’s hunt. She had enough time. Besides if the worst came, she could just stay the night on the beach. They never seemed to venture beyond the forest.

The ground under paw shifted from dirt to pebbles as she approached the tree line. There it was. The maze of mist draped pillars that surrounded the island. Ocean waves crashed against the columns of black rock, tossing spray into the haze that lay beyond the beach.

The Ice Talon dragoness paused as she scanned the maze for signs of movement. One could never be too careful. You never knew when one of those things would be watching, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting dragon.

Her golden eyes drifted along the shore and up the slope to a small mound of pebbles where she’d hidden her catch. It seemed to be untouched.

Taking a final scent of the air, she inched forward, ready to break her cover. That’s when it caught her eye. The flash of a turquoise fin trailing through the water.

Hastily she backed up, crouching to hide her silvery scales as best she could. She remained still, watching silently as two figures emerged from the mist.

‘Sea Talons!’ the dragoness inhaled sharply as she saw a not yet fully grown dragonet climbed up onto the beach, staggering under the weight of her much older companion as she helped him ashore. The male dragon was limping, holding his right front leg close to his chest as scarlet blood dripped from a deep wound.

They managed to make it a few meters up the slope before the dragonet collapsed, unable to support her father any longer.

He dropped down beside her, breathing heavily as he looked back at the maze uneasily. Nothing move out in the mist however and he seemed to relax after a moment or two.

“Ha, ha. We made it,” He laughed almost deliriously, batting the dragonet lightly with his webbed paw.

She rolled her eyes and huffed in response, her iridescent wings flopped down at her sides.

‘Who are these dragons?’ The Ice Talon wondered as she watched from her hiding place. She hadn’t seen new dragons on the island for nearly two years. At least she thought it had been that long. It was hard to tell how long has passed since the massacre. Every day was a fight for survival, a constant game of cat and mouse between her and the island’s residents. Keeping track of how long it had been since she’d left the Ice Kingdom didn’t really matter anymore.

Now two Sea Talons had washed ashore. What were they doing here? Surely they knew the risks?

More importantly, what was she going to do? It was dangerous to approach other dragon tribes and besides it was hard enough on the island alone. A group of three would make more noise and would need more food. Not to mention that one was a dragonet.

No, it was in her best interest to leave them on the beach. She had enough problems of her own.

She turned to go, carful where she placed her paws so as not to alert the Sea Talons to her presence.

But something prevented her from going further. Maybe it was the thought of the Death Grippers smelling the blood on the wind and ambushing the pair in the later hours or maybe it was the dreadful feeling of loneliness that caused her to look back?

The dragonet had gotten to her paws and was helping her father clean his wound, bringing small talonfuls off sea water to wash the gash. He smiled at her and gave her a quick lick on the snout before reaching into a pouch around his neck. He pulled out something that the Ice Talon could only assume was sea weed and wrapped it around his arm, tying a knot to secure it.

“There,” he said, standing up on all four paws, although he still kept most of his weight off the wounded leg, “Now let’s see about finding some shelter for the night.”

The Ice Talon smiled faintly. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad having companions. The male Sea Talon seemed to know what he was doing and the dragonet appeared to be capable of looking after herself.

Just then a faint acidic scent grabbed her attention and she turned her snout skyward. The sun had disappeared behind the north mountain. Nightfall was here. She had to get back before the first star glittered into view. If she wanted to help these dragons she’d have to act now and get them to her cave before those creatures emerged.

Taking a deep breath she step forward and into sight.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
174 Reviews


Points: 717
Reviews: 174

Donate
Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:40 pm
View Likes
MaybeAndrew wrote a review...



Hellooo, Andrew here for you’re Harsh Review! This may not be *as* long as I would hope since I’m super busy right now, but I’ll give you the best I got.
I haven’t read a ton of dragon-centric stories. I like fantasy and all, but I could never get into the whole nonhumanoid creatures thing as main characters (Warriors, and Guardians of Ga’hoole being the main two I tried) but I know it’s a huge genre, most notably the wings of fire series which my little cousin is obsessed with. I’ve never read it, but you seem to have some similarities here (at least from what I’ve heard from my obsessed cousin) being the dragon split into groups depending on their “type” and stuff.
Using tropes is something to be careful about, but not necessarily bad. If the tropes are widespread enough, you can use them without fear of stealing (like now anyone can use elves from Lord of the rings and not be ‘stealing from Tolkien’) but one must be careful not to only rely on previously established ideas. One has to make sure that if they are using tropes, they have an original take on them, or are using them in new interesting ways.
But there’s about where my expertise runs out on this genre.
Overall, this is pretty well written, with very few grammatical mistakes, and the flow of the writing isn’t bad at all, so good job there.
It suggests a bigger world, which is always nice, but as of yet, I have not seen anything about this world which really captures my interest. Cool stuff seems to be here, but nothing jumps out at me as really new or interesting from the get-go. The main character is not bad, but nothing about them is excessively interesting or likable so far. The chapter, though good, does not hook me in a way but I have no choice to go on. I am not emmidatly super hooked by a character, world, or plot. But not all stories do that, especially older ones can take decades to get started, but it does seem like more modern stories really try to “catch” you.
So yeah, I'd say the biggest issue is that this capture didn't 'kidnap me and force me to read the rest.' If I had a very high suggestion with it, I could keep reading, but nothing about the world feels expectingly new. That could definitely just be my aversion to nonhuman characters, but I’m trying to give you my honest take on how it made me feel.
Sorry that I have not read much of that genre, but I wish I could be of more help there.
The other biggest problem is that in someplace its a bit messy. Nothing a little copy editing can't solve, but it can get in the way of reading sometimes.

For strengths, I really liked your descriptions of locations, enough information to paint a vivid picture, but not too much to bore us. That’s a fine line, and one you do really well here.

Into specific!

But something prevented her from going further. Maybe it was the thought of the Death Grippers smelling the blood on the wind and ambushing the pair in the later hours or maybe it was the dreadful feeling of loneliness that caused her to look back?

This is what caught me most. Why is she being hunted? Why is she an outcast? I’d want to see more of that if possible.
He dropped down beside her, breathing heavily as he looked back at the maze uneasily. Nothing move out in the mist however and he seemed to relax after a moment or two.

I don’t normally notice, but there was a minor grammatical mistake here. That should be:
He dropped down beside her, breathing heavily as he looked back at the maze uneasily. Nothing moved out in the mist, however, and he seemed to relax after a moment or two.

I’m not a thousand percent sure of the placement of those commas, but Grammarly agreed with me, but regardless, a comma was missing somewhere there.
‘Who are these dragons?’ The Ice Talon wondered as she watched from her hiding place. She hadn’t seen new dragons on the island for nearly two years. At least she thought it had been that long. It was hard to tell how long has passed since the massacre. Every day was a fight for survival, a constant game of cat and mouse between her and the island’s residents. Keeping track of how long it had been since she’d left the Ice Kingdom didn’t really matter anymore.

More of this, like this, make me wonder even more. Give me more of her visceral feelings. I want to feel the hints of her backstory, as well as see it.
Maybe it was the thought of the Death Grippers smelling the blood on the wind and ambushing the pair in the later hours or maybe it was the dreadful feeling of loneliness that caused her to look back?

This is a run-on sentence. I'd advise splitting it or throwing in the proper comma before or. Also, this is not a question, so it doesn't need a question mark. It is saying a statement of something that may be, therefore, is a statement, not a question. It is not requesting an answer.
Taking a deep breath she step forward and into sight.

A pretty solid ending, and makes our main character more likable.
NOW
onto the big three questions. I promised I'd answer all three of these questions in every harsh review.
Would I read it if I'm not reviewing it?
As I said, I don't find this genre suuuuper interesting, so probably not. Though good, nothing here jumps out are super interesting to me, as either an exploration of this genre or stories in general.
Would I share it
If this was a published book, I'd definitely send it to my little cousin who loves Dragon Books
Would I pay for it
If it was polished up a bit, I might, as a gift for a couple of people in my life who really like these types of books. For myself, unless something really caught my interest, no.
BUT THAT'S ALL JUST MY TWO CENTS
Hope it helps!
Thanks, and keep writing,
Andrew




User avatar
36 Reviews


Points: 2076
Reviews: 36

Donate
Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:38 pm
View Likes
Quillfeather wrote a review...



hello, felistia! Nicole here to write a short review.



first impressions: I thought this was a really good chapter, and I can't wait to go through and read the next chapters! I really like the setup here. it seems like it will be an interesting story. I especially like the beginning:

A cool autumn breeze rustled the copper leaves overhead as a crystal blue dragoness crept through the trees. Shafts of dying sunlight cut through the withering canopy as the sun slowly sank behind the northern mountain peaks.
it has some really good imagery and I always really like that in a story.



things you could fix: I think you're basically good here, there's isn't much that needs fixing.
the only thing that made me pause was
Keep track of how long it had been since she’d left the Ice Kingdom didn’t really matter anymore.
maybe you could say something like:''keeping track of how long she'd been in the ice kingdom didn't really matter anymore''. but that is just a suggestion.



recap: I thought it was really good, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest!

keep writing!

-Nicole




felistia says...


Thank you for the review. :D



User avatar
1232 Reviews


Points: 119938
Reviews: 1232

Donate
Sat May 22, 2021 1:49 pm
View Likes
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi felistia,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

I've actually become a silent reader here because I never managed to finish my actual review for the prologue. So, I´m back here and I try to focus on the chapter itself and not too much on the upcoming chapters to comment on forshadowings or anything like that.

Let's start by saying that I really like the map. I love that in fantasy stories when you can see that the writer has put some thought into the world and what it should look like. Kudos for that! :D

A cool autumn breeze rusted the copper leaves overhead as a crystal blue dragoness crept through the trees. Shafts of dying sunlight cut through the withering canopy as the sun slowly sank behind the northern mountain peaks.


That's a good start for the story. These are such small details I like a lot in stories, and they always give the story a deeper insight and make the world seem more alive.

No, she had this argument with herself almost every evening after the day's hunt. She had enough time. Besides if the worst came, she could just stay the night on the beach. They never seemed to venture beyond the forest.


The conflict you describe here is well done. I like how you show that the dragoness always has these pangs of conscience and yet the one voice in her head is also trying to lower the danger.

Hastily she backed up, crouching to hide her silvery scales as best she could. She remained still, watching silently as two figures emerged from the mist.


I like your introduction and description of the dragoness. Scattered through the story, it seems authentic, like a hunt where you gradually see more of an animal you're looking for.

"Ha, ha. We made it," He laughed almost deliriously, batting the dragonet lightly with his webbed paw.


The laughter doesn't seem as maniacal as you want to present it. I would take away the comma first, as it gives me the feeling that he is out of breath and is now breathing deeply in and out. Since a simple "hahaha" doesn't always do the job of how you want to present laughter, I would stretch the "deliriously" a bit further and maybe insert how the individual "ha's" alternate between loud and shrill (For example) to present it more deliriously.

The sun had disappeared behind the north mountain.


If the world you create has the same laws of physics as ours, the sun cannot theoretically disappear behind the "north mountain". Unless you rephrase it a bit, like at the beginning, where it's the "northern mountains", which can also expand in a westerly direction. I'm a bit of an oddball and I think I'm too much of a perfectionist here... :D

So, yes, what I like about this prologue is how you start to tell the story. It seems like an ordinary day for her through the development of the dragoness and how she struggles to survive, and yet two more dragons appear, which causes her rhythm to get completely out of control. I like this process because it ties in a bit with the classic motif that many protagonists from books and other media don't always want to be a protagonist.

I also like that you try to develop a great scenery with your choice of words and at the same time give a little insight into the inner world of dragoness. The storypacing is very well paced, especially for the prologue you managed to keep it smooth and flowing without it getting bogged down.

In summary, I can say that I liked the prologue a lot. I think it is precisely because you have created this motif of normal everyday life - unusual that the prologue gives the reader the curiosity to read on.

Have fun with your writing!

Mailice.




felistia says...


Thank you so much for the review. I like your incites on what I should change and I'll definitely check back and edit them in when I come back to polish this draft. So glad you liked the prologue. :D



User avatar


Points: 229
Reviews: 1

Donate
Wed May 12, 2021 8:09 pm
View Likes
Phlonix wrote a review...



This is a very interesting world that you have dawn me into! I'm excited to discover more about the history, the characters, and so on and so forth. I do wonder how exactly these dragons chose their dwellings, and how they chose their names.

The mention of a massacre is chilling, as now I wonder whether she escaped or was let go for some mysterious reason.




User avatar
3570 Reviews


Points: 379166
Reviews: 3570

Donate
Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:34 pm
View Likes
HarryHardy wrote a review...



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

Hi! Sorry it took so long to get around to all of these, but I should be reviewing these in a row for the next few days :)

First Impression: Well I am loving this prologue at first glance. Its got all the prologue essentials down quite well and it seems to be encompassing everything we need here. Aaand I think I can recognize our unnamed dragonesses here. ;)

Anyway let's get right to it,

A cool autumn breeze rustled the copper leaves overhead as a crystal blue dragoness crept through the trees. Shafts of dying sunlight cut through the withering canopy as the sun slowly sank behind the northern mountain peaks.

The dragoness glanced up at the sky, her tail flicking back and forth restlessly. It was only an hour or two before night fell. She had to be back before then.

Okay....its been a really long time since I read this particular story...well let's see if I remember things...although I guess this prologue will have a lot of completely new things in it...anyways...nice little start...seems like its going to be pretty exciting.

Picking up the pace, she continued on, the growl of waves hitting the shore growing louder in her ears by the moment.

‘Maybe this is too risky. What if they decide to start their patrols early tonight? I should just retrieve my catch in the morning. It won’t hurt to go hungry just for tonight.’ She fretted as she ducked a low hanging branch.


Oooh...we're establishing the stakes here right off the bat...that's going great...

But what if the Death Grippers found the antelope? She’d worked so hard to catch it and it was the first decent sized prey animal she’d caught in nearly a moon.

No, she had this argument with herself almost every evening after the day’s hunt. She had enough time. Besides if the worst came, she could just stay the night on the beach. They never seemed to venture beyond the forest.


Well I am guessing this is Felistia hunting for food on the Wisp Talon island if I'm remembering everything properly here. ANyway, ignoring that...this is going very well for a prologue.

The ground under paw shifted from dirt to pebbles as she approached the tree line. There it was. The maze of mist draped pillars that surrounded the island. Ocean waves crashed against the columns of black rock, tossing spray into the haze that lay beyond the beach.

The Ice Talon dragoness paused as she scanned the maze for signs of movement. One could never be too careful. You never knew when one of those things would be watching, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting dragon.


Oh yes, those things definitely were super scary the last time I read about them, I doubt they've changed much since then.

Her golden eyes drifted along the shore and up the slope to a small mound of pebbles where she’d hidden her catch. It seemed to be untouched.

Taking a final scent of the air, she inched forward, ready to break her cover. That’s when it caught her eye. The flash of a turquoise fin trailing through the water.

Hastily she backed up, crouching to hide her silvery scales as best she could. She remained still, watching silently as two figures emerged from the mist.


Oooh...now who could that possibly be...

‘Sea Talons!’ the dragoness inhaled sharply as she saw a not yet fully grown dragonet climbed up onto the beach, staggering under the weight of her much older companion as she helped him ashore. The male dragon was limping, holding his right front leg close to his chest as scarlet blood dripped from a deep wound.

That has got to be Shuraku...this definitely can't be anyone else, what other Sea Talon would be roaming around this particular island?

They managed to make it a few meters up the slope before the dragonet collapsed, unable to support her father any longer.

He dropped down beside her, breathing heavily as he looked back at the maze uneasily. Nothing move out in the mist however and he seemed to relax after a moment or two.

“Ha, ha. We made it,” He laughed almost deliriously, batting the dragonet lightly with his webbed paw.


Oh no...he's definitely going to die isn't he....hitting us with those emotional notes right away....I see...and its definitely working, especially since I already thing I know who that is...oh dear.

She rolled her eyes and huffed in response, her iridescent wings flopped down at her sides.

‘Who are these dragons?’ The Ice Talon wondered as she watched from her hiding place. She hadn’t seen new dragons on the island for nearly two years. At least she thought it had been that long. It was hard to tell how long has passed since the massacre. Every day was a fight for survival, a constant game of cat and mouse between her and the island’s residents. Keep track of how long it had been since she’d left the Ice Kingdom didn’t really matter anymore.


Ooof, poor Felistis is starting to go crazy from being stranded on the island alone for so long I see....well hopefully she's about to get herself a new companion here and that should help her out...somewhat.

Now two Sea Talons had washed ashore. What were they doing here? Surely they knew the risks?

More importantly, what was she going to do? It was dangerous to approach other dragon tribes and besides it was hard enough on the island alone. A group of three would make more noise and would need more food. Not to mention that one was a dragonet.


Very logical of her there....for sure...as always with all the characters in this story...something I just love about how these are written.

No, it was in her best interest to leave them on the beach. She had enough problems of her own.

She turned to go, careful where she placed her paws so as not to alert the Sea Talons to her presence.


Good decision...good decision...I think its the right one here.

But something prevented her from going further. Maybe it was the thought of the Death Grippers smelling the blood on the wind and ambushing the pair in the later hours or maybe it was the dreadful feeling of loneliness that caused her to look back?


Definitely the loneliness.

The dragonet had gotten to her paws and was helping her father clean his wound, bringing small talonfuls off sea water to wash the gash. He smiled at her and gave her a quick lick on the snout before reaching into a pouch around his neck. He pulled out something that the Ice Talon could only assume was sea weed and wrapped it around his arm, tying a knot to secure it.

“There,” he said, standing up on all four paws, although he still kept most of his weight off the wounded leg, “Now let’s see about finding some shelter for the night.”


Well he didn't die...that was surprising...are we seeing a bit of a change here....or did I completely forget the existence of an entire dragon in this story...ahhh....let's see I suppose.

The Ice Talon smiled faintly. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad having companions. The male Sea Talon seemed to know what he was doing and the dragonet appeared to be capable of looking after herself.

Just then a faint acidic scent grabbed her attention and she turned her snout skyward. The sun had disappeared behind the north mountain. Nightfall was here. She had to get back before the first star glittered into view. If she wanted to help these dragons she’d have to act now and get them to her cave before those creatures emerged.

Taking a deep breath she step forward and into sight.


Lovely little cliffhanger to end the prologue, definitely a really good choice of ending you've got there.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Well this was definitely a fun little prologue. I definitely enjoyed reading it, and it looks like maybe a couple of things are different already or I'm just forgetful, I don't really know but at any rate, I'm looking forward to reading the other chapter too...quite soon.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




felistia says...


Thank you so much for your review. I've been dying to know what you though of the rewrite. I am going to change quite a few things, add in a bunch of stuff, but the core story will remain mostly the same.
I'm mostly trying to fit in a lot more world build and a solid history for this world as I really didn't have that down firmly in the last draft. :D



User avatar
12 Reviews


Points: 567
Reviews: 12

Donate
Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:05 pm
View Likes
SageOctober wrote a review...



First off, I love the map at the top! How did you make that? It gives the reader some good information about the world.

Just a quick grammatical error: "Taking a deep breath she step forward and into sight." I think you meant "stepped" instead.

I am a little curious about what kind of animals there are in this world. There is a mention of an antelope, so it seems that there are lots of different kinds of animals, but also dragons. Is this like our world, but with dragons instead of people?

The prologue is very intriguing, and the descriptions are very vivid. I am very interested to see what or who these "Death Grippers" are.




felistia says...


Thank you Sage for the review.
I had a rough sketch of the map, but it was properly filled in by Draculus.
:D



User avatar
66 Reviews


Points: 37
Reviews: 66

Donate
Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:39 pm
View Likes
BEASTtheHUN wrote a review...



I like your map a lot, did you make it? If I were a publisher, right now I would publish this work no questions asked. The first lines alone transport me to a world so unlike my own, it is uniquely beautiful in its own right. The descriptive imagery is spot on, and the flow is enviable. The dialogue is incredible. I have a question are these like anthrosaurus, or are these full-on eastern European dragons, or are these Chinese dragons. I really want to know. I really, really like the way you cataloged their thoughts and their actions. Each line is engrossing and propels you forward at just the right pace. Tag me on the next chapter, no if, or buts about it, it is a must. Until next time!




felistia says...


Thank you so much for your review. It means a lot to hear your thoughts on this chapter. :D

I will tag you for the next chapter.

P.S I had a rough sketch of the map, but it was properly filled in by Draculus.



felistia says...


The dragons are more along the lines of European dragons. My sister is busy drawing characters for me at the moment. I hope to include the depictions in the coming chapters. If you check out my wall you'll be able to see some of them.



BEASTtheHUN says...


Thanks!




I like to create sympathy for my characters, then set the monsters loose.
— Stephen King

The puzzle has been solved, but you can give it a try too!
Head to the chatroom for your first clue