The dragons walk alongside a hovering river. Eng uses a lot of pretentious words, but that’s essentially what is happening.
Dennagon trudged through the grass, his noggin aching (page 84).
Eng has a fascinating ability to switch from unbelievably pretentious to Uncle Remus within the space of a single paragraph.
He’s surrounded by the others and he can’t do anything because they have their weapons ready. Sure, last chapter he was thinking about how easily he could kill all of them. I’m guessing Eng doesn’t have a clear idea of how powerful Dennagon is, so his powers fluctuate depending on what the plot dictates. It’s convenient.
Dradicus comes over and introduces everyone to Dennagon, but since Dennagon Somehow Knew everyone’s names already, it’s kinda pointless. But Dennagon takes the opportunity to ask about the metal dragons. Lyconel explains they’re called technodragons, and they’re from the future, and their purpose is “To take control of dragonkind and reap the spoils of victory alongside…the sapiens.” (page 87)
This nearly floors Dennagon, since sapiens are the “nightmare race of all existence” and that no one alive has ever encountered one and lived.
He could hardly imagine any sentry working peacefully in the presence of a human, let alone the presence of the sapien subspecies that evolved from men (page 88).
Gotcha, so there’s a spinoff from the human race.
Anyway, the collective is conspiring with the sapiens to corrupt all the dragon-minds with the black orbs so no one ever finds the Lexicon.
“In order to defeat them, we must tap into the sole source of omniscience – the Lexicon.” (page 89)
Lyconel exposits that to get the Lexicon, they need the Key, and there’s a bunch of trials and obstacles between them and the key. Great. So this is going to be a Quest book. That’s original.
“These challenges, wrought with the influence of imagined physical laws from the powerful minds of the most potent magicians in all the lands, can only be surpassed by one who has extensive expertise on the laws of physics.”
Dennagon felt like taking a dump. Luckily, he hadn’t any fecal matter left in his stomach (page 89).
No seriously, what? I mean, yeah, there’s a common saying “you’ll shit” when surprised, but you can’t change up the words in an idiom because it loses its meaning. “Brad rotated the dung” is not the same as “Brad flipped his shit.” That’s not how language works.
Also, fecal matter resides in the intestines, not the stomach. You’d think someone as educated as Dennagon would know that.
Lyconel explains they’ve been watching him telepathically and that’s how they know he’s a genius.
They’ve reached a point in the river where there’s a lot of algae and vegetation, so the dragons get into the river and start eating. Dennagon doesn’t bother.
He would probably have expended more energy than he would have gained by doing so, since underwater verdure was generally not the most appetizing of foods (page 91).
Appetizing is not the same thing as nutritional.
Dennagon sees some blood in the river a bit downstream and figures where there’s blood, there’s meat. He casually takes off while the others are distracted. The omniscient narrator to explain that this place is called the Red Marsh and basically all the water is concentrated blood and pureed bodily fluids. We rejoin Dennagon who spends a page and a half thinking about a flower and sneezing. Eventually, he realizes that there must have been a war here, long ago. So kind’ve like the Dead Marshes from Lord of the Rings? Okay.
The clouds stirred above until they were shaken into staccato strokes of altocumulus formation (page 97).
Right. Dennagon can tell there isn’t any food within ten miles, a skill which he really should have used before he traveled the one mile to this fucking marsh.
He scoops up some of the blood and suddenly the marsh comes along.
All around, bladed figures emerged from the shapeless masses of sanguine liquid, slicing wildly with the precision of a mindless beast (page 98).
Of course, when an entire marsh turns into slicing blood blades you’d think it would instantly kill him, but it doesn’t. Instead, Dennagon looks up and sees something black, kind’ve like a solar eclipse but not quite, casting dark light, which seems like a bit of a contradiction.
The red plants loved it, and reached as far as they could to photosynthesize the negative luminosity (page 99).
Dennagon closes his eyes so the eclipse doesn’t fry his vision. The red blood plants attack, but he uses his “auditory organs” because that’s how Eng describes ears to easily avoid them and escape, just in time for a dragon to show up and take a swing at him with a huge axe. It’s Gorgash the behemoth, who is apparently pretty quiet when he needs to be.
Blah blah, there’s a fight scene. It continues for six and a half pages – seriously – and it’s really fucking boring, so let’s skip ahead to Dennagon burying Gorgash’s axe into Gorgash’s head and killing him. The other dragons wander up and are suitably impressed until they realize it’s a technodragon, and then they go for their weapons. Because he’s not actually dead!!! But Gorgash ignites a rocket and takes off before they can attack and disappears into the distance.
Lyconel wants to know what the hell is going on, but Dradicus says the enemy is coming, and they need to make tracks, so they do.