Chapter Thirty-Six – The Curse of Porsala
We meet up with this sorceress named Kimoko. She has a parrot named Kukukaaka, which…is a great name for a parrot, but there’s no way in hell I’m typing that out repeatedly.
Kimoko explains to the parrot that she saw dragon riders coming in her crystal ball and they landed not too far away. The parrot, who apparently is intelligent enough to carry on a conversation in stilted English, asks her what happened. The sorceress explains that there was a big fight at the Fortress Porsala and the dragons could not overcome the walls. Which doesn’t really make sense. Dragons can fly. Over walls.
Anyway, the dragons were beaten back but then there was an explosion inside the Fortress and the wall was destroyed and soldiers fled in panic. Kimoko doesn’t know why or how that happened because there’s a curse on Porsala so living things can’t enter and also it’s invincible.
Kimoko was so stunned thinking about the curse of Porsala that she couldn’t speak for some time (page 310).
Why exactly would this stun her? This isn’t shocking news, and she’s clearly known about the curse for some time.
She decides to go to the fortress and sets off. The soldiers won’t let her in because she’s well known for warning them about stuff that never happens, but they finally agree to let her in because their commander needs a good laugh. Kimoko meets up with the commander, who explains to her for no real reason what has been going on recently, and that their only prisoner is this hot princess (ostensibly Krimhilda).
Kimoku explains her vision and that she thinks dragons are going to show up and attack.
“Wow, wow, wow… that’s heavy.” (page 312)
Kimoku wants to see Krimmy so the commander agrees and she heads down and chats with Krimmy and after Kimoku explains about the dragons Krimmy’s eyes light up a bit so Kimoku knows that Krimmy knows something but Krimmy won’t say anything so Kimoku heads back up and tells the commander that Krimmy knows something and suggests they sound out a scouting party with some nets. I’m not sure how a net will help captured a fire-breathing dragon, but what do I know?
We then jump over to our heroes who have arrived exactly where Kimoku predicted. And I’d like to take a moment to note that there is actually a bit of tension here. It’s incredible how easy that is, isn’t it, Tesch? When your villains have a plan that your heroes DON’T KNOW ABOUT IN ADVANCE?
Maya and Joey were tired from the long trip and when they saw the river in the valley they wanted to take a refreshing bath. They left their backpacks with all of their belongings and their supernatural gifts in the care of Tarakann and ran down to the riverside (page 315).
The Encouragers are literally too dumb to live.
Naturally, the soldiers are waiting for them and scoop them up in a net and carry them off to the Fortress. One of the dragons notices but doesn’t have time to rescue them before they’re hauled inside through the gates.
The dragons attack but they can’t get inside.
Chapter Thirty-Seven – Incarcerated
Joey paces around his cell wondering when they’re going to come and kill him. He frets about this for awhile but then he hears Maya’s voice coming from the cell across from him. Turns out Maya has been locked in with Krimmy. Krimmy pokes her head up to the window in the door and Joey can see her, because apparently this dungeon is well-lit.
Her face looked dirty, starved and showed scratches over her eye brows. Her golden hair was grayish and filthy but she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen (page 319).
Who said romance was dead?
Maya’s face is still glowing because (as you may or may not recall) both of them were touched by the deity which makes their faces glow, as Tesch relates to us over a very long paragraph.
Turns out the guards don’t actually know who they’ve captured, they just think they’re common intruders…who showed up with a huge band of dragons just like the sorceress prophesied. That makes sense.
Some guards show up with food. Instead of having those little slots where they slide food in, they have to open up the door entirely. One of them holds a sword out and makes them back up, but Maya effortlessly knocks the trays of food into his face, grabs the sword from the second guard, and kills him. The other guard starts shouting.
Maya attacked the man and punted him with her knee full force between the legs (page 321).
It’s not quite Paolini, but a solid effort. I don’t really know why you’d bother walking up to someone holding a sword and knee him in the balls, since that would give him a prime opportunity to, y’know, kill you.
Meanwhile, two other soldiers have opened Joey’s door to give him food, so Maya knocks a soldier into them and they all fall sprawling inside Joey’s cell. Maya then makes a snap decision and closes and locks the door, locking the three soldiers in there with Joey. She grabs Krimmy and runs.
So. I don’t really have a problem with her locking Joey in a cell, I fantasize about that myself, daily. Still, Maya has been well established by this point to be ridiculously badass. She’s probably the most deadly person in Maradonia with an edged weapon and has slaughtered dozens of professional soldiers in armed combat. And she’s armed, and these soldiers have all just been knocked to the ground and are off guard. It would take her maybe a few seconds to kill all of them, and rescue Joey, and then be able to slip off. Why the hell doesn’t she?
See, Tesch, this is the problem with giving your characters ridiculous powers. You have to keep things internally consistent for the entire book.
Maya and Krimmy sneak around for a bit and then they’re captured. The commander is pretty pissed Maya killed one of his men and says he’s going to bury her in the death cell. Then he smashes her head into a stone wall.
Heh heh heh.
We go back to Joey who received a pretty heavy beating from the soldiers who came and let the other soldiers out of his cell. He watches as they drag Krimmy and Maya back in and throw them back in the cell – not in the death cell, for some reason. Maybe Tesch forgot that little detail.
Kimoko is with the guards and she thinks that there’s something weird about the fact that both their faces are, you know, glowing. So they decide to send messenger pigeons to King Apollyon!!! OH NOES.
Maya sits in her cell looking at the guard’s corpse, feeling upset that she’s not upset that she killed him. Kimoko is in there and she pumps Maya for information but Maya isn’t talking. Kimoko decides this is due to Krimmy, for reasons that aren’t clear [Tesch needs to get Krimmy out of there in preparation for the next scene] so she has the commander send Krimmy to the Glacier Palace. And they do.
Maya finally pulls her head out of her ass and remembers she has a psychic connection to people that she might want to use since she’s been imprisoned, so she opens up her telepathic link to Libertine and Master Dominatio. Dominatio says that the time has come to give Maya a new gift.
Master Dominatio touched Maya’s forehead with his Dragon Crystal Pole and Maya received the Fire Baptism of the Fifth Dimension (page 328).
That is the filthiest sentence I have ever read.
It gets better, though. Libertine pulls out some sparkling elixir of crystal glitter (I’m dead serious) and pours it into her hand…hang on, Libertine is a fucking dove. SHE DOESN’T HAVE HANDS. Anyway, Libertine rubs the glitter on Maya’s palms and the dungeon glows silvery blue.
“Use your hands! Create the balls of fire and direct them with the power of your brain against these walls of stone and you will shake the foundation of this place.” (page 329)
Yes. Maya now has the ability to conjure up balls of fire. And shoot them at things. Probably while yelling ‘HADOKEN’ or something like that.
I think that’s a couple bottles.
Maya goes over to the wall and runs her hands over the wall and it starts crumbling into dust. She gets out of her cell, does the same thing to Joey’s cell, and heads upstairs, where she starts destroying the castle walls. Joey and Maya run out through the hold and meet up with the dragons and dragon riders, who make mincemeat out of the soldiers chasing them.
Joey pulls out the Key, turns around, and aims it at the Fortress. And nukes it. Seriously.
A huge mushroom cloud of smoke ascended high into the morning sky.
The Fortress Porsala was no more (page 332).
Whew! Good thing that God didn’t have an all-encompassing ban on the use of supernatural weapons otherwise Joey wouldn’t have been able to destroy that place. Oh wait….
Drinks: two bottles of whiskey. Preferably Jameson.