Chapter Thirty-Eight – The Veil
Count Argo Navis is speechless as he watches Joey destroy the fortress. So, like most people who are speechless, he starts asking questions. Maya and Joey explain that they’re not from this world. Navis then talks about how when he was a boy, he heard stories about Veils, also known as Spiritual Curtains, that would separate the supernatural world from the natural world. Why, precisely, they do that is not explained. However, Navis has heard that occasionally human beings slip through the Veils and get into the legendary world. Also, once you go supernatural you can never go back.
Maya and Joey are intrigued by this, so Navis exposits that only ghosts and spirits of the dead (aren’t those…ghosts?) are able to go through the veils. Of course. It all makes sense now! Maya and Joey drowned at the Pebble Beach in the first book and have just been hallucinating everything since then. That’s why they have just ridiculous godlike powers!
Joey, however, says that they’re aren’t ghosts.
“If it is the deity’s will… then it is the deity’s bill to take care of you.” (page 336)
That doesn’t make any sense.
Navis rambles about how Speshul and Awesome and Amazing they both are, how they are creatures of the legendary, how the deity has blessed them, how they obviously are people of great faith as well as being totally unique and the greatest thing since sliced fucking bread.
“You are commuters…as I said, Spiritual Frontier Commuters.” (page 337)
Sometimes, I wonder how Tesch can write something like that and not realize how patently ridiculous it sounds.
Apparently, there was recently a convention of magicians and sorcerers, and they closed the gates to at least three Veils. And what that means is that as more Veils close, people might not be able to get from one world to the next.
Eventually, the conversation ends and they get down to business: Krimmy is being taken to the Glacier Palace, and the only way there is across an open plateau, which will be perfect to detect them. Joey sends a group of dragons back home, and takes a small group with him and Maya to rescue Krimmy.
Maya notices Count Navis eyeing Joey’s backpack and figures he’s trying to steal the Key. However, Joey has finally pulled his head out of his ass and Defender is strapped to his leg. So they wander off and circle around and watch as Navis grabs Joey’s backpack and roots through it but can’t find it. Joey comes back, but pretends he didn’t notice it, and launches into a two-page retelling of the story of the last guy who tried to steal Defender and Joey torched him and his compatriots and their eyes and tongues melted.
Apparently Navis isn’t impressed by this story, but he understands it. Which makes sense. But it seems Joey has learned to actually keep his supernatural weapons on him at all times, so I guess the past few chapters weren’t completely pointless. Tesch throws in a ‘And so it was…’ and off they go to try and rescue Krimmy.
Chapter Thirty-Nine – Dust Road to Notali
Krimmy and her captors are riding along and they hear some noises. So they all hide in the woods. It turns out to be a bunch of werewolves. Which, in Teschland, means men with wolf heads.
The group of werewolves stop and open up a wooden box, which has a couple beautiful black boys inside. They haul the boys out and tie them to a tree. Then they start building a big fire, and it’s pretty obvious they’re going to roast the boys and eat them.
I have to question the logic of taking the boys out of a box and then tying them to a tree. What’s the point, to let them air out a little? Doesn’t it make a little more sense to just leave them inside the box until you’re actually ready to cook them?
Anyway. Krimmy decides to rescue them. So she pulls the dagger from her belt – oh yeah, she has a dagger on her belt. Sure, she’s a prisoner being held by the minions of King Apollyon, but they don’t actually tie her up and they let her keep her weapons. Totally makes sense.
Krimmy crawls over to the boys tied to the tree which of course is off in the dark and nobody is even bothering to watch the prisoners, and she cuts them free and they all sneak off. Hooray!
The whole pack of werewolves were dizzy with despair as they looked paralyzed at the empty oak tree (page 346).
Dizzy with despair? They just lost their lunch. It might be annoying but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Also, they’re fucking werewolves. Why don’t they just follow the scent and track them all down?
Suddenly, they hear ravens croaking overhead. For unexplained reasons, this terrifies them, so they all take off.
We cut back to Maya and Joey, who are encountering difficulties in finding Krimmy.
We cut back to Krimmy, who is chilling out with the two boys, Jafar and Jahy. After a bit, they arrive at the city of Notali, which is where the Demon Apostle Krassus lives. Krassus asks them why they came here, and the group explains they didn’t want to cross the Plateau of Death because they’d be easily spotted by the dragons chasing after them. Which…astonishingly, makes a lot of sense. It’s almost like we have halfway competent villains for once.
Larivier and Krimmy chat. Larivier laughs like a hyena. They talk about whether death is sometimes better than life – Krimmy thinks it is, Larivier thinks it isn’t. Eventually, Larivier offers Krimmy a drink, which he spiked with roofies. She drinks it and falls into a delirium.
The false monk Larivier had drugged Krimhilda. He now used his manhood and took advantage of her as darkness fell over Notali, the city of evil (page 349).
Oh dear sweet merciful Jesus, I just read a Gloria Tesch rape scene.
Chapter Forty – The Convention
I am now drinking heavily to get that thought out of my head. I apologize if the rest of this sporking does not make any sense.
The first paragraph of this chapter is comedy gold, though:
Krassus, the Demon Apostle and the Duet of Evil, Gertrude and Larivier, as well as two dozen other sorcerers, magicians and witches from the Black Tower of Notali arrived with Princess Krimhilda at the Glacier Palace for the upcoming event, known as the CCC. The Chaos & Curse Convention of black magic (page 350).
Least intimidating name ever.
Plouton welcomes Krimmy and says she gets to live in the water park. Krimmy goes and sits by the waterfall and angsts for a bit. She sees some captive birds and this saddens her so she decides that she needs to rescue the birds.
Krimmy talks to the two black boys. Apparently, during their extremely long journey where they were traveling ON FOOT FOR MILES AND MILES they never had time to talk, so she wants to know what their story is. Jafar explains that Apollyon’s soldiers kidnapped all the young children in their village and took them to Notali and they were all given IQ tests and Jafar (my god, I just keep thinking of Aladdin) realized they were all going to be used to be in sorcerer schools and be like the rest of the children, who were all pale and walked around like zombies. Because kids from Maradonia know what zombies are.
Anyway, they both answered a lot of questions wrong on their IQ tests so they were sent to the kitchens and then they escaped and then they were caught by werewolves.
“You saved us by cutting us loose from that oak tree and now we are here. Thank you…our situation has improved.” (page 356)
Improved? They’re captives of King Apollyon, the embodiment of all that is evil! Sure, they’re not in the immediate danger of being eaten by werewolves, but compared to what Apollyon might do to them, being a werewolf lunch might seem like a blessing.
Krimmy angsts for a bit. The next day there’s a ceremony and suddenly…the Mehadim of Melissa shows up! He’s the Mehadim, from the city of Melissa. And he’s a fucking awesome sorcerer.
They all do some magic and it’s very impressive and Apollyon wants the Mehadim to work for him but the Mehadim is taking his magic show on tour in Ophir (aren’t they enemies?) first. But maybe later he’ll work for Apollyon. Finally the subject turns to Krimmy and Plouton explains that they can use Krimmy to trade for the Key. And…Apollyon doesn’t really give a fuck. He’s more interested in what’s for dinner.
This doesn’t really make sense. This is THE KEY TO THE UNDERWORLD. It has already been very clearly established how much Apollyon wants this back. Why doesn’t he care anymore?