Chapter Three – A Bloody Battle
Bertha spots Joey and orders Brawn Brandon and Tough Robby to focus on Joey and his dragon.
Dozens of Rawkens swarmed around and attacked King Joey and Tarakann, but the fire spewing dragon consumed and kept most of the Rawkens away (page 21).
Which is exactly how I predicted a fight between Rawkens and dragons would go. Here’s my question: if one dragon can keep dozens of Rawkens at bay merely by being a living flamethrower, why aren’t all of the dragons doing this?
Joey jumps aboard his dragon and they start flying, Joey dual-wielding his sword and dagger and hacking Rawkens apart. However, despite their best efforts, the Rawkens continue to keep blinding dragons.
King Joey, swinging Adar Cory across the fast passing Rawkens thought, ‘This is not good! No…not good at all! We are in the middle of an absolutely nasty battle…But again, is there such a thing as a nice battle?’ (page 22)
Not really. On the other hand, in the middle of a frenetic aerial dogfight while you’re sitting on the back of a fire-breathing dragon, duel-wielding edged weapons against an army of flying pit bulls, do you really have time to think poetic thoughts like this? I posit that you do not.
A couple Rawkens land on Joey’s shoulders. One of them tries to rip open Joey’s artery while the other tries to tear out his eye. But the scales on the back of the neck from the Morgana adventure protect him. And….uh….what protected his eye? And the other 85% of his neck not protected by these scales?
The battle is not going well, though, because Tesch says it isn’t. Finally Joey relents, pulls out the Key, and starts blasting away.
Many Rawken warriors were hit and exploded as fire balls in mid air as two mountain dragons flew by accident into the laser beams and also exploded (page 25).
Nice job, Joey, murdering your countrymen. Also, why is the Key causing things to explode? It’s a cross between a phaser and a flamethrower and a lightsaber. None of those things make dragons explode.
However, even that isn’t making a difference, because….I don’t know. But then Joey orders a retreat back to the mountain. The dragons grumble as they go back, but once they land Joey pulls out the Key again and starts mowing through the Rawkens like nobody’s business. Apparently he wasn’t able to do this while flying around, but he is able to do it while standing on a mountain. That makes a very, very small amount of sense, but not really. Sure, it’s a lot easier to aim and shoot straight when you’re on solid ground, but the Key is not a precision weapon. You wave that thing in the general direction of your enemies and you turn them into Maradonia Fried Chicken.
Bertha orders a retreat as Joey picks off the last of the stragglers. Everyone is happy, even Danny, who is badly wounded. So are many other dragons.
Anger escaped from King Joey’s mouth (page 28)
I’m not sure if that’s actually physically impossible. Also, please show, don’t –
Joey furrowed his eyebrows. He grabbed his sword and slammed the tip into the dirt as he let out an angry gruff through his teeth! (page 28)
– tell. Also, when you show, don’t make it utterly ridiculous. And what the hell is a ‘gruff’?
Everyone is cheering and happy because of the dramatic victory….except for Joey. Because Joey believes that using the Key was actually a mistake:
Joey felt that the real winner of the battle over the Strait of Tyronia was none other than King Apollyon himself (page 29).
Because of course, God forbid that one of the Heroes actually be mistaken about anything. No, the Heroes are Always Right about Fucking Everything.
Also….and this might just be me…if you think that using the Key is going to fuck you over in the long run, don’t use the goddamn Key.
Chapter Four – Two Coffins
Everyone in Tyronia is absolutely ecstatic about the victory and a huge parade is organized. Joey is very tired and complains about this to Emoogie:
“Emoogie, I am very tired! I feel so sore… please tell me, what’s going on here? I have never seen these women before! Are they dead or what…? Or is this another Tyronian tradition I am not familiar with? Please tell me… I also need my bodyguards or an arm bearer to help me carry these heavy weapons.” (pages 32-33)
Good lord. Nut up or shut up, Joey.
“These two women are twins…Izusa and Tanika! Born at the same day!” (page 33)
Which for twins, is actually more common than you’d think.
Apparently, the twin sisters were the keepers of an ancient book known as the Necromanus. Fair enough. Some people show up and seat Joey on a cushion and get him some green tea to drink. Joey sips his drink and exposits that the book can pretty much tell the future, unfortunately, the book has been destroyed. Right?
Chapter Five – The Missing Children
Everyone wants to know who is in these coffins. Speculation runs wild. Some people talk about how Terrible Trudy, the evil fairy, and her three daughters, called Halflings – wait, Halflings? Why not just call them Hobbits, Tesch?
Joey is confused by this, because he’s heard that the spirits can’t reproduce like humans, they can only recruit others to follow in their dark footsteps. I don’t feel like going back to check on whether or this has actually been established, because I don’t care enough.
Tesch rambles for a while and eventually gets back to the story. Apparently the bad guys attacked the library to steal the books and they threw the two priestesses down a hill, which normally would have killed them, but the deity (King Roach, i.e. God) decided to keep them alive and put them in a coma instead of just…I dunno, healing them? Anyway, Joey can awake them from their sleep by touching them with the tip of his sword (not that sword you perverts), reciting a ‘magical aphorism’ and then kissing their forehead. The aphorism, if you will, is very long, random, and nonsensical. But Joey does all three and surprise! The women wake up. What do you know, exactly like it was prophesied.
The sisters ramble for a bit and they both try to take the blame for fucking things up. They mention that the Powers of Evil (who Believe in Teamwork) have been kidnapping children to involve them with Necromancy. Joey perks up and mentions that back in the day, he recalls a village that Apollyon’s men would frequently raid back in the first book.
Chapter Six – The Book Necromanus
Joey thinks, and nothing happens. So he closes his eyes and concentrates on his inner man. I’m dead serious:
King Joey closed his eyes and concentrated on the voice of the inner man as he usually did in similar situation (page 45).
Joey can see the priestesses in their real form, which is pretty ugly. They have wings, scales, goat horns, shark teeth, and yellow fangs the size of Joey’s finger.
Joey asks them some questions about missing children. You see, Apollyon’s soldiers have been kidnapping children and sending them to the Education Camp, the Castle, or the Dark Tower of Knowledge.
“We know that for a very long time that the Demon Apostle Krassus is the ruler of that region and that the Duet of Evil, the doorkeeper Larivier and the fairy Gertrude with her Half bloods are part of the school for sorcerers, witches and necromancers.” (page 46)
Wait a second. Krassus, the Demon Apostle? Why does that name sound familiar?
Oh yeah. That would be why.
Also…the Duet of Evil?
Joey asks the sisters if they just want the Necromanus or are they wanting help from Tyronia to punish the thieves and recover the book. The sisters say they want both. Joey says to come back in a few days and they’ll think about it, but he’s unable to make any commitments because his army needs time to recover from the battle they just fought, which is reasonable. One of the sisters, Tanika, says that it will be very easy to recover the book. And suddenly Joey turns into even more of an asshole:
“Hahahahaha…A very easy task? You crack me up!” Joey was laughing so hard that he nearly fell from his chair. The twins stared silently and remained quiet…
“An easy task?!? What is any easy task in this World?” King Joey replied and suddenly became very unpleasant, lowered the tone of his voice and continued sarcastically, “Are you kidding me? Do you really think that it is an easy task to cross the High Plateau of Death, the remote wastelands of Terra Mili, the territory of King Apollyon?” (page 48)
Now, I agree with what Joey is saying – these sisters are probably nuts. But does he really need to be such a jerk about it? He’s the king, sad to say, and with that comes a slight responsibility to be mature and not respond sarcastically when people ask for things.
Izusa and Tanika grew more and more uneasy. With synchronic movements they turned their heads, waved their arms, and rolled their eyes (page 48)
They’re able to do all three things in perfect synchronization?
“You don’t understand…King Joey! We have to protect these kids from reading and learning about that book because it will consume them over time. This book will swallow any uneducated reader and will eat them alive!” (page 48)
Protecting the children from being consumed? This is the Necromanus, not Harry Potter. Of course, it turns out that this book actually does have demons inside it. They live by the law of blood…to survive, they suck the life out of anyone who reads it. Plus, if someone who’s very powerful gets hold of the book, they could release all the demons who could then destroy all of the Seven Kingdoms. Wait, there are seven kingdoms? There’s Maradonia, Tyronia, and Gorgonia….and Karthago, I guess. And the Powers of Evil. Then again, they believe in teamwork, so maybe there’s three of them. I guess that makes seven.
Joey asks the dragon Emoogie what he thinks. Emoogie says that one of these days, they’ll probably need to help the sisters out. Which doesn’t really make sense. Either you think the sisters are full of shit, and you don’t help them, or you believe them, which means you believe that pretty much at any time someone could bust the demons out of this book and destroy the entire known world. Which means it should probably be a priority.