Cry of the Wolf

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 12: Baby Blues

Adriane and Drake are about to be attacked by a 10-foot-tall pig-headed monster when Zach literally swoops down on a vine and does some impressive hack-and-slash action. He just showed up to take Drake back to the Fairy Glen and give Adriane some food, but going back may not be such a great idea when a patrol of orcs (those aforementioned giant pig-headed things) is nearby. The party dives into a cave and waits for the orcs to leave. Adriane even makes a little decoy Drake to distract the enemies.

But then the egg hatches.

…Wow, nothing really happened here, either. I apologize for promising something more interesting today when VERY LITTLE OCCURRED.

Status Update!
Adriane learned Decoy!
Drake hatched!
Zach rejoined the party!

Next time: something more interesting happens — I promise.

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Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 11: Fetch Quests Suck

Adriane lands in a dead forest somewhere near those mountains she was trying to reach earlier in the book. She contacts Stormbringer, and manages to get a hold of Moonshadow again. Moonshadow still distrusts Adriane, but is willing to give her until moonsrise (there’s two moons over Aldenmor) to deliver the Fairy Map to the pack.

Adriane sets off, but soon discovers that Drake followed her. After some more walking, thinking about the Generic Fantasy Prophecy, and bad rock puns (I THOUGHT WE WERE DONE WITH THEM!), Adriane decides to take a nap. Drake wakes her up later, trembling with fear because OH NOES ENEMIES ARE NEAR!

…Yeah, nothing really happened here. And the only difference between editions was that the pack has upwards of a hundred members in the revision, instead of fifty or so.

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane’s Wolf Stone glows crimson, not amber, when sensing danger.

Next time: Something more interesting happens.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 10: Everything Comes in Threes

You may have noticed that I haven’t been quoting from the book as often, or pointing out changes between editions as much as I normally do. That’s because there’s very few changes in the new edition of this book. But today that’s going to change.

So Adriane finds Zach, who’s hanging out in his Swiss Family Robinson treehouse hideout, which is actually a semi-sentient tree called Okawa. Zach finally tells Adriane his backstory: his parents (Alexander and the embarrassingly-named Graziela) were human magic researchers living on Aldenmor who were killed by a manticore when Zach was a baby. The mistwolf pack found Zach and raised him as one of their own. However, one of the mistwolves (Moonshadow, of course) didn’t really like Zach, so Zach decided to perform a brave-yet-stupid feat to get the pack’s approval: hunt the manticore that killed his parents! It doesn’t go well: all the wolves in his hunting party, including Silver Eyes, the pack leader, get captured by said manticore.

Zach is exiled, and is eventually found by elves, who bring him to the Fairimentals. The Fairimentals hire Zach to be their scout, so they can learn more about the magical nuclear holocaust going on in the Shadowlands … which brings us to the present.

Zach’s now totally cool with Adriane going off to find Stormbringer, so he runs off to pay his final respects to Wind Dancer. Since we don’t see the actual ceremony, I’m going to assume a funeral pyre’s involved (because there’s always a pyre at a fantasy funeral). So here’s three awesome funeral rites involving pyres for your consideration:

Adriane heads off to find Stormbringer, but instead is stopped by the Fairimentals. Adriane asks them a few questions, such as What am I doing here? Was the wolf stone meant for me? What kind of warrior [am I]? Of course, the Fairimentals ask some of their own, like: What is sacred to you? Why did you come to Aldenmor? This eventually culminates into Gwigg telling Adriane the Prophecy of Three (because all fantasy books and games need a stupid prophecy):

Gwigg swept around Adriane, leaving three symbols made of twigs at her feet: a line, a cross, and a circle.

“Three will be tested,” the rough voice said. “One will follow her heart.” A light flashed along the line. “One will see in darkness.” The cross pulsed. “And one will change, utterly and completely.” The circle flashed. “This is the Prophecy of Three.”

As you may have noticed, there were originally symbols that went along with the prophecy. Oddly enough, references to them still exist in the revised edition, most obviously in Secret of the Unicorn. The prophecy is supposed to describe the trials that the three mages who will find Avalon have to overcome, but like any typical fantasy prophecy, the heroes totally misinterpret it — but more on that later.

Anyway, Adriane is told to find Avalon and follow her heart, and is given a Fairy Map that she has to deliver to the mistwolves so they may follow their own destiny or whatever. Which begs the question: if the Fairimentals just have Fairy Maps lying around, can’t they give Adriane a new one to replace the one Kara lost? That way they could find Avalon faster and “cure the sadness” and whatever else they’re prophesied to do!

Whatever. Adriane bids the Fairimentals and Drake the Dragon Egg farewell and leaps through a portal.

Status Update!
Adriane obtained: Fairy Map!

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane doesn’t tell Zach that the party’s magic works better when Kara is around.
  • Ambia tells Adriane to follow “her path” instead of “her heart”.

Next time: Adriane gets unexpected followers.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 9: The Fairy Glen

Adriane, Zach, Rocky, and Wind Dancer limp their way to the Anvil, which is kinda like Niagara Falls, except it’s bigger and not a tourist trap. Hidden within the waterfalls is a portal that leads to the Moorgroves, a major elf settlement. (Hmm … so the Anvil is better than Niagara Falls: instead of standing in two places at once, you can travel halfway across the world. That’s hella awesome.) Past the Moorgroves, the party flies through another nearby portal that spits them out in the Fairy Glen.

Unfortunately, not everyone makes it: Wind Dancer dies from his wounds (and possibly from severe radiation poisoning). Adriane tries to cast Heal, even though she’s a warrior mage and not a healer mage and thus can’t cast Heal. The sparkletastic rainbow flowers in the Glen aren’t effective, either.

So, RIP Wind Dancer: you were awesome for like 4 chapters.

Then the Fairimentals — Ambia the Air Fairimental, Marina the Water Fairimental, and Gwigg the Earth Fairimental — materialize and try to console the party. They tell Zach that Wind Dancer’s spirit is now a part of the magic now (so wait … magic in Avalon is like the Lifestream in Final Fantasy VII?), but not to worry — he succeeded in recovering the Drake! And the Drake is none other than Rocky, which is the egg of the amazingly-rare Red Crystal Dragon! Said dragon imprints on the first person it lays eyes on, so it’s a good thing the party got it and not the Sorceress.

Except Zach doesn’t like dragons, because they’re mean and scary. Oh, and he doesn’t like that the friend Adriane is searching for is a mistwolf, because he kinda had a falling out with the pack. Zach storms off, and Adriane follows….

Of note: when Zach learns that Adriane’s sparkly rock is a Wolf Stone, he says that it’s a Wolf Stone, implying that there’s probably other Wolf Stones out there. So are there only limited types of Sparkly Rocks?

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • The Fairimentals don’t apologize for Wind Dancer’s death.

Next time: Adriane learns a Typical RPG Prophecy.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 8: It’s a Trap!

Zach returns after Adriane’s brief, one-sided talk with Moonshadow, and gets kinda pissed at Adriane’s use of magic. Since Aldenmor is rife with magic tracking beasties, casting spells willy-nilly isn’t a Good Idea.

And speaking of magic, the dragonflies show up and give Adriane a hand-drawn map (well, paw-drawn, because Ozzie made it) to the Fairy Glen, the center of Aldenmor’s magic. Hopefully the Fairimentals, who live there, can help Adriane find Stormbringer and return home, right? But Zach rips up the map, citing that enemies could take it.

Yeah, dick move right there.

Anyway, a horde of gargoyles is now surrounding the valley; they tracked Rocky, the Uber-Magical Egg of Unknown Origin. The party’s now trapped and getting hit by balls of unearthly green fire. Luckily, Adriane sees a way out: she uses Telekinesis to make a bunch of boulders fall on the gargoyles, allowing the party to escape.

Victory is short lived, though: the surviving gargoyles follow the party and attack! Adriane casts many Magic Missiles, and Zach uses his bad-ass sword to hack-and-slash at the gargoyles. They eventually kill them all, but their escape comes at a price: Wind Dancer is gravely injured, poisoned by the gargoyles’ irradiated claws. Zach has the bright idea to head to the Fairy Glen, where the Fairimentals could heal him. But wait — did he just rip up the map earlier? Not to worry — Zach knows the way there, so they didn’t need the map in the first place!

Still, Zach is kinda a dick for a) ripping up the map, and b) not telling Adriane he knew where the Fairy Glen was until after the battle.

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane’s Wolf Stone glows red, not amber, when detecting danger.
  • Adriane doesn’t cry when she wishes Emily was around to cast Heal on Wind Dancer.
  • Zach says that the gargoyles “want [the egg] bad” instead of “[the egg] is important enough to risk a full-scale war”.

Next time: Adriane learns what’s inside the egg.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 7: It Wasn’t a Rock!

Jewel Riders fans: if you were wondering where the hell all the references to the show were hiding, you’re in luck. This chapter has a few.

So Adriane and Rocky get saved by some dude (Zachariah, henceforth called Zach) and his griffin (Wind Dancer). Zach’s never met another human before, especially a female, so there’s some awkward poking around (be glad this is a children’s book!) before Adriane learns the truth. There isn’t much time for commiseration, though: the party’s being tracked by something nasty. Zach pilots Wind Dancer through the Serpent’s Teeth, a treacherous gorge full of spikes and mist and other hazards. If this sounds familiar to a Jewel Riders fan, that’s because it’s totally a reference to this scene from the episode “Travel Trees Can’t Dance”, where Gwenevere and Sunstar fly through an equally treacherous gorge full of spikes and other hazards (first minute or so only):

Anyway, the party safely arrives in a very pretty — and not irradiated — valley. Zach gives Adriane some food, and Adriane washes Rocky in a nearby stream. Adriane immediately finds out that Rocky is actually a stunningly beautiful speckled rock, and not a boring brown possibly-irradiated rock. There’s a scene similar to this is the Jewel Riders episode “Shadowsong”, in which Tamara washes the titular Shadowsong upon first meeting him and discovers he’s a blue and purple-striped unicorn. (Sorry for the lack of video: there’s no clips on YouTube. Check out the full episode on Kidlet, or just take my word for it.)

Oh, but Rocky isn’t a rock! It’s a rock lobster magic egg of some sort! No wonder everyone wants it!

After Zach goes on about his parents dying when he was little and being raised by a bunch of animals, he runs off to put the food away. Adriane takes this opportunity to contact Stormbringer again. At least Moonshadow has the courtesy to tell Adriane why she’s not invited in the mistwolf pack: a human killed the former pack leader!

But wait! Isn’t Zach the only human on Aldenmor? Dun-dun-dun!

Next time: Adriane finally gets in touch with the rest of the party.

Cry of the Wolf, Chapter 6: But What About the Mammoths?

Adriane and Rocky run (or roll) up and down hills in the Shadowlands, and make so many bad rock puns that I nearly throw the book down in disgust and consider quitting this project. Seriously, I hate what passes for humor in this series: it’s either bad puns or dryly-described physical comedy. None of it sticks with me, and it detracts from the story — as in, it makes me stop reading and say, “Wait, that was supposed to be funny?”

But enough of my ranting. Instead, you can see a Rocky training montage, free of rock jokes.

Unfortunately, instead of jumping up in victory at the top of the next hill, Adriane and Rocky find a valley full of rivers of Black Fire (wait, it’s some sort of glowing green goo now?) and hundreds of dead wooly mammoth-things. The party takes a brief moment to wonder what kind of bitch would kill herds of mammoths, and then they attempt to navigate the valley.

But wait! Those imps that Scorge summoned finally arrive, and they’re none too friendly. Adriane learns the hard way that, no matter how many Magic Missiles she fires, the imps just reform. Oh, and did I mention that she’s totally surrounded by magical radioactive waste?

Luckily for Adriane, some dude flies in on a griffin and has the courtesy to save her and Rocky. He hates imps, apparently, so he must be a good guy.

Status Update!
Adriane learned Shield!
Some new guy and his griffin joins the party!

EDIT: Changes in the e-book edition

  • Adriane’s Wolf Stone glows crimson, not orange, when she detects danger.

Next time: Adriane learns that her new party members are not what they seem.