FangQuest, Chapter 2

 

As we start the second chapter, entitled “Another Stone,” Blackfang shows the others the surprisingly lengthy note—only after which do they react with anger, which makes little sense since the note itself isn’t that infuriating.

Blast decides that this would be the perfect opportunity for some weapon porn. Honestly, it rivals any given clothing porn segment of My Immortal. I would have skipped the two pages completely, had two details (other than a squirrel easily carrying a battle-ax) caught my eye, both regarding Mibs. First of all, why does he talk in a mangled version of Brian Jacques’ “Sparra speak?” It’s even less intelligible, spelling-wise. Secondly, his anatomy confuses me. I’ve already established that I have no idea how big he is, and am just assuming he’s big enough to stand at least waist-high to the wolves instead of small enough to fit in their mouths. However, how does he wear a breastplate? And how does he hold a dagger? Okay, let’s say he holds the dagger in his talons (though that still doesn’t explain the breastplate). How does he draw it, then? Hell, does he just have hands instead of wings?

Better yet, Mark and Ken have become fully conscious again and have joined them. We now have eight characters traveling together. None of them have any form of personality—unless you count occupation, species, or funetik aksent (that’s “phonetic accent,” for those of you who are trying to figure out what the hell I just typed) as personality types. Even worse, a lot of the names are similar. I’m having problems right now telling any of the wolves apart, other than “younger wolves with ridiculous names” and “older wolves with surprisingly out-of-place names.”

They leave the forge and go to the den, placing the green stone in a hole that fits it perfectly. Somehow, they never noticed this hole before. Also, they evidently never noticed that there was somehow six feet of missing space in their house. Or that the six missing feet were because of a stairway that led to a vast series of catacombs. I don’t know what the floors are made of, but wouldn’t it be apparent somehow that there was some sort of hollow space beneath your house? Wouldn’t it let in drafts?

Inside the catacombs, they find lit torches. Because they, you know, stay lit for so long. And if someone came by to relight them, there’s no way they would have ever heard their claws clacking on that stone staircase.

Beyond that, they find a garden that has the magical properties of not needing sunlight to grow and being able to survive intense heat at close proximity. See, there’s magma that’s somehow in fountains. There also happens to be warm springs that flow into them. I’m not entirely sure what this weird, messed up garden looks like. I’m sure the heroes don’t either, since there’s a thick fog all around the garden, which is naturally obscuring their view. Wait, my mistake, they can see it perfectly.

Well, perhaps I spoke too soon about the torches. They stay lit because they’re evidently “magic” and change colors when people walk by. Color coded for your convenience, folks! This is, along with the whole “changing eye color” thing, never explained, and probably only happens because our author thought that reading a book is like watching a movie. Which it isn’t.

Then a wildcat in a cape named Ryrock the Clichéd Title comes and says something along the lines of “Hello, nice to meet you. I knew Blackfang (none of the others are worth mentioning by name) when he was young, so I’ll start this reunion by challenging two of you to violent combat!”

Marina and Barkfur (oh, look both the females in the group. Somehow significant?) do the sensible thing and ponder what the hell is going on. But only long enough for them to ponder. They jump into the fray in this awkwardly worded one-sentence paragraph:

“The huge cat fled to the garden with Barkfur and Marinia hard on his heels, the two of them were drawn to the challenge as if by an unseen force, though the big cat and the previous events of that night confused them and made them almost reconsider leaping into a foggy pit in a place they had no idea existed until just a few minutes before.”

At this point, yet another proportion/scale mystery comes into play. Evidently, a mountain lion, probably about six feet tall standing in this universe, is able to wield a sword that’s seven feet long. Seven. Really. I am not making this up. His sword is bigger than he is, and he wields it effortlessly.

While this battle rages, those on the sidelines have a little discussion with Blackfang that goes something like this.

“Hey, Blackfang, your eyes are green!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Yeah-huh!”

“Nuh-uh!”

“Accent that looks like a bunch of typos.”

“Well, shit. They are green. Whaddya know. Probably my necklace.”

And they never do come to the conclusion why.

We switch back to the fight, which we find out isn’t a friendly little fight at all. That’s right: they’ve been trying to fucking kill each other. If you don’t believe me, it explicitly states “Marina and Barkfur went in for the kill” at one point.

Naturally, Marina and Barkfur win with absolutely no prior training. Also, Ryrock can evidently teleport. After he disappears in a swirl of fog, he leaves behind another note and two parts of a stone. Unlike Dirtsnow, Ryrock at least was probably able to write his note beforehand. Also unlike Dirtsnow, he must have some form of psychic powers, as he somehow knew beforehand Blackfang would have the green stone.

The “Slayers’ Blade” (I am not making this up) is vaguely alluded to, and the stones are given the incredibly cool-sounding (by which I mean lame-sounding) title “Powerstones” (capital P). The women both get part of the Red Powerstone, which gives the wearer strength. I’m sensing some sort of feminism subtext to this, though I can’t tell if that’s intentional or not. Also, Blackfang’s Green Powerstone apparently lets him change into any creature. I would personally choose human, so that I wouldn’t have to worry how I’m holding a sword without opposable thumbs.

Puzzlingly, the stones can evidently be split into multiple parts and still retain all their power. Why they don’t just split all the stones so that they all have all the powers is beyond me. It would make more sense, honestly.

While Mibs decides that his accent now wants to change completely so it sounds like baby-talk, Barkfur and Blackfang marvel at how the Powerstones give their eyes the power to change color. After all, Barkfur asserts, “Ryrock said they were Powerstones.” Emphasis on the word “Powerstones.” Because things that work just like colored contacts are so powerful.

Blackfang establishes himself as leader, despite the fact that we have no indication that he’s qualified, other than he was the first to get his stones. Er, Stone. Yes, the singular is what I meant.

Barkfur tells Marina that Ryrock wanted her to have one of the half-stones, even though Marina was, you know, there when they found the note, so both she and the reader already know this. Blackfang watches the exchange, ending the chapter with the very “profound” statement, “another stone, another mystery.”

Next chapter: Mibs’ accent changes yet again, an ancestry that none of Blackfang’s siblings seems to share, and a stag who can somehow hold things in his hoofs.

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Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 10:43 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I won’t say much to that. I’ll just let this, this and this sink in.

  2. Aw, I think wordpress has spam-marked my original comment…

    • Fixed. I don’t think it liked all the links.


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