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)

Yeah.

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.

Yeah.

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.

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Comment

  1. BettyCross on 3 March 2012, 23:06 said:

    I am posting these words from my hotel room at a convention full of real science fiction and fantasy writers. This stuff is … just awful. Too bad, because for a minute there we detected some authentic tension.

    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.

    Gloria still doesn’t know what a dimension is.

    Adding more and more powers to Maya and Joey doesn’t make them more interesting characters. It makes them boring because they’re always equal to every situation they get into.

  2. Sahgo on 4 March 2012, 00:06 said:

    This… is gloriously bad. I mean, it must be one of the funniest parts of the spork so far, both for the comments and the story’s content itself.

    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).

    I don’t know why, but I laughed so hard at this. Did Glo really read this part before moving on to the next paragraph? I mean… this is the point where, no matter how bad a writer you are, you realize that, gee, I dunno, maybe your characters are acting like complete morons for no reason whatsoever. The difference between this part and all the other parts of the story where they act like morons is that here she describes in detail why they’re being morons. It’s mind-boggling.

    Anyway, I laughed like I hadn’t in quite a while (and it’s 1 A.M., so my parents thought I was insane). Please, keep these coming.

  3. Requiem on 4 March 2012, 00:51 said:

    These characters have no common sense. Here’s their mistakes and what I would do if I was in their situation

    Mistakes Solutions

    Being in a dangerous land and forgetting your weapons/ keeping weapons with you at all times

    not rescuing your sibling when you are a master swordsman/ injure or kill guards, use them to find a way out of the castle

    not using your telepathic powers at first to gain another deus ex machina/ find a more original way to escape instead of making another deus ex machina like taking control of the guards minds

    not attempting to turn the people at the castle against their master which would provide adequate information and could potentially be allies/ use your telepathy to turn the guards against one another or do your wishes, bring them outside and make them surrender, gain a new base for conducting military assaults. If they have told Appollyon set a trap and send for reinforcements from Karthage and wherever else

    But I wouldn’t expect anything from these 2, they have proven themselves to be inept heroes and they’ve done so in all of the books.

  4. Fireshark on 4 March 2012, 01:56 said:

    Libertine has hands? Really? REALLY? REALLY? I’m sorry, but I’m probably going to be hung up on that forever. And don’t even get me started on where she was keeping that elixir.

    Also, why do we keep a new getting throwaway bad guy for every few chapters? Does Gloria just have Enemy ADD or something?

  5. Taku on 4 March 2012, 03:01 said:

    She has a parrot named Kukukaaka

    That’s not a good name for a parrot. It’s an even worse name for a kookaburra.

    “Kimoko […] Kimoko […] Kimoko”

    CANNOT STOP READINGKIMONO”.

    There’s not much else to say about this chapter, except…

    Dragon Crystal Pole

    heeheehee.

  6. LoneWolf on 4 March 2012, 04:51 said:

    Also, why do we keep a new getting throwaway bad guy for every few chapters?

    Because Maradonia always has a new surprise around every corner! This chapter was so exciting! I was so worried about Maya and Joey! I was so relieved when Dominatio touched Maya with his Crystal Pole!

  7. VikingBoyBilly on 4 March 2012, 10:38 said:

    How did Dominatio touch maya with his dragon crystal pole when they were communicating telepathically? Is it some sort of metaphor? How did Joey use the key to nuke the castle when he left it with Tarakann? I guess the dragons flew over to tarakann after they escaped the castle to pick it up?

  8. LoneWolf on 4 March 2012, 11:44 said:

    Dominatio did it though his Spiritual Mystical Wise Man Powers! And Tarakann picked up the key himself, since in the ‘Maradonia-Universe’ animals can do such things! It’s all part of the Creativity of Gloria Tesch, the Youngest novel writer in the World.

  9. Kurt on 4 March 2012, 12:30 said:

    Maya and Joey know that it’s important to take good care of yourself. That’s why they always remember to take a bath, have a good night’s sleep (when they forgot to warn Queen Dido about the assassination attempt), and go to the restroom (the Queen Dido incident, again). May I hope for an accidental misfire of Maya’s “balls of fire” while she’s in the restroom?

    Also, the bad guys don’t display any signs of common sense either. It’s like all inhabitants and visitors of Maradonia become cursed with terminal stupidity.

  10. prince O' Tea on 4 March 2012, 15:37 said:

    The dove has hands? Is Libertine friends with Latawnya, the Naughty Horse or something?

    It’s also pretty freaky how Maya makes no attempt to rescue her brother, and even better (or worse) yet, locks him in a cell with a bunch of angry soldiers who are probably keen to use their Dragon Crystal Poles on him.

    Maya is actually more of a sociopath then her brother nowadays.

  11. BettyCross on 4 March 2012, 19:17 said:

    locks him in a cell with a bunch of angry soldiers who are probably keen to use their Dragon Crystal Poles on him.

    Scary. Maya must have some secret grudge against her bro.

  12. LoneWolf on 5 March 2012, 12:56 said:

    That’s the beauty, of the Maradonia-Saga! It always allows multiple points of view and reader interpretations!

  13. swenson on 5 March 2012, 13:27 said:

    I know this is an almost constant thing throughout these books, but I really think this is the biggest Idiot Ball Maya and Joey have held throughout the entire series. They just conveniently leave all of their supernatural equipment behind for no reason whatsoever, other than plot. And somehow, they also leave behind any sense of tactical thinking, combat training, mystical powers aside from magical equipment… oy. They really screwed up on that one.

    Also, Dragon Crystal Pole is my new favorite euphemism now. Euphemism for what, you ask? Everything.

    “So I was at the grocery store today, and who do you suppose I saw? The, ahem, Dragon Crystal Pole himself!”

    “Did you see that Dragon Crystal Pole over there, heheh?”

    “His, heh, Dragon Crystal Pole isn’t very impressive.”

    You can interpret those sentences however you like. And yes, you have to giggle like a six-year-old every time you say it.

    (tee-hee-hee, she said Dragon Crystal Pole!)

  14. Zurvan on 5 March 2012, 19:48 said:

    Well, at least those soldiers gave Joey a long-deserved spanking. This pleases me.

  15. Prince O' Tea on 5 March 2012, 22:26 said:

    They gave him a spanking.

    With their…

    Dragon Crystal Poles. Because all of the soldiers were named Bubba. (Hey, it’s less weird then naming a villain Brawn Brandon or Tough Robbie).

  16. Kurt on 6 March 2012, 06:53 said:

    Thanks for making me laugh. There’s a drawing of the Dragon Crystal Pole in Gold of Ophir. Should I scan it for you?

    Also, another filthy quote from Book 2, where Gloria calls the pole a staff:

    Maya’s heart was barely beating and her breathing became all but undetectable. She was sailing with Prince Michael through the atmosphere… her left hand longing for the staff of Master Dominatio. (p. 507)

  17. BettyCross on 6 March 2012, 10:01 said:

    If Master Dominatio has all these powers, why doesn’t he take on Abaddon and Abaddon’s minions himself?

  18. swenson on 6 March 2012, 11:42 said:

    Oh, please please please please scan the picture. I can’t wait to see this.

    @Betty – because that would make sense. It’s like, you know how some fantasy worlds seem to make no sense from our perspective, but they have their own internal logic? Maradonia is exactly the same way, only its internal logic is simply “cannot make any sense whatsoever”. So if it makes no sense, it will happen in Maradonia; if it does make sense, then it is clearly impossible. Very simple.

  19. LoneWolf on 6 March 2012, 12:38 said:

    If Master Dominatio has all these powers, why doesn’t he take on Abaddon and Abaddon’s minions himself?
    Because Destiny says that Maya and Joey should fight them!

  20. VikingBoyBilly on 6 March 2012, 13:09 said:

    I’m sorry, but, who, or what, is Tarakaan? This character must have slipped past me in the last chapters because it’s another forgettable maradonian whose purpose for existence is to serve Maya and Joey.

  21. swenson on 6 March 2012, 13:42 said:

    After extensive study (read: I used the tags to find all the other Law of Blood sporks, hit CTRL+F, and typed in “Tarakann”), I have determined that Tarakann is probably a dragon. S/he/it has been mentioned precisely twice before in this spork, once in company with Emoogie, who I actually do remember as being a dragon (the two of them overheard some plot by some traitors or whatever), and thte other time in conjunction with Joey and fighting the Rawkens.

    I suspect this Tarakann person showed up in the previous book somewhere, but as usual, I certainly don’t care enough to go find out.

  22. Kurt on 6 March 2012, 15:12 said:

    I have determined that Tarakann is probably a dragon.

    Indeed. Tarakann is male dragon, serving the kingdom of Tyronia. He has no defining personal traits, just as one would expect from GTesch.

    Here’s Momma Tesch’s vision of Master Dominatio with his Dragon Crystal Pole:

  23. swenson on 6 March 2012, 15:16 said:

    Huh. That’s not at all what I expected it to look like. I figured the “dragon” part was just another of Glo’s strange and out-of-place descriptors and that it was really a pole made out of crystals from the dragons, not an actual pole with a dragon made out of crystal on it. Interesting.

    Also, Master What’s-his-face looks rather like a hobo. Then again, most wise mentors (or whatever he’s supposed to be) look like hobos.

  24. LoneWolf on 6 March 2012, 15:30 said:

    “Tarakan” is Russian for “cockroach”, BTW.

  25. Requiem on 6 March 2012, 15:45 said:

    Looks like gandalf with a dragon staff.

    I wonder if these characters will ever get into an immovable mountain and unstoppable force conundrum. All of them have deus ex machina and are overpowered to such an extent that i’m thinking they’ll have a hard time just trying to kill each other.

  26. Kurt on 6 March 2012, 17:24 said:

    I wonder if these characters will ever get into an immovable mountain and unstoppable force conundrum.

    Nah. Gloria tends to forget about special powers when her “plot” demands it. It would be fun to see a sibling fight between Maya and Joey, though.

  27. Prince O' Tea on 6 March 2012, 18:49 said:

    Oh wow, that thing looks like the most uncomfortable marital aid ever.

    Also…

    Yeah I think Maya is going to try and kill Joey soon. She’s become increasingly murderous and sociopathic in the last two books, even by Joey’s standards. Setting her little brother up to get gang-poked by Crystal Dragon Poles is just the latest in her jumping off the slippery slope and into Sociopathland.

  28. WulfRitter on 7 March 2012, 04:26 said:

    Here’s Momma Tesch’s vision of Master Dominatio with his Dragon Crystal Pole:

    Hmm . . . he looks strikingly like the skeevy meth-man who lives down the street from me. I would not want somebody who looks like Skeevy Meth-Man touching me with his Dragon Crystal Pole.

  29. Prince O' Tea on 7 March 2012, 17:42 said:

    Looks like your Goldie Cape is in another castle.

    Also was there a point to Kinmoku and her parrot? I mean if this was an rpg, a character who dies that quickly probably wouldn’t even be given their own NPC portrait.

  30. VikingBoyBilly on 7 March 2012, 20:58 said:

    Oh, okay. So Joey was able to use the key when the dragons came for them even though they left it with Tarakaan because Tarakaan IS the dragon. It sure was nice of him to lug their backpacks to them when he rushed to rescue them.

    Dominatio being able to touch maya with his dragon crystal pole when he’s not even in the room still doesn’t make sense, though.

  31. BettyCross on 7 March 2012, 22:05 said:

    Dominatio’s dragon crystal pole has the power to transcend time and space. But despite that, he can’t fight Apollyon himself. He has to use Maya and Joey, because that’s what Gloria wants.

  32. Minoan Ferret on 8 March 2012, 00:22 said:

    So… does that mean Libertine’s a Lugia? They (it?) have hands/wings.

  33. BettyCross on 9 March 2012, 09:00 said:

    We’ve seen pictures of Libertine in the earlier books of the series and she isn’t shown with hands.

  34. Pryotra on 9 March 2012, 09:22 said:

    It would be fun to see a sibling fight between Maya and Joey, though.

    Who would win? I mean, they’re both Sues, so they’d both be pulling out new powers every five seconds and refusing to die. So I guess it would mean whoever is the biggest Sue…

    Probably Maya since she’s obviously Glo’s self insert.

  35. BettyCross on 9 March 2012, 11:20 said:

    It would be fun to see a sibling fight between Maya and Joey, though.

    Well, Gloria’s said Joey is based on Jonathan her brother (the skater), so if they did it would cause problems in the family.

  36. Catflap on 23 March 2012, 02:01 said:

    “Dragon Crystal Poles. Because all of the soldiers were named Bubba. (Hey, it’s less weird then naming a villain Brawn Brandon or Tough Robbie).”

    1. The cons – sorry, soldiers – must be in the Ohio State Pen, along with Tough Robbie. And now, Joey. The DCP looks ideal for Orifice Invasion.
  37. Catflap on 6 June 2012, 01:31 said:

    The whole thing sounds utterly trippy. Vintage GT