Book 7 - The Crimson Storm - Chapter 9: Questions About Answers

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httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013

I did say that I was going to post a chapter within the next couple of days when I posted last week's chapter.  Well, those couple of days turned into this week's chapter.  But I still felt I needed to do a chapter for this week.


So, here is either the chapter for this week and yesterday being the bonus chapter, or vice versa.


Hope you all enjoy the chapter!


Rest in Peace NarixuZen.  2004-2017

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track


The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links


Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies


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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.


The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2


The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!


Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2


On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36


The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46


The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51


Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth


The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
That moment when you are tired enough & think you post but don't

The Crimson Storm


Chapter 9

Questions About Answers


         Not knowing how much time has passed, I begin to wake up.  I hear the clanking of metal.  I also have a headache.  My arms are already above my head, so I try to reach for my head, something hinders my hand from going any further than a couple of inches.

         Barely out loud, I whisper, “What?”

         Blinking and giving my head a shake to wake up, I take in my surroundings.

         A girl says, “He’s finally awake.  Took you long enough.”

         Another girl says, whose voice is familiar, “I told you he was going to be the last one to wake up.  He almost always is.”

         The second voice is Annabeth’s.  Fully awake now, though even after getting awake I still feel drowsy, I am completely aware of my surroundings.  There is a rock to the room that is constant, so that denotes to me we are in the hold of a ship.  Just noticing the scent of salt water also makes be believe we are on a ship.  The new girl is to my right, Annabeth is to my left.  There are sockets around our wrists with a chain linking each socket.  Each of our arms are above our heads.  The chain is threaded through a metal loop up and then back down to the next socket.  By pulling down on my end of the socket, it pulls up on the other’s socket.  The socket is bigger than the loop, so it catches and I can only put my arms down to about ninety degrees, perpendicular to my body, but only at a strain to the viking next to me.

         Where we are, it does not look like it is supposed to be jail or anything.  The metal loops look to be for holding tools of some kind because around us are various tools for fighting and farming, which is odd.

         “Not what I was expecting,” I observe.

         “Neither was I,” the girl said.  “You sleep like a rock.  I have been jiggling these chains for now onto like twenty minutes and you are just standing there, snoring your head off.”

         “No, that’s not what-,” I counter.  “I meant the tools lying around us.  There are tools for combat, but there are also tools for farming.  Before I get to the rest of my observations of this room, first, how long has it been since we were on that island?  Second, do I actually snore?”

         Annabeth answers the second, “You don’t really snore, more or less breathe heavy at times, but it is not constant by any stretch.”

         The girl replies to the first, “Well, Captain Obvious, there’s window over there,” she tries to point with her right arm but can only manage a vague point with her right finger to the opposite side of the ship.  “There is the absence of light, so I would have to assume that there is no sun out there right now and that makes it night.”

         “Thanks,” I say appreciatively, but take note of her tone.

         Annabeth changes the subject, “What other observations do you have about the room?”

         I go on to explain, “This is not a battle ship of any kind.  This looks to be a trading ship.  The tools are one thing, but the assorted sacks of flour, seed, and other planting or baking materials sitting on this deck.  What has us fasten to the wall is not meant for keeping prisoners.  If you look below you on the wall, there is another set of similar loops.  Some type of tool or weapon is supposed to go here.”

         Annabeth suggests, “Spears?”

         I look at her and she then points with her head by turning to her left and looking down to the floor.  The spears are small, nearly like an arrow but have no fletching on them, the feathers on an arrow that create the drag and spin of the arrow for precision and accuracy.  So, that is another thing to add to the list of odd things.

         “That would work,” I agree.  “For one thing, they are just pilled on the floor whereas everything else in this room is neatly stacked or sorted in crates or holders on the wall.”

         “Anything else, Cap’n?” Annabeth quips and smiles.

         I look at her and slowly blink my eyes before going on, “Our wrist sockets are in a crate next to your spears along with the chain attached to the sockets.  The only other thing I notice, at the moment, is that there are no sounds of footsteps, no guard with us.  Did this ship get abandon and left us to waste away or was this ship attacked and the attackers didn’t know we were down here?”

         “Huh,” the girl to my right states.  “I take it back.  You’re not a Captain Obvious.  You are very astute with out situation.  So, you’re not a Captain Obvious… More like a Colonel or something.”

         Annabeth adds with a chuckle, “More like a Commander.”

         “Oooh, you are the leader,” the girl nods.  “I gotcha.  You give the orders, others follow.”
         “Yes, but I am not sure it is exactly how you are thinking it is,” I start, then ask a different question.  “What is your name?”

         “Like I said, I just met you,” the girl shook her head.  “I’m not going to tell you my name.”

         “Oh stop, Samantha,” Annabeth declares.

         “Samantha,” I echo.  “Annabeth, how do you know her name?”

         Annabeth is going to answer, but Samantha interjects, “I’ve known her for like… twenty more minutes than you.  We’ve gotten to know each other while you slept.  You are practically still a stranger to me.  I don’t know what your favorite dragon is, your favorite color, not even do you like your hair up, down, or in a specific hairdo.”

         Though Samantha still seems wary of Annabeth and me, her last statement made her crack a slight smile before hiding it.

         I grunt and sigh at the same time, “Even with vikings I just meet, they already try to outwit the pun master.”

         “You’re a pun master, eh?” Samantha repeats.

         “Yes, I am.  You two are knock-out girls that I couldn’t wake up until just a few minutes ago.  Annabeth is so beautiful that I still feel she could knock me out again with her looks,” I respond with a punny compliment.

         “Okay… Okay…,” Samantha puts up her hands as if it is too much to handle.  “A pun that you spin into a compliment as well, you’re not going to get on my good side that fast, but well played.”

         Annabeth adds, “Yeah, and I can also knock you out a different way.”  Annabeth clasps her right hand in to a fist.

         “Ha-ha,” Samantha laughs.  “Now I also see what this relationship is based on.  You make puns, find and dandy.  You cross the line, punch to the side.”

         “Each new viking girl I meet in the archipelago continues to enforce my idea of what I think about them,” I state.

         Both Annabeth and Samantha say at the same time, “What?” with the look of intent to do bodily harm.

         “That you will use violence for defense against puns and or violence towards those you care about,” I answer.

         Annabeth backs down, but gives a smile which tells me, “Nice save.”

         “I can agree to that,” Samantha nods.  “If I understand correctly, Annabeth wouldn’t hesitate to give you a swift right cross to the jaw and knock you out.  Me… You’re only worth… eh, maybe a kick to the stomach.”

         “Only a kick to the stomach?” I repeat and chuckle.

         She shrugs her shoulders, “Yeah.  Either that or just have Stormstar blast you out of my way because you might not be even be worth a punch.”
         “Thanks,” I shake my head.

         “No problem,” she returns.  “You may be punny and all, but I still don’t trust you.  I just met you two.  I try to help you guys out and I get myself caught, so don’t think I’m your friend.  But I will say, you aren’t my enemy either, so there’s that.”

         “Getting focused again,” Annabeth gets us back to our situation at hand.  “What do you think knocked us out and how do we get out of here?”

         I answer, “I have no idea.  Whatever it was, it was red, a dark red.  Maybe a crimson color?  Then I saw a guy with a weird horned mask on and he said, ‘A storm is coming.’  Either he is not very observant to see that we are in a storm as it was or he meant something else.  Fairly certain it was the latter.  That same saying, I heard the one guy who tried to kill me say it.  So, my next question is:  If only one mercenary has said it and there is a second group with the weird masks -because I saw other figures closing in around on the edges of the clearing with those masks on- that are trying to disrupt what the mercenaries are doing and we are happening to get in the way.”

         Annabeth corrects, “But remember that the mercenaries seem to know who we are, so if this secondary group has infiltrated the mercenaries, then they know about us too.”
         Samantha jumps in, “
So, if the mercenaries were the ones you two were initially fighting there on that island, I and my dragon Stormstar knocked everyone out-.”

         I interrupt, “Including us.”

         “Yes, sorry about that,” Samantha goes on.  “…Knocked everyone out, then would that not prove that there is a second group of vikings trying to disrupt, as you say, the mercenaries?”

         Still thinking on it, Annabeth asks me, “Can you say without a shade of doubt, that the ones with the masks are different from the mercenaries?”

         I shake my head, “No, I cannot.”

         Samantha concludes, “Because you cannot for certain, would it also make sense that the mercenaries and this supposed second group of vikings is one in the same?”

         “Good point,” I say.  “Because the one mercenary before said the same thing the guy with the mask said.  If the mercenaries knew so much about us before, if these guys are the same guys with the masks, I think this is much more terrifying than having to deal with a cult or something that wear masks and go after individuals or groups disrupting their order.”

         “Gee wiz,” Samantha said.  “When you put it that way, you’re making me scared too.”

         “Sorry,” I apologize.  “I didn’t mean it that way.  But when one solves mysteries for basically a living -That I don’t get paid actual funds, which then is it considered a living or a hobby?- like I do, I will see connections and angles that others may not at first see; those connections including the ones I don’t want to think about.”

         “A gift and a curse?” wonders Samantha.

         “More or less,” I reply but then chuckle in a way that makes me make another bad connection.  “Curse… Are we only scratching the surface of what these masked vikings are doing or even capable of.”

         “Whatever they are,” Annabeth states.  “Let’s just get out of here and on the backs of our dragons and then let’s see if their cult can stand up to the might of a dragon blast.”

         “Here, here!” exclaims Samantha.  “If I had a glass of milk or grape juice or something, I’d drink to that.  But as we stand here, if only we had some keys or something.”

         Suddenly in front of us drop a set of keys through the slats in the roof, which is the next deck and I assume the top deck.

         “Okay,” Samantha looks worried.  “I didn’t mean that literally.”

         Annabeth looks worried too but tries to stay positive, “Eh, clues and leads doing something literal is the ones we run into the most.

         “Who or what did it though?” I ask.  “In any case, now we can get out of here.”

         “How?” Samantha questions.  “How are you going to get them?  They are a good three feet away.”

         “I’ll need both your help, but I have an idea,” I assure.

         I explain what I want them to do.  The keys are closest to me, so I am the best one to get them.  I ask them raise their arms to get the sockets as close to the metal loops as possible.  This gives me a little slack in my own chains.  I therefore pull down while saying, “This might hurt a bit, but bear with me.”  Lowering my body down, I do keep an eye on the girls.  The moment they start to grimace from their wrists being pinched by the metal loop, I stop lowering myself and then stretch out my legs.  Using my left foot for stability, I reach out with my right foot, and I am able to reach the keys.  I take the back of my heel and scoot the keys back towards me so that it will be easier to reach them.  Doing so, I am able to give back the slack the girls gave me; they are able to relax their arms and give their wrists a break.

         “Now what, genius?” Samantha says sounding both genuine and wondering how I am going to do this.

         I stay focused and do not answer her, though I do by what I do with my actions that follow.  Moving the keys closer to me so that I can stand up straight, I then use the front of my right boot to try and get it into ring loop.  My boot is too big and there is nothing to latch onto the boot to make sure I do not fling the keys across the room.

         “Ah!” I shout.

         Annabeth and Samantha look on in curiosity.

         I take my boot off and use my toes to grab the ring loop.

         “Well,” Annabeth tilts her head to the right side.  “That’s one way of doing it.”

         “Thank you for volunteering,” I say.

         “What?” Annabeth is caught off guard.

         “Catch,” I say but pause before tossing the keys.

         “Catch the keys?” Annabeth answers correctly but is sounding unsure if she wants to catch it.

         “If you want to get out of here,” I enlighten.  “Ready.”

         She sighs, “Yes.”

         First attempt, not good enough.  The keys simply hit Annabeth in the side.  Picking them up again with my foot, I try it again.  Closer, but not high enough.  I am trying to get the keys to her right hand.  Third time, bounces off her thumb and the keys bounce down, nearly out of reach without stretching.  I grab the keys again and give them a heave.  The ring loop gets high enough to land on her thumb.  She quickly clamps down.

         “Now,” Annabeth says now excited.  “Which key is it?”

         Taking a quick glance, I tell her my thoughts, “They all look like the same key to me.”

         The keys slide on the ring, so Annabeth lifts the ring up to make the keys slide down on the ring into her fingers.  Grabbing a key, she looks at my left wrist socket, and inserts it.  Turning it…

         Clink!  The socket opens!

         I release my left hand and take the keys from Annabeth to free my right hand.  After doing so, I unlock Annabeth and then Samantha.  Once all free, we rub our wrists to get circulation back in them.  A moment later, I led the girls to the stairs to go above.

         For a split second, I wanted to burst up above but wondered who might be up there that could possible give us the keys.  I halt my eagerness and ease my head to peek in front of us.

         It is indeed the top deck.  I see nothing until… Something breathes on the back of my neck!

         Turning my head around, I flinch.

         Breathing a sigh of relief, “Stormstar, I presume?”

         She snorts and opens her mouth as if to smile.

         Samantha pushes past Annabeth and then me to get up and greet her Deadly Nadder, “Stormstar!!  I knew you would track us.  I wondered what happened to you!  I was worried they got to you too.  But I knew they would have a hard time catching you.”

         Annabeth and I come up to the top deck and look to see where we are.  In the middle of the ocean, that is where we are.  There are a couple of lit torches around the ship, some actually laying on the deck but not strong enough to catch the wood on fire.  So the light from these torches, we can pretty much see the whole ship in addition to the light from the moon.

         Annabeth then wonders, “I hope our dragons are alright.  Without Johann there and having no good way of knowing what happened, they may not have heard the explosion and could still be at the island.”

         “Though not a Tracker Class dragon, either of them,” I comfort Annabeth.  “They still have some ability to track their own rider, especially if they are in trouble.  Maybe they followed Stormstar or are following her scent and will be here shortly.”

         Samantha comments, “My dragon was the one that pushed the keys down to us.  She has been trained to recognize certain objects like keys, weapons, or other useful items.  If I am in trouble or need help, she will find a tool to help me.  Her landing on the ship must have awakened all of us, or at least two of us.  Then hearing us talk, she knew it was me, and then saw the keys.  To her keys lying around are either supposed to be with me or hung up.”

         “Well thank you, Stormstar,” I bow.

         She does not really react to me but mostly to the love and hugs given to her by the rider, Samantha.

         “Random question,” I ask.  “Do you have a last name?”

         “No,” she responds.  “Well, at least I don’t think I do.  Just Samantha is fine with me.”

         The look on her face told me there is more to that story, but this is not the time and place to further question her.  At least until we get out of this mess, will she think of telling us that part.  Yet, I bet she will not tell us until she really gets to know us to the point of now being friends.  Based on what I see thus far, that is a long way off right now.

         “We can get out of here if you guys want,” offered Samantha.

         “If our dragons are looking for us,” declines Annabeth.  “We need to stay in one place for them to come find us.”

         “In the meantime,” Samantha puts her hands on her hips as if she is ready to start working on something.  “What do we do?”

         I submit, “We could figure out what went down on this ship.  This place is a mess.”

         The whole top deck and sides of the ship is littered with battle marks, scorch marks, burn marks, arrow marks, sword marks… Basically, a bunch of marks.  A battle of some kind went down while we were in the hold!  Whatever that red cloud or crimson dust was, it is very potent.  Enough so that a battle could occur and we would not even know.

         Looking over both sides of the ship I see the destruction left behind.  This is a well-built ship with two layers of protection to the hull, meaning this probably was a battleship at some point, but the contents below tell otherwise what this ship is now.

         While inspecting the port side of the ship, Samantha’s “window” turns out to be boulder hole from a catapult shot.  Taking a peek back down stairs, there is a small boulder towards the middle of the ship on the starboard side.

         Samantha chuckles though wary of the fact that it was only about ten feet from landing somewhere close to us, “I wondered why there was only one window.”

         Annabeth calls me over, “Come look at this.”

         Seeing where she is, I walk over to Annabeth next to where one of the fallen torches were; we put them back up where they belonged or put them out if we could not find them.

         Annabeth holds a torch down near the deck and reveals, “The red powder.”

         Annabeth leans the torch too close to the red powder and the powder ignites a small spark.

         The powder and the spark tell me, “Those masked vikings were the ones that attacked this ship.”

         Samantha gets in with the act and asks, “But who were they attacking?  Because if my memory serves me correctly, this ship is the same ship that the guy who got betrayed had.”

         Then Annabeth’s face changed to worry, for obvious reasons.

         But to get her mind off her thoughts, Annabeth reconstructs the possible motives behind the potential parties involved, “After those masked vikings attacked the group.  My…,” Annabeth hesitates because I bet she was going to say “father” but she is now hoping it is not.  “…Gut is telling me that the old viking saw that we were attacking the mercenaries and rescued us onto his ship.  Those masked vikings may had been at the island for something else so did not bother the old man while he took the three of us.  But while the masked vikings were looking for something, the mercenaries probably came to and wanted to go after the old man in their own ship, hence the catapult shot damage to the ship and the boulder.  Then the masked vikings did not find what they were looking for and assumed that either the old man had it or the mercenaries.  So, they came after the old man’s ship.  The mercenaries were already attacking the ship and started tearing apart the ship, but the masked vikings intervened and captured the mercenaries and the old man.”

         “Pretty good ideas,” nods Samantha.  “But how do you explain us getting left behind?”

         I suggest, “Maybe out of defense to protect us, the old viking said there was no one else on board and let himself get taken instead.”

         Samantha shakes her head, “That is giving a lot of people the benefit of the doubt, people you don’t know.  That could very well be what happen, but explain why we were left chained to the wall?”

         I reply, “Someone could have doubled back to make sure that the old viking was telling the truth.  When they saw he was not and saw us down below, to make sure we did not follow, they chained us to the wall with what they had around them.  They were also in no position to bring the supplies with them, or because the masked vikings have ‘better’ things to occupy their time, they probably just left the supplies behind.”

         Samantha still shakes her head, “I’m not buying it.  Something else is going on here.”

         Samantha’s skepticism got me thinking.  Investigating my hunch, I went back down below and walked behind the stairs.  There stands a make shift Captain’s Quarters.  Around the desk are three cots, but their blankets on the floor.

         “Could be where the old guy had us laying down,” I think out loud.

         I walk around to the front of the desk and study the look of the desk.

         “What are you looking for?” Annabeth questions.  “I don’t see anything.”

         Thoughts start to race through my mind, “I think that’s the point.”  I pause to collect my thoughts and then explain, “By all apparent clues, it looks like the old guy was taking care of us.  By all the clues upstairs, it looks like this ship was attacked by the either the mercenaries, masked vikings, or both.  Whoever ended up attacking, wouldn’t you be surprised by someone attacking your ship?”

         Samantha nods and Annabeth seems to know where I am going; I continue, “Let’s suppose that the first shot to tell the old viking who was here was the boulder shot.  Would that not startle you?  If this old guy was sitting here at his desk, reviewing this map, and that bouldering came crashing through, would you not jump up and knock something over?”

         Samantha argues, “The boulder could have come after the fight was already over just to make it look like the mercenaries did it.  Using that red stuff as an opener to incapacitate their victims and make an entrance, the mercenaries could have put up a fight, but the masked vikings quickly overpowered them.  The old guy could have been someplace else.”

         “Now who’s giving someone the benefit of the doubt,” I call Samantha on.

         Samantha puts up her hands to visually say, “Hold on,” before she speaks out, “I’m just trying to help here.”

         Annabeth then questions with a tone of already knowing the answer and not liking it, “What are you saying, Jarl?”

         “Without any bias towards any side here,” I take a breath.  “I believe the old guy was in on this the whole time.”

         Both girls look at me to give a reason, but Annabeth’s shoulders drop because she already knows; I deduce, “Regardless of what attack came first and if the old guy knew he could not get far, he would have had to be on edge, nervous.  That being said, this chair is pushed back as if someone got up, as if he was called by a friend to come upstairs to the deck.  If it were me, I would have jumped at pretty much anything, even if I was expecting it or even watching for something to happen.  For the fact that nothing is knocked over except the blankets on the floor and the fact that we were bound on the far wall, my gut is telling me this old guy set this all up to trap the mercenaries.  We just happened to be in the cross fires, and unexpected thing to take care of.  This is where the old viking made a mistake.  All of what I said, implicates him as an accomplice after the fact.  It would have been better to leave us lying on the cots to support the idea of him defending us saying there was no one else but him on board.  With no dragons to ride to make a quick getaway, they wanted to put as much distance between themselves and this ship.  Though we were still unconscious from the crimson dust, they wanted to slow us down by binding us together with sockets and chains that so happened to be on the ship.  All these supplies down here do not go together.  Weapons, flour, seed corn, sockets… This whole thing was a front.”

         “And I walked right in it,” Samantha sounds disappointed.  “Technically, I flew into this trap but I mean no offense.  Had I not been so eager to help, I could have not been captured myself and then later helped you two on the ship.  I let my guard down.  I could have spotted the masked vikings or even their ship, but I saw that Zippleback Gas and I just had to light it on fire; not to mention the rain would have quickly dissipated it.  I had to react and not think.  That got me in trouble with you guys.”

         “It’s alright,” Annabeth guarantees.  “You met us, at least.  Who knows.  Instead of being here with us, you too could have been captured and things may have not turned out the same way.”

         “That’s thinking positive,” nods Samantha.  “So, where do we go from here?”

         Totally serious, though with some anger I say, “After them.”

         Samantha’s eyes widen, “Are you nuts?  Where do we even go to?”

         Annabeth pipes in and states while pointing to a spot on the map, “There.”

         Seeing where she points, I see an island due west of Dragon Island, northwest of where Storehouse Island is, and west by southwest of Crescent Island.  Pinpointing this island on the map and recollecting Hiccup’s map, this island is not on the map.  From the markings on the map, this island is circled and a line is drawn about an inch from the island to an empty place on the map -over open sea- where I believe this ship to be located.  There are two arrows pointing to the island.

         “This old viking really wants us to come, so let’s oblige him,” I relay.

         Samantha’s eyes widen more, “You mean walk into a clear trap?”

         “Yes,” I confidently say.  “Because the trapper thinks the trap will trap the trapee.  But if the trapee knows it is a trap, then the trap could trap the trapper because the trap is known and the trapee becomes the trapper.  We walk into the trap on our terms, we just might find out what’s going on.”

         Samantha shakes her head and comments, “I didn’t get any of that except for that last sentence.  Let’s just go with that… I’m in.  We still have our weapons at least.”

         “Yeah,” Annabeth declares.  “So, the old guy, the mercenaries, masked vikings… whoever is involved here is looking for a fight.”  Annabeth punches her right hand into her left, “Well, they just got one.”

         Samantha offers, “We can all hop on Stormstar and she can track the red stuff to its point of origin.”

         I hold up my hands this time, “Hold on.  Our dragons are still out there too.  We rode them to the island and hid them in a cave.  Our dragons probably started looking for Annabeth and me when we did not come back after a while.  When the explosion happened, they could have been aroused.  But when they saw that we were in trouble, they tried to help but… Were also captured.”

         Annabeth not wanting to believe that, said instead, “They still could be out there.  They could be just taking a long time to get here.”

         But as the moments turned into minutes, minutes into an hour.  The longer we waited, the more we realized what came apparent.  Two hours later, our dragons had not arrived!  Now we knew what we had to do.

         Ask for Samantha’s help in going after our dragons to rescue them!

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
My reply

     Finally got the chance to post a reply (though, by all rights, I should be doing other things.  But what the heck!). 


     Since I didn't reply on the last chapter, I'll start there.  The last chapter was fun and I liked how you introduced the new girl, Samantha was it, over the course of a few chapters.  The fight with the mercenaries on the beach was cool, and I so look forward to what Secrets the masked Vikings hide.  How have they played into previous adventures?  What do they want?  I also like how your timing it with the actual episodes.  


     This chapter was not my favorite (please take no offense from what I'm gonna say, for none is meant).  It kinda felt like you were just making it up as you went along and didn't go back to edit anything for new ideas.  For example, Jarl mistaking a catapult-projectile hole for a window in the ship.  He's a master at observation, so it feels really weird that he didn't pick that up.  


     Also, towards the end, it felt like they were jumping to conclusions.  For example, seeing that a chair wasn't tipped over meant that the person was working with the masked Vikings.  Personally, if I were fleeing an island, I wouldn't be below decks.  I would be up top watching for incoming dangers.  And their dragons not showing up, making Jarl think they were kidnaped.  To me, I think that maybe the dragons breathed in the red dust and it worked differently on them.  Maybe they are still out cold back on the island.  Maybe the ships got away so quickly that the dragons couldn't track them.  


   Finally, the mark on the map.  To me, it seems like quite a leap to say it was left for them.  It could be the island were the mysterious man hides his loot.  It could be a secret trading port.  It could be anything.  So it felt weird to me that Jarl just assumed that it was for him.  


     Of course, you probably have secret reasons and/or backstories, so I won't question you.  And know I meant none of this as rude, I'm just trying to play 'Devil's advocate'.  I look forward to seeing where you take this and what adventures await our heroes.




     On a different topic,I just released my fourth chapter in 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'.  I'm not sure if you are reading it, and no hard feelings if you aren't, I was just wondering since you posted on the first chapter.  The final chapter will be out on Halloween. 







(I figure you've probably already figured that out, but I thought I'd play it safe.)


    Hi, I'm Lack Lunason. I'm called that because I lack many things, and I'm a lunatic. I just put son on the end to make it sound more like a viking name. I'm also a Christ follower.


      Here are just a few more things about me:

  1. I am a procrastinator.
  2. I'm pretty nice (mostly).
  3. I am most definitely kind (don't listen to those that say otherwise).
  4. Adventurous.
  5. Lazy.
  6. A dreamer.
  7. And I'm slightly crazy.

     I've been around SoD for a long time. I think I was one of the first thousand to leave Berk and sail to the school. I'm happily part of the bold clan known as POTATO BROTHERS. I have over four-thousand trouphies, although, I don't like racing much. On the other hand, I'm a Master Farmer.  (Don't you dare ask me how fishing is going!  We don't speak of that!)


      On the ranking on the forum, I've completed/on the following: Jarl, Forager, Wilderness Explore, Viking Warrior, Dragon Trainer, Drott, Dragon Master, Chief, Berk's Power Player, and......



(Respect my Authority!)

[because no one else will]


(Sorta) Current Trophy Count:



Now onto some random stuff. This part will grow over time.




BAT-MAN THE VAST (Also known as Bat-Stoick)

(By The Dragoness)


Fan-Fiction And Short Stories:


Shrieks From The Shadows Series:


Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5


The Terrifier

Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3  Chapter 4  Chapter 5


What Lurks in Ebony Swamp

Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4   Chapter 5


Things I am a Fan of


How To Train Your Dragon







Quotes I love


"Once I set the sea alight with a single fiery breath....

Once I was so mighty that I thought my name was death....

Sing out loud until you're eaten, song of melancholy bliss....

For the mighty and the middling all shall come to THIS...."

The Green Death, How To Train Your Dragon: book 1. Cressida Cowell.



Stoick The Vast. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 5. Creessida Cowell.


"I sailed so far to be a King, but the time was never right.....

I lost my way on a stormy past, got wrecked in starless night....

But let my heart be wrecked by hurricanes and my ship by stormy weather....

I know I am a Hero...and a Hero is....FOREVER!

In another time, another place, I could have been a King....

But in my castle's ruined towers the lonely seabirds sing.....

I burned up my Tomorrows, I cannot go back ever....

But I am still a Hero....and a Hero is.......FOREVER!

Up with your sword and strike at the gale......

Ride the rough seas for those waves are your home......

Winters may freeze but our hearts do not fail.....


You are never alone if the sea is your friend......

Riding the waves of impossible quests.....

If it doesn't end well, then it isn't the end.....

A Hero.....Fights.....FOREVER!

The hero cares not for a wild winter's storm.....

For it carries him swift on the back of the wave.....

All may be lost and our hearts may be worn.....


Grimbeard the Ghastly's Last Song. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 11 and 12. Cressida Cowell.


      That's about it. I give full credit for...well, everything, to GOD. Have a good day.


Bye for now!































Wait, you're still here?

httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Cubed... Because the volume of pi is so good

I know that feeling, but this week will be a lull, so I will have a bit more time for other things... That include reading your story.  It is on my to-do list, but having some important projects due and an exam to do took priority.  Based on what you have said, I have sent you a couple pms in responses to your pms that you have probably no doubt read but obviously have not had the time to reply to them, not to mention you are trying to write a story of your own.


That would be CZNZ Dragon Rider's character.  Each new character I introduce, whether ally or enemy, I try to make it rather memorable for the character so that if I use the character again, then the reader should know who it is or at least remember them.


It is hard for me to take offense at anything, specifically constructive criticism.  I take and welcome all comments to get better.

I do write and don't go back over my chapters usually, if not to make sure I did not leave a key element out that I bring up later and did not lay the groundwork to set up earlier in the chapter.  Posting first drafts like this I feel like it is more in the moment of the action that is taking place.  But I do run the risk of not getting what I want across in the manner I want.


Jarl, remember, is very groggy whenever he wakes up.  This amplified with whatever the red cloud is made up as... Which I know.  If you knew, this could clue you into why Jarl's trouble waking up from when he is sleeping made him miss the window being a catapult hole.  He is a master at observation... But not first thing in the morning nor when he first wakes up from anything.


I am very much like this.  Whether it is waking up at 6am in the morning or from a nap in the middle of the afternoon... Do not ask me any questions for you will not get a straight answer.  It takes me anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to fully get awake.


Jarl is much like myself, one reason I was able to start writing so quickly with Jarl and his family way back in the beginning is because I just wrote about my family and used different names.


In my mind, the hole in the side of the ship was so well place that it hit the ship at just the right angle that it just made a rounded square hole.  Plus, Jarl was more into getting out of their situation than anything else, so I tried to write in something that Jarl would miss, considering the circumstances.  Annabeth and Samantha were effected too, but they had been awake for a little while but not too long.  Samantha was giving Jarl a hard time with being the last to wake up.


Everything you are thinking about the old man hinges on the fact that the old man did not expect the attack.  Jarl had been skeptical since they left for the Northern Markets about this lead of Annabeth's father actually holding truth.  He had not been showing it to Annabeth, but in the back of his mind was waiting for something to come up for Him to question Annabeth's decision to follow the lead because of her sister's determination to find Oswald had developed into an obsession.  Jarl does not want that to happen to Annabeth, so he was wanting to be supportive while at the same time trying to question the truth of the matter.


But what Jarl started seeing, and what I tried to write, is that the old man is in on it and part of the masked vikings' group and that he was trying to get rid of the mercenaries by making them think they were trapping him on the island when it was the other way around.  Because as you say, you would not be below decks but up top watching for incoming dangers.  But because of the evidence that Jarl saw, what actually happened is the old man was expecting it to happen.  This would be the only explanation.


If you have seen all of Race to the Edge, remember what is about to happen in the current timeline of my story in relation to what episode I just referenced.  There is something else that is the reason for Jarl's dragons not showin up.  That's all I will say there.

Remember, there are two sets of enemies here: the mercenaries and the masked vikings.  The mercenaries whereabouts are accounted for... But what about the masked vikings?  They just show up out of nowhere.  So, where were they before?  What were they doing?

Good questions still, which I was going for to make you think, "What is going on?"


Remember, Jarl and Annabeth's dragons are missing.  I remember when I think one of my animals is missing, what I felt.  I tend to jump to conclusions with a million thoughts racing through my head which could make me make snap judgements.  Annabeth is dealing with the possibility of her long-lost father being alive, them being captured, and worrying about her dragon Anora.  Jarl is dealing with the opposite of Annabeth's first thing and the rest the same but with his dragon Fredrick.  Plus the fact they have a new friend who they are trying to get to trust them.


Jarl and Annabeth have no leads on where their dragons are.  The could still be back on the island, sleeping, but did I say the cloud reached the whole island?  I did not say.  The dragon's whereabouts are totally up in the air at this point.  So, Jarl decided that their only lead is that map.  With the circled island being obviously marked, why would the old man need to do that if he knows his loot is on it?  If his loot is on it, he would be wanting to circle some other island to lead them away, not lead someone directly to it.  To Jarl, something is on that island that is important.  Even if their dragons are back on the island, then that is good.  All they would have to do is fly back.  But something is on that island that is important and Jarl wants to investigate and possible get it first before anyone else does.  Jarl and them did wait for their dragons if something had happened to them, they still could have tracked them.  Even though a dragon is not naturally gifted for tracking anything like the Tracker Class, each dragon has the natural ability to find their way home if they get lost.  Same can be said with finding their rider.  Toothless has the ability to bounce sound waves off of things to track something... a Thunderdrum has a sound based shot.  Fredrick could find Jarl the same way Toothless can find Hiccup.  Fredrick and Anora can handle themselves, so if they are back on the island that is good and Jarl is just investigating the next lead with the mercenaries, masked vikings, or the old man.


There are a lot of things moving in the background, some I know what I want to do, some are still over the fire stewing as I watch over them and see what's cooking and what might change if I add some more ingredients.


I completely understand.  In fact, I would encourage you to do more of the same.  Reviewing a story as I am writing helps me a lot to remember things I may forget, even if I take notes as I go along.  Having questions for me or challenging me on something I wrote and responding with what I am thinking as a character and a writer is something that does not happen a lot in writing anyway.  To actively post a chapter a week and discuss things with the readers is something that is unique and professional writers should do, if they are not already doing it.  Having conversations like this makes the story come more alive to me and I hope the same to you.  Because every detail I write could be the next big clue, setting up something for the next chapter or next book, could be foreshadowing... anything.


Please feel free to continue this for future chapters.


That gif looks familiar.  What movie is that from?


Again, I have been meaning to read it, I have seen your new chapters, I just simply haven't read them yet.  Everytime I get on to check my pms, I remember I need to do it.  I will be having some extra time during the week to do a couple of things, which I am planning on reading your chapters.  I actually plan on reading them some time later today (Sunday).  Nice, been looking forward to jumping back in.

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
And I choose JOY!


I haveth returned!


I'm glad you don't hold it against me that I take ages to reply to posts and PMs (I do p

an to respond to all of them...or at least most).  Also, I wonder how you get all your college stuff done and find time to write a 5,000 word chapter weekly.  How much longer are you in college?


Thank you also for not being offended by things.  It seems that everyone is offended by everything nowadays.


I understand the port hole 'window' now.  I definitely would have missed that after waking up (heck, I can be fully awake and miss the obvious).  It makes sense, so thanks.


The old man's actions now make sense.  I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens with him and who he is. I doubt he's a returning enemy because I would think you would say who it is.  I doable he's Annabeth's father since RTTE said he was gone...for good.  And, since you someday wish to try to get this canon, I doubt you'd change the story that much.  I also doabt it's Krogen, since his whereabouts are explained in RTTE.  I DO have my suspicions on who it is, but I won't say.


Since I've already read the next two chapters, I know about the island and dragons and like what you did there. Nice job.


No problem if you don't read my story.  Seriously, I wouldn't want to force you to do anything.  If you do, I hope you like it.

httyyd's picture
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
I find your Lack of Lunason disturbing. - A pun and a reference.

Nice.  I have been dealing with a lot of prep work for a student showcase this Saturday at my college.  Not technically homework, but it is still work.  Long story short, beyond work I have done in the classes this semester, previous semester, and projects I have done in my spare time, four classes this semester have teamed together to be in a pipeline to create a video game using Unreal Engine 4, same engine powering Fortnite.  (Which btw you already have Unreal Engine 4 if you play Fortnite because all you have to do is switch to the Unreal Engine tab in the Epic Games Launcher.  Though you have to download the engine, you can still make your own game... Then again you will have to learn how to make a game first... Which is not as easy as I thought it was.  I knew it was work, but it is a 100 times more than I thought.  Gives me appreciation for games that don't look as good or have problems... Including SoD.  SoD is actually a lot better game than I thought now that I understand what all goes into making a halfway decent prototype.  To make a game that is pretty good, such as SoD, I salute the Game Devs.)


Okay, now to get off my soapbox and stop ranting.  >.<


Simply put, I would rather get any reply than no replies.  A lot of my chapters do not get replies.  Although I do talk to a few of my readers in pms, I still only have a few that do that on a consistent basis.  I love replying to people.  School does get in the way of that, like such has been the last week.  For my series, talking to my readers helps me improve my style and writing skills because you guys catch things I may miss.  Then that helps the series in the long run to answer the plot holes I may have in my series.  I am a very picky writer, so my aim is to have no plot holes so if... When I publish this series, it is all ready to go.  All I need is stamp of approval.  No work needed to do by them, I just would really like this to be canon.  I half think it is of all the work I have put into the series, paying attention to even the smallest of details in night/day changes to dialogue in the movies and TV shows.


But back to replies, I don't hold it against you or anyone else because I do the same thing.  If I occasionally take a long time to reply to someone, then who am I to be "offended" by someone who takes so long to reply to me when I do the same thing?  I believe in that what a person says, they should also prove it by doing it themselves.  Talk the talk, but back it up by walking the walk.


I'll answer the second question first.  I am currently a Junior finishing up my fall semester in a few weeks... Been going for like seven weeks straight with no break (Though I did get labor day, but that was Week 2) but to have a full week off for Thanksgiving is nice, because otherwise it would be a half week in October and then a half week in November.  I have three more semesters to go, most likely an internship next summer, then graduate Spring 2020.  My end goal for my career is to work for Pixar or DreamWorks.  (I like Pixar movies, but I love DreamWorks stories for their movies... And one particular franchise... ;)  And to work at DreamWorks would be a perfect opportunity to work in their story department because of this book series.  Then if I play my cards right, I may not have to play cards... XD  But it would be a great way to get my foot in the door to publish my books, being a DreamWorks employee.  Publishing a book series with a DreamWorks logo while working for Pixar... Awkward for the companies  But I do love both companies.  I am always the ones that likes two things.  John Deere and International Harvester ((I live in a rural state)).  The people I know like one but not the other.  I like both.  So, I am the mediator between the two... the referee if you will.  XD  Doubt it will happen, but a Pixar/DreamWorks collab would be insanely awesome.  The end product, but the PR and exective stuff would probably be a nightmare.)  <  A bit of a tangent of randomness thrown in there for good measure.


How do I get all my college stuff done and find time to write a 5,000 word chapter weekly?  Short answer, because you of you guys, my readers.  I am writing this series because of my readers.  Had I not gotten support for my first book by chapter 10, I probably would not have continue to make such a good book (I had to finish the book because I did if for a 4-H project to force myself to write a complete book), let alone a series.

So, I make time.  Most weeks, I don't have time to write the chapter during the week.  Once I have the time I set aside to write in my book, it takes me on average 3 hours to write one chapter.  That is if I write and don't stop until I finish the chapter.  But during the week, between classes, traveling... In my mind, I am planning out what I want for the chapter.  Going over it and over it in my head until I get to the point I can just sit down and write it.  When I get the chapter plan done, I then move on to future chapters, making mental notes, thinking of plot twists, interesting scenes, character development, humorous things to do, etc.

If I don't have time and/or have writer's block, then I delay a couple days.  If I completely miss a week without posting, then I post 2 chapters the next week, to make up it up to you guys.  If I am able to get a chapter done early and it isn't the day I chose to post weekly, then I post that chapter and the chapter on the day I said I would.  So two chapters.  For two reasons, no one has ever said no to a bonus chapter for the week, but more importantly, if something happens I can't post on Friday (for the previous sentence's reasons) then you guys already had a chapter to write.

"But why not write two chapters one week and then save that one for a buffer?" I often think of that, but when I get a chapter done, I can't wait to share it, so I post it anyway.


Because I now write so much, I have actually not played video games as much as I could have.  With my limited free time because of school, I have three choices:  Play video games, work on projects I started on my own (school related, but not homework because this is free time), or write in my books.  Most of the time, I choose the last choice.  When I travel with my family somewhere, it is nearly exclusively the time I use to write in my books, whether it be with my laptop or even notepad and pen.  If I don't bring my laptop, then I physically write in my book.  If you take the pages I have written with a pen in my books and put them in notebooks, I would probably fill -at least- three 100 page notepads.  I could be more, probably is.  Any paper I can get my hands on and I think of something to add to my book or write a portion of my book, I use.  I have a ton of little snipets of my books on paper.


>>>How much have I already written for this single reply... And I am still on your first paragraph (technically second if you count "I haveth returned"  XD  <<<


This series has improved my writing skills tenfold as what it used to be and trying to meet word counts or pager requirements for school papers is a thing of the past.  Even my speaking vocabulary has grown tremendously because of all the words I type.  Though I try to uses synonyms quite a lot, there is only so many ways you could write something a certain way.  After 6 books, I know a lot synonyms to the point where I sometimes find myself while speaking picking a word and then using a synonym to that to say instead.  XD


Alright, shall I go to your second (third) paragraph now?  XD  Took me long enough.


You are welcome.  If people could take criticism, a ton of things nowadays would be a night and day difference. The caveat <<<Vocabulary word<<< is people also need to learn how to give constructive criticism that is pointed at the action/work/product/words said, not the person.  If both sides took the time to look at what they did instead of thinking it is about themselves, a lot of problems would be solved quicker and no offense would come into play or even thought of.


No problem.  Details like this is what I strive to write about.  Please, throw more boulders through my port holes in the future... ;)  Talking about my series in this way, is something that I really enjoy doing.  About as much as I do writing it.  Being able to discuss my book like a book helps me to keep track of things and see if I did miss something and need to change.


The young padawan is learning in the ways of being a detective and mystery solver.  Very good observations.  Because I want this to be canon, some things are on the table and then some should be obviously not.  However, if I do my homework and justify what I do by using logic and common sense... Everything is on the table.  <<< A tactic to hopefully confuse you and keep you guessing, "Would he actually do that?"  XD :P




This one thing about me.  When I say I am going to do something, my conscious will continue to remind to get it done until it is actually done.  Some things that have happened years ago, I still remember because of something I said I would do (regardless of if I did get it done or not).  So I have said I will read my book, but with practically everything with me, I will say, "I will get it done."  I don't say -when- I will get it done.  Everything I do, I will eventually get done or else it will be relentless bugging myself on my part to get it done.  I am the tortoise through and through.  If someone wants speed, then I get roller skates, but I am still the tortoise.


After I am through with the student showcase at my college, then I will have a lot more free time due to the fact that the next assignments were pushed back because of the showcase (at least for the 3 classes that are considered a part of the showcase.  I have 2 other classes that are not related and still have work I need to do) the rest of the semester should be less stressful for those 3 classes.  They are still important class assignments with a lot of points, but I have more time to work on them and for one of them have already been working on a project here and there in anticipation.  (For my Light and Rendering with Advanced Modeling ((Mouthful XD)) class, the next project's main learning objective is to create realistic textures and have an awesome rendered image.  I am modeling a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, which by the way is my favorite car.  I pull out all the stops to make this my best modeling project I have ever done, which is why I started way early.)


Your story is very good and will finish it... Eventually... :)