Let me just say:
I don't own the Wings of Fire books.
Whenever I write fanfictions now, I include this just to mention that while some characters are my own, the Wings of Fire books are purely the work and property of Ms. Sutherland.
This is also a prequel. But if Ms. Sutherland publishes a prequel, the two are separate entities. And hers is very clearly the more admirable.
I write a lot of author's notes.
So I will label each one when they come.
But for now, no author notes.
This is a prequel.
Yes, a prequel. A reverse sequel. Starting all the way from when Queen Oasis was killed and the three sisters rivaled for the throne. (Come to think of it, if Queen Coral were to be killed, what would happen? A repeat.)
Burn paced back and forth in her den for a few moments. The walls, made of hard-packed sand enforced with stones and water, vibrated and trembled with the pounding of her feet against the sandy marble floor, and the lashing of her tail.
Meanwhile, in the cave next to Burn's, Blister's mind was erupting with agony. One part of it was saying, Burn, stop tramping around so heavily. And one part of it was saying, Should I challenge Mother?
Blister examined her scales. She was an eleven-year old, no longer a dragonet. You're too old now. I'm surprised your sister hasn't beat you to the punch yet, she thought. The SeaWings had already had a challenge for queen; they'd heard that Queen Coral's daughter had been killed in the challenge. The details weren't specific, but Blister shuddered. You're old enough to run a kingdom, though, she protested, and if you win, think of the glory of your subjects.
Then again, Burn was still a major threat. But if she could beat Queen Oasis, Blister figured, she could beat Burn. Who cared about Burn's size and strength? She, Blister, was the genius of the three. There was no need worrying about the airheaded Blaze. Blister chuckled to herself. If Blaze decided to challenge either of her siblings, she'd be dead in seconds. Burn could crush her easily and Blister, although smaller than Burn, could outwit the dimwitted princess. Like your mirror will do you any good in an arena, Blister snorted.
I'll challenge Mother when she gets home, Blister decided. It's time for me to take control. I can run a kingdom. As soon as she gets home, from moving her treasure again, I'll ask her where it is and then challenge her.
In the room neighboring Blister's, Burn had stopped thumping. Maybe I'll challenge Mother. Who cares if Blister is planning on challenging her like she's always been babbling about for the past few days to me? I can crush her. And there's no threat with Blaze. Can't believe she's related to us. When Mother gets home, I'll challenge her. I'm the oldest. I'm a twelve-year old dragon!
Across the sandy, dusty hall, Blaze was dreaming into a mirror.
"Sandstorm!" Blister flagged down the SandWing servant who was wandering around in the palace, looking for orders. The servant turned, his tail brushing against the powdery ground.
"Yes, your Imperial Highness?" Sandstorm bowed, lowering his head, as was customary for all servants working for any royal dragons. Every SandWing dreaded meeting the Royal Family, because even though it was a high honor, the dragons all knew that if there was one wrong move, regardless of which dragon they so-called , they could be dead in seconds. All it took was a swift flick of a tail.
Well, maybe some could get away with it with Blaze. The nine-year old dragonet was an innocuously stupid creature who liked to spend time looking "presentable." In truth, though, she did look much more inviting and much cheerier than her sisters. As long as no one called Blaze ugly or offended her, the princess could have cared less if someone had actually called her idiotic to her pretty face.
Blister waved her talons dismissively. "I am not the queen yet, you don't have to call me 'Highness' and all that--"
"Your Imperial Highness, with all due respect, you may be the queen soon," Sandstorm interrupted. A second after the words left his mouth, he froze, remembering the time he'd interrupted one of the princesses. Burn had let her tail fly in a blur, faster than the servant could move, and had halted the barb directly in front of his heart, with just a few millimeters of dividing space.
Luckily, Blister took this interruption as a compliment. "My dear servant, you think too much of me," she smiled coyly. "I was only going to challenge her when she got back. My mother's not back yet, is she? Do you know when she will be?"
Sandstorm raised his head nervously. "My Princess, there has been a message from Python."
"?" Blister repeated incredulously. "Isn't Python one of the palace guards? Isn't he a lookout on the tower? Why is he busy playing messenger?"
"As he was on duty he spotted your mother returning to the palace, empty-taloned. Presumably she had moved her treasure again. A scavenger was trailing her and swiped her tail. Your mother tried to fight him but the scavenger killed her," Sandstorm almost whispered the last words. He had no idea how Blister would take it.
It was hard to tell. "Blister exclaimed in disbelief.
"Your mother is dead, my Imperial Highness, that is the message Python sent me."
Blister took a while to calm her reeling mind. "Very well, Sandstorm. Thank you. You are dismissed." The servant hurriedly disappeared in a cloud of swirling dust.
A little indignant at her own doubts about her powers, Blister stomped back to her den.
"" Burn snarled, poking her large head out of her cave. "Anyone would have thought an elephant was tramping through the hallways! Lighten your step a bit!"
"Like you can," Blister spat sourly.
"Where's Mother?" Burn asked, wanting to challenge Queen Oasis as soon as possible.
"Rotting half a mile away," Blister growled. "Got killed by a scavenger. . Can you believe it? I should have challenged her long ago."
"No," Blister sneered sarcastically. "She's rotting alive."
"Well, in that case, who's governing the SandWings?" Burn broached the subject first. Blister stopped. "Hmm," Burn continued, musing to herself. "I'm the oldest, I ought to take over. It's my duty."
"Oh, no you don't!" Blister's mind was turning over ways to overthrow her older sister. She was planning out crafty assassinations, clever excuses, but the only one that came out of her mouth was, "I was going to challenge her as soon as she got home."
“Hmph,” Burn sniffed, but such a feminine sound seemed awkward coming out of the imposingly large dragon’s snout. “I’m the oldest, though. It’s only natural that I inherit the throne.”
Blister felt herself growing hot, hot, like the pounding sun outside. The sun under which her mother was lying, dead and rotting.
“But I’m obviously the smartest of us all. You don’t know a thing about how to rule a kingdom. You just care about power.” Blister’s words were cunning. Although she, too, wanted the power and control over the kingdom, she could undoubtedly run it better than either of her sisters. It was impossible, however, for her to prove it. To prove it would require one of the heiresses to take the throne, temporarily, but who knew if the “temporary” part would be paid any attention to?
“You want the power too, admit it!” Burn accused, waving a talon at Blister’s chest. “That’s why you’re so worked up about it!”
The two older sisters were so worked up in their argument that neither noticed their younger sister’s delicate steps, creeping up on them.
Her voice was as airy as the contents inside her head. “I don’t know why both of you are so upset about this!” Blaze shook her head slowly, her black eyes wide and glittering. “I don’t think either of you should be queen.”
“Oh? And why’s that?” Blister challenged, stepping forward.
“Because I should be the queen.”
“You?” Burn snorted explosively. “You? Blaze?”
“Of course,” Blaze said, dreamily, her words oozing together as if she was trying to make an impression on her older sisters; as if she were waiting for the words to sink in before continuing.
The only person that actually needed time to comprehend things was Blaze herself, except, since she needed so much time, she automatically compensated for others.
“Why?” Blister repeated. Her forked black tongue flicked in and out of her mouth.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Blaze drawled, sounding like a complete airhead. “As the youngest dragon of all three of us, I can have the longest rule over the SandWing kingdom.”
Burn and Blister both reacted the same way, but when they spoke, their words tumbling over each other’s, they seemed to think completely different.
“Who knew you could come up with such an intelligent reason?” Burn teased sarcastically, and a little grumpily.
“Sounds like a horrific idea to me,” Blister said, rolling her eyes.
Once again, I really appreciate the positive response so far! It’s very motivating!
I don’t want you to think that the quick updates are from my lack of care or attention to this fanfic, because they aren’t. I just naturally get chapters/updates done quickly when I’m motivated or I have Writer’s Flow (my version of the opposite of Writer’s Block). Once I have finished I’ll go back to revise a few things, edit for minor mistakes, etc. Not that I don’t already do that when I’m posting another chapter.
I’m so sorry this chapter is so short! But it was a good place to stop because the next chapter is on a completely different topic, as some of you may have predicted.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, they are Ms. Sutherland’s. The only character I can be associated with in this chapter is Dust.
I hope you enjoy this update! –Waterdrops
“Why not?” Blaze complained, trailing her older sisters as they paced through the palace.
“Because you’re so idiotically stupid and have no idea how to run a kingdom!” Blister snapped, irritably. She was getting worried about her position of power.
“Will you two just shut up?” Burn stopped and turned around, exasperated, her tail flicking behind her so fast it almost swiped Blister and Blaze. Blaze jumped out of the way, but Blister was unfazed.
“Oh, like you have a better solution?” Blister lifted her snout arrogantly, widening her black eyes. The cogwheels inside her mind were turning, planning.
“Yes. I do.” Burn mimicked Blister, turning up her snout carefully, but instead of widening her eyes, she narrowed them in suspicion. “We’ll do it like we would if Mother was alive right now. We’ll fight to the death.”
“To the death!” Blaze repeated, as if she’d never heard that phrase before. “Is that really necessary?”
“No, it’s not,” Blister sighed, voice laced with sarcasm. “We’ll just play a game of chess to determine who gets to be queen and sign a contract. And then the two others that aren’t queen will just hang out and never even think of challenging the queen.”
“To the death!” Blaze exclaimed again, shaking her head and scrunching up her dark eyes.
“Of course,” Burn smirked. It was impossible to tell what she was going for. “No time limits. Just as long as it takes, we’ll fight.”
“In that case…” Within Blister’s scheming mind, she was developing an evil plan. Neither of them will survive at all. They won’t know what hit them. Neither of them will be able to beat this. “You know, I think I need to take a break. I’ll…I’ll go see if I can find Mother’s treasure.”
Both her sisters watched her skeptically. Burn was tempted to follow her, but held back. She wanted to plan how to beat her younger sisters. And besides, if Blister found out she was being followed, it was highly likely she could equal Burn in battling skill. Blister and Burn were a match when it came to fighting: Burn had a size advantage, but that weighed her down when Blister and Blaze slipped around her and flew; Blaze was surprisingly the fastest of the three.
Blister stormed out of the palace, past the big wooden gates and stone pillars. A few guards stepped forward, but Blister pushed them aside. “Move, you oaf, Dust,” she commanded threateningly. “I’m going to look for my mother’s treasure.” Secretly, that was a lie. Blister knew very well what she was going to do, and she was going to take an expedition out of the Kingdom of the Sand.
A gust of hot, dry wind smacked the dragon heiress’s face when she stepped outside the fortified walls of her palace. It had been a while since Blister had been outside the palace walls, and a dust storm was, unfortunately, brewing. With a groan, she ruffled her wings, spread them out, and took to the sky. The wind helped her a bit, but where she was going, the flight wouldn’t be accomplished in a night.
Blister had a whole strategy worked out already, less than an hour after Burn had made the proposal.
Author’s Note: I’m so sorry about the long wait. DX I had a few music interferences as well as a bipolar wi-fi internet connection that intermittently fizzled out. I hope you enjoy this chapter though!
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Wings of Fire series. The only characters I am responsible for here are Hippo, Clod, and Allure.
Blister skimmed over the sky, sticking below the clouds and searching for her first destination. Her plan was to circle around Pyrrhia, starting in an eastwardly direction, occasionally veering north, around counterclockwise to eventually end up back at the palace, preferably with an army to back her up. The dragon hardly felt fatigued as she began to pass over the border of the Kingdom of the Sand. She’d been flying all night and half the day, stopping only to eat a few scavengers and an unfortunate camel.
The kingdom should be around here, Blister thought, glancing to her left. If that’s the river, then that means if I go a bit south, I’ll end up where I want to end up. She squinted against the wind and began to fold herself into a dive.
A few MudWings scattered as Blister plummeted towards them, landing gracefully with her tail lashing at any dragon that tried to push her away. With realization, the MudWings lowered their flat heads in respect for the heiress, but Blister hardly paid attention.
“Ahem,” she started, clearing her throat. Ack. I had no idea flying could cause so much dust buildup in my throat. “I am Blister, the SandWing princess. My mother, Queen Oasis, is dead.” She really had no idea how to phrase that. Just saying it outright was about as good as she could get it.
“Then why are you calling yourself ‘princess?’ Aren’t you technically the SandWing Queen now?” one MudWing asked.
You dimwitted MudWings, Blister thought, I can’t believe I’m considering you as an ally. “My sisters, Burn and Blaze, and I, are having a disagreement over the next queen. Burn has suggested we fight for the position. I can only be the SandWing Queen if I have your support.” How clichéd. Now they think I’m into politics. Well, I am. But it shouldn’t be that way, Blister argued with herself. “Where can I speak to your queen?” She couldn’t remember what the queen’s name was. Something like…something-hen. M-something-hen. Muckhen? Mushhen? Marshhen? Moorhen? Moorhen! That’s it.
“I need to speak to Queen Moorhen,” Blister clarified, clearing her throat again. A few of the dragons exchanged uncomfortable glances.
“Your Imperial Highness,” another MudWing said, using the usual form of address for the SandWings, “I don’t think that can be done.”
“What?” Blister exclaimed. “A member of royalty can’t even visit another member of royalty?” What sort of society is this? They just sit and eat cows!
“Um,” the MudWing nervously shuffled his feet. “Follow me.”
Blister tramped behind the MudWing through the muck. Euch. What is this? I was insane when I considered these morons for allies.
The MudWing palace was a massive structure built from dried, sun-baked mud bricks and some whitish sticks that Blister had a suspicion that they were bones. The MudWing jitterishly led the way to the front entrance of the palace, which was guarded by no visible dragon, until two leapt out from nowhere at the MudWing.
“Hippo!” one of them exclaimed in astonishment. “What are you doing here?”
“Clod,” the MudWing—Hippo, isn’t it? Blister thought—addressed the guard. “I am bringing a SandWing sister.
“Nope,” the MudWing, Clod, and his partner both shook their heads. “No foreign tribes allowed into the palace to see Queen Moorhen. How do you know she’s not a spy of any type?”
“Because,” Blister interrupted plaintively. “I’m here to ask you to be allies.”
“No such chance,” the other MudWing guard shook his head again. “Moorhen doesn’t come out to see SandWings.”
Blister felt herself losing control. No! You will obey this dragon! One day, if she’s queen, you will both be sorry your kingdom didn’t play a part in helping her! She whirled her tail around, stabbing the second guard and then Clod with the venomous barb, leaving holes the size of a pencil tip in their chests, festering with black poison. In shock, Hippo took to the sky in fear. Blister strode forward to the metal and mud gates, trying to get a hold on the bars, slick with wet dirt, slimy, that oozed slowly through her talons.
Ick, she grimaced. Why did I act so quickly? I could have threatened them into opening the gate. But now I have no chance of seeing Queen Moorhen. Blister rose in the air and circled the palace a few times before giving up and flying off again.
Her next plan was to visit the rainforest. She wasn’t entirely sure where it was, she just knew it was close to the Kingdom of the Mud. I will find and bring back home allies, no matter what the cost! Blister decided resolutely. I will crush Burn with them, and then repay them and deal with Blaze on my own. She’s easy.
It was only a little more than half a day’s flight when Blister spotted the leafy upper cover of the rainforest. There was no way she could camouflage in that; the only place suitable for camouflaging in was the desert, and the squishy loam was no refuge for the SandWing. Oh, who cares, she thought. It’s not like the RainWings can do anything to me. All we ever read about when Mother read us scrolls from the other kingdoms was how they were lazy. That’s what we called Blaze, Blister remembered with a slight grin. A lazy RainWing.
Blister landed, her talons sinking into the squelching, spongy dirt, several leaves scattering around her, disturbed by her large wings when she landed. A shimmer in the air and a slight air current froze her. What was that? Was that a RainWing? I didn’t think they changed color for camouflage.
“I am not here to wage war,” Blister announced cautiously, looking for more shimmers. She held up her talons resignedly. Well, you are here to wage war, but not on them. On your own kind.
A small dragon slowly materialized in front of Blister. “Who are you?” she asked innocently.
“I am the SandWing princess. Blister. One of the sisters.”
The little dragon gasped and flew into the air. “Blister is here! Blister is here!” She stopped for a moment to hover, beckoning to Blister. “Come on! I’ll take you to Queen Splendor.”
“Queen Splendor?” Blister repeated, dumbfounded. “Has there been a recent challenge?”
The little dragon looked at Blister as if the princess had grown a third eye or second tail. “No. Didn’t you know we don’t have challenges?”
“No!” Blister shook her head, a little confused. “I just thought—I thought the queen was Dazzling.”
“Oh, no,” the dragonet straightened herself and then hooked her tail over a nearby branch. “We have lots of different queens.”
“I see,” Blister nodded slowly, although she really didn’t. She followed the dragonet to the main kingdom, amazed at how organized the RainWing civilization appeared for such an allegedly lazy population. What is wrong with this dragonet? She’s so hyper! Can’t she just fly?
“Come on, get in line!” the dragon exclaimed excitedly, landing gracefully onto a platform suspended by vines. “Come on!”
There’s no line right now, Blister thought, looking at where she was standing. The dragon pulled her into the treehouse where a dragon was presiding on several over-sized leaves.
The dragon, presumably Queen Splendor, was truly splendid, her ruff neatly folded back with a rainbow wheeling around it, and bubbles of color chasing each other around her scaled body. “And who are you?” she drawled, leaning down towards the dragonet, completely ignoring Blister.
“I’m Allure,” the dragonet smiled in pleasure, her scales shifting color slightly, “and I’ve brought the princess of the SandWings.”
“Is that really so?” Queen Splendor asked, raising her eyes to Blister’s black ones. “And which one would you be?”
“I’m Blister. I’m looking for an ally.”
“An ally? For what?”
“Queen Oasis is dead,” Blister said bluntly. “My sisters and I are fighting for the position. I need to enlist your help.”
“Well, what would we be doing?”
“Fighting…?” Blister suggested awkwardly.
“Oh, but why? That’s so terribly dull and difficult. Isn’t it better to just be peaceful? Why should I get involved in such a fight that’ll cost so much time and effort?” Splendor whined.
“I’ll give you treasure,” Blister offered desperately.
“But we have to fight,” Splendor complained.
It was hopeless for Blister to bargain.
As she took to the skies again, flying northeast, she secretly thought that Queen Splendor was just as good of a queen as her sister Blaze would be.
Author’s Note: Hi guys! Yup, another update a few months late. I’m SO, SO sorry about the wait, though. Like, seriously. To anyone reading out there, I’m really sorry. Even if the story isn’t to your liking. It was mean of me to completely forget about everything but I’ve been busy. I won’t bore you death with my schedule. So. I hope this chapter is worth the wait, yes? Enjoy! –Waterdrops
Blister growled gutturally as she took to the skies again. She had to find one ally. How hard could it be? But if things went the way they were planned—according to the scrolls she’d always studied—then Queen Coral could be weasled into the deal.
The only problem was how.
Blister was not particularly one to talk to herself out loud, only Blaze did, but she figured she was alone and it was highly unlikely she’d meet anyone once she was out of RainWing territory. So as soon as the treetops vanished from sight, Blister began to plan.
“Alright, well, the SeaWings are probably the best. Their queen is rational, I’ll have fighting powers on two fronts, and they’ll be hard to find, so it will be safer to be their ally. But where are they hidden? The scrolls said The Bay of a Thousand Scales, so I’m in the right direction, but where? And are they underwater?” Blister was beginning to take back her initial opinion. “Think through it, dragon, think! Okay. They have to have a relatively central location…so I’ll just start searching from the south side and work northwest. What next? How am I gonna negotiate?”
It was here that Blister faltered. The SkyWings would be a better ally in this situation, because if she won, Blister could give away part of her kingdom to the SkyWings, who would be relatively close to enjoy its benefits and agree to it. But…the SeaWings could hardly ever want territory in the Kingdom of the Sand. They were designed as amphibious dragons that could survive optimally underwater, breathing in salt and fish and snacking on calamari, not dragons that trooped around breathing fire, radiating heat in a desert. And she, Blister, would have a terrible time underwater. She’d just have to hope for a slightly above-sea-level palace.
Blister hadn’t exactly been allotting time for sleep, and when the sun began to set and the moon began to rise, she felt fatigue and ache begin to creep along her wings. Take a break, she thought to herself, you’ll get a chance tomorrow.
As she began to succumb to sleep, Blister was still plotting. The SeaWings are the best choice, she decided, because Blaze and Burn won’t want to go there. They won’t be able to find you and your allies. Ha. Now that’s smart thinking, Blister.
Blister’s tail was curled around her talons as she stretched. The dragon continued flying, looking for the Bay of a Thousand Scales. She tried to reason where the Summer Palace she’d always learned about would be as she flew over the azure water. Her head was tipped down as she searched the archipelago.
A bright flash of light stopped her and Blister almost dropped a few feet from her already low altitude in shock. Five dragons had surfaced, smacking the water with their tails in synchronized motion for momentum, and hovered in midair, facing Blister.
“What do you want?” the middle one snarled, picking at a fish in his talons.
“I need to talk to your queen. Queen Coral,” Blister said calmly, watching as the dragon rubbed his talons across the fish, removing its scales.
The dragon snorted and waved a talon. “Go back to your watch,” he ordered the other four dragons, and then turned back to Blister. “You want to see my sister?” He laughed.
“Coral is your sister?” Blister stared at the dragon’s dull green scales.
“Queen Coral,” the dragon corrected. “But I’m not taking you to the palace. You’re a SandWing.”
“A SandWing that needs your help,” Blister added, raising her tail so the dragon could see the barb.
“What sort of help? I’ll be the liaison here,” the dragon looked at Blister carefully, his originally commanding manner a little more uncertain as he eyed Blister’s twitching, venomous tail.
“I don’t suppose you’ve heard my mother has died?” Blister began.
“Oh, Queen Oa—forgive me, your Imperial Highness, ehm…”
“Princess Blister,” Blister smiled a snakelike smile, her forked tongue flickering in and out of her mouth.
“Forgive me, your Imperial Highness. Of course, I can’t take you to the Palace, but I can work with my sister and work out a negotiation,” the dragon suggested.
“Right, well, tell your sister this story. My mother died three days ago while moving her treasure. I was planning to challenge her for the throne as soon as she got back, but that didn’t exactly happen. However, my sister Burn claims the same and also thinks she should get the position of queen—“
“Say no more,” the dragon held up a talon, tossing the fish into the air and catching it in his mouth. He seemed to have no aversion to interrupting Blister. After all, he was royalty too. “The three of you are planning to fight it out?”
“Somewhat. It’s supposed to be a one-on-one. But I’ve developed the idea that with the support of at least one other tribe I can secure the throne. And I’ve come to you for help.”
“I’ll take you to the queen,” the dragon decided, and beckoned with a talon.