Tales of the Questor 2005-2006
With the recent revelation, Quentyn uses fire to kill several Wights and drive out the rest. With the Millfolk's arrival, and the realization that the rats were real, they retreat to the Dining Hall.
Using the book as a resource, Quentyn figures out how to destroy the Wights. Because they sense and feed on Lux, he has to be the one to go since he's the weakest mage there. Using Squidge as a guide, Quentyn travels down into the sewer and finds a door to the lab of one Rosad Athair Beither, the "evilest Rac Conan ever" - a monster hunter turned mad scientist who lived centuries ago.
After sending Squidge back with a message, Quentyn goes in alone and discovers a Rat King, five rats bound together by their tails. They are the source and controller of the Wights. They create more Wights and trap Quentyn. His body would provide sufficient food to allow the Rat King to produce enough shadow rats to overrun the city.
In a last ditch effort, Quentyn heroically hurls himself through the Wights massed in front of him, and though bleeding profusely, manages to kill the Rat King and destroy the Wights.
He nearly dies from blood loss and injuries. He has a near death experience in which he comes before Yeshua and believes himself a sinner who threw his life away. Yeshua believes otherwise but tells Quentyn that it is not his time. The White Stag licks Quentyn and he wakes up to find Squidge biting him in order to make him stay awake and seek help.
Quentyn finds a ladder up to the surface and collapses before a patrol. He's taken to the hospital where everyone piles in to see him when he wakes up: Nessie, Emmett, the Millfolks, his parents, and a guardsman.
Nessie, it turns out, was the one who found Quentyn. Her Kenning abilities alerted her to the Wights and to where Quentyn was. Speaking to Quentyn and Emmet alone, the guard informs Quentyn that the Council and the Guard want Quentyn to play down what Quentyn saw in the lab.
Quentyn and Emmet are told that Rosad Beither had disciples, and that the Council didn't want to risk a panic by revealing that. Emmet and Quentyn are unhappy and think that lying to the people is wrong, but have not disputed the official story put out about the Wights. At least not yet.
Quentyn also confronts the Millfolks about the doctor who advised Lady Millfolk not to go to Colin, and gives his own advice to the Millfolks, earning the ire of Lady Millfolks' mother-in-law. Colin's Night Terrors are cured, the Brownies return and adopt Quentyn into their tribe. Then Quentyn gets news about his sword.
The sword may have the most unique Lux pattern in the world, and it contains eight new runes, which look startlingly familiar to logic gates used in microprocessors. He learns that the sword is indeed bonded to him until the day he dies, so that only he can use it. While he can't control what it does, he can remove the Sales Pitch Spell by naming the sword. He appropriately names it Wildcard.
We also learn from Kestrel that her and Quentyn's friend Fen is obsessed with trying to catch a Fae song by sitting in a Fae Rath (Fairy Ring).
Quentyn prepares to return home. However, as he's buying a ticket back, his pack, in which he has stowed Wildcard, is stolen from him. The thief gets away with Quentyn's most prized possession. The thief, who wore a purple scarf, did so as an initiation to a gang called the Royals, all of their members wear purple. The thief is accepted when Wildcard is handed over.
Quentyn agonizes over what to do and finally decides to go "undercover" to get his sword back. Squidge, who stowed away in his money pouch, helps Quentyn get in touch with the Brownies, who agree to help him look for the sword.
As they're doing this, Quentyn first sends a message to his parents saying that his homecoming will be delayed; he then goes into a tavern in order to find information about the gang that robbed him.
During a chess game, he learns that the Royals, whose color matches that of the scarf that the thief wore, run the high alleys; he goes there in order to spy on them. His early attempts end up landing him in jail until Squidge pays bail. Quentyn is no closer to the Royals.
He instead chooses to spy on them from above which presents different troubles, including angry citizens with guns and crashing through the roof of someone's home, once again landing him in jail. He pays bail again, but this time is informed by the officer who arrested him both times, one Officer Mulharney, that he'll be keeping a close eye on Quentyn.
Desperate and not thinking clearly due to the separation anxiety he feels over the loss of Wildcard, Quentyn abandons all pretense at subtlety and wanders from tavern to tavern in the Tumbledowns, asking about the Royals. In one such locale he gets an answer in the form of a rival gang: the Red Caps. They throw him out of the bar, thinking him a spy for their rivals.
They strip his shirt off him, hoping to verify this through whatever gang tattoos, brands, or marks he might had. That Quentyn has none proves that he is not a spy nor a member of any gang.
However the Red Caps decide that they don't like "no-names" any more than they do enemy gangs so they decide to "mess him up." Quentyn uses his glimmer rope (which he was wearing as a belt) in order to climb up a wall and escape, with the Red Caps in hot pursuit.
After a frantic chase through the Tumbledowns, Quentyn discovers the large wall that separates the Tumbledowns from the Good Neighborhoods and finds a small crack in it he can climb through. As he's crawling through the Red Caps catch up with him and attempt to pull him back in since they're too big to fit through and the wall's too high to climb. While they fail to keep hold of Quentyn, they do succeed in ripping his pants off, leaving Quentyn naked on the other side of the wall in a affluent gated community called Silvergate.
Quentyn sneaks into a large household having a party in the hopes of snatching something he can use for clothes. Meribeth, the barmaiden from Freeman Downs, is inside; her great aunt Rubey is hosting the gala. Quentyn, meanwhile, sneaks into a broom closet and in the process overhears a conversation regarding two men who may be behind the gang troubles in Sanctuary. However, an incoming servant cuts his listening short and he's forced to flee down a hall. Tripping over a mop, he finds himself on stage in front of everyone, still naked, and mistaken for a Bard.
Quentyn freaks out after seeing Meribeth in the crowd and throws a potted plant out the window, through which he escapes. He is then seen in prison. We hear that he was arrested after running from several guards, including two females. The Adjudicator dismisses the numerous charges against Quentyn--disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, public indecency, et al--as he thinks that Quentyn has suffered enough.
Quentyn is released and, once again clothed, pounds the streets of the Tumbledowns, furious at his humiliation and lack of success. He then stumbles upon a trio of Red Caps beating up a kit with a purple hat - the Royals' insignia. By a combination of skill and luck, he and Squidge knock out the Red Caps. When Quentyn tries to escape with the kit he is stopped by one of the guards (Mulharney again), and is so frustrated at being caught again that he kicks the guard in the groin.
Grateful for his rescue and amused at seeing the guard beaten up, the kit invites Quentyn back to the Royals' hideout where he can lie low for a while. Quentyn is amazed at his luck, but is less happy when the kit tells him to leave Squidge behind because the Royals' leader believes all small fae, or "grubbers" as he calls them, are spies for the guards.
Quentyn arrives at the Royals' hideout and is allowed to stay. A party is thrown when they hear of his injuring Mulharney and in the course of the party all of the Royals get either drunk or high and consequently fall asleep, allowing Quentyn to look for and ultimately find his sword. However, it is highly guarded by various Lux-powered wards. The kit Quentyn had rescued discovers him staring at his sword and admonishes him for such a risky move. The kit also reveals that he was the one who had stolen Wildcard from Quentyn.
Two days later, an unknown buyer appears. He demands that all grunt Royals leave the hideout, but Quentyn manages to sneak back in. The buyer notices the sword and the fact that it isn't properly warded, but gives up all apparent interest when the Royals leader, Viktor, claims it as a trophy. The exchange complete, the buyer leaves the hideout. A conversation between he and his partner implies that they are the two men who Quentyn overheard conspiring here.
A Royal discovers Quentyn in his hiding place, who jumps through a hole in the floor and promptly sprains his ankle. He is captured and brought before Viktor. One of the females recognizes Quentyn as a Questor. Due to this, Viktor and the others decide to give Quentyn the beating of a lifetime, abandoning his battered body in a trashbin. Coincidentally, Squidge had been hiding in the bin. Quentyn vehemently swears to get his sword back.
After quite a bit of preparation, Quentyn lures the Redcaps straight into the Royals hideout, thus sparking a massive brawl. He subsequently uses some poppers to scare a couple of tree apes into demolishing the Royals hideout. As the gang members stumble out of the ruins, Quentyn activates another of his tricks, unleashing a tremendous charge of lux within a matter of seconds. This disables all lux-powered items within a hundred yards, including the wards and lux tappers surrounding Wildcard. The connection restored, Quentyn summons Wildcard back to his hand.
At that moment, the City Guard appears and takes everyone prisoner. Quentyn is released in a matter of hours, but not before a conversation with several of the higher-ups of Sanctuary City. All charges against Quentyn are dropped, much to the dismay of Mulharney. Just as the elders begin to formulate a grand conspiracy theory regarding the human coins found at the gang hideouts, Quentyn deflates the theory by pointing out that the coins are counterfeit.
As he is about to leave the police station, Squidge says that he managed to get someone from Freeman Downs to pay for his legal fees - Meribeth. Viktor, in a nearby cell, spouts various threats at Quentyn until he forcefully shuts him up and reciprocates with the threats. In true Quentyn fashion, however, he throws up as soon as he exits the station.
Meribeth follows Quentyn outside to console him and reveals that back when Quentyn and his friends got drunk for the first time, they hadn't been drinking blackberry sherry, but blackberry brandy - a much more potent drink. As it turns out, Meribeth had mixed up the bottles, which is why she felt that she owed Quentyn a favor.
In a dark room, Mulharney speaks to a figure obscured by the darkness. Through his conversation with the man, Mulharney reveals that while the coins were indeed counterfeit, the conspiracy theory was most certainly not. Mulharney also reveals the shady figure as one of the elders present at Quentyn's police station debriefing and that, as he already knew Quentyn (He is the city guard depicted here.), Mulharney had actually helped Quentyn along his quest through his actions. While Mulharney knows that he can do little to expose this plot, he leaves the shady figure with a warning that future endeavors of the sort will not fare as well.
Once at home, Quentyn is summoned before the council. Gilder, as expected, is absolutely outraged and in the middle of a fierce diatribe when a message from the Sanctuary City council arrives, absolving Quentyn of all criminal charges. However, the board still votes to censure Quentyn for his rash actions.
Quentyn angrily tromps home. In a nearby bar, Rahan and his cohorts poke fun at him from afar until Meribeth comes by and calmly rebukes his accusers.
Fearing parental retribution for his actions, Quentyn enters his home through the kitchen door, where he finds Squidge happily eating a pie. Squidge reveals that he had sought out Quentyn's parents beforehand and told them everything about his Sanctuary City exploits. Quentyn fearfully steps into the living room, asking his parents to hear him out. However, his parents burst into laughter instead of admonishing their child.
At Gilder's house, Gilder continues to vent about the Questor situation to his wife, claiming that this anachronistic behavior will only lead to ruin for the town.
Quentyn visits Rilcreek, who explains to him why he voted for censure: firstly, to play politics and maintain his influence in the council, secondly, to ensure that no harsher punishments would be suggested, and finally, to express genuine disapproval of Quentyn's actions. Unexpectedly, what Rilcreek took offense to was not Quentyn's actions, but rather his weak defense of said actions. To that end, Rilcreek gives Quentyn a Questor journal to ensure that Quentyn's account of the actions appears in the news scrips first.
Reading angry letters from people who had read the erroneous and sensationalized news scrip accounts, demanding retractions and corrections from the news scrips, and recovering from Rahan's pranks take up much of Quentyn's time in the subsequent weeks.
One night, Quentyn receives a letter from the council allowing for the removal of his censure if he agreed to several very limiting requirements and what turns out to be the journal of a former Questor of Freeman Downs.
Exercising his Questor powers, Quentyn summons an elder council meeting in the middle of the night. He reads out loud a passage from the journal of the former Questor, who is revealed as the first Quentyn the Questor. He then proceeds to harshly rebuke the council's actions; the council revokes the censure two days later.
With Squidge's help, Quentyn also puts an end to Rahan's pranks, forcing Rahan's family to pay considerable damages. The arc ends with Quentyn happily gloating about his revenge.
In "A Brief Interlude," a few unfortunate Rac Conans find themselves careening wildly through a field as they try to control their wind-powered lev-carriage. In the words of a traditional lev-carriage driver, "That ... is why you don't see no sail-powered lev-carriages."
In yet another “Meanwhile...” Fen is discovered sleeping in the Fae Rath again. As Fen shuffles off to bed, his teacher expresses concern over his obsession with the Rath. The comic flashes back to a few months prior, revealing the root of Fen’s obsession with the Rath - he wishes to become a living legend by retrieving a whole song from the Elsewhere.
Eventually, one of the teachers forces Fen to take some time off from school and the Fae Rath, as his grades have begun to slip due to his spending every available hour in the Rath. As he spends the free days sulking, the teacher enlists Kestrel’s help. Kestrel, with the help of a rebuilt golem, drags Fen away from his room and into the glorious outdoors. She realizes that Fen wants to use the Fae Rath as a fast track to success.
Kestrel discovers that Rath had created his own Fae Rath. It is later revealed that he had heard a song in the Fae Rath and stood idly by, listening instead of recording. Ever since then, he has been trying to catch another song, but has been unable to hear one.
The first two compilations of Questor comics are available to buyers on Lulu. Volume 1 is 223 pages long, and costs $41.99. Volume 2 is 170 pages long, priced at $39.99.
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