Also, cue everyone who remembers the old version of the comic getting mad at me because Parch actually didn't blow up the festival, OR Smoulder. x'D I know many have been expecting it, and really, no one is to blame for that. :'P Things aren't always going to be exactly the same this time around, though!
His magic fire is gonna blow up tomorrow (he says it comes back with a vengeance after the fest) he may need to swim back to the castle before sunrise to release it all during the morning so it won't bother him during the ceremony.
I haven't read the original version, but I fear we're being set up and old, extremely likeable and kind Smoulder is not long for this world. (Isn't it awful to have become so suspicious of writers intentions?)
||It would be refreshing to have something different happen. Not to make Parch's life going forward any easier but to see something beyond the promise of a possible aid being stolen from the story, or at best, an "Obi-wan" appearing from the afterlife. (Not that I have any idea on how to do something that original!)||
Still, absolutely great build-up, regardless of how this goes. Not sure if I should search out the original for comparisons or continue to read this with fewer preconceptions than the other commenters seem to have, though...
I'm actually quite relieved that this time old Smoulder wasn't a victim of an unintended or unremembered effect of the old songs, the more I heard from him the more I liked him here and seeing him blown up, while it definitely would have reinforced Parches dislike of his magic would still have hurt quite a lot.
Then again, even if we were to trust your word on this fellow not ending in flames this setup could lead to quite a few other potential issues.
From elemental magic being the one thing he's not willing to keep secret to him knowing more than he lets on leading to Parch getting less careful, over him being attacked by the others or at least locked away when/if they find out that he knew about Parch (if he either does know/suspect already or if he is told by Parch).
Thinking about it, though, it seems pretty plausible for Smoulder to at least not be blown up in the near future, if he's even still intimately involved in the...I guess inciting incident. After all, we've had a far stronger setup regarding the Mafiac tribe and their concern about it, what with the much clearer physical signs than last time.
Then again, we've had the foreshadowing of Parch's fire coming back with a vengeance the next day so, who knows.
Also, since stories do often seem to change quite a bit upon rewrite, at least if my experience is anything to go by, I kind of have this pet conspiracy theory.
It's "only" based on the "be careful what you wish for" setup in the old one, the "unknowns" in the element section of the refs, the night being the same one where they lost their magic (and possibly a important anniversary, if the 600 years Parch named weren't just an approximation, which could lend some symbolic weight to it especially if 6 has some importance in their culture(s)), the blue dude and the whisper Parch heard from the moon which could mean anything and nothing, but here goes...
I think it's plausible that the magic is coming back, and not in a super slow way, but in a "everyone starts getting magic after this night" way,though I don't necessarily think it'll show super suddenly/all at once, but that it'll be notable over a few weeks/months even if Parch is singled out before then. I guess the core of what I mean is that this is magic coming back even if it's not something that's been noticed by many/anyone yet (who knows how getting/using Dragonfire and such for the first time works and if there needs to be more than technically having it).
Some more thoughts regarding the old guy and how Parch's lack of training turns him into an actual danger (alongside possibly(?) making him unable to use his fire to it's full extent but I think that's kinda secondary to "walking potential bomb"), dragons lost their magic some 600 years ago and destroyed all documents they could find, but depending on how long-lived they are (aging about half as quickly as humans seems a decent estimate in child-/teenhood but even beyond that there may be differences, anyways, I'm calling about 12 generations, IF dragons have children fairly young, but it may easily be less, either overall of for some families) and how magic influenced their culture it's plausible that Smoulder could have some ideas on how to control it, maybe certain cultural ideas, myth, legends or religious practices that could point to certain practices survived the book burning.
Then again, cultural drift happens and so ti would probably depend a lot on, as I said, how old dragons get (less generations = culture and myths are likely remembered more accurate to how they used to be before the purge) and just how much was destroyed. Of course it's unlikely that everything was wiped out especially if it wasn't directly related, but last time I checked these dragons weren't particularly into archeology (quite the opposite) and 600 years is a long time.
Speaking of surviving info on elements, I think his best chance may be other creatures and civilizations, especially those who aren't or weren't happy about magic leaving. Even if it's dangerous they should have much more info left over.
Even unrelated magic could be of some help, to say nothing of the tales they may have passed down or the books on Dragonfire they may have saved. Even if dragons made an attempt to destroy everything on Dragonfire or magic in general - and given the extremism that's been hinted at I wouldn't find it too unlikely for them to not just accidentally enforce their fate on the entire world, but to do so purposefully - they probably couldn't destroy all (people like books, people like saving books and people generally hate being told what to do by outsiders, especially if they disagree with them on everything) and while the proportion of Dragonfire books may be low (both due to probably mostly having been owned by the dragon population and due to people possibly being a little less unwilling to let them destroy things about their own magic) it should be possible to find some.
He totally knows. Now I'm worried he's going to die just like the elder Parch accidentally kills in the original Spyro fanfic version. Nooooooooooooooo...........
But man, if he doesn't know Parch has an element, this is just so auspicious.
Mad? Nah man I was starting to get really worried there since Smolder got so much more character development in this version. I thought we were getting set up for a heartbreak with having him first build up that relationship with Parch only to get accidentally toasted by him a few pages down the line. If that's not the case anymore I will be actually glad. :'D