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Heartwarming / Dragon Calling

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Dragon Calling is an expansive, adventurous fantasy series. The series is considered Light Epic Fantasy, and although it does have some dark moments, the story is full of courageous and kind characters that dish out plenty of heartwarming moments.

Be aware, all spoilers are unmarked!
The adventure of a lifetime forges unshakable bonds.

  • (In Kin Seeker) When Laeka'Draeon meets Ubi for the first time, he is struck by how beautiful she is, and is a little confounded by how blithe and unafraid she is of him. The two forge a mutual trust very quickly, and over the Darks Whelm arc form a close bond that has Laeka'Draeon willing to give up his own life (without hesitation) in order to save her from the cacodemon (even though he's only known her for a couple of days).
    Ubi: Escape this place, Laeka'Draeon! There is no need for both of us to die.
    Laeka'Draeon (turning to stand his ground against the cacodemon): (I won't run away to spare my own life. I won't leave Ubi to endure this fate alone. I would rather die!)

  • Laeka'Draeon's numerous declarations of protection to Ubi reveals just how much he cares about her, and how he makes an effort to reassure her during moments of fear or uncertainty.

  • The lengths Yuolers goes to protect and calm Laeka'Draeon and Ubi during their escape from Darks Whelm, as well as afterwards (even as Yuolers is dying) shows a heartwarming parental nature; the Ludas does not even know them (having only just met them) but still treats them tenderly, calling them "children". This can also be considered a Tear Jerker sequence.

  • Fargo's initial promise to Laeka'Draeon to remain by his side until the end may not be seen as all that touching ... until near the end of the series (In The Last Calling), when Fargo's message is finally given and it's time for the Spirit Message to disappear—there's enough of an established consciousness in Fargo that it remembers it's first promise and says this:
    Fargo: Until end ... I have followed. Promised kept. Goodbye ... friend.
Okay, so maybe this one's a Tear Jerker, too.
  • Laeka'Draeon's reunion with Ubi, Norf, and Maikor, after their recovery from Sotaik's attack. Fargo even joins in, zipping around their heads in rapturous energy.
  • Laeka'Draeon being open and vulnerable when he talks to Lord Belzor about his uncertainty in having powerful individuals openly and readily aid him; this comes after Belzor mentions him needing to see the faerie queen, Lady Megandel. Laeka'Draeon doubts his importance to such a powerful person and questions whether she would even be willing to see him; he does not expect others to bend to his whim to accommodate him and mentions finding the other dragons as his responsibility. Belzor's response is what makes the moment heartwarming.
    Belzor: My dear young dragon, what a puzzle you are. You may be the last dragon, but you are not alone in your desire to find your kind. And if you're the only one with any real chance of solving this mystery, then all the more reason for the rest of us to help. Do not think to do this alone.
Belzor goes on to encourage Laeka'Draeon that all those whom he has met on his journey so far, helped him because they wanted to—and that he should not feel the need to carry his burden (of finding the dragons and restoring Klonnoth Aire) alone. This spotlights the centaur prophet's sincerely charitable and hopeful disposition.

  • (In The Beacon Thrones) Ferule and Chase's dramatised interactions with Maewren are often both amusing and heartwarming—especially coming from Chase, who is quietly in love with her, and affectionately refers to her as "love".
  • Ubi's clear admiration for Maewren and her unadulterated enthusiasm for being treated like a special guest by the centaurs of Elenoelian is really cute. As is her flustering over Lord Belzor (who is an unmistakably blithe and attractive individual).
  • After Laeka'Draeon drops to the ground in despair and disgust at having gone berserk and savagely attacked the two hobgoblins (who had injured Shifra), Ubi takes the time to comfort him and reassure that his savage instinct is a natural trigger (in regards to hobgoblins). Even though she admits to having been frightened by the event, she also affirms her trust in him. It's a special moment between them—especially considering this is the first time Laeka'Draeon has lost control, and Ubi's first time actually being afraid of him.
  • Chase embracing Maewren after Belzor (and Ubi) heal her from what would have been fatal wounds. The raw intensity of relief he expresses (laughing even as tears fill his eyes) is quite moving.
  • When only Laeka'Draeon, Ubi, and Norf make it across the (magical) path and into the cave behind the waterfall before the andas'muin (Seal that Opens) spell collapses, they lose sight and contact with Belzor and the others, and after an agonising time trying to contact them (via Soul Talk), Laeka'Draeon begins to despair that the wall-watchers have killed them. Then, Belzor makes mental contact with Ubi, and to the group's utmost relief, assures them that everyone is safe and unharmed. The moment is given an extra (and subtle) heartwarming touch when Norf tentatively asks if Maikor is okay.
    • Continuing in the same scene, Belzor's words of encouragement and farewell to Laeka'Draeon, Ubi, and Norf helps to bolster the trio's courage and hope in being able to succeed in their goal, and faith in each other.
    Belzor: Please, take care of each other. Let your differences become your strengths. Never lose faith in yourselves or your quest ...
  • When Laeka'Draeon and Ubi get (temporarily) caught up in the euphoria-inducing effects of the Olmu Glade, they frolic around together across the glade's grassy inclines, joyous and carefree. The moment is described with an air of happiness that really warms the heart—especially considering what they had just come from (a night of terror being attacked by hobgoblins and ghoshmyls and then trekking through the unnerving Nymph Realm, where wall-watchers stalked their movements).
  • The effect Lady Megadnel has on Shifra and Laeka'Draeon is profound and beautiful. When locked in her gaze and touched by her hand, they become completely vulnerable (physically, but more especially mentally) in the purest and safest way. The faerie queen disables all their self-built walls and biases and fears and gives them a moment of feeling unconditional love and acceptance. The experience is from Laeka'Draeon's POV, but he watches carefully when Megandel turns her attention to Shifra, and the young morwulf (having so-far been extremely distrustful and guarded) is near-overwhelmed by the moment she almost breaks down.
  • The first time Laeka'Draeon properly interacts with Shifra (after they cross paths again in the Olmu Tree), he is confounded and annoyed by her coldness and distrust, but at the same time, deeply driven to want to help her. His innate desire is innocent and genuine and sets the stage for readers to root for his success in earning her trust and friendship.
  • When Megandel reveals to Laeka'Draeon that the power to dispel the encroaching darkness and chaos (over Valadae) does not lie with the current powerful beings/ forces within Valdae, but with him, the young dragon begins to feel overwhelmed and inadequate ... until Megandel explains to him what potential is, which inspires him to have more faith in himself.
    Lady Megandel: Potential is a seed. It is the ability to be much more than what exists at any one moment. Potential is not what is, but what could be. What you see when you look at yourself is not all you are. Remember that, and you will find whatever lies ahead will never be too much for you.
  • Ghinzel's unadulterated cuteness and curiosity when Laeka'Draeon and company explain their quest to him (and agree to let him be their guide through the Labyrinth of Tears). He's especially enraptured by Laeka'Draeon, and explains that he's only ever heard of dragons in the "legendary stories" his father tells him, and then he asks if Laeka'Draeon's quest is like one of those legendary stories and if he's some kind of hero.
  • After all the bickering and clashing between Ubi and Norf, the latter shows his true mettle when he does all he can to rescue Ubi from drowning in Az-Thorz' enchanted bog—and when he realises his inevitable failure, he chooses to not let her go, even if it means he'll be dragged into the bog and drowned as well. It's a pretty powerful Character Development moment for Norf, and ultimately changes the dynamics of their relationship for the rest of the series.
    • This moment continues on after Selisidus awakens and dispels the corruption that had engulfed her domain (and rescues Laeka'Draeon's friends in the process). Norf's reaction when he sees that Ubi is safe and unharmed is the proverbial icing on the cake.

  • (In Dual Destiny) The book starts off with the companions enjoying a festival, as the fellis of the Village of Kai celebrate the restoration of Mistwood (most especially the Labyrinth of Tears). This event is given poignancy when remembering what the fellis have come from: months of suffering under the blight that beset their woodlands, with their medicinal fields destroyed, their Eideleus pools poisoned, plus the outbreak of harpies and the menace that was Az-Thorz.
    • Laeka'Draeon ruminates on the pure joy and excitement witnessed in the fellis, which serves to strengthen his resolve in restoring peace and safety to the kingdoms of Valadae.
  • Ghinzel's Rite of Seinuanu, while a formal tribal event, is given a heartwarming touch in that the elders presiding over the event show Ghinzel a level of trust and respect the little fellis likely hasn't experienced (especially since his recent actions caused harpies to breach the village's defences, resulting in damaged property and multiple injuries to villagers). Their decision to place him into the care of Laeka'Draeon's company is quite a big deal that not only boosts the little fellis' confidence but helps to restore his family's honour and standing in the village.
  • When the fellis Chieftain offers the use of the villager's messengers for Laeka'Draeon and company to relay their latest news to their loved ones, the group accepts. Ubi asks if Laeka'Draeon will use the service, and at first, he hesitates, as he has no knowledge of any friends or family to send a message to ... then he smiles as he remembers that he does have someone to contact: his new friend and ally, Belzor Ven'Ho.
  • Ghinzel's addition to the group brings a new dynamic of energy and cuteness. He literally spends the first few hours of their journey (after leaving Kai) burning a seemingly boundless supply of enthusiasm, skipping about between the companions, asking questions and chattering on about all the exciting adventures that await them.
  • After Laeka'Draeon's forced transformation, the support he receives from Lume and his friends holds a few funny and heart-warming moments.
    • When Ghinzel wakes Laeka'Draeon up and explains that Lume sent him to show Laeka'Draeon how to get dressed (into hemlan clothing), as well as serve him lunch, he does so with honest cheerfulness. The little fellis even gives Laeka'Draeon one of his silt newts, which—considering how he rambled on about them being a rare delicacy in an earlier chapter—shows a helpful and generous side to him.
    • Ghinzel and Ubi's animated reactions when Laeka'Draeon successfully crosses the balancing log shows how genuinely excited they are at his progress. The display gives Laeka'Draeon a much-needed encouragement boost.
    • Ubi, Ghinzel and Laeka'Draeon's interactions during their game of Fools Stone Trump Stone is a great (and amusing) bonding moment between them.
    • The chapter Both Captivating and Cruel is the first time Shifra opens up to Laeka'Draeon, which in itself is a special moment, even though the topic is a rather heavy one and eventually takes a cold turn and Shifra, emotionally defensive, says some rather mean-spirited things that leaves the reader feeling really sorry for Laeka'Draeon.
  • Laeka'Draeon's unadulterated fascination and bafflement at the city of Shoumeign (the streets and buildings and markets and masses of creature-kinds all living within close proximity) is really quite enjoyable to witness; a reminder of the young's dragon's purity and naivety of the wider world.
  • The reunion with Cab and Taijorn (softly foreshadowed in Book One at Cab's mentioning of his and Taijorn's final destination being Shoumeign) is something of a surprise—albeit a very warming and happy one at that.
  • Considering the risk involved (potential arrest and ruination of their business) Haskel and Conso agree to help Laeka'Draeon and friends rescue Norf from the Scimitar Dancer and his slave traders. That's some serious show of courage and heart—especially considering they're practically strangers.
  • Both heart-warming and heart-wrenching is the moxlin's freedom from imprisonment (and a life of forced servitude and mind-control). He bravely runs after one of the mercenaries to stop him from alerting others to Laeka'Draeon, Shifra and Ghinzel's infiltration and attempted rescue efforts. A short time later, Laeka'Draeon finds him in the maze of corridors, collapsed and wounded. Laeka'Draeon is forced to leave him behind without help, but the moxlin only thanks him for his freedom—which is all he ever wanted. His fate remains unknown (presumed dead) until later he is seen fleeing from the impending charge and rampage of Mothuurdresh, at which point it is assumed he makes it out of the underground hideout with the rest of the escapees and survives.
  • In the aftermath of the group's escape from Shoumeign (and the harpy attack), Haskel recounts to Laeka'Draeon the tremendous efforts given by Shifra and Ubi to help keep the group calm and in control whilst also tending to wounds. Laeka'Draeon's introspection is moving. "Something inside Laeka'Draeon began to ache, deeper than his wounds could reach."
    Laeka'Draeon: My friends ... one who cares so freely, and the other who pretends not to. Your courage and compassion saved us. You must know ... I need you to know that I would give my life for the both of you.
    • Laeka'Draeon's continued conversation with Haskel reveals the wescat's intention of taking Madam Lume with the rest of his company (Cab, Taijorn, and Conso) and looking after her; a noble, selfless decision, considering the utter havoc they will be stepping into once they return to Shoumeign.
    • Also, it's a great relief knowing that the events of the Shoumeign Arc have effectively crippled Scimitar Dancer's slave trade operations; an afterthought, but a heartening one at that.
  • While Haskel rejects Laeka'Draeon's offer to join their quest, the wescat's words help to not only further solidify trust and comradery between them but sets up a rather Heartwarming in Hindsight thread.
    Haskel: Not that I don't like a good tale. Listening to the adventures spun by travellers and bards is a favourite pastime of mine. So, you keep having your adventures, and perhaps when all that's required is done, you can come back to The Red Antlers and spin some tales of your own. Not too unreasonable request, right?
    Laeka'Draeon: After everything you, Cab, Taijorn, and Conso have done for us, it would be the least I could do.
At the end of The Last Calling, Haskel and co arrive in Se'ciel for a reunion (and to attend the Tribute of the Gathered), and do get to hear Laeka'Draeon's tales, via Redwick Ravenwings' dramatic re-telling.
  • Laeka'Draeon's conversation with Maita reveals Kushal's true motives (love) and level of courage (defying the laws of his kind), which Laeka'Draeon comes to understand and respect.
  • Maita and Ika's reunion with their pixie-cats friends. Ika reuniting with her sister is especially sweet.
  • The moments leading up to and involving Laeka'Draeon and Madam Lume's farewell is particularly touching, especially considering Lume's ultimate fate is left hanging ... until Book Five.
    • Yarad's addition to Lume's farewell, though seemingly understating, is a poignant Heartwarming in Hindsight moment. He steps in to replace Conso in gently carrying Lume to the wagon, and then when she (still weak and disorientated) looks at him and mutters he seems familiar, he calms her state of mind by gently stating that the recollection as something dreamed. This turns out not to be the case, as his later arc (in Book 5) reveals he knew her from when she was a little girl from the travelling troupe that took him in (after his exile and near-death state). She was the first hemlan to show him unbiased curiosity and kindness.
  • The Chapter Shelter and Song has a lot of character bonding moments. It starts with Laeka'Draeon reminiscing the previous three days of travel and how noticeably stronger the bonds between his companions is getting. Ghinzel's attachment to Yarad becomes more apparent; Ubi begins to soften up more towards Shifra.
    • Once the group finds shelter from the incoming storm and settles down for the evening, Ghinzel excitedly goes through his magic nuts and shows them off to Ubi, Norf and Yarad. The varied reactions are both amusing and endearing (Laeka'Draeon notices that Ghinzel is, in particular, trying to impress Yarad).
    • Norf and Shifra are talked into playing their musical instruments, and the group enjoys a moment of song and dance.
  • After the group faces the perils of the Void of Storm and Fire and re-awaken the Beacon Throne, they take a moment to appreciate and encourage one another and their hard-won achievement. It's a happy, inspiring moment and ends the book on a high, hopeful note.
    Laeka'Draeon: Whatever our fears, we cannot let them stop us from doing what we need to do. I understand that now. Fear is only as powerful as you allow it to be. No matter what, we need to continue, despite our fears.
    Ubi: You are absolutely right, Laeka'Draeon.
    Norf: Couldn't have said it better myself.
    Ghinzel: We can do it. Let's go save Valadae!

  • (In The Sword of Stars) Ghinzel's foolish choice to take the muulta eggs (even though they weren't in a nest) is found out, and while the fellis is firmly reprimanded, Laeka'Draeon ultimately handles the situation well and in a way that has Ghinzel determined to never disappoint the group again (and happy to take on Norf's chores for the next few days).
  • Shifra hands the muulta eggs to Yarad so he can dispose of them (much to Ghinzel's dismay). Later, when the group is debating about stocking up on supplies from a tavern but have no money to do so, Yarad suggests the muulta eggs be used as currency—revealing he never actually threw them away. The reason was possibly a mere pragmatic one, but the fact that he hands an egg directly to Ghinzel (for him to carry) suggests he was equally stirred to make the little fellis happy.
  • So relieved and excited about being able to indulge in the beverages and foodstuffs of a hospitable border tavern (after days spent travelling and eating and sleeping outdoors) Norf really loosens up and ends up treating Ghinzel with jovial equality—telling the bartender he's older (than he actually is) which allows the little fellis to order food and supplies without supervision as well as taste spiced ale for the first time (his reaction to the drink is quite hilarious).
  • The introduction of Belzor's Soul Guards, Laurana and Doriel, in the earlier chapters of Book 4, reveals them to be attentive and readily serving his every need and request. Their care for him is obvious and genuine and touching to witness (especially since he is required to place himself in danger by connecting with the Imurainiir again, so soon after receiving prophetic insight from it, alongside Laeka'Draeon).
  • Belzor's reminiscing before taking his leave of Elenoelian—well aware that he may never see his home again. He takes a moment to listen and see and smell the natural beauty of his home and to briefly delve into his past fantasies of living a life free of his title and burdens. He also leaves a hand-written note for Maewren, which in hindsight he realises was a slip into the weakness of his soul but does not regret it.
    • Later in that same chapter, after Belzor, Laurana and Doriel have travelled over the border and into the next kingdom, he receives a surprise visit from Lady Megadenl's Soul Guard, Ourntar—whom, it turns out, understood the situation more than Belzor, to the point of informing Belzor's companions (Chase, Ferule and Meawren) of his whereabouts so that they could catch up with him. Ourntar reiterates the importance of utilising the strength that is found in the devotion and unity of close comrades, and that Belzor's quest will not find success without it (the reason Belzor left them behind in the first place was due to the fears in his own mind in regards to the dangers his path would inevitably lead him to ... perils he did not want his friends to face).
    Ourntar: I understand your heart, young one. But you cannot underestimate the darkness that lies ahead, nor the power that lies in bonded friendship. I have brought the pieces of your missing strength. Do not forget where your true power lies.
    • Then, Ferule, Chase, and Maewren arrive, and it's such a heart-warming moment for Belzor.
  • Ubi's comforting of Laeka'Draeon (after the group are forced to run far from the border village, after Laeka'Draeon's attack on the bandits) is such a touching moment. A guilt-ridden Laeka'Draeon is silently agonizing over his loss of control and seeing how exhausted his companions are. Then, Ubi takes the time to come over and lay beside him. She nestles so close to him (a show of complete faith and trust) that their noses are inches from touching. Then she says this to him, using Soul Talk:
    Ubi: I know you too well, Laeka'Draeon. I know your heart aches. But please, do not blame yourself for what happened. Get some rest. Recover your strength. I have faith that you will find a way to overcome any obstacle. I always have.
  • Ubi and Ghinzel kicking up a panic after waking to find Laeka'Draeon not at camp ... then their animated relief after finding him resting just outside the tree boundary of High Forest Way. Ubi was worried because of his previous self-blame for the consequences of the bandit attack. Ghinzel was worried that he didn't want to travel with them anymore. Norf huffs and snarks about the ridiculousness of their reactions, but Laeka'Draeon is touched by their concern.
  • The time the company spends sheltering in the old duarden watchtower ruins is rife with moments that leave a smile on the readers' face. Particularly the game of Fools Stone Trump Stone played between Ghinzel, Norf, and Yarad.
    • The bets placed on the game—leading Yarad to wager that if he wins, the other two have to write poetic apologies to one another and read them aloud to the group.
    • Then, Norf accusing Yarad of deliberately letting Ghinzel win.
  • Although the situation turns toward a threatening one—Laeka'Draeon's reaction to Shifra jumping on his back (so that he doesn't rush ahead to face the incoming threat alone) is adorkable, to say the least.
  • The level of intense commitment to rescue Ghinzel from the goblins is seen, not just in Laeka'Draeon (as is to be expected from one of his personality and temperament) but in all of the companions. Most poignantly, Yarad.
  • When Curdilis very nearly stabs Norf through the chest with his axe, but Ubi shoots energy from her horn and forces the mercenary to abandon his assault. Norf genuinely believes he's about to die ... and then Ubi rushes in, aglow in her activated magic, her eyes fiery with adrenaline-charged focus (an expression rarely seen on her). The scenario is observed from Norf's POV, and he finds that at that moment, nothing in all of Valadae is more beautiful than her—in all her fierce, protective glory.
  • After Laeka'Draeon protects Tiel in the Goblin Game arena, she does a Heel–Face Turn despite how utterly terrified she is of her master and the other goblins. Fargo guides the other companions to her, and she—wanting to help them—takes them to where he and Ghinzel (and recently Shifra) are being held.
    • The way Tiel looks at Ubi—with unadulterated wonder, void of any timidity or fear.
    • After Laeka'Draeon and Ghinzel are released, Yarad returns Ghinzel's magic nut pouch and Ukaito Pack; he specifies that it was by Tiel's efforts he was able to retrieve them.
    • And let's make mention again how Yarad goes out of his way to continuously credit Tiel for her part in the rescue efforts.
    • How utterly adorable the interaction between Ghinzel and Tiel are, after his release. Ghinzel, thrilled to be free and have his belongings back again, grabs her in a full hug and says she is the nicest goblin he has ever met (which is probably the first compliment she's ever had). She then apologies for stealing his Jewels of Kai necklace and hands it back to him. He, in turn, gives her a muulta egg and says that she could make a necklace out of it. Her reaction strongly implies that she's never received a gift (out of simple kindness) before.
  • When Laurana and Maewren begin singing while they bathe in the stream, Belzor listens in enraptured silence, and takes a quiet moment of self-reflection—acknowledging the feelings he has for Maewren, but reminding himself he cannot afford to be distracted by them, especially when near the Imurainiir.
    • Ferule attempts to prompt some affectionate interaction between Chase and Maewren by suggesting Chase dance with her. The younger sibling declines in jest (and understated resignation), stating that her dance belongs to someone else. It's a touching moment, as the reader comes to realise then that Chase really is in love with Maewren, but knows she is in love with Belzor, and so openly acknowledges the truth—which in turn gives Belzor confirmation on his (and her) feelings. Chase's character really shines through here.
    • Doriel removes one of the vegetable skewers from the fire and gives it to his sister. Belzor, impromptu, does the same for Maewren. It's a brief but cute moment—especially coming off the previous (heart) revelations.
  • The whole scene where Laeka'Draeon and his companions create a cairn for Tiel, and one-by-one speak out their positive memories of her. It definitely tugs on the heartstrings, in both warming and sorrowful ways.
  • While down in the Deep Ways, Shifra enacts Yokushin to speak with Laeka'Draeon in private. She (rightly) suspects him of holding back things from the others, but it turns out the root of her confronting him about it is because she is legitimately worried for him. Her slight flustering and his (warm and fuzzy) reactions make a heart-warming moment (which unfortunately doesn't last long).