TBH i think this was your best rendition right here. you had the atmosphere and proper contrast levels that made for the most interesting read to my eye.
Your latest version sort of flattens the contrast out, which takes your eye away from the main point of interest, which should be the flame. As you come to the foreground, rich blacks hitting vibrant lighting from the flame, which will dissipate with distance, seems to be the proper treatment IMO.
i made just a quick edit from your most recent rendition to point out how much of a difference it can make as an impact to the eye.
Forgive my rather roughness in this edit its done only to show some points. i dont wish to do any detail work for you (mainly because i dont have the time, but it wouldnt help you anyway i dont think).
Basically whats going on here at the lowest level is a decrease in brightness with an increase in contrast. This is a pretty easy photoshop adjustment to make. From there im just using a few layers to rough in some brighter highlights that might be hit by the flame's lighting. Noe as well that the character being hit by the flame will have very similar highlights wherever the light will hit. high contrast because he is very close and silhouetting the source of the foreground lighting. If i wanted to go through and make this thorough, your railing/floor areas that are catching that light would have a similar value that the pillar has. This general contrast area will also help define the silhouette of your wizard character (forgive me for not editing this in). The ornate mermaid structure should probably also get just a slight more lighting on it to put it on the same field of depth as the claw that is holding it.
Note that with the dragon i threw in an additional lighting treatment in certain areas to help place his entire figure more in the foreground. We want that backlighting thats hittimg him to be slightly lighter in value than the sky behind him to bring those edges forward. You dont HAVE to do this but i think given the twilight setting it felt appropriate (and is a nice cooling contrast to the very warm fire).
I'd call it finished. I made the fire and improved some little things. Because I didn't recieve any response previously, I guess nobody had anything to complain about?
Heh - well if you want to go there, i think theres lots that cna be fixed and adjusted in terms of the layout, some of the perspective happening in the piece, the wizard's form/anatomy, the treatment and detailing of the sky, but it doesnt seem to me that you are hoping to go through a gutting of this piece at this point. the time to do all that was way closer to the beginning of the thread. sorry for not jumping in on that sooner.