In The Elysian Chronicles: Out of the Shadows, dragons finally make an appearance.
From Out of the Shadows “Chapter Thirty-One: Below the Belt”:
Davian heard a whoosh above him to his right and felt a gust of wind. The fog swirled around him. “Bring [Gabriella] with me,” he whispered to Cassadern, and he flew back to Marcus.
“What was that, Seraph?” asked Marcus.
They heard it again and felt another blast of wind. Theo gasped and pointed to the sky where a long, reptilian tale disappeared into the fog above.
“Did you see the head attached to that tail, Theo?” asked Tyce.
Theo shook his head. “I saw the leg though. Bigger than five unicorns together.”
They felt another gale, and Marcus pointed at something that looked like the wing of a bat, except it was green and about ten feet wide. Marcus reached for his swords, but pulled his hands away. “Not like I’m going to reach it anyway,” he muttered to Tyce.
“Stay quiet, and don’t move,” whispered Davian.
“It already knows we’re here,” said Boronan.
“And it needs to know we mean it no harm.”
“You can’t reason with them, Davian,” said Boronan.
Davian chuckled. “Using reason was not in my plan.”
“Your plan?” said Marcus. “That wing was in your plan?”
Davian pointed at the fog. “Look. It’s lifting.”
“He’s not sharing his plan with either of us, Marcus,” said Boronan.
After most of the fog cleared, a colossal rust-colored dragon sat ten yards away from them. Each of its five-clawed feet grasped the rock it had landed on. Spikes as long as Davian’s hand ran along its spine and down its swishing tail. Five horns grew out of its head like a natural crown; its red wings were folded at its back.
“He’s an Imperial, Davian,” warned Boronan.
“An Imperial dragon?” said Tyce. “Aren’t they the fiercest?”
“There’s only one,” said Davian. “We’ll be fine.”
“Fine?” Tyce whispered to Theo. “Has he heard the tales?”
“Trust the seraph, runt,” said Marcus. “He knows what he’s doing. And he’s right. There’s only one of them.” Marcus, despite his words, kept a firm grip on both swords.
More fog cleared, revealing more than fifty dragons that surrounded Davian’s soldiers and unicorns. Twenty more circled in the air.
Describing the Elysian Chronicles to people who haven’t read it can be difficult. I try to mention “Roman soldiers with wings” to describe cherubians, but the series has much more than angels with swords flitting around the galaxy between portals. It features quite a few creatures, but I didn’t have the ability to show all of them in A Prophecy Forgotten, especially since most of APF takes place on Earth.
I loved writing Out of the Shadows because it gave me a chance to develop and explore the world of Heaven’s Realm–to make it more of a real place instead of something mentioned between patrons of the Treetop Inn.
Dragons were by far my favorite creatures to create, but I didn’t want to simply add dragons for the sake of dragons. They needed character, a back story, and a culture. Their existence needed to make sense–not just be some “look I have dragons which makes me cool.”
First, I decided to make the dragons highly emotional creatures. That would make them more dangerous, even amongst friends and allies. Who wants the crazy friend with mood swings running around with napalm?
Second, I gave the dragons a few weaknesses so I could keep them under control when needed. (Do you think I want to deal with emotional, winged beasts running around with napalm?) I’ll deal with the weaknesses in a later blog post.
Third, I decided to divide the dragons into races: the Imperials, the Baethir, and the Tatsu. I did this for a few reasons:
- We see it in nature all the time. Look at all the different types of sharks in the ocean. Writing has to imitate reality in some ways or it won’t feel real.
- Different races give me different strengths and weaknesses to play with. For instance: the Tatsu are smaller but their fire burns blue, and it’s hotter than anything.
- Different races give me the possibility for future conflict. Conflict is key in stories. By building a dragon culture based on more than one type of dragon, I gave myself future plot twists and problems. (Yes, that was foreshadowing.)
I will discuss the dragon races in more detail later because, again, there is too much detail there for one blog post.
PS, yes this blog post’s title is paying homage to Bruce Lee. Good catch!
Fantasy, steampunk, and paranormal novelist M. B. Weston is the author of The Elysian Chronicles, a fantasy series about guardian angel warfare and treason. Weston is also the hose of The Final Cut In Movies radio show that airs on TMV Cafe Monday nights at 8:00 EST. For more information on M. B. Weston, visit www.mbweston.com. To receive notification of M. B. Weston’s book releases click here to subscribe to Dark Oak Press & Media’s e-newsletter.