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Prologue - Tales of Eildland: The Human Dragon

by Justlittleoleme2

The air was warm, and the bugs were singing with the approach of dusk. The countryside was full of the richness of late summer, and the streets of the royal city were filled with the hum of cheerful conversation. It was the sort of evening King Ari and his dragon Gyr loved the most, for it was the best weather for flying.

Indeed, that is where both their hearts and minds were as they sat in the dark and damp of the kings hall, and listened to the newest idea of their youngest adviser.

“So, what do you think?” the adviser asked, looking up at the two with a smile full of zeal and excitement.

King Ari cleared his throat, and cupped his chin as though in deep thought. Gyr, who knew his friend well, laughed. ( A dragon’s laugh is more of a cough, but it is understood all the same.) The truth was, neither of them had heard a word of it.

The adviser frowned, and said, “I know it is a bit ambitious, but I believe our people are ready! Why, we have never been more ready. In fact, I would say we are overdue by several hundred years!”

Gyr, who had been gazing at the fading daylight outside, turned and looked at the adviser. “Andrew, you speak of your industrial revolution?” he said as much as asked, his gentle voice marked by a note of disapproval.

“Weren’t you listening at all?” Andrew asked, balling his hands in frustration. 

Gyr turned and looked back out the window, the last light of evening softening his features. “Andrew,” he said, “Look outside. The air is fresh, the water is clean, the food is good. You live without sickness. Your children grow well. Your old age well. What more do you desire?”

“But we could be so much more! King Ari, you grew up on the stories, just like I. You know how we humans used to live in the old world. Why, we were as powerful as dragons! More so, even.”

Gyr sighed, and wrinkled his nose. He nudged his friend, “Ari, let this madman dream. The light is nearly gone, we should go flying.”

Ari smiled, and rubbed Gyrs neck affectionately. “There is nothing wrong with dreams,” he said, “I too have dreamed of a day where I could walk into this hall, snap my fingers, and fill it with heat and light.”

“But I can do that!” Gyr said, uncurling himself from around the throne. He walked over to the great fireplace and lit a roaring fire in the time it takes one to sneeze.

He looked pointedly at Andrew. “Andrew, we dragons are your power. What army dare threaten you?” He turned and looked at Ari, “and we are your light, and your warmth. Are we not? To threaten our world, for these reasons, is frivolous.”

“Why does the thought of our power threaten you dragon?” Andrew asked, lip curled, “Is it because you are afraid of losing control of us?”

Gyr slapped the floor with his tail. “Andrew, the only loss of control I fear, is that of your own.”

“So what then? Do you, a dragon younger than our king, consider us children?!” Andrew walked over and stabbed his finger at King Ari, looking at Gyr, “Do you consider him a child? Do you consider him unable to control himself?”

Gyr hung his head, and held his arm. For a moment he looked like a lost child, then, regaining himself, Gyr said, “Not all men are as Ari.”

Then, he walked over to his dear friend, laid down next to him, and rested his head across Ari’s lap. He sighed, and said, “If all men were as you, I would not fear this, but because they are not, I do.”

Andrew scoffed, “You only worship him because he raised you.”

“Think what you like!” Gyr snarled.

“Enough!” said Ari, so forcefully it echoed.

Gyr lifted his head, and looked at his friend. Ari patted his nose reassuringly.

“I’ll have you know that Gyr raised me as much as I raised him," he said, his voice full of pride and love, "If I know anything, Gyr does not admit to fear easily. If he is worried, then we should be worried too.” He paused, letting his words sink in. “However, for your sake, I will mention this at the festival of gathering next spring. If the mages agree that the time is right, so be it.”

“But!” Andrew started.

King Ari held up his hand. "How about I bring you along, so that you can make your argument to them in person?”

Andrew seemed placated, but his eye twitched as though a bug crawled across his face. He turned to go, but before he did, he asked, “Tell me again why a human king needs the permission of dragons?”

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628 Reviews

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Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:17 am
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Panikos wrote a review...

Hiya, Justlittleoleme2! It's been too long! I thought I'd drop in for a quick review to see how this story has changed.

Small Comments

Indeed, that is where both their hearts and minds were as they sat in the dark and damp of the kings hall

I'm surprised that a central hall in a royal palace would be described as 'dark and damp'. Castles today are all a bit run down, obviously, but while the monarch was living in them, I imagine they'd have been well attended and as comfortable as people could make them. They might still be a bit drafty, but 'damp' suggests the walls are leaking or something.

“Weren’t you listening at all?” Andrew asked, balling his hands in frustration.

I also find it odd that an adviser to the king, especially the youngest adviser, would take such a challenging tone with him. Andrew does seem to be pretty stubborn and hot-headed, but if he's made it into this position at all, he'd have had to learn how to speak respectfully to those of higher social standing. I could see him being ruder as he becomes more agitated, but he's pretty blunt from the word go.

Gyr hung his head, and held his arm.

Dragons have arms?

Overall Thoughts

This is definitely a very different start. You throw us more into the meat of the world and its politics, even if it is via a prologue. I'm sort of expecting that chapter one will ground us back among the POVs of the characters I've seen before, Luis and Amber, but I'll have to see if that's the case.

Regarding the characters in this prologue, you do well to communicate their personalities in a very short space of time. Andrew is clearly ambitious and hot-headed, with a big thirst to prove himself. Ari seems to be a kind and easy-going sort of guy, but not the best king, given how little interest he had in what Andrew had to say. Gyr is...I don't know what to think of Gyr. I don't know if Andrew is supposed to come across as sympathetic, but I thought the guy had a point, even if he was putting it across a bit bluntly. All of the power is with the dragons. And that's fine while they're on good terms with human beings, but what if that dynamic changes some day? Where would humanity end up? Gyr seems a little defensive of his supremacy, and respect for Ari is not respect for humanity in general.

I'm not completely sure what Andrew was suggesting, though. Can human beings access magic of their own, or something? Is he advocating that they use it themselves rather than relying on dragons? That wasn't completely clear to me.

I think the issues explored here set up a promising conflict and hint at an interesting world, but my problem with this prologue is that it still feels like it's here for exposition's sake. It's fairly well-hidden exposition, because you do deliver it via an active scene, but not well hidden enough that I didn't feel like I was being fed information to prepare me for later. It might just come down to personal preference, but I think stories are stronger when they start with character, then broaden out towards the more nitty-gritty details of the world. Especially when the story is steeped in politics. When we're just given political conflict from the off, I'm always left thinking 'well, why should I care?' However, if I'm first invested in the character and then learn about the politics, and how they might have a bearing on that character, I care more.

I think it's really just a case of building up the story slowly. It's never a good idea to start with lots of key information, because it's like eating your main course before your starter. We need to be enticed in little by little.

I'm interested to see the first chapter, because my intuition is that you might not even need this prologue. It might be more effective for all of the points discussed by Ari and Andrew to come up organically as the story progresses, rather than in the course of one conversation. I'll let you judge whether that would be a better approach or not, because of course it all comes down to your choice.

Tag me when you post the next bit! I always want an excuse to read about dragons.

Keep writing! :D

I hope you are right on not needing this prologue. I'm not a fan of exposition, but I did like the way I wrote this. For me, from my perspective, it has freed me up to focus more on the story and less on the premise. However I seem to have failed at communicating exactly what Andrew was so upset about, and that is a problem. Sigh* Any who, I've committed to moving forward on this one. No re-writing until I've finished! At least, that is the plan.

Thanks for another great review Pan!

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544 Reviews

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Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:58 am
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FlamingPhoenix wrote a review...

Hello my dear friend! FlamingPhoenix here to leave a review on your work for you on this lovely day, and to help get your work out the green room.

Shall we start?

Okay let's begin.

The biggest reason I came to read your work is because it had a dragon in the name, and well if you read some of my works you will no I am a very big fan of them. I even write a book about dragons so this was fun to read another story that has them in it.
I will say this story is off to a very interesting start, and I can't wait to see what will happen next, I wonder what Andrew was talking about when King Ari Gyr were day dreaming? I think it may have been important.
I do hope in the next chapter we will get to see a bit more of Andrew, he seems to be a rather strait forward character.
So far I really like King Ari, he seems to be a really funny character but he can also be stern, and make people listen to him.
Though in some places I would describe Aria and Gyr a bit more in some places, and even Andrew, by describing your characters it helps your reader become apart of the world, though your description of the place really helps me see what was going on, though I think you should add some more into this chapter, bring more depth to it.

Anyway that's all from me, I look forward to the next chapter, I do hope you will carry on with this story, it was really fun to read and review, I hope you will post again so I can read more of your works soon, if you post the next chapter I would love to be tagged! I hope you have a great day or night.

Your friend and faithful reader
Reviewing with a fiery passion!


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Thank you so much for the review FlamingPhoenix!

I am also a big fan of Dragon stories! ^-^

About the lack of description, I can see what you mean. I focused on the dialogue and failed to give my readers a good look at the place and the people. I'll be sure to slip some good description further down the line, but I've made a deal with myself, and promised not to do any re-writing until I've finally finished this.

Always glad to meet a fellow dragon lover. I'll be sure to tag you!!! ^-^

That's a good idea I always rewrite my story and this time I too has made up my mind to finish the book then polish it up, so I wish you luck with that!

That, sir, is the most frightening battlefield in the world: the blank page.
— Larry McMurtry, Comanche Moon