To Dance on the Wings of Giants Pt. 1 Firstborn Chronicles

Submitted for Contest #66 in response to: Write about a contest with life or death stakes.... view prompt

73 comments

Nov 05, 2020

Fantasy Drama Adventure



I stand, rising like a reed defying the wind.


The ovate arena beneath my feet is smooth and red. It is made of glass, melted together from tons upon tons of black sand, and then tempered by the flames of Dragons.


I turn on my heel, glaring at the beasts perched in the distance. They sit on gray stone columns, silhouetted against the dark sky.


The Dragons of Wynmaar snake their necks and rattle their spines. Wings of red, blue, yellow, orange, black, white fill the air like a thousand sails. Instead of catching the wind, they fling the air like invisible tides across the sky. The very atmosphere quakes with the hum of fury and fire.


I remove my weapon from its scabbard. The silver-bright pentium blade curves like a claw. My hands are scarred, the marks worming across my brown skin like the tracks water droplets leave on windows.


Sweat beads on my brow. My heart seems to pump something other than blood, a liquid that ignites with a cold fire in my arteries and lungs, and freezes my vision into a crystalline lens of focus.


Across the arena from me, a door opens in the seamless glass, sliding, and then shattering over a dark body that thrashes and writhes in the wreckage. The monster trumpets like an earthquake, violent but somehow pure.


The monster struggles free of the ruined glass door, and the Dragons roar as their champion shows himself. It seems to be made of obsidian and clouds, sewn together with silver stitches and molded into a draconic form. Massive shoulders hump as it takes a stance. Its diamond head swings back and forth on the end of a graceful neck, blue eyes like torches of hell. Its open mouth is not filled with teeth, but ivory plates that chink together like scissor blades, if scissor blades could slice stone. Hooked spines run from the horns at the back of its head, all the way to the end of its whip-tail.


“Liiro Korre, itai e Scerix.” I curse under my breath, biting my lip.


And then it charges. Crashing, pounding, crushing, inevitably the Scerix charges. Despite the shards of crimson glass spraying from its scales, it is unmarred.


I toe the glass with my bare feet, and then I charge as well, thrusting my weapon back into its baldric so I can run faster. Sour sweat breaks out on my brow.


The Scerix burns the distance like a trail of ignited gunpowder. It is a hurricane contained in a form no larger than a hay barn, glowing with life and energy.


I reach deep inside myself, delving into the stygian caverns of my being. In the darkness, there is a candle, a symbol of the power contained within this fragile shell called a body.


The Scerix lowers its head. It means to ram me, to trample my body and crush my bones like a man crushes nutshells.


I grab the candle. It burns, but the power it symbolizes is suddenly flowing through my veins right alongside my lifeblood, almost as if a second being inhabits this shell with me.


It seems the Scerix will smush me outright, but I am armed with more than flesh and blood. I rip my sword from the baldric and scream, “Khelorre!” It is a war cry, calling destruction upon my enemies. My right arm whips back and I throw the curved blade with all I have. It flies straight and true, uplifted by the streams of compressed air I weave.


The massive obsidian body of the beast grinds to a stop, a trail of gore oozing from the wound on its head. Lifeless.


I fall to my knees, eyes closed. The Dragons’ hum grows louder. It ascends, from angry to furious.


I hear as they hiss and curse, and I hear the crackling as they spit tongues of flame in my direction. I hear as they begin to descend on me from all directions. Gust of air hit me like clubs, like the armored tails of my captors.


And then a voice separates itself from the din. “You’re coming with me, filth.” Constricting talons scoop me from the arena floor, ripping my shirt and gashing my chest.


I let myself go limp as gravity flips. My ears pop and the wind picks up. I keep my eyes closed throughout the short flight, conserving my energy. The only sounds are the fwoomp of air from the Dragon’s wings, and the offbeat staccato of his double heartbeat.


For a brief moment the wingbeats echo, and then I’m flung down to a hard stone floor. My carrier swoops off into silence.


I open my eyes and stand, rising much as I did in the arena. Everything is made of pure black stone, accented with strips of rose-colored metal that twist and web across the walls and pillars. There is no left wall. It’s open to the sky, framing an apocalyptic vista of volcanic vents, golden magma, and billowing smoke. Dozens of firebreathers wing their way across the ashy sky. The chamber is huge, larger enough to house hundreds of Dragons, but it holds only one. One the color of the cuts on my chest. One I should know.


The beast before me is gargantuan, twice as long as the other, and three times as large. He lounges idly before me with his tail curled around his talons, appearing as obsequious as a scaly rug.


Rindar is no rug.


He unfurls himself, sounding like a million quilt rasping on parchment, and his wings stretch wide, millennia mapped out in their tattered folds and creases. In this case, age is power, and Rindar has no shortage of years.


His gaze bears down on me, twin vats of blood that swirl and churn, and his voice rolls like a thunderclap. “What am I to do with you Teerimite? How am I to solve this quandary?” He speaks Pyrdian, not my best language. “No answer? I expect more from you Tayo.” The great beast shakes his head. “You kill my champions but will not fight for me—what holds you back? You could be a leader, a great man. One whom others would look up to.” Here the Dragon’s voice takes on an impassioned quality. “Fight for me. Fight for what you believe. This cycle you have trapped yourself in is a prison of your own making. A cage for a lesser man.”


I lift my head and harden my jaw. I slowly exhale, focusing on the pain where the flesh on my ribs has been rent. Pain is good. Pain is clarity.


Rindar snakes his massive head ever closer. “Tayo, say the word and you are a leader, a general. Or refuse and die. You cannot live like this any longer, I will not allow it! Here the road forks, and here you must decide.”


He is inches away now, ashy breath cool upon my face as he whispers. “Make your choice.”


“Go chase your tail.” I spit, rolling the foreign words in my mouth like bitter seeds.


Rindar’s hawkish features seem to soften, though it’s hard to tell. He turns his head away, but then rears up to his full height. “I gave you everything. And I have continued to show mercy!” His talons slam down cracking the stone floor and his wings flare wide. “I shall not bear this pain!”


I explode to my feet and jump left, because I can see a light in Rindar’s eyes that makes my stomach twist.


And sure enough the Dragon’s jaw part to make way for a torrent of white hot flames. The shock waves throws me off my feet again, and I scramble. Rindar wheels on me, eyes as bright as rubies. “I restrain myself from using magic. Why do I hold myself back? You deserve death!” He cries.


I leap behind a pillar as another river of fire erupts from Rindar’s lungs. “You cannot kill me because you know that I am right.” I yell, “Deep in your twisted conscience you can feel that you are wrong, and it pains you. Stop betraying yourself!”


I sense that Rindar is not idle, and sprint from my cover just in time. The column explodes into dozens of shards the size of couches as Rindar strikes it with his tail.


“Ita nan cris rind!” I am the first. Rindar screams, reverting to Teerimite. It is my native language, and his as well. “Ita nan cris teiyas!” I am the last.


He lowers his head and the broken pieces of the pillar fly at me as I frantically dodge.


“Ita nan cris nephrit eo nirphrit!” I am fate and destiny. “Eo pat finteyo dom!” And you are nothing.


And for just a moment everything pauses. I breath heavily. “If I am nothing, then nothing is everything. The blood of Pyrdia is on your head, you murdered hundreds while they surrendered! Until you repent, we are enemies.”


Rindar roars, a bugle of pain and fury, impossibly loud in the echoey chamber. "They deserved death."


I can feel consciousness leaving me as Rindar’s magic quenches it. My senses vanish into the void of sleep.






Author's Note: this is the final version I will be putting out for this part of the story. I am getting right on Pt. 2, as there is a handy new prompt that goes right in hand with my plot. (Good luck trying to guess which prompt. Wink, wink.) If you read this and I already have Pt. 2 out, go read that, this one will make better sense. (bad storytelling, I know, but I can't help myself, writing fantasy has me excited)



Critique away! This is both a new style, and my first time trying a series, so I'm sure I'm making plenty of mistakes. :)


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73 comments

Tom .
12:10 Nov 05, 2020

It is a great atmospheric piece. I loved the ending. Advice. I will not comment on grammar as I suck at it. I would flip the paragraphs about the description of the dragon on entrance to the fighting pit with the earlier paragraph that starts with 'sweat beads on my brow'. I think it will flow better and create a slightly longer pause before the action, improving tension. Have a look at 'smush like a rotten berry', it stands out and does not compare to other descriptive sections like 'apocalyptic vista of volcanic vents, golden magma, and...

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Tom .
12:17 Nov 05, 2020

...also the title is a little generic, I dont know what to suggest maybe, 'In defiance of dragons' or 'Obsidian Outcast', Oh these are terrible.... You know what I mean...

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14:03 Nov 05, 2020

I will take a serious look at all three of those things. :)

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Rhondalise Mitza
04:57 Nov 05, 2020

Okay! Hi! I read this and liked it but I'm tired so I'll come back and do some good critique in the morning when I have a better sense of what you can improve. One thing I do like about this story is the straightforward way of narration without completely cutting out metaphors, similes, etc. If I don't comment again just remind me because I may forget! Have a good night and keep writing, we appreciate you!

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13:58 Nov 05, 2020

I'll remember that. ;)

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02:04 Nov 06, 2020

Yo! Reminder, lol.

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Radhika Diksha
03:01 Nov 07, 2020

Hey, your writing style is good, you wrote it very well. It reminded me of the game of thrones, and you really maintained the genre. I loved the scene narrative and the action sequence more. And your DP pic is good. Even I have written some stories that too in series. Please give your feedback on it.

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13:36 Nov 07, 2020

Thanks for the review! I'll check yours out when I can. :)

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Mira Caplan
19:08 Nov 06, 2020

Hi! First, I'd like to say that I really, really enjoyed it. One thing that I would have liked to have seen is more backstory, like why the main character is there and how it came down to that situation. (You'll probably do that in Part 2, but just a thought.) Anyway, I'm not the best at critiquing, but I hope that this helps!

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19:12 Nov 06, 2020

All critique helps. :) Glad you liked it!

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18:58 Nov 06, 2020

Hi Leo! Coming over to visit! I have quite a few thoughts on this piece, so bear with me while I get through them all. I’m also happy to go back and forth and do some brainstorming with you – as you know, fantasy is my bread and butter. I love building these types of worlds! So first, let me just say that this piece is incredibly Tolkien in terms of the language. Very descriptive, very colorful, very poetic. Personally, my brain doesn’t function this way – I’m not great at it. But clearly, you have a talent for this type of writing. Beaut...

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19:12 Nov 06, 2020

Awesome feedback! I will be accepting most (if not all) of those grammar and flow suggestions. :) For 2. Tayo actually kills the Scerix, and another dragon carries him away--I'll include a short clarifying sentence. As for all the other questions, I'm writing Pt. 2 right now--should answer them. I know I'm about to succumb to the "Chapter 2 flashback backstory!" trope, but I kinda wanna try and write a jumpy series. I've never written flashbacks, so we'll see how it turns out. ;) But anyways, thanks so much for reviewing this! Your ...

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19:25 Nov 06, 2020

Ah interesting! I did not catch that Tayo actually killed Scerix! Very neat. I thought he had just landed a painful blow to the head. Hmmm....I think that depends on what your plans are for the series. If you are just writing this for fun on Reedsy, then I'd say go with Rindar! It would be fun and unique to have a story from a dragon's point of view. But if you're thinking about pursuing this as a legitimate series, potentially looking at future querying or self publishing, think about your plot arc and protagonist arc. You've chosen...

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19:49 Nov 06, 2020

Makes perfect sense. :) For the sake of contrast, I might borrow your method and tell the story from both sides. I'm just writing this for fun on Reedsy, so I might as well mess around a bit. ;) Keep an eye out, I might get the first beginning draft out sometime today.

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20:50 Nov 06, 2020

Borrow away! I love writing my stories from different sides here on Reedsy, as you well know. I'm working on another set of stories this week that do that same. For my current novel however I keep it from a single POV. I'll stay on the lookout!

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21:00 Nov 06, 2020

Awesome. :) I tend to stay single POV, but for one of my fantasy projects I used over seven over the course of the story. Needless to say, it was a train wreck...

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:07 Nov 06, 2020

Okay! So here we go: 1.) It would be better paced if I knew the background, but instead it's really rushed and it's easy to get lost in what would usually be awesome action writing. 2.) It feels disconnected to me; were you piecing together several ideas into one story? 3.) I loved the end, made me want to read a part two. 4.) There were some strong quotes in this story! 5.) The writing is improving, I can tell from this back to your first story that you've been listening to advice and feedback! 6.) I love dragons. 7.) That's a...

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03:53 Nov 06, 2020

Awesome feedback! I tried to indicate this in my author's note, but I'm still writing this in linear continuity--not just editing. The story isn't complete yet. I submitted it to get my place in. I will work on the rushed part. Thanks for taking the time to critique this!

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Rhondalise Mitza
03:55 Nov 06, 2020

Oh okay! Good to know it's not done yet, thanks!

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04:01 Nov 06, 2020

I kinda do want to write a series, but I don't know if I have the time to devote to it...

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:50 Nov 06, 2020

I think the title is a nice play on the popular proverb. Love how this story is essentially a giant action scene, which is exactly what I want to read from this prompt. Dragons are awesome. So are your descriptions. Everything felt very ambiguous, such as the hero and villain’s motives, which may or may not have been intentional but a bit of explicit backstory can go a long way. Also the fantasy language is a nice touch—if you actually made up a whole language like Tolkien did I’m very impressed. Keep it up! 😙

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03:56 Nov 06, 2020

Glad ya liked it! The ambiguousness is a function of the story's unfinished nature--I'm coming up with this as I go, and will return to flesh out details. I was unaware that the title resembles a proverb, literally just spun some random fantasy nonsense out of my head. What's the original proverb? I came up with the fantasy language for a novel project I worked on for a few years. It's by no means complete, but I came up with probably 150-200 words--enough lingo to piece together phrases when I want to, lol. ;)

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:27 Nov 06, 2020

I believe it’s “standing on the shoulders of giants” That’s super cool, like your own spin on Elvish. Kudos 😉 And good luck finishing your story!

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04:29 Nov 06, 2020

Ohhhhh, that one! I see now how the proverb is similar... Totally never saw that!

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Zilla Babbitt
22:25 Nov 05, 2020

Love the title. Your action is intense and vivid, and I like that you throw me straight into the story, no intro or exposition. As this is a standalone, or will at least be treated as such, you should explain your world a bit. Why is he fighting? Why is Rindar so angry? Why does Rindar kill him? The story's well written, I just don't know what's happening! Anyway, great title, great action scenes. Keep it up!

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22:51 Nov 05, 2020

Cool. :) I will work on those questions. My idea was to write the bare bones of this to lay down the style, and then "fill it in" as I get further along. Speaking frankly, I have no clue what's going on, I'm making it up as I go. XD Thanks so much for taking the time to critique this!

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00:45 Nov 06, 2020

Oops, I just realized what you're meaning. He doesn't die there--getting to work on it!

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Livia R
19:35 Dec 02, 2020

Hi, Leo. I really enjoyed your story, very nice job. I must say, this story reminds me just slightly of Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull. I notice that you use a lot of similes and very descriptive terms so I can really see everything unfolding before my eyes. I'm sorry to say that I was a bit confused as to what was happening and why. Perhaps a little more background might help? Other than that, I do believe this was a truly intriguing story. I'll check out part 2 soon! Fantastic job! -Whirlwind

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00:26 Dec 03, 2020

Thanks so much for reading this! I’m flattered that you would compare this to Dragonwatch—it’s one of my favorite books. 😊

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Livia R
00:29 Dec 03, 2020

Of course, I could obviously see the connections in the writing! If you ever get the chance, can you take a look at mine?

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00:32 Dec 03, 2020

Which story in particular? I’d love to take a look if I can—don’t have too much time, so we’ll see—so just remind me if I don’t get to this in a couple of days.

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Livia R
00:35 Dec 03, 2020

My favorite is The Prince, if only because I'm told it's the best XD. But it's up to you, feel free to choose any.

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01:03 Dec 03, 2020

Cool. 🙂

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Saizen 🦜
20:18 Nov 14, 2020

Hi there, this story is pretty good. That said, I have say that the writing style is a downgrade from The Train to Kachungjunga. In terms of writing: - In general, if you have a lot of new information, such as heavy fantasy world-building, it'd be better to be clear and concise so that the reader can understand. - The metaphors are overdone in some places. Unless you are trying to portray Tayo as a melodramatic character, it detracts from the story-telling. Liquid of cold fire and crystalline lenses are a pretty flowery way to d...

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20:40 Nov 14, 2020

Yep, I decided to try a new style for this one--my experiment into a new style of fantasy writing. I'll work on these points in my private copy. :) -I came up with "pentium" as a metallic fantasy material before I knew of the Intel microprocessor. (might change) -So, don't quite get what you mean by "not mapped directly from English". The grammar and syntax is the same as English, as I don't quite have the dedication to create a full system. ;)

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Saizen 🦜
20:50 Nov 14, 2020

Ah, I've mistaken. I thought some sentences have an adjective after the noun.

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20:52 Nov 14, 2020

Ah, gotcha. :)

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B. W.
01:41 Nov 08, 2020

Heya Leo i got a new story out a bit ago ^^ so could ya please check out "Otherworldly repairs" and leave some critique/feedback on it?

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13:07 Nov 09, 2020

Sure. :)

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B. W.
13:44 Nov 09, 2020

thanks ^^ im excited to see what ya think

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B. W.
07:28 Nov 07, 2020

Hey, i think i could some help with something, ya know the prompt with the whole alien thing?

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13:51 Nov 07, 2020

Yeah?

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B. W.
17:08 Nov 07, 2020

I kinda got an idea for it and i was kinda wanting to run it by ya

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18:08 Nov 07, 2020

Shoot it.

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B. W.
18:26 Nov 07, 2020

heres what i have so far: there would be a robot who sorta looks like a human but not that much and is really metallic. There would also be a human with them for some reason along with an alien (whos nice and friends with them and maybe owns the robot) and maybe they go to the place for something urgent, like they need to fix the robot

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19:32 Nov 07, 2020

Ok, cool.

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Amany Sayed
02:22 Nov 06, 2020

I took your writing quiz. Yeah that's all have a nice day :)

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02:29 Nov 06, 2020

Lol, cool. :)

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B. W.
01:08 Nov 06, 2020

Hey, i think this was a really great story of yours and so I'll give it a 10/10 :)

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01:22 Nov 06, 2020

Thanks for reading. :)

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B. W.
01:27 Nov 06, 2020

No problem ^^ could ya maybe help me with something if that's alright?

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01:32 Nov 06, 2020

Yeah, sure. :)

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B. W.
01:52 Nov 06, 2020

do ya remember 'saving a friend' ?

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01:54 Nov 06, 2020

Yep.

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08:41 Nov 05, 2020

**slams hands on desk excitedly** Leo, you have blessed us with another story! First of all, I'd love to exaggerate how much I love dragons, so I'm very glad that this story is based on those wonderful mythical (or maybe not?) creatures. Especially when they seem to shoot out glass, what not to like? I have a small comment, either I'm dense/confused or this was intentional, but there's a sentence that goes, [I hear as they hiss and curse] and I was thinking it might sound better if you wrote it as, [I hear it/the Dragon hiss and curse] ju...

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14:01 Nov 05, 2020

Glad ya liked this! I am still working on it, this line just happened to be a convenient stopping point. ;) I will work on that line! It was intentional, but I can see how you could be confused, so I'll work on smoothing that out...

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16:11 Nov 05, 2020

Yo, got any ideas for an alternate title?

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19:39 Nov 05, 2020

Hmm, maybe smth like "Fighting the Scerix's Fury"? I might think of smth else later

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20:47 Nov 05, 2020

Cool. :) I'm still growing the story, so I think I'll wait before picking a solid title. Right now it's "To Dance on the Wings of Giants" or something random. :P

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20:53 Nov 05, 2020

I still like this title, even if it's not the final one :)

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20:55 Nov 05, 2020

Yeah, I might make this one a series if it turns out well. Fantasy is my natural genre, so hopefully I can finish it out. ;)

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04:42 Nov 05, 2020

Author's note: I am still very actively working on this story, just submitted it to get my place in. ;) Please critique this! I tried something very new and different with this one, and I want to know how it worked! This story is actually based on a fantasy novel I worked on for the past four years, before realizing it was terrible. The character Tayo is new, but Rindar has been a close companion for many months. (Please be honest--false praise helps no one!)

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