19.3 \ 201

“It is I: son of Rossalin.” He wielded his sword with the same determination of existence with which his grandmother swung her flail thresher at her homesteader’s pile of grain. Launching himself forward, he swung an arc at a scaly mass that was nearly close enough.

“I am the one who illuminates the decipherment of thought when need calls you to me. I am the brightness in the dark.” A quick lash of Ignivus’ tail barely missed the ducking crown of the battler’s head.

“It is I: son of Leta.” The flowers in his grandmother’s hair and garden surrounded him with a soft feeling of safety, smoothing his movements with sureness of love. He whirled his blade as the dragon closed, avoiding him yet.

“I am the one who can lead you out of chaotic jungles to have all the many things you desire, novelties and passions.” The Dragon snapped at the sword but fell just short. “I am a magnificence!”

“It is I: son of Veres.” Veres, who made his way to another galaxy as a beacon of the future for his family. His determined reach was in his grandson’s sword as it scored a breadth of scales that were surprisingly easy to slice. Ichor hissed and bubbled at the edges of the cut, Ignivus roaring with anger as well as pain. The swordsman marveled momentarily at the way Dragons reform themselves into different kinds of bodies that are yet alive.

As Ignivus rushed in a lightning rampage toward him, the man avoided the smashing feet and coils with a series of tumbles and slides, getting knocked around a little but keeping hold of his sword, which may have made a couple slices. “I am the one who weaves between worlds as you discover them. I give the first and last breath of hope for life in another place.” Ignivus crushed er feet into the pavement, cratering the terrain. “I am an essential sign of your survival.”

“It is I: son of Keron.” Keron, who bent the world with benevolent forces to build a beautiful and great home. He gave his grandson something to fight for. During a rushing sweep, the swordsman leaped, grabbing onto a spine near the head of the Dragon, blade dangling firmly in his fingers.

“I am the tenuous connection in the essence of dreaming, as you and many beings know it. The history of ideas and invention without me is bereft.” Ignivus writhed furiously, while the swordsman gained and retained purchase among horns and spines.

“I, brother of the lost but redeemed.” He made his way forward, looking for the spot, the moment, the strike, keeping astride the motion of a mad world.

“I, who kindle and blossom.”

“I, love to the rapturous stalwart.”

“I, who rids the stale paradigm.”

“I, father to a voice of wisdom.”

“I, who keeps the heart alive and beating.”

“I, friend to efflorescence in twilight.”

“I, who lit an age to the depths of its corners.”

“I, champion of life’s passing sweetness.” Getting close to the edge.

“I, who from the formless personified a reality. You, do you think that you are greater than I?” Ignivus snapped er head back, sending the swordsman spinning and flipping in midair, light glancing everywhere from the blade still in his grip.

He fell close enough to catch a protrusion in the center of the Dragon’s forehead, and for a fraction of a breath he dangled looking Ignivus directly in the eye. “No. I know we are the same.”

He launched the hiltless sword deep, deep into the recesses through the gazing orb of awareness, exploding in that moment as the sword flew forward, like into a destiny it had already known.


Used the entire side of a page to decide on my favored spelling for the name of the dragon Hamurlae, who does not even appear in scene. I thought of over twenty differently viable options for a pronunciation, which made me think more seriously about humanity’s history-long attempt to capture phonemes in writing. I’m not proud, but I am satisfied.


19.2 \ 201

Dragonslayers were not well accredited, in this day and age. The presence of this one was a provisionary fluke; Alisandre was the only location with one on hand. Perhaps even the old orders had lost the heart. But not this one, this time. Extraneous noises faded from hearing. Ready to end the dance of gazes, the swordsman hoisted his weapon and issued a challenge.

“Do you know this sword? This was the sword that killed your kin, Hamurlae. When the songs of forging turned against us and began destroying our families, taking our lives, strife arising from partnership: we gave up our treasured accomplishments to save our sanity, the songs of forging lost with Hamurlae. This blade was made with those songs that can never again be sung. The jewel, however, has been replaced – not the first, which burst in the heart of Hamurlae.”

Ignivus let loose a deeply offended roar. “Who dares wave this ill token before my sight?” ‘E lashed er coils to strike a set of claws at this bravo. He stepped aside from the spray of street chunks.

Primal Spiral redesign

Readers who have a paper copy of Bones of Starlight may have noticed the P/S mark upon the spine; and folks who’ve been to a live event I’ve hosted might have seen the name of Primal Spiral. That’s the creative company that hosts the imprint producing CC-BY-NC 4.0 licensed Bones of Starlight, as well as other collaborative and creative endeavors.

It’s getting a portal redesign from LUN Graphics, really looking forward to the magic they bring. For just a brief moment more, you can enjoy the small bundle of outdated postings that cover only a tiny portion of what’s been accomplished, and explore the unadorned face of what’s going to be transformed.