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Fanfic / The Storm Dragons

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Even darkness has a heart...

Honestly, why? They had done nothing wrong. Any leader with half a brain knows that committing crimes like that against his followers would weaken his position

The Storm Dragons is a fanfiction series written by Opifex, based on the Inheritance Cycle, but turned upside-down. The series can be found here. The series is several stories long, and ultimately exceeds the length of the actual canon work. Very much a Deconstruction Fic, deconstructing the source material to the hilt.

The series ultimately divides itself between two major plotlines: the story of Ravana, the Elder Black Dragon and his family, the titular Storm Dragons, and of Galbatorix. The series uses Galbatorix's constant Offstage Villainy to present his acts either in a positive light, or explains them as the work of his underlings who did not properly follow his orders. The series depicts Galbatorix with a number of character gimmicks, such as the fact he can only sleep comfortably on a hammock.

The other half of the series details the stories of the ancient Black Dragon Ravana and his offspring. Ravana was born alone and suffered a rather fall from naivety due a rather harsh All of the Other Reindeer story. He and his offspring are called Storm Dragons because they can summon and control thunderstorms to protect themselves from other dragons. The two stories become intertwined when Ravana's daughter Skade meets Galbatorix, and the two fall in love.

Opifex is clearly one of those who Root for the Empire, her fanfiction is nearly a polar opposite of the canon series, presenting the Empire as an effective ruling body and the Varden as a collection of terrorists. The series follows canon up to the end of Eldest, at which point it diverges into its own canon, fleshing out events from long before the canon series begins.

The series is complete and comprises nine sub-stories in the full series:

Another was in the works, called Dragon's Bones, but it was scrapped.

This series provides examples of:

  • The Atoner: Galbatorix leads The Empire and keeps Alagaesia stable to make up for overthrowing the previous ruling party
  • Author Tract: By her own admission, Opifex does not like Paolini's Elves, and it shows. Several characters also have a bad habit of waxing on the author's personal beliefs, usually boiling down to Discrimination Is Bad.
    • Broken Aesop: The Elves are always Evil, with very few exceptions, Humans Are Special, Dragons are just neutral, and several races that made major contributions to the canon work don't even appear.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Galbatorix does this for a brief period of time at the end of Dragon's Blood, but like all of his other apparent deaths, it doesn't last.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Aside from the obvious one, we've also got Ravana, who basically crowns himself King of Alagaesia at the end of Dragon's Blood. Everyone else just goes along with it.
  • Back from the Dead Galbatorix does this so many times it's hard to keep track. Also, Durza.
  • Bald of Evil: Galby's not evil in this story to begin with, but Opifex gave him hair that he's so very proud of almost certainly to make fun with this trope.
  • Beta Couple: Durza and Rangda when they're first introduced; Orwynne and Roland.
  • Blessed with Suck: Galbatorix's ressurective ability becomes a problem, when he catches a plague. Even though he continually dies from it and resurrects, the plague doesn't go away, so he keeps dying and resurrecting about every week. For OVER TWENTY YEARS.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Morzan. He's called the strong right arm of Galbatorix.
  • Break the Cutie: Ravana started off sweet and innocent, which ended when he first met his people and they immediately tried to kill him for (to him) no apparent reason. Galbatorix on the other hand, didn't start off quite as innocent as Ravana did, but there's still a significant difference between him at the beginning and end in From White To Black and especially when you decide to add The Shadowed Throne or Dragon's Blood into the mix. Strangely he seemed to be much happier during Black Dragon.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Go on, pick on that black scaled dragon. See what happens. While you're at it, pick on the quiet brooding half-elf boy, too.
  • Character Filibuster: Galbatorix, several times.
  • Chekhov's Gun : An apparently off-hand line midway through From White to Black Eventually results in the rebirth of Laela, at the end of Dragon's Blood.
  • Deconstruction: Opifex is essentially the anti-Paolini.
  • Despair Event Horizon: For Galbatorix after he lost Laela and again after he lost Shruikan. He reacts both times with a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Determinator: Galbatorix, big time. No matter how injured he gets, no matter how many emotional sucker punches he takes, no matter how many times he falls into despair, Galbatorix will always pull himself up and keep on going.
  • The Dreaded: After his escape from the Riders halfway through From Black to White, Galbatorix becomes known as 'The Great Betrayer'. After his guerilla attacks against the Riders prove successful people begin to call him 'Rider's Bane'.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: A few characters were killed off between Eldest and Black Dragon. More still meet rather abrupt ends.
  • Driven to Villainy: Let's see, that about... all of them. If not this, then it was Driven to Madness.
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Ravana believes he's one, except to his own offspring, and a few worthy others.
  • Enfant Terrible: The Elves and Dragons thought Ravana was one, even though he really wasn't at first. Their constant attempts to kill him changed all that.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: It's what broke Ravana.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Flell eventually betrays the fact that Galbatorix is a half-breed to the Riders, resulting in him becoming a fugitive.
  • Face of a Thug: A large part of the reason Ravana was attacked the moment he met another dragon. Aside from being solid black, he has scary eyes and a lot of extra horns and his fangs stick up from his lower jaw when it's normally the other way around, so he scared the crap out of the other dragons.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Skade feels this is hitting her when the Dragon Rider Elders turn her into an elf temporarily. She later changes her mind about it.
  • Female Gaze: Doesn't happen often in-series, but according to Word of God, Galbatorix in the Storm Dragons series is: "!antihero!Galbatorix Taranisaii with the long curly black hair and the pointed beard..."
  • Foregone Conclusion: Roughly half the story is in prequel mode, so we already know how some things will turn out.
  • The Fool: Morzan's not the sharpest tool in the box, and something of a hillbilly too. However, he's good-natured and loyal to the last (to his friends, of course, not the Riders), and also painfully aware of how people see him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Galbatorix has a few moments with this throughout From White to Black, including completely losing it for weeks after Laela dies, but his biggest one comes when he accidentally kills more than half of the Forsworn with a single spell. He gets this even worse in Dragon's Blood, really early on when Shruikan dies, and fluctuates between stages of Laser-Guided Amnesia. He eventually comes out of it in Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! mode.
  • Ho Yay: Between Thrain and Laela, both female dragons. Two female members of the Forsworn also joined Galbatorix after receiving harsh punishments from the riders for this. In a bit of realism, even Galbatorix himself was uncomfortable about it at first
  • Humans Are Special: A combination of their reproductive rates, clever nature, willingness to change, and ability to function properly without magic all allowed them to become the most widely spread species in the country.
  • Immortality: Several different flavors. Shown by elves, dragons, several near-extinct magical species, and Galbatorix.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Both Galbatorix and Skade were willing to switch forms to suit the other person's. Ultimately it was Skade who became humanoid.
  • Ironic Echo: During Galbatorix's mock trial of Vrael, his parting insults mirror the same mockery the Elders gave him during his sentencing.
  • Knight Templar: The original Dragon Riders, especially the elders.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Anytime after The Lost Dragon, Ravana is as big as Farthen Dur, and practically invincible to any form of assault. His first enemy is a tiny little dragon who can assault minds.
  • Large and in Charge: Ravana, Once he returns to Alagaesia after a millenia away.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Like the titular dragon's thunder storms, punishment tends to strike anyone who dares inconvenience the Storm Dragons or Galbatorix.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Galbatorix swings back and forth between various versions of this in Dragon's Blood.
  • Last of His Kind: Galbatorix meets two of them in From White to Black, And becomes one himself a couple chapters after.
  • Light Is Not Good: Goes with the mood of the series.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Parodied when Galbatorix tells Eragon that he's his father just to mess with him.
  • Mind Control: Eragon falls under this for most of Black Dragon and Dragon's Blood. Most of his worst atrocities are a direct result of it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Morzan has this sort of reaction after he scars Murtagh.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The Elven riders do this to all the Forsworn.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Happens at least once a story. Dragon's Blood sets the record by doing it in the second chapter.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Galbatorix should have died several times during the course of The Shadowed Throne. This is actually explained by his first major moment of cheating death. He saved himself with a Dark Elf spell that made him essentially unkillable.
  • Noble Demon: Galbatorix. However certain characters like Eragon or Nasuada only see the Demon aspect, Eragon since he's an Idiot Hero and Nasuada since she's a General Ripper.
  • Not Brainwashed: Murtagh joined Galby willingly. His statement that he was enslaved was retconned into a lie because he didn't want to tell Eragon the truth.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Opifex actually manages to explain Galbatorix's inaction in the canon works. He's very slowly recovering from the effects of a highly contagious and debilitating plague he contracted during The Shadowed Throne.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: For all the things Opifex reverses from canon work, the Dwarves remain the same as they always did. They just show up less. And got their capital crushed by an ancient dragon.
  • Out with a Bang: Selena dies after being raped by Galbatorix, who is infected with a highly contagious plague.
  • The Promise: Skade promises to return to Galbatorix someday.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The Varden. Being civilized is a job for The Empire.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Subverted with the Varden. Played straight with Galby's revolution against the Dragon Riders, which is treated similarly to how the Varden are in the canon series.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Paolini's elves are always wrong in Opifex's version of his universe. Ravana, some of his offspring (especially Skade), and Galbatorix feel this way.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Elves' and Dragons' constant attempts to kill Ravana turned him into the vengeful creature that would later father the dragons that contributed to the fall of the original Dragon Riders.
  • Shout-Out:
    • At one point, baby Kullervo does a little dance that involves walking backwards. He proudly names it "The Walk of the Moon."
    • There is a herbalist in Dragon's Blood named Sabriel.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Galbatorix to Flell. He tries it again with Skade but it doesn't work as well, at first. When he tried to apologize for it, Skade does it back, much more forcefully.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: By Dragon's Blood, Galbatorix has faced so many traumas that he goes into a Heroic BSoD, and come out of only interested in getting revenge on Eragon, not caring about the Empire any longer.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Durza does this on Galbatorix's throne after he takes over the Empire.
  • Start of Darkness: For Ravana it was when he realized Elves and Dragons alike were trying to kill him, and Humans use him. Galbatorix got his when the Riders slaughtered the Dark Elves and killed Laela.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Vander's death accomplished nothing and deprived Galbatorix of a politically savvy ally and friend.
  • That Man Is Dead: As you read From White to Black, say goodbye to Arren, and hello to Galbatorix.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Galbatorix at times makes Lelouch's Trauma Conga Line look like nothing but a minor inconvenience. He goes through all the different outcomes at least once as well, but usually he settles on B and D.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Flell, but it's not surprising. In a rare twist for this trope, It's her own fault she's unlucky.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Averted/deconstructed; Galbatorix rails against this standard for most of his life, giving rather vile-looking creatures like Urgals and Ra'zac a chance because he is determined not to go the genocidal way of the old Riders.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Finally somebody calls Eragon on his shit!
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Despite being a subdued example, Ravana is pretty much the embodiment of the trope, avoiding what should have been a Moral Event Horizon moment (killing and nearly eating another dragon) by just how horrible his existence was up to that point (you can't be evil if you were never given a chance to be good).
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Parodied and lampshaded, by Galbatorix again.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: A villainous-victory version. Oh no, Eragon killed Galbatorix in the second chapter of Dragon's Blood! This is a combination of it happening inconceivably early, Opifex using very spoileriffic descriptions for her individual stories (and all of them on the same page, no less) and the mind-boggling number of times that Galbatorix should have already died so far but hasn't.