new scifi novel

fan art series headerIt’s rare for one artist to bring all of the Inheritance Cycle’s main characters to life in a stunning and unique way. Hundreds of talented fan artists choose to focus on one or several characters to capture a moment, mood, or idea in an illustration. The series’ official illustrators, including John Jude Palencar, have focused more on the Cycle’s dragons and less on the other characters who made the fight against Galbatorix a reality.

One talented artist, known as Eumenidi on DeviantArt, brought many of our favorite characters to life in an incredible series of illustrations. Showcasing her unique character design and illustration style, Eumenidi brought to life four of the series’ Riders with their respective book cover as a backdrop. Other illustrations include Nasuada during the Trial of the Long Knives, Elva watching over her, Roran protecting a pregnant Katrina, Angela pondering some of life’s more interesting questions, and Solembum in both human and werecat form. Continue reading this article…


Discuss the new deleted scene from ‘Inheritance:’ The Swordsman!

swordsman-headerChristopher Paolini released a new deleted scene from Inheritance, “The Swordsman,” in a new Paolini family newsletter on Saturday morning. Today, Christopher has made the scene available to all readers (but as a reminder, newsletter subscribers are given 48 hour exclusive access to major announcements and content before they hit the website) on the Paolini family’s official website.

The scene introduces us to a new character: Daras Guildward, second son of Thelmund Guildsward, Lord of Fellworth Manor. Thanks to the description, we know where the scene was intended to belong:

It was cut from the Battle of Belatona, just after Eragon rushes to find Roran still alive after a portion of the main keep collapsed. Eragon, Roran, Arya, and Blödhgarm set out to capture Lord Bradburn, searching each successive floor of the building. On the way, they encounter numerous foes, who are dealt with swiftly. Eragon offers to heal the cuts on Roran’s face and knee, but Roran feels he can wait until after they capture Bradburn. As the adventurers resume their climb, they encounter Daras, second son of Thelmund Guildsward, Lord of Fellworth Manor.

Inheritance picks back up following Daras’ demise, as Eragon, Roran, Arya, and Blödhgarm continue to the seventh floor of the keep, where they find Lord Bradburn barricaded in his private chambers.

Excited to share this new scene, Christopher provided readers with a brief commentary on his vision while writing the scene and the reason for it being cut from the book:

“I’m delighted to share this deleted scene with you. When I wrote it, I was thinking of some of the great duels in the Princess Bride (as well as Scaramouche and other such classics) and how I could both pay homage to and subvert that tradition. I envisioned Eragon facing this dandy on the stairs and having this absurd conversation in the midst of the battle. But my editor thought it slowed the pacing and broke the tension of the race to the keep, so she cut it. I put it back in. She cut it again. We had several, ah—spirited—debates. In hindsight I think she was right, but I’m happy you can read this now. So . . . en garde!”

This new piece of content is the first addition to the Inheritance universe we have received in over two years! We want to encourage readers to discuss this exciting addition to the story, including the adventure and a new character, so…

Now we ask: Do you think this scene should have been included in Inheritance? How do you feel about the new character, Daras Guildward? If you could have any scene added to Inheritance, what would it be and why?



which-character-shurty moustache

It’s November, that time of year where temperatures plummet and the dark of night shrouds us well before supper hits the table each evening. Some might start to encounter biting winds and even snow as, yes we’ll say it: winter is coming. It’s also a perfect time to wear nature’s ultimate defense against the elements: facial hair!

Last week, we posted a fan art profile saluting the heroines of the Inheritance Cycle which was inspired in part by October being the official month promoting breast cancer awareness. In turn, we’d like to follow up with a post inspired by men’s health awareness month (November), which is commonly recognized through events such as Movember/No-Shave November where men grow out their facial hair as a symbol uniting events such as charities and education on health risks.

Today, we’re going to have a bit of fun and put a Inheritance Cycle spin on this “mo”vement, highlighting some of the greatest facial hair aficionados of Alagaësia.

Continue reading this article…


Be sure to read Part 1 of our Top Ten Creepy Creatures and Characters series before reading this post.

While Halloween day may be over and the trick or treating finished, the staff at Shur’tugal wants to keep the spooky atmosphere around just a little bit longer. Continuing with some of the fun Inheritance-related Halloween content that we’ve highlighted over the past few days, we decided to scour Alagaësia lore for some of our favorite eerie personas and mysterious creations.

In our first post, we detailed five creatures and characters that might make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, and today we’d like to give you five more sinister beings that we thought were equally scary and impactful in the Inheritance Cycle!

Below you’ll find the conclusion of another two part series where we’ll count down the top ten most creepy creatures and characters from the Inheritance Cycle. Yesterday with started with numbers ten through six, and today we reveal the remaining top five! (Note: This list is meant for fun and is only the Shur’tugal staff’s opinion, so we’d love to hear what your top ten list is in the comments!)
Continue reading this article…


While Halloween day may be over and the trick or treating finished, the staff at Shur’tugal wants to keep the spooky atmosphere around just a little bit longer. Continuing with some of the fun Inheritance-related Halloween content that we’ve highlighted over the past few days, we decided to scour Alagaësia lore for some of our favorite eerie personas and mysterious creations.

Below you’ll find the first half of another two part series where we’ll count down the top ten most creepy creatures and characters from the Inheritance Cycle. Starting with numbers ten through six, the remaining top five will be revealed in tomorrow’s post! (Note: This list is meant for fun and is only the Shur’tugal staff’s opinion, so we’d love to hear what your top ten list is in the comments!)

Continue reading this article…


Month two on is coming to a close! A new Q&A with Christopher, a discussion of dragons and their mythology, and Angela’s guide to film noir made for an exciting week!

Here’s a summary of this past week’s content:

“Q&As with Christopher: Scrying, Telepathy, and Other Information” – In an exciting new question and answers session, Christopher pulls back the veil on spells, scrying, telepathy, and much more!

“Christopher Discusses Dragons, Their Mythology, and the Inheritance Cycle” – In this article from Christopher, the author discusses dragons, their mythology, and incorporating them as the focal point in the Inheritance Cycle.

“Angela Discusses Film Noir” – In this unique blog piece, Angela Paolini discusses film noir. “Film noir takes you into a realm of stunning black and white cinematography, rapid-fire dialogue, conspicuously grim and cynical viewpoints, and plots that don’t just step over the censoring guidelines of the Hays Code so much as play jump rope with them.” Continue reading this article…


favorites headerWe recently asked the Shur’tugal community to vote for five of their top favorites from the Inheritance Cycle – villain, leader, Rider, dragon, and race. We offered readers the opportunity to vote for one “winner” per poll, with the results hidden until today’s “big reveal”. We’re finally ready to announce who will walk away with the title of the Inheritance Cycle community’s “favorite”. Some of the winners may surprise you, while some of the losers won’t! Did your favorites stand their ground to bring home the coveted title of “The Inheritance Community’s Favorite ____”? Continue reading this article…


halloween summary post headerWe’ve shared a wealth of ideas and guides to help make this year’s Halloween a memorable one for Halloween fans, including pumpkin stencils, costume guides, and party ideas. To help bring it all together ahead of the year’s spookiest holiday, we’ve compiled this community guide with everything you’ll need to know to throw the ultimate Halloween bash!

pumpkin headerPumpkins are an iconic face to this frightful holiday. Add some Inheritance “cheer” by carving your favorite Cycle dragon into the front of a pumpkin using one of our Inheritance Cycle pumpkin stencils, which also include the “E” logo, the iconic Eragon text, Saphira’s eye (drawn by Christopher), and more!

costumes headerWhether you’ve been planning for weeks or are looking for a last minute costume idea, we’ve got you covered with our Halloween costume guides! Bring Alagaësia to Earth with one of these easy-to-make and cost-effective costume ideas for all of the series’ main characters, including Eragon, Murtagh, Angela, Arya, Saphira, Fírnen, Glaedr, Thorn, the dwarves, and even Urgals! You’ll be the highlight of your Halloween party.

party-ideas-headerThrowing a Halloween party for your friends and family? Why not theme your party around one of the races of Alagaësia? Transform your home into the murky woods of Ellesméra or the damp and dark caves of Tronjheim with Talita Paolini’s themed party ideas based around the six races of Alagaësia – elves, dwarves, dragons, Urgals, werecats, and humans!

*Community shout out and big thanks to Denise T. (@MojoMagic3 on Twitter) for the photo of her incredible Inheritance Cycle pumpkin and the dragon egg she made using our recent dragon egg art project tutorial!

Whether a carved pumpkin, an epic Inheritance-inspired costume, or a spooky Alagaësia party, we want to hear about and see it! Share photos and stories with us in the comments and on Facebook and Twitter for a chance to be featured on Shur’tugal!


Fan Art Profile: A Salute to the Heroines of the Inheritance Cycle

Fans of fantasy literature, and genre literature in general, are no strangers the various tropes and generalities often referenced when it comes to their favorite entertainment. One such trope that longtime followers of traditional fantasy and science fiction may have heard in the past is a lack of strong female lead characters with major impact on the climax of a story.

Fortunately for fans of the Inheritance Cycle, the diversity among the cast of primary characters is robust, and offers readers a variety of threads to follow for their favorite champions of Alagaësia.

While main male characters Eragon, Roran and Murtagh all have major roles in defeating Galbatorix and saving Alagaësia from certain doom, they would have never been able to accomplish such a feat without a few of their female contemporaries: Arya, Nasuada, Katrina and Angela.

Though these four characters have varying personalities, they all found ways to have similar impacts on the stories of Inheritance. All four women were at some point imprisoned by the Empire, but showed toughness and resolve to survive and rise above being contained. Arya and Nasuada both shouldered the burden of leading their people, (the elves and the Varden, respectively), while Angela and Katrina quite often served as beacons of light when times were at their darkest.

We now share with you a selection of hand drawn fan art from artist ElakuDark, found on Deviant Art entitled, “The Inheritance girls”.  This piece profiles the four main heroines of the Inheritance Cycle.  Arya, with her arms crossed and stoic demeanor, is a reminder of her constant dedication to protecting the realm.  Nasuada, with proud shoulders and bearing the bandaged proof of her ordeal with the Trial of the Long Knives while Katrina stands strong are both unwavering.  Finally, we mustn’t forget Angela, and though she is regularly enigmatic and radical she is also deadly, as her readied huthvir shows.






Below we have a small section from the chapter “The Council of Elders” in Eldest, where Nasuada is appointed leader of the Varden, and her life changed forever:

“Nasuada, Daughter of Ajihad, the Council of Elders wishes to formally extend its deepest condolences for the loss you, more than anyone else, have suffered….”  In a lower voice, he added, “You have our personal sympathies as well.  We all know what it is like to have a family member killed by the Empire.”

“Thank you,” murmured Nasuada, lowering her almond eyes.  She sat, shy and demure, and with an air of vulnerability that made Eragon want to comfort her.  Her demeanor was tragically different from that of the energetic young woman who had visited him and Saphira in the dragonhold before the battle.

“Although this is your time for mourning, a quandary exists that you must resolve.  This council cannot lead the Varden.  And someone must replace your father after the funeral.  We ask that you receive the position.  As his heir, it is rightfully yours-the varden expect it of you.”

Nasuada bowed her head with shining eyes.  Grief was plain in her voice when she said, “I never thought I would be called upon to take my father’s place so young.  Yet…if you insist it is my duty…I will embrace the office.”


So now we ask: Which female Inheritance Cycle character is your favorite? Would you like to see a future story in Alagaesia from their point of view?



A Toast to the Community! Brewfest Lore and Closing Ceremonies


As October draws to a close, so does the inaugural celebration of the  Inheritance community’s first ever fan-created holiday, Alagaësia Brewfest! Uniting  all races of Alagaësia, Brewfest is a holiday centered around celebrating the closing of the Fall harvest, looking back on the year that was, and looking ahead to the future.

Inheritance fans and the Shur’tugal community successfully came together to develop some amazing content for this new Fall holiday.  From tasty treats and festive drinks to friendly yet intense games and ceremonies, there was fun to be had for all ages!

Christopher himself has added to Brewfest and its lore, today announcing:

In the ancient language [Brewfest is] called Agaetí Mierthra, the Mead Festival.


Shur’tugal commenter ‘Orik’ provided this fan fiction theory to the origins of Brewfest:

Winter raged on as it had for the past few months, it was then spring and there was no sign of it halting. Eventually the humans and Urgals would run out of firewood, the dwarves their Feldunost and the elves their trees.

It later came to the month called Disting (a Norse month that celebrates ‘The Festival of Idisis’) when the races decided to come together after much thought. They conversed via scrying (using magicians) and met at Ilirea where they decided to bring the best of their magicians to use many spells over the sky to force the storm back. Because of this the winter storm came to an end and the peoples of Alagaesia celebrated the month as ‘Brewfest’, together drinking and celebrating under one city . To this day the seas in the West remain cold and stormy.

Food and Drink

Part of every friendly holiday is having a great selection of festive food and beverages to help the celebration.  This year’s Brewfest saw several unique drinks and dishes make their way to the tables of the good folk of Alagaësia.  Hearty beers such as Palancar Pirate Pale Ale, The Black Cleaver, lightly flavored pumpkin spice Autumn ale and Dûrmgrimst Ingeitum Double Imperial Stout filled tankards and splashed about as mugs were raised in Dwarf inspired toasts.  Other, less “sturdy” beverages were enjoyed as well, including: Hadarac Spice Tea, Horst’s Apple Cider, Golden Dragon Nettle Honeytea, Frostbitten Faelnirv and Private Reserve Black Tea.  Revelers with a brave palette could sample the now infamous dwarven delight, Black Jelly (courtesy of Mr. TwelvePips):

The paste, black as ink, has the consistency of thick butter and the taste of pure salt. The dwarves spread it on thick bread, stuff it in pastries, or eat it on its own. Not for the weak of stomach. Oddly enough, it is loved by Urgals, when they can get their hands on it.

Games and Exhibitions

When not drinking or eating, many who celebrate Brewfest took part in several diversions that provided fun and creative ways to liven up the holiday.  One such event was the Barrel Full of Arrows archery competition, where Shur’tugal reader provided a fan fiction glimpse into the mind of an elven archer:

Akira the elf recounts his experience in the Barrel Full of Arrows competition:

I have traveled from Ellesmera with the other elves and have spent months preparing for the moment when the Barrel Full of Arrows contest begins. It is no surprise when my table elects me to be their representative archer, I am one of the most skilled archers in Ellesmera and have been firing arrows before I could walk. I move gracefully, my shimmering, silver hair falls perfectly down my back as I leave the table to take my position. Others around me have settled into position as well, and I can almost feel them breathing. Suddenly, there is a hush as the crowd of humans, elves, dwarves, Urgals and even a few werecats wait for us to start. I know the humans are nervously holding their breath, but not the elves. They have faith in me. Suddenly the gong rings, announcing the start of the competition. Instantly there is an arrow in my bow string and I let it fly. I’m nervous, and I can tell because the arrow just barely misses its target. Instantly I’m firing again and this time my arrow makes its mark. There’s cheering on all sides as archers’ arrows pierce barrels repeatedly and guests rush to the liquid flowing from the barrels. The sweet smell of Horst’s apple cider reaches my nose, but nothing can distract me now. I loose arrow after arrow until the barrel has been completely emptied. I raise my chin and survey those around me. Warm pride fills my heart, and my face is flushed with joy. I have won.

Other games included Kull Arm Wrestling, the Brewfest Cup and Elven Treeshaping.  Commenter Dee O’Bray helped develop Elven Treeshaping even further:

It would be an event that lasts 3-4 days. There would be no winner (in the same way there is no winner when every elf must make a bit of art for the blood-oath [celebration]) It would just be a way to celebrate the changing of the trees, and so many unique plants could be created with a bit of imagination, like tree branches which look like a Dragon when the leaves fall from it in [Autumn])

Closing ceremonies and the burning of the effigy

As Brewfest reaches its conclusion, merrymakers join together for the Closing Ceremonies of the celebration, culminating with the Burning of the Effigy.  (Credit to both Immanuela and Blanca Rodriguez Magem for lore inspiration)

As night descends into blackness, a crowd gathers in the town square, some still carrying their tankards after a satisfying feast.  It is the final night of Brewfest, and there is one last event to behold: the burning of the effigy.  Citizens of Alagaësia both young and old gaze up at a giant wooden avatar, a great beaked creature with menacing eyes.  Murmurs in the crowd identify the wooden effigy as a Ra’zac, a terrible creature that most have only heard of in legends passed along by the tongues of storytellers.  It is only fitting then when a hooded figure strides forward to the base of the effigy, revealing themselves as the weathered town bard.  In the bard’s hand is a torch, burning bright and illuminating his bearded visage.   The bard begins telling the crowd stories of the Ra’zac, recalling frightening tales of myth and terror while detailing the effigy as the representation of the past year’s demons and harsh times.  Laying the flaming torch at the base of the wooden Ra’zac, the bard declares that the demons will be burned away to make way for a prosperous new year.  As the towering effigy flares into a rumbling blaze, the Brewfest revelers raise their mugs and utter a resounding cheer.

Thank you to all who helped make Brewfest the first holiday of its kind here at Shur’tugal! What did you enjoy most from Brewfest? Do you have any thoughts for next year’s celebration? Let us know in the comments below! is © 2004-2014. is owned by Mike Macauley, in partnership with
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