Let’s face it: we’ve all daydreamed about owning our own dragon. The scene in Eragon in which Eragon discovers Saphira’s dragon egg has caused many of us to long to find our own dragon egg.

Thanks to an incredible and easy dragon egg art project, you can now create your own! You choose the size and color and you bring your very own dragon egg to life. The best part: you can create your dragon egg for less than $10 in supplies! It will make a great week night or weekend project and your dragon egg will make a great companion for your Inheritance Cycle books! And who knows, maybe it’ll hatch…

The below images and their captions will outline all of the supplies you will need for the project in addition to each step you’ll want to follow as you bring your dragon egg to life! You can find all of the required crafting items at a local craft store such as Michael’s or Jo-Ann Fabrics:

Dragon Egg Supplies

You’ll need: One foam egg (found at your local craft supplies store), at least four packs of regular thumbtacks (roughly 800 thumbtacks), different colors of acrylic paints (your choice – metallic paints will give your egg more of a shine), one final paint color to dry brush over the finished egg (more on that in the instructions below) and a paintbrush. Optional: You may want to use Mod Podge to seal the egg once finished and a pizza box (or any other box) comes in handy to stick the thumbtacks into while you paint them.

Getting started is as easy as unwrapping your supplies, setting up a work station, and placing your first batch of thumbtacks into the box you’ve found! We’ve put together a step-by-step photo series with captions explaining exactly what you’ll need to do in each process.


Once you’ve placed the first batch of thumbtacks into the box you’re using, you’ll be able to begin the painting process. If you are looking to have a bit of a color variation to your egg (which adds a bit of depth and realism), you’ll want to be sure to paint some of your eggs a lighter shade. In this example, a majority of the thumbtacks are a darker metallic green, whereas a few thumbtacks were painted with a pearlescent lime color to add a bit of variety to the scales on the egg.


It’s time to start placing the “scales” into the egg! You’ll want to start with the first tack at the very center of the top of the egg. From there, you’ll start placing the scales overlapping each other in a spiral pattern. The photo on the left shows the start of that spiral pattern, which ensures that all of the scales are able to be overlapping as you continue to add to the egg. The photo on the right shows the egg as it progresses with more scales added.

Step Three: Painting more thumbtacks and egg progress

You will need to go through multiple rounds of thumbtack painting in order to cover the entire egg. Depending on how many color variations you want in your egg, you will likely only need to paint the lighter color onto the thumbtacks in the first batch. The rest of the batches can be painted with your darker color. Continue placing the scales into the egg with your spiral pattern process from above.


The left photo shows the first scales being placed, and the photo on the right shows the bottom of the egg after the final scales were placed! To prevent the styrofoam egg bottom from showing through the small gaps in the scales at the bottom, you may want to apply some paint before placing those final scales. In total, 625 olive scales and 5-10 lime scales were used to cover the entire egg.

The hardest part of creating your dragon egg art will be waiting for the thumbtacks to dry. After you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll have a completed (and fairly heavy!) dragon egg. It’s unbelievable how realistic these dragon eggs can look, especially when you vary the scale colors for “accents”. Metallic paints give the dragon egg the same glimmer you’d expect to see from the dragon eggs found across Alagaesia.

If green isn’t the dragon egg color of your choice (Firnen would be sad!), there are many more options. In the below photos, you can see just how interesting metallic blue, purple, and teal scales can look while combined into one egg! Fooling with more colors, such as a reds and maroons, grey and black, gold, and more can result in even more unique dragon eggs!


This is another color variation you can utilize to make your egg! You will notice that many more paint colors were used in order to create a substantial amount of variety amongst the scales. This is entirely up to you!


Once the scales were finished being placed, a final coat of paint was applied to the eggs to give it the sheen seen in the photos. This is entirely optional but will help the eggs shine more vibrantly. An antique gold color paint was dry-brushed onto the green egg. A gunmetal metallic paint was dry-brushed onto the multi-colored egg. Once the paint has fully dried, you may want to consider sealing your egg with a good coat of Mod Podge (not pictured in the above photos).

We’re encouraging all of our visitors to create their own dragon eggs! The Shur’tugal staff will be creating their own and posting the photos. Submit your photos to us through Twitter or Facebook and your egg may be featured on our website. Additionally, in a few weeks we will be asking fans to share their photos on Shur’tugal for a chance to win a signed Inheritance Cycle book!

So… create your own egg, take a picture, and share it with us for a chance to win a signed Inheritance Cycle book!

*Huge thank you to Pellantana on Reddit, who took the time to create this great tutorial!


Last week we gave away a signed copy of the 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Eragon… and this week we’re back to giveaway not only another copy of the Collector’s Edition, but three more books in our first Mystery Book Box giveaway!

We aren’t willing to tell you what the other three books in the Mystery Book Box are, but we’ll give you a few hints: this week’s Mystery Book Box is called the “Epic Authors Starter Pack”, promising that all of the books provided are a first in their series. We are also willing to tease that one of the books may be related to a major book-adaptation movie hitting theaters soon…

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

Tell us in the comments on this post what book(s) you’re currently reading! Use this as an opportunity to recommend books to other readers by sharing more than just the book title!

After seven days (on September 25th), we’ll close the giveaway and choose one winner! The only way to enter is by leaving a comment, and leaving other comments responding to fans’ recommendations in the comment section can increase your chances of winning! Be sure to verify that you’ve left a comment in the giveaway box on this post so that you are qualified for the giveaway.

Our readers may also be interested to know that our sister site, Lytherus.com, is currently giving away a mega book pack of their own! To celebrate the release of the Maze Runner movie, they are giving away a five book set including the Maze Runner trilogy, its prequel, and a behind-the-scenes movie tie-in book! Entering is as simple as entering this mega book giveaway, so don’t miss out on a chance to win another set of books!

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(Please note: we reserve the right to disqualify any comments made that we deem to be spam. Please make sure that the comments you leave are constructive and contain useful content.)

pnet-postPaolini.net, the Paolini family’s official website, launched earlier this week with an incredible response of support and fanfare from fans around the world! With so much great content available on the site during its launch (and even more coming in the weeks and months ahead), we thought fans may appreciate a guide to finding this content!

Christopher discusses his current writing project – It’s one of the most frequently asked questions: what’s your next project?! Christopher filmed a video for fans discussing his next project, a sci-fi novel, and what you can expect to see!

The Writers Corner – Christopher wrote Eragon at the age of fifteen before going on to self-publish, and eventually sell the rights to a major publisher. With over a decade of writing experience between Christopher and his entire family, the family has decided to offer a section dedicated to aspiring writers with advice, tools, and articles exploring writing, world building, and more.

Christopher discusses finishing the Inheritance Cycle and moving on to a new project – Christopher discusses what it was like to finish the final book in the Inheritance Cycle and the writing process that led him to his current sci-fi writing project, including several short stories, in an essay on Paolini.net!

“Christopher on Story” – Christopher shares an essay with fans discussing what makes a story interesting, both from the perspective of an author and of a fan.

“Christopher on World Building” – Christopher shares an essay discussing world building, including his thoughts on the process as he embarks on new writing projects.

“Christopher’s Writing Tips” – Looking to jump into writing or needing advice for your current writing project? Christopher shares eleven great writing tips in this Paolini.net essay.

Paolini.net Newsletter – This newsletter promises readers access to major announcement and content 48 hours before it’s posted on the Paolini.net blog! Additionally, fans who sign up for the newsletter have access to a newsletter-only piece of never-before-seen art by Christopher in addition to multiple social media kits allowing you to have some really nifty Inheritance-themed banners and icons on your Facebook and Twitter profiles!

The Educators section – The educational content found on Paolini.net is largely derived from many of the lessons Christopher’s parents used while homeschooling Christopher and Angela. Educators, as well as interested readers, can find lots of great resources in addition to Talita Paolini’s first book in the Paolini.net Educators section!

Six Races of Alagaesia party ideas – Talita Paolini, Christopher’s mother, has put together an incredible set of party ideas based on the six races of Alagaesia. Whether you’re looking to host a memorable birthday party or themed Halloween get-together, you can find some great ideas from these six race-themed parties!

Be sure to continue visiting the website, following Paolini.net on Facebook and Twitter, and staying tuned to Shur’tugal – lots more exciting content will be hitting the web in the coming weeks and months!

Now we ask: What’s your favorite Paolini.net content? What would you like to see on the website in the future?

Find peace among the falling snow with ‘Murtagh and Thorn’

Throughout the entirety of the Inheritance Cycle, there may have been no soul more tortured than that of Murtagh. Condemned from birth, the son of betrayer Morzan spent his life shackled in both body and mind leading up to the culmination of Inheritance and the Varden’s victory against Galbatorix.

Whether it was torment suffered as a child at the hands of his ruthless father, imprisonment by the Varden, or having an oath of servitude forced upon him by Galbatorix, Murtagh never truly experienced freedom to live his life on his own accord. The same can be said for his dragon, Thorn, whom Galbatorix used as a pawn to bring Murtagh into service as a Rider.

It wasn’t until Murtagh helped Eragon bring down Galbatorix once and for all that he and Thorn were able to finally choose the path they wanted to tread in life and begin anew. Perhaps this new sense of freedom was most telling when Murtagh offered no definite plans for his future at the end of Inheritance, taking to the northbound skies with Thorn towards new horizons.

Below you’ll find a piece of fan art by artist “Ticcy”, of DeviantArt, offering us a glimpse into what “Murtagh and Thorn” might be up to following the liberation of Alagaësia. With smiles on their faces, the pair look wholly content as they huddle next to a warm fire amidst a blanket of snow.


From Inheritance, Murtagh shares his thoughts towards the future in a conversation with Eragon:

“Thorn and I need time alone; we need time to heal.  If we stay, we’d be too busy to figure things out for ourselves.”

“Good company and staying busy are often the best cure for a sickness of the soul.”

“Not for what Galbatorix did to us….Besides, it would be painful to be around Nasuada right now, for both her and me.  No, we have to leave.”

“How long do you think you’ll be gone?

“Until the world no longer seems quite so hateful and we no longer feel like tearing down mountains and filling the sea with blood.”

To that, Eragon had no response.  They stood looking at the river, where it lay behind a line of low willow trees.  The rustling of the nettles grew louder, stirred by the westward wind.

Then Eragon said, “When you no longer wish to be alone, come find us.  You’ll always be welcome at our hearth, wherever that may be.”

“We will.  I promise.”

Now we ask:  How will Murtagh find a way to restore his faith in the goodness of humanity and be able to return to Alagaësia and to Eragon?  After the events of Inheritance, what else do you think lies in store for Murtagh and Thorn?  Will they rejoin their companions from the Varden like Murtagh promises?  Or is Alagaësia even the best place for this Rider and Dragon to call home?

The Paolini family launches Paolini.net, their official website

We are excited to announce that the Paolini family has launched Paolini.net, the official destination for all things Paolini on the web!

The website has launched with several exciting pieces of content, including introductions to various parts of the website, including the Writers Corner, Educators section, and a video from Christopher discussing his new writing project, a scifi novel!

Lots of exciting content will be added to the website on a regular basis, and while we aren’t ready to reveal what that content will be, we can promise that it will appeal to fans, aspiring writers, and parents/educators. Be sure to check back regularly as several posts will be added to the blog each week.

I am also thrilled to mention that I have been a part of the Paolini.net project since its inception, working closely with the Paolini family to build this new website from the ground up. I will be working on the website as its manager and a contributor of content to both the website and its blog. I am also assisting in the management of their social media accounts, where even more exciting content can be found!

Visit Paolini.net to view all of the great launch content and new blog articles! Be sure to follow @PaoliniOfficial on Twitter and “Like” the Paolini.net Official Facebook page on Facebook for the latest news and updates! Additionally, you can subscribe to the Paolini.net Newsletter for news and announcements forty-eight hours before they hit the official website!

twitter-interview-questionsSocial media is an interesting place: sometimes you’ll find useful information and updates from friends and internet personalities… while other times, you’ll find the weird, the obscure, and the downright bizarre.

Social media also happens to be home to Christopher Paolini’s official Twitter account. Christopher will, on rare occasions, offer fans a fifteen minute session where they can ask him questions and he’ll fire off as many answers as possible. The results are often interesting, revealing, and true to Christopher’s nature, teasing. Christopher touches on Inheritance, Book V, Inheritance Cycle movies, and more!

We’ve compiled the best and most important questions and answers from Christopher’s Twitter account over the past eight months for your viewing pleasure!


Is Angela one of the Grey Folk?
Maaaybe. Maaaybe not.

Christopher: I don’t intend to alter/revisit Inheritance [Book 4] at any point. The book is done and published, and I’m happy with it. […] I still plan on writing Book V, though.
Reference one, reference two

Who is your favorite Inheritance Cycle dragon?

Can you and Brandon Sanderson team up to bring the world of Alagaesia and Sanderson’s world of Alethkar together?
Ha! Who knows? That might be fun.

Read more about Christopher’s “Book V”, potential Inheritance Cycle prequel, and his upcoming scifi book on our “Book V and Beyond” page!

Will we ever find out what happened to the belt of Beloth the Wise?

Will Murtagh ever join Eragon in establishing the new Riders?
Heh. No comment.

Will you ever write a book or series about the dragon/elf war leading to the creation of the Riders?
Possibly, although I’ll probably do Book V first.

Have you started any work on Book V, such as planning?
Book V is completely plotted out. However, I’m writing something else at the moment.

Will there ever be a book about or featuring Murtagh?
Let’s just say we haven’t seen the last of Murtagh. ;-)


Will there ever be more Inheritance Cycle movies?
I hope so! But it’s up to Fox whether they ever do anything with the rights.

Will we ever see an Eldest film as a sequel to the Eragon movie?
Someday, I hope! Although I’d love to see Eragon rebooted first.

What are your thoughts on the Eragon movie?
The film reflected the studio’s vision of the story, just as the books reflect my vision of the story.


Looking back on Eragon, do you have any regrets?
I wish I’d worked in a few more mentions of things I invented later: like the feldûnost and nïdhwal.

How long did it take to write Eragon?
About 2.5 years.


What type of non-fantasy book(s) would you love to write?
Horror. Or romance. You know, one or the other. Techno-thrillers might be fun too.

What do you find to be the hardest part of the writing process?
Waking up and getting my brain to function well enough that I can write clearly.

What would you say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
My obsessive attention to detail, which is also my greatest strength. Life is funny like that.

If you could live in any world, Alagaesia or in other books, where would you live?
I’d probably live with my dwarves. They know how to have a good time.

Would you rather own a dragon or be a dragon?
I’d rather own a dragon.

Who is your favorite incarnation of the Doctor from Doctor Who?
Number Four, Nine, and Ten.

Which Hogwarts house would you have been in?

What is your favorite television series?
The Prisoner (the original).

Now we ask: Which was your favorite question and answer from this collection? If you had a chance to ask Christopher a question, what would you ask?

Fans were devastated at the potential loss of a fan-favorite character, Murtagh, at the end of Eragon. Throughout the start of Eldest, it remained clear that the hero from Eragon was gone for good, joining the likes of Brom.

It wasn’t until later in the book that fans realized the exciting yet equally upsetting news: Murtagh was alive and now a Rider himself, but had been turned against Eragon and the Varden by the very man he despised: Galbatorix. With his own dragon and the true name enslavement by the most powerful villain in Alagaesia, Murtagh felt helpless, broken, and through that, driven to follow the commands given to him by his captor in order to save his, and his dragon’s, life.

We first re-encountered Murtagh on the battlefields of the Burning Plains. Eragon and Saphira met him and Thorn in aerial combat shortly after Morzan’s son struck Hrothgar, king of the dwarves, down, ending the run of another fan favorite character.

This piece of fan art, “Thorn versus Saphira” by artist “Ticcy” on DeviantArt, captures the moment in which Saphira, with Eragon atop her, and Thorn, ridden by Murtagh, meet in battle, clawing, biting, and doing anything they can to injure, without killing, the other.

thorn_versus_saphira_by_ticcy-d791wabFrom the chapter in Eldest:

The siege on Eragon’s mind abated as Saphira and the red dragon crashed together, two incandescent meteors colliding head-on. They grappled, kicking each other’s bellies with their hind legs. Their talons produced hideous screeches as they grated against Saphira’s armor and the red dragon’s flat scales. The red dragon was smaller than Saphira, but thicker in his legs and shoulders. He managed to kick her off for a moment, then they closed again, each struggling to get their jaws around the other’s neck.

It was all Eragon could do to keep hold of Zar’roc as the dragons tumbled toward the ground, battering one another with terrible blows from their feet and tails. No more than fifty yards above the Burning Plains, Saphira and the red dragon disengaged, struggling to regain altitude. Once she halted her descent, Saphira reared her head, like a snake about to strike, and loosed a thick torrent of fire.

Now we ask: Did you see it coming – that Murtagh, son of Morzan, was not only alive but would join Eragon as a Dragon Rider? Did you sympathize with Murtagh or hold him in contempt for what he did both to Hrothgar and Eragon?

rider-war-shurtyWhile a story of growth, friendship, adventure, and hardships, the Inheritance Cycle is also, at its core, a story of war. Named the “Rider War” by Inheritance Cycle readers, dozens of skirmishes and battles filled the pages of all four books in the series. With so many battles between races, factions, and nations, one may find it difficult to remember the significance of each.

wiki-article-screenshotFortunately, fans have banded together to create a comprehensive guide and timeline to the Rider War. One of the most interesting parts of the article: the realization that a name for the actual war is never mentioned in the Inheritance Cycle.

The timeline begins with a detailed look at the “Pre-War Violence” leading up to the Rider War, beginning with the “Fall of the Foresworn”, when the Varden hunted down and assassinated most of the dark Riders, to the “Skirmish outside Farthen Dûr”, leading Eragon and company through the Beor Mountains and eventually at the Varden’s door.

The timeline for the Rider War itself begins with the Battle under Farthen Dûr, a defining moment in Eragon and the catalyst for the entire second war against Galbatorix. The timeline, filled with details on location and actions during each battle, covers skirmishes ranging from the Siege of Carvahall and the Battle of the Burning Plains to the Battle of Gilead and ultimately, the Battle of Urû’baen.

The article interestingly makes note of the fact that the Varden and their supporters have never lost a major battle, despite the fact that the Empire’s army significantly outnumbers their own.

The article doesn’t stop there, however; following the Battle of Urû’baen’s detailed account, fans have also compiled a detailed breakdown of the “Aftermath”, including the election of Nasuada as the new leader of Alagaesia and the departure of Eragon and Saphira.

Finally, the article breaks down the factions involved in the conflict, the roles they played in the conflict and their fate in the “Aftermath”.

While many of us have read the series multiple times, a descriptive timeline of conflicts in the series helps add perspective and scale to just how significant the Rider War was.


Now we ask: What was your favorite battle in the series? If you could have participated in one of the battles, which battle would you have participated in and on what side?

10thAnniversaryCoverWe want to thank everyone for their support in our first week back… by giving away a signed copy of the 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Eragon! We had been looking forward to our relaunch for quite a while and were completely overwhelmed by the comments, support, and participation we saw from the Inheritance Cycle community.

We are so thrilled that you have enjoyed the content we’ve released so far and know that if you’re happy with what you’ve seen over the past week, you’ll absolutely love what we have in store for the future. Good news, international fans: we love you just as much, which is why we’re opening this giveaway to international fans as well!

To enter, simply complete as many of the below tasks as you would like. Each task will offer you one entry into the raffle, for a grand total of eight entries into the drawing! The giveaway ends on September 15th!

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We will reveal the winner in this post on September 16th!

alagaesia-minecraft-shurtyA group of dedicated Inheritance fans and Minecraft building pros have embarked on an epic journey: creating the world of Alagaesia, based largely off of Christopher Paolini’s illustrated map and descriptions found within the book, in the popular voxel building video game, Minecraft!

The project’s lead, known as “Nomadic Penguin”, was kind of enough to provide our team with a number of progress photos as well as details on the project and how various areas were built. It’s important to note that the project is in the early stages of development, but it’s both interesting and exciting to see Alagaesia coming to life!

The team began with Christopher’s illustrated map of Alagaesia found within each copy of the Inheritance Cycle. Using the map as a guide, they built on top of the world, first creating the flat land divided by the world’s “biomes” (grasslands, ocean, desert, snow). Once the land was properly divided by biomes, the team set out to begin the 3D aspect of the project – raising the mountains, lowering the ocean and river floors, and more. You can see the biome outlines as well as their early 3D world generation, all built on top of the map, in this image:

Alagaesia's World Map

Some areas of the project, such as Vroengard Island and the Beor Mountains, are further along in development than others. This side-by-side of two different views of Vroengard Island – an aerial view and a 3D view – shows the detail and terrain levels of the island:

Alagaesia's Vroengard Island

The team has so far provided a host of progress pictures showing detailed looks at various in-progress areas of Alagaesia. We’ve compiled all of the photos into one gallery which enables each image is able to be viewed individually, with all of the images offering descriptions of what you’re seeing!

We plan to keep the community updated as the project continues to grow and develop. When available, we’ll share more information, such as how fans can contribute to and explore the project!

Now we ask: What do you think of the progress of Alagaesia in Minecraft so far? If you could explore the world of Alagaesia within a video game, what would be the first location you journey to?

Shurtugal.com is © 2004-2014. Shurtugal.com is owned by Mike Macauley, in partnership with Lytherus.com.
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