pumpkin-carving-headerBring Alagaësia to life on a pumpkin! We want to see your pumpkin carving skills utilized to transform a pumpkin into a fearsome Thorn or elegant Saphira! To help with the process, we’ve created several stencils based off of the Inheritance Cycle dragons, the iconic “ERAGON” text, and the “E” symbol created to promote the Eragon movie.

You can use our pumpkin carving templates to get started. You’ll have two options: you can fully cut out the outline of the dragon, or you can use scraping techniques to create a carving the same type as shown in our example pumpkin photos.

Here are some steps to help you use the stencils to create your pumpkin:

Transferring the stencil

Print the stencil from your computer. Tape the stencil to your pumpkin, then transfer the stencil’s shape by poking small holes through the stencil’s design. Tools such as wooden skewers, nails, or any sharp, pointed object (be careful!) work best. Cheap pumpkin kits also offer similar tools and can be found at most stores during the holiday season. We recommend having two stencils printed, just in case the first one gets messy!

Completely carving your pumpkin

The easiest method to create your pumpkin is to simple carve the stencil out around the edges, leaving a large dragon-shaped hole at the front of your dragon. While epic, the scraping method will yield cooler, more interesting results (especially with the dragon stencils). We’re sure you don’t need any directions on carving your designs! Of course, don’t forget to “gut” your pumpkin before you start the carving process.

Scraping your pumpkin design

For a more elegant design as seen in the photos above and below, you’ll want to use a “scraping” technique to have several layers to your pumpkin, allowing light to shine through in various levels of brightness. To carve, use a tool that allows for scraping (wood carving tools, knives, screwdrivers, kitchen gadgets, or anything else that will let you peel away the pumpkin’s flesh will work!) and slowly peel away the pumpkin’s flesh in the areas designated by your stencil. Darker areas call for deeper peeling and allow more light through, whereas lighter areas will create a darker glow. Need more help? This Youtube video covers the shading techniques used for this kind of pumpkin carving!

Time to get started! You can download our stencils by clicking on the stencil thumbnail below (right click on the large image and select “Save as…” to download the stencil):

Looking for examples of how your pumpkin should turn out? Here’s a gallery of pumpkins readers have carved in the past!

We’ll be featuring any pumpkin submitted to us through social media (on Facebook or on Twitter) until Halloween! Shortly after Halloween, we’ll compile all of your pumpkin photos into one big post on Shur’tugal, where thousands of fans will see your hard work (with credit to you, of course!).

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10-13favoritemomentsHave you read Eragon multiple times? Love talking obscure details and things you picked up on with your friends and in the community? Consider yourself one of the biggest Eragon buffs out there?

If you answered yes to any of those questions (and we imagine many of you did!), we’d love to have you contribute to our latest project: we are looking for the biggest Eragon fans out there to contribute their best pieces of trivia based on Eragon (we’ll be doing Eldest, Brisingr, and Inheritance at a later date).

Whether an obscure moment from the books, a “who said this quote?”, or anything else you can dream up, we’d love to hear what you have to offer! Don’t be afraid to submit more than one piece of trivia, but please try to do so all in the same comment. You can further help us by providing alternative answers for multiple choice questions. True false, multiple choice, etc. are all okay with us! Be sure to include the answers in your comment so that the full question can be used for the quiz!

Why are we asking for trivia? We’re going to put together the ultimate “How well do you know Eragon?” quiz and want to make sure our trivia is as good as it gets! Any reader who submits trivia that is used in the quiz will be credited on the website, offering you the bragging rights of being known of one of the biggest Eragon buffs out there!

Please leave your trivia in the comments of this post.

 

It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of the fifth week of Paolini.net! The Paolini family opened with a “bang”, releasing over twelve new articles in addition to over a dozen articles and pages on the website at its launch. This week saw the release of two new educational articles, a video from Christopher discussing when he’ll return to the world of Alagaesia, and a new article exploring various works that helped inspire the Inheritance Cycle. Here’s a summary of this past week’s Paolini.net content:

“Christopher Discusses When He’ll Return to the World of Alagaësia” – Christopher discusses the most common question of all: When will he return to Alagaësia? The video sheds some light on Christopher’s recent projects, his insane amount of planned Alagaësia books, and more. This is a must-watch for any Inheritance fan!

“Stories That Inspired the Inheritance Cycle: Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher” – This article introduces readers to a story that had a tremendous impact on Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle. Learn how this book inspired Christopher and find a new book to enjoy!

“The Early Years: Tips for Teaching Reading and Writing from Infancy through Grade 1″ – Parents of young children and homeschoolers may find this new educational article from Talita Paolini to be handy!

“Fifty Writing Prompts for Students” – Homeschoolers and parents alike can find lots of great writing ideas in this Paolini.net educational article. Continue reading this article…

 

10-16 qa headerChristopher regularly interacts with fans via his official Twitter account, where he shares fun things he discovers on the internet, random musings, and cryptic updates on his latest projects. Last night, Christopher offered fans the opportunity to ask him any questions within a fifteen minute time frame and offered to answer as many as possible. The resulting responses contained some very exciting information on Book 5, two potential prequels, Angela, progress on his sci-fi book, a major revelation about the new book’s universe, and writing advice!

Here are all of his questions/answers:

Book 5

Book 5?
Yes, Book V eventually. Always intended to write it. Gotta finish the sci-fi book I’m on first, though.

Book 5: Will it be a prequel, spin off, or another Eragon/Roran book?
It’ll be a sequel. And you’ve met the main character already.

Will Eragon return to Alagaesia? Is it possible that it wasn’t his time to go – that he went too soon?
That’s a wonderful thought…. No comment. :D

Are eggs in Saphira’s future now that she has -ahem- hooked up, so to speak?
Ahem. I would never talk about the private business of a lady dragon like that. But … perhaps.

Will you be writing more about the Urgal Dragon Riders?
Yup.

Other Alagaesia Books (Prequels, etc.)

Would you ever write a book about the adventures of Brom?
Perhaps. It’s something I’ve considered. Would make a good book, I think.

Will we ever see the Adventures of Angela the Herbalist?
Heh. As long as I don’t kick the bucket first. Love her character.

Will there ever be a book about the Fall of the Riders?
Perhaps. It would be told from Brom’s point of view.

The Sci-fi Book

How is the sci-fi book progressing?
Writing is going well. Doing five pages a day right now.

Any hint as to when your sci-fi book will hit store shelves?
As soon as possible!!!!

Is your sci-fi book staying in the same universe [as Alagaesia] or is it a whole new universe?
It’s our universe but set in an imagined future…. WHOA!!! SPOILER!

General Inheritance Cycle Information

What is one thing you wish you could have added to the original Inheritance Cycle?
A little more time with Saphira growing up and Feldûnost in Book I.

What is Angela?
WHAT? I think you mean … WHO? Hmm. What does that remind me of? [...] She’s not who you think she is.

Why did Brom have to die?
Because otherwise he would have kept doing things for Eragon, and Eragon wouldn’t have grown up.

Would you want the Inheritance Cycle (re)made into movies like Lord of the Rings? (The Eragon movie was a disappointment.)
Yes please. More movies!!! (Someone get on this.)

Miscelaneous Questions

Which is a harder genre to write in, sci-fi or fantasy?
Sci-fi, because the numbers can’t be faked… No wait, fantasy … Uhh. They’re both equally hard.

What is your biggest dream?
To tell the stories I want to, drive my enemies before me, and hear the lamentations of the trolls.

How many books do you already have completely planned out?
Uhh … (counts fingers) … 20-30?

Writing Advice

I never struggle with the beginnings or endings of my books while writing, but I always struggle with the middle. Do you have any advice?
Ask yourself what would logically happen next. Talk it out with friends. Write outlines. Keep asking questions.

Do you have any advice on getting my book published?
Read a bunch of info online, and don’t sign any contract without knowing exactly what you’re getting into.

I’ve been thinking about writing a book, and I have some ideas already. I just wrote some down in my notepad. Any tips?
Keep asking yourself questions and see how the story develops.

As always, be sure to follow Christopher on Twitter for the latest news, updates, and revelations. You’ll never know what he’ll share next! The Paolini family can be found on Twitter at @PaoliniOfficial, Angela Paolini can be found at @Angela_Paolini, and Talita Paolini can be found at @TalitaPaolini.

Now we ask: What answers from Christopher’s latest interview session did you enjoy the most? What do you think Christopher’s Book 5 answers are pointing to for Book 5 plots? Who will be the main character of Book 5? Which of Christopher’s other Alagaesia book ideas would you like to see the most? Let us know in the comments!

 

brewfest-header-2Brewfest celebrations are well underway! For those of you who may be new to the latest Alagaesia holiday, let us catch you up: we tasked our readers with helping us invent a new holiday set within the world of Alagaesia. The holiday is loosely based around the October “Oktoberfest” celebrations across the world, where revelers come together to celebrate, usually drinking beer, eating brats, and more:

Brewfest originated as two separate holidays meant to celebrate the fall season and the year’s harvest. The elves first began to celebrate the changing of the trees as fall began to take hold, venturing into the forests to celebrate the life within. Tea is their brew of choice, as many elves work to concoct new beverages, bring back prior years’ favorites, and challenge each other in friendly games and competitions. The dwarves – well, their holiday is a bit more rowdy, loud, and entertaining. Alcohol starts and ends the day, as do games and good food. Merriment can be found echoing throughout the Beor Mountains and Tronjheim.

Over the years, the humans began to pull from and combine the two races’ traditions to form their own Brewfest celebrations. Dragon Riders would travel long and far to celebrate, and their dragons always joined in on the festivities.

Today’s post explores some food and drink enjoyed during the celebration and various games played by the revelers across Alagaesia! Let us know what you think of today’s content, and be sure to share your own short stories, lore, and ideas based around the holiday for a chance to be included in our next post! (The next post will focus on lore and stories, so be sure to submit your content before the weekend! You can submit your content in the comments or by emailing it to feedback@shurtugal.com!) Continue reading this article…

 

Grimrr Halfpaw — “King of the Werecats, Lord of the Lonely Places, Ruler of the Night Reaches and He Who Walks Alone” — was first introduced to readers in Inheritance. His character is as mysterious as readers have come to expect from the elusive race of werecats, offering up little information about himself other than his immediate disdain for Angela and Solembum and his race’s allegiance in the war against Galbatorix and the Empire.

“[T]hrough the doorway strode Grimrr Halfpaw in the shape of a human, trailed by four other werecats, who padded close behind him on large, shaggy paws. [...] Grimrr, however, looked unlike any person or creature Eragon had ever seen. At roughly four feet tall, he was the same height as a dwarf, but no one could have mistaken him for a dwarf, or even for a human. He had a small pointed chin, wide cheekbones, and, underneath upswept brows, slanted green eyes fringed with winglike eyelashes. His ragged black hair hung low over his forehead, while on the sides and back it fell to his shoulders, where it lay smooth and lustrous, much like the manes of his companions. His age was impossible for Eragon to guess.”

DeviantArt artist ImCarla worked on a character study, hoping to capture the likeness of the King of the Werecats before finally illustrating her final interpretation of the character in color. To the delight of fans, Christopher Paolini commented on the final illustration as being “very close” to what he imagined the character to look like, allowing us to finally realize Grimrr’s human form:

grimrrfinishedImCarla also offered a glimpse into her character study process, which included many iterations of the character’s eyes, body, and face:

So now we ask: Is this how you imagined Grimrr Halfpaw?

 

Fan art and fan fiction are where some of the most interesting off-the-page stories are born, as is the case with a magnificent piece of art we’re about to show you. Some artists let their imaginations run wild, dreaming up scenes and scenarios which take place in the pages an author chose not to share with us… and the results can be fantastic!

This new piece by DeviantArt artist Ticcy imagined and illustrated a scene in which Arya and Fírnen interact in Fírnen’s early days as a dragon hatchling. This scene would have taken place before Arya meets Eragon at the end of the book, revealing that the green egg hatched for her:

"What are you doing?!"

“What are you doing?!”

It’s evident from the look on Arya’s face and the path of destruction behind the tiny dragon that Fírnen has turned Arya’s study, deep within the heart of Ellesméra, into his own little playground. Plants overturned, a Bonsai tree over-plucked, ink spilled, and scrolls eaten…

No wonder she’s a bit angry!

Here’s what Christopher Paolini had to say about the piece, and the idea of this scene having taken place outside of the pages of Inheritance:

This is one of my favorite pieces of fan art. It perfectly captures the mischievous nature of a young dragon, as well as Arya’s frustration and sometimes overly-serious attitude. If I’d written any scenes from her point-of-view in Inheritance, I would have written something very close to this.

Now we ask you: Is this a scene that you could have imagined taking place? What do you imagine happens next?

 

interviewpartthreeSeveral hidden interviews with Christopher have been released in the past, revealing gems and hoards of information about Inheritance and possible future books! This interview in particular is a revealing one, discussing a variety of topics ranging from the Ra’zac’s possible genocide and how dwarf and Urgal Riders will physically look, to new undiscovered creatures on Alagaesia and Sloan’s post-Inheritance fate! All of this and more is covered in this interview with Christopher!

Let’s jump right into what the last part of one of our best interviews with Christopher to date has for you:

  • Are the Ra’zac really evil, and is what happened to them considered genocide?
  • How will the new Riders’ pact affect the appearance of Urgal and dwarven Riders?
  • Will the tortured Eldunari ever be able to return to a normal mental state?
  • New and undiscovered creatures on Alagaesia!
  • Crystals capable of disrupting magic and breaking through wards… how do they work?
  • Sloan’s post-Inheritance fate
  • The elven children, their role in Inheritance and in Book Five
  • El-Harim and the hilarious story behind the city of Dauth
  • The future story of Arya and Firnen’s lack of a proper Rider trainer
  • The fate of the first Eragon
  • How Book Five will come together and what it will include
  • Twitter, Facebook, and social media
  • And much more!

Enough with the teasing! Continue reading to view the full, 4600-word interview! Continue reading this article…

 

The first month since the launch of Paolini.net is coming to a close. The Paolini family opened with a “bang”, releasing over twelve new articles in addition to over a dozen articles and pages on the website at its launch. They also released their first Paolini.net newsletter on Saturday, containing exclusive content slated to hit the website on Monday (for those who are not subscribed to the newsletter). Here’s a summary of this past week’s Paolini.net content:

“Q&As with Christopher: Angela, Glaedr, and Other Burning Questions” – “Q&As with Christopher” is a new ongoing series offering the community a chance to have popular questions answered by Christopher. This week, the author addressed Angela, what the Menoa Tree took from Eragon, Eragon’s true name, Glaedr’s body, and more!

“A Guide to E-book Conversion” – The Paolini family’s assistant, Immanuela, wrote a nifty article and guide on converting your written works into e-books! This guide is especially helpful for aspiring writers looking to self-publish their writing on platforms such as Amazon.

“Christopher recommends: The Worm Ouroboros, Titus Groan, and the Mabinogion Tetralogy” – In this article, the first of an ongoing series, Christopher discusses some of his favorites and what makes them special. The books are fantastic reads and can be enjoyed by anyone looking for recommendations from one of their favorite authors!

Paolini.net Newsletter #1 – The first Paolini.net newsletter was released with an exclusive two-day sneak peek at a new video from Christopher discussing Book 5. Subscribers to the Paolini.net newsletter gain access to new announcements two days before they hit the blog. The newsletter’s content will release on Paolini.net for all to see on Monday, October 13th. Continue reading this article…

 

vroengard-headerNow a resting ground for hundreds of deceased dragons and Riders, Vroengard Island and its capital, Doru Araeba were referenced and discussed throughout the entirety of the series. What once once represented the Riders’ strength and their status as a beacon of hope and prosperity was reduced to rubble in a single battle. For years, the island stood as a cautionary tale for those who dared oppose Galbatorix. It was here that the mad Rider and his allies committed the atrocities that nearly led to the extinction of the dragons and the fall of the Riders.

Radiation permeates throughout the island to this day, a result of the dragon Thuviel sacrificing himself in an attempt to defeat Galbatorix and the Foresworn. The land’s poison resulted in the creation several new species, including the snalglí and burrow grubs encountered by Eragon, Saphira, and Glaedr. Most importantly, it was here that Eragon finally discovered the Vault of Souls.

In this incredible piece of fan art, the incredibly talented artist Eumenidi captures the moment when Eragon, Saphira, and Glaedr fly over the mountains and first glimpse Doru Araeba in the Inheritance chapter “Amid the Ruins”. The graphic novel-style strip shows Eragon’s shock, anger, and reaction as they explore the ruins. Continue reading this article…

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