Swords and Guns

Three years ago when my friend and I began planning and drawing the art for Wyvern Diary, we’d always imagined it as a science fiction book and hopefully series. But we’d also put forward plans for sword fights, dragons and magic and the process of justifying these factors in a science fiction series.

Swords were the easiest. Recent events, uprisings, revolts and the like, have shown that the machete is a brutally effective (and horribly bloody) weapon that is both less expensive than the equivalent killing power in bullets and reusable. The blade just has to be cleaned and sharpened, which can cost about as much as finding a pebble on the beach. Other works of science fiction, Warhammer 40k, Dune, Star Wars, have used bladed/sword-like weapons alongside laser and projectile weapons. So this series would be different from those ones in that the conflict is Earth-based, so there is a precedent. The addition of mechanical sharpening and strength enhancing exosuits makes the sword a more effective slicing weapon against ballistic armour that is more used to deflecting the piercing kinetic energy of a bullet. That’s why I chose to base them off of Eastern swords, as they are good at slicing along a single edge on non-rigid and medium strength armour and the lack of a sharpened tip is negated by the fact that bullets do the same job but better.

Dragons were next. Dragons are generally explicitly magical creatures and the phenomenon of flight is impossible on a multi ton beast. So the first designs were all wyverns, vaguely theropod dinosaur like in design (one was basically a Carnotaurus with wings, thick tail and all) and my friend used his knowledge of birds to base his designs in terms of proportion. After a while, we decided that our protagonist needed magic powers to make him special and that opened the gate for giant dragons to fly by telekinesis and spit fire everywhere.

With the decision to give Steve sorcerous abilities, it was eventually decided that the source of telekinetic energy would be a scientific as the rest of the world: it would be a mutagen. The Blackmatter Incident set forty seven years before the story spread the eponymous mutagen that naturally occurred in dragons and gave them the power of flight and fire breathing. So the unnatural application of Blackmatter in humans had a different effect to the moderated amount in dragons. For this reason, man can fire laser beams, arc electricity from his palms and other assorted elemental magical fun.So the source of magic was mutation from a material that doesn’t exist.

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