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Sneak Peeks

A Visitor’s Guide to Callipolis

Just recently picked up Fireborne? Or perhaps you’ve read it twice and are now eagerly waiting on its sequel, Flamefall? Whether you’re a newbie or a die hard fan, we were lucky enough to get you a visitor’s guide to Callipolis from author Rosaria Munda!

Visit the world of Fireborne below!


Welcome to the island of Callipolis, the northernmost city-state on the dragon-birthing sea! Whether you’re here to catch a dragonriding tournament, tour a few grand palaces from the old regime, or hike the rugged reaches of our highlands, this guide is here to ensure you have a safe and pleasant stay.


History of the Island

Callipolis has changed a lot in the last ten years, and for your safety, we strongly advise you know a bit about that history going in. It was ruled until quite recently by three ancient dragonriding dynasties: the Stormscourge family, who controlled the highlands; the Skyfish family, who controlled the lowlands; and the Aurelian family, who founded the city-center and united all three families in a rule known as the Triarchy—the rule of three.


Nine years ago, a revolution overthrew the Triarchy, and the dragonborn families themselves were all but wiped out. Though some deposed dragonlords are thought to have survived, don’t get your hopes up for spotting one, because the few rumored to have escaped the slaughter haven’t been heard from since! Feel free to enjoy the palaces they left behind, converted since the Revolution into public buildings for the enjoyment of all, and avoid discussion of the Revolution with locals, as its violent measures remain a controversial subject among Callipolans to this day.


Dragons of Callipolis

Though the old dragonlords are now gone, their dragons still roam Callipolan skies with new riders on their backs. Easiest to spot of the three breeds are the stormscourge dragons, visible from a distance both by their great size and dark coloring—though don’t get too close, as they’re known for their tempers. Skyfish are the least obvious to the naked eye thanks to their speed and sky-toned camouflage, but to catch a rare glimpse of them is the true dragon-watcher’s delight. Our personal favorite are the aurelians, a lovely mid-sized breed that range in color from gold to burnished red, are known for their precision and agility in combat, and for their good natures with children. Keep in mind that Callipolan dragons are, on the whole, smaller than the dragons of their continental neighbors, and even the largest are closer in size to a horse than to a whale.


Dragonriding Tournaments

The best way to catch these mighty beasts in action is to attend a tournament at the Palace arena, where the new regime’s dragonriders—known as Guardians—vie in combat on dragonback. These young people are highly trained, highly intelligent, and the future rulers of their nation, so don’t miss a chance to watch them in action. Admission is free and open to all, but get there early to ensure yourself a good seat.


Noble Lies

Wandering through the streets of Callipolis, you may notice something curious: bracelets of different kinds of metal on every citizen’s wrist. These are not a fashion statement! They are assigned based on a test result and determine what sorts of employment each Callipolan is eligible for. An innovation of the new regime, the metals-test system is supposed to undo the lingering effects of the dragonlords’ feudalism by allowing merit rather than birth to determine advancement. A gold wristband is the highest level, signifying intelligence and general usefulness to the state; iron the lowest, signifying unskilled labor; bronze and silver, signifying skilled labor and military service respectively, are somewhere in between. Naturally, opinions about the justice of this system vary depending on who you ask—but we’d advise you don’t, because the new regime also censors heavily, and does not protect free speech.


Are you worthy to rule?

One interesting feature of the metals-test system is that the Guardians, mentioned above, were tested first, and chosen by dragons second, as a measure to ensure that Callipolis would be led by dragonriders who deserved the job. Because of this, for the first time in the history of the island, dragons are now being ridden by commoners, former serfs, and even females! Two notable lowborn stars in the Guardian program right now are Antigone sur Aela, a former serf from the highlands, and Lee sur Pallor, a city slum orphan of unknown parentage. Catch them, and their friends, in the air during the next dragonriding tournament, and be sure to give Lee and Annie an extra-loud cheer.


We hope you enjoy your visit to Callipolis!


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Want more? Read the excerpt for Fireborne here!

Penguin Teen