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A to Z Challenge 2019: N is for Nightflies & Other Creatures

Welcome to my A to Z Challenge 2019 posts. This year I’ll be writing about the world of Kinyal which is the setting of my epic fantasy novels and short stories. These posts offer insights into the world’s history, locations, and factions, but do not spoil any of the events or secrets from the novel.

You don’t need to read them in order, and as the challenge progresses, I’ll do my best to add links to related topics for each post.


Given my love for dragonflies, it could have been expected that the world of Kinyal would have something similar to them.
Nighflies are nighttime bugs, roughly one foot in length, and they boast an elongated body along with two pairs of strong, translucent wings. Unlike the dragonflies they take their looks after, their bodies are extremely flexible with strong muscles allowing them to efficiently use the spike at the end of it. They feed on smaller bugs and creatures, including rodents, but when not bothered, they aren’t aggressive.

They mostly dwell in the desert, especially in the ruins, and some scholars suggest that nightflies were created during the Catclysm. Contrary to their claim, several mentions of nightflies appear in the pre-Cataclysm texts, but scholars argue that they indeed, existed prior to it, but were in fact a different species that had been exposed to magic during this destructive event that changed them beyond recognition. Yet none of them is ready to explain how the destructive magic that wiped out an entire kingdom ended up only “altering” those beings.

The same goes for any proof of nightflies being in any way “magical” or able to to channel magic from the yalari realm. Perhaps if high mages decided to partake in such studies, they would offer more definite answers on the topic, but so far no one in the High Towers expressed interest in aiding the non-magical scholars.

Other creatures

As a writer, I had a solid reason for not filling it with unique and exotic beings. As much as high fantasy’s setting filled with elves, griphons, dragons, orcs and dwarves have their appeal, but the more unique beings there are, the less exciting they feel, being all part of the same world. For Kinyal, for my stories and novels, I wanted to ensure that my yalari species to stand out in opposition to all-human world. Besides, I do like stories where humans are the menacing monsters, so even though the so-called demons have their part in the evildoings, some of the humans are no less cruel and villainous.

For the same reason, I didn’t add many non-sentient species, so nightflies are just that small pinch of flavor in the world where the fauna resembles the Earth’s one. There are a few more, like the absence of domesticated horses which forces people to travel on foot and use oxen to draw carts, and there is a bit of space for creation in the less-developed parts of the world, but I definitely will keep it on the low side.

If you’d like a taste of the world, my free collection contains two of the stories from my free short story collection are set in Kinyal. The Arcanist and the Mage Killer and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades tell of the early adventures of Kamira and Veelk, the main protagonists of the upcoming novel.

You can get the collection by signing up to my newsletter.

All posts in this year’s challenge (links updated with new posts):

Arcane Magic || Barriers and Circles || The Cataclysm || Devanshari  || Essence || Free City of Kaighal || Gildya Magna || High Magic || Imbued Stones || Juamha || Kamira Altrainne || Languages || Mage Killers || Nightflies & Other Creatures

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I do love the idea of nightflies – did you know that in the past, during the time of the dinosaurs that dragonflies with a wingspan of up to 28 inches? It sounds as if the nightflies might be a bit like that…

    1. Melfka

      Not as big, but yes, you get the right idea. 🙂

  2. J.R.Bee

    Dragonflies eh? Will this become your signature creature throughout all your stories?

    1. Melfka

      Nope. I’m repetitive enough with the elements I like to put in my stories to put something obvious like that in them. 😛 Besides, they don’t fit in all the worlds I create, so it could come across as stilted.

      1. J.R.Bee

        Go ooon! You know it makes sense 😉

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