Altiuiri Di Marfedelom (al-ti-'ju-ri di mar-fɜ:-'dɛ-lom)

Deathwing; the Destroyer of Dragons

Today, we have come together to remember our brethren who have fallen in battle. We remember those who fought with our ancestors on our sacred grounds. We remember those who flew across the skies and burned the enemy.   Here lie the remains of Altiuiri Di Marfedelom! The remains of Deathwing! The remains of the Destroyer of Dragons! And, of course, those who perished with it. The courage of the crew has echoed through our community and now flows through our veins.   Never shall we turn our backs to the threats again!
After a great battle, a giant airship crashed on an island amidst the Badar Sea thousands of years ago. The locals named the island after the vessel's nickname: the Isle of Deathwing. This ship had a unique shape and remarkably missed every ship's most stereotypical feature: sails.  


Altiuiri Di Marfedelom has the shape of a dragon; almost identical, with a few tweaks and quirks. It is colossal in size, spanning 56 meters wide and 24 meters long.   Contrary to dragons, the Altiuiri has two medium-long tails instead of a long one. Its design is akin to the wollaws' tails, giving the aircraft superior stability and agility over real dragons when in flight. Furthermore, the legs are much shorter and primarily function as landing gear.   The most notable features of Deathwing are its skeletal structure and skin.


The skeleton construction of the Altiuiri Di Marfedelom provides structure to the entire ship. It also serves as a pathway to navigate within the vessel giving access to the rooms and workplaces.  

Bone Structure

For the aircraft to lift off and stay in the air, it must be as light as possible. Therefore, the bones are made of Zaghnspar; a lightweight yet solid material that requires the best blacksmiths to refine and manipulate the metal. The blacksmiths have made the bones hollow, which serves two primary purposes. It reduces the vessel's weight further and allows the crew to travel freely through the ship.   The Arcaniss Tharm have stepped in to give Deathwing an edge in combat. They have cast numerous spells to aid the aircraft in the war endeavours. Their enchantments have made the metal see-through from the inside when crew members activated their draconic vision. That way, everyone can see what goes on outside the ship. On the front, only the shiny brass colour shows itself. Furthermore, the enhancement enables magic casters to fire spells through the bones as if nothing blocks them. Finally, they have facilitated the crew to walk through the skeleton safely, even while the bones move and change positions.

Full Intact Skeleton by Sh4d0wPh03n1x


Surrounding the skeleton is a thin and sturdy membrane. It protects the bones and crew from incoming attacks. However, and more importantly, it enables the ship to fly.   Flying Altiuiri is an intensive and challenging task. It requires crew members to continuously cast gusts of wind into the wings. However, once the vessel gains substantial altitude, it can use the wind currents to glide through the sky. Once at these heights, magic casters lock the wings in place, letting the wings' span and the skin's coverage overtake the bulk of the work to keep the ship from crashing. This locking mechanism relieves the crew of uninterruptedly putting energy into keeping the vessel in the air.   As with the bones, the Arcaniss Tharm have enchanted the membrane. The skin is also see-through, and it also does not block any spells cast from inside the bones. Additionally, an extra set of protective conjurations should keep the crew safe from many attacks and rapidly heal tears in the membrane. A big rip in the skin would result in the end of Deathwing. That particular enchantment can repair big tears in a matter of minutes without losing altitude.  

Bloodied Map of Deathwing found on a crews body after the crash by ShadowPhoenix

Inside the Belly

The bones of Deathwing's skeleton protect and provide the living area of the crew. All these vital places adjoin to the ribcage or the vertebrae, which permits easy and quick access through the bones.  

Crew Quarters

Nearest to the cervical vertebrae are the crew quarters. These vertebrae offer the second most protected place in the structure, ideal for housing the ship's members. The crew quarters consist of a living area and individual smaller rooms. The living area is an open space with a lounge and room for leisure activities to keep up the crew's morale.   Adjacent to the living quarters are 36 smaller rooms with 4 bunk beds each. Here sleeps one unit. During the ship's construction, engineers have stacked these rooms three high and magically altered them to fit within the confined space of the ship. Inside the cabin is enough space for the crew to stand, walk around, and store their belongings.

Mess Hall

A short walk tailward from the crew quarters through the vertebrae is the mess hall. Small tables with cushions fill the big room, providing everyone with a place to sit and eat.   On the tailside is a small stage where the captain and officers brief the crew on mission objectives and messages from Yoweth Meage. Every once in a while, the crew members use the set for small performances or to carry out the rituals during Morak Yagin.


On both East and West sides of the mess hall is a galley where cooks prepare and cook food for the operational crew of the Altiuiri Di Marfedelom. The people working here are a separate force known as the Galley Crew. These cooks have received high-grade combat and medical training. They can stand alongside their brothers and rain fire upon their enemies. In a medical emergency, this crew converts the East Galley into a sickbay to perform surgery and tend to the wounded.   The galley quarters are adjoined to the galley to provide this crew with a place to sleep and relax after their shift. Furthermore, a passage from there leads underneath the crew quarters to a cellar where they store food. Only the galley crew have access to this part of Deathwing.

Officers' Complex

The wall behind the stage in the mess hall hides a door that leads towards the officers' complex. It is only accessible for officers and the captain, who can cast a particular spell that opens it and various other hidden doors on the ship.  

Officers' Mess Hall

The hidden pathway to the officers' complex leads to the officers' mess hall. Here, the officers and the captain can grab a bite to eat, served by the galley crew. This hall is smaller since it doesn't have to house as many people. It also serves as a living area where they can relax and casually chat with each other.

Officers Quarters

The officers' quarters are adjacent to the officers' mess hall. Each officer has a separate room with a bed, a desk, and a bookshelf. Here, they write and process reports to gather intelligence, and develop strategies and tactics for their meetings. Sometimes, a quiet work environment is simply essential.

Captains Quarters

At the end of the vertebrae within the belly of the beast are the captains quarters. Here, the captain lives in a slightly larger room compared to the officers. The primary reason is the high number of equipment stacked in the space. The captain is the only person on Deathwing who communicates directly with Yoweth Meage. They give the mission objectives and intelligence for the captain to fulfil and act upon.

Aradace! Cep!
Zommorrath! Wer neban tepohaic coanwor ehtaha! Gethrisj ekess wer wihsirmir rilark leirith wer irrena verthicha. Wux geou ehtah jacioniv mobi.
Nahilnop coi!
Svent Usv Loreat
English Translation
Urgent! Mission!
Zommorrath! The traitor has been found! Go to the floating castle near the Irrena mountain. You will find her there.
Finish it.
Kill or Die.

Strategy and Tactics Room

The sole purpose of this room is to discuss strategy and tactics with the most up to date maps available to the officers and the captain. They have a meeting at least once a week for regular updates on the mission objective and the current progress. However, these meetings become more frequent when Altiuiri engages in active battle.   Furthermore, officers use this space often to gather intelligence on mission objectives. They plot the best course of action, discuss tactics, and decide if it might be a better idea to send a smaller ground and scouting team beforehand. Some also use this area to process reports from Yoweth Meage and even write their assessments.
War Room drawn by a young officer by ShadowPhoenix

Operating the Altiuiri

Operating a giant flying dragon is no easy feat. At least 14 mages continuously work the several joints within the skeleton during a regular flight to fly and steer the ship. Depending on the flight mode and battle status, the number can increase up to 36 mages.   When Deathwing engages in active battle, between 20 and 100 crew members attack the target with breath and spell attacks. An additional 20 mages dedicate themselves to conjuring wind under the wings to maintain flight superiority. More active wind control improves Deathwing's agility immensely.   In cruise mode, the mages lock the wings in the joints nearest to the body. Once locked in, the vessel glides with the wind currents high in the sky without losing altitude. This mechanism relieves the crew from hard and continuous work.

Did you know that...

Throughout the skeleton, especially in highly critical locations like joints, there are small chambers. The magic casters use these chambers when they are on their posts operating the airship. The separate room gives them space to perform their work undisturbed.


Long ago, during The Draconic War, various dragonborn groups took up arms to fight the oppression of the dragons and the draconic cult. However, since dragonborn could not fly, they had to develop a solution to get themselves into the air.   In a last, desperate attempt to keep the dragons from burning the world, the Altiuiri emerged from the creativity of their engineers. With the help of the Arcaniss Tharm, the ship felt almost indestructible. Everybody knew that the aircraft would not survive a battle against a horde of dragons, but it could still take a great many hits before it would crumble.   Knowing the limitations of the vessel, the dragonborn adjusted their plans. Instead of taking the dragons head-on, they targeted their valuables. The dragonborn went after the corrupted eggs and tried to destroy as many as they could. Furthermore, they went after the hoards and hiding places of the dragons, where they managed to slaughter wyrmlings and young dragons. The kill count was well in the hundreds, if not thousands.   Seeing their numbers dwindle and the havoc wreaked in their lairs, the dragons retreated slightly and went after the Altiuiri. Years after playing hide and seek, the dragons caught up with the ship. Before the battle ensued, they gave it the honourable nickname "Deathwing". Its wings had instilled fear in the hearts of many dragons, knowing their eggs and valuables were not safe anymore. As expected, Deathwing was no match against the horde.   Before engaging in battle, captain Zommorrath spoke to her crew.  
My brothers and sisters, we all know the time has come for us to face our true enemy.
We all know how powerful they are, what they are capable of, and what our beautiful ship can withstand.
My brothers and sisters, I want to ask you all one last time to follow me into the heat of battle.
It is okay to have fear but let us all greet Death with courage and confidence.
May we all meet again at the bar for one last drink at the In-Between
— Captain Zommorrath's Final Speech
You did well, Deathwing. You eluded us for years. You've burned many of our children to death, some before they were even born. Now, you shall pay the only reasonable price for you deeds.
— The Dragon Leader
  After a fierce fight, the dragons took down the Altiuiri. It landed on a small island in the Badar Sea. Clearly unable to fly again, the dragons left it alone and continued their skirmishes elsewhere in the world.   The impact of Deathwing on the war was not immediately visible. However, as the war continued, the dragon numbers diminished, their attacks became disorganised, and their spirits broke. To the dragonborn, it was clear that their vessel played an essential role in bringing down the dragons and ending the war.  

Shrine of Deathwing by Sh4d0wPh03n1x

Religious Site

In the few months after The Draconic War concluded, everyone in the world had finally time to mourn their losses. During this period, the tales of Deathwing spread like wildfire among dragonborn society. The population gained the utmost respect for the crew, its ship, and its sacrifice. They gave their respect form by converting the crash site into a religious altar.   The dragonborn strive to keep the courage and confidence shown by every single member of the Altiuiri alive in themselves. Every year, the sea around the Isle of Deathwing lights up in many colours. It announces the start of the Deathwing Festival. Young dragonborn pledge their service within dragonborn society and swear that they will forever carry the crew's fire within them.

Cover image: Hesli Banner by ShadowPhoenix


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15 Sep, 2021 16:05

Nice idea to have an airship that mimicks an actual dragon. A shame it was destroyed by them :(

Feel free to check out my latest challenge article the Avaronian Empire if you want to see what I am up to!
17 Sep, 2021 10:14

Thank you! I'm quite surprised I came up with the idea to be honest.   It is indeed a shame it's been destroyed, but I believe that it could have been repaired if the Dragonborn wanted to. Instead, they proceeded to leave it as is and turn it into a religious site. And it's also kind of a warning to others that they are capable of building ships of destruction. ^^   Thank you!

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30 Sep, 2021 18:35

Wow those must be some thick "bones." I would hope that some of the enchantments are some sort of magic inertial dampener, as that thing is pulling some g-forces if its going toe to toe with dragons. great job on the article.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
1 Oct, 2021 19:25

Thank you!   The enchantments do indeed have a sort of dampener to allow safe passage for the crew. But it also helps that they are dragonborn, since they can handle these g-forces a bit better than us squishy humans. ^^

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1 Oct, 2021 15:32

I like the concept of all the mages having to mimic the muscles. The coördination to make it fly good must be very difficult

1 Oct, 2021 19:29

Honestly, I haven't yet thought about how they would coordinate with one another to make it happen, but it does somehow. I might expand on that later on after the challenge.   Thanks for reading!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Oct, 2021 17:29

Very interesting design, I love how they use magic to move the limbs to fly the ship :D   So are the rooms only inside the bones? From the map it seems that they go a bit further down the rib cages. I like how you've illustrated the article :D   Do they have a lot of storage space to bring along food or is the ship only intended to by flown for short amount of time before landing?

To see what I am up to, here is my civilisation challenge article.
6 Oct, 2021 11:55

Thank you!   The main rooms are inside the rib cage, but there are a few other scattered through the structure. Those are primarily tactical positions for operating the ship.   They have quite some storage space underneath the crew quarters where they can store food for up to 3 months. They land every 2 months to restock the ship. In case they aren't able to restock, there's still a months supply to bridge the gap until the next restock. When rationed, they can even extend it by another month but that's not ideal of course.

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6 Oct, 2021 07:40

I love the concept behind this ship. Building a dragon to fight actual dragons is an awesome idea. The only real nitpick I have is this: despite the ship crashing thousands of years ago, how do we have a lot of very specific details on how the ship was built and functioned, including a drawing of the war room?

Current Challeng Article: Olimians, and the associated Chronicle: Chronicle of the Silver Age
6 Oct, 2021 11:58

Thank you!   The reason there's still much information around, is because the dragonborn live relatively long lives and document a lot. Most of the information is either passed down multiple generations or can be found in the dragonborn archives.   As for the drawing, that one was sent by a young officer to his lover who kept it as a token. It is now a family heirloom circulating in the family. However, for historical purposes, they made a copy of it to put on display.   I hope that clears things up! (And I really need to write it all down in a Dragonborn specie and/or ethnicity article sometime soon too.)

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