Master of Sky and Dickery: Villains Who Command Flying Forces

“Fly, my pretties” is the Wyrd & Wonder prompt. Flying creatures and all that. But ‘Fly, my pretties” isn’t the creature’s line. Theirs is something like “Rawwrrr!”or “Squawk!” or “PHWOOM!”.

Now, villains? “Fly, my pretties” is very much in vocabulary.

So this is a post about the villains who provide such fine employment opportunities for the airborne. Provides the feed, the rub downs, the medical care and all that. It doesn’t come cheap you know. And yes, fine, there’s the occasional detail about killing people but, well, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. The trick is making sure it’s not your egg that gets cracked.

Here’s to Team Flying Evil then – Death From Above!

Ma’ar (The Black Gryphon, Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon)

Ma’ar is seen off-screen in this book, a menacing presence sending his hordes of goons and mageborn servitors off to crush the resistance to him. And what servitors they are! The Makaar are giant birds of prey, foul and vicious mockeries of the Gryphons that fight them. They’re basically giant-hawk-orcs, and if that’s not an idea the fantasy genre shouldn’t copy endlessly I don’t know what is.

T’ron (Dragonquest, Anne McCaffrey)

T’ron is one of the leaders of Pern’s dragon weyrs and a massive pain in the butt to F’lar, who’d like a fair relationship between weyr and everyone else. T’ron believes the fairness goes as far as “I take the risks, I take your stuff”, which may be lacking some eensy-weensy fine detail as an argument. While T’ron is mainly a threat due to his stubborness and political power, his political power does extend from being able to do a bunch of dragon riders what to do – or not to do. That’s an awfully nice Hold you’ve got there, be a shame if some Thread fell on it…

Count de Magpyr (Carpe Jugulum, Sir Terry Pratchett)

The Count de Magpyr’s forces only fly sometimes. Sometimes, they walk and swanky around like any other bunch of flashy up-themselves vampires – sorry, vampyres. But when you’ve just got to cover a lot of ground in a distance, there’s nothing like good old fashioned launching yourself in the air and flying like supervampire. And if that’s not subtle enough and you want to have a little eavesdrop, you can just turn yourself into a magpie. Just beware any witches with a mind to fixing their own omens and a large stone…

The Vord Queen (Codex Alera, Jim Butcher)

As we’ve already seen, imitation is both the sincerest form of flattery and trying to rip someone’s head off. Nobody knows this better than the Vord, an insectile hive race that steals the form and abilities of their enemies. As a result, when the Alerans show off their windcrafters’ ability to fly, the Vord Queen creates her own far more powerful flying circus. Good job chaps.

Rakoth Maugrim (The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay)

The brutal and malevolent dark lord of Kay’s High Fantasy opum magnus has a fine flying fleet indeed, creatured almost entirely by swans, given sharp razor teeth and the stench of corruption. And I think that’s a fantastic choice. One, the juxtaposition of elegance and evil, as everyone knows swans are graceful looking. Two, nearly everyone who knows anything about swans knows they’re vicious beasts that can and will break a man’s leg if crossed. Three, it’s still a bit of a chinscratcher for many because of their almost prissy reputation (even among those who know the above). A deadly mockery all round in other words. This is why we’ve left the best until last.

Also, Rakoth does also have a dragon as well, just for shits and giggles. And that’s why today we salute him as the ultimate Master of the Sky and Dickery in fantasy.

Let me know of anyone who you think should be challenging for that title!

Image credit to Svetlana Alyuk on

3 thoughts on “Master of Sky and Dickery: Villains Who Command Flying Forces

  1. I’m reading through the Valdemar series for the first time now, and you’ve got me very excited for the mage wars trilogy, giant-hawk-orcs sound like so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re a bit underexplored sadly, but make great enemies – and I do like that series. Skan is such a great mix of amusing boisterous egotist and caring person.


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