A/N: A special thanks to my awesome Beta, MidnightRain6593 for all of her work in helping me make this possible. Read and Review, Chapters will be posted weekly for at least 10 weeks in a row! Enjoy!
Inheritance Cycle Book V: Ebrithil
Chapter 1: A New Home
Eragon closed the book and stood up from the table in his quarters and stretched. The book was dwarvish, an account of all the dwarven kings and their clans as well as a history of the dwarvish race as a whole. In the three years since he'd slain the tyrant Galbatorix, Eragon had taken to his studies rigorously. Although neither of the eggs left in Alagaesia had hatched, Eragon felt it was his duty as head of the Riders to be familiar with, if not fluent, in the all the languages spoken throughout Alagaesia. In addition to languages, he had learned much from the memories of the hundreds of Elundari of magic, histories, and secrets of the Riders long since forgotten by mortal minds.
They had sailed for nigh on three weeks down the Edda River, hoping to emerge to the sea beyond, but to their surprise the river split in two around a mountain range similar in size to the mountains of Eragon's childhood. The land was obviously untouched by human, elf, dwarf, or even the nomadic urgals. It was heavily forested at the base of the mountains, and the river ran through the valley and through a large canyon before disappearing into the mountain range. It was here Eragon had decided to rebuild the riders.
The surrounding mountains and heavily forested land offered plenty of nesting sites as well as prey for the wild and bonded dragons alike. Eragon had named the place Du Fells Flauga, or The Flying Mountains, for the dragons that were to inhabit them. The wild dragons had taken a bit longer to hatch than Eragon and Saphira had hoped for, but as of now four of them had hatched; the oldest now approaching a year old with the youngest no more than a few months. Their instincts served them well, and Saphira had not yet had cause to intervene on their behalf, which as Glaedr had told them, was for the best. It would not be good for their development if anyone, even a bonded dragon interacted with them too early.
Eragon paced out onto the balcony that overlooked the valley in which the majority of the new Riders home was situated. He sighed at the sight of the haphazard structures that had sprung up in the last few years. Despite the elves and his own efforts, they hadn't made the sort of progress he would have anticipated or hoped for.
When Eragon had envisioned the Riders new home, he had seen it much like that of Doru Araeba. With huge stone structures built to accommodate hundreds of dragons and riders alike. However, despite all their combined knowledge and strength, neither the elves who had accompanied him, nor the Eldunari were well versed in the art of stone working, a problem Eragon had not foreseen.
"What we need are a couple of Orik's masons…" Eragon muttered to himself.
So instead of the massive stone structures of his visions, Eragon and the elven spellcasters had contented themselves to singing the trees into desirable shapes, similar to the structures in Ellesmera. It was on the balcony of the largest of these trees that Eragon now stood.
Although the building process wasn't quite where he would have liked, he was in no hurry, and instead, along with the elves, he dedicated a large portion of every day to trying to restore the maddened Eldunari. Adding to his frustration, more often than not when they did succeed in making rational contact with the residing dragon, the dragons would ask to pass into the void, a request that none of them could deny. And so at present the count stood at the hundred twenty-two healthy Eldunari.
You should not trouble yourself so, Little One… came Saphira's reply to his current thoughts. Those we rescued from Galbatorix have lost more than we can imagine, only to be enslaved by the madman who took it from them.
I know… Eragon replied, But it doesn't make it any easier.
Eragon felt the rush of air that told him Saphira was descending onto the large bowl-like platform that extended from his own quarters. As she landed, Eragon asked: How was the hunt?
Hmmphf… hardly exciting… she responded as she settled down to lick her claws, and turned one big eye onto Eragon. The prey here have never had to deal with a dragon before, it's too easy… She complained.
As if it was ever hard for you? Eragon teased.
Well, it was harder… She said with a subtle hint of appreciation at the compliment.
Eragon smiled and walked over to the scrying mirror he kept in the corner of the room, across from Saphira's balcony, so that she too could participate in his observations and conversations.
Throughout his travels with the Varden and especially after the fall of Galbatorix, Eragon had explored much of Alagaesia, so every night he scryed various portions of the land, looking for anything out of the ordinary. In addition to the obligations and politics of leading the Riders, he maintained contact with a number of confidantes and informants of his own. It was one of such that Eragon attempted to contact tonight.
"Dramur Kopa" Eragon muttered, along with additional words in the ancient language to allow verbal communication as well as the visual.
The surface of the mirror shifted and shimmered and a man appeared in it. Three years had added a bit to the wrinkles that surround his sharp blue eyes, but other than that Jeod Longshanks looked better and better every time Eragon saw him.
"Eragon!" Jeod exclaimed, "It's good to see you again!"
"And you, Jeod. Saphira sends her regards as well," Eragon smiled. "How's Helen?"
"Good good, happy as can be…" He replied in a somewhat distracted manner. "Now, Eragon, have you had any word lately?"
Confused Eragon replied, "Nothing out of the ordinary, why what have you heard?"
"Strange rumors have reached my ears; informers of the Arcanea have reported missing travelers, especially those traveling in and around the Beors. With the size of the wildlife around that area, it's not odd for the occasional traveler to go missing, but the number of reports has almost tripled in recent weeks! Arya and Firnen have already flown numerous incursions, but have found nothing out of the ordinary."
Eragon's heart lurched at the mention of Arya, although whether it was out of affection or misery he wasn't sure. He recalled unbidden images of her stunning green eyes and her high-pitched musical laugh, and the scent of crushed pine needles that always accompanied her and he shook his head to focus his thoughts. He had spoken to her only once since his departure and that was in the presence of Nasuada. Arya spent much of her time within the wards of Du Weldenvarden which made magical communication impossible, and Eragon was reluctant to think too much on her as it always left him confused and lonely.
Eragon rubbed the stubble on his chin that he had allowed to accumulate over the past few days to hide his lapse in conversation.
"Thank you, Jeod, I will contact Nasuada and see what she thinks about the issue. It's likely nothing to be too concerned about, but as always I am in your debt, Jeod."
"The whole of Alagaesia owes you a debt Shadeslayer, do not be so quick to think you've run out of favors!"
He disappeared from view, only to return very quickly and appearing quite flustered.
"Ahh I'd almost forgotten; I'm sure you will be informed shortly but I've heard that one of the eggs has hatched, for a dwarf if my sources are to be believed!" His eyes sparkled as he delivered the news.
Astonished, Eragon couldn't believe that he heard this from Jeod, and he resolved to have a stern conversation with both Orik and Nasuada about keeping such information from him. Despite that, Eragon couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement. Finally he would have a pupil to train and the riders would once again be on the rise!
"This news lightens my heart Jeod, thank you!"
"Aye, I thought that would please you," Jeod said with a smile "May the stars watch over you, Eragon Shadeslayer."
"And you, Jeod Longshanks."
With a wink, Jeod disappeared from view and Eragon ended the spell. Despite his confident statement, Eragon couldn't help but feel a pang of concern at the tidings. He knew resistance would continue after Galbatorix had fallen, but ambushing peaceful travelers was not something he suspected. He resolved to contact Nasuada the next day and see what light she could shed on these events, if not to make sure she understood his position on the new Dragon and Rider.
Saphira had since fallen into a deep slumber, the exertions of the day finally taking their toll. In spite of all he had learned, Eragon couldn't help but smile at the thought of another dragon and rider joining them soon enough, and with that comforting thought he slipped into the embrace of his waking dreams.
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