A/N: right then. This is my answer to Master of the Blood Wolves. He put out a challenge and I couldn't say no so here it is. A WFB/IC crossover. Set during Eragon, it will continue from book to book until it ends with In heritance.
Disclaimer: I own neither of these great ideas but I own my OC who you shall meet presently. Right Onwards!
As the Greater Daemon fled from their onslaught, Imrik knew that the battle was won, all that was left was to banish the vile beast that had brought the Chaos horde to the shores of Caledor. A small smirk passed over his lips. For a Daemon of Tzeentch it wasn't the smartest move, attacking a realm famous for its dragons and swift retribution of all unwelcome trespassers. He turned his mind back to the task, tightening his grip on his spear and urged his faithful dragon Gwihir into a dive as the Daemon spread its wings in a vain attempt to flee. The sea-green dragon roared in anger at the sight and pulled his wings close to his body, angling himself and diving towards the foe.
As they picked up speed Imrik prepared to thrust his spear through the Daemonic back of the creature. The spear itself was a magnificent creation, gifted to his family by Asuryan himself, the sea-green blade shone with and inner brilliance. It was leaf-blade like all Elven weapons, a foot of shimmering metal set with a single dark, emerald on each side of the blade. The shaft was seven feet long, blackwood and strong, with two moulded green leather grips spaced evenly on the shaft. The spear ended in a cap of gold, holding an emerald the size of his fist within its embrace.
His armour, and that of his dragon, were also gifts from the Creator God, passed down for centuries. The chest plate was starsteel and inlaid with golden dragons breathing fire on a phoenix the rune of Asuryan on its chest. The shoulder guards were also starsteel but had dragon wings with gold inlay rising up to protect his neck. His legs were protected by a skirt of starsteel scales that ran down to mid calf. His sword was in its blackwood sheath and buckled to his belt on his left hand side. His shield was buckled to his left arm, the deign on his chest plate painted lovingly onto a white field that covered the front of the blackwood shield. Along the top and sides a gold dragon coiled around the shield. His shoulder guards also had a small curtain of scales to protect his upper arms and his starsteel bracers and greaves protected his forearms and shins. His helmet was crafted to give maximum visibility but still give protection. The face was open but the cheek guards came to just under Imrik's eyes and to the corners of his mouth. The base of the helm were turned up to deflect blows away from the neck. The top of the helm was peaked and capped with gold whereas the cheek and neck guards were starsteel. A band, like a crown, separated the top of the hem from the bottom. On the sides of the helm, however, were the most eye-catching features. Great dragon wings swept back and up over the top of the hem from his mid cheek to about eight inches over his head. A dragon's head was moulded onto the front of the helm above the eyes, its tail trailing back down the helm, to the neck guard. The dragon's wings were made of starsteel along with the rest of the dragon.
Be brought himself out of his revelry as Gwihir spread his swings and swoop low over the Daemon, smashing it from the air with a flick from his powerful tail. The dragon may young but it was powerful and intelligent, knowing what his rider wanted straight from the off. They wheeled around and swooped in for another pass at the Daemon, Imrik levelling his spear like a lance and shouting a war cry.
"Caledor and the Phoenix King!"
Then something strange happened. A portal opened before them, to the right of the Daemon. It flung itself to the side and smiled as tendrils of power shot out of the gateway and latched onto the dragon, pulling him towards the swirling purple door. Imrik howled in frustration and anger. So close! And now he would be sent to some unknown realm to suffer torment at the mercy of a Daemon. Well if he was going down, he would take his enemy with him and, with a cry lunged from the saddle, stretching himself to his full extent, thrusting his spear in front of him. He was rewarded with a muffled thud and a wail of pain as this spear passed into the Daemon's foul heart, purging it and killing the beast. He smiled as he was sucked through the void, into the waiting blackness.
He dreamed, for what seemed like an eternity, of his home in the Dragonspine mountains, of his soft bed and his mothers comforts. He dreamt of his father fighting the Chaos spawn and weeping for the loss of his son. "I am not yet dead father!" he wanted to shout but his voice would not work in the dream and the image faded. Slowly he awoke, pulling himself from the dark blanket of unconsciousness and opened his eyes. He was lying on the ground in a valley. He blinked and raised himself into a sitting position, taking off his helmet to greater survey his surroundings. He was sitting next to a stream that wound its way down a valley toward a lake into which poured a waterfall. Mountains marched everywhere he looked and he knew with an eerie feeling that he was no longer in his own world. He stood and walked over to Gwihir who was lying at the edge of the lake. The lake filled the valley and had a waterfall flowing into it at the far end. Behind him a river flowed into a gulley between two of the massive peeks.
"At least we both made it through unscathed. Now we just need to find a way home." He said with a touch of sadness entering his tone. He subconsciously pulled his gloves off and patted Gwihir's flank with his left hand. A sudden, burning pain in his hand caused him to jump back, crying out is surprise. When he looked at his left palm after the pain had receded he saw a strange, sliver scar in the shape of a dragon.
"What the – ," he asked, perplexed.
"It is our link, Imrik," A voice spoke in his mind. Imrik pulled his sword from its sheath, holding it with both hands as his spear and shield were lying on the ground where he had awoken.
"Who's there? Show yourself!" he demanded, looking from left to right expecting some daemon to emerge and attack him. Instead the voice spoke again.
"No Imrik, it's me! Gwihir! Since you obtained that scar we can now commune with our minds!" the voice was deep, like the rumble of the ocean but sounded excited. Imrik turned to look at his dragon and saw the truth and excitement in his eyes. Imrik's heart flooded with elation. He could talk to his dragon! He had always wanted to talk to Gwihir even though, like all Dragon Princes, he could understand Gwihir, he had never had the pleasure of speech. Now that his wish had finally come true he was speechless. There was something so strange yet so familiar in the touch of the dragon's mind that he gasped in awe."We are one now." Gwihir said and nuzzled him with his snout. They stood like that for a few minutes until Imrik broke the physical contact, keeping their minds firmly joined as one. He rejoiced at the presence of Gwihir, being joined heart and mind with him, making him forget about how hopeless getting home sounded for a while, then pulled himself together and began taking off his armour and stowing it in the saddle bags.
"If people here aren't accustomed to dragons or elves then we should try not to draw attention to ourselves." He said by way of explanation. "Perhaps you should fly in the sky, above the clouds while I walk down here and try and find out where we are." Gwihir sent a mental nod to Imrik as he finished talking off his armour and began to don his travelling gear. Sea-green tunic with green leggings and high black leather boots. He fastened a deep green cloak over his back, strapped on his bow and quiver that he pulled from behind the saddle on Gwihir, and pulled up his hood to hide his ears. Once he was done Gwihir jumped into the air and flew into the clouds, circling directly above him so that they could keep in mental contact, as he set off away from the lake. He glanced at the sky. Clouds where rolling in from the north and the sun was setting. A long, wet night it is then. He though wryly to himself as he walked, in no particular hurry towards another valley between the shoulders of two of the great peaks.
He had been walking for maybe an hour or so. The sun had set and the rain was pouring down. Gwihir had warned him to be careful. He had heard sounds of horns blowing further up the valley and so Imrik stood under a shelf, blending into the shadow and trying to ignore the cold, damp feel of his clothes when Gwihir burst into his mind.
"There is another dragon!" he yelled at Imrik.
"What?" he replied, astonished. I didn't think there were dragons in this world for he had seen none but now that Gwihir had seen this dragon he was intrigued.
"She is flying back and forth over a ravine, dropping rocks on these things that look like Ogres with horns. There are what look like two humans on her back, one of which looks unconscious. I think this dragon is bonded to one of them as we are bonded." Gwihir said sounding worried,
"How long until they reach me?" Imrik asked, drawing his bow and stringing it in one fluid movement.
"I don't know, maybe an hour" Came the reply "I will contact the other dragon and assist her. It appears she also is too young for fire." And with that he flew down to join this dragon, sending a mental greeting to her. Imrik withdrew slightly from the connection and focused on the task ahead. He waited, listening to the conversation that Gwihir had with the other dragon and her rider. She seemed overjoyed and confused to find another dragon so Imrik decided to question her later, for the mean time he would concentrate on waiting for the human with the horses and the unconscious elf. The fact that there was an elf in these strange lands intrigues Imrik. He would also speak to the dragon about this once the danger had past.
He was brought out of his revelry when two horse came cantering down the valley, one of them carrying an eleven woman who bounced and lolled in the saddle, with two humans driving them from behind. In the river bed, on the side of which he stood, a dragon kept pace with the two. In the darkness he couldn't see what colour it was but Gwihir told him that she was a magnificent sapphire blue. When he came within shouting distance they called the Imrik "Are you the one who is to help us?"
"Yes! Come, there is a lake just up ahead." he shouted back, falling into a jog next to the men who were running at a measured pace.
". I don't suppose you saw a way out of this valley apart from back there?" one of the humans questioned, jerking his thumb back the way he had come.
"Not that I could see" he replied, "Why?," letting his curiosity seep into his voice.
"I don't want to go to the Varden," said the boy, "my reasons are my own"
Imrik nodded and turned his attention to keeping the horses going. The emerged into the valley as Gwihir landed on the bank. They ran up the right side of the lake, heading for the falls. About half way there the boy who had asked for a way out looked behind them and cried "Urgals!" What was an Urgal? Wondered Imrik and turned. What he saw made his blood run cold. Eight feet tall, hulking monsters emerged into the valley. They had grey skin and braided black hair. They were armed with a motley collection of spears, clubs and bows. From their heads protruded their most gruesome feature. Huge ram's horns curled down each side of the beasts' heads. One of the beasts gestured at the blue dragon and bellowed something in a guttural tongue. The beasts split their forces and began to walk in single file up each side of the lake.
"Run!" barked the boy who had spotted them. With a sudden roar the blue dragon leapt forward and soared towards the beasts on the other side of the lake. Gwihir spread his wings and took to the air. "I am going to cover her and attack the beasts on the other side." He said before roaring a challenge and swooping towards the beasts on their side. He may have been three times the size of them but Imrik worried about the number of enemies his partner was up against. He pulled and arrow from his quiver as the other boy yelled at his dragon "No!" she dived and caught one of the creatures in her jaws. It screamed as she tore off an arm and a leg before tossing the body into the lake. Gwihir had landed side on and swung his tail at the column, slamming one of them against the wall of the mountain, crushing him. He took off again before they could retaliate. The beats pushed on. The blue dragon dove again but a hail of black arrows rose to greet her. She twisted and avoided most but a few tore into her wing. The boy who she was bonded with winced and it occurred to Imrik that he may also feel that pain of his dragon. She dived into the lake as Gwihir flew over the top of the other column, slashing down with his talons and snapping with his teeth. He wheeled and landed in front of them and growled. They halted and eyed the dragon cautiously. The lead beast japed his spear forward. Gwihir grabbed the weapon in his jaws and wrenched it from the beast's grip, snapping it in half.
They had nearly reached the waterfall. Imrik turned and drew his bow. The beasts were gaining on them. He took aim at one of the taller ones near the front and let fly. His arrow flew straight and true, sinking into the creature's chest. It grunted, stumbled and kept going. Imrik had expected as much. The bow sang again and a second arrow sprouted from the beasts knee, forcing him to stumble and fall. The blue dragon exploded from the water and snapped at the beasts. They jabbed at her with spears and bloodied her snout. She hissed in pain and drew back. Gwihir was suffering similarly, retreating gradually back towards them. A beast hit the blue dragon's haunch with a spear and she roared in pain. The boy who was bonded with her picked up a rock about the size of an apple and started banging it on the rock face, shouting "Aí Varden abr du Shur'tugalar gata vanta!" he yelled again and banged his rock against the cliff. The other began saying something before the blue dragon swooped through the waterfall and landed on the beach, crouching into a fighting position. With a roar Gwihir took to the air again and swept back towards them.
The horses freaked at the sight of the dragon and one of the boys turned to them. Just as suddenly he turned and saw the beasts. Imrik cursed himself for letting them get this close. He fitted another arrow to his bow and let fly. His arrow caught the leader in the shoulder but he kept coming, a spear raised in its hands. Imrik saw a flash of sliver fly past him and the lead beast groaned. A sword was sunk into its chest. It collapsed and the black haired boy ran forward to retrieve his weapon. The other raised his hand and yelled something in his strange language. There was a snap and around twenty of the foul creatures fell into the lake as their legs shattered. Imrik would have been disturbed if he wasn't in a live-threatening situation. What strange powers this boy had, another thing added to the list of questions he would ask. The other creatures ignored this and charged onward.
A flight of black arrows flew towards them and bounced off the stone behind them. The boys ducked and the blue dragon jumped in front of them with a growl. Gwihir swept back over the advancing column and swung his tail, knocking the leaders into the lake. He alighted next to the blue dragon. A choir of clinks resonated around the walls as a second volley bounced off the hard scales of the dragons' flanks.
"What now?" the black haired boy yelled "We can't stay here!"
"I don't know!" the other boy replied, clearly frustrated. "This is where we're supposed to be!" he turned wildly looking at the rock face as more arrows rained down on the dragons.
"Why don't you ask the elf to make sure?" demanded the black haired boy. Imrik stiffened then relaxed as he realised that they didn't know he was an elf. Neither of them had looked at him properly. He pulled up his hood, fitted an arrow and let fly. A short cry of pain then a splash as one of the monsters went down. The black haired boy did similar, using the blue dragon as cover.
"Now? She's barely alive! How's she going to find the energy to say anything?" the other boy replied indignantly.
"I don't know," shouted the other, "but you'd better think of something as we can't stave off an entire army!" The other boy seemed to have a silent conversation with his dragon. Gwihir spoke to Imrik "We need to be on the other side, through the waterfall."
The boy with the dragon was explaining the situation the black haired one. "We'll never get the horses through there," he said, "even if we can hold out own footing."
"I'll convince them to follow us and Saphira can carry Arya." He snapped back. So that was the dragon's name. The black haired boy shrugged.
"Better than being hacked to death" he said as he cut the elf-woman, Arya, loose from the saddle of the horse and the other boy caught her. Saphira crouched and the monsters hesitated, unsure of her. Imrik saw her intensions and told Gwihir to fly with her."Now!" the boy who was bonded with the dragon yelled and hoisted Arya into the saddle, both boys securing her into the saddle through a series of straps. When they were done Saphira swept out over the lake, closely followed by Gwihir. The beasts howled and shot arrows at them and the group on the far side ran faster to reach the waterfall before they could cross it. The horses tossed their heads and charged into the water, whinnying as the force of the water slammed into them. The black haired boy sheathed his sword and jumped in after them, his head bobbing up in a swirl of bubbles. Imrik swung his bow into his quiver and grabbed the other boy by the arm and threw him into the waterfall before diving in himself.
He came up and swam to the others side of the lake. When he surfaced he saw a small, stout being dive into the water. He looked around and saw the monsters were being felled by arrows from hidden crevasses that dotted the mountainside. Two groups of warriors had appeared behind the beasts and had engaged them. The figure came up again, pulling the boy who Imrik had pushed in with him. It was a dwarf, dressed in chainmail that cut off at the shoulders to reveal his muscled arms. A hand axe hung in his belt and an odd cap rested on his head, ox hide and steel with the symbol of a hammer surrounded by twelve stars. He swore in what Imrik assumed to be Dwarfish while wringing out his beard. "What were they thinking. You could have been killed." He looked at the fight longingly, "Barzul, but I wish I could join them!"
Imrik looked up and saw a massive door had opened in the mountainside, twelve feet thick at least. It opened into a tunnel that was nearly thirty feet high. The other boy, along with the horses and the dragons, was standing next to a tall bald human in purple and gold robes – who was holding a knife to his throat.
"Stop! If either of you use magic, I'll kill your lovely friend here, who was so kind to mention that you," he nodded at the boy next to Imrik, "are a Rider. Don't think I won't know if you're drawing upon it. You can't hide anything from me." Imrik barely suppressed a snort at this foolish man's behaviour. Imrik was more than a match for him in physical combat, though if he had powers like the boy then he may be in a bit of trouble. He dispelled the thought as the man when on "- If you say or do anything I don't tell you to, he will die. Now, everyone inside." Saphira looked at the boy next to Imrik and began to enter the tunnel. Gwihir sent a mental shrug to Imrik and he returned the gesture. The dwarf that had rescued the boy walked with them, his hand on his axe. As soon as they were all inside, the doors swung shut almost silently.
"This way." Said the bald man. He stepped to his right, keeping his knife on the black haired boy's throat, then disappeared down a passage. The horses were led into a different tunnel but all the guards had their attention on the two dragons and the boy, who Imrik could now see had brown hair and intense brown eyes. He glanced up at the slumped figure of Arya and hurried after the man. Imrik followed. They walked past a statue of a strange animal with quills and then turned sharply left, then right. A door was opened and they walked into a room big enough for both of the dragons to move around in. The door boomed as it closed and a bolt scrapped into place. Imrik looked around the room. It was made of polished white marble that reflected a pale image of his hooded self back at him. The brown haired boy started to speak but the bald man cut him off with a gesture. "Do not speak! It must wait until you have been tested." He pushed the black haired boy to one of the guards and clasped his hand. Remove your weapons and slide them to me. The brown haired boy looked loath to part with his sword but did as he was bid. Imrik unbuckled his quiver and set it down on the floor before stepping away from it. A guard hurried forward and picked them up. Now, boy, step away from your dragon and slowly approach me," said the man in a commanding tone. The boy walked forward, looking confused. "Stop there!" cried the bald man, "Now remove the defences from around your mind and prepare to let me inspect your thoughts and memories. If you try to hide anything from me, I will take it by force... which would drive you mad. If you won't submit, your companion will be killed."
"Why?" asked the boy, looking horrified.
"To be sure you aren't in Galbatorix's service and to understand why hundreds of Urgals are banging on our front door," growled the man. His eyes shifted like a master thief inspecting a miser's home. "No-one may enter Farthen Dûr without being tested." The boy tried to protest but the man roared for silence. "Until you are examined, your words are meaningless!"
"But she's dying!" insisted the boy, angrily pointing at Arya.
"It will have to wait! No one will leave this room until we have discovered the truth of this matter. Unless you wish – " the dwarf that had pulled the boy from the lake cut him off.
"Are you blind, Egraz Carn? Can't you see that's an elf on the dragon? We cannot keep her here if she's in danger. Ajihad and the king would have our heads if she's allowed to die!" he said hotly. Imrik was blown away. A dwarf defending an elf? Maybe in this word elf and dwarf were friends and not the bitter rival Imrik remembered from the tales back home. He may have to revise his view on things a bit. As it was the bald man's temper flared, the he seemed to relax and said smoothly, "Of course, Orik, we wouldn't want that to happen." He snapped his finger and pointed to the unconscious elf. "Remove her from the dragon." Two humans sheathed their swords and approached Saphira nervously, before undoing the straps that bound Arya's legs and lowering her off Saphira's back. One of them looked at her face and cried out. "It's the dragon-egg carrier, Arya!" The bald man exclaimed and the dwarf's eyes widened. The man turned to the brown haired boy and said "You have much explaining to do."
"She was poisoned with the Skilna Bragh while in prison. Only Túnivor's Nectar can save her now." The bald man stood motionless except his lips which twitched as if he was trying not to sneer. He told the soldiers that were carrying Arya to take her to the healers and guard her until the ceremony was complete. They left and he turned back the boy.
"Enough of this, we have wasted too much time already. Prepare to be examined." The tension was thick in the room.
"I am ready." Said the boy.
"Good, then – " he was interrupted by the dwarf.
"You better not harm him, Egraz Carn, else the king will have words for you."
The bald man looked irritable then faced the boy again, smiling slightly. "Only if he resists." He bowed his head and began to chant. The boy gasped with pain and stood routed to the spot. After a few second a frown creased the bald man's face and the boy turned pale. Then the bald man stood back and the boy swayed and collapsed, Imrik and the dwarf rushing to catch him.
"You went too far! He wasn't strong enough for this." Exclaimed the dwarf. Imrik glared at the man but from under the hood, his look was lost.
"He'll live. That's all that is needed," answered the bald man.
"What did you find?" the dwarf grunted angrily. The bald man pretended not to hear. "Well, is he to be trusted or no?" the dwarf asked again.
The bald man said reluctantly "he... is not your enemy." There were sighs of relief as this was said. The boy stirred and opened his eyes. Imrik and Orik helped him up, the dwarf telling the boy to take it easy. He stood and glared at the bald man as Saphira growled. He ignored them and turned to Imrik. "Remove your hood and submit to an investigation, stranger."
Imrik smirked and said "I will show you my memories of this land. Nothing more." The bald man bristled at this.
"I will inspect all your memories and if you try to hide them I will break your mind." He said angrily, taking a step forward. "Now remove your hood!" Imrik, still smirking raised his hands and lowered his hood. The bald man turned pale and the guards gasped.
"As I said before, human, you will see what I want you to see. Any attempt to do otherwise will result in your death. Not that you would have the power to break my shields anyway." He sneered at the man and Gwihir growled slightly. The man gulped and walked forward. He chanted again and Imrik shielded all of his mind except his memories of the fight and the battle previous to his waking in this land. The man's probe was crude and blunt but it seemed like he was taking far more care with him than he had with the boy. After examining all that he could he withdrew. Imrik opened his eyes and stared at the man. "So? Were my memories enough to convince you that I am no threat to you as of yet?" he said in a mock polite tone.
"Yes... you are clear." He seemed like he was spitting up rocks. He gave Imrik a thinly veiled look of hatred and turned to the dark haired boy. "Now you."
The boy stiffened and shook his head, drawing blood from the sword at his neck. "No."
"You will not be protected here if you refuse."
"Eragon has been declared trustworthy and I barely know the elf, so you cannot threaten them to influence me. Since you can't do that, nothing you say or do will convince me to open my mind." Imrik smiled at the boy. He had planned that well, making sure the ones he cared about were safe before making his case. The bald man sneered, raising an non-existent eyebrow.
"What of your own life? I can threaten that."
"It won't do you any good." He said resolutely. He said it with conviction, like he truly believed it and Imrik felt his respect for this boy go up a bit. The bald man's breath exploded out of him as he yelled at the boy.
"You don't have a choice!" he stepped up to the boy and put his hand on his brow, holding him in place. The boy stiffened and clenched his fists, his face remaining still and hard. The bald man bared his teeth and dug his fingers into the boy but to no avail. Eragon, the boy with the brown hair winced and looked at his dragon. Orik grumbled something in his own language and leapt forward. "That is enough!" he said as he tore the man's arm from the boy's head. The bald man stumbled and turned on Orik furiously.
"How dare you?" he shouted. "You questioned my leadership, opened the gates without permission, and now this! You've shown nothing but insolence and treachery. Do you think your king will protect you now?"
The dwarf bristled. "You would have let them die! If I had waited any longer, the Urgals would have killed them!" So that's what the beasts were called, Urgals. Imrik turned his attention back on the dwarf who pointed at the other boy and said "We don't have any right to torture him for information! Ajihad won't sanction it. Not after you've examined the Rider and found him free of fault. And they've brought us Arya and another elf."
"Would you allow him to enter unchallenged? Are you so great a fool as to put us all at risk?" the bald man looked mad, demented even. Imrik stepped up behind the dwarf, ready to intervene should the bald man lose his temper and attack. Strange, he thought, that he was stepping up to defend hid people's worst rival.
"Can he use magic?" asked the dwarf.
"That is – "
"Can he use magic?" Orik roared, filling the camber with his booming voice. The bald man's face grew unnaturally expressionless. He put his hands behind his back in a gesture of calm.
"No." He replied curtly.
"Then what do you fear? It's impossible for him to escape, and he can't work any devilry with all of us here, especially if your powers are as great as you say." Orik made it clear that he didn't think this was the case. "But don't listen to me; ask Ajihad what he wants done."
The bald man stared at the dwarf and then looked at the ceiling. He closed his eyes and trust out his hand, as if grasping something, as he silently moved his lips in the patterns of a spell. He stood like this for several minutes before opening his eyes, ignoring Orik and snapped at the warriors. "Leave, now!" they all filed out of the door as he turned on Eragon. "Because I was unable to complete my examination, you and ... your friends will remain here for the night. He will be killed if he attempts to leave." He said, gesturing at the other boy. Then he swept from the chamber.
Eragon whispered to Orik. "Thank you"
He grunted. "I'll make sure some food is brought." He muttered under his breath and left shaking his head. The bolt slid back into place once the door was shut again. Eragon looked about ready to pass out but he looked at his friend who was in the process of holding his neck with his sleeve to stop the bleeding.
"Are you alright?" he asked. The boy nodded jerkily, "Did he get anything from you?"
"No." He boy replied.
"How were you able to keep him out? He was so strong."
"I've ... I've been well trained." He sounded bitter. Eragon's attention wondered to one of the lanterns then back to his friend.
"I didn't let them know who you are." The boy looked relieved and Imrik wondered why. He inclined his head and walked over to Eragon.
"Thank you for not betraying me."
"They didn't recognise you."
"And you still say you are Morzan's son?" he said as if he was hoping for it to be a lie. Imrik wondered what this Morzan had done to make people not want their friend to be his son.
The other boy sighed as he replied. "Yes." Eragon looked like he was going to say more but he turned to his dragon and began to heal her using a strange incantation. Imrik looked a Gwihir for injuries and saw a few minor cuts in his wing. Reaching for the Winds of Magic like his tutors at the Tower had taught him he recited the healing verse under his breath. I has surprised and disturbed to learn that there were no Winds of Magic in this world. Which meant... No Chaos! Imrik reeled from the idea of a world free from the constant threat of invasion from the Dark Gods. If he could find a way to bring his people to this world, even if it was only a small amount of them, then they could flourish again! But more pressing matters were at hand.
"I will live, don't bother him." Gwihir said as Imrik began to make his way over to Eragon.
"I won't let you suffer in pain!" he snapped back. Gwihir grunted but didn't argue further. Eragon turned from healing his dragon and looked up at Imrik. Wonder shot across his face before he straightened and bowed his head. Imrik smiled. This human may not be so bad. "I'm sorry to disturb you but it appears my own magic does not work in this world. I was wondering if you could heal Gwihir or at least teach me the incantation." Confusion settled in Eragon's features as he asked. "But your an elf. Your magic is surely stronger than mine!"
"Alas no. I don't belong in this world. I was transported here by a foul trick and the Winds that power my magic do not blow in the world. Though whether this is good or bad I have yet to decide." He smiled wryly.
"Oh..." the boy seemed very confused and perhaps a little fearful but then a smile spread across his face. "I'd be glad to help." And so Imrik walked with Eragon over to Gwihir and watched as the boy healed the few wounds his dragon had received. He then taught Imrik the words he had used. Waíse heill, or be healed, in what Eragon called the Ancient Language. Imrik tried it on a small nick in Gwihir's wing. Concentrating, he funnelled his strength into the words as he spoke them. To his surprise and delight the wound closed though he noticed he felt slightly more tired than he had been before the magic. After this Eragon slumped down next to Saphira, who had moved closer to Gwihir and was now having a silent conversation with him, her sapphire eyes never leaving the sea-green ones.
"I hope they bring food soon," Said the other boy, Murtagh as Eragon had called him.
"Why are you here?" Eragon said. He sounded exhausted, crossing his arms as he said it.
"If you are really Morzan's son, Galbatorix wouldn't let you wander around Alagaësia freely. How is it that you managed to find the Ra'zac by yourself? Why is it I've never heard of any of the Forsworn having children? And what are you doing here?" His voice rising with each question until he was barely containing a shout. Imrik queried Gwihir about the statements and Gwihir filled him in on the history of the land of Alagaësia, which he had gained from sharing memories with Saphira. Thus, Imrik understood why Eragon was asking these things of Murtagh, he would have been suspicious too.
"It's a long story," said Murtagh evasively, while drawing a hand across his face.
"We're not going anywhere," Eragon said.
"It's too late to talk."
"There probably won't be time for this tomorrow."
"Come, tell us." Said Imrik with an encouraging nod. An so, stumbling a bit on his first sentence but quickly picking up his pace, Murtagh told them of his life. How is father had won his mother, how he had been born in secret and his trials as a child. When he told of his escape Imrik saw true sadness enter his eyes at the mention of this friend's death.
"And that's how I found you ... I have no more secrets." He finished. Eragon looked brooding, running a finger over Saphira. Imrik looked into Murtagh's eyes and saw the truth of his words.
"So why don't you join the Varden?" Eragon asked Murtagh, "They'll distrust you for a time, but once you prove your loyalty they'll treat you with respect. And aren't they in a sense your allies? They strive to end the king's reign. Isn't that what you want?"
"Must I spell everything out for you?" Murtagh demanded. He continued to lecture Eragon on why he wouldn't join the rebels until the food arrived. "Finally!" he exclaimed, getting up and walking over to where three bowls of soup, a loaf and a half of bread and two hunks of meat had been pushed into the room. Imrik got up and helped Murtagh with the food, throwing the hunks of meat to the dragons, who devoured them quickly. Sitting next to Eragon with his bowl and half a loaf of bread, Imrik thought of all he had been through today and smiled wryly. If this is only the beginning, he was looking forward to the rest of his stay in this world, he thought sarcastically. Suddenly Eragon turned to him and asked him about his world. Imrik gave him a slimmed down version of Ulthuan, the Old World and the other lands in his world. After this Eragon sat in thought for a while.
"I would like to see your world one day," he said in a far away voice. Imrik noticed that Murtagh, who had retreated to the corner with his food, had also been listening to Imrik's tale.
"I'm going to sleep," he announced
"Good night." Eragon and Imrik replied before rising and walking to lie beside their dragons, each folding their wings over them like big, coloured tents. "Good night Gwihir." He murmured.
"Good night, Little Prince." And with that Imrik slipped into a land of dreams where his father was weeping on a battle field, an army marched towards an mountain and a black shadow approached from afar...