Hi everyone! So, this is my new story idea. It takes place after Inheritance. It is about two girls—elf twins—who get chosen as Riders and are inseparable until one of them starts down the wrong path.
The Prologue actually isn't about them; it is mostly from Arya's POV and explains everything that's happened in Alagaësia since the end of Inheritance. The only other, non-explained change I've made is that elves are now presented the eggs at age fourteen, not twenty. Eragon and Arya made the change in order to have the new Riders' personalities and values more pliable. That way they could guide them better and hopefully prevent a future Galbatorix.
Letter from Eragon to Arya
Sorry it's been a while since you received my last letter, but I imagine that, likewise, you have been busy. Saphira and I are well, thank you, and I sincerely hope the same is true for you and Fírnen.
Raising the Riders has become much easier, although the new Riders' teachers are not the masters of old. Blödgarm and the other elves, along with Nasuada's emissary of spellcasters, are a great help. It seems Oromis was right; my learning shall never be complete.
On a different note, more dragon eggs are on their way to you and the other races for Agaetí Skulblaka a few weeks after you will receive this letter. Speaking of which, I also have a request. Kialandí, Formora…it wasn't just humans, such as Galbatorix, who initiated the Fall of the Riders. Please do not take offense; I only bring this up for correctional purposes. In your next meeting when you give the eggs to Queen Nasuada, Orik, and Nar Garzhvog, I would ask that you see if they will institute a test for a potential Rider to take before he or she is allowed to touch an egg.
I am not saying all our Riders must be perfect, with calm, even dispositions, but if the Riders could have known Galbatorix's weakness before he became a Rider, the entire calamity might have been circumvented. I would suggest a memory examination. I know it feels like an invasion of privacy, but I believe that it is necessary and I hope you see the same.
I will station the one of the apprentices, Staria, who you remember quite well I would presume, and her dragon, Adura, at the scrying mirror on the day of the meeting. If you need my help to convince them, just scry her and I won't be far.
Atra du evarínya ono varda, Arya Dröttning,
"No, Arya," Nasuada said firmly. "The whole reason I created the rules for maintaining order of the spellcasters was so that they would do no harm to those who did not have the power. What Eragon is suggesting—what you are suggesting—is a blatant invasion of privacy that I will not tolerate, much less sanction. In this, Eragon is leading the Riders astray; this is not the principle we want to set." She glanced at the other leaders, as noble and prestigious as her, seated around the sculpted stone table. Purple banners lined the walls although the queen was not sitting on her throne, but speaking to them as equals. Nasuada's reign had treated her well, Arya could see, for though she must be over thirty by now, the only hint of her true age showed in the wisdom in her eyes. Her black hair fell about her shoulders, and her upright posture gave the distinct impression that she was the one in charge.
Arya, however, maintained her calm and relaxed poise—it was merely a debate, one that she would win. The Riders needed it; she would make the other leaders see that, with or without Eragon's help. It did not irk her that Eragon commanded more respect than she over all people but her own; he had been the answer to their hopes and dreams.
Nar Garzhvog agreed with Nasuada's statement, although for a different reason. "If you instate this…process…for choosing Riders, then, whether we like it or not, the Urgalgra will never have another Rider. We are not savages, but compared to the elves, humans, and dwarves, we will seem barbaric. In other words, you will see us as a nation of potential Galbatorixs."
Orik cut in, his short beard bobbing. He had aged some since she had last seen him in person, some two years ago. "Some of what Nar Garzhvog has said pertains to mine people, the dwarves as well. If we institute this plan, no doubt we will find some dwarf who will be fit to become a Rider. But I have thirteen clans to deal with. Most likely, the Riders will come from the most complacent of them, mine Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, Dûrgrimst Ebardac, and Dûrgrimst Ragni Hefthyn. The rest will become discontent, and as I'm sure you all know, a ruler is only powerful as long as his subjects are content underneath him."
"Orik, Nar Garzhvog…I speak today as a Dragon Rider, not the queen of the elves," Arya began. "Perhaps I explained Eragon's idea poorly. The Urgals shall never be excluded from us. That was not our intent, nor will it ever be. That I promise you. Each of the races will still receive the same number of eggs and the races shall not be compared against each other, but individuals against one another. Besides, I have seen many a human do things much more heinous than some Urgals or dwarves. I believe that negates your opposition?"
"It does, Shur'tugal," Nar Garzhvog replied using her native language. His polished silver horns glinted in the light; he too looked not a day older than when she had first met him.
"As for you, Orik, Eragon and I have little say on how you distribute your eggs within your realm. Do as you will. You could distribute eggs equally between the clans or let an equal number of dwarves from each clan have the chance to become a Rider, depending on how many from each qualify."
Orik thought about that and finally nodded. He reached down to his belt to rub the handle of Volund, the dwarves' ancestral hammer, then remembered that weapons had not been allowed in the meeting. He hastily brought his hand back up to the table.
"Excuse me, Arya, but this still does not solve the greatest quandary with this plan," Nasuada pointed out. "I wish to confer with Eragon in this discussion." She gestured towards the ornate mirror on the wall.
"Very well," Arya agreed.
"It will be good to see mine foster brother again," Orik signaled his consent.
"We Urgalgra always welcome a meeting with Firesword," Nar Garzhvog said.
Arya nodded and took a deep, calming breath, fixing an image of Staria, the Rider Eragon had mentioned, in her mind. "Draumr kópa." She then intoned the extra words that would allow them to communicate as well.
The mirror's image rippled and their reflection was replaced with an image of Staria sitting in a chair next to a roaring, crackling fire. The young elf did not appear startled at their appearance, but nodded smoothly, bearing a small smile to Arya. Maintaining her composure, Arya merely dipped her head to the brown-haired girl, although Fírnen said later that her eyes had sparkled at her as well.
A couple seconds later, Eragon stepped into the frame and dismissed Staria, who promptly left the room. He sat down in front of the stone wall, the tips of his half-elf ears just poking through his short sepia hair. Brisingr, his sea-blue sword, hung at his waist.
"Hello, Eragon," Nasuada greeted him. "We need to talk about this plan of yours. It's complete devoid of s—"
"We are not forcing this on anyone, Nasuada," Eragon pressed her, as if he already knew what she was going to say. "You can have the magicians chosen to scan minds swear an oath not to reveal to anyone else what they found in their subject's mind if it will appease the crowd."
"Eragon, I'm still not comfortable—"
"Your comfort has nothing to do with this!" Eragon almost shouted, then regained control of himself again. "The Riders—"
Whatever he was about to say was cut off when Saphira snaked her head into the mirror's frame of view, growling loud enough for them all to be quiet.
"Listen to me," said Eragon as he began to relay her thoughts. "Nasuada, Orik, Nar Garzhvog…Arya," they added with a slight tone of affection. Arya inwardly wondered at it. Was that Eragon's personalization of her words, or was Saphira referring to her with the same intimacy that Arya herself shared with Fírnen? She knew Saphira had felt a family-like connection to her after she had kept Eragon safe in the Empire, but...
To be acknowledged like that by a dragon who is not your own, Arya thought, is truly a wondrous feeling.
Eragon-Saphira continued. "Do you not remember Galbatorix? Do you, Nasuada, not remember how many Varden were killed on his orders? How he captured and tortured you in Urû'baen? Do you, Orik, not remember how Hrothgar died, at the hands of a twisted Rider of Galbatorix's making? Do you, Nar Garzhvog, not remember how he enslaved your race in order to drive you to the brink of extinction?" She surveyed them all with intelligent, sapphire, cat-like eyes. "Why, then, do you support the creation of another Galbatorix? If you do not accept Eragon's plan, history will repeat itself. All your work will have been no more than dust on the wind. Spread your wings, Nasuada, but use them not to fly into battle this time. Rather, circle them around your people so they may live in peace for another thousand years."
There was a silence while everyone waited for another to speak first after Saphira's decisive statement.
They cannot argue against her, Fírnen said to Arya, smug with his mate's formidability.
Arya almost smiled at her majestic jade dragon's reasoning. Yes, I'm sure she scared them into submission, not used logic and reasoning, Arya said teasingly.
Fírnen eyed her with a brilliant orange eye.
Suddenly, Orik broke into their silent conversation, stroking his beard. "Aye, the dwarves stand with you, Argetlam."
Fírnen let out a small cloud of smoke as he snorted, but didn't comment.
"Gar. The Urgalgra will also submit to this testing under these conditions," Nar Garzhvog growled.
"Thank you," Arya told them. All eyes turned to Nasuada. She laid her dark hands on the table and glanced around at them all before speaking.
"It appears I have no choice. I accept your terms, Eragon Shadeslayer. But I ask you, O great Riders: how does this invasion of privacy and utter control of power make us any better than Galbatorix?" She let the question ring around the table for a moment. "This meeting is adjourned."
Hello again! I forgot the disclaimer in the Prologue, so it has to be here instead: I do not own the Inheritance Cycle ideas, plots, places, or characters, Christopher Paolini does.
As I promised, you get to meet Kyra and Veyna this chapter. What do you think of them?
"Vey? Vey! Did you fall asleep?"
Her sister poked her head out of the bush she was hiding in. "No, of course not!" she retorted indignantly, making sure to keep her voice to a whisper.
"Okay, okay, I was just checking," Kyra replied apologetically.
Veyna smirked and disappeared again with a rustle of leaves. The stars glittered brightly above them, but neither twin needed the starlight to see through the dark night. They were huddled in two copses of greenery. Sweet, cool, earthy scents surrounded them, wrapping the two in each of their refreshing musks.
"Do you see anything?" amber-haired Kyra asked, peering out into the night sky once more.
"No, but you're too impatient. It's not even close to midnight, anyway," Veyna answered, "You know, asking me how late it is every hour isn't going to make time speed up."
"I know. But I'm just so excited!" Kyra almost exclaimed before clapping a hand over her mouth.
"Quiet!" Veyna hissed. "Besides, we might not even get picked anyway. It's two elves out of the whole of Du Weldenvarden, Ky!"
"Not all of the forest," Kyra argued, "Just the fourteen-year-olds who came to Ellesméra. There are only fifty or so applicants. But even if it isn't us, we still get to see—and touch—the dragon eggs! I wonder what color they'll be?"
"Look, I'm tired, Ky. It won't do us any good with the eggs if we show up to the procession brain-dead. Can't we just wait until noon to see them, like everyone else?" Veyna asked.
"I know the courier will be here soon," Kyra replied, "I can feel it!"
"Sure," Veyna grumbled sarcastically, "but you better not get us in so much trouble that we're not allowed to go to the ceremony tomorrow."
Kyra rolled her eyes, and, as she did, spotted the orange gleam in the sky just before it winked out. "Vey! Look!"
Her sister's head shot out of the bushes as the majestic orange dragon landed lightly in the clearing just ahead of them, churning the ground with his large talons. A lantern flared to life in the night as Arya Dröttning, the elven queen, approached the mysterious Rider.
"Welcome back to Ellesméra, Tamos," Arya greeted him, "I trust your flight went smoothly?"
"It did, Ayra-svit-kona," Tamos answered, touching two fingers to his lips. "Atra esterní ono thelduin."
"Mor'ranr lífa unin hjarta onr," Arya answered, mimicking his movement.
"Un du evarínya ono varda," he finished the greeting.
"And the eggs?" Arya's eyes shone green as the lantern's light reflected off them.
"Safe," Tamos answered, removing two cloth sacks with a large bulge in them from his saddle.
"Take off the sacks. Take off the sacks," Kyra muttered under her breath. Just let me see what color they are! she thought desperately.
"Shh!" Veyna's whispered command came too late, as Arya Dröttning stiffened, looking around.
"What is wrong?" Tamos asked, partially drawing his sword from its pale sunset-hued scabbard. Kyra's eyes met her twin's and saw her same panic reflected there.
After a few seconds, Arya shook her head, although her posture remained tense. "Nothing. I've just been a bit jumpy since that written threat a few months ago, that's all."
Tamos nodded and began to speak a pleasantry before his voice faded away as the distance between them and the hidden girls grew larger as they headed for Tialdarí Hall. The young orange dragon took off again, gliding silently above the tree tops.
"Let's go," Veyna whispered, "Before the dragon spots us with his eagle eye."
"That's an insult, you know," Kyra told her as they climbed through the window into the loft that served as their temporary bedroom, "Dragons have much better eyesight than eagles." She waited for her sister's reply, but none came. She was already asleep.
Thanks so much for reading this chapter, even though it is short. Also, thanks Elemental Dragon Slayer for your insightful review!
As always, I accept any and all reviews! Please, tell me what you think of Kyra and Veyna!