Dear Readers.

Greetings. I am venturing into a new fandom, with a lot of new readers. This series is very dear to me, as it was the first fantasy fiction I ever read. I always thought it was a shame how the last book had a somewhat rushed feel to it.

But it can never be debated that the avenues left for a possible sequel are several. This is my attempt to portray such a story. I hope you will like my story, and do give critical reviews. We are all here to improve, after all.

Thank you!





The wind blew benevolently, stirring the calm city sitting resplendent in its golden twilight. It blew over streets and beautiful buildings, over dragons and riders flying high in the sky.

It blew over Eragon Shadeslayer as he stood tall upon the cliff that overlooked his city, making his white robes ripple. He took in the touching sight of the beautiful city he had founded, nay…built almost with his very lifeblood. The city he built with his original retinue to represent once more the rise of a golden era. The rise of the Dragon Riders.

It never failed to gladden his heart, the sight of the sky above Aiedail. Aiedail, the heart of the Riders' return, the city of silver and gold…the second Doru Areaba. It was an uplifting sight to see, his city, full of soaring marble towers and beautifully massive buildings of granite. It was the most stunning city he had ever laid eyes on, the product of the beauty within him and his twelve elven guardians. It lay upon a huge isle far from the shores of Alagaesia, perfect to nurture the first generation of riders after the fall.

And us, came the rumbling voice of all his Eldunari.

The city had been named after the brightest star in the night sky quite aptly, for it was indeed the brightest star for a land that was reeling from war. A war and time of terrors, whose horrors had not yet faded from the memories of the people of Alagaesia.

Though it had been a hundred and twenty years, the memories lingered still. The sacrifices made by the races of Alagaesia to overthrow Galbatorix were still sung of by minstrels, in court and village square alike. The Dark King had blighted the land almost permanently, so much so that Eragon had doubted whether the damage could be healed at all.

Look upon the city, Eragon. We have done it. We have ignited the flames that will illuminate the glory of the riders for centuries to come…though it has been a long time. A long time indeed, came Saphira's rich voice as Eragon felt her approaching Aiedail.

Affection overtook him as always as he heard Saphira, his Dragon. She was the oldest living Dragon now, if one discounted the Eldunari. It had taken both Rider and Dragon a hundred years to restart their order, the order of the Dragon Riders. To bring it to what it was today was no small effort for Eragon and his friends.

For friends they are, mused Eragon as he leaped from the Cliff enjoying the rush of air and the feeling of being alive. Catch me, Saphira! He shouted.

The air rippled with concussion as Saphira swept in below Eragon's rapidly falling form, catching him expertly on her back. One would think you would tire of this game after a hundred years, Eragon. Why not have Sahloknir catch you for once? He adores you almost as much as I do.

I adore you much more than I do Sahloknir, Saphira. Laetri would be angry if I monopolized too much on her Dragon…unnatural how Sahloknir seems attached to me, he said as Saphira flew over their city. She was a sight to behold, a Dragon who shone like a cluster of jewels in the air. Drifting neatly through the air she landed in the specific landing area for Riders.

He glanced up once more, and smiled with all his heart as he saw the beautiful blue sky filled with Dragons of all sizes, flying as free as they were intended to be. Looking back at his century-odd period of being alive, he had no doubt that every drop of blood, sweat and tears he had shed to get to this day was worth it.

The Riders are ready to enter Alagaesia once more, Eragon said Saphira with some excitement as she took off once more to teach the young ones, the little dragons which still filled Eragon's heart with pleasure and awe. Aiedail was now home to fifty full riders young though they were, and eighty riders still in training. The younglings were a hundred in number and still growing.

He strode through the landing area, a beautiful wide meadow lined with exotic trees. He himself had sung out the trees in the beginning as he trained in the art of elven tree-singing. The memory of those first few years in Aiedail made him smirk faintly at his youth, remembering himself blundering around with his first riders and guards in an effort to build something lasting.

I love you, Saphira, said Eragon as he entered his quarters that were modelled exactly like Oromis' was. It was only you who kept me from falling into madness during our first decade here…we have made our home. I wonder if we really should initiate contact with Alagaesia. That land has brought naught but misery to our order…and we still have so much potential for growth. I am afraid, Saphira, he whispered to his partner as he seated himself on his favourite chair to begin his review of his duties.

Afraid of what, my Eragon? Our enemies are all dead and our friends flourish once more in Alagaesia. This we know well from the rare communications our elven students get from Du Weldenvarden. We would know more if we had not cut ourselves off so completely from Alagaesia, said Saphira with sadness throbbing in her rich voice.

Eragon, however, felt a little regret but nothing more for himself, but for Saphira his heart tore. He had nothing left in Alagaesia anymore, but he knew Saphira did. Firnen had been almost a mate to her before they left those lands forever and he hated himself for the fact that she was separated from the male Dragon for so long.

Even more regret bloomed in Saphira's voice as she said, You never stopped me from leaving, Eragon. But how could I leave my rider even for a short while when he needed me? After those first ten years of your suffering, I swore never to leave you again for my own needs. Do not blame yourself…for you lost as much as or more than I did.

As he saw reports of how the novices were faring, he thought about what Saphira had said. He had not spoken to her in a hundred years, not even once. As the years rolled by, she had slowly faded out of his heart and he had lost the infatuation he had for her a long time ago now.

I wonder sometimes, Saphira, if they were all nothing but a figment of some dream. My love for Arya was nothing but a child's infatuation with the mysterious and beautiful, he said with certainty. He read the paper with growing pride as he saw the progress of the apprentice riders.

MY apprentices! He still thought with some shock. Even after he had taken Dusan and Alanna under his wing some eighty years ago he had not lost his amazement with that fact. Saphira snorted at the back of his mind, amused as always by Eragon's naiveté.

Eragon, elves have called us 'master' for a century and so do the other Riders. They have grown under our guidance for many a year now, and we have rightly earned the respect we are given! I wonder when you will see yourself clearly… she mused to herself.

I don't even know my true name anymore, said Eragon as he leaned back. Do you remember how you wondered I would turn out in the next hundred years or so, back in Alagaesia when I was young? What do you think?

The voice of Umaroth came rumbling up in his mind like falling boulders, washing away his doubts. You have turned out well, Rider. Vrael himself would be impressed at how much you have grown…you are on your way to becoming the greatest Leader our order has ever had.

Eragon accepted the praise humbly as Umaroth was not wont to praising lightly. He had indeed seen much and learned much since he begun on the quest to find a place for his order.

Umaroth said it, Eragon. I am proud of you, more than words can say. But Ildarien is coming up to your quarters to discuss plans, I assume. Think carefully, Eragon. Do not let your past blind you to the idea of returning to Alagaesia…there is no such thing as a clean break, advised Saphira as she committed herself fully to instructing the young Dragons.

Eragon sighed, and willed the parchments on the table to sort themselves by a smooth shuffling, they did, and neatly floated to a corner.


"Ebrithil" greeted the elven rider Ildarien, looking at Eragon with the deepest respect in his eyes. The elves had very long memories and it had been a mere hundred years to them since he killed Galbatorix.

"You wished to speak with me, Ildarien?" enquired Eragon, giving the elf his complete attention. Ildarien was a talented mage and Rider with great potential. He was the newest Rider to join the ranks of their Order, being inducted a mere five years ago.

But Eragon liked him nevertheless, as he was the first elf in his experience that laughed and enjoyed like humans. A young native of Silthrim, Ildarien had been sent to his Isle three decades ago after Isidar hatched for him. He had been the one Rider on the Island who had pushed for a return to Alagaesia.

"Ebrithil, most of the other masters have agreed to our proposal. Master Blodhgarm said the Nine await only your approval for our Riders to land in Alagaesia after a century. You are our leader and without your support, nothing can go well for us. History has shown us this many times…so without your approval, Ebrithil, we shall let go of this plan" he said passionately. Eragon looked closely at the young Rider, thinking deeply. This debate had been going on for a decade now, and had reached a high point after Ildarien spoke with his typical eloquence.

A decision must be made now, I am afraid. The young ones are justified in wanting return to Alagaesia…this is only a haven and home for our order. Riders are forged by the world, not by their homes. Umaroth, Glaedr and Saphira…you speak for the Dragons of our order. What is the advice of the Dragons? He asked of them.

As it has always been, Eragon. The land of Alagaesia cannot be avoided, for the free races included in the agreement are there. For the balance to be complete in that continent, the presence of Riders is required, said Glaedr, causing Umaroth and his Saphira to hum in agreement.

Eragon closed his eyes. It seemed it was time for the return…it had to happen eventually. His own attachment for the land had dwindled, only his attachment to Orik, Roran and his family remained. He regarded even Arya as a friend he spent his youth with, a great Alfakyn who helped shape him into what he was today. It seemed age really did bring wisdom.

"Ebrithil?" asked Ildarien, seeing his Leader close his eyes for several minutes. He had heard the faint whispers of thought pulsing from Eragon and assumed he was consulting with someone.

Eragon opened his eyes, and spoke a single word: "Blodhgarm", infusing it with magic. Ildarien shivered as the augmented call echoed all over the city. Moments later he felt the answer of Blodhgarm, and sure enough the tent flap opened a minute later to reveal the Elf Blodhgarm. The elf inclined his head with respect, having forsaken the elven greeting long ago with Eragon. Him and the Nine companions had striven with Eragon like never before, and the product of their effort was stood around them as the capital of the Riders.

"Yes, Eragon-elda?" he asked with his melodious voice. Ildarien bowed to him with respect, causing Blodhgarm to acknowledge him with a nod. They both turned to Eragon, who seemed to be observing both of them with a smile upon his face.

"Thank you for coming, Blodhgarm. Is Laetri still teaching?" he asked. Laetri was an extremely beautiful female elf of his original Elven guard, a mighty warrior in her own right. Of his Nine companions he was closest to her and Blodhgarm, though he enjoyed a deep friendship with all of them.

"Jared and his dragon are having trouble with aerial manoeuvres, so Laetri is helping them. She sends her sincerest apologies, Eragon-elda" he said in a soft voice. Eragon waved it off, knowing that Laetri was only following the one most important law in the capital of the Riders:

Teaching and Learning precedes everything else, except the most urgent of situations.

"Blodhgarm and Ildarien, I have reached a decision on the matter of returning to Alagaesia" he said in a distant voice, looking at beyond them to a place only he could see. Blodhgarm looked at his leader, interested. The past century after the war had turned Eragon Shadeslayer into a true Rider and a man of enormous wisdom and experience. One century in the Shadeslayer's turbulent life is the same as five centuries of elven experience, thought Blodhgarm with sadness as he thought of how much their leader had sacrificed in life to restore the Order.

Giving up family and friends closer to him than his own soul was only the beginning for Eragon as was giving up his all-consuming love for Arya. What he had endured for them after leaving Alagaesia…Blodhgarm shivered. Those events had changed Eragon completely, making him wise beyond his years. Now, it was almost as if he spoke again to Vrael or Togira Ikonoka when he spoke to Eragon.

"Full riders who wish to return to Alagaesia may do so with my approval. But at a given time no more than ten Riders are to be away from Aiedail…and no Rider should be away for more than a year at a time. This is all I can allow at the moment, for I fear our Order must grow and be able to put forth a strong and stable core here at Aiedail, a constant presence of two hundred master Riders. Until then I am afraid this is my decision. We will not compromise ourselves ever again" he said in a strong voice.

Well said, Eragon came Saphira's approving voice joining with the approving rumble of the many Eldunari. He could feel the approval and joy wash over him and knew he had done the best he could.

Ildarien bowed low, "Thank you, Ebrithil. For now, only five of us have finished training our apprentices and are in a position to leave for Alagaesia. The others still have many duties"

"Which five?" asked Blodhgarm curiously.

"Myself, Yaela, Nuada, Barristan and Leya. We wish to once more be a part of our brethren's Saturnalias, Ebrithil, if only for a short while. Barristan is a very young human, and wants to see the Elven capital and our Queen" explained Ildarien.

A flicker of regret passed through Eragon's eyes at the mention of Arya, he had scarce thought of her after the events of the first two decades. Blodhgarm caught even that small emotion and frowned slightly.

"Do my Nine companions wish to return as well?" asked Eragon, looking at Blodhgarm who answered firmly.

"Our place is with you, Eragon-elda. We will not return if you do not. Yaela is bound by oath, so she alone will go."

At this Eragon sighed. "Then, my friend, I am afraid you will be here with me for a very long time. I cannot leave my Riders at this turning of the ages"

Ildarien nodded sadly. "You have given up much for us, Ebrithil, and endured much for our sake. If there is any message you wish for me to convey to your…your friends?"

"Only that I am well" said Eragon. "My brother Roran must be long dead, and Murtagh can no longer be found. When you meet Arya, please tell her that I am alive and well. Give her my greetings" said Eragon, making to rise.

"Assemble your five in the training grounds, Ildarien. I will show you the last spell my master Oromis taught me, the spell of Instant Transportation" said Eragon as he floated Brisingr to himself with a wave of his hand.

"Ebrithil, is that not meant only for objects?" questioned Ildarien. Eragon only smiled briefly as he exited the tent, saying: "Magic is only as limited as the mind, Ildarien-vodhr"

"You wished to speak with me, Arya?" came a strong voice, causing Arya to look up at Roran Stronghammer. The elven lords and ladies seated in the council frowned slightly, before mastering their emotions. Roran had given up his position as Duke of Carvahall about eighty years ago and had retired to Ellesmera to spend his final years, the Queen allowing it as he was a friend of the elves and hero of the war.

But when he had touched the Menoa tree, unforeseen things had happened and Roran seemed to stop aging at sixty years old serving as the Queen's advisor ever since. Much of his spirit was lost to him after the eventual death of his beloved Katrina, though his descendants lived on still as the Dukes of Carvahall.

He was one of the most trusted of the Queen's advisors, as much as even Dathedr. Mainly because he was the last link the elves of Du Weldenvarden had to Eragon Shadeslayer and more personally because he used no masks or played no elvish games. He was the one true friend Arya had after the death of Nasuada and the others, and her last link to Eragon who was lost to them for the last hundred years.

"Yes, Roran. Please follow me, all. We have guests who are long overdue." said Arya, stepping down from her throne and walking out of the throne room. She had governed her people admirably for the past hundred years, winning the support and friendship of many of her kin.

As she stepped into the breath-taking beauty of Ellesmera, Lord Fiolr questioned: "If I may ask: who are the guests, your Majesty?" The elves of the city saw their queen leading their lords to the gates, and fell in behind her when she whispered in their minds to join her.

The surreal procession of elves continued to the entrance to Ellesmera. The green Dragon Firnen flew over them, casting a great Shadow over the elven entourage. Arya's Dragon had matured considerably in the past century, reaching an enviable size of about half of Glaedr when he was alive. Roran heard thoughts of Firnen projected to Ellesmera itself as the green Dragon roared with exultation, causing birds to fly away in all directions.

They are here! Our brethren have come to us at last, Arya. After so long alone, so long…his longing and forlornness caused the elves to shed tears along with Arya. Roran couldn't hide his shock…the Riders were here after one century of forsaking the land they were meant to protect?

Is…is Eragon here?, he thought to himself with mixed emotions. He had not spoken to Eragon for so long now…not since the war. He had been extremely angry with his brother for leaving them so completely. But his anger had abated when Katrina died and her last words were said.

Roran looked at Katrina's prone form with tears falling down his aged face, his children all around him. His wife had contracted an illness incurable, and the nearest elven healer was too far to send for.

"Roran…my love. Please…please…if you see Eragon again…forgive him. Take him back. Do not let him go…Roran…" she had whispered at the last hour of her fulfilling life.

She had died peacefully that night, leaving him alone in Ellesmera.

The open jubilation of the elves snapped him out of his tragic memories, fireworks and lights exploding in huge colourful bursts as the elves pointed their hands to the sky randomly.

That's right, the hundred years are but a passing of a single season for these elves, he thought bitterly. For him it had been an eternity of loneliness as he had none of his family left with him. Katrina was gone, Eragon was missing, and his children did their duties at Carvahall.

He was alone.

I am sorry, Stronghammer. The riders I sense are not your cousin. I am sorry, said Firnen's deep and compassionate voice in his head. Roran shook himself and prepared to meet Eragon's representatives. At least news of his long lost brother would be welcome.


Arya watched the sky as five Dragons appeared, each of them shining bright in a different colour. Two were a shade of brown, two were light green and one was grey. The sharp elven eyes could pick out their details, and the details of the riders who rode them. Her people sang praises of the revered creatures as they approached them, landing like five shooting stars.

I am here, beloved said Firnen in her head, his voice vibrating powerfully. Firnen landed beside her as she faced the Riders long lost to Alagaesia. She strode forward majestically, meeting the Riders in the middle ground between them, beneath the dusty leaves of Du Weldenvarden.

Four Elves and One human. She recognized Yaela and Nuada from the war, they were great spell weavers. They were in Eragon's personal guard when he fought the empire. She watched with steely eyes as Yaela strode forward from the line of Riders standing together with their Dragons, making the elven greeting to the Queen.

"Greetings, Arya Drottningu…many years have passed since we set eyes on Ellesmera. Many years indeed…we bring you the greetings and salutations of Eragon Shadeslayer, and the greetings of the Riders of Aiedail" she said in her strong but melodious voice. The other four Riders bowed also in unison, causing the Elves to jump for joy. Firnen however was engaged in a silent communion with the brethren he had not seen for so long a time.

"What salutations?" snarled Roran as he looked at Yaela. The ancient and beautiful elf seemed to look at him with shock and then pity, which infuriated him even more. She had no right to pity anyone, much less him! The years might have taken their toll…but his title was still kept deservedly.

"What salutations does my cousin have for the family he forsook? He was not there for the anointing of my sons and daughters, nor was he there for the birth of my grandchildren! And he called himself my brother!" here Roran shook his head bitterly. "Katrina asked me to forgive him, but I don't think I will. Eragon is all but dead to me!" he announced with anger lacing his tone. He thought he had accepted Eragon's actions, but it turned out that the feelings were merely buried deep.

"Calm yourself, Roran" said Arya's musical voice as the Elves all looked at him with compassion. Roran stared dumbly as Arya strode even closer to the five Riders, her beauty and nobility not diminished in the least. If anything, she had become all the more alluring to men…like the moon that grows fuller as the time passes.

"We are curious about what Eragon has built after all these years…Yaela, you and your Riders will be housed in the Riders' sector of Ellesmera. I would then like you to join me for a feast in Tialdari hall. We want to know what Eragon has accomplished in the past century, and the fate of the order of the Riders" she said stiffly.

"We would be honoured" murmured Yaela, noting how the Queen excluded herself from the Order of Riders. "But we must properly introduce ourselves and our Dragons…I am Yaela, and this is my Dragon Fundor", she said of a brown Dragon behind her.

The elf with the light green Dragon stepped forward and made the Elven gesture of courtesy. "I am Ildarien, and this is my Dragon Isidar" indicating his enormous Dragon, almost as big as Firnen.

"I am Nuada, and this is my Dragon Domiel" said a silver haired elf, with wise and experienced eyes. His own green Dragon looked at the assembled elves with similar eyes of wisdom.

"Leya and this is Ragnar" she said of the large brown Dragon. The human stepped forward, and looked around with wonder and amazement.

"I am Barristan and this is Cirnathor" he said of the grey Dragon. Ildarien stepped forth and confronted Roran with steely eyes, but Roran did not flinch.

"Do not insult Eragon-elda in front of me, Roran Stronghammer. You may be his family, but you do not understand what he has gone through to nurture us" he said in an ice cold voice. "Be careful of what you say to us again" he said, and climbed upon Isidar and the others followed suit. Before long, they were but shining specks in the sky flying towards their quarters in Ellesmera.

The Riders seem very protective of Eragon murmured Arya. What did he do to gain their loyalty so completely? He was but a youth when he left these lands so long ago...perhaps I was wrong about leaving the Riders to their own devices. Now I do not understand the hearts of my own comrades...

He is different, Arya. Very different from the love struck young man who you rejected under the trees at Agaeti blodhren, and from the battle worn youth who left these lands. My brethren seemed to respect him absolutely, and we do not give respect easily said Firnen in Arya's mind.

Sadness ran through Arya is she considered this. Eragon and she had shared much during the war, becoming closer than even best friends. They teetered on the edge of love, but duty pulled them apart as it usually did.

Maybe I should have chosen to be a Rider, rather than the queen. My life would at least be my own, and then she whispered to Firnen, who snorted. You made the right decision, Arya. Do not doubt yourself now.

You are right as always, Firnen thought Arya to herself, but Firnen could see right into her heart. He could see that Arya's fondness for Eragon had not diminished the slightest bit…indeed it had grown tremendously in the past century.

He saw right through to the concealed hurt in the deepest recesses of her mind. When Arya parted with Eragon, she did not think it would be for this long with not even a word from him. Firnen had been her sole support for a century, as she withered and buried herself in duty to her people. Buried her slowly growing feelings for Eragon in her heart of hearts, and dedicated herself fully to the elven Nation.

Eragon had not even contacted them once personally, leaving the logistics to the Nine elven companions. They knew absolutely nothing of what had happened to him after they parted…and that unnerved Arya more than anything. Eragon was the most precious person she cherished from her youth as Nasuada and the others had passed into the void a long time ago.

I thought I did not love him, Firnen. I thought our parting was for the best, breaking beforehand something that could never truly be. He was so young…I wonder what happened to him after all these years.

Arya, please. He was but a boy, then. You would have been a bad match for each other when he was but twenty, and you were hundred. But now…things are different, said Firnen confidently.

Arya just turned her lovely face, beautiful even by elven standards, towards the soaring Riders they were hosting. For many years now, she felt somewhat...empty…with Eragon gone. Roran was at best a friend, Nasuada was a close companion. But Eragon…Eragon she had shared her soul with, her deepest fears and even her true name.

When such a person parted from her with such permanence, it hurt her more than words could say. In her trancelike state that was her sleep, she saw only visions of Eragon leaving her aboard the Talita. Leaving her forever, pulled apart from her by something much larger than them.

I hope he comes home someday, Firnen. I think I hurt him too much when I rejected his advances all those years ago, when I let him go alone from the shores of Alagaesia, she whispered sadly, a lone tear coursing down her beautiful face.

Time heals all wounds, Arya soothed Firnen as he soared to join his brothers. I will be with my brethren for now. There is much to know and learn of our new Order.


Roran sat himself at the seat reserved for him at the throne room, next to the knotted throne. At the right hand sat Dathedr, looking resplendent in his robes of white. He sighed as he saw the Elven lords of Ellesmera filing into the room and seating themselves gracefully, these were a troublesome lot. He had gained some knowledge of the involute game they played after living here for so long, but he found them distasteful what with their cold faces and indirect speech.

But we are gathered here for more important things, Stronghammer. I wish you would control yourself for now…we can demand answers of them only if you remain calm. I am having enough trouble reining Arya in, you know added Firnen mischievously. Roran shook his head at the dragon, and returned to his brooding.

Elves, as was their wont, had immortalized the story of Arya and Eragon in song. The sad parting of the two was sung of in every city of the elves, and had even spread into some parts of the now Broddring Kingdom.

"Let the council begin" said Arya, looking up regal and beautiful. Roran in fact understood what Eragon felt, how deep his love was for Arya.

The Riders of Aiedail walked in proudly, and knelt to the Elven Queen. "Rise, Riders" said Arya, and they rose. The Rider Ildarien stepped forth and bowed to the entire council.

"Eragon-elda sends his greetings to the elven court, Arya Drottningu. We only wish to remain in Elvenland for a short time, and return to our home. It is hard indeed to remain apart from Du Weldenvarden for any length of time" said Ildarien.

"You are welcome here, Riders. But the order of Riders owes its autonomy and heritage to the elven throne, and we would like information. Our attempts at contacting you have been futile as your Isle is as secure as Du Weldenvarden itself. Why have you closed yourselves off to the world, to us?" she questioned in a sharp.

Gently, Arya admonished Firnen's voice. The massive Green dragon watched through Arya as the five Riders stood proudly, not even flinching at Arya's anger.

Dathedr stood up, facing the Riders stoically.

"We need to speak to Eragon Shadeslayer, Riders. This is the demand of the Elven court. We have been sundered from the saviour of Alagaesia for too long, and it is our heartfelt wish to speak with him" asked Dathedr. Arya's face flickered its surprise, not even having considered that alternative.

The truth was that she had long given up on seeing Eragon any time soon. Her acceptance of the fact was so great that her mind shied away from anything that opposed this.

Her heart beat faster at the prospect of facing Eragon after all these years. We have changed so much, Firnen. I am the queen of my race, and he is the leader of the Riders she said uncertainly to Firnen.

You must speak with him. Do not part with him, Arya. Grab this one chance to contact Eragon…I doubt you will get another, said Firnen firmly.

"Lord Dathedr speaks the truth, Ildarien. We need to speak to Eragon, it is of the utmost importance. I must speak with Eragon, now!" she ordered with all the might of a proven warrior behind her.

To his credit, Ildarien did not lose his composure. He looked at his companions, obviously communicating by mind. Arya waited with a faint sense of trepidation as the Riders consulted one another…she hoped they would consent.

"We agree" said Ildarien. "Do you wish to speak with him now, Majesty?"

"Yes, but in private" said Arya. "I require only the presence of Dathedr, Roran and Fiolr. The council is adjourned for now" she said firmly, and rose to go to her quarters. The rest of the court bowed deeply to her and dispersed.

I will see you now, Eragon. Let us see what the past century has done to you and Saphira. I hope time heals all wounds, as Firnen said thought Arya, knowing that otherwise the pain of seeing Eragon would be great.

He is different, Arya. That much Cirnathor told me, came the deep voice of Firnen.