The man raised his sword to parry one of the many blades that were slicing through the air targeting him. Twisting after the closest sword bounced off his blade his stance widened to take more of the heavy strikes so as not be battered around too much while he deflected the blades away from his body. Continually turning and taking in where each enemy was and when they seemed to prepare to strike, he was able to fend off the forces that were slowly beginning to surround him. A strike got within his defense and left a deep cut in his left shoulder. A muffled grunt of pain escaped his lips as he turned his body again to take the injured limb further from danger, still fending off attacks with his blade and keeping his feet moving. Striking down three more even as another handful joined the already large number of enemies surrounding him.
An immeasurable distance away, there was another man who held a youthful appearance, though his true age was something much more...well more. He had been through more than his fair share of things in life and had seen more than a few things no one else he could ever meet would have seen. His experiences were gained through many different jumps to different times and places. It was always involuntary, but the man who had now been around for a few millenia could not complain that his life was boring in any sense of the word. The now easily recognized feeling that came about just before he was taken to a new place fell over him and he did a few quick charms to ensure he had everything he needed before he left the reality he was in. The feelings differed between traveling through time, traveling to a side reality or dimension and going to a different galaxies within the universe. His belongings secured, he stepped into the flow of magic that pulled him to the next place he was supposed to be.
More hits landed as the man grew tired and the wounds were causing him to move slower and accumulate more, the blood was quickly seeping out of his body and puddling on the ground below him as he still fought back, though he was quickly losing hope. A bright light erupted off to the side and drew the attackers' attention away from him for a few moments and he took advantage of their distraction to strike down another five Urgals. His red blade slicing through arms and shoulders drawing cries from the victims of the infamous blade and bringing the Urgals' attention back to him. Bodies of attackers quickly started dropping as a miniature light show danced into the darkness that had been disrupted just a few moments earlier. A man who looked to be no older than twenty five stepped over the bodies he had slain and continued clearing out the monstrous creatures and Brom allowed himself to drop heavily to the ground as the last few enemies were destroyed.
The man who had moved in to help kill the surrounding Urgals quickly stepped over to Brom and knelt next to him, a stick in his hand and beginning to move over Brom's broken body. A glow sprang up around his body for a few moments and a low curse was heard from the young man and he began making more intricate patterns over Brom's body and Brom could feel magic being pulled in around him and then being placed into the wounds on his body. The wounds quickly closed up and Brom could feel his internal muscles knitting back together. Breathing a little easier, Brom was able to sit up and look over at his rescuer in wonder; this person had just healed all of his injuries as far as he could tell and yet he did not seem winded at all.
"Take it easy, friend," the young man stated as he quickly scanned the area they were in before looking back at Brom, "I may have been able to heal the injuries, but you should still go slowly at first, unfortunately I can't bring your muscles back to full strength with the spells I had to use to patch you up quickly enough to keep you alive, you will need to slowly work your way back to what you could normally do." The young man stood up and began to move around the area that was now littered with Urgal bodies. He used his foot to roll one of the slain beings over and looked at it contemplatively. "What are these creature called?" The young man asked.
Brom coughed out a chuckle, "Urgals, what kind of rock have you been living under?"
"Ah. He question isn't what rock I have been living under it is, what rock have I been living on. You see, I am a traveller. Never before have I come across this species though. They seem fierce." The young man stated as he looked about the battle area.
A grunt of exertion from Brom had the young man spinning around to look at the old rider. "I thought I told you to take it easy." He stated as he shook his head and turned back to surveying the corpses.
"You don't know me, hang around long enough and you'll find I don't usually follow suggestions. My name is Brom, stranger, and I thank you for your help. You say you are a traveller, where is your place of origin?" Brom asked, curious as to where this man could be from that would keep him from knowing of Urgals.
The stranger looked at him for a few moments with unseeing eyes, "I have almost forgotten truly. Travelling for so long, seeing so much, but my place is far across many seas." Which was true, space could be considered a back sea that few traversed and moving through time was like splashing in one of those oceans for a short time. "I have gone by many names in the past, though Harry has always been my favorite.
There was a feeling of ancient power hanging about the man who called himself Harry, an odd name in Brom's opinion, but it could be stranger he supposed. "So what now?" Brom questioned, not quite sure what to expect from this stranger. You could never be too cautious in times like this. He had a task to get prepared for and a small town on the other side of the Spire to set up in. Maybe he would even get to see his son... Brom shook his head as he focused back on the young man before him, "Do you have a place you are heading? And how did you get here in the first place anyways? I didn't think anyone was around for miles."
Harry chuckled, "And yet you still were ambushed by Urgals. I don't have an exact direction I am heading in, nor a final location I wish to arrive you mind letting me tag along as a traveling companion? Perhaps you could tell me more about what all is going on here right now. I am severely out of the loop."
Brom looked at Harry for a few moments. He was wary of the young man, but something inside of him seemed to trust him, a part that had long been quiet within his mind. There was something within him that felt as though he would need this young man before the day was out. He nodded contemplatively to his new companion before hobbling towards his belongings that had been dropped when the Urgals first started their attack.
The pair slowly made their way through the thick underbrush and around he large tree trunks. They had to stop and rest often as Brom's strength was not at it's normal level. The quick healing spells Harry had to use made the muscles a little weaker, sacrificing the quick return of strength for the ability to keep Brom from bleeding out while Harry worked on him. Harry had cast a few spells to make traveling easier though which Brom was exceedingly grateful for, even if he didn't understand the kind of magic Harry was doing. It was during one of their breaks from walking that Brom felt a sense of unease flow throughout his body before pain racked his left shoulder.
Harry was on his feet and next to Brom within moments, casting revealing spells trying to find the issue. The healing spells had worked as they were supposed to, but there was something still causing problems. Harry had checked for poisons and internal injuries along with just simple injuries from the blades of the Urgals, but nothing came back as what could be causing the problem. Harry popped back to the clearing he had first arrived in and checked the blades. He hadn't wanted to cast any other spells on Brom incase whatever was happening responded poorly to the interference of magic. One of the blades, he found, was lightly coated in a solution of some kind. Harry cast a few more spells over the tainted weapon but still received no information on what it was. Harry popped back to where he had left Brom and moved over quickly to kneel next to him.
"Brom, is this a poison or something? I have never seen it before." Harry stated calmly even though he was internally worried. If there were substances that gave no reading at all for him here, he would have to work out new spells. Not a big issue, but definitely time consuming. The substance had no scent and Harry didn't want to try tasting it until he knew what it was, but usually people didn't put harmless substances on weapons unless it was for a ritual of some kind.
Brom looked as the coated blade and nodded in resignation. "There have been mutterings that a new form of poison developed by the Urgal witchdoctors that can resist the Ancient Language if done correctly. The ingredients for it though are said to be nearly impossible to find in Alagaesia. This was likely one of the few times it has been used. I know nothing about it aside from those few things." Brom sighed and shook his head. "Nothing to be done about it now I suppose."
Harry's gaze was lost on the sword's blade and the poison covering it. He pulled his wand out again and waved it towards Brom, slowly incanting the spells to reveal poisons but he received no response but as a grimace of pain racked the older man's body, he couldn't contest the fact that something was still wrong with him, and it was nothing Harry could fix. "I'm sorry Brom. I know of nothing. I have potion ingredients to make antidotes for poisons I know of, and I might be able to make an antidote if I work at it, but it could take years, and for some reason, I doubt you would coat a sword with poison that takes years to do it's job."
Brom gave a humorless laugh in response, "Too true." Brom fell silent for a few moments as he stared at Harry, the pain running through his body at more frequent intervals. "Harry, I need something from you. I know we just met, but I need a promise from you that will see my task done. I have explained some about the political climate here in Alagaesia as well as the separate factions. It was my task to wait for the next Dragon Rider to be found so that I can take them to the Varden to have them start their training. If this poison claims me like I think it will, I need you to take my place. I will give you my ring and sword and write a letter to Ajihad to let him know of the circumstances that force you to bring the Dragon Rider to them in my stead. I need you to swear that you will fill this role. I feel like you were brought here to take my place in this." Brom finished speaking softly though Harry was still able to catch the last little bit of what was said.
Harry listened intently as Brom explained what was being asked of him before nodding in response and letting his wand drop into his hand once more. He raised it in front of him and let power flow into his word, "I, Harry James Potter, swear to wait for the next Dragon Rider to be chosen and will do my best to guide them, teach them, and train them to be a just and caring ruler. If it is within my power to better their future, I will do so. This I swear, so mote it be." A soft light circled out from Harry to Brom and Brom could feel magic responding to the young man's words before him. Gasping for breath, he leaned back in amazement at the power this young man before him held. Harry kneeled down in front of him.
"For this to really work in the best way possible, I need to know where you were heading and why, I will stick to that plan and wait where you planned to." Harry said, reaching out to check Brom's temperature as a more violent shake ran through the older man's body. Brom's eyes were beginning to glaze over and Harry watched for a moment with a pained and contemplative expression on his face. With a sigh, he placed his index finger and thumb on either side of the man's head and closed his eyes. "I'm sorry to do this, friend, but things must be done in the best way possible. I hope you can forgive me." With that, he gently bypassed the man's mental shields and began downloading the memories and experiences held within. Starting with the first memories of Brom's training to become a Dragon Rider at a young age, Harry moved forward quickly, not pausing to actually watch the memories right then, but shuffling them over to his own mind for review at a later time with his Occlumency. Some memories, however, were too strong to simply ignore and pass over. Because of this, Harry experienced Brom's wonder and respect for the leaders of the Dragon Riders during their prime, the deep strength that the dragons themselves held and the joy of bonding with a dragon. He experienced the overwhelming sense of loss and hurt from Brom's dragon being killed, the deep attraction felt towards Selena that later turned into love. The peace that accompanied striking Morzan down, elation at getting a dragon egg away from Galbatorix and then the sadness mixed with hope after the ambush that Harry had met him in. The sadness was that he would never be able to truly meet his son, hope at the fact that someone as powerful and good as Harry seemed to be was taking over the role he would be unable to fill for the Varden and those whose future rested with him for bringing the new Dragon Rider to safety.
The final emotion Harry received from Brom was contentment and acceptance. The last of Brom's strength was used to latch onto Harry's mind probe. "Train the Rider well, Harry. Watch over my son for me too please." Brom's mental voice asked, and with a final sigh, Harry pulled out of the man's mind as watched as Brom's face settled into a relaxed look and his spirit drifted off into the next great adventure. Harry stood and forced magic into his body and formed himself in the likeness of Brom, down to the last grey hair. Drawing his wand, he ignited the corpse of the man he was taking the place of.
"A burial fit for a King. Travel well, friend."