Blood on the Rocks pt. 3 Edit
The next day, Eragon tries his best not to show his irritation, like Orik asked him to. Instead he looks bored, like everyone else. All the dwarves are bored. We get descriptions of our bored dwarves.
Eragon stifled a yawn, bored. He allowed his gaze to drift around the granite table, from Gáldhiem to Nado, a round-faced dwarf with flaxen hair who was nodding with approval at Gáldhiem’s thundering speech; to Havard, who was using a dagger to clean under the fingernails of the two remaining fingers on his right hand; to Vermûnd, heavy-browed but otherwise inscrutable behind his purple veil; to Gannel and Ûndin, who sat leaning toward each other, whispering, while Hadfala, an elderly dwarf woman who was the clan chief of Dûrgrimst Ebardac and the third member of Gannel’s alliance, frowned at the sheaf of rune-covered parchment she brought with her to every meeting; and then to the chief of Dûr grimst Ledwonnû, Manndrâth, who sat in profile to Eragon, displaying his long, drooping nose to good effect; to Thordris, grimstborith of Dûrgrimst Nagra, of whom he could see little but her wavy auburn hair, which fell past her shoulders and lay coiled on the floor in a braid twice as long as she was tall; to the back of Orik’s head as he slouched to one side in his chair; to Freowin, grimstborith of Dûrgrimst Gedthrall, an immensely corpulent dwarf who kept his eyes fixed upon the block of wood he was busy carving into the likeness of a hunched raven; and then to Hreidamar, grimstborith of Dûrgrimst Urzhad, who, in contrast with Freowin, was fit and compact, with corded forearms, and who wore a mail hauberk and helm to every gathering; and finally to Íorûnn, she of the nut-brown skin marred only by a thin, crescent-shaped scar high upon her left cheekbone, she of the satin-bright hair bound underneath a silver helm wrought in the shape of a snarling wolf’s head, she of the vermilion dress and the necklace of flashing emeralds set in squares of gold carved with lines of arcane runes.
Um. Whut? Beyond the dwarf with the Blake hair, every description seems a bit normal and then we get to Íorûnn and it gets weird. She of this, she of that? Why is he switching style like that in the middle of the sentence? He's started waxing poetic about Íorûnn like a very bad romantic poet. I mean seriously? She of the nut-brown skin marred only by a thin, crescent-shape scar high up on her left cheekbone? What happened to just she of the nut-brown skin? We are not certain that Íorûnn is going to be an Important Character.
I believe she will try and seduce Eragon.
Which is icky.
He's a kid and she's an adult.
He's also an elfy looking kid which has got to be a major turn off for a dwarf lady who's got to be into beards. Of course, likely if she's seducing him, it's to get him on her side and not for any attraction. She gives him a Wink for a winkwinknudgenudge moment which makes Eragon all hot in the face and bothered so he focuses on something else. When its all done we learn that he's kept himself impassive (which apparently showing boredom is the same thing -oh wait no, he means concealing his reactions... no wait that's still showing boredom... ) and tells Orik he's bored and is going for a walk.
Where does this leave us?
With the DWARF NINJAS!
Dah-nah-nah-nah-nan -nah nah nah DWARF NINJAS!! DWARF NINJAS! DWARF NINJAS! DWARF NINJAS!!!!
I know about ninety percent of you reading this were waiting for this section. I'm sure. I don't know what the other five percent of you are reading this for. Maybe ... cheese?
Blah, blah, blah. He ends up back at those tunnels again with the bear. This time he actually bothers to take a look around. He even saunters over to look at the bear statue. Of course that gives me the image of those cartoons -say like Animainacs - where the buxom woman walks by with her hips swaying as all the male characters do a tongue drop and a large heart beating out of their chest while the drum beats.
I don't know why, but it does.
He explores the tunnels by probing their lengths with his mind. *sniggers* After doing the requites yelling "hello" and hearing it echo back to him, he asks his fresh faced dwarf guide if anyone uses the tunnels. He says that there are some exiles and A few strange knurlan, those to whom empty solitude is more pleasing than the touch of their wife’s hand or the sound of their friends’ voices. Hermits. Do all dwarves get married then? And do only male dwarves go down there? After all it's not spouses' hand. But, I suppose that is sort of forgivable. I mean it's not supposed to be completely egalitarian and stuff.
They leave and then NINJAS ATTACK.
Ninjas. Right. SO! They go back when our veiled dwarves show up, Eragon only BARELY noticing their existence because of the sound of their muffled footsteps over the clanking of what I would hope the guards had armor. Sure it doesn't say they were wearing armor and it was clanking. But it was clanking because I said so, so there. They attack with speed that Eragon thought only supernatural creatures like Shades, Gary Stus and elves (or is that last one redundant) had. They have disco ball blades.
Eragon glanced back. By the amber light cast by the flameless lanterns mounted on either side of the passageway, he saw seven dwarves garbed entirely in black, their faces masked with dark cloth and their feet muffled with rags, running toward his group with a speed that Eragon had assumed was the sole province of elves, Shades, and other creatures whose blood hummed with magic. In their right hands, the dwarves held long, sharp daggers with pale blades that flickered with prismatic colors, while in their left, each carried a metal buckler with a sharpened spike protruding from the boss. Their minds, like those of the Ra’zac, were hidden from Eragon.
How do you have pale blades that flicker with prismatic colors, I don't know. But hey, it sounds cool.
Oh. Wait. Hell.
They're sparkle-pire blades. Does that mean they won't bite humanoid flesh, but only that of animals? No. Wait, they're bad guys, so of course they will.
And then Eragon pulls an Alec.
Oh like you don't do this: Faster than speech or conscious thought, Eragon plunged his whole being into the flow of magic and, without relying upon the ancient language to structure his spell, rewove the fabric of the world into a pattern more pleasing to him.
Well... yeah... but I mean, that's a natural ability of mine, twisting reality to please me. Embodiment of Chaos and what not. I mess around with probability. What I believe our dear author is trying to do here is to be rather poetic about saying he did something magical without any thought about what he was doing. An instinctual use of magic. That is what magic is all about, after all, changing the world. It's just when you get into using words like "reweaving the fabric of the world" you start getting into Stu'y territory. Rather like Rand and his special Dues Ex Machnia ability. Also we don't know if Eragon has done anything unusual or if Paolini is being stupidly over wordy. This isn't to say that Eragon is a great big fat Gary Stu, of course. It's just in this case, it's just the text being silly and nothing more than usual.
So, you're saying it's stupid, but not unusual.
What does this instinctive rewriting of the fabric of reality do? It yanks the guards who were about to be shanked back to him so that they are safe. Of course they land on their feet and fine, because Eragon is just that perfect in his random instinctive spell that he just can't have his resucees land in a heap by his feet.
The sparkle-pire-knife wielding dwarf ninjas are unperturbed by this as they continue their attack. They have some nasty weapons.
One of his guards leaped forward, shouting and swinging his ax at the would-be assassins. Before Eragon could grab the dwarf’s hauberk and yank him back to safety, a white blade, writhing as with spectral flame, pierced the dwarf’s corded neck. As the dwarf fell, Eragon glimpsed his contorted face and was shocked to see Kvîstor—and that his throat was glowing molten red as it disintegrated around the dagger.
Now, I'm having trouble deciding if this means that the throat was actually glowing red or that there's a lot of blood coming out. See Paolini has messed around with flowery descriptions so much that I don't know what is real and what is purple.
From the next line, however, apparently it's an actual disintegration for Eragon says that he can't let the knives touch him. I don't know why his shields wouldn't work against it though. I guess for Drahma's sake.
In a fascinating bit, Eragon stabbed at [Kvîstor's] killer so quickly, the black-garbed dwarf had no opportunity to evade the blow and dropped lifeless at Eragon’s feet. Just like that. I don't think that is possible. I mean, I could be wrong, but I don't think it is. It's also the least dramatic death I've seen so far. Poor guy. No flowery prose to memorialize your death. Just a stab. We don't even know between what ribs into what fleshy bits of your body, as they goosh out with blood and the twisting of Eragon's sword.
Then Eragon pulls a Banshee by shouting so loud that he causes cracks. Yes, cracks in the walls and floor. What does he feel the need to shout so powerfully? "Stay behind me." Because it's so noisy that his normal shouting voice wouldn't work. Sounds cool though.
Then it gets Matrix-y. As if it wasn't already.
Afraid to duel with the dwarves as he would have if they wielded normal blades, Eragon drove his legs against the floor and jumped up and forward. He spun halfway around and struck the ceiling feet first. He pushed off, spun halfway around again, and landed on his hands and feet a yard behind the three dwarves. Even as they whirled toward him, he stepped forward and beheaded the lot of them with a single backhand blow.
That there is one epic cleave. Great cleave, I believe is the feat in 3.5. Awesome fighter feat. Though it doesn't let you decapitate people. Unless maybe you had a vorpal sword. I had a great fighter with great cleave he was also a mounted specialist and ... I'm sorry... where was I? Oh yes. I like how Eragon is too good for a normal over the air tumble. Also that he's capable of reaching that sort of height and momentum with a dead start. It's like he's got rocket boots in his feet. Hell, he could have just jumped over them but nooooo... he had to do a fancy leap, twist, ceiling, leap twist land.
I would have tumbled through them. Or just over them. And my sword would lash out and stabbity at one while I did so. That would be awesome. Or made the ground slippery while they ran for me and watch them slide around like monkeys on banana peels. Or maybe push them back with a strong force of something or another. Anyway, it'd be awesome.
Also, apparently the dwarves have no armor or anything really attaching their heads to their bodies if Eragon can slice right through like that.
From there, he goes back to where he started from and nearly gets nicked by the other dwarves from where I do not know where they are coming from. He is surprised that his wards do not work.
Then he slips in a conveniently placed patch of blood and cracks his head on the ground. It's my favorite part.
An involuntary cry escaped his throat as his foot struck a patch of slick blood and he lost his balance and toppled over backward. With a sickening crunch, his head collided with the stone floor. Blue lights flashed before his eyes. He gasped.
Sadly Eragon still has all his hit points and isn't knocked out. He's able to recover from such a blow within seconds. Which is better than what he used to be doing which is to pass out at any light touch on the head. He springs back into action and tries nine of the twelve words of death.
And then OH NOES THE MAGIC DOES NOT WORK I WILL GIVE UP TRYING TO KEEELLL THEM WITH MAGICS AND GO WITH MY MIND BUT I HAS NO MIND SO I CANNOT FIND THEM SO I WILL GO BACK TO KEEEEELLING THEM WITH MY SWORD!!! OH NOES MY SWORD SUDDENLY REMEMBERED THAT IT IS NOT A MAGICAL SWORD LIKE MY AWESOME SWORD WAS SO IT WILL SHATTER INTO A MILLION PIECES CAUSE IT SUCKS AND I CAN NOW WHINE ABOUT NOT HAVING A GOOD SWORD THUS MAKING THE SO CALLED PLOT MOVE FORWARD!!!! BUT THAT IS OKAY I HAVE MY SPIKEY KNUCKLES SO I WILL KEEEELLL THEM DEAD THAT WAY!!! HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!! AND YET SOME HOW MY UNMAGIKED HUNTING KNIFE CAN WORK AGAINST THE MAGIC KNIVES WITHOUT DYING A HORRIBLE DEATH!!! AND THEN MY DAGGER WILL MAKE ONE OF THOSE FLAMELESS LANTERNS BLOW UP AND YAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!
- runs off giggling*
Yeah. Basically that's what happened. But with more words.
The result of the blast is that there's a lot of singed folks around. Eragon heals himself and his surviving guards. The flameless lanterns are awesome weapons by the way. Crispy frying everything in a nice large blast radius. Wonder if they'll ever get used as such.
Conveniently the Dwarf Ninjas were wearing a bracelet that allowed them to be maybe identified with the evil clan that wants to kill Eragon. “This amethyst,” said the dwarf, and tapped one of the cabochons with a soot-streaked fingernail, “this particular variety of amethyst, it grows in only four parts of the Beor Mountains, and three of them belong to Az Sweldn rak Anhûin.”
As there appears to be no trade or commerce the dwarves couldn't have just bought the amethyst bracelet from the evil dwarf clan because they own almost all those kinds of amethysts. They do admit that it could have been planted, but are a bit of "oh it's unlikely".
The upshot of this?
Eragon vows revenge on whoever killed the dwarf guard of his...
and he needs a new sword.
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