The Whipping Post Edit
Roran and Nasuada are sitting in her tent, Roran straight as a rod in a chair. Nice that he gets to sit down. I mean I would think that as a prisoner and stuff about to be tried for treason he'd have to stand. And there should be guards and maybe chains. There is none of this.
Nasuada wants to know what to do with Roran.
Roran says whatever she wants, "my Lady."
Okay, yeah, yeah I know I know, too innocent. Not at all what I'm insinuating because I have a dirty dirty mind. Dirty mind.
So Nasuada says that if he wasn't Eragon's cousin and his gambit hadn't worked she would hang him. MWAHAHAHAA. Roran gets PC privilages. The get out of hanging card in this case. Notice that the first reason that Nasuada says that she's not going to hang him is that he's Eragon's cousin. Not because his strategy worked, but because he's Eragon's cousin. This shouldn't even be apart of the discussion . He was insubordinate and so he should be punished. But since his gambit worked and he saved lives she'll go lenient on him. The entire point of sending Roran out was to see if he could follow orders and be apart of the Varden without the reliance on Eragon as a reason for people to listen to him.
If this were some sort of alternate reality, Nasuada would be pointing out that she's saving Roran because she's afraid of the wrath of Eragon coming down on her and her people.
Also, isn't hanging for insubordination a bit harsh? I mean it's not like he mutinied or was a traitor. I would think he'd be busted in rank -which he was- and maybe jailed or whipped. But hanging is a bit much. But you know he has to have this terrible fate to make his whipping seem less terrible and that he's lucky.
Nasuada says she has three choices:
1. Hang him (which she won't for various reasons - but honestly it's just he's the PC) 2. Thirty lashes and discharge him from the Varden. Silly because I would think that they need all the men possible. 3. Fifty Lashes and keep him in the Varden. Which is what he's going to get.
Though I do have to admit that I'm not to sure what common rules of punishment for insubordination is in various eras and what might be likely applied to something like in Eragon's society. For me personally this is what I think from a logical point of view. However I suppose it's all moot since we know Roran isn't going to hang. It'd be much better if he did hang. Better story-wise at least. Instead of random npcs we barely knew hanging.
Roran wants to know if he'd be flogged where people could see him. Of course he is. That's half the point of the punishment, so that people know that if they did what he did they'll get that. So he can choose to leave the Varden or get lashed. He says, I shall not leave, Lady Nasuada. No matter how many lashes you assign me, they cannont be as painful as losing my home and my father was." There's a trope for that sort of speech, isn't there? Nothing physical can hurt me more than the emotional woe I carry. I am a brave, brave stoic person I am. I'm not going to spend the next two hours scanning TVtropes to find that particular trope though. You all can do it.
Nasuada agrees with him, softly. She says that one of the magicians will watch the flogging to make sure that he's not flogged beyond repair and that afterward he cannot seek a magician to heal his back. He'll be flogged as soon as Jormundur can get everyone together.
He's taken to a tent to wait. Trianna - the sorceress who tried to seduce Eragon in book one- comes by and checks Roran over to make sure he's healthy enough to get flogged. And he gets a shirt made of sackcloth to wear. Katrina comes in.
She's tried to get he sentence reduced. He says it's not so bad even though people have died from it because they had weak hearts. I'm assuming he means emotionally as opposed to physical health.
There's a nice quiet paragraph of Roran holding Katrina that's not busted up with bad prose.
A false smile flickered across Katrina's lips, and then a sob escaped her and she pressed her face against his chest. He cradled her in his arms, stroking her hair and reassuring her as best he could, even though he felt no better than she. After several minutes, Roran heard a horn being winded outside the tent, and he knew that their time together was drawing to a close. Extricating himself from Katrina's embrace, he said, "There is something I want you to do for me."
Notice the lack of adjectives describing exactly how his arms stroked her hair? Or what sort of tears fell down her cheeks as she sobbed?
Roran doesn't want Katrina to see him get flogged. She reluctantly agrees to obey though she wishes she could take his place. It's actually a sweet moment.
Paolini really does a lot better when he's not dealing with Eragon. It's like he's not under the pressure to make the other characters Uber Awesome of Awesome so they have a chance to breathe and maybe even develop. Eragon on the other hand has Paolini's exacting standards of what he thinks a hero should be.
Tied up to the whipping post, Roran is given a leather stick to hold in his mouth so he doesn't hurt himself. I giggled. But I have a dirty mind.
He gets whipped and makes noises before deciding that he won't scream as to appear weak. Somehow he actually manages do to this for the entire fifty lashes. The thought of Katrina and their unborn child gave him strength.
I still don't believe he could make it through that many lashes without screaming. Passing out, sure, which he did a little, but not not screaming.
We fade to black and return to Roran waking up laying on his stomach.
Angela is there being quirky. Or at least being more knowledgeable than Trianna at healing. This makes Trianna upset and she flounces off.
Katrina is amazed at how much Angela and Trianna did for him.
This was done of Nasuada's orders. I'm not sure exactly how much was done for him, but according to Katrina if he's lucky he won't scar badly. After Angela gives her little quirky speech she leaves off by saying to watch out for ferrets. Because.... um....
I have no idea actually.
I kinda like ferrets. I met one once and cuddled her and tried to run off with her. She was lovely and fuzzy and cute. Damn shame they're illegal here.
Anyway, besides watching out for ferrets, Katrina is happy that Roran is okay and gushes about how brave he was not screaming at all.
Nasuada then shows up and continues on my theory that she's trying to 'accidentally' kill Roran. She's sending Roran on a mission tomorrow.
She must, you see, because the alliance with the Urgals is about to collapse so she's going to make a mixed unit with Roran in charge.
SO! We just had this BIG THING about how Nasuada had to make an example of Roran so that the others won't be insubodinate and know to follow orders. That's what the beginning of this chapter was about!
NOW, not even waiting a single day for the punishment to have passed she's giving him a COMMAND. Not only that but it's an INSANELY IMPORTANT command.
So what have we learned? If you're insubordinate, even though you get lashed to death you get rewarded with your own command.
Her reasoning? If he's got his own command the only person he can disobey is her.
Yeeees sound reasoning that is.
Disobey the captain, get your own command where it's up to you to save the Varden from coming apart from the seams!.
Well, it only works if you're a PC of course. If not, you just get hanged. Whoot!
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