Four Strokes on the Drum Edit

I think I've gotten my act together.

We're back with Eragon and the dwarves. It's come time to vote on who will be the new king. I'm fairly certain that Orik will be made the new king, because that is how it is Done. But first there must be a vote. That's where we are now. They're voting. Eragon is all tense, leaning forward. The first vote goes to Orik. The way the voting works is that if no dwarf gets a majority then the guy with the least amount of votes is dropped, they adjourn for three days and do it again. Repeat as necessary. I'm not sure how efficient it is, for Eragon it's frustrating because it could take forever and they are on a time limit. After all Galby is going to attack... sometime. Eragon says that the Varden are pressed for time, but I'm not sure why. There hasn't been any signs of immediate attack or anything. But, what do I know, right?

The first chief to vote had originally been for one of the other dwarfs, but has changed her mind and voted for Orik. This is a good sign to Eragon. The vote continues. One for Nado. Another for Orik. Then the head of the religious clan who "however he chose, so the crown was likely to go." He votes for Nado. Eragon clenches his interlaced hands. Orik is calm still saying that the religious clan has lost the vote before. Eight hundred years ago. Of course, we don't know how often they need to hold elections for a new king, so that could be like twenty years ago for us. Dwarves do live a long time after all. Next vote goes to Orik. Nado then votes for himself, of course. He also promises to rid the land of outsiders and not spend money helping human, elves and urgals. Next one also votes for Nado. That's five to three. Which pisses off Orik, because he was supposed to vote for him and not Nado. This also surprises people. Blah. Necessary whispering of what is this.

Orik votes for himself. He promises that their people will be able to live above ground without fear of Galby destroying their homes. Except that dwarves never really did live above ground. It's like promising to protect people in Los Angeles from snow, when we really don't have to worry about it normally. Except in freak incidences. Eragon is getting antsy.

I have to admit this section is being done fairly well. It's sort of slow and deliberately paced. You're fidgeting while waiting for this to be over, which is what Eragon is doing. It manages to have decent tension and you do want this to be over as much as Eragon does, so you're empathizing with him, even if you don't like him.

The next dwarf votes for Orik. Again they're tied.

Two more are left. Some other guy and Dwarf Lady with loads of description. Final two. Make it or break it. How will they vote! Honestly, at this point, I'm uncertain. My first inclination is to say Orik gets the vote and becomes king, because that is How It Is Done. However that would leave out a lot of possible angst and Eragon showing how manly and special he is and it would be like Paolini to drag this out as long as humanly possible until I want to strangle him.

Strangle him even more than I have been wanting to. Or just... something. You know.

Yup. Dwarf Lady continues to get lots of description. Íorûnn—she of Dûrgrimst Vrenshrrgn, the War Wolves—traced the crescent-shaped scar on her left cheekbone with the tip of a pointed fingernail and smiled like a self-satisfied cat. Honestly. I get it Paolini. She's special. Either that or you suddenly have a hard on for dwarf women.

Eragon wonders what to do, and again thinks thoughts of violence.

Eragon held his breath as he waited to hear what the two of them would say. If Íorûnn votes for herself, he thought,and if Hreidamar is still loyal to her, then the election will have to proceed to a second round. There’s no reason for her to do that, however, other than to delay events, and so far as I know, she would not profit from a delay. She cannot hope to become queen at this point; her name would be eliminated from consideration before the beginning of the second round, and I doubt she would be so foolish as to squander the power she has now merely so she can boast to her grandchildren that she was once a candidate for the throne. But if Hreidamar does part ways with her, then the vote will remain tied and we will continue on to a second round regardless. . . .Argh! If only I could scry into the future! What if Orik loses? Should I seize control of the clanmeet then? I could seal the chamber so no one could enter or leave, and then . . . But no, that would be

He has no respect for the dwarf laws and procedures here. He's actually thinking about taking control of the clanmeet instead of going through proper channels. Doing this would ruin any sort of legitimacy that Orik could have. And it's also something that a villain would do. But, it's okay. He's Eragon. Also, Eragon can't count. If Hreidamar doesn't vote for her, it'll break the tie since it's five to five. One of the two of them will have a majority and that will be that.

For some reason I'm reminded of the scene in Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End when they're all voting who will be the next pirate king. Everyone votes for themself until Sparrow is up. Sorry Captain Jack Sparrow where upon he votes for Elizabeth. I can't think of any reason why this reminds me of the dwarf voting scene. Maybe because it feels just as ridiculous.

Hreidamar votes for Orik.

Then Dwarf Lady of Too Much Description gets the final vote. She makes a pretty speech first. It's the speech that the last person who is deciding the fate of millions makes as they cast their vote. Giving their reasons for it. She could make or break this tie. And it's all up to her.

Her red lips curving with amusement, Íorûnn rose from her chair with a sinuous motion and in a low, husky voice said, “It seems it falls to me to decide the outcome of today’s meet. I have listened most carefully to your arguments, Nado, and your arguments, Orik. While you have both made points I agree with upon a wide range of subjects, the most important issue we must decide is whether to commit ourselves to the Varden’s campaign against the Empire. If theirs were merely a war between rival clans, it would not matter to me which side won, and I certainly would not consider sacrificing our warriors for the benefit of outlanders. However, this is not the case. Far from it. If Galbatorix emerges triumphant from this war, not even the Beor Mountains will protect us from his wrath. If our realm is to survive, we must see Galbatorix overthrown. Moreover, it strikes me that hiding in caves and tunnels while others decide the fate of Alagaësia is unbecoming for a race as old and as powerful as ours. When the chronicles of this age are written, shall they say we fought alongside the humans and the elves, as the heroes of old, or that we sat cowering in our halls like frightened peasants while a battle raged outside our doors? I, for one, know mine answer.” Íorûnn tossed back her hair, then said, “On behalf of mine clan, I vote for Grimstborith Orik as our new king!”

Win the war? But Galby's already won the war. He's the king of the land, which I'm not exactly sure includes the dwarf lands, after all the elves are a sovereign nation, but apparently he does. On the other hand I do sort of like the idea of screw the elves and the others for taking all the glory, let's get some of our own.

Thus, Orik is voted in king. The other clan leaders swear fealty to him. Nado seems to have become utterly lost in shock. He's lost all affect and his face is dull and lifeless. He still swears fealty though, much to everyone's relief.

The four beats on the drum refers to the fact that the wardens of the mountains will drum four beats to indicate that there is a new king. These drums are fifty feet across. My parent's living room is about twenty feet. I'm not even sure a drum that big is feasable. I mean you would need a hide over fifty feet in diameter to cover the drum, and I don't even know how deep it would be. You couldn't stick the drumhead together because that would ruin the surface. The only animals that we've been shown so far that could even possibly have that size of a hide are dragons and I don't think they made drumheads out of dragon hide. Metal wouldn't be practical at all nor would fabric. I talked to a physics teacher friend of mine and he says that a drum that big wouldn't likely be able to make a sound because the "fundamental frequency would be too low" and that when you struck the membrane the sound waves would dissipate before it could make a noise. His friend says that if the mallet was huge or if there were lots of mallets inside the drum it might work, but it's an engineering absurdity.

But, it sounds cool. Which we all know trumps everything else logical.

Eragon wonders if the dwarves build such huge things to compensate for being so small. Fortunately he doesn't ask. And it's not like Eragon doesn't have that problem either, you know.

Orik is bombarded by petitioners and Eragon asks for permission to leave. He calls Orik king and Orik, of course, says you don't have to call me that. Eragon insists as Orik is now his king and he wants to observe the same courtesies as everyone else.

Orik lets him leave and he runs off... somewhere without his guards because they're too slow.

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