Ascension Edit

Now it's the time of crowning the king and Saphira fixing the shiny rock of shiny. Yay!

Dwarves really like to party, it seems. When a king is crowned they throw a huge party that lasts for weeks at a time with all sorts of things happening. Which sounds awesome if not very productive. Or at least not very sensible or something... not that I'm saying that people have to be sensible or productive all the time it's just that I don't think that such a thing is sustainable or that it would even be worth while. I mean even partying all the time must get boring. Anyway, since this is not normal times, they aren't going to have the huge party.

All these dwarves are all waiting on either side of a mile long hall for the procession to begin. Saphira and Eragon are also waiting, Saphira has some sheep wool stuck in her teeth. She also has a barbed tongue I'm guessing like a cat. It seems like that Saphira is really a dragon shaped cat. Which I wouldn't say is particularly alien. Cats are pretty easy to figure out. They're the center of the universe, everything is theirs and you're just their to serve their whims. The fact that their whims may change from moment to moment is immaterial. I wouldn't say it's at all alien or dragon like. I would say it's cat like. Which I'm only pointing out because Paolini claims that Saphira's mindset is so alien. The sheep has also given Saphira an upset stomach. They discuss how to make her tummy feel better right before the drumming stops.

There is a chorus of dwarves starting up and I start thinking of Lord of the Rings or Duel of the Fates from Star Wars. They wait, the remains of the Star Sapphire waiting to be fixed with in front of them, and a bunch of other important dwarves next to him.

It takes a half hour for Orik to walk the mile in slow deliberate pacing. He has twelve dwarf children following him, six boys and six girls each with a polished orb stone of a different kind. Which makes me think of the brestplate that the Cohanim wore in the time of the Temple. Each one of the twelve tribes of Israel had a special stone represented on the breastplate. I bring this up because it is said that Tolkien based his dwarves in some ways off the Jews. I don't have a source right off hand to prove this, but this is what I remember reading somewhere. Since Tolkien made his dwarves based on the Jews, Paolini must put some Jewish aspects into his dwarves. At least this is my guessing off the top of my head. But since this is my analyzing it, I can say whatever I damn well please as long as I have evidence to back it up.

As Orik enters it starts to rain flower petals.

As Orik entered the center of the city-mountain, the chamber dimmed and a pattern of dappled shadows appeared on everything within. Confused, Eragon glanced upward and was astonished to behold pink rose petals drifting downward from the top of Tronjheim. Like soft, thick snowflakes, the velvety petals settled upon the heads and shoulders of those in attendance, and also upon the floor, suffusing the air with their sweet fragrance

That's interesting. Odd. And interesting. We get no commentary on what it might be. Confused is a good thing to be at least as opposed to just complacent, but this would be a good time for Eragon and Saphira to have a conversation of "What do you think that is?" and "Where do you think it came from?" Also, the only thing I can think of is "at least it wasn't jewels." Though I'm thinking that jewels would be more appropriate as dwarves covet those as opposed to rose petals which have not been shown to have any sort of significance in dwarf culture.

The in charge of religion dwarf Gannel comes forward and starts beseeching a god in the ancient language. Which is something Eragon has never seen before as he's not speaking the spell to change any sort of object or anything like that.

But then the tenor of Gannel’s voice shifted, and Eragon recognized his words as belonging to the ancient language, and he realized Gannel was weaving a spell, although it was a spell unlike any Eragon was familiar with. Instead of directing the incantation at an object or an element of the world around them, the priest said, in the language of mystery and power: “Gûntera, creator of the heavens and the earth and the boundless sea, hear now the cry of your faithful servant! We thank you for your magnanimity. Our race flourishes. This and every year, we have offered to you the finest rams of our flocks and also flagons of spiced mead and a portion of our harvests of fruits and vegetables and grain. Your temples are the richest in the land, and none may hope to compete with the glory that is yours. O mighty Gûntera, king of the gods, hear now mine plea and grant me this request: time is for us to name a mortal ruler of our earthly affairs. Will you deign to bestow your blessing upon Orik, Thrifk’s son, and to crown him in the tradition of his predecessors?”

A curious thing to do in the ancient language, especially if you're weaving a spell in the ancient language where everything you say has to be true. Would then by saying "our race flourishes" cause the race to flourish? From what we know of the ancient language, it should. But it also should cause the magic user to keel over and die from the use of all that power to make the race flourish. Also, would calling out and talking to a being that is called a god in the ancient language create the god? And then would the god retroactively have created the heavens and the earth? And am I over thinking this?

At first nothing happens and then an invisible thing is show through the fall of rose petals.

Thin, needle-sharp rays of watery light radiated outward from the shape, and there appeared the nebulous image of a gigantic, shaggy-haired male figure of the form the petals had traced. The god, if god he was, wore nothing but a knotted loincloth. His face was dark and heavy and seemed to contain equal amounts of cruelty and kindness, as if he might veer between the extremes of both without warning.

As he noticed those details, Eragon also became aware of the presence of a strange, far-reaching consciousness within the chamber, a consciousness of unreadable thoughts and unfathomable depths, a consciousness that flashed and growled and billowed in unexpected directions, like a summer thunderstorm. Eragon quickly sequestered his mind from the touch of the other. His skin prickled, and a cold shiver ran down him. He did not know what he had felt, but fear gripped him, and he looked at Saphira for comfort. She was staring at the figure, her blue cat eyes sparkling with unusual intensity.

Now, the question I have here is this: here is a fairly concrete representation of the existence of gods. One that the dwarves apparently never draw out in their arguments with the though the elves will probably have something else to counter it. Anyway, concrete representation of the gods. How will this effect Eragon's faith or lack there of?

All the dwarves kneel, as far as I know, Eragon does not. I will assume he does not, much like I assumed he never pulled his pants up way back in the beginning of the book. The god asks Orik some questions, what they are, I don't know for they are spoken in dwarvish and Eragon doesn't understand it. Which, honestly, I don't mind so much. It's nice that he doesn't have a babble fish in his ear and can understand everything. It makes him flawed.

The god, pleased with Orik's responses, places the dwarf crown on his head and vanishes with a belly laugh.

Everyone hails the king as he takes the throne. Then the clan leaders go and offer their fealty to him in public. After them are the guild leaders and finally Eargon. While they are waiting, Eragon and Saphira discuss the god that they saw.

Saphira believes that the god was an illusion, saying that gods have never helped them on the battle fields and why would a god come when called like a servant? She certainly wouldn't and aren't gods supposed to be greater than dragons? She then suposes that it must have been some sort of long forgotten shade that haunts the dwarf lands.

Eragon and Saphira give their oaths of loyalty. No complaining from Eragon this time about doing such things.

Another hour drags by as dwarves come by giving gifts to the new king. Finally it is Eragon and Saphira's turn.

Eragon gives Orik an armband of protection +5. It protects from poison, from sneak attacks and magic attacks. Plus other things that can save his life, thus leaving it as a dues ex machina for any future needs of How do I prevent Orik from buying it!? as the plot demands. One of the other dwarves gave Orik enchanted mail that no blade can pierce. If they can do that, it sort of makes Eragon's gift not as special. Only in the fact that someone else could have made one too.

Finally it's Saphira's turn gift the dwarves by fixing the Star Sapphire.

At first she's got nothing. She stares at the gem and nothing happens. When Eragon asks if she needs help, she admits that she's never intentionally cast a spell and that all the other times I just willed the world to change, and it did. . Thus she has cemented herself as a Dues Ex Machina. She also refuses Eragon's help, saying that she must do this on her own.

There's a card in the Munchkin game called, "Theme Song" where you get a plus two bonus, unless you're a bard then it's a plus four. If I remember correctly you have to hum your theme song right before your turn to use it. There is also the concept of background music used to help enhance a mood, usually seen in movies and television shows. The Body episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a good subversion of this as it's done without any music whatsoever, intensifying the emotional feeling that the characters are feeling as they deal with the utterly mundane death of Buffy's mother. The point is that real life doesn't have a soundtrack. People don't spontaneously burst out singing like in a musical.

I'm bringing this up because as Saphira is staring at the stone, the dwarven chorus starts to sing with no real... anything to prompt them. It's a song of lamentation and sadness. Of things missing and lost. Saphira then starts to keen along with them. For me, it should be the other way around. Saphira should start doing something that starts to build up power and then the dwarves add to it, realizing that she needs it, thus creating a magical effect of the dwarves' need for the stone to be fixed and the dragon's desire to fix it. The singing however does the trick and she is able to garner the energy to fix the stone.

The song ended on a long, wavering note, and as it faded into oblivion, a surge of energy rushed through Saphira—so much energy, Eragon gasped at its magnitude—and she bent and touched the star sapphire with the tip of her snout. The branching cracks within the giant gemstone flared bright as bolts of lightning, and then the scaffolding shattered and fell to the floor, revealing Isidar Mithrim whole and sound again.

But not quite the same. The color of the jewel was a deeper, richer shade of red than before, and the innermost petals of the rose were shot through with streaks of dusky gold.

Oh, maybe I was wrong. Maybe roses are significant to dwarf culture if there's a rose in the middle of Isidar Mithrim. Of course Saphira makes it better than it was before.

The dwarves give her a standing ovation and Orik says that her name will be remembered for ever by the dwarves.

After all the ceremony is finished and Eragon gets the wool out of Saphira's mouth, they go for the big banquet. There is entertainment. When things are winding down, Eragon asks about the being they saw during the coronation. Orik says that it is the closest they'll see of the god on earth. He apparently doesn't always come when called. Those dwarves who insisted on ruling without the god's blessing, the Heritic Kings and Queens have short and messy reigns. Which, Eragon realizes, that even though the clanmeet elected Orik, if he didn't get confirmed by god, he wouldn't be legitimate. Orik then tells him that he wasn't completely sure he would win the god's favor until the crown was on his head.

Now this chapter should have been a climaxing chapter of the book. It should have been Eragon Works to Get Orik Made King. And that would have been interesting. The dwarves have been more interesting than anything else really so far. Sadly this subplot does nothing but drag on and make me want to keelhaul myself to get it over with.

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