Insubordination Part Three Edit
So, Edric does not approve of Roran's suggestion of not attacking directly even though they are out numbered three to one. Edric says that this is cowardice.
“Then we shall make up in valor what we lack in numbers!” Edric bellowed. “I was told you had courage, Stronghammer, but obviously rumor is mistaken and you are as timid as a frightened rabbit. Now do as you’re told, and do not question me again!” The captain indicated one of Roran’s warriors. “You there, lend me your steed.” After the man dismounted, Edric pulled himself into the saddle and said, “Half of you on horse, follow me; I go to reinforce Sand. Every one else, remain with Roran.” Kicking his mount in the sides, Edric galloped away with the men who chose to follow him, racing from building to building as they worked their way around the soldiers clumped in the center of the village.
I've never understood this idea of fighting smart = cowardice. Of course I think I've always been of the Sam Vimes school of thought of staying alive is good while this guy seems to be of the Lord Rust school of thought. Which is more of the lines of battles are meant to be of bloody killing the other guy and jolly good. Hip hip hurrah. Kingdom and country! Valor honor blood blood blood. What we've got here now is Roran being cast in Vimes' role of the intelligent commander while Edric is the idiot Lord Rust. There are several problems with this, of course. For starters Lord Rust never actually was in any sort of real battle when the events of Jingo happened. His experience came from reading books and pushing little people around on maps. Edric on the other hand is an experienced commander in the field. He should know better having seen what works and what doesn't work. He's not the idiot general sitting in a tent far removed from the action. He's in Vimes' role out in the actual field. However, Roran can't look really awesome and smart if another commander is looking awesome and smart too. So, Edric gets pushed into the role of the dummy.
Once Edric is gone, Roran gives a stirring speech basically saying "Fuck Edric, if you want to live come with me." Of course they all agree with him, because he's awesome. Well, actually Carn says he's going to follow Roran and the other soliders, according to Roran decided to cast their lot with him, if only because they would not want to be parted from the only magician in their company. Way to undermine your hero there. But I kinda like that. It gives Roran a bit of a flaw. He doesn't think that they're following him so much as they're doing what's practical. He doesn't think it's because of his awesome speeching abilities.
In a slashy move, after the men pledge themselves to him, Roran pulls Carn up behind him onto his stallion. >.> He and Carn are getting awfully close, if you know what I mean. Hee. Yes. Yes, I know, it's all perfectly platonic, but it amuses me.
He retreats back to where he started, with no injuries, despite being shot at. The men on the horses give their bows to the men on foot, who climb up onto the roofs. The enemy crossbowmen haven't seem to have figured this part out yet. Roran then has Carn cast a spell on him and ten me. He wants to be protected from the bolts. Why? The enemy seems to have <a href="http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy">storm trooper shooting skills</a>. Anyway Carn doesn't think he can make the bolts stop in their tracks but he can deflect them. Not sure why they would need to do that, stop in their tracks. Roran says that's just fine.
Carn tries to cast the spell but he can't do it. So Roran gives him the "you can do it" speech.
“Blast it, don’t apologize,” growled Roran. “Just do it!” Leaping down from Snowfire, he grasped Carn on either side of his head, holding him in place. “Look at me! Look into the center of my eyes. That’s it. Keep staring at me. . . . Good. Now place the ward around us.”
Not sure why that works. But it does. There are no sparkly effects. Carn just sags with a 'it's done'.
Roran then takes point. Roran patted him on the shoulder, then clambered into Snowfire’s saddle again. Sweeping his gaze over the ten horsemen, he said, “Guard my sides and my back, but otherwise keep behind me so long as I am able to swing my hammer I'm not sure why he thinks that he'd be better at attacking people than the trained soldiers, but hey, who am I to second guess him and his mighty hammer. The ten of them then ride out and grab a wagon, pulling it to make a shelter.
Honestly, at this point I have no idea what's going on.
It's like a battle montage while on sleep medication.
There are about five hundred soldiers in the square and none of them take a hit because of the spell. None of their horses take a hit either. Then Roran calls out to them.
Roran watched his men drag the wagon into the street. When they were nearly finished, he lifted his chin, filled his lungs, and then, projecting his voice toward the soldiers, he roared, “Ho there, you cowering carrion dogs! See how only eleven of us bar your way. Win past us, and you win your freedom. Try your hand if you have the guts. What? You hesitate? Where is your manhood, you deformed maggots, you bilious, swine-faced murderers? Your fathers were dribbling half-wits who should have been drowned at birth! Aye, and your mothers were poxy trollops and the consorts of Urgals!” Roran smiled with satisfaction as several of the soldiers howled with outrage and began to insult him in return. One of the soldiers, however, seemed to lose his will to continue fighting, for he sprang to his feet and ran northward, covering himself with his shield and darting from side to side in a desperate attempt to avoid the archers. Despite his efforts, the Varden shot him dead before he had gone more than a hundred feet. “Ha!” exclaimed Roran. “Cowards you are, every last one of you, you verminous river rats! If it will give you spine, then know this: Roran Stronghammer is my name, and Eragon Shadeslayer is my cousin! Kill me, and that foul king of yours will reward you with an earldom, or more. But you will have to kill me with a blade; your crossbows are of no use against me. Come now, you slugs; you leeches; you starving, white-bellied ticks! Come and best me if you can!”
ARRGGGH ME HEARTIES!! Yo Ho!
I am at a bit of a conflicted point here. I'm reading that paragraph and it's well... silly. It's not supposed to be silly. It's supposed to be insulting. It's supposed to drive fear or anger into the hearts of these soldiers who listen to it. I hear Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean saying it. Which also doesn't help much. Lots of ARRRRGH!!! is included. Or a bunch of guys going "RARRARGGHHH!!! and waving boffer swords around in the air. Or the French guys from the Holy Grail. I guess that's what I'm going at here, it feels like a cross between bad Shakespeare insults and Ren-Faire talk. I'm not sure if it belongs. Also it feels like talking is a free action.
I am reminded a bit of the Doctor Who episode where the Doctor is in the Library and there are these evil shadows that are creeping closer and closer and are going to eat him up. He stands there and says to the shadows, "You're in the biggest library in existence. I'm the Doctor. Look me up." (not a direct quote). There's a pause and then the shadows vacate the area quickly. The insults Roran throws out there are more like.... well a bunch of drunken pirates at a bar brawl.
The thing is, this could all be my 'modern sensibilities' coming into play here. But then again, the language doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the text. Or at least it does because Paolini uses this style whenever he wants Roran to curse and it doesn't fit in with the rest of the way characters talk. Or the style of the novel. If the novel could be said to have a style, which is another problem.
Someone questions Roran about the intelligence of this move, of having all five hundred soldiers come to them, because you know, if they come all at once they'd die. Roran says that they don't have to worry about it because their commander appears to be dead so they are confused and disorganized. No one else has taken command also:
Roran glanced back at Harald. “Of course we can! We fight to protect our families and to reclaim our homes and our lands. They fight because Galbatorix forces them to. They have not the heart for this battle. So think of your families, think of your homes, and remember it is they you are defending. A man who fights for something greater than himself may kill a hundred enemies with ease!” As he spoke, Roran saw in his mind an image of Katrina clad in her blue wedding dress, and he smelled the scent of her skin,and he heard the muted tones of her voice from their discussions late at night.
Because they can't actually believe that they're fighting for the right side. They're automatically poor shulbs who don't want to do this and don't think they're fighting for something greater than themselves. Like protecting their families from the evil Varden. Only the heroes get to do that. And because of that they can't over run eleven people.
Look. They're not the Silver Horde.
- Insert fight montage here with no Varden seriously being hurt, but lots of Enemy dying *
When they're finally done, Roran wonders how many he killed. Apparently people are supposed to be keeping track of how many people he killed because they've got nothing better to do. Like say fight and stay alive. And apparently Carn did have nothing better to do. As he said he kept watch and count. The total? 193 soldiers.
Once the battle is done, they go looking for survivors. You can tell when you get to Edric because there are more dead Varden than the enemy. Not many of Edric's men survived while most of Roran's did. That's because Roran is better than Edric.
Edric demands Roran's weapons in a give me your badge scene. One of Roran's men protests and Roran tells him to shut up. He gives over his weapons and is relieved of his command. Because his weapons are a symbol of his command. Of course.
We then get the causlty numbers. Roran lost only nine of his men while Sands (who died) and Edric lost about a hundred and fifty total. Roran is just that awesome, you see.
Roran is worried about what will happen when the others find out about his mutiny. Though I don't know if it counts as mutiny. A mutiny is a revolt against an authority, Roran didn't revolt, he just disobeyed orders. But, it sounds cooler.
And they ride out.
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