This chapter is called ‘Dragon Tales’. Hey, I’m not here to read about Scrooge McDuck having adventures with his three great-nephews. Don’t you think the mighty D will find out you’re plagiarizing their work and…oh, I see. Clever bastard, replacing the ducks with dragons. I’m onto you game.
And the chapter name is a little joke. You see, because dragon’s have tails and there are tales about them. Oh Chris, you brilliant author you. Have you considered standup comedy? I don’t think they’d like you either but it would get you used to being heckled.
The morning comes and Eragon wakes up. Whoa, I did not see that coming. He awoke at the crack of dawn, a farmer of all things. Next thing you know he’ll be doing chores and eating or something. Such a vivid imagination Chris.
Eragon is whining about turning sixteen and having lost his mother. Apparently she showed up at uncle’s house out of nowhere wearing fancy clothes and pregnant. She had Rag and then left, leaving aunt Beru and uncle Lars to raise him. No one knows why and Rag’s mom simply said she must leave. I know why. It’s because she knew there’s one solid way to make a hero, it’s to leave your only child with their uncle and/or aunt. That way they can eventually go on a journey when aunt and uncle get killed and run into their parents.
Eragon is sad but Roran, his cousin, is there to cheer him up. Roran is eighteen and wonders if Rag passed that note to the girl he likes when he was in town and did he get it back yet? Which box was checked?
They eat then they do some farming. They pickle and store food for the winter. It’s like there’s a giant neon counter ticking down somewhere off in the distance. The longer this goes on the more whiny Rag is going to get when it strikes.
‘Wah! My uncle and cousin is deads. I will gets mah revenge!’ ‘You know, seeing as your uncle lived well into his forties in an era without modern medicine he was basically tempting fate anyways.’ ‘Well, ok but he had so much to live for.’ ‘Like what? Was he secretly a musician and he dreamed of performing, just once, for the king?’ ‘Er, well he did love to drink. Fine, he had it coming. What about Roran?’ ‘Ok, you can be sad about him if you really want.’ ‘Oh goody. I get to be a tragic hero.’
They get their stuff packed into a wagon. Or some stuff as they’re going in to wait for the traders that come biannually. Man the stock exchange was slow back then. I can’t imagine waiting six months to hear what market forces have done to your portfolio of cow hides and turnips. I wonder if they have king Galbatorix ring in the market each day? What with him being the only celebrity around.
They go to town where the traders have set up tents. Rag notices that there’s lots of weapons around and that everybody looks hungry and or wary. Chris, are you saying that, perhaps, these people are having a hard time under a tyrant? Eragon goes looking for Merlock, some guy that sells jewelry and such, to appraise the stone.
Small trinkets and strange pieces of furniture, such as a round bed and three seats carved from tree stumps, filled the tent. A gnarled dagger with a ruby in the pommel rested on a white cushion.
That’s not strange. It just means that Merlock gets around. He has a thing for the ladies, as it were. I’m saying he’s a pimp. What else could he be? He’s got tons of bling, a sweet pad and cool furniture. He’s either a wizard or pimp, and wizards don’t know much about interior design.
Merlock examines the stone and determines that it’s harder than diamond, all the same material and hollow. Amazing, considering the only thing he did was measure it and smack it with a knife. ‘Whelp, that’s harder that diamond and hollow.’ ‘That’s a coffee cup, all you did was…’ ‘Don’t you sass me boy, I’m a professional.’
Merlock won’t buy it because it’s too high risk, says the guy who sells golden roses. Also bad things have been happening what with the Urgal attacks. It’s just retaliation against the imperialist swine Galbatorix and his policy of conquering everything. He should really try peace talks.
Rag meanders, he eats and he waits for troubadours to show up. He goes into a tavern and listens to a pair of ‘traders’ who are propaganda machines for the war effort. So the king can’t be bothered to keep troops up but he can afford to send people around to smooth things over? Why not have them recruit people instead?
Galbatorix is too stupid to stay in power for much longer. I kind of wonder how he came into power in the first place. Maybe he roshamboed for the privilege. That or he drew a sword from a stone and the wisdom of selecting a monarchy based on such arbitrary terms is finally starting to show.
Rag meets up with his cousin. ‘Eeyyy, cousin. How about we go bowling?’ They eat and then go to the tent with the troubadour named Brom he gives us a quick and dirty rundown on the backstory. Galbatorix was a dragon rider, back when elves and dwarves and humans were friends, and he was bad. He killed all the others and made himself king. Something you can do when you’re the most powerful person alive.
Supposedly he lost his dragon and that’s what drove him to it. When they, some dragon riding council, wouldn’t give him another dragon after he went and crashed the last one, he flipped. Galbatorix eventually stole another egg and got another dragon. Also he kicked another rider in the junk before killing him so, you know, he’s kind of a dick.
Actually “Dragon Tales” was (is?) a show on PBS. I always changed the channel when I saw it was on so he was just titling his chapter after his favorite show. It’s what inspired him. http://pbskids.org/dragontales/index_sw.html
Visit the wiki and take a look at the entry for the character ‘Priscilla’. It’s…very adult for a children’s show from PBS.
So they like to compare wing sizes? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…