This chapter is called ‘thieves in the castle’. Yeah, you’ll get that in these old castles. All the extra nooks and cranies that open up as they shift over the years gives them perfect opportunity to get their way in. They usually start showing up as the weather changes, moving in around the onset of fall. I recommend a heavy duty fogger regimen followed up by an inspection visit from a professional.
Eragon Wakes: 17
We start off with Eragon preparing to leave his room for operation obscura. He leaves the sword behind, reasoning that he can disable someone with magic or an arrow. That’s a mistake, Eragon. I saw how you handled that deer at the beginning. A bow is as useful as a nerf bat in your hands.
Jeod, dressed in a black doublet and hose, was waiting for them outside. From his waist swung an elegant rapier and a leather pouch. Brom eyed the rapier and observed, “That toad sticker is too thin for any real fighting. What will you do if someone comes after you with a broadsword or a flamberge?”
I hate when fantasy authors do that with swords. They always seem to forget that the shape of a sword is determined by its use and that rapiers weren’t the weak foils used in competitions today. Why would they run into someone armed with a broadsword or a flamberge? Do the guards just carry whatever sharp object they can find in a barrel?
And while Brom’s on the subject, what if they run into a walking bear armed with a katana or a man wielding a box of poker chips? What about a man armed with a kayak paddle duct taped to a chainsaw? There are so many scenarios that Jeod is just not prepared for. You know, in sharp contrast to the illiterate, clumsy protagonist who knows just enough magic to get himself killed. He has a plot device in the form of a dragon.
“Be realistic,” said Jeod. “None of the guards has a flamberge. Besides, this toad sticker is faster than a broadsword.”
It’s bad when one of your characters says what I’m thinking. And, again, Chris seems to have missed the point of rapiers. They weren’t as much about speed as they were thrusting. They work well in close spaces that don’t allow for a lot of arm swinging and for trying to puncture through chain mail and leather.
They walk, Eragon feels someone is watching him, they talk their way past the guard at the castle gate who’s been drinking. It occurs to me that the bad guys just need a competent human resources manager to get this straightened out. Someone who can write and implement a standard policy to apply to all employees and manage the hiring and firing of those that violate the policy. Letting an employee drink at their post? That’s just poor managerial skills showing through.
They get to the records room and start looking through the scrolls. It’s a good thing they keep meticulous shipping records for up to five years. And it’s a good thing the Ra’zac buy the rare, poisonous oil fresh. It’s not like they could have bought it a decade ago and just now found a use for it. And does anyone else wonder why they have shipping records?
‘You, come here.’ ‘What is it, your highness?’ ‘Take down this decree. I demand all shipping manifests are filed in order and kept up to date. All files are to be maintained until five years after they are submitted.’ ‘May I ask why sire?’ ‘Because how else will I please the disembodied voice that lives in my head? Certainly not by sacrificing any more of your children’
They look over the scrolls and the Solipsistim Bummer(the werecat) shows up in human form and offers help. The guards catch them trying to sneak away but let them go as the records room is now locked. ‘Sure they’re in the castle after hours but the door to the records room is locked. Surely no one would pretend to be interested in records in order to access the royal coffers which are directly below the records room. That would just be crazy.’
They get back to Jeod’s house and look over a map. Chris spends a couple of paragraphs telling us all about it. Now we’re officially licensed cartographers of Eragon’s world of idiocy. Too bad such a job doesn’t come with benefits of any kind. Out of some very shaky reasoning, Brom decides the Ra’zac must have gone on towards Gil’ead if they went north on the map or Dras-Leon if they went south.
Ah, but what if they’re hiding behind that giant compass that always points north and sits in the corner of the world? What about that country? I hear they harbor all kinds of criminals and they eat kittens for breakfast. Plus they’re communists.
They decide they have t go to Dras-Leon. Why? Because there’s some ‘black gate’ there that’s perfect for the Ra’zac. Why? Well because, um, you know…evil likes the color of black? It’s why they get carted around in heavily tinted windows, because they love the shadows.
This chapter wraps up with Jeod not going with them. Come one now Chris, if you disqualify him because he’s stupid and one dimensional then I submit that this book should be empty.
at least Chris has gradutaed from apostrophes to hyphens.
I’m sure the apostrophe will make a triumphant return later on.
In the Pao-verse, apostrophes, hyphens and umlauts are locked in an eternal struggle for supremacy.
there are umlauts? they would totally kick the apostrophes’ asses!
Yes! Umlauts! Like umlauts on the E in “Alagaësia” and “gedwëy ignasia”!
I know what an umlaut is because I’m a beginning German student (Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch! :3 ) and here’s what I’ve learned so far: an umlaut works to modify, especially to soften, a vowel sound. I’m certain that unless the Ancient Language was as fond of useless silent letters as English is, the Y “gedwëy ignasia” is probably not supposed to be there – the umlaut already asserts how that E is pronounced and THAT it’s pronounced.
I’m not sold on the umlaut in “Alagaësia” either. It’s supposed to be pronounced Ah-la-GAY-zee-uh, apparently, but methinks that umlaut-e is supposed to be pronounced independently, making it Ah-la-ga-EH-zee-ah or something. Is there someone here better at German than me that has an opinion on this?
tl;dr, Methinks Pao-Pao was just a little over-excited when he discovered the “insert symbol” feature in Microsoft Word.
And yes, umlauts are the favorite to win the punctuation war, but don’t underestimate those apostrophes – they’re tricky little things! The hyphens don’t stand a chance, though – not exotic enough.
Ah, but then there’s the ever tricky tilde. It’s like a damned thug that you never hear sneak up behind you.