This chapter is called ‘a trail of oil’. I guess that means Eragon has been following a BP drilling platform. (Ba-dum tish) Or maybe an Exxon tanker. (Ba-dum tish) Heck, it might even be someone carrying a box of chicken nuggets. (Ba-dum, ba-dum-dum tish. Mug at camera and adjust tie.)
So yes, Chris, we get it. They followed some sales records to a hell-hole in the middle of nowhere. Did it really take all that to find? I mean, this is special oil that’s enchanted or some such to turn it into an acidic tourture device. Are there a lot of places that do that?
‘Let’s see, Oil Enchanters, Acid Oilers, Destructive Greasers, Mad Mad Oiliphants, Mary and Joe’s Old Time Burning Oil and Tonics, Sludge Pourers…’ ‘Okay, okay. So there’s a few of them. Where are they anyway?’ ‘It looks like they’re all in Dras-Leona except for the one out in New Jersey.’ ‘Did you just hear that?’ ‘What?’ ‘It sounded like a rimshot.’
Eragon wakes up and, get this, he’s hung over! Saphira laughs at him and he winces at loud noises. It’s a nonstop laugh riot that brings some much needed comic relief to an otherwise stark, dystopian fantasy punctuated by tragedy and deep personal insight. Or the attempt at humor makes sane people weep when they find someone laughing at it. Brom wanders off to “recover” from his hangover.
“I’ll come.” At the bar, Eragon discovered that Brom’s method of recovery involved imbibing copious amounts of hot tea and ice water and washing it all down with brandy. When they returned to the room, Eragon was able to function somewhat better.
Now that’s an alcoholic’s solution. Suddenly that image I had of Brom being a half shaven guy with a gravy stain on his cloak who carries a hip flask that never seems to run out, isn’t so far off. I bet Brom keeps his blood alcohol content so high his blood is flammable. He’s probably gotten a DUI or two in his time.
‘Um, Brom. I think I see another dragon rider coming up behind us.’ ‘Nah, Farlan, it’s cool. All the others are off to fight some Glorbatic guy.’ ‘No, that’s definitely another rider. You should probably let me fly myself so we don’t weave so much.’ ‘Screw you, you, you dragon! You don’t tell me how to fly. I’m good. I just gotta, relax and follow the lines and be cool.’ ‘You there! On the gold dragon! Proceed to land and park your dragon near the treeline.’
Brom starts detailing his plot to find who sold the oil. Ok Chris, we get it. You think you’re being clever but the whole oil thing has been spent long ago. It wouldn’t take a freaking ninja to get the information. Just walk up to a few people and pretend to be a tax collector or something.
‘Hi, Brom Foley. Empire Shipping Inspector.’ Brom said as he flashed his badge too fast for the guard too follow.
‘Er, what?’ The guard stammered.
‘Brom Foley, Empire Goods Inspector. Everybody, stop trading! These goods aren’t good, they haven’t been checked against the king’s book of Goods and Bads. Stop everything!’ Brom shouted. He pointed at the guard accusingly. ‘You let someone purchase some oil which wasn’t good it was bad, we need to know who bought it right now.’
‘What?’ The guard asked. ‘I didn’t do anything.’
‘Look, I’ll level with you. I’m just here doing this for the PR. It’s all a bunch of bull.’ Brom said, putting an arm conspiratorially around the man’s shoulder. ‘The people up top? They know they messed up and now they want to hang one of us grunts because the king is mad. He threatened to feed one of them to Kroban if this didn’t get sorted out.’
‘That’s awful.’ The guard said. He thought about it for a second. ‘Wait, who’s Kroban?’
‘I don’t know but when Galbatorix starts pulling names out of nowhere, you know he’s serious.’ Brom said. ‘Now, if you can tell me who bought that bad oil, then I can hunt them down and show that they wanted that oil.’
‘Uh, I don’t know.’ The guard said doubtfully.
‘You’ve got to, or else it’ll be you they put in front of the king to feed to his invisible friend.’ Brom said. ‘Besides, us blue collar folk have got to stick together.’
‘Yeah.’ The guard said. He didn’t quite understand what Brom was saying but he was happy to enjoy the sudden solidarity he felt.
Well, back to the ‘real’ story. No one in the city remembers anything about the oil except one lone forgotten trader. He sold it to a warehouse or something. Oh and Galbatorix is coming to Dras-Leona for some reason. Stay tuned to plot convenient news for more relevant updates.
Brom actually found out where the oil goes. It ends up in Helgrind, delivered by two slaves every full moon. Wow, that’s not needlessly complex. They hatch some plan to kill the two Ra’zac with Saphira’s help.
Eragon tells Saphira the good news and then considers going back home after he gets vengeance. Saphira smacks him with a reality check and reminds him that after getting a dragon he doesn’t get to go backwards and become a farmer. Not that he’d do it anyway. He just wanted a reminder of how awesome his fate is.
how much of a plan do they need? find the Ra’zac, point and say “Saphira sic!”
and that hangover cure sounds more painful than necessary. just cut the macho ice water and hot tea and take the brandy. i hardly ever drink though, so maybe i missed something.