Eldest Chapters 11 & 12

These chapters are called ‘hammer and tongs’ and ‘retaliation’.

Being as even Chris knows the dull horse trip is going to hurt, he puts it off for just a little bit. We switch over to Roran who’s still crapping in the woods and tipping his hat to the bears as passes by them on the way to the latrine.

Baldor, who sounds like a depilated super hero, shows up. ‘Look, up in the sky!’ ‘It’s a gymnast!’ ‘It’s an Olympic swimmer!’ ‘No! It’s Baldor! Defender of razors, wax and the Brazilian way! Created one night when he fell into an experimental vat of Burma Shave, he does battle with such arch nemeses as Hairy Harry and the Wolfman.’

Baldor says that a few soldiers come and get drunk each night and one bragged about being handpicked for this mission. Why? Did Galbatorix need people he could trust? People who’d do morally questionable things? Because as far as Chris has said the soldiers are evil too. He’s never mentioned any dissension in the ranks and I doubt he will. They’re just evil because they are.

I like how Chris tries to make them sound evil because some of them get drunk each night. I can’t blame them. They’re sitting around a turnip farming community where there’s nothing, and no one, to do. They were sent out to get one man and drag him back in what is basically a glorified babysitting mission. Oh and some of the soldiers wrecked the common room and didn’t pay for it. Well, they were too drunk to be reasoned with and no one wants to talk to the soldiers because they’re ‘evil’. They probably don’t even know they owe anybody.

This next part is hilarious. The next day, Roran finds out someone got killed in a brawl at the tavern. The Ra’zac stole the body and returned only bones the next morning. We finally get some possible details about them.

“I don’t think,” said Baldor, “that the Ra’zac are human. You’ve never seen them up close, but their breath is foul, and they always cover their faces with black scarves. Their backs are humped and twisted, and they speak to each other with clicks. Even their men seem to fear them.”

Wait. You’re telling me the Ra’zac, who are clearly referred to by their species/race name every time, aren’t human? Whoa. Next you’ll tell me dragons and unicorns aren’t either. Just as long as elves are human though I’ll be okay.

“If they aren’t human, then what kind of creatures can they be?” demanded Roran. “They’re not Urgals.”

Stop it Chris, it hurts to laugh so much. Uh, duh they’re not Urgals. They’re freaking Ra’zac! You know what they’re called but you don’t know what they are? I have to wonder if the coming of age ceremony in Alagaësia involves an ice pick and their frontal lobe.

There’s a mysterious fire which Roran goes and investigates. Roran, being as dumb as his cousin, wonders if it was the soldiers or the Ra’zac or what. I love the uncertainty Chris displays. ‘I mean, it could have been a rogue fireball, teleported from another dimension.’ ‘You need to be a little more assertive than that Chris.’ ‘Hmm, yes, well, maybe not. Okay, wait. I don’t know…’

The fire stops before everyone loses their house but then the village comes to Roran. They want his help in ‘dealing’ with the Ra’zac. I guess they figure the eighteen year old could die trying to kill them and then the soldiers will leave.

Ready for another example of Chris abusing the thesaurus? Contrition. A shoemaker uses it saying that the Ra’zac show no remorse or contrition. That’s both redundant and retarded. Thank you for making me guilty every time I touch my thesaurus, Chris.

The next chapter shows them getting ready for a fight. They get pitchforks and flails handed out for weapons. I guess swords aren’t useful enough to have around but a flail, well, everyone has one in their closet. Roran grabs a ‘medium sized’ hammer from the forge and they get ready to attack.

It’s funny when Horst tells Roran to only scare them, maybe break some bones, but don’t stand and fight. I’m sure some broken bones are enough to scare soldiers off, they fear for their piano playing fingers. That’s why the campaign for ulna fractures was so successful against the Vietnamese back in the seventies.

They rush the camp, kill a few soldiers while pretending they only gave them head injuries. The soldiers scatter as do the Ra’zac, a boy dies, people argue that Roran should have been turned in. They go back to the village and prepare for an attack.

The Ra’zac appear near a barrier at the edge of town and throw a vial at a couple of wagons which causes an explosion of Michael Bay proportions. Soldiers and the Ra’zac come in and start killing people and start to live up to their reputation as evil bastards.

Backstepping toward the Ra’zac, Roran parried a sword thrust, then swung his hammer up under the man’s chin, sending him to the ground. “To me!” shouted Roran. “Defend your homes!” He sidestepped a jab as five men attempted to encircle him. “To me!”

That’s a good plan. ‘Defend your homes!’ ‘What do you think we’re doing, idiot!’ ‘Er, alright continue that but please help me too!’ ‘We’ll think about it!’

The fight goes poorly for the soldiers, the Ra’zac use some magic that makes Roran feel sleepy but then it stops when he throws his hammer at one of them. The soldiers leave as do the Ra’zac. One of them stops and turns around to have a conversation, saying they’ll be sold as slaves if they give Roran up or eaten if they don’t. I’m sure the ‘evil’ creature would stop and make an offer if they’d been defeated soundly rather than return when they’re unexpected and kill everyone.

Roran asks what they want and they say information. Wouldn’t it have been simpler to just ask? I mean, Roran isn’t the ripest apple in the barrel. They could have probably just walked up to him and start talking to him and he would have told them his life story. Once they realized that he knew absolutely nothing about Eragon, they could have left. Now they’ve got to stick around and make his life hell. After all, they’ve got a reputation to live up to.

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5 Responses to Eldest Chapters 11 & 12

  1. River says:

    So, they’re not human? “But their breath is foul, and they always cover their faces with black scarves. Their backs are humped and twisted, and they speak to each other with clicks.” Sounds pretty human to me…

  2. I’m so happy that the Ra’zac have been described! I already knew what they looked like because of the Inheritance wiki (don’t judge me) but in this point of the books Chris has finally gotten off his butt and described his evil horrifying race.

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