Chapter Seven: Consequences

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Chapter Seven: Consequences

Post by kamokronos on Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:06 am

Chapter Seven:

Murtagh had just arrived at Urubaen a day late, mainly due to the fact that Thorn wasn’t there to fly him. He sighed, and thought, I wonder how Thorn is. It had been 2 days since they had departed each other’s company. Murtagh looked towards the dark, and gloomy city, and then to Galbatorix’s castle. He deeply regretted having been forced to serve Galbatorix. Eragon is right, he told himself, I have become my accursed Father. Murtagh looked up at the sky, the stars shined bright on the dark city, the moon most of all.

One of Galbatorix’s servants who he didn’t recognize, walked up to him. “Sir, my Lord would like to see you,” he said, and escorted Murtagh through the gates. Murtagh witnessed the suffering of the Empire’s citizens. Their faces twisted into a frightful frown, with their bodies bony from hunger. He shuddered as he saw the wickedness of Galbatorix’s evil ways.

What a monster, he thought to himself, and my father supported this…this treachery. He sickened at the thought, and looked down as the people began to stare. There was no light in the eerie city, and it was even audacious to hope for a better future. Murtagh realized why the Varden was so small in comparison to the Empire. They don’t fight because they have nothing to fight for. Nothing is worth more to them than themselves. It was how they were raised, in the dark, fear engraved in their minds. They believe that the Varden is a false hope, a dream, that was woven, but will never come true, and they are right, unless I can join the Varden, with Eragon. He sighed, letting his grief show, fate has not smiled upon us, he thought.

The slave brought him to the castle gate, where guards were to bring him to Galbatorix. They lifted the creaky door, and showed him into the dark corridors. If not for his escorts, Murtagh would have lost himself in the maze that protruded the center of Urubaen. The dark corridors seemed to go on for no end, and the staircases went higher and higher, winding until they finally reached the top. Murtagh let out a gasp of relief as he saw the entrance to Galbatorix’s throne. The guards bowed, and opened the door, letting him in. He took a small step into the large, spacious room. The ceiling was 3 stories high, and its span was wide enough to fit 5 dragons. He assumed the huge capacity of the room was meant for the forsworn. I wonder, he thought as he slowly walked into the room, how does Eragon feel about Morzan and I?

“Murtagh!” Galbatorix barked from his throne. His eyes glowed red from the light of the fire and the torches that encompassed the perimeter of the room. “You’re late, and we lost the battle! What happened?” His brittle voice shook Murtagh to the core, and it took him a few moments to find his voice amongst the fear and condescending air of the chamber.

“My liege,” he replied, bowing, “You ordered me to try to persuade the female dragon and her rider to come with me. They refused, and were able to escape.” Murtagh made each word clear, although he knew he would be punished for his sacrifice to help Eragon. He stared into Galbatorix’s dark eyes, and saw anger flash through them. Unconciously, Murtagh felt his own eyes flash with fear, and looked down to hide his shame.

“Perhaps I underestimated Eragon, but you…you failed your mission, and will suffer the consequences. Until you bring Eragon back, you will be banished from Urubaen, and my site!” he exclaimed, waving his hands towards the door. The guards shoved Murtagh into the dark corridors, and he was forced to walk amid the dark maze alone until he found the exit.

My punishment is better than I expected….now I can find Thorn, and be freed from Galbatorix, he thought, happily and relieved. Maybe I was my father, but no longer. Eragon will see that I’m not a monster any longer, and I will pledge my allegiance to Nasuada, and the Varden. Murtagh hurried out of the building, only to find guards waiting to usher him outside the gate. As he was passing, he viewed the fear emanating from the people, and he sensed their morbid hatred for all those who served Galbatorix, both him and the soldiers. It is a nightmare.

The soldier shoved him out the gate, and grunted, “As our Lord commands, you may not return unless you bring the female dragon and her rider with you. Begone!” The gate shut, and Murtagh was left outside, in the barren wasteland that was covered with shadow. His consequence was more of a relief than anything else. It made all his plans easier. He looked back towards the walls of Urubaen, and thought, once again, I am leaving this place behind.

Murtagh walked along the old and worn road, fearing neither bandits or any of the other people who traveled it. His first goal was to reach the Beors, where he may find Thorn. He reasoned that Eragon would keep his request a secret, and have Thorn remain in the Beors where he could hide. They were the only place big enough to hide and sustain a growing dragon.

As Murtagh effortlessly traversed the road, he attempted to contact Thorn, but could find no traces of his partners mind. He has put up his mind’s barriers, he realized. He shrugged, and returned his attention to his surroundings. When dusk came, and the sun began to set, Murtagh trudged off the road, and into a valley of trees, where he could stay unnoticed for the night. He caught a small deer using magic, and realized something that Eragon learned a while ago: if you can accomplish anything with magic, what point does your existence have? Thus, Murtagh gave up the effortless win, and strung his bow. “I have the time, so I might as well,” he muttered to himself.

Hearing movement in the bushes, he turned and spotted a young dear. He immediately aimed, and released the arrow. With a loud plunk, it hit it's mark, and the animal dropped to the ground. Murtagh rushed towards the limp creature, and quickly ended its life, so as to spare it the pain. This their life, and this is mine, he thought as he began to skin it. It took him only ten minutes, after which he cooked it over the fire. The meat quickly browned on the spit, and Murtagh consumed the meat. I should skirt the Hadarac Desert as Eragon and I did when we first traveled to the Beors, and from there I will try and find Thorn, he planned. He looked up at the sky again, as he had done the night before, its been a long day, and only more blood will be shed tomorrow, he thought, and then fell asleep.

Murtagh woke during dawn with the sun in his eyes. It was a beautiful sight, with the sunlight stretching across what you could see of the Beors from his location. Murtagh felt very refreshed after his rest from the stressful day. Perhaps it would be best to go to Surda instead, he thought, yawning. No, I cannot tell other people that I oppose Galbatorix until Eragon can release the oaths that bind me...What a mess. He surveyed his surroundings: Murtagh was just outside of the Hadarac Desert. It will take me at least 5 days to reach the Beors, skirting the bulk of the Hadarac that is.

He continued to walk the remainder of the way off the main roads, mainly to avoid being seen. It was strange for inhabitants of the Empire to walk into the desert, let alone empty handed with no provisions. Now that I can use magic, I will just do as Eragon did when we first trekked the Hadarac: raise the water from underneath the ground. After about an hour, he had reached the outskirts of the desert. He hesitated, looking back, still able to see the tall tower of Urubaen. Murtagh took a small step, and after regaining his confidence, he started the journey to the Beors. This time though, he was under better circumstances.

Murtagh looked towards the Beor mountains. No matter how far you go, they still seem huge, he proclaimed. It was only after a few hours that he noticed his dry throat, and knew he was thirsty. Summoning up his energy, he said, Adurna Risa! He kept hold of the spell until water began to rise to the surface, forming a large puddle near his feet. He bent over, and took a large gulp, and then filled his empty flask. It was already dusk, and he looked up to see the moon high in the sky, shining upon the desert with a different energy. It made him feel free, gazing upon the windy desert, the sand blowing across his face. He loved the sensation, as it was just like flying with Thorn. To be free, he decided, that is what I fight for.

When Murtagh awoke the very next day, the sun was already high in the sky. He realized that he had slept in, and he hurried to make up for the lost time. Using magic, he gave himself extra speed, allowing him to cover large distances in mere minutes. It was a beneficial spell, but resulted in much of his energy drained. He had already run 3 quarters the way there on that spell alone. It shocked him how much he and Eragon had changed. Again rising the water to the surface, he looked at his reflection: his scarred and war torn body, and his stern face. Its unfortunate things turned out this way, Brother, he thought to himself.

Although using that spell took a lot of energy out of me, I traveled far, and it should only take me another day to reach the Beors, he surmised, happy with the outcome of his spell. He prepared for the last day's journey. At least I am not being chased by Kull, he thought to himself gratefully. After readying himself, he took his leave from the Hadarac Desert. He could see the Beors completely now, and, just as before, he was astounded by the size of them. Murtagh felt so small compared to the mountains, but fate had arranged something different for him. Fate has certainly made Eragon and I more important than we ever could have dreamed. Murtagh imagined himself resting on a farm, planting and harvesting over and over again. At first he regretted not having a life like that, but then he was grateful that he could be someone.

Murtagh began searching the Beors for Thorn with his mind. At last, after walking miles among the mountains, he located a mind, recognized it as Thorn's, and attempted to speak with him. Thorn, its me! I've come! He shouted to his partner.

Murtagh, how did you get here? What happened to Galbatorix? Thorn asked, startled but glad Murtagh had gone there.

Galbatorix has punished me by exiling me from the Urubaen until I can find and bring back Eragon and Saphira, he replied.

That is never going to happen, Thorn added, then said, we are certainly lucky this consequence was beneficial to our goals. Imagine if something worse had occurred. They both shuddered at the thought.

Indeed, it would have been unfortunate if I were whipped, or put in a jail again, Murtagh said, remembering the past.

I'm glad you're back, Murtagh. It was lonely without you. Thorn looked at the sky, as Murtagh had before him, You are truly a friend of my heart, Thorn said affectionately, unknowingly mimicking Eragon's same words.

Indeed. No matter what lay ahead in our destiny, we will always be one.


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