From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
The next morning arrives. Time to ride the dragon, Eragon.
He's nervous, but he hops on Saphira's saddle and off she flies. Hey, thinks Eragon, this ain't so bad. Then Saphira starts twisting and diving.
Eragon is dizzy, but she says that it's important to practice these moves, in case they have to fight in mid-air.
Then Saphira joins her mind to Eragon's. He finds himself looking through her eyes. The world takes on a bluish tint. Trippy.
In this melded state, Eragon starts to understand how much pleasure Saphira takes in flying. His fear melts away and he, too, starts to enjoy himself.
At one point, both Eragon and Saphira start to merge into a single consciousness during the flight. Nice.
Eventually, though, Saphira goes into a steep dive and her mind starts to separate slowly from Eragon's.
Eragon is wowed by the experience. He's sorry that he hasn't flown on her back more and promises to fly on her all the time from now on.
Well that takes care of that.
Saphira goes on flying, showing Eragon how she reads the land from up in the sky. He's learning so much and having so much fun that at first he doesn't notice Brom screaming at him in his mind to get back down to earth.
After they land, and after Brom gives Eragon a tongue-lashing for ignoring his mental call, Brom shows him what's so important: a confusion of Ra'zac footprints. There are other prints there, too. It looks like the Ra'zac have taken off on some giant birds.
They sit down for lunch. How will they track the Ra'zac now? It's not like they'll be leaving footprints on the clouds or anything.
Eragon is at a loss for options and stalks off into the woods. There he stumbles on a metal flask with the Ra'zac's symbol on it. A clue!
He upends the flask and lets a drop of clear liquid fall on his finger. Ouch! It burns as if it were fire. A small patch of skin has been eaten away.
Eragon takes his find over to Brom, who explains that it's oil from a Seithr plant, which grows only in the far north. It's very rare, used in torturing and assassination. Eragon guesses that this is what burned his Uncle Garrow.
All of the sudden, another light bulb goes off above Eragon's head. If this stuff is so rare, and it has to be shipped to get here, there must be records that show that kind of transaction.
Brom is picking up what Eragon's putting down. If they can trace the shipments of Seithr oil that the Empire is ordering, they'll be able to track down the nasty Ra'zac.
He suggests that they head to the port city of Teirm, on the coast. One of his old buddies, Jeod,lives there.
Cool beans, says Eragon, then he jumps on Saphira's back for some more riding. He lets her know that he has to ride with Brom the next day, though.
Saphira's okay with this, since she knows that Eragon still has much to learn from Brom. Plus, that will give her some time to go hunting. Win-win.