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!
That night, everyone's proud of what they've accomplished: they've covered 60 leagues in just five days.
FYI: a league is an outdated mode of measurement that was supposed to be the distance a man, or horse, could walk in an hour. Pretty precise, huh? No wonder they stopped using it. If you want to estimate, though, just figure 1 league = 3 miles. So that's 180 miles in five days. Whew.
Eragon is in a reflective mood—he's finally left the Empire.
Then an idea comes to him: if he can sense the thoughts of conscious people and animals, maybe he can do the same for unconscious elves.
He tentatively reaches out to the elf's mind with this own—ZAP! He's assaulted with a painful energy. He struggles but can't break free.
Eragon mentally shouts out that he's a Rider and a friend, using the ancient language, and the energy lessens its grip.
The elf allows him to stick around in her brain for a while, since she's curious.
The elf's name is Arya. Eragon brings her up to speed on what's been going on since they rescued her from jail.
It turns out that she was given a rare poison. The reason she's unconscious is to slow the poison's effects in her body. If she woke up without an antidote, she'd die. Even so, she doesn't have much time left.
It also turns out that the Varden just so happened to have the antidote. Eragon offers to take her to them, and she projects a map of where to find them into his mind. Beats GPS.
She also tells him the secret knock and password that will get them into the Varden's hideout, deep in the Boer mountains.
The antidote they're after is called "Tunivor's Nectar" (46.30).
They break off their contact, and Eragon tells Murtagh and Saphira what he learned. Murtagh isn't too jazzed about going to see the Varden.
They start to argue, and things escalate. Soon enough, Murtagh and Eragon are rolling around on the ground, going at each other.
Saphira breaks up the scuffle by pinning both of them to the ground with her big ol' paws. She won't let them up until they agree to make peace.
They settle down, and Murtagh tries to explain why he's so against visiting the Varden. It has to do with who he is and the circumstances of his birth. You see—
Never mind. We interrupt this story to bring you breaking news: hundreds of imperial troops appear on the horizon. Not just troops, either, but Urgals again. They're lead by a crazy, super-Urgal chieftain. Uh oh. Time to leave.
As they hurriedly break camp, Murtagh says that he'll come with, but that he'll take his leave when they reach the Varden.