Eragon shows up at Brom's house, looking for information. Brom invites him in, and they sit by the fire. No roasting chestnuts, sadly.
Eragon wants to know what's up. He asks Brom what was so special about the Dragon Riders.
As he prepares to answer, Eragon recalls hearing from his uncle that Brom had moved to Carvahall about fifteen years ago.
Brom begins his answer:
Dragons are as old as Alagaësia itself. They are the "true" inhabitants of the land (6.14). In fact, they were in Alagaësia before even the elves showed up in silver ships.
Eragon wants to know more about the elves, but Brom is annoyed because he's interrupting. Still, he tells Eragon that the elves come from a land called Alalëa, although only the elves know what and where that is. Oh, we love us some mystery.
The elves are a strong and magical race, and one of the early elves hunted a dragon for sport. This did not win him any popularity contests with the local dragons.
In fact, a war kicked off between the elves and dragons. It lasted until an elf called Eragon found a dragon egg.
Huh? We thought Eragon was a farm boy.
Well, he is, but this Eragon was the founder of the Dragon Riders. He thought that raising a friendly dragon might help end the war between the dragons and the elves. Sure enough, he and his dragon, Bid'Daum, helped forge a treaty that ended the war.
The Dragon Riders were a way for elves and dragons to maintain peaceful relations, but soon they were given a home of their own on the island of Vroengard. There, they grew to be the most powerful force in Alagaësia.
Brom finishes his answer, but Eragon's not out of questions yet. He wants to know what his name means.
Brom doesn't know, but he says that it's a good name to have. Like Shmoop.
Then he tells Eragon that the humans didn't come to Alagaësia until three centuries after the Dragon Riders were formed. When Galbatorix destroyed them, the dwarves retreated into their tunnels in the mountains. Today, nobody knows how many dragons are left.
Eragon then has some practical questions for Brom: How big do dragons get? (Answer: really big.) When do they mature? (Around six months of age they can mate and breathe fire.) Can they listen to their Rider's thoughts? (Brom says they can't.) How long do they live? (Forever, if they or their Rider aren't killed.)
Brom starts to gets suspicious about why Eragon has all of these questions, but Eragon says he heard about dragons from a trader… whose name he conveniently forgot. Real slick, E.
Then Eragon asks about Riders. Brom tells him that they live supernaturally long lives and are "stronger of body, keener of mind, and truer of sight than normal men" (6.58). They also develop pointy ears over time, though not as pointy as an elf's. Or Dr. Spock's.
Eragon asks if dragons are smart. Answer: yes, as intelligent as a human.
Did Brom ever see a dragon? "Nay" (6.64).
Finally, Eragon asks Brom to tell him some dragon names. Brom lists a few, finishing with "Saphira."
Eragon thanks Brom for all the info, says he has to go, and then takes off.