In the morning, Brom and Eragon take their leave of Jeod. As they go, Brom tells Jeod's wife, Helen, not to wear her cranky pants so much. She's got a good husband.
Eragon sees Solembum watching him as they leave the city, so he asks Brom about werecats.
Brom tells him that they are mysterious and rare creatures.
Saphira swoops down to join them, and Eragon jumps onto her back.
After lunch, Eragon switches to riding Cadoc. He needs to get some answers from Brom.
Brom is not happy that Eragon eavesdropped on his private convo with Jeod, but he says he'll tell Eragon as much as he can. Here's the deal:
There is war going on in Alagaësia, between the Empire and the Varden. They're fighting over… Eragon.
Yes, really, but really it's about the next generation of Dragon Riders, of which Eragon is the first. Whoever gets control of the Riders will win control over Alagaësia.
You see, there are more eggs out there than just Saphira's—two other ones, in fact. Unfortunately, they are both in the possession of Galbatorix.
It's like a big race: Galbatorix is trying to match the eggs with their Riders before the Varden can swipe them from him.
For his part, when Brom was younger, he was involved in a plot with the Varden to steal one of the eggs. With the help of Jeod's scholarship, they found a secret way into the castle and got a thief to steal an egg (Saphira's).
When the thief didn't return to the Varden, though, Brom had to go out and chase down the egg. In the process, he had to fight the king's number one guy, Morzan, last of the Forsworn. (You think he put that on his business card?)
He ended up killing Morzan and taking it to the Varden, and then he laid low in Carvahall, ready to train the egg's Rider if and when s/he revealed him/herself (i.e., Eragon).
But how did Saphira's egg land in the Spine?
Brom guesses that it was transported by magic to protect it from the Empire's forces.
So, Eragon asks, are they headed to the Varden now?
Nope—too dangerous, says Brom. There's a lot of political infighting among the Varden. It can get messy. It's actually safer to track down the Ra'zac. After they make the Ra'zac take a permanent dirt nap, Eragon will have to decide whether he wants to join the Varden.
In the meantime, Brom will guide Eragon through his "tuatha du orothrim," which is basically a phase of Eragon's training.
So how does Brom know so much about dragons, anyway?
That will have to wait for another time, says Brom.
Did Brom know Eragon's mom?
Yes, he says, and she was a wonderful woman.
Eragon thinks about everything he's learned on his trip.
Later on, when they stop for dinner, Eragon heads to a stream. He sees an unusual shape in the mud, but when he jumps over to investigate it, he slips and breaks his wrist. Oops.
He's okay, though (he's a tough Dragon Rider), but then he realizes that the shape is an Urgal footprint. And it's fresh.
He mentally shouts at Saphira to protect Brom, then runs back to camp.
When he arrives, Saphira has Brom wrapped up in a big, leathery bear (dragon? dragonbear?) hug. Brom's not too wild about it, but she's just trying to protect him.
They jump on their horses and scout about, which is tough to do with a broken wrist.
Suddenly, they hear a hunting horn. You know who likes hunting horns? Urgals. Time to leave.
Eragon hops on Saphira and Brom takes the horses.
Whew! That was close. They must have outrun—nope. The Urgals are right on their heels. Well, Brom's heels. Eragon is up in the air.
He tells Saphira to land in front of the chasing Urgals to scare them.
Instead, the creatures pull up short and start talking to Eragon.
Looks like their master wants a word.
Eragon considers this, and then politely declines. Actually, he tells the Urgals and their master to go kick rocks.
The Urgals have a counter-offer: they'll just drag him to their master by force.
Eragon counters their counter-offer by blasting them in the mug with some magic. Take that!
It takes a lot out of him, though. He knocks twelve Urgals to the ground, but they recover faster than he does. They head over to get him, but Saphira tears one in half, dragon-style.
Then she grabs Eragon and takes off.
Eragon is spent. When he wakes up, he's back at camp. Saphira and Brom are talking. Saphira takes off. Eragon passes out again.