A/N- Recently read Murtaugh, spun the brain wheels a little bit. interesting how some of my concepts seem to line up with actual canon. In particular some ancient slumbering evils.

Chapter 22– Memories of a Starry Glade


Eragon woke to darkness. Cold stone stung his skin as he jumped up to his feet, momentarily losing balance. A cave? Instantly his mind was met with a whirlwind of emotions, though not his own. Angst. Pain. Grief. Surprise. Relief.

Rain crashed outside, the torrent like waves on the beach. Thunder rumbled so loud it shook the foundations of the earth, as if to cry out with the same anguish.


Warmth ran through his body, vast pools of his soul-bonded partners energy filling him. Hello, Saphira.

I carried your body. You were gone. I…

Anguish was the least of the emotions that he could sense, there was a pain that seemed to cry out from Saphira's core itself. His eyes focused on his surroundings, and he blinked, as if his eyes had never seen before. He felt raw, as if he had just been born, with senses unresponsive to their environment. Thunderous wingbeats pounded in his eardrums as Saphira landed near the mouth of the cave.

I thought I lost you…

I am here, Saphira. I am alive. I come back to you now, though my task has been complete. I did not intend to cause you such pain, and I can only beg your forgiveness.

Your life is all the apology you needed, little one. I fear I would have abandoned these lands and returned to the glittering caves, and given up my life to the mountain. We never should have come here. I think we must understand that our era is over, Eragon. We must accept this gift that you have been given and leave this place with dignity.

He touched her great snout, taking a deep breath, as magic thrummed in the air at their contact.

No, beautiful one. I chose to return for an unfulfilled prophecy, a love that knows no name but of time itself. I waited a thousand years. I have given my blood, my soul, my very life to Alagaesia. I sacrificed everything, because that was my duty. My moral obligation, which I never once regretted. Angela was right, I never did set foot in Alagaesia as Eragon ever again.

You deserve to rest, my warrior. Your hardship is over. Let the cloak of life cling to your bones and set you free from these burdens. No longer do you have to be Eragon the hero, the savior. Let us leave these lands and be at peace!

I agree. Although there is one thing that I must do before we depart.

Saphira tilted her head inquisitively, glaring at him as an amused smile dances across his lips.

One night, many eons ago, in a starry glade, how tall the trees were, how bright the stars were, but my eyes and heart only ever did belong to one. I cannot leave without her knowing that.


Thunder and rain in the forests of Du Weldenvarden. Despair resonating with her footsteps as she walked into the halls of her home. Firnen roared outside, sending the elfkind into desperate shuffles to remove themselves from her path. Darkness gripped her heart as she scowled, despite the grief. The sacrifice of Arucane will not be forgotten. Stranger, yet savior.

Firnen sent a wave of affection towards her, consoling but warm. The rain on her skin felt like ice, as the storm erupted with thunder once more. The cloudburst was like a release of a tied knot. The air itself seemed dense with relief, energy and magic thrumming throughout her court. The halls of Tialdari emptied as she made her way to her quarters.

Two names ran through her mind as she walked, utter opposite in personality, yet…

A strange familiar sense grew stronger as she compared the two men who had ever managed to see her as she was. Eragon…

She wondered if she ever truly knew him or if it was a figment of her imagination, a past so long ago it felt as if it were a different lifetime. The young human boy, bashful and shameless with his affections. He had been such a frustration, with his lack of experience, a mere child in her eyes. But she had watched as he grew, not only in experience but in power, as a true rider, mighty and kind. He had been right in the end, with his purity of heart and what had seemed like naïve hope. His compassion and morality had saved Alagaesia. The farm boy had been the savior of Alagaesia, and of her hope. He knew my name. My true name. He saw everything I was and everything I had ever felt. He saw my admiration and respect for him, and the bond we shared. But I knew his feelings were…different to my own.

Firnen snorted. He loved you. More than anyone ever had. Perhaps even more than I. He had known you for longer, after all. He accepted everything you were and had the potential to be.

His feelings had been a childish infatuation, an obsession with no rationality. He must have known that in his heart, that his feelings would never have been returned the way he so desired.

Her mouth twitched as she lied to herself. Infatuation, obsession, whatever name she gave it, his love had been pure. She had been cruel. Never once allowing him to feel hope, crushing his advances. He still loved me, till the very end.

It had been a thousand years since she had sent him away with a touch on the lips. She looked down at her fingers as memories began to surface.

Why did you never come back…

Old memories. So old she had to focus to recall his face as she said goodbye. It blurred and shifted, and her mind was unable to recollect anything but the look in his eyes as he had bid her farewell. Only one other person, human or elf, had ever looked at her that way.


The enigmatic stranger from a distant land, who had completely broken down every barrier she had put up over the past millennia. He spoke to her as an equal. Vast experience and mystery shrouded his very being, as if inviting her to obsess. His virtue had been just, and he had shown immense power, and the ability to use it for good. He is what Eragon could have become, given the time. It was only his lack of the silver palm and dragon that prevented me from assuming he was part of our order.

Yet, there was no explanation for his strength, his knowledge of magic, his command over nature itself. He swore to us. He made an oath without hesitation. How could he have done so without knowing our nature? He trusted Loivissa so freely, so readily. Why…? What did he see in my illusion that I could not perceive myself. I lied to him. I hid my true face.

What were you supposed to do? The queen of elves come down herself to question this stranger?

He had none of the subservience and sycophantic behavior that was expected for us. What should have been offensive instead was a breath of fresh air. I don't recall the last time I was ever spoken to as a person, not as a queen.

Aye, my little one. You seemed as if you were reborn.

She opened her door to her chambers, peeling off her dripping attire. The cold had numbed her senses, and she couldn't feel more frozen as she slipped into the warm water of her bath. The water seemed to get colder as she entered it, rather than give her comforting warmth.

Mairon. I failed him. His fall from grace was something that should not have been unforeseen. The darkness that possessed him was something ancient and evil, but it was his own resentment and scorn that allowed him to fall prey to it. I fear that will not be the last time we encounter such an evil.

You could not have known the truth of this, Arya. There are darker things at play here. An evil stirs that has not awoken for many a year.

Arya felt a chill grow up her spine. We cannot face this alone, Firnen. We need the other riders. Other dragons. We need…we must find Bjartskular.


Warmth finally seeped into her bones as her heart twisted with a sudden realization. A flurry of memories struck her as she sat bolt upright.

"How tall the trees, how bright the stars... and how beautiful you are, O Arya Svit-kona."

A/N- I do intend to finish this story, eventually. An itch that has been on my mind for almost 8 years. Seems like an eternity (badmtsss)