May. 13th, 2012

kippurbird: (Zombies! The answer to everything!)
[personal profile] kippurbird
No rest for the Weary

Nope. None for me. .. Oh, we weren’t talking about me? I don’t see why not? I’m allowed to have feelings too!


This chapter goes back to Roran.


The chapter starts with Roran showing us that he’s coming along the ax-crazy path just as nicely as his cousin. He sees Nasuada’s Speshul Guards, the Nighthawks standing outside the room she’s in. They consist of two humans, two dwarves and two urgals.

… wait.

Wouldn’t it be better to have some of the guards inside?

There better be more guards inside.

*looks ahead*


I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have people not guarding the door, but I think it would make sense to have at least SOME of your elite guards, actually, you know, guarding you in sight. That way they don’t have to open the door and get to you just in case someone managed to get through... say the window or sneak in disguised as someone. There’s all these pages running around and there aren’t any magicians apparently checking everyone at the door to make sure you are who you say you are.

This is just me, thinking.

I know they’re supposed to be like the Secret Service or something, but I’m fairly certain that in a strange and hostile territory the Secret Service wouldn’t be letting Obama alone with a bunch of people, especially when you can use magic to disguise yourself.

Though, no one has done that, have they?

Mind control, sure, but shapeshifting, I can’t recall.

Anyway, I digress. Roran comes up and sees the Nighthawks as he’s approaching Nasuda’s offices.

The ‘Hawks have flat empty, eyes and Roran kept his face equally as blank as he stared back. Empty eyes =/= blank face. Empty eyes generally means devoid of soul, life, mind, anything going on upstairs. Blank face generally means trying not to show your emotions, not having a lack of emotions. Eyes =/= face. You can have a blank eyes but an expressive face. Generally that’s how you know something is wrong.

But it sounds good.

Roran knows that they’re trying to figure out how to kill him.

Why? Because he’s trying to figure out how to kill them.

Not if he was in their position he’d be trying to figure out how to kill him. He’s trying to figure out how to kill them.

Despite the Nighthawks’ lack of expression, he knew they were busy figuring out the fastest and most efficient ways to kill him. He knew, because he was doing the same with regard to them, as he always did.

I’d have to backtrack as fast as I could … spread them out a bit, he decided. The men would get to me first; they’re faster than the dwarves, and they’d slow the Urgals behind them.… Have to get those halberds away from them. It’d be tricky, but I think I could—one of them, at least. Might have to throw my hammer. Once I had a halberd, I could keep the rest at a distance. The dwarves wouldn’t stand much of a chance, then, but the Urgals would be trouble. Ugly brutes, those.… If I used that pillar as cover, I could—


Actually, I think, if the Urgals are faster, there’s no reason why the men would get to him first. They could just push through. Though I don’t know how they’re set up.

I feel like rolling initiative.

I have a character in the epic fantasy I’m writing. At one point he is with a group of others and lays out, in rather chilling detail exactly what he would do to take over the kingdom that belongs to some of the other people in the group. Why? Because these are things he thinks about for fun. You know what else? He’s evil. Or at least seriously dark gray. He gets weirded out looks when he explains this and then yelled at by his brother.

Honestly, though, I think what he’s trying to do here is a “Sherlock Scan” like in the Robert Downey Jr. Movies. Planning out the attacks so he knows what to do. It’s to make him look like a tactician, perhaps. But instead, in this circumstance, it looks like he’s trying to kill his allies.

The guards have every right to try and figure out how to kill him; it’s their job. But why is Roran trying to figure out how to kill them?

Sure, there’s paranoia, but it’s not presented like this. It’s presented like a game he’s doing.

This is cemented when the door opens and some of the guards twitch at the noise.

Several of the guards twitched, distracted, and their stares wavered for a second. Roran smiled as he swept past them and into the room beyond, knowing that their lapse, slight as it was, would have allowed him to kill at least two before they could have retaliated. Until next time, he thought

Since when has Roran gotten superspeed that it would take him less than a second to kill two people, especially when he’s not in front of them right away. At least, I don’t think he is. Unless we’re talking about D&D terms again, when a combat round is 6 seconds. But even then it usually takes more than one hit to kill someone who isn’t a minion (4th ed). And I’m assuming these guys aren’t minions. And they wouldn’t be caught off guard completely. A second isn’t really enough to stop focusing completely on a possible threat.

It’d be one thing if it was Eragon, but Roran’s still human.

Last I checked.

He smirks at the guards and saunters in. Nasuada is in a room with a bunch of peoples and she’s yelling about how she doesn’t care if it gives someone a pain in their “ goiter”.

Which is throat or glands in their throat.

Which is not the image I think he was going for.

I don’t think...

She’s talking about how he needs to get her these horseshoes even if it is a pain in his goiter. If they don’t have the horseshoes then they might as well eat their horses.

All the people are nodding in agreement. This is apparently good leadership qualities. Getting people to nod in fear of you.

As one, the men she addressed answered in the affirmative. They sounded somewhat intimidated, even abashed. Roran found it both strange and impressive that Nasuada, a woman, was able to command such respect from her warriors, a respect that he shared. She was one of the most determined and intelligent people he had ever known, and he was convinced that she would have succeeded no matter where she had been born

I haven’t seen any signs of intelligence from her. Determined, yes, but intelligence no. I’m not sure how to respond to the whole she’s a woman so it’s impressive bit. It’s like he’s trying to show that even though she’s a woman she can do awesome things, but he’s sort of telling instead of showing. Like he does everything else.

After sending eight warriors away with their heads hanging and sending a page out with a note for some dwarf, (after frightening the boy “half out of his wits”) Nasuada turns her attention to Roran.

She wonders how he’s doing. He mentions about the baby and how he wasn’t sleeping well. She wants to know if he was apart of the vigil for the baby. He did not. He went to sleep.

Then she tells him she wants him to go to Aroughs to help end the siege. He has less than a week to do so. Roran admits he has no experience with breaking sieges and she should send someone else. Unfo -- I mean conveniently - - there’s no one else she can send. Martland, he who got his hand cut off is suggested, but she says you can’t ride a full gallop with one hand, because he’s going to be riding horses at full gallop changing them every ten miles.


You stay on the horse with your legs, thighs and knees. That’s how you’re supposed to do it. Mounted archers? Ride and shoot, while at full gallop. Hey mom no hands.

Also you can’t ride a horse at a full gallop the entire time. The horse would keel over and die. I’m pleased that we’re switching horses every ten miles, but even so a horse can’t ride that far all the time at a gallop.

So. Really. This is just stupid plot convenience.

Also because of this:

There are others among the Varden who know more about the arts of war, it’s true—men who have been in the field longer, men who received instruction from the finest warriors of their father’s generation—but when swords are drawn and battle is joined, it’s not knowledge or experience that matters most, it’s whether you can win, and that’s a trick you seem to have mastered. What’s more, you’re lucky.”

Lucky doesn’t always mean good luck.
Also, I’d rather trust someone who had experience and training than someone who just runs in hammer swinging like a mad man. You know, someone who knows how to lead, and plan and have tactics. Though I suppose Roran is supposed to have that too.

The line, “it’s not knowledge or experience that matters most, it’s whether you can win,” is utterly... nonsense. Generally it’s knowledge and experience that lets you win. You shouldn’t count on luck. Lady luck is a fickle woman, often leaving those who need her most.

Anyway, since he can fight. Follow orders (when he wants to... which generally doesn’t mean you’re good at following orders.) and lead a raiding party he’s clearly ready to lead a group of about eight hundred men in a siege.

He’s getting promoted to captain, temporarily. I didn’t even know he had a rank before this. Apparently he didn’t. But now he gets one. Or something. And if he does good he may get more rank, if not he’ll get busted. Or something.

Out of the men sent there earlier only eight hundred out of a thousand are still fighting condition. I dunno... that’s pretty good in my books. If it was eight hundred no longer in working condition, then they’d have a problem.

Also, now that I think about it, once the siege is broken, are they going to do with the city? You still need to hold a city when the siege is over. Which requires men. So, she’s sending Roran to break the siege and then bring the men back without leaving any to hold the city.

Why is she smart again?

When Roran asks to take some men with him, she allows it.

She then gives Roran his orders and commission asking if he knows how to read. He doesn’t. Roran didn’t figure he ever needed to, since he can count and do figures. One really doesn’t have anything to do with the other. But since he was a farmer he didn’t really need to.

For once Nasuada comes up with something intelligent to say. She says that he needs to learn how to read because he has to be able to read orders. If he can’t then the underling who reads it for him might give him wrong information. This is a VERY good point. This is also probably why nobles ended up as officers, because they had this skill.

Finally he asks if he can see Eragon before he goes. Nasuada wants to know why and he says that the spells that Eragon put on him for protection are wearing off as opposed to … saying good-bye... yea God Roran he’s your only family left and the only reason why you want to see him before you leave is for some extra buffs? Good guy there. Yup.

He’s told he can’t see Eragon to get his buffs because Eragon is exhausted. Apparently this was visible in the visit with the were-cat king. I checked the chapter. There’s no mention of exhaustion or being tired there. Hello informed attribute of plot convenience.

She’s also pissed that Eragon healed the girl’s lip, noble as it may be, because it drained him enough that he might not be able to fight against Galby if he decides to show up. He needs to horde his strength. Because you know, that girl’s lip should have taken up SO much energy, unlike the time he cured CANCER.

He agrees that she’s right and he shouldn’t ask Eragon for such protections. When he leaves, Nasuada says that he should be careful and not burn the entire city down. Because they’re hard to replace.

As opposed to all the life that will be lost if he burns it down. I’m not sure if she’s joking or not though, as we don’t get a description of how she says it.

So, what do we have with this chapter: Roran getting a promotion because he’s a PC. Nasuada showing she’s a brilliant leader by giving Roran the promotion, thinking that once you break a siege you can just leave the city, terrifying her underlings which means she’s a good leader. And we’re killing horses again.

Poor things.


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Kippur Critiques Bad Books

January 2016


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