Chapter 20: New Arrivals
A loud cry pierced the silence as the city of Illeria welcomed the new day. The people slowly started to wake for their everyday work, as merchants shouted the qualities of their goods, and men and women walked in the market place to get to their jobs. The market place was in the centre of the city, and people could find a wide variety of products, from agricultural products to odd trinkets found in Alagaesia and anything a person could ever dream of. As usual, the roads were full of carts and two men shouted at each other as they almost had an accident, their faces red with anger as they cursed at each other. A blacksmith was hitting a piece of metal to form it, as a customer entered the building and grimaced at the loud monotonous sound. However, the most interesting movement was the people forming groups and discussing about the war and the impending attack of King Orrin's army. Would the city be prepared enough for the siege on time? Some people were shouting, arguing that the city would never be ready and would fall as the others scolded at them and called them traitors. One of these groups almost broke into a fight as a man pushed another, trying to prove his point. With great hast, soldiers came running and broke the fight before anyone was hurt.
A lone woman walked the streets with care as she looked at the proceedings with interest. She was walking in the street with a proud look, tall and beautiful, with her long auburn hair waving from the light breeze. She wore a light green dress, which had the color of her eyes. Everywhere she looked, she saw people talking about the war, the impending attack and arrival of King Orrin, and she felt butterflies flying in her stomach as the anxiety of wether shed would see Roran and if he would survive the war kicked in. She marveled once again at the changes in the city, from the end of the war against Galbatorix. The walls of the city were still strong and impenetrable, and the gates were always guarded by the best soldiers available. In the section near the entrance of the city, there was a large inn called "The Broken Wizard", its name a reference to its owner, a old Du Vrangr Gata member who had been crippled during the war. People entered the tavern and exited, singing obscene songs, drinking and eating.
The inn was full but the people from Dras Leona had already arrived and many of these people had been forced to sleep in the streets outside. Children ran around playing as their parents prayed to all the Gods for safety. Still, the new buildings that had been built in the place of the old ruins could still be marveled upon as the small beautiful houses led towards the inner and more rich neighborhoods of the city. Most of the houses were built out of bricks, and their roofs were built with wood. Katrina stopped to admire a beautiful house that had been built on the ruins of an old barrack, its tall brick walls and the beautiful plants in the garden giving it a majestic view. White richly decorated columns had been placed on the entrance and the outer fence of the house had an iron fence that made nice shapely patterns. She opened the door of the house with a key and she closed the door behind her making sure that it was locked.
Katrina had time to admire the expensive living room, decorated with paintings of nature and ships, at the comfortable couches and at the table in the middle, that had on it a small decorative statue of a woman. She wished she had time to relax. A loud scream pierced the silence as Alaina came running down the stairs, her brother Garrow chasing her close behind as they played a game of hide and seek. Alaina arrived first at the wall and Garrow was second.
"You cheated!" Garrow shouted.
"I didn't!" Ismira shouted back.
"You saw where I hid." Garrow accused her again.
"Enough!" Katrina said louder than she wanted to. She wished Roran was there but he was busy organizing the army and their provisions as well as the defense of the city. He had arrived in Illeria only two days before and he had seen her for a very short amount of time before he had to go. He had not seen them since the early morning.
"Ismira, have you finished studying?"
"Yes mama" Ismira said obediently.
Garrow was already playing with a fake sword, swinging it around the room, making swoosh and clashing noises as he pretended to fight a very skillful sword duel.
"Swoosh cling swish ...I have defeated you king Orrin!" Garrow said imagining the scene.
Katrina smiled and gave her son a hug.
"My hero!" she said kissing him as Garrow blushed.
Suddenly, a series of loud horns could be heard in the distance. People ran out of their homes with worried expressions, thinking that it was King Orrin and his army. Children screamed, women wailed and hid in their homes, locking the doors of their homes. However, a loud cheer was heard after a few minutes from the army on the walls. A few moments passed and suddenly a man came running shouting"The elves have arrived! The elves have arrived!"as he ran as fast as he could to spread the news in the city. People cheered and laughed, blessing High Queen Nasuada for her foresight and the elves for the help.
Katrina left the house along with her children, to go and see the arrival of the elves. Half an hour passed before the elves were outside the gates of the city of Illeria and the people near the gate were pushing each other for the spectacle that they were going to see.
The gates slowly opened and the elves began to enter the city neatly, as if in a military parade. Elven swordsmen in white shining armor, their swords drawn and held in their hands as row after row they entered the city of Illeria, some of them moving their swords so fast that it was almost impossible to see the movement. Elven spear men and bowmen, their weapons ready to be used, marched proudly in the city, their heads held high as they made quick elaborate military formations. A line of elven horses, the cavalry of the elven army, could be seen as the noble elves sitting on them looked at the people in the city, commanding their horses to move only with their minds. Suddenly a burst of lightning and thunder and a wall of fire could be seen as a group of very powerful elven sorceresses, even amongst elves, appeared. Men sighed at their beauty and women scoffed as they slowly passed in front of the humans.
Finally, a green dragon landed from the sky, its powerful wings creating a loud noise and a cloud of dust was lifted in the air as with a flying pirouette it landed right behind the elven army, right after releasing a small burst of green fire that passed harmlessly away from the group of elven magicians. A roar could be heard coming from the dragon and finally it stopped. The dragon looked with its majestic eyes at the people, searching for something. A beautiful elven woman jumped from its back, and landed next to Firnen. She wore a green dress, that matched the scales of her dragon and her long black raven hair were tied in an elaborate way, so as not to bother her while flying. Her bright green eyes and red lips marked her beauty.
Roran Stronghammer, dressed formally, with an elegant white shirt and black pants, his hammer on his expensive belt, greeted the elves with a powerful voice.
"Friends, I am glad you have arrived in the city to fight alongside us honoring your alliance with us. We welcome you in the city with a warm heart! We hope that fighting together we will become a spear in the heart of our enemy, we will defeat the tyrant King Orrin and position Nasuada in her rightful place, as High Queen of the Empire".
His soldiers cheered at his words and Arya walked a few steps before replying.
"We thank you for the trust you have put upon us and it is an honor to fight alongside friends again in a common cause." Arya replied.
"Let us drink, celebrate and be merry for it is a happy day today! To our honorable and loyal friends" Roran shouted and ended the discussion. Another cheer followed his words and the people waiting in the streets dispersed searching for a tavern to drink and celebrate.
Katrina smiled as she saw Roran hugging Arya breaking diplomatic protocol. The same people that had been worrying endlessly about whether the city would survive the siege were now celebrating and drinking their morale lifted and their worries gone. That was what a true leader of men could do.
Roran tore his gaze from the elves and his men and searched in the crowd and their eyes finally met, a wide smile appearing on Katrina's face. They both looked at each other and slowly made their way through the crowd, Ismira and Garrow following close behind Katrina, and when they met they kissed each other for a long time as a cheer erupted from the humans and elves around them.