An amazingly talented artist by the name of Eumenidi on DeviantArt recently illustrated one of the most memorable and awe-inspiring scenes in the Inheritance Cycle: when Eragon and Saphira first visit the ruins of Vroengard Island in the Inheritance chapter “Amid the Ruins”:
The thick gray clouds parted, and from his place on Saphira’s back, Eragon beheld the interior of Vroengard Island.
Before them was a huge bowl-shaped valley, encircled by the steep mountains they had seen poking through the tops of the clouds. A dense forest of spruce, pine, and fir trees blanketed the sides of the mountains as well as the foothills below, like an army of prickly soldiers marching down from the peaks. The trees were tall and mournful, and even from a distance Eragon could see the beards of moss and lichen that hung from their heavy branches.Scraps of white mist clung to the sides of the mountains, and in several places throughout the valley, diffuse curtains of rain drifted from the ceiling of clouds.
High above the valley floor, Eragon could see a number of stone structures among the trees: tumbled, overgrown entrances to caves; the husks of burnt-out towers; grand halls with collapsed roofs; and a few smaller buildings that looked as if they might still be habitable.
A dozen or more rivers flowed out of the mountains and wandered across the verdant ground until they poured into a large, still lake near the center of the valley. Around the lake lay the remnants of the Riders’ city, Doru Araeba. The buildings were immense—great empty halls of such enormous proportions that many could have encompassed the whole of Carvahall. Every door was like the mouth to a vast, unexplored cavern. Every window was as tall and wide as a castle gate, and every wall was a sheer cliff.
Thick mats of ivy strangled the blocks of stone, and where there was no ivy there was moss, which meant that the buildings blended into the landscape and looked as if they had grown out of the earth itself. What little of the stone was bare tended to be a pale ocher, although patches of red, brown, and dusky blue were also visible.
Almost all the buildings were damaged, some more severely than others. The damage seemed to radiate outward from a single point near the southern edge of the city, where a wide crater sank more than thirty feet into the ground. A copse of birch trees had taken root in the depression, and their silvery leaves shook in the gusts of the directionless breeze.
The open areas within the city were overgrown with weeds and brush, while a fringe of grass surrounded each of the flagstones that formed the streets.Where the buildings had sheltered the Riders’ gardens from the blast that had ravaged the city, dull-colored flowers still grew in artful designs, their shapes no doubt governed by the dictates of some long-forgotten spell.
Altogether, the circular valley presented a dismal picture.
Behold the ruins of our pride and glory, said Glaedr.
For those of you who are curious about the process behind this artist’s interpretation of “Amid the Ruins”, you can view a process sketch photo and a black and white version of the piece:
Now we ask: Do you feel as though this piece accurately represents the vision you had in your head of the scene?