Now a resting ground for hundreds of deceased dragons and Riders, Vroengard Island and its capital, Doru Araeba were referenced and discussed throughout the entirety of the series. What once once represented the Riders’ strength and their status as a beacon of hope and prosperity was reduced to rubble in a single battle. For years, the island stood as a cautionary tale for those who dared oppose Galbatorix. It was here that the mad Rider and his allies committed the atrocities that nearly led to the extinction of the dragons and the fall of the Riders.
Radiation permeates throughout the island to this day, a result of the dragon Thuviel sacrificing himself in an attempt to defeat Galbatorix and the Foresworn. The land’s poison resulted in the creation several new species, including the snalglí and burrow grubs encountered by Eragon, Saphira, and Glaedr. Most importantly, it was here that Eragon finally discovered the Vault of Souls.
In this incredible piece of fan art, the talented artist Eumenidi captures the moment when Eragon, Saphira, and Glaedr fly over the mountains and first glimpse Doru Araeba in the Inheritance chapter “Amid the Ruins”. The graphic novel-style strip shows Eragon’s shock, anger, and reaction as they explore 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.
While the piece itself is impressive, the artist’s process from line and ink drawings to the completed, colored illustration is interesting in itself: