The Second Battle of the Burning Plains was a conflict that took place between the Imperial Army of Galbatorix and the combined armies of the Varden and Surda on The Burning Plains (Du Völlar Eldrvarya in the Ancient Language). The plains were located to the west of the Jiet River in southern Alagaësia.
The Rider War began with the Battle under Farthen Dûr. After the Varden took the victory, Galbatorix's Urgal army fell apart after the shade Durza was slain by Eragon and the king was forced to rely on his standard forces. The Varden had meanwhile relocated to the independent, human nation of Surda.
Preparing for battleEdit
Gil'ead was one of the Broddring Empire's largest strongholds and it housed a large number of well-trained troops. Galbatorix ordered his newest servant, Murtagh, to lead the army into Surda and crush the resistance. Murtagh used black magic to hide the army from the sight of the rebel spies.
Despite Murtagh's attempts to keep his forces concealed, a Varden agent in Urû'baen spotted the Imperial army and alerted the Varden and Surdans, who immediately requested aid from the dwarf king, Hrothgar, as well as marched north to The Burning Plains to meet the enemy army.
Varden alliance with the Kull & UrgalsEdit
Just prior to the battle, a tribe of Kull and Urgals marched to the Varden camp under a flag of truce. They requested permission to serve under the Varden commanders and to fight against the Broddring Empire. Despite the misgivings of Eragon, Jörmundur, and Orik, a treaty was made between the two entities. The Kull leader allowed Eragon to read his mind, gaining his trust and allowing them to serve as his bodyguards. Garvzhog and his troops then performed a Death chant.
The Battle BeginsEdit
Angela the witch, siding with the Varden, was able to infiltrate the Imperial camp and poison the army's food and water supplies. Despite the disapproval of the dwarves, this act would greatly aid the Varden and contributed to the resistance's victory. She would use both poison and the hallucinogenic plant nightshade for the officers.
During the first night, the Varden, led by Eragon, Nasuada, and Orrin, attacked from the south, while the Surdan cavalry and their Kull allies attacked from the east, pinning the Imperial army in between. This gave the Varden a few moments of respite before the Broddring Empire's army regrouped. A bloody stalemate followed, until Hrothgar arrived with reinforcements. The fresh troops momentarily gave the Varden the upper hand.
Brother against BrotherEdit
In the thick of the fray, however, an enemy Dragon Rider appeared, mounted on a red dragon. He killed Hrothgar with a bolt of red energy, which also took the lives of many dwarven spellcasters who had placed protective wards around Hrothgar. The dwarves forsook the battle to carry the body of their king to safety. Desiring revenge, Eragon and Saphira dueled with the new Rider, first in the air, then on the ground. At length, Eragon was able to pull off the enemy Rider's helm, revealing Murtagh.
Eragon's one-time friend and ally explained that he had been taken to Urû'baen by The Twins - actually spies for the Broddring Empire - and forced to swear allegiance to Galbatorix when Thorn hatched for him. He was then sent to The Burning Plains with orders to capture Eragon and Saphira alive. Galbatorix needed Saphira, the last female dragon in existence, if he was to reestablish the Dragon Riders as he planned. Despite his orders and at his own expense, Murtagh decided to spare Eragon for the present. However, before leaving Murtagh ripped his father's sword, Zar'roc, as well as sheath from Eragon. It was then Murtagh revealed that Selena was his mother, making Morzan Eragon's possible father.
With the arrival of the villagers of Carvahall, the tide of the battle turned once again to the Varden's favor. Using the ballistae mounted on the Dragon Wing, the villagers fired on the Imperial army. Roran defeated the Twins using his war hammer and the remaining Imperial forces were forced to retreat. The rebels gained the victory once more.
The battle resulted in the reunion of Eragon and Roran. Roran told his cousin of the Battle of Carvahall and the capture of his love, Katrina. Eragon agreed to go to the Helgrind and try to rescue Katrina and kill the Ra'zac. He also revealed his true parentage to Roran, Arya, and Nasuada. They agree not to reveal that Eragon is Morzan's son, as it would make men less likely to join the Varden.
The Dwarves returned to their homes to bury their fallen leader, King Hrothgar, so that he could enter the afterlife and so their clan chiefs could vote a new Grimstborith on the throne.
The battle was also a major strategic victory for the Varden. With their army in retreat, the Broddring Empire could not realistically defend the southern cities of Aroughs & Feinster against a counterattack.
Both sides fully utilized magic in their combat tactics. A magician could set a ward around a unit of soldiers, ensuring their protection for as long as the magician was unharmed. The magicians of the Du Vrangr Gata searched for Imperial magicians and eliminated them. Afterwards, they were able to destroy the units that had been under the protection of the enemy magicians. This strategy was employed throughout this battle.
- Lady Nasuada
- King Hrothgar
- Nar Garzhvog
- ↑ Eldest, p.622
Battle of Ithrö Zhâda | Battle under Farthen Dûr | Battle of Carvahall | Battle of The Burning Plains | Battle of the Jiet River | Battle of Ceunon | Battle of Feinster | Battle of Gil'ead | Siege of Belatona | Siege of Aroughs | Siege of Dras-Leona | Abduction of Nasuada | Battle of Urû'baen