As they continue their river journey into Du Weldenvarden, the elves tell Eragon about the first humans who lived in Alagaësia, in the area around Carvahall. The aggression of their power-hungry king, and the feuding of his descendents, convinced the leader of the Dragon Riders to allow humans to become Riders and oversee their fallible governments. But this system backfired because no one oversaw the Riders themselves, so Galbatorix was able to seize power.
Eragon also learns that at some point in history elves became immoral, although he is unable to find out how. This prompts him to ask Arya’s age; both the elf and Orik warn Eragon not to get romantically attached to her, and Eragon feels humiliated that his feelings were so apparent. It turns out that Arya is 100 years old, young for an elf. Later that evening, Arya coldly shoots a dying falcon to save it from further suffering.