As Eragon and Saphira pass the night before battle, Orik arrives to tell them that he and the dwarves will protect them physically while they use magic against the enemy magicians. Sensing presences returning from enemy lines, they find Angela and her werecat, who refuse to say what they were doing there, but who have Nasuada’s blessing when she appears. She then asks Eragon not to involve the other magicians in a fight against Galbatorix, since they would be needlessly killed, urges him to accept Urgal guards along with his dwarf protectors, and asks him to assume command of the Varden if she is killed.
Mollified, he turns to the Urgals, who surprise him by thanking and honoring him for breaking Durza’s control over them. They allow him to read their minds to test for treacherous intent, and instead he discovers that they are less monstrous than he had thought.
When dawn comes, the Varden hear shrieks coming from the enemy camp, the result of Angela’s nighttime outing; she used her herbalist skills to poison as many of the troops as possible.