The doubt I'm having is if Urû'baen is:

A) just under a huge cantilever: cantilever

B) just at the base of a huge cliff, like Minas Tirith: Minas-Tirith

C) just inside a huge lightly eroded cave: cave urubaen

D) just inside an eroded volcano caldera volcano city

E) None of the previously mentioned (explain why+description+site).


1 Answer 1


Q. Do you have any concept art of Urû'baen or Ilirea? We wouldn't find much and we want to do the capital city justice!

Christopher Paolini: You can see the small painting of Ilirea/Urû'baen in this.
Per Twitter

enter image description here

The painting described seems to be this one from Eldest;

"It depicted a beautiful, towering city built against an escarpment and caught in the ruddy light of a rising harvest moon."

And this is the image of the city from The Official Eragon Colouring Book

enter image description here

Inheritance contains a fair description.

“What interested him most, however, was not the wall or the buildings, but the fact that much of the city lay shadowed underneath a huge stone shelf, which must have been over half a mile wide and five hundred feet thick at its narrowest. The overhang formed one end of a massive, sloping hill that stretched off to the northeast for several miles. Atop the craggy lip of the shelf stood another wall, like that which surrounded the city, and several thick watchtowers.

At the back of the cavelike recess underneath the shelf was an enormous citadel adorned with a profusion of towers and parapets. The citadel rose high above the rest of the city, high enough that it almost scraped the underside of the shelf. Most intimidating of all was the gate set within the front of the fortress: a great, gaping cavern that looked large enough for Saphira and Thorn to walk through side by side.”

  • Twitter edited for ease of reading.
    – Valorum
    May 28, 2022 at 11:50
  • This looks like a mix of A and C. May 28, 2022 at 11:57
  • Isn't it a bit impractical to have the city shrouded in shadows 22 hours of the day? May 29, 2022 at 11:04
  • I'd be more concerned about the fact that it's held up by magic
    – Valorum
    May 29, 2022 at 11:58
  • Well, I always thought that the overhang didn't cover more than a third of the city. However with the setting of the image, the streets must need streetlights at all hours of the day (or those flameless torches). Otherwise, the criminality rate would shoot up through the ceiling (pun intended). Also, it's difficult to do things in the darkness, like distinguishing between fellow soldiers of the Empire or those of the Varden. May 29, 2022 at 16:51

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