Elspeth has a dream (obviously she feel asleep at some stage). It is an odd, terrifying dream that startles her to wake. I cannot really make sense of what happened in her dream, so I have no idea how she would be able to process it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream that has startled me to wake up, I’ve certainly had some really weird dreams but nothing that has ever been ‘scary’ or ‘frightening’, so I don’t know what it is like to wake up in fear of something that happened in your dream. But I can imagine that it is not a pleasant experience.
The scene that she sees when she awakes is just as terrifying. The sky is dark with clouds and full of lightening, even the horses are afraid. A nearby lightening strike spooked the horses into a gallop, which on a steep winding road is not something you want to happen. Rain poured so much it was hard to see the landscape but it looked bleak, ugly and any life was gnarled. Oddly, at once, the rain stopped and the horses were back under control, as if they passed through some sort of invisible shield or something. The land changed from just bleak to something where no life could ever grow. A terrible smell emanates from the ground, and vapours rise from cracks in the earth. It is an alien terrain. Then the storm was back, but this time it was a strong wind that battered the carriage and not rain.
The guardian woke up once the storm had passed. But it was no normal storm, it was created by the Blacklands and is permanent. Obernewtyn is still far away, which makes me wonder how on earth Lucas Seraphim found the place many years ago, if the land was even worse than what it is now. How could he know that there was a place just beyond a patch of taint that was safe?
It seemed like forever, but eventually they had reached Obernewtyn. I don’t think Elspeth had expected anything like it. The grounds seemed to go on forever and were surrounded by a high stone wall. The place itself was more like a collection of buildings than one big mansion, it was big enough to house hundreds of people. The front doors were heavily carved and according to Elspeth looked ‘out of place’ compared to the stark, bleak, unimaginative surroundings. The doors were carved with ‘fantastical’ scenes. I wonder who carved them if they had on them ‘blasphemous things’ obviously no Lud fearing person, but someone else.
This is the first time I have ever seen the word, candelabrum, I can picture what it is, but I never knew it had a name! I thought it would be a candle holder, or something, but this is much more sophisticated. There are so many words that I don’t know, or aren’t used it ‘common speech’ that are so fantastic and interesting, and sound beautiful, it is such a shame that they aren’t used more.
But the meeting between Guardian Hester and a new Guardian, Myrna, seems like a bit of a look into the ‘politics’ of Obernewtyn. Myrna is obviously more influential and ‘powerful’ than Hester, and can order her around, and even sends her back with the coachman to return to wherever she came from. Apparently there are ‘temporary’ guardians, who aren’t allowed to stay in Obernewtyn (I wonder why, there looks like there is a lot of room) and ‘permanent’ guardians who live at Obernewtyn. Do the temporary ones just transport them to make sure they don’t disappear, I don’t really see the point of them? Maybe it will come clear later, maybe not.
But Elspeth is put into one of the many rooms, and locked inside, until a permanent room can be found. It is cold, dreary, so Elspeth tries to go to sleep. I think it will be interesting to see what happens in the morning, and how much of Obernewtyn we see. The real fun has begun!