The guildmerge is held in what was once Alexi’s experiment chamber. Not much is left from that time, only the massive fireplace, and the bookshelves. The ‘secret’ passageway behind the fireplace is now used to bring in firewood during winter, and is no longer a secret. One of the Misfits (do they call themselves that still, or are they just people?) Lina, believes Obernewtyn is full of secret passageways and is forever testing walls to check for hollowness. Since Rushton’s take over, Obernewtyn has been altered to make it easier to get from one place to another, removing the endless mazes of corridors. Today’s meeting is a full guildmerge, where all wards, guildens and guildmasters are present. One very useful rule in guildmerge is to restrict all communication to verbal, to stop people having private conversations.Dameon is present, and we learn that he is the guildmaster of the Empath guild, and also that he can transmit emotions, something I don’t believe we have heard before.
Rushton begins to speak and mentions that they want to abolish the name of Misfit in the land (what am I supposed to call them then to identify them…? And yet they seem to refer to themselves as Misfits as well…). But before Rushton can deal with why he called the guildmerge, he must first listen to all other matters, as he usually speaks last. The guildmaster of the Beasting guild, Alad wanted to discuss whether the beasts themselves should have a seat at the guildmerge, and who should represent them, but Rushton postponed that discussion to next guildmerge. To which Alad, declares the Beasts will be unhappy.
The Coercer guild wants a competition between the coercers to find a ‘champion’. I wonder how a winner could be declared, does the person have to be knocked out or when is someone declared beat? The futuretellers were opposed to the idea, saying it will incite hatred and aggression. The Healers were even more opposed to the idea, but before it unleashed into a full blown argument Rushton stepped in and declared the Coercers to draft a plan for the competition and present it next guildmerge.
Elspeth then proposed that the ban on Tecknoguild expeditions be lifted. This is unusual as Elspeth is a Farseeker not a Teckno-person (is there a name for that yet?), but Elspeth assures the guildmerge that it concerns her guild because she wants to propose a joint expedition. The ban had been put in place as members of the Tecknoguild often ventured into the fringes of the Blacklands to find ruins, and after a confrontation with Henry Druid’s men at a newly found ruin, that killed many it was declared too dangerous. But Elspeth doesn’t want to go near the Blacklands, which puzzles Rushton, as Tecknoguild members are only concerned with ruins in the Blacklands. The Tecknoguild is an odd, hard to define, guild where members have a sort of empathy for inanimate things, some can move things using their minds, and all have a passion and interest in the past. The Tecknoguild is based the in the caves where Alexi and co housed the Zebkrahn machine.
That morning Elspeth had been requested by Pavo to go to the cave network, and she indulged the offer, despite her previous experiences with the place. The place had changed with the addition of ‘homely comforts’ like rugs and tables and chairs but the Zebkrahn machine remained. The machine had been altered to allow Farseekers to double their range and enhance their powers. Back at the guildmerge Elspeth begins her story, but Pavo intervenes sharing his news. Recently they had been able to use the machine to get over tainted ground, something that previously was impossible even for Elspeth. Elspeth had been called to see that the machine was registering a talent at the fringe of its limits.
This big news because normally for a weak or normal talent a farseeker would need to be involved, but for a stronger power, like Elspeth, the machine can detect it alone. This means there is someone out there possibly stronger than Elspeth, and a power like that is worth investigating. The Tecknoguild are interested in the journey because there is a storage of books nearby that they previously found out about. The thing is though, it is far away. Somewhere between Aborium and Murmroth, which are on the other side of ‘the Land’ (what a boring name!) and are only accessible by the main roads, even having to go through Sutrium. Rushton was full of anger, because he realised that his words of sending an expedition to Sutrium prompted Elspeth to suggest this equally dangerous journey.
Pavo though, suggests that they do not have to go on the main roads, and there is another way. Rushton however has never heard of the route he proposes. They will have to leave immediately and those who go will miss ‘winter’ at Obernewtyn (I think that is what Matthew said through his thick accent). Rushton reveals that he called this guildmerge to talk about sending an expedition to Sutrium after hearing rumours of strangers asking about Obernewtyn, possibly Councilmen. He mentions that they were enquiring about how much damage Obernewtyn had sustained due to a ‘firestorm’ I don’t remember hearing anything about this previously (maybe I missed it), which obviously didn’t happen and must be a fake story. He wants to set up a ‘safe house’ in Sutrium.
The purpose of the safehouse is to be close to the action in Sutrium and allow safer passage through the area. Matthew raises some concern on whether someone might get caught and will reveal the location of the safe house, risking people’s lives. But Rushton raises a good point that they are still at risk just sitting in Obernewtyn, and it would be better to be proactive. Rushton proposes that they accept Elspeth’s proposal of an expedition, and another person will journey with them and will break off to go to Sutrium and begin to establish a safehouse.
The proposal of a three-purpose expedition is voted on and it is unanimous, and the journey will go ahead, now they just have to choose the people and prepare for the expedition. The meeting has nearly ended, but was interrupted by Christa, telling Elspeth that Maruman is having some sort of fit and that she should go with her quickly.