Elspeth was woken by something, having safely arrived back to her current lodgings after meeting Lidgebaby! She heard someone calling her name through the window, obviously she thought that this could be a trap, who would be calling her name in the middle of the night when she is a prisoner? The person told her that they came from a friend of hers, Gilaine. Clearly Gilaine couldn’t come by herself, because it would be difficult to rouse Elspeth, but can she be sure this person can be trusted? She allows the person to unlock her door, hoping that it is not a trap.
The man’s name is Saul, and I get the sense that he isn’t too keen on Elspeth, and probably is distrustful of her, like most in the settlement. He takes her not to Gilaine’s house, but to his own, all the while making sure they are not seen. His house was just like Gilaine’s and looked as if no one was inside, but once he opened the door light spilled out, measures had been put in place so that no one knew people were inside. This is obviously a risky thing that is happening, something the Druid could never find out about, I’m sure he wouldn’t hesitate to act like the Herder he is, and burn them all.
Elspeth being the ever curious and risk taker she is, pretends to stumble and grabs onto Saul, obviously allowing a physical connection to see whether he is a Misfit. She sensed brilliance in that moment, though there is instability in his personality. Saul does not take kindly to this intrusion, commanding her out of his mind, and removing the connection. Elspeth figured that Saul hated himself, because he was a Misfit, and that it was something that is ‘bad’, making his life a tough one. I think for all of those people in the Druid’s camp, who are Misfits, life couldn’t be good, especially believing that you are evil.
Inside Saul’s kitchen, there was Gilaine, and three other men, one of whom is the brother of Daffyd. It seems that before Elspeth came along, none of them had thought to use a physical connection to communicate, but apparently Lidgebaby already has sensed this way around the block, and ‘does not like it’. It is a dangerous meeting and all of them know that, but they want to help Elspeth escape (some quite begrudgingly), but first she must answer a few questions. Gilaine is asking the questions, and seems to be able to communicate with the others in the group, without physical communication, so that is why they haven’t done it before. But why can they communicate?
Elspeth decides to trust them, but not fully, she says that they broke away form the main Gypsies because they too hate Misfits. And she doesn’t reveal anything about Obernewtyn, I guess it is smart, but if they are risking their lives to help her, don’t they deserve to know more? Elspeth then decided to ask some of her own questions. The group found their powers the day Lidgebaby was born. The baby coercer had woken the group the night it was born (is it he/she or doesn’t it matter?) through mental cries. All of them from that day were connected, and were in great danger, and had to meet secretly. Those in the group could never harm Lidgebaby and are coerced into loving and protecting it, that is one powerful baby! The group’s collective mind power and the baby’s own, is what seems to block Elspeth’s strength (has she ever thought about using her ‘killing power’ to break through, or has she tried to forget about it, and is it too dangerous to even try? What would happen if she could break the block, would it kill the baby and the group?).
Gilaine wants to know where they would go if they could help them. Elspeth again talks of the olden pass, but this time Saul reveals that there is a path, but it is dangerous, and ‘no one could survive going through it’. Elspeth asks why they haven’t left, since it is so dangerous for them, but they have to wait until after winter, and after Lidgebaby doesn’t need its mother, who herself could never leave, and has already had one baby burned (see the Druid still loves to burn people). The group plans to help Elspeth and co. because they are a danger to this group and to the baby (who mustn’t like all these new talents) and they will, if need be, eliminate them if the need arises.
The group can apparently absorb Lidgebaby’s block so Elspeth will be able to communicate with her own people, and then the group will cause a diversion to allow them to escape. The group aren’t sure how long they can hold the block for, and they will use the word ‘firestorm’ to identify themselves to the others. Elspeth will have to be quick. She contacts Matthew, who also contacts Domick, who is with the horses and Darga. Using Matthew’s eyes, Elspeth is able to see were he is (a neat trick to be able to have) and she can see the olden path, and can see that it is full of poison and taint, which is why no one could go that way. Apparently, the Druid is still investigating the weaponmachines, and even believes them to be nearby, which Matthew finds absurd that they would even work (no word from Elspeth on that matter…). Elspeth decided that Matthew and Louis, once free must go to Obernewtyn to warn Rushton about everything!
Next, Elspeth contact Domick, who firstly tried to block her. The likelihood of the expedition returning, successfully, to Obernewtyn before winter is decreasing by the day, and now that they cannot use the olden path, it does not look promising. Domick has been hiding in a cave where the Suggredoon goes into the mountain. Unfortunately there is no path through the mountain following the river, as it would be a quick way to their destination.
Elspeth quickly contacted Jik and started to explain the escape plan when the connection was severed suddenly, as the other group of Misfits, could no longer stop the block. Gilaine was most affected by the effort, and basically collapsed from exhaustion. Saul seems to really hate the idea of helping them, and would probably be inclined to turn them all in, except his identity would be compromised and he too would suffer.
Back in her bed, Elspeth vowed to try and help the group, when she was back at Obernewtyn. In the kitchen, Elspeth met Kella and Emmon. They have some bad news, Elspeth is to be bonded to one of the men, tomorrow. And not to Gilbert, but to Relward, the gatewarden, which is most likely Erin’s doing. Erin seems to be jealous of Gilbert’s attention to her, and since he is away hunting, he cannot protest. With the help of Emmon, Elspeth talked to Gilaine, who agreed that they cannot let the bonding take place. They will have to think about an immediate escape.
Things are moving quite quickly now, as the group again stop the block that night, so Elspeth can contact Domick. The escape is to happen tomorrow night. And Elspeth has a task for Domick, that will allow them to get through the mountains in less than two days, though it will be dangerous. Hopefully, Domick will be able to build a strong raft.
That is right! They are going THROUGH THE MOUNTAIN rafting down the Suggredoon! Is Elspeth mad? Let’s hope they can raft well, and the river isn’t full of rapids. Actually their main concern, is that there is space for them to go down, and that the river doesn’t go further underground with no way for them through, then they would be screwed!