The Keeping Place – Chapter 5 – Part Two

Chapter Five – Part Two

The Farseeker guild meeting is set to begin, after the promising, and yet unsuccessful, attempts at the whiplash mindmeld. There was the, awkward, situation with Zarak who was jealous at the ‘secret’ suggestion for Aras to become ward, when he thought himself superior. That was thrown in his face when Aras actually suggested that he be nominated for the position. But that has been dealt with, for now, and the meeting begins with Ceirwan opening things, and bringing various matters and requests from other guilds (including the dreamscape) to their attention. A woman called Sarn, that only had a very weak farseeking ability, and was sent to Obernewtyn through Brydda (because of her pregnant daughter who needed medical attention), and she was very hardworking, nominated herself to organise the dreamscape.

Another ‘newbie’, called Tomash, had been tasked with creating an easily accessible form for all their information they had collated on the rebels and the Council. He had done very well, creating a chart, detailing the names of the Councilmen and rebels who lead each town in the Land. He has new information that Councilmen have now come to the highlands, sent up from Sutrium. This means that Obernewtyn is starting to lose their isolation from the Council. There are two Councilmen, one in Darthnor and one in Guanette. But making matters worse they are both sons of a man called Radost. Radost was the head of the Council, and whether this is a move by the Council to strengthen their ties with the highlands or just a personal move by Radost to control more land through his sons is not known, but what is know is that the catalyst for these appointments is very likely to be Miryum’s coercer knights. It’s not the sole reason Radost would do such a thing, but it gave him a very credible reason to do so.

Both of the sons have 10 trained soldierguards with them, and they will recruit more from the locals, when they are settled. Which is a piece of good news, as they won’t be a major threat to Obernewtyn with that number of guards, but it will have to be monitored, and I think this will not be the last we heard of the two sons (why else would they have been mentioned?). Tomash continues his presentation naming each of the Councilmen and their relations, and which part of the Land they control. He also unveils another creation, this time a map with lines marking the personal farms of the Councilmen and the Councilfarms, as well as the names of the Councilmen’s assistants (possibly the ‘second in command’, maybe literally assistants).

He also runs through the names of all the rebels who lead men in each of the towns. There is a small change in the leadership in Port Oran, the daughter of the previous leader is now in charge after her father had a stroke and is paralysed (interesting that they still know what a stroke is). And this daughter might be bonding with Cassell, which would unite the western-bloc once and for all. It is a very comprehensive stock of information, they certainly have done their research.

And this knowledge is not just isolated to the Council and the rebels, a different Farseeker has been charged with investigating the Herders, which will be fascinating. But, Wila announces that she has not had as much luck as Tomash, and would like to report at the next meeting, as she is expecting more later. Which is quite disappointing, but hopefully we will find out more soon, it wouldn’t be easy to dig up the dirt on the secretive Herder Faction. And after a few more things are discussed, the meeting is drawn to a close, just in time for lunch.

However, Elspeth doesn’t want to go and eat, she instead wants to find Maruman, who was last seen by Sarn in the Healer Hall, which makes Elspeth curious, as he doesn’t normally go there. She arrives at the Healer Hall deep in thought, and crashes into Roland who is just leaving. They talk of his outburst towards Miryum, and he tries to make the arrival of the Councilmen evidence of her foolish behaviour (which is quite possible). But Elspeth still wants him to apologise, after all he did call her a traitor. After more discussion Roland agrees to apologise, and then he goes to lunch, just after telling Elspeth that Maruman has been hovering around the hall for the last two days, and maybe he is interested in changing guilds.

She goes to sit with Dragon, after learning that Kella has gone out for the moment to collect some reeds, but finds that she has been moved from the main hall into a private room. In this room, she finds Maruman curled around her head, just like the front cover.  Elspeth can’t help but feel responsible for Dragon’s position, and she sees it as another example of the power and danger of her own mind. Elspeth drifts off with her head on Dragon’s hand.

She wakes to find Kella looking at her with concern, though she admits that she sit with Dragon regularly, not being able to bear the though of her being alone. Kella explains why she had to move Dragon, and it is a very interesting explanation. Apparently whenever the Healers tried to heal nearby to Dragon, Dragon’s mind pulls at their probes trying to pull them towards her. It can be resisted without much effort, but doing so makes healing challenging to say the least. I like her analogy to when someone is shouting numbers at you when you are trying to count, not impossible, but it takes a fair amount of effort. Whether this is evidence of her condition getting worse or better, nobody knows. But apparently this has happened before, and Kella theorises that this might coincide with Dragon getting close to sorting out her memory, but then something goes wrong.

Talk to turns to Domick and how he became hardened and pushed Kella away, which Kella thinks about constantly. It sounds as if she wants to go to Sutrium to heal Domick, and bring him home. Kella tells Elspeth that Maryon has foresaw that Domick will not return with Rushton, despite his efforts. Ceirwan farsends to Elspeth that there are riders galloping through the pass, and they look to be Sadorian. This must mean that it is time for Dameon’s homecoming! Party time!!

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