The Keeping Place – Chapter 9 – Part Two

Chapter Nine – Part Two

Elspeth woke, and was surprised to find that she had not dreamed once during the night (well not one that she remembered anyway). The Misfits seem to dream much more than ‘normal’ people do, or at least they remember their dreams more often and in greater detail, is that because they are Misfits and some of their dreams (if not all) are messages and memories and true-dreams? Only Miryum was still at the camp, the rest already venturing back into the caves. For some reason, it is easier for the Misfits to sleep away from Obernewtyn, and they do not dream very often whilst away. Is it something about Obernewtyn that is causing them to dream so much? Maybe it is because of the concentration of Misfits that makes their dreams so different and pronounced, and away from Obernewtyn there aren’t so many Misfits ‘polluting their dreams’.

This really makes Elspeth wonder if her own unusual amount of dreams about the past is more than just a reflection of her increased thoughts about the past, and something to do with a ‘critical mass’ of Misfits. She would speak to Mayron about it, but the Futureteller was unlikely to know of the lessened dreams away from Obernewtyn, as the Futuretellers rarely venture far from home. Miryum tells Elspeth that she will stay at Tor until the Tecknoguilders return to Obernewtyn, and Elspeth can have the company of the coercer-knights on the way home, something she is just so thrilled about…

Then Elspeth decides to go and bathe, but before that she ‘relieves herself’ now this is clearly a natural thing and everyone does it, so I wouldn’t normally bring attention to it. But in books, you really don’t ever hear of people just going to the loo. In many books, people have this amazing tendency of not needing to go to the toilet ever, or what’s more they don’t even eat or drink. I guess this is because it is such a mundane thing, and really just uses up words, so nobody ever includes. I mean who really wants to read about someone going to the toilet, and then eating some food, and going to sleep, we do that all the time. So it intrigues me why this little section was included. I honestly cannot think of any other book where I have ever read about someone going to the toilet, there may have been scenes in bathrooms, but they didn’t do toilet related things (maybe there was something in the Hunger Games or some other book about defecating oneself or needing to go, but never this). It’s not really that important (even though everyone has to do it) in some much as it is rare in a literary sense.

Anyway, moving on. Elspeth enjoys her little bathe in the river, and she has a moment where she wished Rushton was with her too, and naked. She got so caught up by her daydream that Miryum called out to her, and said that she had thought she had drowned. The two of them go into the cave, and are greeted by Garth back on the rubble island, saying that they can see how the diving machines work. A tecknoguilder called Qwinn, was preparing to dive. The divers are all searching for the base of the Reichler Clinic building. Apparently they found that there was a basement and then tried to dig down to it, but found that the building was broken. It will be difficult for them to find it, and they started preparing the equipment over a year ago. They have been diving for a few months, to test the equipment, then they found out about the basement. Elspeth makes a point that he never mentioned anything about this at any guildmerges, and hopes he will soon.

The basement should still be intact, but one issue might be that it will be locked by sophisticated technology that they will not be able to open very easily. Fian even suggests that it will be rigged to explode, which would be devastating if it occurred (the tecknoguilders would probably be concerned with the loss of information and not the loss of life). Elspeth tells him to make a report to guildmerge when they find the cellar, and before they try to open it. Satisfied with the safety of the operation, Elspeth thought it was time to leave. Surprisingly Fian wanted to accompany her, and not remain in Tor. Miryum rounded up the coercer-knights and implored her to find out some way to get her out of the bonding with Straaka, even if she was charmed with him.

They departed, and the horses set off at a galloping pace on the road, wanting to stretch their legs. They come to a public well, where the horses wish to drink, so Elspeth and Fian get some time to chat. Elspeth asks why the Sadorians don’t speak gadi. Apparently they do/can speak gadi, but choose to speak urolish, and most of them knew it when they were back in Gadfia, and made the change when they came to Sador. The rejection of gadi was in a way rejecting their roots, but they still teach it to the children, and use it in ceremonies and songs. Fian makes a beautiful point, that he always wondered why the Beforetimers didn’t just pick one language and make everyone speak it, but after learning some jerman (German) he found that there were some words/things that you couldn’t say in urolish or any language. Different languages aren’t just different ways of saying the same things, Fian thinks they are different ways of thinking. For Sador, part of them lives on in gadi, however some believe that they should let it die out, to forever remove themselves from their Gadfian origin.

One of the coercer-knights alerts them to approaching miners (not sure what they mind, metals I guess and coal) who are going to come to the well, so they had better leave now to not have to interact with them. They returned to Obernewtyn late in the afternoon, and all went their separate ways. Elspeth quickly scanned to see if Rushton had returned, but he had not. Elspeth goes to find Alad, and farseeks Ceirwan to organise a meeting with Maryon, and all the other guildleaders (Gevan has been informed by the knights and she will inform Alad) to discuss what Garth has been doing, but also the state of their dreams. Elspeth had to resist the urge to tell Ceirwan not to bother with the Empath guildleaders, who without Dameon are very ineffective, but she has to recognise them as the leaders, and says to find Angina as Miky is with the Sadorians.

Elspeth reaches Alad and they quickly talk of her trip to Tor, and their brief encounter with Bergold. Apparently Moss is of great concern for the Beast guild, a he hunts indiscriminately, and does not care if they are left on the ground to rot. Alad suggests putting someone on the two councilmen, but spies are a sore spot, ever since Domick. The preparations for Moonfair are in full swing, and they promise to be the best fair yet. We are yet to see a moonfair, so this shall be interesting. With Obernewtyn’s growing population, they may have to consider building a special arena for such demonstrations, in the event it rains, but that would be a considerable amount of effort.

Elspeth asks Alad if he sleeps better away from Obernewtyn, but he does not travel enough to know, so she asks if he is sleeping well. Apparently Alad is having trouble sleep, because he can’t quite turn off his brain which is trying to plan all the work that needs to be done. Elspeth then asks about his dreams, and Alad admits that he does dream, and last night he dreamed of when he and others had to race to save Elspeth in the tecknoguild cave, and then it turned into a nightmare. One minute it was a memory, the next a dragonish beast attacked them. And that is all Elspeth needs for the cogs to click into place, as she realises it is Dragon who is causing the dreams. She is that Dragon, Maruman has said it all along, things take different shapes in the dreamtrails. I guess it all makes sense, considering what we learnt from the Healers about Dragon’s mind being a distraction and trying to pull them in. If that is happening, then it is no wonder she is disturbing people’s dreams. But what can they do about it?

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