The Keeping Place – Chapter 22 – Part 2

Chapter Twenty-Two – Part Two

Brydda arrives to the magi camp, and Sallah (his horse) rounds up the other horses and gallops with them, clearly devising more plans…

He is earlier than they expected, but the meeting has been changed to the afternoon instead of the night, not for any serious or concerning reasons though. Brydda runs through those rebels who are attending today, and Radek, Yavok and Tardis have sent proxies, Tardis’s proxy, Gwynedd is probably good news for the Misfits, as it is she that was able to sway the ‘White Lady’ (Tardis) in the Misfits favour previously. Tardis fooled everyone by letting them think she was a man, but no, she is a woman. Elspeth is a little disappointed that some of the rebels won’t be here themselves, but Brydda assures her that she shouldn’t have to suspect them of Rushton’s kidnapping.

Elspeth and Gevan tells Brydda they mean to pry into the minds of the rebels there, and he has no objection because he trusts them, but they would never tell the other rebels what they were doing. They tell Brydda of their proposal about the alliance, giving limited assistance, and he thinks it clever, because if the kidnappers don’t like it, they will have to send a message, and that could let them figure out where they just might be. One very interesting piece of news is that Domick has seemed to vanish from Sutrium, which may or may not be connected to Rushton’s disappearance. It is odd, but would Domick have been involved, or has he been taken too? Brydda is surprised to hear that the Misfits are actually intending to offer aid, instead of just pretending to offer it. But he comes around when they explain, just how foolish lying would be.

Speaking of the rebel meeting, Malik, as always, sees it fit to not let them know if he is going to show up, until the last minute. He will likely come however, since it is the last meeting before the rebellion, and he is distrusting with his own people. So the real point of this meeting is to clarify a few aspects of the rebels first part of the plan. And we finally learn about the rebellion in some detail. There are three distinct phases to the rebellion. The first deals with this side of the Suggredoon. There are three phases, because the rebels don’t have the numbers to take over the entire Land in one swoop. They have to take out a few soldierguard camps before really joining forces and wiping them out of Sutrium. Which is why the offer of communication is a strong and inviting one. And the Misfits are in it for the long haul, even if they find Rushton.

The rebel meeting took place that afternoon in a barn. Luckily the barn was built (or had become) so that those inside could see anyone approaching before those on the outside could tell whether people were inside. Malik attended, and Elspeth saw the various rebels, and wondered weather Elii of Kinraide really did not remember her from the orphanage. A few more people entered that Elspeth did not know, and then Brocade said a short welcome, before handing over to the Misfits. Elspeth was assigned to do the talking, and Gevan set about to probe into the minds of the assembled rebels.

Elspeth offers their limited aid, to which Malik sneers at immediately. When Elspeth mentions they will find the traitors amongst them, there is quite a stir. Malik accusing Brydda of telling them, but Elspeth tells them they learnt of it through their own activities, but she can’t understand why the Council have done nothing. The matter was voted on, and the rebels (well most of them) accepted the offered help. So far Gevan has found nothing, as the meeting turns to deciding how the Misfits should be deployed. Of course if a leader doesn’t want their help, that is their choice, but they will be happy to organise to send Misfits across the land. Gevan starts to answer some of the questions, and Elspeth tries to reach Malik’s mind. But curiously, she cannot enter it, it seems Malik has picked up one of those demon bands, and it is preventing any Talent entering.

Interestingly, Malik asks how long it will take for Misfits to go to Guanette, though he doesn’t want them, he will go along with the group decision. With Malik ‘won over’ the other rebels who were opposed gave in, and accepted their help, to flush out the traitors. Elspeth wasn’t too happy, but said they would send Misfits to all those who want them. And with that the Misfit matter is closed, and they move onto their plans for the rebellion, but first, Vos questions whether the Misfits are to remain. One of the rebel women, stands up for the Misfits, by saying that they need to know the information they are going to pass on, and would he like to blindfold the horses he rides on.

Gevan sends to Elspeth that he has found no evidence that any of them are involved with Rushton, even though Gwynedd, Elii and Malik are unreachable due to a mind shield, sensitivity, and a demon band respectively. Malik must have something to hide if he is wearing that demon band, but they can’t tell, it could be anything or even nothing. Elspeth tunes back into the rebel talk about phase one, and how it will begin after dusk, and each rebel group will take control of the Councilman’s holdings in their area and the cloister in their area also. Hopefully the local Landfolk will be kept ignorant of the whole thing, and at midnight they will strike one of the soldierguard camps. They are trying to get this side of the Suggredoon without Sutrium, with the added challenge of not letting anyone in Sutrium catch on to what is happening.

The plan to remove the soldierguard camp is in itself two pronged, Malik will divert them into the White Valley where they will be surrounded and taken prisoner. Malik’s idea was to send rumour that Henry Druid was amassing an army in the White Valley so the soldierguards would go and investigate. That would involve human decoys, which some people are not happy with. Now, Malik propose an alternative. One involving the Misfits, to lure out the soldierguards, and then lead them to a spot where Malik’s men will ambush them. Can they even trust Malik? Maybe this is what he was planning all along in his shielded mind! Of course he would rather send the Misfits in danger rather than his own men! Will Elspeth and Gevan agree, what about the other leaders. Brydda will be opposed, but will he be alone?

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