The Keeping Place – Chapter 24 – Part Two

Chapter Twenty-Four – Part Two

So Elspeth has returned to Obernewtyn, and told the guildmasters about the rebellion and what she has agreed to on their behalf. They’ve talked about making lists to decide who should be sent across the land in groups of three, to help the local rebels. But one issue, is how are they going to communicate with one another? Luckily, as we know, they were already developing a technique to communicate long distances, called the whiplash. The last we had heard was not very promising, but Zarak has some news which should be surprising. Zarak addresses the group and says that if the people involved with the whiplash get distributed across the land, then they can relay messages from one group to another, and Elspeth could use each of the groups as a conduit, to talk to all of the groups, right up to the Suggredoon. Alad makes a comment that Elspeth wants to go to Guanette, but it seems that won’t happen since the other leaders will outvote her. Roland leaves and Jak enters, in steed for Garth.

Garth himself is occupied with a map they found of Obernewtyn, which shows a path between the maze and the outer walls. Elspeth’s secret hiding spot, is no longer secret, as they have found it. Garth has set about clearing it, so it can be used, but as to why Garth needs to be involved, is much more interesting. They’ve found a grave. It is the grave of Jacob Obernewtyn, and they plan to open it. Miryum objects, saying that they’re research can’t impact on other more important matters, especially considering the forthcoming rebellion which demands everyone’s full attention. Elspeth agrees, and asks Jak to tell Garth she wants to seem him as soon as possible. Once he is gone, Maryon expresses her desire to leave the grave alone. After all, it is someone’s final resting place, and desecrating it, is disrespectful to say the very least. Miky agrees, that even if there is something in there to be found, it is in there for a reason, and should not be seen by anyone.

That certainly has thrown a spanner in the works, especially for Elspeth, who is conflicted by her desire to find out more about Hannah Seraphim, for her quest, but a feeling that Miky and Maryon are right, and a grave should be respected. Elspeth decides that it should be put to the guildmerge, whenever Garth decides to, but in the meantime each of them has to come up with lists for her. The guildleaders all depart, and Elspeth is filled in by Zarak and Aras on what happened in her absence. We don’t find out what is said, as we skip forward an hour, to find Garth arriving to see Elspeth. I wonder why Isobelle Carmody has decided to skip Elspeth finding out the goings on of her guild and Obernewtyn in general whilst she was away, was it because it was irrelevant, or just boring?

Even though Garth has taken an hour to get to see Elspeth, he said he didn’t have time to have a bath, and is very muddy. Hopefully he hasn’t opened the grave already. Garth had time for some food, and found out that Obernewtyn is now involved in the rebellion, and Garth isn’t too pleased that they are getting involved, especially since Rushton refused the rebels earlier. Elspeth snaps and tells him if he wasn’t too busy with the past he would understand why it needed to be done. Garth assumes the tecknoguilders will not be involved in the rebellion, but actually suggests that a group of them travel to the west coast and set up a ‘rally camp’ at the beforetime library, Elspeth travelled to in ‘The Farseekers’. The nerve of him to suggest a self-serving expedition at a time like this, it is quite gutsy. Garth tries to reason with Elspeth by telling her that if those on the west coast need a place to retreat to, having a camp at the library would be handy. A healer can go there, as well as a farseeker to keep track of the others on the west coast. Unfortunately, he makes a convincing argument, since the west coast is far from home, and from help, which means it would be useful to have a shelter if things went south.

Elspeth changes the conversation to the grave, Garth is a little annoyed that Jak mentioned the find. Which makes Elspeth accuse him of wanting to stall the announcement until they had opened the grave and found whatever was inside, just to justify the means without opposition. Elspeth tells him that he cannot open the grave until the guildmerge has agreed, which he cannot understand. Sure it is a grave, but ‘nobody knows the man, and he has been dead for hundreds of years’ is his argument. Garth believes that because the map marked that spot specially without saying what it was, the grave must contain something important, maybe the body of Jacob Obernewtyn? Garth eventually comes around and agrees they have preparations that they need to do now, which are more important. Elspeth tells him that once the rebellion is over, they can research as much as they want.

The magi return the next day, but Ceirwan and co who are in Sutrium returned later, via a public coach. The guildmerge met to approve the Misfits who were to be sent off across the Land, Elspeth’s request to go to Guanette, was outvoted as was Garth’s plan to open the grave. However, the plan to go to the ruined library was allowed to go ahead, but they had to leave immediately. Dell and Seely will be joining the tecknoguilders with a farseeker and a healer. Seely has become quite involved in the Tecknoguild’s activities, and has proved herself useful. Gavyn however would remain at Obernewtyn, where he frequently wandered the wild with Rasial and Kella’s owlet. The group would have just enough farseeking strength to make it to the next town, after being taught on the whiplash technique. Even with the technique, some distances will have to be shortened by riding closer to the next city. Three wagon departed to the west coast.

The next day, two more wagons departed for the west coast, but they were travelling slightly less distance, and 5 wagons would have been suspicious. These two wagons were posing as magi wagons, and would perform along the way, but without Gevan as their leader. A day later, another group left for Sutrium this time on horseback. Over the next few days, Elspeth and Miryum discussed possible tactics for drawing out the soldierguards from the camp, and Miryum thought that only 10 people would be needed. Elspeth suggests using more people, to make sure that people are feeling useful, even if they are just for show. Straaka had become respected as a knight, and agreed that using more people was a good idea.

Ceirwan, Kella and Freya were brought up to Guanette by Enoch, and returned home. Ceirwan came to Elspeth to tell her what had happened in Sutrium, and to share a meal. Unfortunately, the group found no word, not even a whisper about Rushton, even the Sutrium rebels were unaware of his location. They could not find Domick either, but Kella assumed that he would just out of the city, which is possible, but unlikely. Elspeth finds Kella and Freya in the kitchen, and Kella is looking poorly. Not finding Domick was very hard on her. The news of their involvement in the rebellion comes as a shock to Ceirwan, but the other two had already been told by Javo. Javo comes over to say they are baking some way bread, bread that never goes off, and is nutritious.

Kella is still off put, but is determined, just like Elspeth is about Rushton, to find Domick, and even wants to go back to Sutrium when the group goes there, not realising they have already gone. She seems concerned there is no healer there, and suggests she goes back via the public coach, but Elspeth needs to think about it. I don’t know if it is a good idea for Kella to return. She is concerned about Domick, but so is Elspeth (about Rushton) and the two are almost certainly linked. What can Kella do? Going back won’t help him. Elspeth shares a suggestion that the two may be over the Suggredoon, and if those sent there find them or hear word about them, and Kella is stationed with the rebels, she will not be able to leave to go and find him.

We didn’t hear about how Freya went about finding her father, or finding more out about him. We know he is in a Council farm, but I thought she was going to find out more, maybe I was mistaken. But why else would Freya go? I don’t know what Kella can do, and I guess her reaction shows that people do react differently, as Elspeth is in the same situation (but she knows that Rushton was kidnapped, and will be returned, but we know nothing about Domick) and is not really worse for wear. In a way, Kella is trying to do exactly what Elspeth wanted to do, and scour the Land for Domick. Who knows if we will ever see him again.

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