The Keeping Place – Chapter 25

Chapter Twenty-Five

Over forty of Obernewtyn’s Misfits have been sent across the Land to aid the rebels in their fight against the Council, and poor Elspeth is left at Obernewtyn, without Matthew, without Dameon and without Rushton! She doesn’t seem to be taking things too badly however, and she is already made contact with the Guanette Misfits. I do wonder why focusing on water or flames improves farseeking, is it the act of focusing itself or are these elements somehow enhancing ability? She finds out that Gevan, who is in Guanette (where Elspeth would have wanted to be) is speaking to Malik to tell him there are no traitors in his midst. I do find that interesting, I guess their fear of him, stamps out any thoughts of trying to betray such a violent and bloodthirsty man. But this does give him ammunition against the other rebels who must have a few traitors amongst them, and shows that he is not the leak, but the reasoning behind why his men do not betray him is not something to be proud of.

Lina, the empath who is currently in Guanette (I did think that Miky was going there, as she couldn’t make anyone else go through such hatred, but obviously she was outvoted, or reconsidered), is suffering from all the exposure to hatred, but has found no indication that Malik is lying when he says he won’t harm the soldierguards. I would make a comment, but I would only be making this comment because I know what is going to happen, so I shall refrain (actually I will rot13 it, but I do warn this is a MAJOR spoiler, decypher at your own peril, but you will find out in the not too distant future, seriously don’t read if you haven’t finished this book! “Lbh qvqa’g znxr fher Znyvx jbhyq npghnyyl fheebhaq gur fbyqvrethneqf naq znxr fher gurl qba’g xvyy nyy gur Zvfsvgf, orpnhfr gung vf rknpgyl jung ur jbhyq jnag gb qb!” Yes it is jibberish so you can’t understand it). Lina has found that Malik is very distrustful of the other rebels, and everytime he gets a message he oozes mistrust. The bombardment on Lina’s Talent is so severe that she will need to be replaced by someone else, trouble is, there aren’t too many empaths left who would be firstly useful enough and secondly able to cope with the painful emotions.

Elspeth doesn’t even have Ceirwan, he has set up a camp between Sawlney and Guanette, so that distance can be broached (the Gelfort Range disrupts their abilities). She must be feeling lonely. There are five at Ceirwan’s camp (including Freya) but more will arrive there, as Miryum would like to stake out the soldierguard camp before their decoy plan gets underway. Elspeth is able to speak to Ceirwan using the whiplash technique, and it is an exciting time because it actually works over such a distance, previously it had only been tested over a short distance, and that is very promising. Soldierguards have been seen running training on the public road, making travel more dangerous, as they prepare for a looming ‘attack with Henry Druid’. I don’t know if them preparing for Henry Druid is a good or bad thing for both the rebellion itself and the decoy plan. It will mean that they are expecting something to happen, but that will make them more cautious. We will have to see what happens, and it won’t be far away.

Ceirwan has made contact with Wila in Sawlney, and the empath there who is Brocade, is having a similar issue to Lina, the emotions aren’t really healthy for them. What is worst, the men know they are making the empath feel pain, so try to send more emotions at him to make him feel worse. Really they should just pull their support if these rebels are going to act that way, Obernewtyn is an ally now, and they have to treat them as such. I think Elspeth has the same idea, and helps Ceirwan link with Wila, but they were starting to push it, even though they have strong farseekers involved. Elspeth tells her to warn Brocade once, and then leave if things do not get better there. Luckily Brocade does find the Misfits useful, but Feay will still be in pain, as the men can’t really control all their loathing and anger. Elspeth suggests he keeps as little contact with the rebels as necessary, and only let him around them when necessary, a good idea.

Once again Wila tells Elspeth that there are no traitors amongst Brocade’s men, so it seems the rebels must be somewhere else. But just like the magi noticed with the cloister in Arendelft (I think that is the place), the Sawlney cloister is all but deserted. It seems all the Herders have gone to a meeting in Sutrium. Elspeth, and myself, see this as more than just a coincidence with the looming rebellion. The Herders would know about the rebellion, thanks to the traitors, but why would they go to Sutrium? Apparently one traitors has been found in Kinraide, but really the woman hadn’t done anything yet, she was just planning it, however she has been taken prisoner as a precaution.

Elspeth pushes the limits of this connection further by scrying out Khuria (who I don’t know where she is, Saithwood maybe) and the connection is very weak. But it is clear that Vos’s men are just like Brocade’s and are tormenting the empath. Hopefully a threat of leaving them will put a stop to that. There seem to be no traitors there too, and Zarak in Sutrium, has found no traitors either. Maybe the traitors are on the west coast. Brydda had a message, but the connection is at breaking point, so Elspeth has to ‘retreat’. Elspeth informs her that they will try to link all the way to Sutrium tomorrow, once they are fresh. Unfortunately the connection breaks and Elspeth’s probe is sent back to her with painful force. Ceirwan and Wila will be suffering similar headaches. Elspeth puts up her trusty pain net (clearly she has not learnt that using that is dangerous, but since she seems to be able to heal herself, I guess this is not a worry).

Elspeth returns to Obernewtyn, and gets Kella to draw away the pain, and she comments on the severity of the pain. It is good to see that Kella has improved since returning from Obernewtyn, hopefully she will continue to do so. Elspeth speaks to Angina about what to do with Lirra. She only has to last another day and night, as the rebellion will have begun and her services will not be needed. Miky and Angina are going to go with Elspeth to take part in the decoy, and if Lirra needs to be replaced, one of them will do it. I find it interesting that Angina seems confident that leaving Dragon alone for one night won’t harm the rest of Obernewtyn that will still be there, sure not that many people will be left, but they deserve a restful sleep. But I guess the Dragon isn’t too bad for those she didn’t know, and those remaining aren’t going to be those with a strong connection with her. For some reason I just had a feeling of deja vu, and I think it was connected to another passage in Obernewtyn, where I also had deja vu, weird.

Aras draws Elspeth away from Dragon, as they need to go and sit in on a beastmerge. Aras is delighted that the whiplash works well, and suggests a team go with Elspeth when she tries again, to act as a source of energy to keep the connection strong. It really is a pity that they can’t break past the Suggredoon, otherwise they would have been able to cover the entire Land. I swear Elspeth recently said that she hasn’t been on the west coast, but what about when she went to the beforetime library? That was on the west coast, I guess she didn’t have time to really explore, but she has been there!

There is a strange little section, where Aras again says that she will go with Elspeth to feed her energy when she is in the link, which probably doesn’t need to be there, since she just said that! Aras makes a wonderful suggestion though for the empaths to play some music and use their talent to make the rebels like them and treat them better. It is really a good suggestion, and they probably haven’t though about it, since they don’t really want to perform to people they don’t like, unless they can’t with such an environment, but they should try.

We don’t find out what happened in the beastmerge, instead we find that Elspeth dreams of Cassy again (which I guess is acceptable as a substitute). Cassy has gotten a tattoo, much to the surprise of that Tiban rebel we saw earlier. Apparently it is a ‘symbol of a promise she made’, to ‘that crazy woman’. Does this mean Cassy found the woman the Agyllian wanted her to? What’s the promise though? I think she predicted doomsday, which makes this Tiban rebel think she is crazy, but she wasn’t, she saw what was coming, a nuclear apocalypse. And this crazy woman is indeed Hannah Seraphim. This shocks Elspeth so deeply that she wakes up from it! She tried to get back to sleep to make sure she was ready for the next day, but finding out that Cassy had found Hannah Seraphim was shocking. But more than that, Hannah Seraphim had forseen the Great White! She was a futureteller. But even more than that, Hannah Seraphim may be the person Kasanda (rot13.com for a pretty big spoiler “Pnffl, Xnfnaqn, znlor n gnq gbb fvzvyne gb or n pbvapvqrapr?” and yes it looks like jibberish for a reason) was hinting for Elspeth to find, who foresaw the doomsday first. But maybe this was too much of a stretch, there would have been other furturellers, so maybe Hannah wasn’t first. But, if it was Hannah, maybe Elspeth should be seeking out her grave, and what a coincidence that the Tecknoguild found Jacob Obernewtyn’s grave, where then is Hannah’s? Elspeth went on theorising, until Maruman told her to go to sleep. Eventually she did get to sleep. But what a revelation, it seems Elspeth doesn’t have to do anything much to find out more about these signs, all she has to do is wait, and then act accordingly.

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