The Keeping Place – Chapter 26

Chapter Twenty-Six

Elspeth eventually drifted off to sleep, after thinking of Rushton, Dameon, Dragon and Matthew. It is nearly time for the rebellion to begin, and time for the Misfits to lure out the soldierguards and lead them into an ambush. Malik’s men are getting ready to go to the White Valley, after having taken the two cloisters in Darthnor and Guanette with ease. With too much ease, because both were empty. Only a few half-witted servants were left behind, with all the other Herders presumably at the Sutrium cloister for that celebration. As for the Councilmen’s holdings, they were able to strike just as they were sitting down for tea, so they were unable to rally a defence against the rebels. There have been no injuries because of fighting, which is a really good sign for the rebellion, but this is only the beginning.

Elspeth speaks to Miryum, and finds that they have primed the soldierguard camp with great ease, for this decoy. Those who decided to wear demon bands, thought it was safe when they were sleeping or alone, but they were wrong. Their horses are on side, and won’t allow them to get close enough to the Misfits for the soldierguards to hurt them. It all begins, in half an hour. Elspeth contacts Wila, and finds that Alum’s holding fell easily, but over at Jude’s, the fighting is continuing, and two rebels have been killed, and one of Jude’s men. Though that was an accident more than violence. As with the other cloisters, the one at Sawlney, was empty bare two prisoners. One couldn’t talk, and the other had only recently been taken, and had been left without food or water for a few days.

Elspeth decides to try Khuria, through Wila, but it is unable to connect. He may be outside their range, and soon Wila will be too, and Obernewtyn will be cut off from the rest of the Land. They try Tomash, and once again, the cloister was ripe for the taking, with only three or four servants left there, told that their masters would return. Apparently one of them remembers a time, three years ago, where the cloister was also empty, when one of the inner Cadre Three had died, and someone was promoted into his place. With all these empty cloisters, it has made the rebellion quite easy, but what about in Sutrium, where all the priests are supposed to be?

Elspeth returns to tell Ceirwan the news, and Elspeth comments that it is a pity they did not know that all the cloisters would be empty, it would have given them a chance to investigate the inner cadre via the servants in Sutrium, and would have made it easy to ignore the cloisters during this rebellion. The others slowly rouse from their own sleep, and are all eager to get underway. Sitting there waiting to ‘go into battle’ must be hell. Ceirwan suggests that someone go and take Wila’s place, so communication lines can remain open, and when he means someone, he means himself and Freya. Elspeth agreed, and the two of them were on their way. The rest of them, began to pack up their tents, and prepare to move.

The group advanced towards the camp, and then slowed upon arrival. They stashed their equipment safely, and prepared to ride full throttle away from the camp. Miryum suggests that they get as close to the main gates as possible to ensure that their escape looked like they were leaving the camp, with Henry Druid. They are going to wait until the guards have changed, and then it is go time. Elspeth could hear, with a little Talent (that would be cool, to enhance your hearing or sight or just senses to pick up much more than they could normally) two soldierguards talking of Henry Druid’s capture and imminent escape. Unfortunately one of the guards seems to realise how stupid it would be for the Druid’s men to come into the camp and ride of with him, when they surely knew that they would be followed. Elspeth quickly weaved her Talent, ensuring that he did not pick apart the illusion, and made him give up, assuming something else was going on, that he just wasn’t privy to.

Oh no, it has started to rain. This means the roads will be slippery, and if a storm is coming, that limits their farseeking and coercion. Just what they need! But they can’t do anything about that now, as it has begun. Elspeth was witnessing the illusion take place in the minds of the guards of the camp, as they were coerced to see the Druid’s men escaping, with the Druid. The group, wasn’t quite ready to ride, when they realised it was time to get going. And off they go!

It was good everyone could ride well, as if someone fell, the soldierguards were not coerced enough to prevent them killing that poor person. The soldierguards horses were deliberately running slower, to allow the group to gain a considerable lead. However, our horses can’t gallop forever, and have to slow eventually. What makes everything worse, is that one of the soldierguards became impatient, and decided their horse was going too slow, and that they better whip their horse and make them run faster. Elspeth tried to coerce him to stop, but he was wearing a demon band! Curse them!

I’m going to be SUPER ANNOYING and stop there (it’s halfway through, and I can tell a lot is going to happen in the next section of this chapter), but since we are in a massive ‘cliff hanger’ I want to continue this immediately, as in tomorrow! So Casual Vacancy will be pushed back a day

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