The Keeping Place – Chapter 28 – Part Two

Chapter Twenty-Eight – Part Two

News of treachery on the west coast has arrived to Sutrium. The rebels were betrayed, and all of them found out. The west coast is lost to the rebellion, as the soldierguards have overturned the rebels and won’t stand by and let those on the other side of the Suggredoon take over. Jakoby has set up a watch to ensure that spies do not slip onto this side unnoticed in small vessels. They don’t really need to worry about large forces landing and bringing the war to them, since all the small river boats, cannot hold many passengers. Which works both ways, as the rebels can’t send their own force over in small boats, to where the soldierguards will be waiting.

Reuvan suggests that they need to do more than just that, because large sea fearing vessels could easily bring a force of soldierguards to attack them. So they will need to make sure they watch all points on this side of the Suggredoon where a large boat could lay anchor. However, they don’t need to worry about that at the moment, as nobody on the west coast would have had time to organise a boat like that, since they had expected the rebels to fall into their trap. But this idea works in the rebels favour. The west coast is large, and a boat could easily land anywhere on the beach without trouble. Even if the west coast soldierguards could guard all that land, they would be spread very thin, making it easy to amount an attack.

One ship couldn’t take their entire army, but many ships could. Brydda on the other hand suggests sending a small team to meet up with the Misfits and surviving rebels and work in secret from the inside out. But right now, they need to prepare their defences, and then start planning for their own offensive attack. Malik offers his, and Brocade’s and Vos’ forces to watch the shoreline on this side, which is easy, since much of it has sheer cliffs, making it impossible to land.

They will also have to keep control of this side of the Suggredoon, and maintain the new ‘prisons’ they have made. But more than that, they must make sure that the ordinary folk don’t get restless and try to make an uprising of their own. Malik cuts in the discussion to say that they don’t have enough manpower to quash an upbringing, or enough time to organise a proper system of governance right now. So he decides to send out some of his own men, dressed as soldierguards, through Sutrium to announce that people broke the curfew, and the plague has spread. But that only buys them a small amount of time, they will have to make large decisions soon enough.

There is of course, another matter, the cloister. Apparently all the Herders from nearly around the Land, are in the Sutrium cloister, and they need to make sure that they don’t try and take over the city again on their own. They clearly must know about the rebellion, and maybe they are aware of the situation of the west coast, who knows. But breaking in and storming the place, would be no easy matter, with such high walls and strong gates.

The meeting breaks up, with plans to get over the wall, when the time comes. Elspeth and the Misfits will stay in their assigned groups, but will have a meeting of their own, later that day. Some Misfits will leave Sutrium, and tell the others what has happened, especially back in Obernewtyn. Elspeth gets some time to discuss the events of the last few days with Brydda. Elspeth has to think that with the deaths of Misfits, and now Misfits trapped on the west coast, it was not a good situation. Dameon arrived yesterday, and wanted to go to Obernewtyn, but Malik said that Elspeth would come soon enough. He apparently said that there was something that went wrong, and soldierguards killed a few Misfits, but of course made no mention of his own involvement.

The pair go to Bodera’s house, and the city is still plauged (no pun intended) by strong silence and eeriness. Clearly the rebels won’t be able to keep everyone holed up forever in their homes, and they eventually will realise there is no plague. Dardelan has a plan, but it will have to be altered with the recent events in the west coast, before he shares it with the other rebels. He wants to demand and organise the trials for soldierguards and councilmen, to show that the rebels aren’t barbarians. And the trials will remind the people of the crimes of the ex-leaders. There are other changes he would like to make, but Brydda will let Dardelan explain that later. As for the west coast, Brydda believes they have to sure up their gains, to make sure they aren’t lost. But eventually they will have to take the west coast, and that may mean civil war. Those on this side may be disgruntled to find that the west coast is still in the hands of the council, and they may be scared to what happens if the council gain power once again.

They quickly discuss what might have happened on the west coast to transpire such a failure. Brydda believes that someone must have betrayed them who knew little about this side of the Suggredoon, or the council had a falling out, and those on the west coast kept those on this side out of the loop. They arrive at Bodera’s house. But quickly realise that something is amiss, as they can start to smell smoke. It is coming from the wharves. Someone has already set alight the ships! They got in quick, and does this mean that the west coast already has spies on this side?


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