The Stone Key – Chapter 2

Chapter Two

Having arrived at the Tecknoguild camp at the entrance to Tor, Elspeth greets Fian, one of the few people that actually likes Elspeth, and treats her like a friend. It is sad that because Elspeth has so much power, and mystique about her that it causes people to act differently around her, and revere and even fear her, instead of being friendly with her. She is lucky to have Fian, Dameon and Kella, as well as Rushton. But she doesn’t have many friends. Speaking of Dameon, he is learning how to ride, which I say, good for him. He, Rushton and some coercer knights will be travelling to Sutrium in a week, obviously for the trial of Malik. But what is even better, is that Dameon seems to have filed a case against his cousin that stole his property by ousting him as a Misfit. Many of these claims, and others involving the theft of land have been popping up. Finally the people are getting justice!

If Dameon does get his farm back, he wants it to run jointly with the beasts and normal landfolk. It will be an important step in ensuring that beasts are treated fairly, and that Misfits aren’t seen as monsters. There have been more developments by the Tecknoguild, they have actually built a permanent building. Honestly Garth just wanted it to hide the opening into the mountain, so that if someone did come, they wouldn’t see it and become curious, funny that he would investigate himself, and yet he is trying to make sure people aren’t curious! The building is far from finished, with no floor or windows, but it is a start. However, the Tecknoguild might take a while to get the building homely enough, since Garth just wanted it to look finished, while they go about fencing off the land (before making a formal claim!). As always the Tecknoguild has quite the organised mess accumulating, with Tecknoguilders lounging around deep in thought.

Obernewtyn has been busy since we last heard from them. The cave they were planning to evacuate to, has been covered with nearly transparent plast, and converted into something of a garden for herbs that needed a more humid climate. Elspeth is still interested in the Gypsies who brought up the doors to Obernewtyn, and even mentions going into Louis Larkins thoughts, but he would never allow that, she doesn’t however mention the dreamtrails. I guess Maruman has taught her to avoid them at all cost. Elspeth decides to go and see the Gypsy monument for the White Valley tragedy. After a while, she figured out she was being followed, but she couldn’t sense anyone, which meant, it was Dragon. Is this the start of a reconciliation?

Proof Elspeth? I think we know for sure that Cassy Duprey was the first D’kreta and Kasanda. Once again, we are still in the recap phase, as we are reminded that Miryum vanished with Straaka, presumably to Sador. Angina has actually recovered, but will never be the same. His spirit seems to have remained unhealed, and maybe that is to do with Miky’s guilt and anguish. Surprisingly it was not Dragon who was following Elspeth, it was someone, who I would never have guessed. It is Bergold’s sister, Analivia, a name I do not think we knew previously. Strange that she is out here, even if she has heard of this monument and the actions which caused it to be built. She has been here before, probably one of the few people who actually have.

Elspeth tries to ask how she avoided her detection, but found it hard to talk about something that would have gotten her burnt alive. Apparently, as a child, she needed to be invisible in her household, to avoid beatings (I assume), and she has been able to stay hidden ever since. But that doesn’t really explain how her mind became invisible. Is she Talented? Does she have her own mind ability, like those who are shielded, hers is invisible? Bergold was the only son of Radost, to not be sent to a Councilfarm for a long sentence (Both Moss and Radost himself, died trying to escape), since he was kind, so he continued to manage his orchards. Apparently Analivia has become quite interested in Obernewtyn and Misfits. She has noticed the Tecknoguild build a house, and yet, do not finish it. She has even ventured into the mountain, but isn’t sure what they are looking for down there. Analivia is an interesting woman, she doesn’t want to be told things, she wants to find them out for herself, so she can have the truth. But honestly, sometimes not matter how much snooping and watching, you will never have the truth, because you don’t have the context of what someone is doing.

She seems to be interested in the Misfits, because they were able to survive, when everyone wanted them dead. She will be a character to look out for in the future. Who knows what she really wants, and what she will do down the track. The two walk back for a while, and Analivia, is quite open and talks about her childhood living under Radost. Who didn’t even want to bond, but did so, so he could have a son to pass on his ‘wealth’ to. Radost was a cruel man, who inflicted bizzare punishments to Analivia, and I assume Bergold (since Moss was his wonder child). He even killed his wife! Just because she defended Bergold, and said he was just different. It is all of this, that made Analivia glad of the uprising. I do like that she understands people, and understands that people are afraid that the Councilmen will return to power and smite them for the rebellion, harder than ever before. They parted ways, and Analivia vanished, once again Elspeth was unable to detect her mind. I think this will be the first encounter of Analivia, and I foresee many more.

Elspeth encounters one of the injured soldierguards. Not surprisingly, Elspeth doesn’t suddenly come to love him and he tries to explain that Misfits were portrayed as monsters, but honestly, these things do not change the fact that he killed people. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy. Something Darius attributes to Elspeth’s strength. He too is a very fascinating character. He almost has a tirade against Elspeth and her own self-righteousness for not noticing him and more. I wonder what Darius does see about your aura Elspeth, but my guess, he won’t ever tell you. I would like to see more of Darius, and hear about his thoughts on the spirit and its strong connection with the body, but we don’t.

Instead, Elspeth talks to Louis Larkin about how old Maruman is getting. He once had many adventures, but now I guess, he has mind adventures. It does make me wonder, where did he go, when he went off? Was it just around, what did he see? And where is he if he is on the dreamtrails? What is he doing? Elspeth gets to the point and asks Louis about the Gypsies who brought the door, and he catches on very quickly. As soon as she suggests going inside her brain, he snaps, and yells at her to keep out. And he uses Dragon as an example. Something that is very cruel to do, since Elspeth clearly feels guilty for what she has done to Dragon, but at the same time, she can’t, since, what happened happened, and fate basically demanded it. I understand that Louis doesn’t want someone meddling in his brain. But that reaction was over the top. Was there something he was trying to forget? Did he do something he doesn’t want someone to know? Or is he genuinely concerned that Elspeth would send him insane or senile? Such an attack, leaves Elspeth questioning herself, and her ability and just how bad it would get when her quest draws near.


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