The Stone Key – Chapter 4

Chapter Four

So it seems Elspeth, Zarak and Darius (who is going to see a ‘thing’, which must be a Gypsy thing!) are all going to Saithwood to check out just what is going on. Maybe there it is the statue in Noviny’s garden that he is checking out, but the revelation of this, is exciting. This may be her chance to find another sign. I am slightly confused, because I thought the statue of her wasn’t a key, but now it seems that Elspeth considers that it was indeed a key. I thought that she had to come back for Dragon, and not the statue, but maybe the statue was a key. And of course, we know that words can be keys to computers, which Elspeth didn’t consider, since she doesn’t know about computers and passwords. But I wonder which of the words or string of words are the password. It does raise big questions of how Elspeth is going to destroy the machines. She can’t just go around and smash things, she has to use computers, something she has no experience in. Maybe she will have to spend some more time with the Tecknoguild to gain some knowledge from them about what to do.

The translation can be interpreted in so many different ways, which all translations can, and that is probably one of the strengths of the protection for the signs, since the Destroyer would have to decide which translation is applicable (but then again, so does Elspeth). Elspeth and Maruman tried to see the doors again and get a better inscription, but they were unable to find them, maybe they disrupted things too much last time, and now they can never see them again.

I do like to see that there is an abundance of herbs and plants for the Healers to use. I think it is such a pity that many natural remedies for aliments have been forgotten or ignored in favour of pharmaceutical medicines, even though many are just replications of natural sources. They pass the road to Kinraide, and Elspeth thinks of visiting his brother’s grave to lay flowers, but not today. I wonder if he even has a grave, since he was just an orphan, and one who was trying to escape. I also appreciate that Isobelle Carmody is painting a better picture of the Land than we have had previously. It has been hard imagining the road to Sutrium and much of the land, and she is remedying this well.

The real shock of the journey comes when they pass where Katlyn’s house once stood, before they burnt it down to run from the Council, and yet, it was there, fully built. I guess Brydda is behind this! What a surprise for Katlyn, but I don’t think they will be leaving Obernewtyn any time soon, or at least, I hope not. But it is Brydda who is taking residence in this newly built replica of their old home. It is good to see Brydda again, and Elspeth is warmed by his love, something she hasn’t been getting too much of. Which makes me wonder how Elspeth and Rushton are getting along now.

Soon the two get time to chat and discuss the revelations and goings on of both Obernewtyn and the Land. Of course the big topic is the blockade for Saithwood. People have been turned away and beaten up there, and Dardelan is well aware of the problem, and has sent someone to investigate, but Vos just said it was his way of keeping his people safe from brigands and ruffians. Dardelan cannot do much more, unless a formal complaint is made against him, since they can’t be seen storming around the place using violence as the answer. But hopefully things will work themselves out, as Malik will be charged and convicted and sent away, and Vos can be dealt with in time. She suggests Zarak’s idea on how to stop Vos tampering with the votes, and Brydda is impressed, it is a very good idea to pretend that they are celebrating the first election in Saithwood, with many entertainers and people involved, plus of course soldierguards, that way Vos cannot dare to do something.

Since Elspeth is so set on going to Saithwood, Brydda will go with them to the main road, and use his influence to get them inside. Elspeth will have to coercer her way out, if the rumours are true. I wonder what Vos will do once he finds out Misfits are in his town. Elspeth, don’t ignore your premonitions, they have been good to you in the past!

They eat a fine dinner, and talk of the ship burnings. Brydda believe that there are traitors this side of the Suggredoon who are responsible. Obviously all this has done is delay them getting to the west coast, but that must be important if someone was prepared to do it. But why delay? Does it give the west coast time to prepare? Or is something else going on? There might be a sleeper cell of some sort still here, or maybe a few people are just disgruntled at the changes. There are only a few people who have escaped charges, one of whom is Jude, the wife killing, sadist, who has avoided conviction simply because his surviving wife is too afraid to say anything against him. He is running against Brocade in Sawlney, but hopefully (and that is strange to say since Brocade isn’t the best) Brocade will win.

And then out of nowhere we hear about The Doctor, who is Rushton’s half-brother. Stephen Seraphim, is apparently, living with Enoch the coach driver, and I guess he has been since Rushton gained power. That was out of the blue! I think that is the first time we have heard about him since Obernewtyn, clearly Isobelle thought that was a loose end that needed to be tied up. They continue talking of the elections, and who is likely to win. A few chieftains will likely lose to citizens, but some have a good chance. The main focus is on Dardelan and his efforts to be elected, well at least for Obernewtyn and the beasts, his plight is the most important.

They slowly break apart to go to sleep, and Elspeth realises a great notion. Maybe she should have been trying to build a new relationship with Dragon rather than relying on her remembering of their old one! Sometimes Elspeth is so dense about these things, about emotions. But I guess her lonely life and destiny have made her pretty closed off from emotions and human interactions. But, at least she eventually sees the light. That is the main thing, but I guess everything cannot be perfect for our protagonist!

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