The Stone Key – Chapter 7 – Part Two

Chapter Seven – Part Two

So I am back ready to post, and eager to launch right into the world of Obernewtyn once again. So where we left off, was that Elspeth had just returned from her encounter with Vos (which was part of her plan to try and somehow get word out to Dardelan or anyone about the invasion which was facilitated by Malik who is cooperating with the Herders) and it started raining so she went inside the Gypsy wagon they bought to Noviny’s property, and she warmed up. Now, she has just sent word to the house via Gahltha that she is alright, and is just about to drift off to sleep, where she is dreaming.

Once again it was about Matthew, and I do wonder why they are dreaming of him so often, since it was suggested that it was Dragon’s doing having all the dreams, but, she is fine now, and Elspeth isn’t exactly around her or at Obernewtyn, so what is causing all these dreams? Or is it just a side-effect of being a Misfit, something that just tends to happen if you have these abilities, and it is something that the more you use them, the more you dream? And since Elspeth dreams of Matthew so often, does he ever dream of her, or Dragon?

Matthew must have done something to annoy the slave masters since he now has a scar across his face, and is worried about Gilaine interacting with him. Gilaine’s abilities have improved, as she can now farseek without physical contact, but I guess that was to be expected since before they hardly used their abilities, and now they are just getting better at it. But, Elspeth reminds us that Lidgebaby prevented them using their powers to ‘outsiders’, so either that ability has worn off, Lidgebaby is far away (or even dead), Lidgebaby can now control the power and has turned it off (since he/she/it must be growing up now) or something else broke the bond. Apparently the scar actually came from another slave, because Matthew has been pushing too many buttons about uprising, and these people will not do anything until the Red Queen returns. He still believes Dragon is in a coma, and he is set on somehow getting to the Land and bringing her back and freeing the slaves, but he is just having trouble making that happen. And it seems Matthew has finally realised that he loves Dragon, took him long enough.

Ooh, Matthew does indeed dream of Elspeth and Rushton, and they must be like these dreams because everyone is older. And Gilaine dreams of Daffyd as well, which is not surprising, but is also comforting to know that he is alive, and he is somewhere. Matthew is deeply interested in what has been going on in the Land, but most of the slavemasters who would know and talk about the Land, speak in a different language, possibly Gadi, or something else, so he has no idea what they know. But he does know there has been a rebellion, and Gilaine has seen Daffyd involved with something to do with the division, but we don’t find out what. Jow, Daffyd’s brother, comes over to warn Matthew to lie low because if he is caught fighting with the other slaves he will go to the Entina pit, but apparently, Matthew is an overseer of other slaves and gets more out of them than anyone else, so he is valuable.

I really do like getting these insights into Matthews life, it is like a subplot, just like Cassy’s tale. It is a story outside of the main story which can only be centred on Elspeth, and the dreams are a very good facilitation of these subplots. But Elspeth now believes (as she wakes up) that she is using the dreamtrails to reach Matthew, which could mean they could communicate at some point down the line, but for now, their interaction is left for their dreams. It is night-time, almost dawn as Elspeth wakes, and she is just about to set off to Noviny’s home to alert the others to what has happened, when she hears a branch break, someone is outside.

She sent out probes, but of course nothing could connect because of the demonbands, which should could detect. That must mean that Vos’ men are outside, but what are they doing. Bringing in Elspeth to face Malik? Attacking Noviny? Somehow the four men know that there is the wagon, and that Elspeth is inside, so maybe they have tortured the information out of the others. Elspeth worked quickly and hid herself in the secret compartment that holds Swallow’s plast. Luckily there is a pin that means she can lock it from the inside, I’m not really sure why they thought to include this, but it sure is lucky. The men enter the wagon and are furious that she is not here, but they know she was here and recently.

It is very lucky that Gruffyd did an amazing job building the compartment, because the wagon was immediately searched, and the compartment is solid enough to not give it away when knocked and protected from knives trying to stab through the gaps. Interestingly, these men believe that Misfits have huge amounts of riches, and believe that they are all kept in Obernewtyn. They seem to want to invade Obernewtyn and kill everyone, so they can get all these apparently riches. I guess it is just one of the lies that Malik has told them to make them hate Misfits. Khuria was tortured making Zarak reveal Elspeth’s whereabouts, and presumably they have all been taken for questioning at Vos’ home.

The men are not happy that no trace of Elspeth can be found, and they wonder what to do with the wagon. They think to take it to Vos’ with their own horses, but realise there are no harness, so instead they suggest burning it. Which is terrible news, since how on earth can Elspeth get out of it without being seen? Luckily they don’t want to burn it, but even if they did, Elspeth had a way out since the compartment had an exit for a situation just like this. So in the end, they dragged the wagon to their horses, and attached them to it, and set out for Vos’. Elspeth tries to look on the bright side, now she doesn’t need to write that letter, and hopefully Zarak and the others are at Vos’ so she can break them out, of course, she believes she can do this. But with all the men wearing demonbands how does she stand a chance?

Now at Vos’, Elspeth can hear Malik’s cruel voice. He doesn’t sound happy that there is a wagon and no Elspeth. It must take immense restraint to not get out of hiding and go up to Malik and kill him, but Elspeth lays probably beginning to feel strong pain being kept in such an awkward position in a small space. He isn’t happy because Malik didn’t order the men to go to Noviny’s, and he didn’t tell Vos to do it, so Vos acted without his authority, which makes him angry. Everyone was taken prisoner, and three people killed, as well as all other animals apart from the horses. Of course Elspeth freaks out thinking Maruman is dead, but I don’t think it would be so easy for them to kill the old cat. Apparently Vos is furious that Zarak came here because of letters he received from Khuria, and so he put them all in cells, and gave each of the Misfits a lovely present, a demonband. That must be torture for them, being trapped in their own mind when all they have known, is to be free.

Malik is really interested in finding Elspeth, though so far, there is no indication he knows it is Elspeth, which is comforting. But can Elspeth really pull off this rescue, especially since Zarak now has a demonband on, so he won’t be able to tell her where he is. This next chapter could get messy, but very interesting.

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