Wait? What? Elspeth was just about to fall asleep when she remembered that she has actually see where the weaponmachines are located on a map! Uh, I don’t remember that! She remembers Lukas Seraphim and Marisa, who was on a quest to find the weaponmachines, so she spend a lot of time and money finding Beforetime books, and apparently she found one she thought showed the location of the Sentinel. Marisa eventually destroyed the maps, but she had made the doors of Obernewtyn show the map. We get a huge reminder of what happened before Rushton was in power, just in case you have forgotten Obernewtyn. Though I do like Elspeth thinking that maybe Ariel’s destiny as Destroyer began at Obernewtyn with Alexi and Madam Vega obsessing over finding them and wanting to destroy the world, which is what they would be used for, not to somehow rule the world!
When Elspeth was strapped to the Zebkrahn machine she actually saw not only the original map and the carvings in the door, but also the chasm where the Sentinel was held. Of course she tried to forget such knowledge thinking it best to keep everything hidden so nobody would use it, but that was before she knew of her own destiny. But even though Elspeth has seen this, I don’t think she actually knows the location of it! Elspeth wonders if it is in the land of the White-faced lords, which is an interesting idea, but I think they would know what it would do, and wouldn’t be afraid to use it. Elspeth of course starts thinking about her quest and the key she is supposed to find, but she can’t actually advance with her speculation any more than she has already. She had already spent a lot of time thinking about Rushton and whether he would visit, but she just continues to waste more time thinking about her quest and getting no where.
Then she was being woken up by Gahltha ready to take her to see Iriny. She wasn’t exactly organised having slept in, and Gahltha wasn’t supposed to be taking her, but here he is. What is interesting though is the small revelation that when Elspeth talks to Gahltha from a distance, every animal in between them would get the message too. I guess this is a logical step since all beastspeaking seems to be on an open channel, but I hadn’t really considered it before. Anyway, Avra is going to join them, and Theral is getting finger speech lessons, so Gahltha isn’t needed elsewhere. Not only is Avra coming but Falada ridden by Ahmedri seems to be joining them too. He is taking very literally the command to stay with her, even if it is only a little way away. Which is going to be interesting if he is going with Elspeth to the Red Land, if of course she is going that way. But what happens if she needs to go on her quest, is he going to try and follow? Elspeth really must get a move on finding Miryum and Straaka, so she is going to try Atthis, tonight, but I don’t know if she will be able to help Elspeth will all the questions she has.
Elspeth tries to throw off Ahmedri by saying he should go to the White Valley to see where Straaka had fallen, but he doesn’t sound interested. I honestly didn’t realise just how large the distance from Obernewtyn to the watch hut it, it has certainly taken them some time to get there even with their galloping. Soon enough they reach the watchhut and Iriny is already there, waiting. Luckily Ahmedri seems to have taken to going to the White Valley so he departs, much to the joy of Elspeth.
Finally away from Ahmedri the two can talk for the first time since the west coast. Elspeth seems to think Iriny and Rolf might make a good couple, and I agree. But enough of that, Iriny has some news that Swallow took the Gypsies to Stonehill to repair for the last three months. They also tended to the stone garden, things they haven’t done for quite some time. But this time they are going to make a settlement of it, the first permanent place for Gypsies since they arrived. The things that Gypsies have been demanded to do by Cassy, are slowly being counted off, only one remains. So if Gypsies want to settle down, they can. The last thing is whatever Elspeth wants to ask Iriny, which is of course what the final Land-based sign is.
Sadly the statue marking the safe-passage agreement is in Saithwood so my prediction/though was wrong, and worse still is that Iriny is forbidden to speak of it. The only thing for it, is to go to Saithwood and to see it herself, however, Iriny’s memory is good enough. Entering her mind for the first time since she tried to save it, Elspeth is filled with some anxiety. The memory is waiting for Elspeth, and Iriny says she better go and observe from within. Iriny comes inside the memory too, which is interesting, I didn’t think you could do that the way she is doing, so I think she does have some Talent.
This is the first time Iriny saw the statue, so she had some difficulty finding it, but soon enough we could see a white statue, one that was clearly made by Cassy. The statue was of a powerful man, he has a scar on his cheek and seems to be wondering which trail to take. Elspeth is sure that this is Cassy’s son when he became a man, but how Cassy would know her son’s face when she left well before that, could only be a futuretelling. But upon closer inspection, it looks more like what his, Evander’s, father would look like, the brother of the Red Queen! It would certainly make sense!
Iriny in the memory moves to burrow into the ground, possibly looking for something, which Elspeth wishfully thinks might be Hannah’s key, probably not. But what is revealed is that the statue is on a wide plinth made of stone, so the base of the statue has been buried, and I wonder why. But I guess it is because the words underneath were supposed to be hidden. The words are ‘why one door is closed another may open, Luthen’s code is Luthen’s heart’. What on earth does that mean? This is a most interesting development. Elspeth doesn’t have time to think about it, she must commit them to memory. And she can’t ask Iriny about it, whatever is there is too scared to talk about.
A good question is why Iriny is looking at the words and what is she doing there? But I don’t think we’ll find out. Elspeth studies the statue some more, and finds that there are some unusual amulets on his body, and he is carrying a pack, preparing for a journey, where he could be ‘going’, is an interesting question or is it symbolic of the nomadic lifestyle they are about to begin. Elspeth also notices what appears to be a Twentyfamily tattoo on his arm, and as we know Elspeth has been though the pain of getting one, without the reward. Even though I’m glad she never actually got the tattoo, because of her healing ability (which is not ‘dumb’ Elspeth it has saved your life countless times!), it would have been helpful before the rebellion, but now, it would just be an awkward thing to try and hide. And if this is Luthen, who may be the Red Queen’s brother, then it is possible the tradition of tattoos came from there with them. And since Cassy would have been with them, she might have decided to use her symbol she designed for a completely different purpose this time around.
There is one interesting thing though, Elspeth says that she will be able to return to her own memory of this time seeing the statue in a memory, if need be. But why then, has she never done the same with the doors of Obernewtyn, she should have a memory of that, or do the Dreamtrails operate differently. Because, if she needs to see the doors again to see the map, her memory should serve, shouldn’t it. The memory ends though, and it is time for Iriny and Elspeth to eat!