More disjointed thoughts as I digest this. Regarding the thoughts about Ember not being affected by the palace since she wasn't living in it. The influence of the palace is bigger than the planet. All elves everywhere are being affected by it. As I was contemplating this in a hazy, half-asleep state, I wondered if the palaces aura is so big, why hadn't been affecting the elves this whole time? Why did they have all the affects of being deprived of it's influence? Then I remembered that it had to be activated by all those spirits living in it. I also am wondering about Cutter asking Strongbow to take his place when the little pod gathers them up. Take his place where? As acting chief? Why Strongbow when that's traditionally been Treestump's position. There was really no need for the comment storywise so I wonder if that will mean something later.