The last several days, or years, depending on how you look at it, have been rapid and confusing. My head is still spinning. I mostly kept my mouth shut and went along, and I don't know what will come of it. In the short term, our actions had the desired effect. But in the long? Only the gods know, and they're not telling.

Goldrim had several disquieting visions, all of disaster on a grand scale. The overall effect was of the dwarves using the doomstones in a war of desctruction.

To make a long story short, we used Sean's magic box to bend time in ways we probably shouldn't have. We travelled to the dwarven shrine where we had been captured earlier, in our own timeline; Kadar Helgad. We arrived 22 years ago, when the ogres overran the shrine, not incidentally casting Lord Ostohar into his current funk.

All went smoothly. We arrived in the pillar room, avoided tentacles, Goldrim spoke the harsh, yet sonorous Dwarven words and claimed the Stone of Stones. Then Sean used his box to send us back to Karak Ostohar, still 22 years in the past.

We arrived in the mountains and it took as a few minutes to orient ourselves. I refused the suggestion that I use the Crystal of Air to float myself into the air to see the countryside. That would have been like using Goldrim's hammer to whack a mosquito.

We were merely an hour's walk away. Karak Ostohar looked much the same. Miara was certain that the statue she pursued would still be in the alcove 22 years ago, so we entered the bank. The Chin would also have been there, as well as the Nergal-worshipping orcs in the depths of Karak Ostohar.

We opened the door. Within, the statue was in its alcove, and I saw triumph flit across Miara's usually stoic face. Briefly, because in front of the alcove were a young orc and an ancient man of eastern descent, practicing some sort of martial arts. As soon as the young orc saw us, he roared and ran forward to attack us.

Kyuskay rolled in, immediately sparring with the orc, in a fine exhibition of clown-fighting. I smiled in appreciation, and I recognized the orc. I was looking the fallen Og, 20 years before he died.

Kyuskay was more skilled than the young orc, but fought merely to test him, not to defeat him.

After about 5 minutes, Og signalled a halt. They bowed and spoke. Og spoke in a strange language that sounded kind of like Nipponese but wasn't. Chin, of course. Kyuskay, Miara, and Og held an extremely polite conversation with José translating.

The upshot was that Kyuskay had been searching for this same Og, but had only found his body. Kyuskay gave him a rather cryptic sense of his own future. Asked, Og then carried the frail old man to us, who spoke in excellent Old Worlder. It took little more than a glance to tell me he was at Death's door; sheer old age.

He spoke to Miara, who looked a little like she'd been punched in the stomach. She apologized that Shishay Godanjy couldn't be there, but that he ha sent her to retrieve the statue. He said she must perform one task and the statue was hers. He asked her to deliver Og to a merchant, who was to conduct him to his new employment in Atterdorf. I stifled an hysterical giggle: Og was on his way to join the troupe of entertainers where he was our guard.

After a short wait, the man died and we buried him. Miara said something quietly over his grave. Then she retrieved the statue from its alcove, and we walked with Og to the place where he was to meet the merchant. Kyuskay took the brief opportunity to speak with Og, finally warning him that when he saw us again, he should pretend not to recognize us.

The merchant was not thrilled about travelling with an orc, and had a cage set up for him. Kyuskay was reluctant to hand him over, but in the end did so. The merchant swore not to mistreat Og, and Og promised to behave quietly.

As we watched the caravan move off, Goldrim asked if I could restore his hearing, and his senses of smell and taste. I told him I cannot, but I will have to medidate on this. Perhaps there is something I can do. Although I was taught to control and apply my healing talent, I really know little about it. Maybe I can do more.

In the dark, we returned to the monastery/bank. Miara has her precious statue. Goldrim now carries the Stone of Stone. Ashe carries the Crystal of Fire, now that Carmella has relinquished it. I still carry the Crystal of Air.

Kyuskay wanted to rescue the dwarves in Kadar Helgad somehow. Although we all sympathized, the rest of us didn't think we should change the past. We decided we needed to temporarily place the Stone of Stone into the pillar, and then retrieve it right after we left without it the first time. After all, it was there when we were, so we had to put it back so it would be there in our past.

Travelling out of time is very confusing. And frustrating. You don't dare change the things you long to change.

Ravenna, A Monk of the Biancan Order

Part the First:
Blood and Mud

Part the Second:
Murder and Mayhem

Part the Third:
Puzzles and Crystals

Part the Fourth:
Dwarves and Rocks

Part the Fifth:
Diplomacy and Daggers

Part the Sixth:
Crystal and Chaos

Part the Seventh:
Sheer Insanity

~ The End ~