Journal of Miyara Kyosuke (53)

    We have returned to the monastery.  Our only remaining task is to help Ostahar find his way.  Defeating the ogres for him is not an option, as the dwarves will not leave if they hold the place.  It would be ironic, I say, if the ogres would need our help to win.  Or have we already helped him find his way again, because it was necessary before we could get the stone of stones.  Ashu says we are looking for somewhere safe for the stones for eternity; I say we should keep them and use them; Goru wants to destroy them; Pireseri doesn't care beyond his lifetime.
    The barbarians could not come to any conclusion, which is hardly surprising.  We decided to sleep on the matter.  Pireseri then suggests we should put back the stone of stones after the ogres have won, but before Og's group was rescued.  He says we cannot use the stones against the ogres because of the visions.
    I say that assumes we would be fighting on the side of the dwarves.  Also, we have the stones and can retain them.  But we do have to put the stone of stones back.  I also point out none of the other parties did get the stone, because it was there when we found it.
    Pireseri says it  should go back when the Guardian was weak, 20 years from now, and put the stone back right before we found it.  We can use the origmai pieces Ashu picked up as the anchor to get to that time.
    Perhaps, I say, it was we who weakened the Guardian.  If we used the stone of fire against it when we put it back, that would weaken it.
    The catch is we don't know how to put the stone back.  Goru could speak the words again, only this time stating it is to be sealed away until he comes again.
    We can of course use the box to go to the death of the stone.  An object in the water anchors to its birth.  An object in the fire goes to its destruction.  So we could put the stone back, go back to our own time, go pick up the stone, then go to its death.

    So we have decided to put the stone back after the ogres have won, right before we found it for the first time.  We would go directly to the muck, and Goru could seal it away.  My only concern is if the ogres might need our help to win against the dwarves.  We need to go and watch the fight and make sure that the ogres win.  Any later and we would risk the pattern of events breaking down.  My theory is that if we break the pattern of time, that's what unleashes the chaos.  As long as we retain order, we force events into one pattern.  Once we break out of that, that's when multiple outcomes become possible.  What we are doing only works if we fight to retain causality.  We do not need to interfere if the ogres are winning, but we must be there to make sure the ogres win.  We know the ogres win and Ostahar lives.  Anywhere we interfere in this time, we must make sure that causality is maintained and the future we know, happens.  Anything else, and causality breaks down and the chaos gods can take the stones.
    Pireseri says we could go to the time to verify the ogres were there when they were captured...
    And I say that's the worst we could do, because it opens the possibility that the ogres did not win.  In our timeline, the chaos gods do not have the stones.  This is the only timeline where we know for certain the chaos gods do not have the stones, and we must work to make sure this line happens every place we interfere.

    We will relocate ourselves in space, not time, and watch the battle unfold.  We will watch, and only give aid if necessary.  The ogres must win.  We must also make sure Ostahar survives, but as I explain we have already done that by showing them the back door.  If we had not told him about it -- and interfered -- he would have died with no way out.
    Pireseri and I agree we should watch from the big hill outside.
    We work the box, and are on the hill overlooking the entrance.
    There are lots of greenskins arranged in a siege around the entrance.  There are other around on the hills, but all are focussed on the fortress.
    So now we sit and watch.  This could take years, of course, but we have no choice if we do not want to join in and kill dwarves.  We set up a safe camp, assign watches, and light no fire.

    It is just before sunrise.  The ogres do not seem to be standing over the back hole, but it is not guaranteed that they do not know about it or that anyone trying to escape would succeed,
    The sun comes up.  There is a loud noise coming from the entrance to the shrine, dwarven warcries as if they were sallying forth.  The ogres we can see do indeed charge forward to meet them.  After a minute or two, the ogres on the hill begin to move down and around in order to join the battle.
    As we consider what to do, Ostahar pops up out of the hidey hole followed by the future king, Mendi.  They make a break for it.  They get about 30 yards, and a pair of ogres steps in their way.  I say we kill those two ogres now.  They are quite some distance away.  We will have to hurry.
    Miyara gives the order.  Goru goes, Ashu and I run down to attack.  Everyone else stays.
    As we run down, after a couple of rounds, Ostahar holds his own but Mendi takes a vicious blow to the skull and collapses.  I hope Miyara is sending Rabenna.
    As we run, Ostahar has turned tail and runs towards the hidey hole.  We must rescue Mendi.  Then we can send Goru back to get Ostahar out.
    The ogres are standing over the hidey hole.  I head to Mendi first.  Goru is going to kill ogres.  Ashu follows, while I go to Mendi to First Aid him.  I treat his wounds to stabilize him, and signal back to make sure Rabenna is coming.
    The other two have been fighting, with the ogres concentrating on them, and Ostahar has returned from the hole with the King.  They start making a run for it towards me.
    A large group of ogres are now coming up from the low level to the hills to join in.  Rabena is by now tending Mendi, and the King and Ostahar can carry Mendi to safety with Rabenna along to treat them.
    I will hold off the hordes of orcs by Clown Fighting.  I am a Master of the Art, I have trained a Master, and if I am to die in the place that the Master Og dies, then I am satisfied.  But I must not kill too many and turn the tide of battle.  There are eight of them.  I am tripping and falling, making ugly faces, taunting them into battle.

They are at -15 to hit.

    Defending is exactly what I am doing.

    Ostahar and the King have reached Ravenna.  O picks up R, moves her away from Mendi as she protests and explains.  The King gets on top of Mendi, grabs him by the ears, and stares deeply into his eyes.

    I am in battle now.  I must occupy all eight without significantly injuring any of them.  But first I must get their attention, as they are heading for the dwarves.  I hit one severely, then another, dancing along to keep them all occupied as much as I can.  I hit another one a more glancing blow.
    The ogres I have been harrassing have reached Mendi and the others.  I strike another one hard.  I have failed badly at distracting them, as they are entirely set on Mendi and the King.  They gather around and attack the King.  I am relieved -- I hope I do know what is going on, and as far as the ogres see the King is lying on his brother's dead body.
    I strike hard again, still trying to draw them from the King.  This one turns to hit me, just because it is too crowded around the King.  I chop at yet another, who half-heartedly swings at me.
    [Ashu is running back, having killed his as Goru kills the other.  Rabenna is standing some 10 yards away from the King, and she is alone.  Ashu, hurt badly, runs towards her.]
    I hit my seventh.
    Rabena heads towards Ashu.
    I hit the eighth and last one.
    Goru looks badly hurt too, and is following Ashu to Rabena.  She attends Ashu, suggesting they go back up the hill.
    I start working the circle of ogres again.  I do not care who I hit, but must make sure they ogres do not mutilate what they believe to be Mendi's body.  I don't know what magic he is working, but I am convinced that he is saving Mendi with his own spirit, or perhaps merging their spirits.
    Goru joins me.  I am pleased at this display of honor.  The ogres have finished with the King, and turn their full attention on us.  Ostahar is nowhere to be seen, but of course he is only a spirit.  I tell Goru to get Mendi to safety, while I take on all eight.  I back up taunting and Clown Fighting to clear them from Mendi.  I have four, and so does Goru.  So I must kill some to get the rest.  I strike as I can, not caring which ones take the blows.  I dance, I stumble, I trip, I taunt.  And between I deliver my strikes.
    Goru goes down.
    I shout at the others and try to draw them to me.
    Miyara order me to get Goru get up the top.  It is very loud here, and I decide not to make out her words.  My object is to get all eight fighting me.  I shout back up the hill, get Mendi to safety.  Her response is that it is too late for Mendi, and that we must fetch the stones and get out of here.  I shout, get Goru while I distract them.  I continue to distract them as much as possible so that Bark and Miyara can fetch him.
    I Clown Fight as a Master.  I cannot be defeated.  Rather, I will succeed in my task whether I am defeated or not, because my spirit is strong, and my spirit cannot be defeated even if my body falls.
    Miyara and Bark have picked up Goru and headed back up the hill.  I have succeeded.
    I will fight until they reach the top of the hill.
    Finally, one dies.  I continue as the massed horde of ogres, their whole army, comes to take on this martial arts Master.  At the top of the hill they are readying the box.  When I am sure they are safe I will come.
    Miyara calls that they are going now.
    I take one last blow, then dance clear and up the hill.  I trip, stumble, dance, leap, stagger, my way up the hill.  The ogres chase but do not get close.
    They wink out as I approach.  I touch the boundary and am gone.

    [they were headed for the monastery]

    We are in the inner temple where the stone of stones resided.  It's an odd choice, and I don't like the mud of course, but it works.  I don't know when we are, but at least I know where.  The pillar is not glowing.