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While Filis is explaining to Airek what really went on last night, Baughb is explaining to Glynhial just what happened after she was bottled. Glynhial has already noticed that Baughb is not the elf she once knew…

This flashback to the time Baughb first entered the Faerie Gates is handled in an unique way: the Sprite is persuaded to turn itself inside out, and carry Baughb and a startled Glynhial back to a point just hours before the Great Convergence hit.

At this time, Baughb, with more than a little help from a young Oggie, manages to escape from a pair of pursuing goblins: the vizier Akarnis, and a nasty piece of work called Ragnarok. (Carson assures us that no allegory is meant in that name.)

Our two time travellers follow Baughb to the encampment of the refugees from the City of Glynhial. There Glynhial learns that the high elf Aemus understood what was going on with the Faerie Gates, despite being labelled as a crank. While he explains this to Oggie and Baughb, the refugees are bundled into safe refuges; nearby caves which avoid being rearranged with everything else.

Pity Meera Bella didn't go inside.

Other eyes are watching. Ragnarok and Akarnis have tracked Baughb down, but it transpires that Ragnarok is acting on the Empress of Glynhial's orders to sweep aside any opposition, and that includes Akarnis. The ensuing bluff and lunge, however, brings both of them into Baughb's hands.

Then the Great Convergence hits.

In the ensuing chaos, Meera's baby daughter is siezed by Ragnarok, who threatens to kill her unless Baughb gives himself up. In a cunning game of double-cross, Akarnis almost manages to save the baby.

Almost.

The upheaval caused by the GreatConvergence causes Ragnarok, now mortally wounded, to get hold of the infant again. With his last contemptuous, dying breath, Ragnarok hurls little Filis, daughter of Meera Bella and the Empress of Glynhial's half brother, into the faerie gate.

Yes, she is the same one. I knew you'd work it out. Baughb knows, probably because Great-Grandfather told him - but Filis doesn't know. Politics, you see. She thinks it was her mother who fell out of a faerie gate.

Anyway, Ragnarok's baby-toss is what led Baughb to jump into the faerie gate in the first place. However, since Oggie was being led into the caves at the time, the last thing he clearly recalled was the father figure in his life handing him a sword and saying, "Here, hold this. I'll be right back."

Can you blame him for getting things a little jumbled?

After this terrible revelation, Baughb gets the Sprite to change locales for yet another terrible revelation.

At this point, Carson stopped shading his panels in order to speed up production. He's a busy little bee at the moment you know, with a paper comic, and the web comic, and all sorts of other projects. And actually, given the subject matter, it worked extremely well.

Said subject matter being Alfheim of the all too near future. A desolate, disintegrating world; a long-deserted battlefield littered with the bones of the fallen. A vision of a dead future which, paradoxically, holds the key to elfdom's salvation.

The bones of Akarnis point to a stone. A stone which hides - or hid - an entrance to the goblin Underrealm and the stable faerie gates therein. Baughb, in the throes of excited epiphany, begins planning how to conduct an evacuation of the planet, much to the confusion of Glynhial.

Mind you, I think she stopped listening about the time Baughb mentioned in passing that he was going to die in battle.

Just before the Sprite returns them to Filis' kitchen - either deliberately or as a side effect of its falling asleep - Baughb makes a bad decision to have one last look at his putative grave. I say bad, because of the nature of a nearby grave's decoration.

Said grave is adorned with a sword and helmet that are horribly like Filis'.

Baughb is so stupefied by this ghastly revelation that he doesn't notice for some time that he's "back". Not until Filis is in front of him, anyway.

Glynhial, also, is badly shaken by the events of the last half hour. (Yes, the last half hour took over six months to cover!) However, sympathy is the last thing she wants; and she almost immediately starts to throw her weight around, landing on Airek.

Don't worry. Airek won't be hurt... I think. And I doubt Glynhial will drop him deliberately.

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