The ride back to the inn seemed endless to Carric. Though anxious to read the journal, It was impossible to ride and read at the same time so he had made the decision to wait till that evening to read it. Arriving at the inn, the party took dinner together and, with their permission, Carric retired for the evening asking that they all meet in his room in the morning to discuss the journal’s contents.
Carric read (and re-read) the journal late in to the night. A fitful sleep finally took him with the book resting on his chest. He awakened to loud banging on his door and Avienda’s voice calling for him to open it. He stumbled out of bed and swung the door open. Blurry-eyed, he grunted for her to come in. At the same moment, the others started arriving one by one. Carric cast Light on the desk lamp so the others could see the journal that he had lain open on the desk. Though the sun was up by now, he did not open the curtains for fear of prying eyes.
He sat down at the desk as his friends gathered around. “I will read to you the more important passages, but I encourage any you to read this at your leisure if you want to have a better understanding… it is indeed heady stuff.” Carric read from the journal skipping over less important passages. [OOC: Meaning, he reads everything you just read but skips over the parts Ray skipped over.] Upon finishing he leaned wearily back in his chair and sighed. “So… at least we know now why these strange time loops are happening. And it appears to fall to me, or us, to set it right.”
Rubbing her hands together gleefully, Avienda reached for the journal and began flipping through it. “My my Carric, this is quite complex stuff, it’s really interesting.” She points at a particular passage, “do you think Rosie would come with us? It looks like it reads that he would be helpful within the time stream. What would we do with Quantum though if we took him?” When she got to the part describing Carric as not intelligent enough to be a Chronomancer, she doubled over laughing. Oh you poor man! No wonder you look like you didn’t sleep at all last night! This must have been such a blow to your adorably fragile ego." She grinned ear to ear, watching to see the flush creep up from Carric’s cheeks to the tips of his ears.
Somehow not hearing the last part of Avienda’s comments, Carric simply shrugged. “I don’t know if Rosie would come with us – we can always ask. As for Quantum… Starch seemed to take a particular affection to him…”
After a long silence, Carric looked up at everyone. “There’s more. Using the journal, I have learned the process necessary to enter this time-stream Quantum speaks of.” Carric held up the amulet hanging around his neck. “The key, quite literally, is the amulet. From any location – even here, now – I can use it so I and those around me can enter the stream and navigate to points in time-space. We can, as quantum described, work to repair the damage caused by his experiments. Doing so should restore him to his proper age.”
“It’s likely to be dangerous, but it seems as if inaction on our part could be catastrophic. What say you?”
“Wait…doesn’t it say in the journal, that the results of whatever moment we find ourselves in must remain the same in order to ensure that time has not been altered? So, if we try to change Quantum’s age, wouldn’t we be changing the results?” Avienda shook her head, clearly puzzled, “or am I thinking too much on this?”
Carric sighed and spoke slowly, as if to a child. “Quantum’s age IS an unnatural alteration of space-time. We’re just trying to prevent that alteration by ensuring that other events happen as they were meant to. And by ‘meant to’ I mean ‘as we remember them’. At least that’s my understanding of how this should work.”
Starch walked up to Avienda and Carric and whispered ,“does that mean beau has to die?”
Carric pointed to the very much alive halfling. “I don’t think so.”
“We remember him dieing though we were all there ….”
Avienda’s eyes got big at Starch’s suggestion, and she looked immediately to Carric, “he doesn’t remember dying though. So, who’s reality is the right one? Carric, I don’t want to do this if it means Beau dying again.”
With an exasperated expression, Carric pulled out a blackboard and started furiously drawing on it. Twenty minutes later it included mathematical forumulas, a stick figure drawing of a halfling with several daggers in it (but crossed out with a big “X”), various arrows pointed back and forth between stick figures of Carric, Adult Quantum, Baby Quantum, and un-stabbed Beau. All the way to the right was a stick figure depiction of all of them celebrating at the inn, with Carric at the center having beer bought for him, and a stick figure Avienda with word balloon “My hero!” above her head.
Carric tossed the chalk down. “Any questions?”
The moment chalk touched the board Delwyn started guessing what Carric was drawing akin to win lose or draw. “Carrots! Dog! Uh… Like a weird table thing! Oprah! Okra! Orca! A slightly bigger carrot!”
Blushing, Avienda flipped through the journal where Quantum had written about Carric’s limited brain capacity and inability to learn to be a chronomancer. “Turns out Quantum was wrong in at least some sections of his journal, you are pretty smart Carric.” Her confession was barely audible over the dwarf shouting answers at the chalkboard. Shrugging, she looked up and smiled apologetically towards Carric.