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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.


Answers of Abharahab

"My companions seem to think we are in the past magically. 10,000 years or so they tell me. If that's true, will anything we have done, or will do, here have an effect on what we find in the future?"
    "If you are truly in the past, then yes you may affect the future. But if you were truly in the past then you would possess an aura which you do not. The Sign of Eshua is not upon you or any of your companions. Therefore, I suggest that you are not truly in the past."

"What is the Sign of Eshua?"
    "When a being has departed from one realm but left either their body, spirit, or in this case their past, in another realm then the Sign of Eshua is upon them. It is similar to the gifts that some of you possess, Annos. If you have traveled the Astral Realm then you may know of the silver cords which bind your spirit to your world while your spirit travels there in the Astral. The Sign of Eshua is like that; it marks you so that you will return to where you are from. Such a Sign can be seen by beings which possess certain gifts as I do."

"How is it that some of the divine beings of our time live 'just down the street' in this place? How does one become truly 'Great' as they have?"
    "You, young dwarf, have become great. Your arrival here is a measure of your greatness. Continue the path that you are upon and perhaps one day you shall be greater still, but you shall be great in ways unlike many of the people who live in this place, for they are ancient and came first before your own kin."

"Do all divine beings like Clanadagan come from here?"
    "Divine? That is not how I would describe Clannadigan. He is certainly a splendid personality, but I would not normally use the word 'splendid' to describe him, nor any of the Aenod or their descendents who now war against each other. Words such as heroic, stalwart, fatherly, powerful, wise, and valiant do come to mind though, but I have not answered your question yet.
    In most ancient times, before this epoch had begun, the Aenod were brought here and given given great tasks. When they had finished their work they tunneled from here throughout the earth to seed the younger dwarven races, molding them from the earth and gifting them with the breath of life. So, yes, all of the Aenod came from here."

"Who made the First people (ie the First Dwarves) if they are the First?"
    "They were not made, but saved from destruction. Let me explain. In the epoch before this one in which we live there was a time of great turmoil. Great magic swept through the world and changed every living creature. The Aenod were shaped by this magic and took their present form near the end of that epoch. A being called Beldin Khan brought the Aenod here, sheltered them from the chaotic magics, gave unto them great gifts and talents, and then set them upon the task of creating devices which would end that epoch and usher in the one that we presently live within. Thus, they kept they were rescued and kept their form. They then tunneled through the earth and by using the gifts which had been given to them they formed the first of your kind and others like you."

"How can you convince a once good creature, turned to deepest evil against her will, return to good? (Minaret, for example)"
(once you have explained the circumstances of her change, he answers)
    "The words of the Ancients have been mostly lost, but some ancient beings still remember a time when they were used. They coveted those words which were pleasing to them like treasures and some of this knowledge was secured well enough to survive into our present time. To hear these words is to feel them move through the universe and every fiber of one's being. It is a power that most creatures can barely endure to experience. They are words which demand change and effect by their very utterance.
    "They cannot be undone, not in the sense that one can erase their blemish in the way that a healing magic removes a wound and does not even leave a scar. These ancient words leave scars which can only be healed by magic of the same order in power. I can see that some of you have suffered from the effect of these words, it is a thing that can be seen by one who possesses gifts such as I do. You still bear those scars, but you have committed yourselves to a good course of action. This is something that your mortal kind can do. Minaret is immortal, her spirit is there, in her flesh, for all to see. Her nature makes it impossible to chose differently, she cannot hide what she has become.
    "So, here is what can be done. If she hears a 'word' from the axiom opposite of what changed her, she will become a creature of that axiom. I am speaking of good and evil right now, though there are many other axioms. There is another option, you can attempt to 'heal' her spirit by taking her to a place where pure powers of good freely manifest and perhaps with time and monitoring she will evolve and change once again. There is one other possibility; by her speaking the three chimes in the City of the Ancients she may re-emerge in her base nature, but I cannot be certain of that."

"Does this place exist in our 'time', and can we come back here if we ever get 'home'?"
    "This place, the City of Ancients, will exist at very least until the end of this epoch, whatever that may be. Regardless of what time you may be from, it is clear that you are from the same epoch as many of the beings who dwell here are. Thus, I would presume that you could return to here in your time. I presume you could return to here in this time too, if you were inclined to."

"Who were the first to discover this place or who created it?"
    "It was built by the Aenod, who were brought here by Beldin Khan. Though we cannot prove it or know for certain, we believe that the City of the Ancients was created by powers like that which dwells within the Halls of Za."

"What are the Halls of Za?"
    "The Halls of Za are where the petitioning spirits to the Queen of the Dead must travel and answer her summons. There they endure numerous trials before they are finally weighed and their fate is given to them. It is a dangerous place for the living to go, though there are tools which one can carry and use there that can aid in overcoming the hazards and obsticles which oppose the presence of the living."

"Do evil beings of divine power come here too? (ie does, for example, Azhul live here somewhere?)"
    "What do you mean by divine power? Do you mean the power of Belief, which mortals call 'the One?' Do you mean the power of the firmament which many call 'Sol?' Perhaps you mean some other power?
    "Yes, evil beings do come here. All seekers are welcome to this sanctuary. No being called Azhul has passed through the gates of this sanctuary. Perhaps in your time such a named being has."

"What changes will we endure once we go Up and Out?"
    You mean when you enter into the City of the Ancients and speak the Chimes of Sanctuary? We do not know for certain what happens to those who do not come back. From my personal experience and that reported by others who have returned, it is ultimately rapturous bliss and a feeling of complete harmony with the multiverse. One feels as though they could touch all the world from such a state. Great things are possible from such a moment of existence.

"What is the nature of the 'test of worthiness' that the first Dwarves spoke of?"
    "Those who come to live among the Aenod must pass several tests before their position in society can be determined. They test the spirit of the petitioner, his aptitude at craft, and the purity of his bloodline."

"What happens when someone dies here, before the Great Hall of Ancestors came to be? (ie what is the afterlife here?)"
    "Upon death, one's spirit is summoned and weighed by the Queen of the Dead, who resides in the Halls of Za. What happens after this weighing is done is decided by Her, but is thought that Her judgement is influenced by the culture and beliefs of the deceased. Only she knows for certain. Some people travel there and return with tales of speaking to their long dead ancestors who yet wait for their judgement. Some travel there in search of unclaimed powers, like the one that your sorceress possesses, for which no inheritor was named and thus became lost. Most simply do not return from there."

"What about the other Dwarven Greats (Al goes on to list all of the Dwarven gods he can)? Do they live here too?"
    "The sons of Clannadigan do not live here, they still travel the earth. Thase once dwelt here, but was Clannadigan cast him out for his wicked ways. If you ask Clannadigan about this, I suggest you be cautious about how you go about it."

"Will we remember everything of our journey here once we leave, or will Something Bad happen to our memories of this place?"
    "All that you learn while you are here is for you to keep. We do not begrudge you all that you have learned here. We simply ask that you allow others to find their own way here and not provide them with material assistance in reaching this place."

"So what's Titalus up to these days? Can we confront him now while weaker, and remove him from our 'home time'?"
    "Titalus? This name is not immediately familiar to me. But if it is some immortal from your own time then I would presume that what you do to his form here will probably have no effect upon him in your time since I do not believe that you are in your own past."