Despite the others' concerns, Sophia met Lucrecia and snuck her into the vault to look at the cracked globe. Lucrecia was sure that the other ter'angreal from the table were related to it, and that used together they'd be able to fix the cracks. The only one she had with her was the balefire pen knife she'd stolen from Ontae.
To her surprise, the balefire didn't make a hole in the orb -- but it did annihilate one of the cracks. And... things changed. A quick look revealed nothing really major -- the color of the whitecloaks' cloaks turned from white and gold to white and red. Sophie tried taking out a bigger crack, and... suddenly, it was cold, all over the world. Cold enough that all the buildings had magical weaves to hold the heat in. Not quite 'ice age' cold, but a good 20 degrees colder than it had been earlier.
Teleporting all over the world -- Lucrecia could do that, apparently -- revealed a few other changes [that I wasn't paying attention to]. But it seemed to be making things worse, not better.
The changes also drove the crazy beggar near the shop insane. More insane. He could see the changes, too! Fezzik tried to heal him, but he couldn't -- huge parts of the man's brain were *missing*. "Hey, maybe we can get cyberware replacements for the missing pieces in the Cyberpunk world -- Hideo is probably still in the area." Unfortunately, the city and all its cyberware doctors were currently in the middle of a war with the whitecloaks, which they were losing.
Oh, yeah. The whitecloaks.
So, it was time to run away. Fezzik wanted to run back to where all the weirdness began, but they had a cart full of stuff and wouldn't be able to take it through the forest, at least not secretly. There was a road that led straight east into the mountains, though, into Aiel territory -- and perhaps not coincidentally, it was the location of another cache of ter'angreal. Since merchants were allowed in Aiel territory, maybe they could go loot that cache and then sell the ter'angreal in it to the Aiel? They'd be safe from the whitecloaks there, at any rate.
Before leaving town, Sophia stole back -- sorry, 'borrowed' -- the orb and the other ter'angreal that went with it. A day out from Cairhein, they decided to play around with the scissors, which were supposed to be able to 'twist probability', according to a notation in the book-only-those-with-poor-memory-could-r
With magic sight, he could see that it would take *really* precise movement to get back to any particular species -- he didn't have the dexterity to get back to Feriphal. He did manage to get back to something that could see (a 'blue paracil'), then carelessly let go of the scissors. When he tried to twist the crack again to make another attempt at changing his own species, he started changing Kanwei's species instead. Using air to try to turn the thing more precisely didn't really work, though, and the closest he could get Kanwei back to his original form was to make him into a crystal shapeshifter.
"I wonder, if we used the balefire on this crack, would we all turn into humans?" No one let Fezzik try that.
However, after looking up from fucking up their own lives, they noticed that twisting the crack had made huge cracks appear in reality, just like the one that had been outside their shop. Eep!
"Does using balefire do the same thing?" Fezzik wondered, and quickly used it to zap a random crack a ways away from the one they'd been twisting. And... carts no longer existed, just pack mules. No crack, though. "Okay, so using balefire is safe."
"You just deleted carts from existance, and you say it's SAFE?"
"Well, at least I didn't delete gold and summer," Fezzik grumped.
Then Kanwei looked through the window into tel'aran'rhiod, and saw that a huge crack in the dreamworld had appeared at the place where he'd used the balefire. So, no, it wasn't safe either.
"I wonder if balefire will delete these cracks in the real world?" Fezzik said, "Can I have the big balefire wand Raem warned us never to use ever because it was too dangerous? Thanks!"
Spraying balefire didn't destroy the cracks in the world... it did cut holes in the clouds, though. How far away were the clouds? How far away was Carhein? How slow were they now, on pack mules, following a road with no branches that only went one place?
Maaaybe it was time to head to the maze after all, instead of continuing along the road -- packmules could fit between trees, at least.
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