They left that place and returned to camp in the village which had been – or perhaps one day would be still in another age – the village called Elum, after its legendary founder. The decision was made to strike camp at once, and abandon the works which had been undertaken by the men-at-arms.

When they tried to look back to where the stone dwelling had been, they saw only empty desert. It had presumably been swallowed back up into the Hypogeum, along with the mountains, and apparently nearly everything else in this enchanted land.

Greppo ordered the two boats to be prepared. The one which was in better shape was to be for those who would make the return voyage to Kremel, perhaps to one day return again to explore these shores when the tumult of the Changes had subsided (if ever it would, or if in fact anything remained). The other was for those who would go on the shorter voyage with Benda, to settle the island of Ovarion, promised by the High Augur and by Elum to the New King. Benda shirked this title whenever he heard it, but it stuck with the others, and they continued to call him it in both jest and in respect for what they’d seen of the man.

In the end, Benda’s raisla went with him. This included, of course, his wife and son, Lualla, and Sol, his friend Ofend, the inestimable Tob Gobble, and – to Benda’s delight and surpise – both Eradus and Machef. Despite Benda’s protests that they should return to their lands, families, and responsibilities, they insisted. Benda could not bring himself to object for over-long, and acquiesced. They promised the arrangement would be only temporary – to help him build the dream of Tantathawe. And they agreed with those others who would return to Kremel – Greppo, Mergolech, and Martis Ovnis – that they would endeavor to keep open the Way, and to rejoin these new lands together again as in the friendship of the old.

Eradus indicated his desire for his brother to continue ruling Devera in his stead, as he had been since Eradus had set out on this adventure with Benda some months ago now. Murta did not return, and was presumed lost. Martis Ovnis, his neighbor to the north, already had designs on his kingdom. In actuality, unknown to them, he had found a way into the Hypogeum.

For the second and final time, Benda bade farewell on the docks of this village. But this time, he was headed to his true home, he felt, though it were a place he’d never been before. The island of Ovarion. With him went twenty men-at-arm and rowers of Kremel. And together the two ships, avoiding the inward flowing current, rowed out of the Bay of Erasure.

Passing where should have stood the towers of Jyagar and Raggath, they turned back from the decks of their ships, and saw nothing. Not empty ocean, or blank hills and deserts, but true and barren nothing. They bid one another adieu, and Greppo’s ship hoisted sail on its newly restored mast, and set out past Gilla. This outward lying island, for whatever reason, did not move, shrink, or disappear. For good reason, as it’s name in the Quatrian language meant anchor. And such it would remain in the ages to come, acting as a waypoint between Kremel, Tetharys, and Ovarion.

Benda’s ship meanwhile, lacking the luxury of intact masts of sails, went under oar carefully skirting the wall of nothing toward the west in the direction of Ovarion, as what remained of Quatria folded up into itself, and vanished back into the Hypogeum.