=========================Turn 7 Part IIb ========================
Cragspider continues her tale . . .

               Men theorized that life was transported across the 
          galaxy by a race called the Ancients.  There was evidence on 
          many worlds of a great war, and men believed that the 
          Ancients destroyed themselves.  Even more incredible, there 
          seemed to be living members of the Ancient race, but these 
          Droyne were pitiful farmers who had little interest in 
          expanding outside of their small enclaves.
               These were interesting questions, but when man entered 
          our sector, my ancestors felt an obligation to stop some of 
          their most disruptive tests.  That is when disaster struck 
          on a galactic level.
               Within a few Earth years two things happened which my 
          ancestors recorded in their journals.  First, man's empire 
          dissolved into a great war.  Second, my ancestors pocket 
          universes began to be attacked one by one by incredibly 
          powerful forces.  A few of these forces were intercepted and 
          captured, and an amazing discovery was made!
               The creatures attacking our pocket universes were 
          Droyne androids of incredibly complex construction!  The 
          word came out from our high council to abandon our pocket 
          universes, but we left them highly trapped as well!  Some of 
          them were left as huge pools of energy, and when the 
          unsuspecting usurper entered them, not only would the force 
          attacking be vaporized, the link between the worlds would 
          transmit back the energy and the origin of the force would 
          be destroyed as well.  Some of the universes were made into 
          black holes, and there begins my life.
                         My twin brother and I were born just after we 
          began to vacate the pocket universes and leave our traps.  
          Mankind at large was working on his third Imperium as the 
          Terrans called it.   My brother and I were a promising pair, 
          and we were called upon to work on the most glorious project 
          which my people had ever devised.  We called it Project 
          Taron in honor of man's birthplace, Terra, and our current 
          homeworld which we called Centurion.  
               Our project was designed to find a way of converting 
          thoughts directly into physical action and reality.  
(Branham snickers aloud at this notion and says `impossible!' Cragspider shoots 
him a scowl and continues.)
               We achieved more sucess than you can know.  We showed 
          it was theoretically possible to create these pocket 
          universes through thought alone.  We had to contend with the 
          marauding Droyne robots of destruction though.  That is when 
          something else unexpected occured.
               My brother and I routinely created and destroyed very 
          small, less than a league in circumference, universes for 
          test purposes, and more than occasionally we visited them.  
          We trapped some of our creations before deserting them.  
          While on one such trapping expedition, we were accousted by 
          Ossirri, Grandfather Mortal!
               He approached us openly and said to us in our own 
          language ``you have destroyed most of my offensive 
          capability, and you could destroy me now.  We are worthy 
          opponents, but we would make better allies.  You have 
          suceeded in an area I long tried to master, but I have 
          achieved a goal that was the cause of my immortality.''

               My brother and I urged him to continue and his tale was 
          an incredible one indeed!  Ossirri's tale follows.
                 Ossirri said ``I was a mutant and motivated by 
          different passions than the rest of my people.  When I was 
          born hundreds of millenia ago, my people were at what you 
          would call a late stone age level of development.  There had 
          not been progress in tens of thousands of years.  I quickly 
          became an outcast and had to use my wits to keep me alive!  
          Apparently my efforts did not go unnoticed though.
               ``I was making my way out of a town where I had 
          directed the construction of a flour mill.  I knew it would 
          last not because people understood and accepted the 
          technology, but rather, I knew they lacked the motivation to 
          destroy it.  Suddenly the air was filled with light and an 
          incredibly strange being appeared before me.''
               The creature Ossirri described was a Darrian, a member 
          of the Gebnik Empire which later collapsed and millenia 
          later became the Psalmean Empire.  In simplest terms, the 
          creature was an elf.  The creature used some type of matter 
          transmission to appear before Ossirri.  Given Ossirri's 
          level of technological experience at the time, it is a 
          testiment to his constitution he simply did not fall dead 
          from fright!  Ossirri had more to say to us though!

               Ossirri said ``He took me up to his spaceship which 
          observed our world.  He was a Darrian.  He told me that long 
          his people had waited for my birth!  Certainly I was further 
          amazed!  I was abducted really without my knowledge to the 
          far side of the galaxy to an iced over asteroid orbiting a 
          black hole at an impossible distance.  There I met someone 
          the Darrians worshipped called the Watcher.  
               I never saw the Watcher but he spoke to me in my mind.  
          The Watcher claimed to have been alive since the universe 
          was formed billions of years earlier!  He said that the 
          secret of the entire universe and creation lay inside the 
          confines of the black hole which his asteroid orbited about.
               ``I asked him if he was the creator, and in my mind I 
          fancied I heard laughter!  The Watcher said that he admired 
          my courage!  The Watcher said that he was not the creator, 
          but he knew the creator.  The Watcher said the secret to 
          meeting the creator lay inside that black hole.
               ``The Watcher went further.  He said that if I promised 
          to apply my efforts to finding a way to retrieve the item 
          from inside that black hole, he would make me immortal.  I 
          thirsted for knowledge the way a black hole hungers for 
          mass.  I agreed, and the Watcher was good to his word.  
               ``I was taken back to my homeworld.  Now that I had 
          seen space technology, I hungered for it myself.  I brought 
          my entire race from the pasture to the stars in just under 
          five hundred years.
               ``I genetically engineered companions from my species.  
          At first they were worthy research helpers and companions.  
          We accomplished many things.  We were responsible for some 
          of the wonders on your old Earth.  We seeded intelligent 
          races across the stars.  
               ``Soon I realized that the other intelligent agents and 
          my companions were nuisances at best and threats at worst.  
          The Darrians were my first victims.  I had to destroy anyone 
          who knew of the watcher, and I leveled their civilizations.  
          Then, I began attacking my companions.  At first my 
          chemicals and biological agents caught them unaware, but 
          soon they banded together against me!  The fools!  I felt 
          alive after millenia and finished them off.
               ``I fled to a pocket universe where I toiled on 
          problems of my own devising having figured that the Watcher 
          could no longer influence me.  Perhaps I was right on that 
          account except that fate intervened.''
               My brother and I asked the obvious question of why was 
          he telling us that he had murdered his own offspring and 
          killed multitudes of sentient lifeforms?
               Ossirri laughed and said ``mankind has done far worse 
          and is capable of worse still!  I am about to make you an 
          offer.  You see, many of my creations were trapped in those 
          black holes you left for me.  It is my own fault for 
          underestimating mankinds ability to destroy things, but it 
          did prompt me to do additional research into black holes . . 
               I said ``so now you are not only the mighty master of 
          genocide, you are also the undisputed master of the 
          universe!''  Ossirri laughed anew and said ``well, not 
               I went back to the place where the Watcher was to 
          vaporize the asteroid he rested in, but the asteroid and 
          Watcher were long gone (almost as if he *knew* I was 
          coming)!  I used my considerable resources to wrest the 
          secret from the black hole.  
               It was not what I expected, but I learned long ago not 
          to judge things by expectations.  The Watcher was fiendishly 
          clever though.  He did something to me so that I am unable 
          to use the secret.  In fact, my immortality ended when I 
          retrieved it from the black hole!
               Your experiments give me a method of further prolonging 
          my lifespan.  I offer the secret of creation in exchange for 
          my continued immortality.''
               We all agreed to meet again within a short time.  We 
          told no one about our discussions with Ossirri.  Of course, 
          we agreed to Ossirri's terms, and my brother left with him 
          in Ossirri's strange ship.  My brother returned a short time 
          later, but somehow he seemed changed.
               My brother and I worked feverishly in complete 
          solitude, but at last we accomplished an amazing thing!  We 
          created a universe where we were gods!  It was not just a 
          pocket universe which was essentially a discontinuity and 
          extension of the one we found ourselves in.  It was a whole 
          *new* cosmos with different physical laws, relations and 
          history.  My brother had done most of the work while I set 
          up the interfaces and fed in the power.  At last it was time 
          for us to enter our domain.
               My brother and I made an announcement that all those 
          Centaurians who wished to join us were welcome to follow.  
          Well, most of them were!
               We had several failsafes.  First, we did not know what 
          would happened when we opened the gateway to that new 
          universe.  So, we set up a field to put the entire sector in 
          a pocket universe if certain conditions were met.  Second, 
          my twin and I agreed to go into the universe first and 
          prepare it for our people.  The next in was to be our 
          father.  We thought about a theme, and it was father who 
          suggested a mythical-fairy tale genre.  Also, each of the 
          travellers received two books when they entered the realm.  
          One was a combination travel guide and access card.  The 
          other was a list of key phrases and code words-thoughts to 
          be used to activate key aspects of the grand experiment.  
          Not all visitors were created equally, and only my twin and 
          I were entrusted with the codes which could cause major 
          changes to the system.
               My brother and I activated the device we had created.  
          At its center was a flawless crystal sphere my brother 
          claimed was the ``dimensional key.''  The rest you have seen 
          in some level of detail earlier.  
               The Dragon Emporer is my father.
               The different types of objects I referred to are the 
          classes of sentients.  Class one are those who have an 
          existence outside of our private universe such as myself and 
          Branham.  Class two are those items created by our 
          device/the new universe which are totally dependent on its 
          laws for their motivations and actions.  This whole universe 
          was created as a playground for the Centaurians.  We soon 
          discovered though that some of the entrants become too 
          engrossed in the new universe to leave.  These were labelled 
          type one-alpha.  
               Ossirri did enter the system as he promised, but he 
          brought new codes and phrases that I was not aware even 
          existed.  My brother seemed to anticipate this.  Whether 
          they were there dormant in the system all along or new, I do 
          not know.  My brother was able to neutralize Ossirri and hid 
          his body in the most inaccessible part of the universe we 
          could find, but the damage had essentially been done.  Soon 
          our creations began doing things we did not ask to have done 
          and showing a will of their own!  Before we could react 
          fully, the Old Ones entered.  
               My brother awakened Ossirri who attempted to flee.  It 
          was impossible to go back to Centauri without revealing its 
          location to the Old Ones.  So, we were left with some hard 
          choices.  We could end the Universe, destroying not only our 
          own creations, who might very well be sentient, but 
          destroying our people as well, most of whom had entered 
          after us.  We could have attempted to extract all our people 
          and allowed the Old Ones into Centauri, or . . . well, what 
          we did.  We quickly determined that the source of the Old 
          Ones' power was the thought-operancy connection itself.  My 
          brother sabotaged it sufficiently to allow us to neutralize 
          the Old Ones.  He had to fend off all the Old Ones directly 
          to do this.  The effort nearly killed him and unhinged his 
          mind.  I hid his body on a small satellite, the blue moon, 
          where his spirit and body remained all these ages to the 
          best of my knowledge.
               I searched for many years to find a way to destroy the 
          Old Ones, but there were none obvious.  There were parts of 
          the World Machine I simply did not understand.  The Dragon 
          Emporer - father - is correct; there is more going on here 
          than I ever knew.
               Once Acheron opened the outer planes, other species 
          entered this cosmos.  Miriya's ancestors were amongst them.  
          Most entered through the circles of stones found around the 
          world or through the Nexus.  At times the World Machine 
          seemed to heal itself, and eventually I resolved to work 
          through the World's own channels.
               But, things still went wrong.  Occasionally some fool 
          would summon up an Old One or open a gate to some place 
          hideous.  If that was not bad enough then the Necromancer 
          actually went through to the Centauri universe!!!
               The defenses we had emplaced long ago went into effect, 
          and the whole sector was placed in a pocket universe.  So, 
          the trouble could never have spread too far.  Still I was 
          shaken to the core!
               At last I came to the only conclusion I could.  With 
          the world's creator dead or insane and the odd things going 
          on, it just seemed safest to destroy it all.
     With this admission, Cragspider stops speaking.

     The party members are all silent.  The Lord of Hell breaks the silence 
saying ``well, I don't want things to end myself!  You can do what you will with
these silly mortals, but I'm having too much fun to stop now!''

     Lord Eldar says to the Invisble God ``when first I enticed Lichtadon to 
summon the Old Ones, you told me to flee to the outermost planes and that the 
only price you demanded was that when the time came I would pay the debt for my 
action.  Have you summoned me forth then just to be aware of my own demise?''

     The Invisible God says ``No Lord Eldar, I have a price for you to pay.  The
time has certainly come for you to pay.  Cragspider, I have something to tell 
you as well.''

     Cragspider looks up and says ``Yes, brother, Lord, Master of Creation?''

     The Invisible God says ``I am *NOT* your brother.''

-THE END- till next turn!