Fleeing the Well, demon-defended, the party found themselves accompanied by friendly Tya bearing Kailani's nephew. The hat was making noises, so they headed back to Yu-Shan. All hell was busy breaking loose, of course, but Raven met them at the door and hustled them onto a golden dragon boat. Off to see the Queen of the Pattern Spiders! (Who else would know what the hat is?) Amber presented the Queen with the hat; she told the former Eclipse to cast it on the ground and see where the webs hold it. They spelled words along its brim:

"Reach within when all grows dim:
The light of men will shine again."

Time to tie up loose ends, before moving on to the end of all things. The party headed back to the Maker's Loom, there to forge the Sun's Virtues into something they could use. The Spear made Largo's weapon into a Godscythe; the Horn became a Bag of Many Things for Takara; and the Shield was buoyed with Aetla's Essence.

Then it was off to check on the various part members' dependents. Kai's family had been seen to, and Takara's was dead. Largo's tribe had to be found, since he'd brought them into battle; they were battered but all right. Amber's family in Denandsor was fine, and hadn't in fact noticed the troubles at hand. The same with Fern's Hands.

Down they went then into the portal to Oblivion. The hat positively vibrated with potential. Amber reached inside... and pulled out the Eye of Autochthon. It unfolded and there stood the Great Maker himself, greeting them and offering to pay back a debt he owed: five moves in the Games of Divinity.

The party dithered too long, and Autochthon withdrew, leaving the moves -- wishes -- with the party for future redeeming. With him gone, Karn renewed the attack. He flung the Coatl off course and the party... into the past? Five Days Darkness needed their help to hold Karn's depredations away from the past. They fought away the soldiers Karn flung at Amber Melody Sr. as the ancient Solar killed Adrian... they protected a young Saychel Araka, ensuring that she would be kidnapped but not killed... they kept Sesus Feot from murdering young Takara... they let the Scarlet Empress into the Imperial Manse... they stopped extra-empowered Sidereals from murdering more Solars at the Calibration Feast... they let Largo rage unchecked in his Exaltation rage... they ensured that Amber's first Limit Break would happen as planned... they allowed Ember the time to drive the Juggernaut against its foe... they fended off Wyld creatures to allow Kai to Exalt... they watched, with Karn, as Brigid's desperate act of love created the First and Forsaken Lion.

And then they found themselves face-to-face and fighting with the avatar of destruction himself.

By then all five had made their wishes. Kai wished for every past, present, and future Exalt to taste his power now. Largo wished for the mingled might of a Solar and a Lunar Shard. Fern wished to be a Primordial, the ultimate Shaper. Takara wished -- well, for something that made Five Days Darkness nod approvingly. And Amber wished to be an avatar of the Maidens.

The battle was pitched and fierce, with wild heroics and fantastic displays of newfound power. Finally, the party flung Karn into the Abyss. He expressed weary, resigned puzzlement at the party's choice to let Creation continue; and then he sank into Oblivion, letting it take him. It surged up, exploding outward in a black consuming tower.

A great swath of destruction sliced up through layer after layer of reality, scything toward the Omphalos itself. The Maidens tried to stand in its way and were swallowed. Creation teetered on the knife's edge of destruction... when two small, bright figures threw themselves before the wave.

First, Kailani Pele, braced to take the blow for the world.

Second, Hayato Takara, facing her, with a plain mortal dagger in his hand.

"I heard once that true friends stab you in the front. I'm sorry, Kai."

The party watched, supernaturally frozen, as he stabbed her through the heart.

Kai burst into her phoenix flare as Takara darted out of the way. The consuming darkness roared down at her, struck her coruscant aura, and... shattered. Oblivion itself broke on the fires of the Redeemed.

All the party fell into a deep slumber then. Kai was the first to wake, feeling as she did the surge of Essence in the ground beneath her. She sat up, bewildered, surrounded by a grassy plain and a clear, sunlit sky. As she did, she discovered that she had been resting on a myriad of strange, harmless creatures, imprisoned by her position on the grass. Then she truly opened her eyes.

Through the careful machinations of Takara and Five Days Darkness, she had supplanted Gaia as the Being of Creation, placing her soul at the location where Gaia had perished moments before. Over the coming days, she would learn of the crimes Gaia had performed out of resentment for the other Primordials, and how she - through her natural gift for forgiveness - would finally make all right again.

Takara was never seen after that day. Perhaps he decided his abilities were best used from the shadow. Perhaps the grief from the loss of his friend pushed him to exile. Perhaps he has simply had enough. Though for many centuries hence, in Creation, the Sidereals would remark at strange coincidences in the Loom around in the hole that once held the Coatl, and perceptive gods might notice a streaking light across the heavens.

Amber, Largo, and Fern awoke in the cracked remains of the Jade Pleasure Dome in Yu-Shan. The scattered pieces of the Games of Divinity littered the floor. Ambered toyed with one in her hand for a moment, placed it on a board, and shrugged. They left the building, the new Incarnae, the Lords of Creation, to rule justly upon the Third Age, the Age of Contentment.

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