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Edward, Maxx, Henrik, Monty, and I left the Wisphers Estate and journeyed to Tibet. They all headed out for China to figure out the Stonghold/Bond situation, while I stayed behind ... for some reason. Likely to research something. The Principles? Something to do with the Outsiders? I just can't seem to place it, for some reason.

Anyhow, after doing, whatever I did, I decided to follow them to China. I'm almost certain that Grimaldi told me that if I brought the Sword of Solomon, Li Mai would kill me, so I left that behind.

I managed to remember the weird 'inversion' properties of the gates, so I managed to keep some of my books in a manner that didn't require me to read them in a mirror. A good thing, since I didn't have the ability to communicate (effectively) with anyone on my trip.

Arriving at my destination, I was escorted to a large tent, where my allies were trying to make tea. They had a translator with them, which seemed like a good idea. They wondered why I was there. However, since I only had a vague idea myself, I just gave some noncommital answers. The general opinion seemed to be that our hosts were delaying us with this Tea Ceremony, for some reason. Since they wanted what we had (the stronghold), and since they could receive this at almost no cost to themselves (breaking the bond), this seemed unlikely to me. It was fairly late at this point, and the time for the Tea Ceremony had arrived. The ceremony was to be held with one of Auda's chief lackeys.

We fumbled through an awkward meal, where Henrik announced, for reasons unknown, that Auda was more attractive than Rebecca. Seemed odd.

Then, since I'm a teetotaler (and British), they had me prepare the tea for the Tea Ceremony. While we sat there drinking tea through our teeth like a bunch of weirdos, Auda possessed his lackey.

Auda and Maxx shot the breeze for awhile, before Auda relinquished control back to his lackey. Then, his lackey explained some stuff to us in an informal manner, making a mockery of the Tea Ceremony. Anyhow, the upshot seems to be:

1) Auda wants to not be KoB anymore
2) Seemingly, we'll be able to get a new King and get some sort of weapon out of this
3) We'll complete our negotiation for the bond breaking in a couple of days
4) With any luck, I'll never hear about Auda again after we leave China

After that, we decided to head back and debrief before getting some sleep. Henrik decided to show Gunner (that's what I call our translator) his strange blood. She decided this was not something she was interested in and shot him and then stabbed him with a burning log. I found this to be a bit upsetting, but no one else cared all that much. I used my feeble healing spells on Henrik and Monty examined him and declared that he'd be okay.

Theo and his family showed up around that time, and he and Maxx chewed the fat for a bit. At that point, we decided to go to sleep.

Hmmm. Now that I've finished writing this, I guess I should contact Rebecca, check in, and let her know what is going on with Henrik.

Unresolved questions:
1) Why would they be delaying the reclamation of the stronghold?
2) Why did we put up with Auda for so long?
3) Why would you make tea with water at 7.9PH?