[quote]The wizard stepped onto the rune he had forged and incrusted into the floor of his study. It was going to work: the theory was sound, and he had thoroughly gone through it at least twenty-seven times. A machine, set on a table to his right, turned over an hourglass, beginning the final countdown. The man kept his eyes on the trickling sand until the grains in the upper container reached a line he had drawn. At that moment, he started reciting his incantation, just as his custom Erolin device released years of accumulated heat.
“I will see the world when it was new,” he spoke as the last few grains of sand dropped into the lower container of the hourglass. The world around him appeared to be slowly ripped away and disappeared as a whirlpool sucked into the ground. For a second or two, everything around him was black, and when he blinked, the world had come back. He fell for a few feet until he was met by the ground. Evidently, his study and his house had disappeared, but that had been expected.
The wizard stood up, shaking his robes, and looked about himself. This was the land of a thousand years before his time, and there, in the distance, he could see the forest that would become the Loreroot he knew. He set off in its direction.
When he reached it, he found what he had been hoping to see; several pine trees were growing here and there, fighting for sunlight against the more numerous oak and maple trees. He knew from his time that it was a losing battle and that pine trees were bound to disappear from that land, but that is why he had come back: to save the species.
It took quite a bit of cleverness from his part, but he eventually managed to convince the locals of his wisdom. Some of them helped in his efforts to strategically replant several of the endangered trees and to cut down a few specimens of the dominant species until the wizard was satisfied. It has been a long year, but he felt that his work was done, and so he grabbed the amulet hidden inside his robes and cracked it open as he said, “I return to my natural when.”
He experienced the world being sucked away again, but towards the sky, and then it was back. His house was nowhere to be seen, but he had also expected that side effect. Spending so much time in so far away a time was bound to drastically change the present. He turned to look towards Loreroot, but discovered a forest of pine trees in its place. That, he had not expected.
Knowing what he must do, he set to work once again on the devices he would need. No one in all of the kingdoms knew him, but he managed to acquire the parts he needed nevertheless. After several years of waiting, the optimal time approached, and the wizard set his plan into motion once more, and when he stood on the rune he had planted into the ground, he said, “I will see the world when it was knew.”
When the colours reappeared around him, he set off for the forest immediately. His younger self would be arriving soon, and he knew exactly where he would go. He hid behind a tree on the path he remembered that he would take, and waited. Soon, he saw himself enter the forest, and he ran out of hiding to meet his younger counterpart.
The young wizard grabbed the axe at his belt and held it threateningly, stopping his older self in his track. The latter tried to explain the situation, but the former would hear none of the lies spewed forth by this obvious magical trap. He had been prepared for such interruptions. The younger wizard attacked, and both men fought. As they struggled with spells and punches, the axe switched hands several times until one of the wizards planted it in the other one’s head.
His breathing laboured, the survivor stared at the forest for a long time before seemingly coming to a decision. He squeezed his amulet until it broke, and said, “I return to my natural when.”[/quote]