Spiral

Written by Steven S. DeKnight
Directed by James A. Contner

Perri's Review | SunSpeak

Perri's Review

Plot:
We pick up continuous to last week's lovely cliffhanger -- Willow, the not-at-home Tara, Buffy and Dawn crouched in the ruins of Willow's dorm room, as a triumphant Glory stares at Dawn. At the Key. Buffy regains the power of motion first, grabbing her sister and heading out the front door. Willow gains them some time with a spell that hurls Glory across the lawn, and she and Tara race to catch up. Dawn can't match her sister's pace, but Buffy simply picks the younger girl up and continues running. It's not enough; she stumbles to a halt as Glory lands right in front of them. "Last words, Slay-runt?" she taunts? "Just one," Buffy shoots back. "Truck." As an 18-wheeler mows Glory down. She comes to a halt on the roof of a car, and tries to catch her breath, but before she can, she shifts into Ben. He rolls painfully to the ground, still dressed in Glory's tattered lace dress, and looks around. "Oh, God."

The gang of four meets up with everyone else at Xander's place, where Dawn regales the others with the tale of Buffy's death-defying rescue, ala truck ex machina. Buffy is too busy being depressed to care. "We've barely been able to manage not getting seriously dead every time we've crossed paths with Glory. Now that she knows that Dawn's the key...." No one has any helpful suggestions to offer (Anya's apparent overdose on Bugs Bunny cartoons notwithstanding), and Buffy comes to a decision -- it's time to run for it. "We can't stay here. She'll just kill us off, one by one, until there's no one left standing between her and Dawn." There are vague objections, but Buffy's decision is final; she heads out to find wheels.

Ben, meanwhile, made it back to Glory's condo, as promptly gets set upon by a female minion decrying the state of his clothing -- and trying to make Ben tell her what happened, and who the Key is. Ben refuses steadfastly (and rudely) to the minion's attempts at persuasion. "With all due respect -- and fear of sharp objects-- you exist, sir, only because of Her Divine Greatness." Ben wants no part of that action. "You mean Her Divine Failure, don't you? I didn't ask for any of this. I just want to be normal... The only thing I've ever cared about, she's taken away from me." He's grieving the loss of his career as a doctor: the contact with people, that chance to do good -- and the access to the drugs that he hoped would someday bury Glory forever. And he's well aware that if Glory gets the key, she'll ditch him like yesterday's fashions, and he'll cease to exist. "It doesn't matter how I came by [my life]. It's mine. And I plan on keeping it."

The Scooby Gang waits anxiously outside for Buffy and Dawn to return with transportation, alternating between panicking and reassuring each other. Finally, a huge, battered Winnebago with the windows almost entirely covered screeches to a halt in front of them. They board with something less than enthusiasm, which shrinks even further when they see who's at the wheel -- it seems Spike will be their driver for this little adventure, and Buffy's not going to hear any different. "If Glory finds us, he's the only one besides me who has any chance of protecting Dawn.... This isn't a discussion! He stays! Get over it." She slams into the small bedroom, and Spike pulls out onto the road.

As they leave, two young men in determinedly American clothing -- sweatshirt and caps -- sign the Knight of Byzantium (remember them?) who got brainsucked by Glory out of the hospital. They pick their way through the mist to the Byzantium camp, where their leader assure Sir Vacant that his sacrifice will not go in vain. He babbles about a shiny girl, and leader figures it out fast enough. They prepare to advance on the Slayer -- all fifty-some-odd armored of them.

The Winnebago cruises aimlessly as the Scooby Gang sits inside, fairly helplessly. Giles has taken driving duties over from Spike, Xander is working on being desperately car-sick, and Spike is mourning not taking the Porche that had just enough room for Buffy, Dawn and himself. After a brief spat with Spike, Xander heads up front, where Giles is reluctantly adjusted to Spike's presence, and worried about Buffy, who has been abnormally quiet so far. As Willow looks for a mobile shield spell for them, with no success, an unattended Tara slips aside the window covering, and Spike jerks away, cursing as his hand smokes. He brushes it with remarkable patience off as Tara cries against Willow. "Look, the skin's already stopped smoking. You go ahead and play peek-a-boo with Mr. Sunshine all you like. Keeps the ride from getting boring." Tara continues to cry that the light's gone, and it's all dark -- as in the Sunnydale Hospital mental ward, the patients begin to echo her complaint. The minions cast rune stones and are delighted at the results. "It's coming... All we have to do is seize the moment, and squeeze until it bleeds."

Dawn finally braves the bedroom, where Buffy has been slumped all alone. Dawn tries to thank her sister for saving her, but all Buffy can see is herself running away from the fight, helpless. "It just keeps coming. Glory. Riley. Tara. Mom." Dawn understands. "I know. But there is a bright side... At least things can't get any crazier, right?" Which is, of course, when an arrow thuds into the wall next to Buffy. "You know this is your fault for saying that," she informs the younger Summers. They're under attack by armed and armored horsemen -- the Knights of Byzantium in full galloping force.

Everyone gets down to avoid the crossbows as Giles shouts, "Weapons?!" Spike yells back, "Hello! You're driving one!" Over objections from the non-Slayer female contingent, Giles aims the Winnebago for the horsies, without much success. The first knight drags himself on to the roof, and start stabbing his longsword through the metal. One stab emerges inches from Buffy's head, and Spike instantly grabs the blade with his bare hands, holding it in place. "Now might be a good time for something heroic," he grits out. Buffy heads for the roof, and plunges into hand-to-hand combat, as Dawn bandages Spike's hands. Buffy kicks one Knight off the roof, but another smashes in the window next to Dawn and Spike. Anya dispatches him with a well-placed frying pan, Buffy takes down two more on the roof and suddenly the road looks clear. Which is when the single galloping Knight throws a spear directly through the windshield, and into Giles' chest. Buffy is thrown off the roof as the Winnebago slews wildly, finally tipping over in a cloud of dust.

The Scoobies head through the daylight to the nearest shelter, an abandoned gas station. Willow instantly begins trying to treat Giles, as Buffy tries desperately to think of their next move, but she doesn't have much time. Arrows begin thudding through the walls again, on fire this time, as another assault begins. "We've got company!," Xander announces. "And they brought a crusade." The Knights attack with axes, trying to chop their way through the walls, and the first one break in. Buffy takes them on and, as she manages to take down their leader, Willow casts a shield around the building. Two clerics come forward to try to break the energy barrier, but the Scoobies have won some breathing space. They use it to interrogate the General as soon as he regains consciousness, after night falls; he's completely unimpressed. His only interest is in destroying the Key; he doesn't care that Dawn is human and alive. "It makes no difference. They key is the link; the link must be severed. That is the will of God." Buffy retaliates, "What kind of God would demand her life for something that she has no control over?!? We are not your enemy." The General refuses to listen: "the Key is too dangerous to be allowed to exist, no matter what form it has been pressed into." This rapidly pointless debate is interrupted when Tara shouts from the other room; she's going crazy, trying to escape from the room. "Time. Time. Time," she chants, in synch with the other mental patients -- who have more success escaping than Tara. They wander off with aimless purpose, even the Knight trying to make a break for it. Until he's killed by his friend to save him from Glory.

Buffy takes a moment to talk to Giles, to apologize for running, and getting him hurt. He reassures her, gasping against the pain, "What you did was necessary. What I've always admired.... Being able to put your heart above all else. I'm so proud of you. You've come so far. You're everything a Watcher... you're everything I could have hoped for." He falls asleep again, and Buffy orders Willow to open a door in her shield, then heads out to talk to the Knights. She wants them to let someone come to help Giles, they've got no interest, and Xander, of all people, plays diplomat, challenging the Knight's honor, and adding a spot of blackmail with their continued possession of the General. Apparently it works; Willow gets the old, broken pay phone functional with magic, and Buffy calls the one person with medical experience that she knows. "I need to ask you a really big favor...." Cue ominous music here.

To Ben's credit, he barely blinks when he emerges from his car to be surrounded by the chainmail brigade. He dives instantly into treating Giles, half-flirting with Buffy in the process (to Spike's visible disgust), and his eyes rest on Dawn for a long moment as he assures Buffy that coming was "My pleasure." Cue more ominous music....

Ben gets Giles stabilized, but he still needs a hospital. "Look, I know this must seem extra-Outer Limits to you," Buffy tries to explain. Ben brushes her off. "This? Nah, I've seen things you wouldn't believe. You know: Emergency room, full moon on a Saturday night." He's determined to stick around as long as he can help. Across the room, Xander watches Spike struggle with his cigarettes, unable to light them with his hands still a mess, then finally walks over and does the job for him. They manage to coexist peacefully for about five seconds before reverting to fighting; Spike is all for taking whoever can run and running, which plan Xander, and more importantly Buffy, is strongly against. Buffy's in full "I can control the universe through willpower" mode, and determined to get everyone out, no matter what it takes. The General mocks her mildly and get punched in the face for it. He responds by telling she's in over her head against Glory, and shifts into Exposition Guy mode. According to his story, Glory -- aka The Beast -- grew so powerful, and loved pain and misery so much, that her two partners in ruling the other dimension were afraid of her. "They feared she would attempt to seize their dimension for herself, and decided to strike first. A great battle erupted; in the end they stood victorious over the Beast. Barely. She was cast out, banished to this lower plane of existence, forced to live, and eventually die, trapped within the body of a mortal. A newborn male, created as her prison. That is the Beast's only weakness." Buffy gets it. "Kill the man, and the god dies." Unfortunately, the General agrees, the human vessel has never been discovered. "Her power was great to be completely contained. She's found a way to escape her mortal prison, for brief periods before her energies are exhausted and she's forced back into her living cell of meat and bone."

"What about me?" This flood of useful information is diverted when Dawn makes her presence known. Here are the answers she's been looking for. "I want to know," she tells Buffy, when big sis tries to get her out of the room. "The Key is almost as old as the Beast itself," the General tells her. "Where it came from, how it was created, is the deepest of mysteries. All that is certain is that its power is absolute. Countless generation of my people have sacrificed their lives in search of it, to destroy it before it's wrath could be unleashed." But the monks found it first, Dawn surmises, and hid it. "They were fools," the General sneers. "They thought they could harness its power for the forces of light. They failed, and paid with their blood." That's not enough of an answer for Dawn. "What do I do? What was I created for?" she demands. "You were created to open the gates that separate dimensions. The Beast will use your power to return home and seize control of the hell she was banished from."

"That's it?" Buffy demands incredulously. "That's Glory's master plan, to go home?" Well, no -- there's a catch. Once the key is activated, it opens all the gates, to all the dimensions. "The walls separating realities will tumble. Dimensions will bleed into each other. Order will be overthrown and the universe will tumble into chaos. All dark. Forever." The General turns to look at Dawn with some serious hatred. "That is what you were created for."

It's a very serious Slayer and Key who talk a little later. "It's inside me," Dawn says quietly, guiltily. Destroyer of universes... Buffy hugs her close. "I won't let anything happen to you," she vows. In the main room, Willow tries desperately to feed Tara, who isn't interested. Anya offers to help, which leaves Ben alone with the General. "Would you die for them? Because that is what your future holds if you align yourself with the Slayer and her misguided people." Ben advances on him. "It's my life, and I'll do what I please with it." The General points out how many people will die if the Key is activated, and tells Ben he can stop it, just by killing one little girl. "Destroy it and the will of the Beat will be broken. She will fade, a distant memory, and all of this madness will end." Ben thinks about that one, as Giles begins twitching across the room.

Dawn stands quiet guard over Giles, startled when Ben comes up beside her. He joins the Reassurance Brigade as he very calmly fills a syringe with something we can't see. "Sometimes, terrible things happen to good people. They shouldn't but it does. It's nobody's fault." He advances on her with the needle. "It's just the way life is." He walks around behind her... and injects the syringe into Giles' arm. But even as he finishes, he starts twitching, the empty needle falling to the floor at his feet. "You have to let me out!" he shouts, racing around the building in search of an open door. The rest of the Scoobies, including Spike, come racing in as he shouts, "Let me out!", but there's no time. Ben grabs his head, fighting every step... and Glory appears in his place. "well, what do you know," she muses, looking around. "Little Benny finally did something right." Buffy lunges in front of Dawn but, barely breaking a sweat, Glory kill the General, takes down Spike and Buffy, grabs Dawn and heads for the hills. She break through Willow's shield and piles into the ranks of the Knights. In the seconds it takes Willow to drop the shield for Buffy, it's all over. She stumbles out of the building into hell -- the bodies of the Knights are strewn everywhere. There's no sign of life, no sign of Glory, and no sign of Dawn.

The Slayer stumbles and drops to the ground, the voices of the Scoobies fading away as the depth of the disaster sinks in....

Continuity:
Glory was a god so enthusiastically evil that her fellow bad gods kicked her out of their sandbox and don't wnat her back. They Key will allow her to go back by opening the doors between dimensions. All of the doors between dimensions, letting every dimension bleed into ours.

The Knights of Byzantium were intent on killing Dawn to prevent this, but they're all pretty much dead at Glory's hands, so the point is pretty moot.

Ben turned into Glory in front of the gang, which should make tracking him down easier -- since the only way to kill Glory is to kill the mortal body that is serving as her prison.

All of the brainsuckees still seem to be linked to Glory; they're all very restless as "the time", whatever that is, gets closer.

Relationships:
Nothing to speak of. Ben and Buffy were doing a little of the flirting thing, but that's also pretty much moot now.

Characters:
Well, it's good to know that, as things get worse, Buffy can still be counted on to turn into an absolute control freak. Not that she's wrong, really; running didn't do much good, but it at least might have given them a chance to do some serious planning, bought them some time to accomplish. Unfortunately, Buffy gave up on the whole planning thing and went for the sit-alone-and-brood thing -- and we thought being away from Angel would be good for her. :P So everyone sat around basically doing nothing (except Willow) until the Knights caught up and took that option out of their hands, forcing them back on the defensive. Not the Slayer's finest hour.

Not that the Knights are anything to write home about, although you have to admire that single-minded purpose. Well, admire it until it becomes blatantly stupid. Given that the Slayer was adamant about not letting them kill dawn, you'd think General Righteous would have at least considered trying to come up with another plan -- the Slayer and the Knights together... might still have gotten their butts kicked, but it would have been a far more even fight. But the General fell in love with one plan, stuck to it regardless of all logic and compassion, and wound up dead. Which, I believe, is the universe's ultimate answer to inflexibility.

Gregor seems to be working under the assumption that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" -- which is a very Catholic Crusade-era knight thing to be thinking. The problem is that the Knights' attitudes seem to be completely stuck in the Middle Ages (not unlike the Watcher Council; this is another group in serious need of some shaking up. And was anyone else having major flashbacks to the protectors of the Grail in IJ& the Last Crusade?); if it can be used to Bad Things, we'll assume it's going to be and forbid it to exist altogether. As I recall, the Catholic Church got a lot of mileage out of that attitude where it could get away with it.(Again, I'm not saying he's wrong, he's just not thinking. Even assuming that killing Dawn would destroy the Key, and admitting that yes, that's the simplest way to go about things.. simple does not mean better! Much less right! Dude!)

Ben's life is actually the uber-suck, from all indications. It's unclear whether he was created to be Glory's prison, or whether he just happened to be the baby being conceived/born at the right time. Regardless, he never had a choice about getting stuck with Glory in his head. I'm inclined to believe he is very serious about his vocation as a doctor, given how gentle and compassionate he is with his patients -- both the ones that are laying there bleeding physically, and the ones that are standing around bleeding emotionally. But I'm not going to give him any Nobel Peace Prizes, either -- remember, this is the same guy that called down the Queller Demon (and what's up with that? Was he able to pull on Glory's power to do that?) Ben seems caught between being a very decent, giving human being, and a really bitter, fairly self-centered human being, and the choices he makes in the future are going to depend on which side of himself he chooses to go with.

Spike, on the other hand, is shaping up into a decent human being in spite of himself. He managed to be relatively heroic on the Winnebago, what with grabbing the sword and all, and he was genuinely sweet to Tara when she accidentally burned him. Of course, this does not translate to being a 'nice guy' at all times, since he was still in favor of bailing first on the Scoobies as a whole, then on anyone who couldn't keep up, but that's one of those cases where he's not wrong, he's just not 'nice'. Yes, just him, Dawn and Buffy taking off (or better yet, just Dawn and Buffy) probably would have been more effective for the whole running and hiding thing. And yes, leaving behind Giles (and possibly Tara) would have made the most strategic sense. Running for it with everyone who can run is obviously the logical thing; it's just not a particularly human thing to do. But our Spike is a relentlessly practical soul at times (usually when his favorite skin is in danger), isn't he?

Of the others, only Willow got to do much of anything, what with putting up and maintaining the shield spell. The fact that everyone else (Anya got one shot in, and Xander got to play diplomat, although I do wonder what his Sgt. Rock fixation was.... Anyway) seemed to be mostly dead-weight for the whole Great Escape is more evidence in favor of Spike's plan, except that, when it went to hell at the end and Buffy fell apart, it was a damn good thing the others were there to do things like get Ben's car and start moving everyone out. So much for being practical...

And Dawn. Poor Dawn still trying to figure out who and what she is. "What was I made for?" was probably meant to have some deeper psychological implications on the nature of the universe but, even failing that, it's very poignant coming from Dawn. And, despite everyone's assurances that she's not evil, she's still not going to believe it, especially not with the General dude telling her she needs to die before she can destroy everything. Gee, thanks; nice thing to tell the 14-year-old. But at least he didn't use the E word, which I suppose is points in his favor. And Dawn herself is hanging in there, holding it together through sheer willpower. We'll have to see if that can hold up while Glory has her, when she doesn't have Scoobies around for reassurance.

Best Moments:
Dawn's hilarious retelling of the truck incident (which was Wile E. Coyote at best, but much funnier with color commentary).

Anya deciding to cook and Dawn's reaction. 'Tears and recriminations', oh yeah. Actually, most of the non-Buffy interaction on the Winnebago was good, from Xander getting car-sick to the constant complaining about Spike.

Tara burning Spike. I know, I mentioned it before, but it really was a lovely scene, with Spike being very sweet and Tara so terribly upset.

"You know this is your fault for saying that." < G > You'd think Dawn would have learned by now, seriously.

The entire fight sequence around the Winnebago was completely pointless, but hugely entertaining. Anya and the frying pan, Spike and the sword, and Buffy on the roof made for some great visuals. Kudos to the stunt coordinator.

Xander lighting Spike's cigarette. More and more, these two are getting to the level Xander and Angel were at lo these many years ago, with the caveat of Xander being sure he doesn't want to trust Spike. But they're still managing to interact with each other for Buffy and Dawn's sake, which is cool.

The entire scene with Ben and his syringe circling around Dawn. Lovely head game, messing with us as we wait for Ben to make his move against Dawn... and then he doesn't. There's still hope for the manů.

Questions and Comments:
This entire episode suffered from way too much talking, and not enough action (or rather, not enough action with a coherent point). We ran across campus, we drove around in the desert, we fought, we lost. Could have been cool, except that the entire 'driving through the desert' thing felt more like "Okay, we need to kill some time and wouldn't it be cool to get out of Sunnydale for a day?" rather than a necessary plot element. Add some weird pacing (the cut from the interrogation of the General to Buffy walking into an entirely different room to comfort Dawn was particularly awkward), and entirely too much exposition. (Tuuurn the little knob on the General, then stand back and let him talk and talk and talk, and tell us everything we need to know and answer every question we've had about Glory this season. Whatever. Wake me when he shuts up.)

Rating: 3 stars. I'm pretty much incapable of giving any episode a lower score, but this one is saved only by a few lovely moments, and damn good performances from Charlie Weber and Michelle Trachtenberg. This close to the end of the season, I expect a better ride --or, at least, a pointier one.

SunSpeak

"Wow...does Ben's life ever suck orders of magnitude more than I already thought it did!! To be a human, and have this be the only life he's ever known...wow."
"Much suckage for him... and Joss has once again set up one of those really nasty trade-offs: Sacrifice Ben-The-Innocent to defeat Glory and (presumably) let Dawn have a life, or kill Dawn-The- Innocent to defeat/repress Glory and let Ben have a life. Ugh."
"And way to mess with our heads with that whole slo-mo needle routine. :P Gah. And how good of a job did they do casting Charlie Weber -- more and more, he's starting to resemble Glory (the new haircut is doing a lot of it, I think, making him look a bit more, um, girlie than he did when first introduced)". -- Valerie, Dianne and Perri

"And did anyone wonder why Buffy didn't at least *try* to contact Angel & Co.? Theoretically, she couldn't have, since if their timelines are running concurrently he was rather busy being not on fire in another dimension, but if I'm running for my life and my sister's, etc., I'd at least *try* to run *to* somebody else capable of defending her (the same reason for taking Spike along) as well as perhaps capable of figuring out what the Hellmouth might be done to combat Glory. Hell, they could have *said* they were on their way to L.A. and Angel and still had the exact same sequence of events happen and just never made it there...seems really weird to totally omit mention of that other *major* potential source of help. (Especially since he was just back in town for Joyce's funeral...it's not like he's been excised from Buffy's life.)" -- Gina

"I want to know just how much of General Gregor's info was fact, how much was supposition, and how much was pure assumption.I don't think anyone's disputing that the Key (whose origin/purpose/nature he didn't even pretend to know) is powerful -- but just because an evil thing is seeking that power doesn't make it evil. Contrary to Gregor's phrasing, I suspect it's _not_ 'The Instrument of The Beast'. (The monks would back me up on this one. :) Yeah, that much concentrated power is inherently dangerous... but not evil. Buffy is something of a concentrated power source herself. If someone managed to vamp a Slayer, I could see some real nasty badness happening in trying to stop her. But that doesn't make Buffy evil, nor an "instrument of the vampires"."
"Glad I'm not the only one. Even Buffy seems to be buying into their rhetoric to a certain extent--even though she's obviously *not* in accord with their conclusions in the must-kill-Dawn category--or at least not countering it effectively. Not that she can be expected to in her current frame of mind, of course. But her argument that Dawn is innocent and doesn't deserve to be punished for origins over which she had no control, while heartfelt and pointy, was doomed to *so* not make her case. Somebody really needs to be confronting them on the grounds that Dee so succinctly summed up." -- Dianne and Valerie

"[Gregor] also talked about the problems hitting when The Key was "activated"... and that Dawn must be killed first. O.K., pointy questions: Does killing Dawn = destroying The Key? How do we know that? The Key wasn't originally a mortal, are we sure that killing Dawn wouldn't just re-release the Key as energy? What if killing Dawn actually constitutes "activating" the Key??? (Won't the knight's faces be red then? ;-)"
"Might almost be worth the price of admission just to hear the chorus of sheepish "Oops.""
"If there are any of them left by then. *wince* They seemed to be pulling in all the reserves, and Glory wiped 'em out. But yeah, this is *exactly* what I suspect to be the case. Logically, Dawn is probably the *safest* form for the Key to be in. The mystery monks, IMHO, were way smarter than these Byzantium twerps. No argument that the Byzantium twerps mean well, but boyoboy was I screaming "Pot and kettle, baby!!" when one of them was talking about "the Slayer and her misguided people". I really, really think they've got it all bassackwards."
"But, does that mean if they can kill Glory (presumably by killing Ben < *wince* >), then Dawn's free and clear? Perhaps still the Key, but with no one hunting her and no one (who'd harm her) the wiser. Yup, I have to go with the monks on making her human and not only putting her under the Slayer's protection, but allying their powers. -- Dianne, Perri, Valerie, Dianne

"Interesting to be approaching the witchcraft-as-religion angle from the angle of Heckle&Jeckle using prayer to try to break Willow's spell... and both they and Willow assuming it may well suceed."
"Actually, the word the knight-dude used for Heckle & Jeckle was clerics. Now, going to back to my Dungeon & Dragon roots, this was a magic user who got his power directly from God/the gods. Theoretically, they're either drawing from the same power source Willow is, just calling it by a different name, or they have a link directly to TPTB (I tend to believe the first, since I can't see TPTB actively aiding and abetting this nonsense.) Either way, it's magic against magic." -- Dianne and Perri

"Caught a repeat use of a Spike reaction shot when Buffy's talking to Ben at the end, but then again you'd probably have to be quotelisting at slo-mo to catch it." -- Dianne [Ed: Nope, I caught it, too.]

"Another one that just occurred -- taking it from a less-dualistic, battle-of-good-and-evil, evil-must-be-destroyed perspective (which is where the knights clearly are, in keeping with their armor ;-) to a more balance-of-forces-in-the-universe, it's-things-getting-out-of- whack-that-causes-problems view, if the Key can destroy the balance and unlock all the gates, perhaps she's also what's holding them together? I'd seriously raise the issue that anything with that much control over the order of the universe is, well, in control of the order of the universe. How about: The Key is unlimited power -- usable for anything when controlled by someone -- that keeps the universe in alignment... and therefore can throw it out (by being killed/destroyed?) It may be really tempting for the knights to think of destroying such a source of potential danger, but what if it's like blowing up a dam for fear it will break? Yes, the dam poses a _huge_ risk for flooding and destroying the tiny little village under it, but without the dam the village wouldn't exist in the first place. However, if all the villagers know about it is that an evil person could somehow mysteriously use the dam to kill them all, some brave misguided soul might decide blowing it up was a good safety precaution. :-p" -- Dianne

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