The Cabal had returned to Wezell after having unleashed doom on Pendrell. Upon returning they were received as heroes, lauded, rewarded and knighted, and they were set up in a quite decent and well guarded mansion on the outskirts of Rederhafen.
After A few days of doing Important Stuff (both Ylvana, Galan's wife, and Octavian, the Hermetic, left for their respective homes; both had Important Stuff to do) the Cabal decided it was time to get back in the game again. The old spy, turned magician, van Zaar had a Plan. As his Masterpiece involves travelling back in time, and having studied the works and ramblings of Franko da Cola for more than a decade, he proposed that the Cabal reach out to the Bodhisattva of Time. Da Cola had met this figure, under the name Grå Bekk in his travels -- van Zaar felt that speaking to the wise man on the mountain was crucial to the success of his plans. There was also the added possibility that the people of the East would join in the Great War.
And so the Cabal gathered on a eastward-facing terrace on their mansion, and as the sun came over the horizon they called for Grå Bekk. Galan, being the Master of Ceremony in most Space or Mind rituals rapidly got contact. However, since the old man on the mountain didn't feel like shouting to someone a world away they had to come to him, he was nice enough to show Galan the true path though.
Thus the Cabal stepped through the portal and came to the Mountain of Time, where, true to form they had to endure a long and hard climb up the winding steps to the summit. The bodhisattva, an old man with Fu-Manchu mustaches, sat in a pagoda in the middle of a lush garden, looking like he'd been sitting there for a long time.
They asked him many questions, and got some answers. He showed them the Empire in the Middle of Time and many wonderous sights. Drake managed to offend the old man somehow, and so they decided not to push their welcome further.
At the foot of the mountain there was a short debate about whether or nit they should wander East, into Cathay and devote themselves to bringing that empire into the war, or West, back to Rederhafen. They chose West.
Back in their own paradigm again the Cabal found that eleven days had passed while they sat with Grå Bekk. Undeterred, they set out again to gather allies in the fight against the Deep. This time they sought out the Ordo Hermetica, or more to the point, a Master Lucius Septimus Arachnidus. Galan had been given instructions of how to reach Master Septimus.
Following old paths Galan took the Cabal to the northernmost city in the Hermetic State, the city of Septimus.