One might ask why we held the ceremony in what is more or less the least convenient part of Hove. One might, in particular, ask this after hearing that we could have put our end of the Pentagonal Cyclone anywhere that we liked. If it had been up to me, Quel Quen would have explained it in his speech, but fortunately someone with actual sense about what would upset hovens (Tarcuna, this time) told me not to tell anyone why.
I will tell you why.
When one creates a portal to unknown and random other universes, by whatever means, one does not know what worlds will be reached. One does not know what circumstances, if any, will prevail there. One does not know what entities, if any, will live there. One does not know what, if anything, will come through for a visit.
In popular fiction and cinema, it is inevitable that there are huge monsters lurking on the other side of the portal, who seem to live their entire lives hoping that an extradimensional gate will open up next to them and they can abandon the world they know, hop through, and start eating helpless hovens as hungrily as if the monster had never eaten anything before in its life.
In reality, huge monsters (such as myself and my friends) do not spend much time hoping that extradimensional gates will open up next to them. Such things do not happen often enough to be worth waiting for. (Unless one is a friend of Arilash the travel mage, in which case the extradimensional portal will reveal a bored and probably horny dragoness, and one is in for a treat if one likes such things.)
Actually, our first worry is that we have done something wrong in the defenses around the portal, and that we find a world of concentrated energy (which happens a lot), and a flicker of that energy splashes through. Which has happened precisely once, in the first days of cross-world exploring; see the Melts of Trangbonius, on Graulfnir, for how that worked out. We use better defenses now. Still, if we were going to make the Melts of Jyothky, probably including a melted Jyothky, better that we melt some Khamrous and other barely-occupied mountain ranges and desert, rather than a huge hole in the middle of Trest or Damma or some other heavily-inhabited country.
And if something did come through the portal, well, there are three medium-large twistor guns emplaced in Ghemel. They were built by the undead god to kill dragons. They are the only medium-large or bigger twistor guns allowed on Hove, due to lots of unpleasant history. I don’t know if they could harm some speculative extradimensional menace — it rather depends on what it is — but they might be some help. (Plus we’d give all the dragons on Hove a chance to prove their bravery and prowess in battle. Whether they want one or not.)
More immediately menacing, if not as world-threatening, is showcraft. Dragons are rather heavy beasts. Portable hoven stages are intended for hovens. Hovens with piles of heavy musical equipment and massive amplifiers and steam calliopes and portable pipe organs. These things are not as heavy as dragons, and they are less likely to shift their weight from foot to foot.
At the beginning of the ceremony, I was reciting a long list of dragon names and sounding for all the world like some ancient eldrich goetic warlock: Atharis. Borybran. Gyovanth. Psajathrion. Xilobrax. Katamerces. Ngassith. Evrath … Nrararn, in one of his few non-beautiful and non-useful moments, put his hindleg through a weak spot in the plywood of the stage. A weak spot, the stage authorities assure me, that had not been there before the truck carrying it overturned on a narrow mountain road.
Nrararn’s helpfulness was quite thoroughly punished, and the first try of my ceremony was quite thoroughly ruined. We sensibly took a two-hour break. Forty-six dragon dignitaries from Hove and elseworld, and several hundred hoven heads of state, ambassadors, and reporters, grumbled and complained. I presume the actual expeditioners, inured as they were going to be to long delays and devastating waiting, did not. Eventually we failed to repair the stage sufficiently, and succeeded to bite every dragon’s tail until they were all willing to levitate over the stage like so many scaly balloons of hot air (as the hovens described us to their amusement), or like so many small and sleepy children (as we thought of it).
Next time I am going melt-sculpt a mountain. That works much better.