|Frank and K|
|Status:||Complete; recent errata forces a few changes.|
|Editing:||Spelling and grammar only.|
The Wish and the Word were created for a WotC Character Optimization board challenge several years ago. The challenge was to create the most optimized pair of characters. They were disqualified for "going overboard", and at the same time won Honorable Mention. At the time, this was probably the most powerful 'theoretical' optimization. The build was erased from the WotC boards in one of its many moves, so it is now placed here until the end of time. The text has not been changed from its original post.
The basic idea is to make use of two severe flaws in the D&D 3.5 system: wishing for more wishes, and Blasphemy.
The Wish Edit
- Player's Handbook
- Dungeon Master's Guide
- Complete Arcane
- Player's Guide to Faerun
- Savage Species
The Word Edit
- Player's Handbook
- Dungeon Master's Guide
- Monster Manual
- Savage Species
- Complete Warrior
- Complete Divine
- Complete Arcane
- Player's Guide to Faerun.
The Wish Edit
"I want you to stop Wishing." "Would you say that you Wish that I stop Wishing?" "No."
System: Forgotten Realms
Short Description Edit
This character manipulated several loopholes in the laws of magic to devestate his enemies and survive his brother's magical powers. By casting Wishes out of a custom Ring of Infinite wishes created by Spell-like Wishes from powerful Outsiders (which, as spell-like abilities, can create magic items at no XP or GP cost to the caster, and as Wishes, require no feats to create).
Mostly, he just Wishes his problems away by emulating a vast array of potential spells with Wish.
High-end effects are cast from Divinely Quickened Scrolls created by Wish.
- Str: 8 (dependent on current templated "human" form gained with Polymorph Any Object)
- Dex: 8 (see above)
- Con: 8 (See above)
- Int: 18 (23 + items)
- Wis: 8 (13 + items)
- Cha: 18 (34)
- Deity: None
- Alignment: Varies with the current casting of a Contingent Atonement,
- Hit Points: Average, but with bumper crops of temp HPs and Con-boosted HPs
- Saves: Fort 6/Ref 6/ Will 15(with +6 from a Cloak of Resistance and a roving +6 for Devil's Own Luck)
- 1 Warlock 1 Magical Training(for spellcasting) Precocious Apprentice(for a 2nd level spell)
- 2 Warlock 2
- 3 Warlock 3 Supernatural Transformation(Eldritch Blast)
- 4 Warlock 4
- 5 Warlock 5
- 6 Warlock 6 Spell Focus(Abjuration)
- 7 Warlock 7
- 8 Warlock 8
- 9 Warlock 9 Skill Focus(Spellcraft)
- 10 Warlock 10
- 11 Warlock 11
- 12 Warlock 12 Greater Spell Focus(Abjuration)
- 13 Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil 1/Warlock 12
(To get into IoSV, you need five Abjurations, with one at 4th level. Combined with the Warlock Invocations that are Abjuations effects like Devour Magic. Voracious Dispelling, and Entropic Warding and spell gained from (which count as spells for meeting PrC requirements per the Complete Arcane pg 70) and spells from Magical Training off the Wizard list for more abjurations, while Precocious Apprentice provides the needed ability to cast 2nd level spells.)
- 14 Initiate of the Seven Veils 2/Warlock 12
- 15 Initiate of the Seven Veils 3/Warlock 12 Sudden Widen
- 16 Initiate of the Seven Veils 4/Warlock 12
- 17 Initiate of the Seven Veils 5/Warlock 12
- 18 Initiate of the Seven Veils 6/Warlock 12 Cooperative Spell
- 19 Initiate of the Seven Veils 7/Warlock 12
- 20 Mage of the Arcane Order 1/Initiate of the Seven Veils 7/Warlock 12
Skills of Note Edit
- Use Magic Device: 35 (and takes 10 with Warlock's 4th level power to boot)
Spells of Note Edit
- Eldritch Might (20th, as a Supernatural power, which punches through SR)
- Full 20th level Warlock casting and Invocations with crazy-go-nuts powers to boot.
Items of Note Edit
- Ring Of Infinite Divinely Quickened Wishes
(Created by an Efreet or Pit Fiend or whatever's spell-like ability used at the behest of my cast Gate scroll bought using my normal treasure.)
- Used Scrolls of Gate and Heroism and Quickened Guidance and that Bard +skill spell
- Used Wishes for +5 Inherant Bonuses to all stats
- +6 cloak of Charisma
- Contingent spells(created with the Contingent spell feat that I don't need with a Wish) created by the above Ring with crazy effects like Atonement spells that change my alignment to match the casting of the Word's spells.
- Contingent Wishes to avert any ill event.
The Word Edit
"I'm sure you've sinned against something. That will be your downfall.
Race/Class/Level: The Word is a Race::Human Final Class Progression::Sorcerer 1/Assassin 1/Wujen 1/ Warmage 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 9/Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1. Yes, Really.
System: These characters are from the Forgotten Realms, although with minimal alteration could be transferred to other settings.
Short Description Edit
The Word can throw Holy Words and Blasphemies at caster level 110, as supernatural abilities that automatically penetrate all SR. Both The Wish and The Word are immune to both spells, but anything else with less than 99 hit dice dies without recourse to a saving throw or spell resistance. Of course, he's also got full spellcasting in the traditional sense, so he's hardly powerless against creatures which are immune to his big trick.
- Str: 10 (21)
- Dex:10 (21)
- Con: 12 (21)
- Int: 14 (19)
- Wis:14 (31)
- Cha: 14 (31)
The Word distains all deities equally and is Lawful Evil. He currently looks like a completely non-descript man somewhere between his twenties and thirties. His height, weight, and girth are all exactly average, because he's been transformed back into the platonic ideal of a “human”. His skin and eye color are the deep tan you get when you mix all possible human colorations together in a vat.
Hit Points: 169 Saves: Fort: +16, Will: +39, Ref: +18
Using the magic of the Thought Bottle, the Word acually loses and regains levels three times, so levels are all shown in the order taken, with the appropriate levels he has at that point. Because a lot of levels are being taken, retaken, and reshuffled, we will always place the level which is presently being incremented as the first list level at each point (however transient that point may be).
First Life: Human Edit
- 1 Bard 1 Iron Will, Spell Focus: Evil
- 2 Ranger 1/ Bard 1
- 3 Ranger 2/ Bard 1 Still Spell, Rapid Shot
- 4 Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Endurance
- 5 Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Silent Spell
- 6 Ur Priest 1/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Cooperative Spell
- 7 Ur Priest 2/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 8 Ur Priest 3/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 9 Ur Priest 4/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Extend Spell
- 10 Ur Priest 5/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 11 Ur Priest 6/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 12 Ur Priest 7/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Persistent Spell
- 13 Ur Priest 8/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 14 Ur Priest 9/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1
- 15 Ur Priest 10/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Contingent Spell
- 16 Fighter 1/Ur Priest 10/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Dodge
- 17 Fighter 2/Ur Priest 10/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Mobility
- 18 Swashbuckler 1/Fighter 2/Ur Priest 10/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Weapon Finesse, Divine Metamagic: Persistent Spell
- 19 Contemplative 1/Swashbuckler 1/Fighter 2/Ur Priest 10/ Wu Jen 1/Ranger 3/ Bard 1 Spell Focus: Enchantment (from the domination domain)
Here's where the magic kicks in: The Word stores all of his copius XP in a Thought Bottle, and is killed by a Shadow. Based upon his long range plans and hatred of the gods, it is most probable that he voluntarily is killed by a Shadow. He uses his own Rebuke Undead ability to force a Shadow that he created with a Create Undead spell to kill him. This causes him to transform into a Shadow Spawn... exactly as he intended.
Second Life: Shadow Edit
He is brought back as a Shadow Spawn. This means that his effective character level is reset to 10 as per Savage Species page 210. His stats are now Str -, Dex 14, Con -, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 13.
- 10 3 Shadow Hit Dice, Point Blank Shot, Alertness
- 11 Bard +1 Cha
- 12 Bard
- 13 Bard
- 14 Bard
- 15 Emancipated Spawn, +1 Cha
- 16 Bard
- 17 Bard
- 18 Bard
- 19 Sublime Chord, +1 Cha
Third Life: Rakshasa Edit
The Word does not actually die, but he does undergo a Ritual of Vitality (Savage Species, page 150), this sets him back 105,000 XP, leaving him barely enough XP to be 13th level. He can't drop the racial levels until the Ritual goes off, so instead he loses a bunch of Bard levels. As per the FAQ, the highest class levels (in this case the Bard levels) are lost first, reducing him to a Shadow 10/ Sublime Chord 1/ Emancipated Spawn 1/ Bard 1, and then replacing the Shadow levels with 14 levels of Rakshasa. This replaces his physical stats with Str 12, Dex 14, Con 16, it does not change his mental stats (although they do go up with the racial class features of the Rakshasa, as depicted on page 191 of the Monster Manual). For simplicity, Rakshasa abilities that don't stay after the Word changes his race again and do not affect Prestige Class entrance are being omitted. He loses all the feats and skills accumulated during those levels, so unfortunately he won't have Profession: Astrologer anymore. Dang!
- 1 Rakshasa 1 Combat Casting, All Martial Weapons
- 2 Rakshasa 2, +2 Int
- 3 Rakshasa 3
- 4 Rakshasa 4
- 5 Rakshasa 5 Alertness
- 6 Rakshasa 6
- 7 Rakshasa 7, +2 Wis
- 8 Rakshasa 8
- 9 Rakshasa 9, +2 Cha
- 10 Rakshasa 10
- 11 Rakshasa 11 combat reflexes
- 12 Rakshasa 12
- 13 Rakshasa 13, +2 Cha
- 14 Rakshasa 14
(Rakshasa levels hook us up with Tumble, Jump, and the Language of Ancient Suloise.)
- 15 Sublime Chord 1/Rakshasa 14, +1 Wis
- 16 Emancipated Spawn 1/Sublime Chord 1/Rakshasa 14
- 17 Bard 1/Emancipated Spawn 1/Sublime Chord 1/Rakshasa 14
- 18 Emancipated Spawn 2/ Bard 1/Sublime Chord 1/Rakshasa 14
- 19 Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/ Bard 1/Sublime Chord 1/Rakshasa 14 Elusive Target, +1 Wis
Fourth Life: Human Again Edit
The Word undergoes the Ritual of Vitality again, but this time becomes a lowly human. This removes all of the Rakshasa levels, so the accumulated feats of Combat Casting, Alertness, and Combat Reflexes are lost. But then he picks up 14 new levels by touching the Thought Bottle again.
- 1 Emancipated Spawn 1 Combat Reflexes, Sudden Extend
- 2 Bard 1/ Emancipated Spawn 1
- 3 Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Elusive Target
(Elusive Target is not presently legal, but it was legal when he got it, and the level he got it in has not gone away, so it sticks around and he can't use it until his BAB goes up past 6 – such as when he casts a Divine Persistent Divine Power.)
- 4 Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1, +1 Wis
- 5 Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
- 6 Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Scribe Scroll, Innate Spell: Blasphemy (that's the one from PGtF)
- 7 Mage of the Arcane Order 1/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
(Mage of the Arcane Order, of course, adds to the Sublime Chord Caster Levels.)
- 8 Mage of the Arcane Order 2/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Sudden Empower, +1 Wis
- 9 Mage of the Arcane Order 3/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Supernatural Transformation: Blasphemy
- 10 Mage of the Arcane Order 4/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
- 11 Mage of the Arcane Order 5/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
- 12 Mage of the Arcane Order 6/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Improved Initiative, +1 Wis
- 13 Mage of the Arcane Order 7/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
- 14 Mage of the Arcane Order 8/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
- 15 Mage of the Arcane Order 9/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Innate Spell: Holy Word, Supernatural Transformation: Holy Word
- 16 Warmage 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 9/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 +1 Wis
- 17 Wujen 1/ Warmage 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 9/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Quicken Spell
- 18 Assassin 1/Wujen 1/ Warmage 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 9/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1 Great Fortitude
- 19 Sorcerer 1/ Assassin 1/Wujen 1/ Warmage 1/Mage of the Arcane Order 9/ Wizard 1/Sublime Chord 1/ Suel Arcanamach 1/Emancipated Spawn 2/Bard 1
Final Ability Scores:
- Str 10
- Dex 10
- Con 10
- Int 8
- Wis 20
- Cha 20
He also has 5 inherent bonuses to each stat, and +6 enhancements to each stat – so his final scores are: 21, 21, 21, 19, 31, 31. Not terribly impressive, but they don't need to be.
Feats: Iron Will, Spell Focus: Evil, Still Spell, Rapid Shot, Endurance, Silent Spell, Cooperative Spell, Extend Spell, Persistent Spell, Contingent Spell, Dodge, Mobility, Weapon Finesse, Divine Metamagic: Persistent Spell, Spell Focus: Enchantment, Combat Reflexes, Sudden Extend, Elusive Target, Scribe Scroll, Innate Spell: Blasphemy, Sudden Empower, Supernatural Transformation: Blasphemy, Improved Initiative, Innate Spell: Holy Word, Supernatural Transformation: Holy Word, Quicken Spell, Great Fortitude
Skills of Note Edit
- Search: 22 ranks
- Disable Device: 22 ranks
- Hide: 8+ ranks
- Disguise: 10 ranks
- Move Silently: 8+ ranks
- Knowledge: Arcana 13 ranks
- Knowledge: Religion 22 ranks
- Spellcraft: 22 ranks
Note: I'm being purposefully vague about exactly how many skills he has, because he's used the Savage Species rituals several times – and exactly what happens to your skills when that happens is up for debate. It is entirely possible that he still has the Profession: Astrologer, the Tumble, the Jump, and all that crap left over from his old races.
Spells of Note Edit
The Word takes full advantage of the eccentricities of the Ur Priest and the Sublime Chord. The Sublime Chord resets all of your arcane caster levels to the sum of all of your arcane caster levels. So in this case, since The Word has 8 separate Arcane Spellcasting classes with a caster level of 11. If he pulls an Orange Ioun Stone out of his pocket, all 8 classes increase by one, and all eight of them are set to the new sum – of 12. Repeat this with 17 more Stones, and we get a grant total of 28 for all his classes. The Ur Priest, which The Word can use as if he had all 10 levels of it thanks to his “Recall Class Features” ability of the Emancipated Spawn class, takes as its caster level half the sum of all other caster levels. In this case, that's half of eight times 28, which is 112, plus a base caster level of 10. So The Word casts all Arcane Spells at level 28, and all Divine spells at level one hundred and twenty-two.
The most important spells that The Word has are Holy Word and Blasphemy – both of which can be cast as spell-like abilities or supernatural abilities 3 times/day. As supernatural abilities. The important part is the spellcaster levels that they can be cast at, which is one hundred and ten or higher. The other important part to keep in mind is that The Word is technically possessed of every single alignment, which means that when he casts Blasphemy he is not “not evil”, and when he casts Holy Word he is not “not good”. This means that is “evil” for the purposes of Holy Smite, but so what?
The Word also amuses himself by periodically casting Clerical buffs on himself and his brother. Who would turn down an Extended Superior Resistance? It grants a +6 Resistance Bonus to all saves and lasts over nine days.
Of more limited scope are the Sublime Chord spells. Most notable among them are Mordenkainen's Disjunction, Shapechange, Gate, Polymorph Any Object, Mind Blank, Greater Teleport, Otto's Irresistable Dance, Mass Charm, and Modify Memory. Of course, to an extent it doesn't really matter what spells he knows, because he's also got a spell pool for being a member of the Arcane Order. He can tax the spellpool out to half his caster level – which in this case means that he can suck out 155 spell levels.
Items of Note Edit
- 18 Orange Ioun Stones for +caster level each (and more when added together) for 564,000.
They aren't items, exactly, but The Word invested in several Rituals of Vitality. The Rakshasa transformation set our hero back 196,000 gp, paid in 14 stages of 14,000 gp. The human transformation was much cheaper – costing only 7,000 gp. He also underwent two Rituals of Alignment to gain the [Good] and [Chaotic] subtypes.
The only truly necessary item is the Thought Bottle, that marvelous trinket from the Complete Arcane.
The Duo Edit
Are these characters the perfect duo?
Summary::The Wish and The Word are the most powerful spellcasters. Ever. The Word has stolen the powers of the gods themselves, and The Wish has torn the rigid rules of arcane power asunder. The two of them flippantly disregard the guidelines of spells/day limits or caster level paradigms that so constrain lesser spellcasters. Having broken free of the self-imposed limitations of Arcane and Divne Magic, The Wish and The Word can adventure with confidence against Epic Challenges and gods. There has never been a published challenge which is a serious threat to the brothers.
How would the Duo kick ass against the following?
Aberrations/Magical Beasts etc:
The Terrasque is slain in a one/two action of The Word reciting the Blasphemy of all Blasphemies that instantly kills it, and The Wish makes the plea that forbids its return. A single Blasphemy or Holy Word backed up by a Wish kills it in one round.
Some of those Epic Golems are a problem. Not so much the poor Colossus, whose Antimagic Field is absolutely no help at all against The Word's 100% chance of blowing it down with a Disjunction. But against creatures which are simply Magic Immune, The Wish pulls out all the stops with his unlimited Summon Monster VIIIs, as well as formidable battlefield shaping prowess. An Adamantine Golem must deal with the fact that The Wish can wish for intervening Walls of Iron faster than the Adamant Golem can tear them down – and The Wish can pull in some teleporting and burrowing monsters besides. An Adamant Golem must deal with a bottomless supply of expendable monsters coming from the other end of an impassable barrier – which it simply cannot do. Remember: Admantine Golems are not immune to extraordinary Light Energy damage. They aren't even resistant to it. With enough Lantern Archons, you can kill one in a round. The Wish can get enough Lantern Archons.
Failing that, of course, any Construct that The Word can see is something he can turn himself into, with all of his buffs still applying (spells don't drop off just because you are no longer a legal target or Enlarge Person wouldn't work at all). With his Divine Persistent Divine Power going 24/7, he can punch out an Adamantine Golem with little fanfare.
The Wish can wish them a Slime Wave, which does pretty nasty things to any Dragon large enough to make these two care. Of course, even a Great Wyrm Prismatic Dragon “only” has 78 hit dice – which is not enough to forstall an instant kill by a long shot.
Since the vast majority of outsiders are a snap, and since The Wish and The Word are very strongly in the Athar camp, we will deal with their plans to wipe out two appropriate challenges: Hextor and Heironius. These powerful gods hate our heroes, which would be very bad if they didn't constantly benefit from Mind Blank. So The Wish wishes them into the presence of Hextor, or uses a Gate out of the Ring of Spell Storing, and The Word has a readied action with a Supernatural Ability of Holy Word or a Holy Word as a contingent spell. In either case, Hextor's puny spell resistance is rendered moot (either because The Word has a spellcaster level that is over sixty points higher than Hextor's SR, or because Supernatural Abilities bypass all SR) and Hextor dies a horrible death because he's facing a Holy Word above the magic number of caster level 67. By a huge margin. If currently necessary, The Wish uses up one of his Contingency Atonements to survive. If they used a contingency Holy Word to slay Hextor, The Word can open up another Gate on his own round to Heironius and slay him with a contingency Blasphemy in the very same round.
The Atropal only has 66 hit dice, so it can't survive a single Holy Word from The Word. Also, its Neagtive Energy Aura can't penetrate The Word's Death Ward, nor can any of its other gimmicks. The most powerful Undead the world has seen is chaffe before the might of The Word by himself. To compound such great fortune, The Wish can Wish up a pizza, that the brothers might enjoy a meal on the blasted hillock that stands where the power of death itself showed the hubris to make itself manifest in the form of the malformed fetus of a would-be god.
The Word has a substantial Search Skill, and The Wish loses nothing by replicating a Find Traps spell with one of his unlimited wishes.
The Wish can replicate such fabulous Bardic Spells as Glibness with Wishing, and can crank his Bluff Checks into the low hundreds with little strain. A Bluff check that high acts as a suggestion, so basically he can tell people to knock off all the intrigue and start tearing down the churches – and they'll just go do that. Also he can read everyone's mind, detect all alignments, know truth from lies, and fact from fiction.
The Wish has access to a number of divinations. That number is “all of them”. Also they can Diplomacize the iron out of the ground. Actually, they have to use Polymorph Any Object for that – but that's really OK. With functionally limitless wealth in gold, gems, food, and magic, they can bribe everyone they don't feel like killing. They can have a truly “big tent” diplomatic program because The Wish can just wish up anything that anyone wants as a negotiating strategy carrot, and The Word can kill basically anyone as a negotiating tactic stick.
A BBEG/ Mastermind/ Warlord:
The Wish and The Word are themselves undetectable, and have no particular need for constant territory. It then becomes merely a question of whether The Wish and The Word can find the enemy Mastermind – since the Mastermind will never find them. On arrival, The Word can dump a Disjunction, a truly Irresistable Dance, or a Holy Word as appropriate. The Wish can use any spell he feels like; I'm partial to Irresistable Dances alternated with summonings and attack Wishes, but you can have a grab bag here.
The Wish and The Word can come up with Gather Information checks that will tell them the kind of toothpaste the Mastermind's parents used when he was a kid, and have access to an unlimited number of Communes and Discern Locations, so finding the guy shouldn't be much of a problem.
Hordes are of little problem when you can slap a room clearing spell that will clear the room of any group of Hecatoncheires, let alone mobs of weaker creatures. The Word has several such spells, and The Wish has all the rest.
The Word gives his brother the solemn protection of all the gods, which manifests itself as Spell Resistance, Death Ward, Etc. at a caster level of 110 (or more, if he pulls out the other Orange Ioun Stones – they stack). This means that both of them have SR of 122, as well as a substantial number of immunities. They can slay any monster, man, or god ever printed in any sourcebook or compendium of horrors that I am aware of, often in less than a round. Nevertheless, should they encounter some horror from beyond the spheres so horrible, so unspeakable that it has as yet not been statted, The Wish still has recourse in that he can undo the very laws of causality themselves and remove all traces of such an ill-fated adventure. The Wish of “I wish we never went on this adventure” is still available. If all else fails, The Wish and the Word can flee beyond and before any possible pursuit can even have begun through the cosmic mulligan.