Young Lin - she was called Mai Lin back then - is on the run across the Karnese mountainside. She is only thirteen. It was through Karn that she escaped from captivity in kifu, spiritual and physical captivity to serve the ruler of Ua. Within the kifu, time and space mean nothing to her. She can create anything she wishes with the power of her mind. There is only one catch: she has zero contact with the outside world. It is the stuff of paradise - or insanity. While she paces the limits of inner space, the ruler (her mother, the raba) can draw on her energy at will. It is like having a personal genie with no limit to the number of wishes.
Her body still trapped in the kifu, Mai Lin ranged further and further out, until she passed through the spirit world and into a place called Karn. Here, she had a body. Here, she could meet people and speak to them, and if her senses led her right, she was hearing more than a reflection of her own thoughts. Never knowing whether she was imagining the entire world or whether she had truly broken the limits of kifu, Mai Lin searched Karn until she found a portal to the city of crossroads of the multiverse, and from there another portal back home to Ua.
It was then that they opened the kifu, and she found herself, indeed, back on Ua. But it left her mind in a place of untenable conflict. It is impossible to break out of kifu. Within kifu, it is impossible to receive any information from the outside. Was everything she had seen on Karn a product of her imagination? Was the kifu really opened, was she really free, or did she simply imagine it all as her driving need to escape made manifest?