Old tricks work. When the taverner's daughter identifies VIPs and other visitors for a stranger, she simultaneously informs the stranger, informs new readers, reminds regular readers and summarizes some history. Thus, we see:
Rudi's half sisters;
an Association knight;
two A-list Bearkillers;
a Mount Angel monk.
We are pleased to learn that Juniper Mackenzie and Sir Nigel are not yet in the Summerlands although unsurprised to learn that life expectancy has declined post-Change.
Is an element of fantasy creeping in? (See also here.) The stranger has had dreams and heard a Voice. But people claim such experiences in our timeline. I will continue to regard the Change as scientific or technological in origin unless and until we are informed to the contrary although I dislike the phrase, "Alien Space Bats."
There was an island of dinosaurs before the Change!