We have seen how the curse began: the dwarf alchemist had crafted a magic gem using time magic to allow him to relive the past (probably by only a short time). He was also a complete skeeve, since he was working on love potions and other such nonsense.
When he was discovered by the king the gem was damaged and the resultant wave of time magic (with just a pinch of necromancy) forced the entire stronghold into a time loop.
The watery portal in the R&D room leads to the feywild, someplace with an ancient white crocodile. The teleporter led to the well of memory which allows travel into the past, apparently.
We all have some concerns about securing the well to keep it from being misused, but we have decided to move forward with ending the time loop on the dwarves. We believe this can be done by fixing the broken gem. Our first plan to do so is to use some of the water from the well of memory (samples were collected) when the loop “resets” because that is the time when the magic on the area is pulled back into the (mostly repairing) gem. We hope to boost the power of the gem so that it pulls all the residual time magic back to itself.
The living dwarves wish to stay afterwards to ensure the dead dwarves are properly buried. Gareth has volunteered to stay with them to help bury the dead. But also to ensure they do not use the well of memory while we would be gone. In case of emergency, Gareth just has to ruin the teleporter to the well’s true location. He may not be able to repair it after, but is fairly sure he could effectively destroy the teleporter.
“I’m confident because I think I could screw this up pretty easily!”
Plus, phase squirrel.