“...And you, Human, must follow our words, lest we summon up every curse that lies buried beneath these sands and pour them upon you and your children, and their children, and in turn their children, for so many generations that your blood will surely never survive.”
Some parallel worlds have different time-flows, like the fabled dwelling-places of the elves: those who visit them under the hill for a night return to find that years have passed in this world. Perhaps it is the gate leading between the worlds which causes the alteration. If a gate were 'misaligned', the shift from '| |' to '| \' or '| /' as it were would lead to that difference, much as a light-beam split and bent by a prism ends up taking a longer path. There might even be a mathematical function linking degree of misalignment to alteration of time-rate.