Zeitgeist - The Gears of Revolution

Constable's Notebook - Nilasa Hume Investigation Entry V

Where did Entries 3 and 4 go?


[The entry is in a shaky Primordial script]

I feel like part of my mind is missing… as are some of the pages in this notebook. I’ll try to find them later, I have too much to try and get down on paper, lest I forget.

We were right, at least partially – they came for Nevard, and they came in force. We were able to stave them off for a bit, but the automatons came in force and pierced our defense, I tried to reach him… and with his dying breath, he touched my face… and I… saw… things…

[The script changes abruptly to a flowing Elven once more, though the notebook is riddled with dark stains…]

Liquor – it calms the nerves and steadies the hand. It also lets us hide our emotions behind a barricade that is seemingly impenetrable. Still, I find myself more eager to write and less apt to pass out with a warm slug in my gullet. This is what I was shown, in as much detail as I am able to muster.

Nevard spoke to me, with more energy and vigor in his face than I had seen in life. He spoke with a clear voice, ringing like a clarion bell in the darkness. “I’ve flown across this city, trying to find sources. In some place the stink of it bleeds through naturally, especially on Cauldron Hill, but I’ve followed trails. The night after Nilasa was murdered, I found a strong source at the consulate, and I tracked it across three districts before I lost it. And too often I’ve found it clinging to factories, or in the foyers of rich businessmen.”

He pauses for a moment, "There is a conspiracy afoot. The Danorans are involved, and industrialists in this city, and some third force in the Bleak Gate. They’ve already killed to protect their secrets. We need to find out what their goal is.”

“I saw a dark figure,” he continued," standing atop Cauldron Hill, towering over our city. The sun set, and he cast a shadow across Parity Lake, stretching northwest, into the sea, beyond the horizon. He is born in our city, but his ultimate goal is elsewhere. And also things moved in his shadow—indeed, his shadow moved before he did, for while he was mighty, he was controlled by others. I saw smoke hiding his face, for he was made mighty by industry. In my vision, a king chased him out to sea and defeated him by slicing him free from his shadow. But the cauldron had already shattered, and many thousands were drowned and devoured in its roil."

I saw three birds alight on the peak, the first of black silk, the second of black steel, both weeping blood. But the third was made of stars, and it sang many songs. I tell you this: Cauldron Hill is not safe. Twice will danger arise, and twice will we be deceived into thinking it is safe to return, but we must avoid the place and avoid being tricked. I have arranged shelter in the Cloudwood, where people can be safe until the darkness passes.”

Nevard closed his eyes, taking a deep breath before continuing. He spoke slower, the youth and vitality steadily draining from his face as he spoke. "I saw several other visions, yet they are a mystery to me – and I am afraid to share them with the public without a better understanding of them. I will tell you, so that you may have this knowledge when I am gone.

The first was of a woman sat on a leather couch in a waiting room, surrounded by red curtains. She held a gold coin and rolled it across the back of her fingers. A pick lay against the side of the couch. He asked her what she was waiting for, and she answered in a language he didn’t know, saying, ‘The place I’m going isn’t here yet.’

A trumpeter carried a lantern onto the stage of a darkened theater, and the people gathered for his performance applauded, then lit lanterns of their own. The theater never got bright enough for him to see their faces.

One man tore himself in two, and his twin selves fought over a woman, tearing her into three, who ran away. Mice skittered around them, collecting cheese fallen amid the rails of a trainyard. Then a train roared down the track past him, but it had no one driving it. In the distance it derailed, and crushed two of the women, but which of the three survived?

A man carrying a bronze staff with three keyholes is assailed by swords and arrows and fire, but nothing kills him. He began to take off his robes, revealing tiger fur beneath them, while stars fell from the sky all around him. Then the sky was dark, and when the sun should have risen, instead a pale glowing cloud floated in the dark.

Finally, tyrant and murderer languished in prison, hanging from twelve chains and hooks that pierced her feet, her legs, her thighs, her shoulders, her arms, and her hands. But the thirteenth hook that sealed her mouth swung loose, and it fluttered in the breeze as she whispered a map that led everywhere."

With his final breath, he releases his grasp on my face, his fingers skeletal and gaunt. As he fades into the darkness, I can hear him rasp, “You can save them…” before everything goes dark.

I awoke only a short time ago, though some time had passed, my wounds bandaged and my team back at headquarters, most no worse for wear. We have to put Nevards body to rest… though I have a feeling I will see him or his spirit again…

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