“I saw a dark figure, 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
“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.”
The following is the portion he only revealed to you, and not to the general public:
“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.”