Skyseers (among other oracles and prophets) possess the ability to intuit the near future, but now and again the talented among them experience true visions of important events that may someday unfold. Recorded here are the prophecies the party has heard.
Given to Duchess Ethelyn sometime in the year 499 by a private skyseer.
“A globe spins on its axis, and a steel ship sets off to war on a sail of shadows. The world passes into night, and blackness grips all of Risur as the stars fall from the sky. The king’s eyes turn a soulless white, and he moves as a puppet, his strings pulled by a man who has already died a thousand times.”
The first line likely is a reference to Axis Island; the Ob currently holds the place under heavy guard by the Danoran military, and tried to deflect attention away from it during the Fourth Yerasol War. The “man who has already died” almost assuredly refers to Nicodemus, but the rest of the vision’s symbols are unclear, even more than two years later.
“When spring returns to winter,
the cauldron births a spark.
The steel betrays the vintner,
the silver spurns the arc.
The fire-bride’s dissension:
dismissed, by green-adorned.
The wheel-woven dead man
shall wake the cauldron-born.”
When Ekossigan of Winter arrives,
Cauldron Hill brings forth the colossus.
It does so against the will of the Steelshaper,
and things don’t go as planned.
Lya Jierre’s Ob connections
initially downplayed by King Aodhan.
Alexander Grappa (as a construct)
Shall cause Borne to escape.
He also gave Hugo a smaller prophecy during the battle at Gallo’s School:
“You have seen him, and he knows you… but you do not know him. The old man wishes to make amends, but first: he needs a body.”
Nevard’s Great Vision
Received by Nevard Sechim the morning of Summer 3, announced to the city on Summer 5 (along with his other predictions, see below).
“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 was 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.
This stanza likely refers to Borne, and how he has been controlled by the Ob.
“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.
King Aodhan initially planned to cast Borne into the Dreaming, but this did not come to pass. Long before Borne’s escape, though, there was a serious accident which poured witchoil down the mountainside—the casualties would’ve been high if Nevard’s visions hadn’t allowed the Nettles to be evacuated in advance.
“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.
The first bird was likely Reed Macbannin, the second was Borne—both of whom are responsible for countless deaths. The third is yet to be discovered.
“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.”
Pretty much what it says on the tin.
Nevard’s Lesser Visions
“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.’
This prophecy is now believed to have referred to the Xambria/Sijhen hybrid that terrorized Flint in Chapter 3, describing her physical characteristics while explicating Sijhen’s desire to return to its homeworld.
“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.
Likely this was a direct reference to the Wayfarer’s Lantern, an invention of Luc Jierre’s that he brought to the Obscurati in Chapter 4.
“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?
The current theory is that the ‘man’ in this prophecy is either Grappa or Leone—or both. The three women are the different facets of Kasvarina, namely the Ob conspirant she used to be, the brave young warrior she was before the Malice, and the penitent amnesiac she is now. The mice and the train are less clear, but Qiyet supposes it might be symbolic of people ignoring an ongoing calamity, fighting over cheese (something that doesn’t matter) while something terrible happens. The train might also refer to the colossus.
“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.
The tiger-furred man bears a strong resemblance to the rakshasa of eladrin myth, killed by a fallen star wielded by Dhebisu. The part about the sun bears a strong resemblance to the prophesied darkness in the vision given to Ethelyn—a possible parallel?
“Finally a woman—tyrannical and murderous—languished in prison, hanging from six chains and hooks that pierced her legs, back, and arms. But the seventh hook that sealed her lips swung loose, and it fluttered in the breeze as she whispered a map that led everywhere.”
This description fits Ashima-Shimtu precisely, down to the detail that she can send someone anywhere in the world if they dive into her well.
Above the top of a tall tower, the clouds part and reveal the moon. Chatwood can sense the presence of Nem more than see it, focused through the lens of the moon. Beyond the plane of ruin, she sees another realm, a great constellation of gears pulling in worlds and grinding them to dust between their stellar teeth.
Her consciousness flies toward the constellation, beyond which floats a whirlpool of debris, slowly circling toward a black pit at the center of the gears. In this gyre, handfuls of scattered refugees look skyward and cry out for salvation, and in the gaps between worlds, just beneath the surface of the heavens’ dark tapestry, a white serpent slithers toward the end of the world.