“For my next trick, I’m going to end time.”
1002′ above the Hill of Incipient Mark: two figures. Standing: a platform which hangs in the air presumably placed pasttime less-than one week. Down they look. D: verrik/sibeccai/giant mixed-stock humaniform created entity; M: giantish and multiply empowered. Both Undying.
D: observes apparent round shape of locale. M: denies roundness, calls shape off-round. D: questions relevance. M: directs attention to Hill of Transient Mark, Hill of Incipient Mark, Hill of Prior Mark. D: questions relevance. M: relates the Legend of Three Lobsters. D: questions relevance. M: explains at last.
M: Before we came here, the land was different. There was no Dark, we brought that with us.
D: So I’ve been told.
M: Yadd Island predates the Landing; it is a zoetic artifact of Old Habadad.
M: It’s a clock.
M: You see, it spins according to the season. Incipient Hill becomes Transient Hill becomes Prior Hill.
D: People know that. What makes that zoetic?
M: Because people don’t know, they don’t know what the clock is for. I know. I’ve figured it out.
D: The end of everything, you said before.
M: The end of this age, the beginning of the next. The old nature-priests were big on cycles. The last thing that has to happen is the death of Ist, or Ista, or Istannossafel, or Istarrebadarrfel. Depending on who you ask.
D: Ista the Lifespeaker? You’re going to kill Ista the Lifespeaker?
M: Already done it.
D: Ista the Lifespeaker is real?
M: Was real.
D: You killed her? Why?
M: To, she told her thoughtless daughter, start the timer. Yadd Island has started counting down to the end, and can’t be stopped now. I did that.
D: Why? What is this in aid of?
M: Untime. ‘Every point in time has its alternative.’
D: Should I be taking something away from that?
M: If I destroy this world, there’ll be nothing blocking my way to the next.
D: …How long will it take?
M: Not long. I told you before. Probably less than ten years. Definitely less than twenty.
D: What makes it zoetic?
D: You kept calling the timer zoetic. What makes it zoetic?
M: The rite is a zoetic rite; it predates the Landing.
D: Not everything from before the Landthing is zoetic.
M: When the rite is completed, every tacent in this area will be destroyed simultaneously, leaving only basal matter.
M: I’ve never once lied to you.
M: Trees, rocks, serfs, and eiodolon stones.
D: …Over how big an area?
M: Big enough. Far south as the Wordwood.
D: Oh, Pelagic.
M: Oh my yes. The Tower of Tongues will be as a gateway to the next world.
D: Then the Most High…?
M: There was a Cardinal in the workshop. As we speak I’m guessing several more are coming. We should get a move-on. I know someplace safe.
D and M vanish through some unknown means forty-five seconds before the explosive device which eliminates all detonates, destroying the platform and the agents who failed their mission.
Threat estimation: maximal.
Encoded notes dated 10/11/1492 stored within Most High eiodolon #1785.