Evidence N-0112 to the investigation I-7242
Arnaud Demeure’s handwritten note
Scribbled on an ancient text—the title translates as “A weapon that pierced the heavens”
The soul of an angel.
Only two men are fit to use. One who has lost the will to live, and one who has given himself to death.
The young sister ran through the silent city while the prophet waited for her to arrive. The old man knew she would come; he had seen her already. Hidden by the shadow of an old staircase, eyes fixed on the door, he tried not to get distracted by the creatures in his vision.
Thousands of them, maybe millions, all crammed within glass walls.
The youngest sat at the center of the glass prison. It was taller than the tallest mountain. It was quiet amid the frenzy of its brothers. Its head so high it saw beyond the ceiling of its prison, straight into the realm of the Eldest Lords. Light leaked from underneath its shaking, half-closed eyelids. It peeked into the future.
As the prophet watched them, the creatures stared at him from far away. He could see them, yet his mind could not make full sense of their shapes, only of a few features. A crowd of wings, fangs, stingers, and every piece of every animal he could think of, and some he had never seen, crawling on each other while human parts pushed their way through. The tall one, its eyes closed, hummed over and over.
“We are so close. It won’t be long.”
The others followed its chanting and moved back and forth in front of the glass holding them prisoners, just like animals expecting a bite of their prey.
The prophet almost missed the nun’s arrival. She ran up the stairs, hesitating as she put one foot on the first step.
Unseen, the prophet followed.
From the roof, he tasted the entire city. A forest of concrete and metal spreading in every direction, so much so that nothing existed if not within it. The sun blinded him, shining in white and gold. Dawn was a miracle. He stood still, in awe of the most magnificent city, and he almost forgot he had followed someone.
But there she was, the young sister, standing close to the balustrade, her arms raised to the sky, her shape dark against the sunlight.
The tall metallic tower pierced the sky and stabbed the sun, just like an arrow. The star bled, scattering its light all over the town.
White particles fell from the sky. Snow perhaps, or dust, he could not say. He dared to look up. The sky had turned dark despite the sun shining in it, light still leaking over the city.
In the cold air, no sound but the wind.
Nothing else made a noise. No sound of cars or their horns. No talking or music playing, no chirping of birds.
The prophet stood transfixed.
Cars were still on the asphalt, their lights on. Some stuck in place, some coasting along the streets. Many had slid, hitting nearby objects. Tombstones in an old graveyard, they lay against each other, against lampposts, or sat on the sidewalks.
Men and women, asleep, still clung to their steering wheels. Their heads blasted out of the windshields or hung from the windows. Hundreds and hundreds of bodies covered the sidewalks and the streets. More must have been resting within the buildings, unmoving, untouched.
Here and there, white, black, and red stains, each tens of meters long, covered the streets—flocks of birds caught in whatever happened.
Nobody moved, nobody talked, everyone rested in this cemetery, testimony of a dark miracle.
The world had moved on. The city, now empty, stayed behind.
Paris was dead, and the Great Ones were free.
Preface to the investigation I-7242
Letter, John Ricart Wilhelm to Horace Hastings (Interim Headmaster of the School of Winchester)
Sir, I have taken the liberty to send this to your personal address, as I am not sure I can trust anyone else on the matter. I have drafted and sent it, ensuring others, even the councilors, could not intercept the missive. In it, you will find everything pertaining to the Paris Paranatural Occurrence and the related investigation (I-7242).
After our investigation of Demeure’s palace, we believe there is a connection between the events in Paris, the sudden disappearance of the headmaster, and the potential death of Councilor Dryden. We also suspect the headmaster and most of the council have been in contact with Mr. Demeure for the past few centuries. I have collected all the evidence in the packet accompanying this letter. It contains Mr. Demeure’s memoir, notes, scraps, voice recordings, and photographs relating to the guests.
Whatever magick-related event has happened, it has dissipated already. Our agents in the area claim they have observed an increase in telluric pressure beyond Schwarzschild level. Assuming this information is true, we did not find remnants of a Schwarzschild box, and it would be a first for one to appear and disappear in such a short time.
What we found is concerning, though. We have discovered traces of fights and, at the time of writing, three dead bodies: two women, one beheaded, the other killed by what seems a rib piercing her skull, and one man who had gone through full turning before dying from an unknown cause. We suspect at least another one dead, incinerated. The analysis of the ashes will confirm.
Councilor Dryden might have encountered a similar fate. We have not found her body, but we found a bowl of blood, confirmed to be hers, and marks suggesting she performed some kind of ritual.
I will send an update as soon as my agents complete the sweep at the guests’ addresses (you can find the locations in the notes I sent over).