Lighthouse of Nil
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Fall of Famed Adventurer: Case in Agrieux

a, b: Clippings held insede Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, circa 35 APE

a

GAZETTE D'AGRIEUX.

Harvest Festival of Month of Saint Joachim!

sovereignty.jpg

It can be said that Harvest Festival is the greatest ritual of the Kingdom. It represents abundant crops in our Land every year, as well as time for blessing after labor. How we celebrate is important very much because it shows union of farmers.

I, Pierre Garneau, the reporter, caught sight of several things at Festival yesterday. One thing was a bright sign for our future. Upon reading a celebratory address, the Ducal Deputy announced "we are about to be on the threshold to step toward the bright future right now!" Proving that a hopeful plan for the coming year has been evolving inside Duke's mind, the utterances were made, stating "we should let joy of today be our vigor to make the next year the noblest one in our history." Certainly, His Grace is going to make this Kingdom "the Land truly befitting to be Heaven" next year!

The phrase "befitting to be Heaven" was repeated many times. It was like His Grace was ascertaining that we'll be truly stoic, industrious farmers suitable to this Land next year (it definitely shall be!). I was stricken by how Duke trusts us people, and was impressed by His Grace be already contemplating about next year's crops.

Duke is deeply caring about the history book of the Dukedom. His Grace thinks now is the age of the key point, and remembers that every great Duke has created chance to change the course of the history in the time of great transition. His Grace will too become one of them. His Grace is thinking of leading this country to the superior height while keeping dignity and faith of us people.

His Grace required new minds of the Kingdom for the new year. His Grace required "the Dukedom that keeps on going forward, the advancement to exploit all people's best" with both farmers and non-farmers cooperating together. His Grace clearly believes that his people has excellent power to lead the whole Kingdom. His Grace called Agrieux "an irreplaceable place," and even said the best of the invenieours reside at it.

The second was about one of those invenieours, and an item by his craft. The Festival saw an introduction of a bizarre item made by a Nicolas Bourrie from Agrieux-Sud. Waiting for the moment for the ceremony of unveiling, the man, his wife, Catherine, his friend and the famous explorer you readers may know, who has just came back from the twentieth expedition of caves the other day, Jean-Marie Gireaud, and his wife Anne sat together behind the rostrum.

The invention was a big lamp; it has been made from a mineral brought back by Gireaud, who also is a friend of the Duke, from the deepest known place of the plutonic cave, Bourrie said. Only fractions of general usage amount of wood or coal will make it keep on shining bright for a long time, the man said in his celebratory address. Currently, a tower, about five nouvelle toise in height, is being built in Agrieux-Sud, and the lamp will be placed there upon its completion. Once this is finished, he told, we'll no longer get lost in time of mist covering the canal, and there's no worry about pisc'airs swarming to impede because it only uses small amount of fire relative to its brightness.


Tragedy of the Daviau Family! The -th dead of this year — The manorial keeper seeks new farmers

b

Lighthouse Completed — Wonderful Invention by Nicolas Bourrie!

Last 8 Sainte Ulphe, the wooden tower which has been under construction for some time was finished; it's for the lantern made of jaunerosite, which was found by the explorer Jean-Marie Gireaud from the bottom of the earth during his expedition and named after its superficial pattern similar the rose. Juxtaposed with a house Bourrie would live in as a keeper, the tower is fortified by stonework made of a purcarbonite at its base.

Though the interior was still only half-way due to being in haste, hanging of the huge lantern by pulleys before the eyes of peasantry onlookers was only spectacular. And then Bourrie willingly offered to move to a make-do tower in order to free boatmen from the peril of the mist as soon as possible. This dedication made even the least invention-savvy peasants yell with delight.

As he lit the tower right away, a yellow light shone the water surface of the canal like mid-day, piercing the wicked mist creeping in timely dusk. It was the look of shining ripples reflecting like jewels that let Mrs. Bourrie dance with the joy, joining hand with Gireaud and his wife to express their delight.

It was then Gireaud stated with his gentle hand on Mrs. Bourrie's shoulder: Let this tower be named Lighthouse of Nil. Because it was as if leading a vessel called Bright Future to us, illuminating the ocean of void surrounding our Kingdom of Univers'ile. It was a name he has devised for Nicolas, his best friend.

The metal crafter lost no time in inscribing it onto a plaque and hung it on a object of the new achievement of this Kingdom before the eyes of gathering crowd. I cannot help but hope this lighthouse will become a proud invention of Agrieux following the Lepin's Canal by guiding its citizen.

c: A fragment from Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, 45- APE ?

c

I've burned all the document that can stir suspicion that I'm disloyal to the King. Nevertheless this page has nothing to do with such an ideology, it too can be gone if I will still alive after the matter is settled. I'm simply critical of the Duke, not the King
Ha! What a farce overall! May include that the mist and pisc'airs have came with the water from the Lepin's Canal after all. Those water cancellés were the sources of all. For now, the cancellés have been closed for good, for there's no need to add water afresh after all, and already farmers have not to be frightened by not only mist but even by the damned flying faux-lolligieux that were little crop thieves. We need no lighthouse We didn't need The lighthouse is, if any yet, useless by now. Upon reflection, he knew it all from the very beginning, didn't he? Though no way to ascertain it at this distance of time. He may have been in misery.

d: A clipping held inside Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, circa 40 APE

Note by an archivist: It was alleged that the phrase "certainly true!" has been written large with the underscore on the page of the book this clipping has been put (missing).

d

Mysteries of disappearing people! Agrieux citizen spends nights of terror

Following the enigmatic missing of the last Duchess Marianne Grandjean, Marquis Patrice the son of the Duke went missing, and the next was Duchess Simonneau behind her tight-closed door!

Ducal deputies visiting the villages of Agrieux revealed horrific news again last 4 Saint Daniel. It stated that Duchess Louise Simonneau, a Ducal consort and the mother of Lord Gabriel who is second in line to the Dukeship, has disappeared from her room during the previous night.

This case differs from one of Lady Grandjean last winter, which happened as returning not from an private garden inside the ducal manor, or one of the Heir Apparent, who used to play beside the canal everyday. Because, according to servants, Duchess was habitually afraid of the canal; especially believing the mist from the canal brings on diseases, Her Ladyship used to shut all the windows tightly and rest in the room which is the farthest from any part of the canal.

However, Lieutenant Marcoux of the ducal private squadron is about to thoughtlessly brush off it as mere unfortunate fall to the canal. The fine youth with apple cheeks from the squadron was forced to be vainly working on the canal this morning again, muddling cold water in search for traces of Duchess in the middle of miserably deep mist.

Officer Conte, the head of the wardens of the canal, argues squarely against the lieutenant's opinion. Moreover, he insists that Lady Grandjean nor Marquis Patrice couldn't drown in the canal. His opinion goes: They regularly work to remove driftwood, large rocks, or corpses of animals from the water of the canal. Nevertheless, they haven't even observed any kind of jewelry or clothes which would well fit the class of the Ducal family yet, to say nothing of any human body. Is it only my opinion that, considering this honest man's objection, a foolish man like the Lieutenant should be immediately demoted?

Ominous rumors in towns

Some impious, eerie rumors are going on about a series of events equally among farmers and among non-farmers. They allege that as members of the Ducal family disappears, much many more people are suddenly gone from towns and villages. It is said they've been happening unchangingly in the time of the canal mist.

Before those incidents, there have been many citizens dying from ------ or, quite arrogantly, deserting their lands with dissatisfaction for farming works. But then as if mingled among them, a lot of people are just vanishing, they stated. Actually, they even said now more people are disappearing than dying from ------.

So, what is happening at the canal?

e, f, g, h: Fragments from Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, 48- APE ?

e

At this distance of time, it's vague about who revealed the truth of the Lepin Canal and how it's done, but the event of that next morning is so vivid that there's no room to doubt it. That fellow has left the house during nighttime, leaving his family behind and packing only his most valuable articles. Someone said he was arrested in Zéniterre but I'm not sure if it's true.

f

I meant not to care about Lepin, at this distance of time, though.

Soon after the lighthouse has begun working and been found to be useful for boatmen's business, Nicolas has been welcomed to the social circle of the Ducal family. But after a while he has fallen to melancholia, and grown to be absent from any sort of gatherings. Someone might have insulted him calling him a deserter, or noblemen might have, after all, been looking down on the invenieour who hailed from the least learned area among ones of farmers. To add insult to injury, he has lost his wife and child to an epidemic, became eventually secluding himself in the tower, and stopped coming down.
Ah, alas, Nicolas! A poor, lonely man! Who can, except me — I swear to our friendship, understand your soul? If it was to me, only to me alone have you unbosomed your bittered mind!

g

Nicolas used to — yes, it was him who had named it — call this tower Lighthouse of Nil. The lighthouse that stands on the shore of the ocean of the void. Think about it, isn't it strange, because it ought has been named for boatmen for the canal? Yes, and it had been a lighthouse for Nil from its beginning. For Nil to help it navigate the sea of the void to us men. Then men were consumed upon its arrival. You can avoid mist by shutting windows tight, but how can you prevent light that comes penetrating curtains? How about Void that has no shape?

h




This is vengeance!





i: A clipping held inside Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, circa 48 APE

i

Army destroys cursed lighthouse at last

It has been decided that the Lighthouse of Nil will be finally used as a target of cannon exercises on next 15 Saint Bernard, the army has proclaimed. It was reported that artillery squads would start for Agrieux-Sud in a day or two.

Upon questioning from our reporter, Sergeant Morneau, the commander of one of artillery squads, showed absolute confidence towards destruction of the tower by reinforced cannons.

j, k, l: Fragments from Jean-Marie Gireaud's field book, 48- APE ?

j

I had decided to visit the lighthouse once again right before the arrival of the army on a hill on which it would have level at it. I've wanted to reassure a few things.

Especially rugged and arid among this Dukedom, Agrieux-Sud has had the tower on a hill near the southern end of the canal beyond a exceptionally barren thing which was barely a path. It has been there like those days, bar Catherine nor Daniel has no longer lived there. The front door has been made from heavy wood as well as slatted shutters on windows firmly locked. No answer to knocks, as I had expected.
The tower had been retrofitted with some pulleys, and they had enabled a mechanism slinging a basket to carry groceries brought by merchants up without coming down to the ground floor; I've known Nicolas had made carry breads alongside sausages or vegetables or such using it a few time in a week. So I've decided to carry in a ladder beforehand and climb into an entrance for the basket.

Except bothersomeness to break a wooden hood, installed to avoid skyfish, and a door to make sure of enough width for a grown man to enter, it has been easy all the way. Thus I've entered the lantern room, only to find a heap of groceries that might in past days had been welcomed into this tower brought by the basket. Wine bottles, staled and dried breads, and shriveled vegetables as well as sausages — a nearly unused pile! Over the hillock has been a lantern made of jaunerosite, scintillating in the setting sun.
And Nicolas has been nowhere. It's been all in spite of the door clearly barred from inside and picketed by a bunch of furniture.

k

Horrific truth has trembled my heart, making it incapable to keep calm. Had I ever gotten so threatened facing perils in a myriad of cave campaigns? By my very own guilt, of all things! With sinister rumors spreading thoroughly, however, it'd been long since everyone but grocers had stopped approaching it. Nobody has been watching me. May or may not because of cursed light, even a rat nor bug hasn't been there, in sight of a heap of old breads. All I've had to do was just to leave in silence. With setting sun gone thoroughly in timely manner, nobody would have see me coming back from the direction of the tower.

L

And thinking to visit the lighthouse one last time, I walked along the rugged, arid path once again the other day. To put it more precisely, it was a place where once the lighthouse has been. I looked down and it was right beside the ocean of nothing; on rocks about 10 nouvelle toise below me, where I barely could see remains of the lighthouse mixed with the collapsed rocks. I doubted if even an experienced explorer like I could montrugué down uninjured and comeback alive at my age. Needless to say about any layman, whose attempt would prove fatal even before the arrival to the bottom.

Has most part of the tower fallen into the ocean of the void? Has cannonballs of the army smashed the lantern into pieces? Even though if traces of fire — or, light from stars — still lit the mineral, it'd no longer be able to shine the lands people lived from under this cliff.

Eventually, no one seemed to manage to find Nicolas.
In the end, the thing in my mind was my horrible crime. Why it resulted like this? Could I have had prevented Nicolas from committing crime, in the first place? Nobody answered, just winds shrieking against abrupt rocks.



m: A restoration of a memorandum found from the fireplace in the Jean-Marie Gireaud's study (a facsimile). The identity of handwriting is indecisive.

m

come down you sordid thief damned dog of duke

Note by a curator of the Army Police Crime Museum - about Jean-Marie Gireaud (ca 15 PE - ca 48):
Born in Sainte-Dorothée, he won a reputation as a cave explorer by the expedition at the collapsed land of Saint-Benoit, and was often extolled for his bravery by the King and Dukes. Became suspected of, however, involvement in some dissident movements in his declining years. Although escaped from the very stigma of being a criminal by disappearance, lost plenty of privileges and honors once bestowed.

Believed to vanish into any of the caves he once explored following incineration of most part of the notebook and immediately after writing the fragment l.

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