There was something else, Viridian knew — not something that the scrying pool had shown him directly, but something he had personally distilled from its depths. It wasn't a certainty — the magic of scrying was limited in its scope, and there were surely more than a handful of mysteries throughout the world which remained hidden from him. But there were irregularities, inconsistencies in the data, which led him already to suspect one of a few potential culprits for the Disavowment.
Unfortunately, as effortlessly as he could have destroyed them all, he doubted that their deaths would reverse that which they had wrought; and furthermore, he would need actionable proof before he could bring himself to such extreme measures. So far, all he had was speculation based on nothing more than certain peculiarities. But goodness, were they peculiar.
Who, for instance, was this...Tim the Lich? Such a strange name, Utnapishtim, stolen directly from a body of legend and literature which wasn't native to this world, despite being sealed away on a plane severed from all others. The Lich was enormously powerful, perhaps the most talented Conjurer on the planet. He was capable of feats that other Wizards would struggle even to dream of. Perhaps this superior understanding of teleportation magic had led him to be unnecessarily security-conscious (for who more greatly fears a potential incursion than the man who can go anywhere?), but whatever his reason, details beyond his name and abilities were locked far beyond the reach of any scrying pool.
Viridian's thoughts stopped sharply as he caught himself chastising the Lich's 'unnecessary security measures,' and he took the opportunity to teach himself a lesson: do not speak poorly of someone who has foiled you. Whatever his reasons for placing what might have been some of the world's most ludicrously redundant magical wards on himself, it had been enough to stop Viridian. Any less diligently applied, and they might not have done. He needed to respect that, whether or not he appreciated it.
Utnapishtim had no place of birth, no parents, no siblings, no childhood acquaintances, no interpersonal connections, no friends, no enemies, and had left virtually no sign of having interacted with the world in any way prior to six months ago, when he had risen as a Lich capable of interstellar teleportation (and this, in a world where people were called prodigies for teleporting a few miles at a time). There were other people whose pasts were obscured — the God Norgober, for example, who had systematically erased all mention of his past from all records, everywhere — but with the world laid bare before him, Viridian hardly struggled to catalogue their lives from beginning to end based on the distinctive absence of what had been erased.
Tim was not like that. In his case, there was nothing missing; no redacted information or well-buried esoterica. Viridian was confident enough in his own abilities that he was almost willing to conclude that Tim had simply begun his life six months ago, but that wasn't possible. He was almost willing to conclude that Tim had come from some other world or plane, but he could see the means by which Golarion had been cut off, and he knew that wasn't possible, either. Considering this, he supposed that one day he would have to sit down for a conversation with the man, and decide then whether or not he needed to be destroyed.
But Tim wasn't the only enigma; possibly, wasn't even the most security-conscious. The Maelstrom, that hurricane-like storm of evil energy that traveled throughout the world seemingly at random...Viridian couldn't make heads or tails of it. He couldn't even predict in advance where it would show up, and in his case, that counted for a lot. It would appear at random, somewhere in the world, for an indeterminate length of time, and then vanish without a trace before rematerializing elsewhere after a similarly nondeterminate period. Viridian was sure that it wasn't a patterned phenomenon, which suggested that its behavior was just that: behavior. Whatever the Maelstrom was, it was goal-oriented, and those goals took it to and from places all across the globe which were otherwise totally unrelated.
Whether or not it was just a brainless automaton running a program or an actual free-thinking force remained to be seen. Viridian wasn't sure which worried him more. He knew that there would come a day when he would have to confront it, whatever it was, but looking at that vortex of evil sweep across the landscape, he wasn't altogether confident that it was something he could comfortably handle at this stage of his development. He was powerful, but he didn't dare to underestimate anything with an aura large enough to swallow entire cities.
He didn't doubt that there were others. For as much as he respected how thoroughly Tim and the Maelstrom had safeguarded their secrets, the fact remained that Viridian had discovered that there were secrets being concealed. It was entirely possible that there were more powerful agents operating throughout Golarion who hadn't been so sloppy; the world would look the same, either way.
And there would be others, he was certain. He couldn't see the future — not yet, anyway — but he could feel shockwaves of future events traveling backward through time. The bigger the event, the bigger the shockwave; although by the time they reached him, it felt like the perspective was distorted, like looking at a distant object with no reference frame. The clearer waves might have been from truly massive events in the distant future, or from smaller ones which were only seconds away. He'd have to work on refining that.
For now, even the most well-defined were vague impressions only, imperfect and nearly unintelligible...but they were enough to know that more powerful beings were coming; and, maybe, that some had already arrived. If he closed his eyes and focused himself, he could see these shockwaves resolved as images. They were scattered and disjointed, and he wasn't even certain how many of them were from future events and how many were from the past. There seemed to be a disconnect there that he couldn't identify; a fundamental issue already present in the timeline that lent itself to a degree of uncertainty that he hadn't expected, given what he knew (and that was meaningful, he was sure — but he had so little time to figure out why!).
What he saw in those images as they flitted across his eyelids was at once both liberating and terrifying. He saw an impossible beast, as tall and broad as a mountain, grappling with some half-formed, many-eyed mass of flesh descending from space; he saw the Maelstrom, no longer a passive observer, but actively engaged in combat against a man who inexplicably reminded Viridian of himself, despite his crimson skin and wicked smirk; he saw the Four Horsemen, great and terrible, struggling against just a single tiny man in whose skin swam a sea of symbols and numbers; he saw himself standing alongside a woman, blue of skin and slight of frame, as she lifted her arms and brought life back to a world torn asunder by this war—
And that was it. That was when he knew that it was time to stop watching. If a war was coming, then there were things to do. But before he opened his eyes, one final image flashed past; and unlike those which had preceded it, this one moved. He recognized the background as the city of Mechitar, but other than that, the ambient uncertainty was stronger than ever. In the center of the image was a narrow-beaked, dark-feathered humanoid bird — a Tengu, Viridian knew — with his back turned. He was perched upon a roof, looking over the edge at something Viridian couldn't see from this angle.
The uncertainty escalated sharply, and for a brief instant, there were hundreds of different Tengu perched in hundreds of different places; some in the streets, some on rooftops far away from the first. Viridian's mind reeled, his sensory awareness seized, and his entire brain seemed to stall as the moment passed, and then they were back on the single rooftop.
The Tengu stiffened, standing straight as though something had startled him. Feeling sick after the sensory overload he'd just endured, Viridian realized too late what that something had been.
The Tengu turned to face him, locking eyes too quickly and too precisely for it to have been a coincidence. It was definitely a man, Viridian could see now, with eyes that shimmered black in the twilit air. The image grew fuzzier, now — perhaps the bulk of this shockwave had passed, leaving only fragments — but Viridian struggled to hold on. What was happening wasn't possible, he shouldn't have had a physical presence to be observed in this other time and place, and if he let it go now he might never find out!—
The man spoke — or at least, he opened his mouth and his tongue moved — but the image was silent, and Tengu lips couldn't be read. Viridian tried to explain this, to ask the man to communicate visually. But then the shockwave passed, and the image was gone.