The Lodestar flies.
The skies are blue, and the white clouds whip by — barely kissing the hull, the new darkwood inlay shining in the sun. The stone rails glow bright magenta, and the ship hangs like an albatross on the wind. A simple craft, unbroken lines and pure curves. It flies, an expression of joy — a necessity to the sky. The sky needs the Lodestar, it requires it..and the Lodestar loves the sky.
The ship arcs away to the west, and the vision changes. A thousand threads, a thousand lives, a thousand stories. Some are more brightly colored and vibrant than others, but they all add to the tapestry.
The barbarian, Agnar, stands at a simple grave in a field on the edge of the sea. Similar stones fill the green field from edge to edge. A battered copper half-helm hangs on the edge of the stone. Etched into the stone are the words Commander Penny Lavlock. A True Sentinel. Agnar shares a drink with the dead, sipping from a clay jug.
Dayjen Moore leans against a large pane of glass in a stark grey room.
Enton Blake stands solicitously nearby with a large folio crammed with Seafoam business. He does not interrupt his employer’s thoughts. Some attempts have been made to corral the young man’s unruly hair, haircuts, oils — all to no avail. It sticks straight up in blonde madcap mirth. Dayjen sighs, and his breath fogs on the glass. On the other side sits another blonde man. The same face, the same eyes – but a decade older, and a century madder. ‘Nayjen’ stares back with total contempt, three gems shining on his bare chest.
The President of the Seafoam Trading Company squares his jaw in determination. “We’re going to do it, Enton. We can find a way to get those gems out safely — and help Evil Me in the process.The Heartbreaker is gone — looks like it was swallowed by that freaking Sky Wyrm, but we need to get the key out of his stomach anyway. My father ruined enough things in this world, this is one more thing we can find a way to fix.”
Enton sighs with resignation, and adds another bullet point to the President’s ever growing list.
An old but sturdy wagon rolls up the dusty stone path that leads to the ruins of the Acacian Dragoon School. Abendigo bounds from the top of the caravan to the very peak of a lonely spire six stories high. He waves back to Master Arroz in the wagon in excitement, but the gruff old master just rolls his eyes. The small caravan behind them is loaded with a few masons, a few carpenters and their families, seed and livestock…and a double dozen of potential new Dragoons, each born with their strange Gift. It will be months before the ruins are barely livable, and years before more than a handful of those below can call themselves Dragoons — but it was a start.
The young archer looked up into the afternoon sun and breathed deep. “I wish you were here to see this, my friend.” Abendigo whispered sadly.
The Darkbreakers Headquarters was dim, as Corben stepped inside – shouldering his travelling pack. His father looked up from the fierce game of dominoes he was playing with the half-orc, wizened old wood elf, and a young boy wearing no pants. “Ready to go?” he asked.
“Always.” Simon Garamonde pushed back from the table, a slight hitch in his frame the only sign of the vicious wounds he was still recovering from. “Where are we going?”
“Well, a lot of places.” the younger rogue grinned. “But how about home first? Weren’t you saying something about the ancestral Garamonde sword, hidden in the family crypts?”
“The family sword?” Simon blanched. “But it’s cursed! Double, triple, quadruple cursed — and guarded by the remnants of the Spider Queen’s horde…and..and…this is just making it sound better to you, isn’t it?”
Corben laughed and pushed open the door. Simon came over and clapped his son on the shoulder.
There was a loud noise as three chairs scraped against the stone floor in unison. “Uh…can we go?” the young boy with no pants asked, hesitantly.
The two rogues shrugged, and the Darkbreakers scrambled to gather their gear.
Three men sat in a private room, in an opulent inn. They had ample drinks and food to spare, but they did not eat or drink. One simply wasn’t thirsty, one had brought his own dark mead from the vile bees in his secret forest — and one was simply dead. Or not-alive, it’s difficult to be certain with the Toymaker.
Lannis flipped his Harrow cards idly on the table, The boredom was palpable. It had been weeks since they had gainful employment — the world was growing entirely too warm and fuzzy.
A knock at the door, and the Dark Druid straightened his immaculate bowler hat.
A youngish man with flat black hair cut in a bowl entered. On his wrists were tattooed chains, the mark of a bondslave. Behind him an old man, dark-skinned with close cropped hair followed.
The Blackwings immediately rose – the Toymaker’s new joints clacking oddly, and then fell to their knees.
“Lord Zul, we have waited patiently for your coming. I see you no longer wear your mask of office.” Lannis said respectfully.
The old man threw a green mask on the table in disgust. His bondslave, Morris, closed the door behind them. Master Tumm, the last Red Wizard of Thay by right of blood and power stood amongst his acolytes.
“We will begin again. Evil never forgets, It begins again..it endures forever.”
The Blackwings bowed to their dark lord, and whispered the response. “It endures forever.”