The Lodestar flies. The arc of the sun’s path reflects off the curve of its bow. It flies and it sings, a jubilant hum.
The Vagabonder polishes a long glass tube, then sets it into place on the console. It fills immediately with green jellybeans, and the half-orc frowns. It was supposed to be pink jellybeans. The massive Floatstone turns sedate and simple in its clear cannister, powering the heart of the ship — wires and cables, strange conduits and grids of unknown purpose and potential. The Lodestar still has its secrets, and the engineer prays that he shall never quite unravel them all.
Nearby, a massive orange cat paws at an old bronze pocket watch lackadaisically, it’s fat paw barely moving. Crackers blinks over to investigate, but then is rewarded with a quick swat to the nose. The young dog snorts, and trots out of the cargo bay.
Talitha bursts out of the Captain’s Cabin wearing a too-large buffcoat emblazoned with the ship’s symbol, and a preposterous hat with a skull and crossbones painted in glowing ink. She is dragging Lucas with her, who is doing his level best to keep the book tucked under his arm, all while holding on to the construct, Sinoe with his other hand. Crackers barks with excitement, and follows the three out onto the deck.
The three young adventurers ran to the prow of the ship, clouds streaming past. “Oy!” Della Half-hand called from the wheelhouse. “Where are we going anyway?”
“Well, that’s up to me.” Talitha said, hands on her hips. “I’m the Captain now, after all.”
“Ha.” the older girl scratched her scarred cheek. “ I guess that makes me First Mate.”
“And I’ll be Navigator.” Lucas said dubiously. “And you, Sinoe?”
“Gunner.” the automaton said, with no explanation. Her freshly-dyed purple hair whipped in the wind.
Crackers barked his position on the crew, and Talitha scratched behind his ear in agreement. Della spun the wheel, a fierce grin on her face and the Lodestar sailed on –cutting through white cloud mountains and oceans of blue-sky.
As the ship sails off out of view, Talitha’s voice can be heard — growing quieter as the Dragon’s Eye goes dark.
“I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while. What IS a Lodestar, anyway?”
“Oh..well.” Lucas harrumphed. “ It’s a fixed point in the sky, a star that never changes. It’s an old sailing term — it’s something you can always follow,always depend on — let’s you know where you are, know which direction to go.”
“Okay. I get it. Like my Uncle Jonas, he’s a hero, you know?”
The Lodestar flies. Dreamers wake from their sleep, hearing the music of its flight. A holy wanderer, a noble king, a teacher of serenity, a proud grandfather, a queen of the wild sea, a wide-eyed explorer, a singer of songs, a spinner of tales, a fierce scholar, a battered ranger, a butcher, a baker, a candlestick-maker. For the rest of their days the dream will come, the Lodestar waits for them to board, just outside the window. So easy to slip out of their lives into the quiet night, into the golden dawn –throw their gear aboard, and sail away.
The Dragon’s Eye closes.