The early morning streets of Sandtown are full of sound – the slap of boot leather on cobblestone, the creak of wagon wheels, and the regular peal of the ghost-bell like a heartbeat. The Sand Quarry extending out into Lost Lake, gobbling workers and slowly, laboriously puking up grist with a slow rumble. The squeak of wheels on wagons as grist is hauled to the refineries, then to the savage factories where geista reactors are made. The hue and cry of the market as fish is traded for silk is traded for steel is traded for Lokan nuts is traded for Grid-ware. The never-ending crackle as the thousand geista reactor bubbles overlap and feedback their phantasmal resonance into each other. The trumpets of the Temple of West, the flutes of Crimson Way, the never-ending drum in the heads of the people that walk and work and wait in the streets of Sandtown.
But none of this is for you. None of this is your affair, you walk a different path, a secret path. Some would say darker, but that is simple fear speaking – the words of those who lock their doors tightly at night and huddle under their blankets until the dawn sun comes to save them.
You have made a friend of pain, a companion of fear, and a betrothed of death. You have slipped across the roofs of man under no moon, you have made merry murder in the hidden rooms of Night, you have crushed Light under your boot like the eggs of a serpent. You are a villain. By will, by misadventure, by chance or by elder curse – the black cloak is wrapped around your shoulders.
You are a villain – for you nothing is impossible. Nothing except…