The breaking sound.

The Lodestar

The Vagabonder looked up from his work. It was rare something could distract him, pull him from the pure world of his research — but the sound Izus was making was unsettling.

The villain was crying. A quiet murmur that wound its way around the regular sounds and rhythms of the engine room.

Silo and Jump looked up from the corner of the bay, where they were studiously scrubbing a patch of fungus that had sprung up from a long forgotten crate of mushrooms.

“What’s that guy’s deal?” Silo asked, Jump only shrugged.

“It’s the sound of a man giving up.” Martin said, from the stairs. “When there’s no chance of coming back, and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks anymore you’re alone in the dark. That’s the sound you make. I know, I’ve made it myself more than a few times.”

Joao Ruas

“It’s the breaking sound before you die.” the ranger struck a match, and set fire to the bowl of his pipe.

Kythera – The Circle of Silver

Haskeer fought off the waves of exhaustion and revulsion emanating from the medallion, and led the others northward. They heard sounds of Seafoam patrols, but for now they seemed to be mostly to the south. As unerring as a compass he walked through the streets — his need, and the need of the dark Precursor spirit the same. To find the light, to find direction — to find their lodestar.

Haskeer led them to a strange open area on the northern edge of the city — a few structures dotted the green lawn, but the greatest oddity lay in the center. A massive ring, as tall as a man, and as thick as an aurochs – gleaming, unmarked silver, suspended three feet off the ground. As stable as a rock in a stream.

And then, there she was.

She darted from one of the small buildings, still wearing the gray smock that she had been abducted in. Talitha ran directly into Haskeer’s open arms, crowing with delight. The others gathered around, and for a moment all was well.

Talitha looked at the others, and wrinkled her nose slightly.

“Where’s Gloompa?”

“Who’s Gloompa?” a gravel-voice called from the shadows of the building. The orange-skinned tiefling Sideways leaned out, and gave a half-wave.

Kythera – The President’s Garden

The President’s right hand twisted and pulled out the rogue’s heart. Corben watched with fascination as it continued to beat frantically, square crystals of ice forming around it, in Jaiden’s candle-white hands.

It was kind of beautiful.

Corben blinked, and his heart was still in his chest.

Jaiden’s black eyes. Black on white on black on white.

“Because you’re still useful as bait.”