Dragons live for centuries; this has led many to believe they are immortal. The occasion of one’s death is a time of great activity. Scavengers of all shapes seek to partake of the residual magic in the flesh and bones of the dragon. Dragons are old and do not cross over gently, and the scavengers do not always wait for the end before they start.—Foreword to “A Treatise on the Ecological Niche of Dragons”
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A gust of wind tore Feng’s hat from her head and sent it over the railing, tumbling into the swirling mists below. The roar of the wind snatched the curses right from her mouth, denying her even that satisfaction, as the trailing speck of her headgear got swallowed by the roiling white miasma. Coming to the deck had been a mistake; getting on the airship had been a mistake; not earning enough credits for a degree in sorcery had been a mistake. The hat would be just another line in the litany of disappointments in her life, a song to keep her company when she lay in bed with her eyes open.
“You should tie your hat to your chin, girl.”
Da Kai loomed behind her. Looming was a natural state for the man, his shoulders so broad that he spent most of his time aboard the airship scuttling sideways down corridors like a crab. Yet he did not yell over the roar of the wind and the constant growl of the airship engines, his voice calm and deep. If a mountain had a voice, Feng imagined it’d sound a lot like Da Kai’s.