Sea of Wings

"Travelers ask why I would choose to live upon the shore of the Sea of Wings–a place where a moment of distraction can end your life. Why would I raise a family here, amidst the inherent dangers? And I tell them, because the beauty and the rewards counter the dangers. The seas make us strong, and fast, and provide a life rich with experience.   It is a truth only a native can see and hear."
— Barum, Master Fisherman
      If you travel through the dense marshlands and pass into the climbing forests of pine, you’ll notice the land takes a breath. Dense forest thins the higher in elevation you go, though the ground remains fertile and clean. It pauses in its strength, gathering its will, to transform into something else.   It is here paths narrow and vanish, covered by leaf and vine, and travelers have two choices: turn east or west, enduring weeks to pass around the great chasm; or charter an airship by venturing to the villages along the shore.   Trees reach deeper into the soil here, clinging to the familiar as the air becomes heavy. Fingers reach up and over the lip of the highest ridge, thick vines marking the edge of transformation. It is here where one can stand as witness to the Sea of Wings.   Take a breath.   White as snow, gentle as the warm breeze it rides upon, the mist rolls up the incline of forest and jungle, gentle waves splashing against leaf and limb. Three days ride as an airship glides, across to a wall of stone — mountains as far as the eye can see — meeting you on the opposite side. A mist hiding the edge of the world. A fall into darkness ands death. A mist moving to the beat of a million wings hidden in its embrace.   As the land slopes toward the maw of this great expanse, you may discover hints of life. Not deer, fox, or fowl, for these remain abundant, though the dragons hunt freely. Flickers of light from shelters made of stone and cement, or smoke rising from barricaded caves. Humans who live in silence, focusing upon the echos below.   Take a breath.   It could be your last.

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