May we all be thus.
It was the night we rounded the Cloven Hoof, a curious feature of the nameless island guarding the mouth of the Windy Straits, east of the Greater Diamond Cloud ice shelf. A deceptive bit of sea, it is, with water clear as air lying atop a plateau of rare blue granite and a narrow channel twisting its way roughly parallel to the island’s northern coast. Balloonists tell us it’s impossible to distinguish the depth of the channel from the shallows of the formation by sight alone as the shades of blue are identical. A pilot must be specially licensed by the Maritime Ministry to attempt it. Most of the freight lines plying the Great Seas of the north avoid the island and the treacherous shallows but The Merchants of the Western Thunder built their reputation for speed and reliability by boldly taming such risks, thereby making their fortune.
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