"...most people are either powerless, ignorant or misguided. But the powerless are aware, the ignorant are able, and the misguided are nevertheless willing. Between the three of them, they could accomplish what was needed, but only if they worked together." - Sjora Kahn'dyr
Her name is Sjora Kahn'dyr, captain of the former fishing vessel Lamprey, an airship now more acquainted with trading and the occasional act of piracy. Named Sjora by her parents, the surname Kahn'dyr came from the oldspeak meaning Sky-charmer, so named for her tendency to charge straight into an oncoming stormfront only to find naught but blue skies at their horizon.
From an early age, Sjora left her home among the Sky People of Jaaris B'kaan, preferring instead to ride the winds in a vessel of her own choosing. Having stolen her very own ship at the age of eleven and rechristening it the Lamprey, she became a silent terror of the Steel City tradewinds, able to pilfer the gold teeth from a Warmerchant or capture the loot from a frigate caravan right out from their noses.
But all recklessness must come to an end, one way or another. For Sjora, her choice to move towards a more legally sound career came in the arrival of Daris Faol, the young Sheharid Pa'amul (potential shepherd) with whose safety she was charged. This young ward reminded Sjora far more of herself than she was content, and as a result Sjora moved more into conventional messaging services, trade and transportation. The rising threat of familial responsibility hounded her, though. Would she eventually have to trade in the freedom of the sky for the inherited role she knew she would not be able to outrun forever?
It's a question I think all of us must face at one point, yes? Do we grow up? Will we set aside the dreams and adventures of our youth in order to accept the mantle which awaits us? And how does caring for the protection of another rush us towards that end?
Or will it, as it does for Sjora, only heighten the risk of such adventures? Especially as the Song-Mistress of the Sky People summons Sjora to perform one, important task for them - the acquisition of a Isaad Morquith - the prophesied Dead Man, whose presence either secures or threatens all their lives?
It's just one mission, Sjora concedes. One more task to buy herself a few more years of liberty among the clouds.... or so she hopes.
Read more about Sjora, Daris and more in book one of the Tales of the Dead Man: Steel & Sky, and, coming soon, book two: Sun & Stone!