Gaunt folded her arms and studied Bone in partial jest, but only partial. “I will tell you a thing, Imago. The more fully you live, the more ridicule you get... and the more admirers too. There are those who long to become big by knocking others down. But there are those who long to grow. By growing yourself, you help them. What if you are not a 'thief' but a quick-thinking man who steals at times—but at other times also saves? What if the second quality defined you and not the first?”
Gorel could smell the sea. It was always there, the water like a black mirror, upon which glided the enormous black ships with the seven-pointed star on their hulls. From time to time spells crackled in the air above the port. Wind-mages and speakers-to-whales and astrologer-navigators and sun-talkers and battle-sorcerers with the power to level whole cities. Goliris’s fleets sailed across the World and brought the civilising influence of the empire to its furthest reaches. They came back laden with the World’s goods; with all the riches the World had to offer.