The sun beat down on the old, dusty Main Street like a vengeful god, stifling the ramshackle little town of Hope without mercy. The air, thick and hard to breathe with the heat, smelled of sweat, filth, other human odors- but very distantly, beneath the other scents, lay the smell of cold, misty mornings in the distant mountains, the acrid tang of burnt hair, and salt like the ocean.
It was a smell any native of the harsh land they called the Verge could identify a mile away, and one that would send them scrambling in the other direction as fast as their horse or wagon could take them, no matter how long they'd been looking for civilization. This wasn't the kind they wanted. It wasn't a good smell.
It was the smell of magic, thick and heavy.
And that meant drifters.