Got a bit of writing done this morning. Here's the new(est) opening paragraph of Magus of Athlinar.
The airship juddered, engines roaring in protest. Sparks spat from the ship's skin, air roaring as loud as the straining engines. Tossed against the back of her seat, Meida craned her head to look out the window, anticipating either an attack or flaming gas bladders and impending crash. The winding, sixty-foot levee was passing below, explaining the sudden turbulence: They'd reached Athlinar's outer wards. Cattle and goats glanced up from marshy fields and rice paddies, workers from tall ladders in the mango groves. Apparently they weren't worried a fireball was about to explode over their heads despite the corona of sparks surrounding the airship.
She leaned back against the velvet upholstery, twitching her enveloping chadri out of her way as she dug into her belt pouch. Figures the arrogant magi of Athlinar wouldn't care if they scared their passengers into heart failure by an unannounced and needlessly rough crossing through the perimeter of the city state's defenses.The craft dropped again, shoved her stomach into her throat. A glance showed the marshy fields changing into jungle and the rising spires of drowned Mumbai in the distance, gleaming ruddy in the sunset, clouds of mothras drifting among them, golden, tentacled bubbles. The place was still deadly despite the mothras; retexophage constructs gobbled the ambient radiation, but nothing could slow radioactive half-life, not even Angelaeic biotech and magic that had spawned the tekmagick revolution. A human still wouldn't survive a ten minute exposure in the vast towers, remnants of the Assonance Event and the nuclear firestorm of the resulting panic.
It's still rough as I just wrote it; but I'm trying to show a far-distant future in a world where tekmagick rules and our physical laws have combined with those of another universe. Hopefully, this is working to show the story is science fantasy (tech and magic combined being the clue), a bit about where Meida is heading, and a bit about the attitude of the place where she is heading, Athlinar, hotbed of magi. The second para is supposed to give a bit of historic background and establish the location somewhat, as well as hint that climate changes and worldwide devastation (including nuclear strikes) have occurred in the past.