A snippet from my files:
In spite of her name (an elegant, whimsical female name which meant Perfumed Winter, and a reference to a long-dead poet), Dong Huong was a warrior, first and foremost. She’d spent her entire life in skirmishes against the pale men, the feathered clans and the dream-skinners: her first ship, The Tiger Lashes With His Tail, had died at the battle of Bach Nhan, when the smoke-children had blown up Harmony Station and its satellites; her second had not lasted more than a year. The Tortoise in the Lake was her sixth ship, and they’d been together for five years, though neither of them expected to live that time again. Though men survived easier than ships–because they had armours, because the ships had been tasked to take care of them. Dong Huong remembered arguing with Lady Meng’s Brewer–begging the ship to spare itself instead of her–and running against a wall of obstinacy, a fundamental incomprehension that ships could be more important than humans.
Among the Northerners, however, everything was different.
(I have no idea what I’m going to do with this, and it looks like the kind of background worldbuilding I’ll throw away in a final draft, but I rather like it).