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Wandering Dragons begins in a small village called Boksa, located on the banks of the Pearl River in Canton, China approximately fifteen kilometers southeast of Macao. The village was settled by Mongol raiders after breaking through the great wall. Happy with the area, a group of veterans banded together to create a new family and adopted the surname of Mah in honor of their great horses. One evening, during a friendly game of chance at their favorite restaurant, an accidental homicide occurred. Friends of the murderer conspired to protect him by encouraging him to assume his victims identity. With few alternatives, the murderer chooses to abandon his family and flees with a friend to America. After a stop in Hawaii, they arrive in San Francisco in midst of the 1850 Gold Rush. Lured by gold, they meet other landsmen with similar ambitions and form an alliance to prospect for gold. They possessed no knowledge or prior experiences for prospecting or mining, but they were young, ambitious, adventuresome, and willing to gamble. The new alliance journeyed into the goldfields where they found success in a unique manner. Life became good for all until the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco when a few members of the alliance became victims. Life continued while new generations appeared. With the departure of a few members, they suddenly realized that they had unintentionally created a tontine to reward the last survivor.