From the new halfling port, the wind blew out to see filling the sails of the ships at harbor.
Ostia stood next to Cumae admiring his ship from mid-deck.
“Did you really need to sink all your money into these constructs of Arci’s?” Cumae whispered.
“Yes, I did. You had no problems with this before we went on that our ‘honeymoon’.” Ostia replied.
“You would call it that, I am just glad you did not blow it with the dragons. You were quite frustrated near the end. Still did you have to make this one so big?” Cumae asked.
“It is a flagship, my lead ship. I had to hire out the other ships. It is a small fleet after all. Three ships was all I could afford, and the other two are nothing but Arci’s coaster design. This one is something grander. I felt that a larger ship would be able to handle straying further from the coast.” Ostia said.
He continued, “Besides I have made good money in their trade and the Elder Gods have brought favorable winds to our sails and lucrative cargo to our holds.”
“The Elder Gods have less to do with it. My gifts have helped you make the right choices and my gifts come from our elders, but I am glad that none of the Elder Gods have decided to look poorly upon our endeavor.” Cumae interjected.
The couple was approached by a small halfling, wearing the harbor master’s symbol. “Message for you Sir Ostia”
“Sir?” Cumae asked
“I think the halflings have begun playing at king, I believe I received a letter from Amunash about a knighting, whatever that is. I was supposed to be there for some ceremony last month. I couldn’t leave the boatwrights or Arci. Last week they sent some missive about doing it in absentia because of how busy I was.” Ostia replied. “I don’t use the title, but I believe it entitles us to a farm or something. I believe Jan said he knew someone willing to run it for us. It will get us some more income that isn’t dependent on the winds and sea.”
“good, we could always use more money. especially if we actually have a family” Cumae retorted.
Ostia turned to the harbor master’s assistant, “Thank you and for your trouble if you will await my reply”
Ostia quickly scanned the missive. It had come from Barca. It appears that almost all the clans had completed their settlements around Amin. They had left the fertile central plain to the halflings, but the dwarves had claimed shores that were near water and mountains. They planned to mine Amin for all its worth. Barca was finally writing to tell him that the map of Amin would be on his ship before it was loaded to sail. It would include all the fledgling ports that the dwarves had begun. Ostia was pleased; he was going to make a roaring trade among the seven ports. He would carry his kin, their supplies and their hopes on teak of ships. Within a short time Ostia hoped to start sailing to other continents especially with freedom of movement the non-aggression pact with the dragons afforded. Plus the orcs were in no position to argue with any trade. This was a good time to be a trade if you could play both sides. He scribbled a response and held out a gold for the young halfling.
The harbor master’s assistant grabbed the missive and coin. He smiled and ran off. Before he was out of sight he stopped to bite the coin. “Why a gold?” Cumae asked
Ostia chuckled, “I am a lord or whatever after all. Nobles are to be generous. Plus he will bring the letters faster next time. Barca had delivered that letter to the port master two days ago. And he should arrive this afternoon with my map.”
The couple chuckled as they observed their dwarven crew. They were all young dwarves that had decided to forsake the delving halls for the riches of the ocean. Ostia had convinced them. Ostia wished he could have convinced Barca, Cadiz or Hali, but they were more enamored with the love of the wood. The three had started a forestry business. It had been a major client of Ostia’s first ship. Now their timber built the ports that Ostia would soon be sailing to and from. It was a good day for the sailor