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 Post subject: The History of Seafaring
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:24 pm 
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The sound of bells ringing, and the ever present creaking of rope and wood can be heard along with the sloshing of the water breaking against the beams of the dock. The shouting of sailors working on board their ships, merchants unloading various cargos onto the docks, or loading it onto the merchant vessels bound for various places in the world. The retired seafarer shouting for the loading of the next transport ship bound for Tyran, or Chail. The colorful pirate, an exotic bird perched on his shoulder. These are the sights one sees on any day at any dock in Caenyr. But where did this all come from? Does anyone truly know the origin of these great ships of the sea? Listen to the history of modern seafaring; listen to the origin of these ships that float on the water across thousands of nautical miles of ocean; listen to the makings of high adventure on the immeasurable fathoms of the high sea!

As with many things, it all started with the elves. The elves were natural seafarers in their own right, possessing the heightened senses of direction and astronomical lore necessary to travel the ocean with confidence. And travel they did; above the waves for many years before humankind or any kind came even close to unlocking their secrets. But it mattered little, for most races that even desired to sail on the sea were too afraid of the dangers and the mysteries held within it, in its horrible depths, save one. Castor Argonaus was a human adventurer and would be sailor. He was enthralled and enchanted by the ocean, and all of its mysteries. He used to stand on the docks of his home in Talanon and watch the small fishing boats leave for a short distance hugging the coastline and bring in their daily haul. He would stare at the horizon for hours, wondering what lay beyond it, wondering if anyone had ever been. He would sit in the tavern and listen to the local fishermen's stories, some of them far fetched, but always interesting. And then one day while he was listening to the stories, slowly and quietly sipping his ale, he heard mention of a group of elves who travelled the sea in long boats of strong wood, with several long oars and a device that harnessed the wind itself, such as a wind mill! As he listened closer, he overheard that these elves travelled miles in their boats, even past the horizon itself!

Castor was consumed by the story and he searched and travelled every inch of Talanon. One day, when he had almost given up all hope, he stopped at the river for a drink. He looked up and noticed the river and surrounding area was completely filled with a pale white mist, an eerie fog, consuming everything. He placed one hand on his sword and tried to see through the mysterious fog. "You have no need for that Castor," spoke a strange but musical voice. "Who is that, who is there, how do you know my name," he replied. "We know all about you Castor, you have called to us." "I have called to no one; show yourself, I mean it!" Castor retorted nervously. "It was not you who called to us, it was your heart. The heart of a seafarer. The heart of an explorer." replied the voice. Castor's mouth dropped open and his eyes widened as he realized who the voice belonged to. "You..." he said in amazement, "You are the elves who sail beyond the horizon!"

A slender and pale elf stepped out of the mist and off of a long boat which had pulled up onto the shore. "Indeed we are." said the elf. "Come with us; is this not what you seek?" Castor nodded slowly to the elf, and said nothing. He simply took the elf's hand, and stepped onto the boat. Castor travelled the sea for several years with the elves. He learned much of sailing and saw the most mysterious places in the world. He learned truly the meaning of high adventure. He learned the elven constellations of the night sky, and learned to trust his natural senses to guide him, although never as good as the elves. Many years passed that felt like months and one day Castor woke up very lonely. He approached his friends and told them what was on his mind. "I miss my home, I miss Talanon." he said solemnly. "We know," they replied. "We have already begun the journey to return you to your home."

It was easy to say goodbye to the elves. He knew that he was probably the only man who had ever travelled with them. The only man to ever learn their secrets. He would never forget them. Castor became a carpenter and after a few years, he managed to save up enough money to buy his own lumber mill on the coast, so he could watch the sea birds and the fishing boats pass by throughout the day. It wasn't long until Castor's heart started to wander to the ocean. Using his lumber mill and the few carpenters he had in his employ, he began to build his first vessel, imitating the elven long boat. After a year the boat was built, and he managed to talk a few local sailors into making an attempt at the horizon. The boat was launched from a recently built pier on the beach near his lumber mill, and the maiden voyage was a great success. Using the skills he had acquired from the elves, it was not hard to complete the journey. These new boats were desired by all of the local fisherman and merchants, due to its ease of use, larger cargo capacity, and longer range.

The boats went into production and Castor founded the Argonaus boatyard. Over the years several of the boats went into use around the isle, and with them the fishermen were able to bring in much larger loads of fish and seafood. The success of Castor and the economy of Talanon began to grow greatly, but Castor was not satisfied. Although the new boats were excellent, without the elves skills in seafaring, they would never travel very far past the horizon. Castor knew he must discover new ways of sailing. A few years later, Castor met a gnome inventor by the name of Daridoc Mulgrave. The two eventually became partners and set to work on tools to help sailors navigate in the deep sea. After a few years they made several accomplishments, opening the door to future seafarers. Among these were the sounding lead, a piece of lead tied to the end of a rope used to find the depth of the water in fathoms, the log reel, used to measure the speed of the boat. It had a long rope wrapped around it, and every 7 fathoms was tied a knot. It had a piece of wood called a chip tied to the end. To measure the speed one man held the reel and another man threw the chip into the water and counted how many knots went overboard in 30 seconds, determining the boats speed in knots. Castor also created a detailed Portulan, or map of all of the places he travelled. This along with a device called a divider was used to set courses and navigate the seas. But the most important device they created was called the compass, which used the magnetic forces of the world to show the direction one was travelling.

With these new devices Castor could now easily sail far beyond the horizon and back again without much trouble, however the boats were designed more for river travel and short excursions out to sea. Castor had a vision of a new boat. A boat that used wind as its primary source of power instead of oars. He also wanted to build a deeper hull to house the larger crew that would be required to sail her, and store more provisions for longer voyages in deeper seas. Without delay he and his shipwrights set to work on the new vessel. Five years later, on Castor's 55th birthday, it was complete. It was blessed the next day and named The Eye of the Ocean. It was 45 feet in length with two tall masts and three massive sails. It had a 20 foot draft, ten feet of it below the water, and was 15 feet in width. It had a full bridge with wheel controlled rudder at the helm, a fixed compass, and map case. Below the bridge was the captain's cabin, and below decks was a full crew berthing, galley for preparing meals at sea, a carpenters shop, a small armory, and cargo hold. But the most impressive feature aboard was a carved wooden statue of Castor Argonaus holding his sword high at the bow. From bow to stern and port to starboard, the ship was a most detailed and magnificent piece of craftsmanship. Castor Argonaus and Daridoc Mulgrave, became the fathers of modern seafaring, and successfully gave birth to the ship.

Castor set sail five days later with a strong crew and six months of provisions. They discovered several new places in their ship, among them, two large kingdoms; Tyran, and Chail-Anden. The merchants and the governments of the kingdoms begged Castor to build them like ships and train them in the arts of sailing them. By the time Castor was 77 years old, there were dozens of his ships at sea flying under the flags of Tyran, Chail, and various merchants from both continents, and the Argonaus shipyard had become the largest and most successful in the world. Shortly after his 77th birthday, Captain Castor Argonaus died a rich man, having made millions of gold, and achieving his dreams. He left his legacy to his only son, Castor Argonaus the II, and his lifelong friend and partner, Daridoc Mulgrave. He was taken out by The Eye of the Ocean and buried at sea. Throughout history the shipyard has been passed down the family line, and continues to improve on the original design of The Eye of the Ocean. The shipyard takes personal orders, and still supplies the fleets of Chail, Tyran, and the various merchant fleets of Caenyr.

So ends the story of the history of seafaring....

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:56 pm 
WoC Architect
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:10 pm
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General History


History of the Ancients
Etarian Merchants’ Paving Company
Gobley: Language of goblins and hobgoblins
The History of Seafaring
The Infamous Oran Sticklemunger
The Isle of Tears
Karissa Soultaker and the Fall of the Gods
King Burjon
Malin and Sarenga
Menthor’s Temple
Orbben Dumoas – the Forgotten City
The Ruins and the Lost Temple City of Baetor
Runeblade, Blood and Sail ~The Origins of the Cannon~
Thrand’s Silver Mine
Valasia –The Rise of the Sultanate

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