A boy watched as the ribs of a galleon were sawn, a jealousy growing deep within him. He knew that this ship was destined for far away places, but he will remain. He continued to stand there for several moments, watching while half-heartedly attempting to draw water from a crude industrial well drilled just a few feet down to capture sea water. He allowed himself a moment of fantasy as he imagined stealing away on the ship when it would leave the harbor. He envisioned himself wedged between two shipping crates, stowing away for an adventure to far off shores, about as far away from the dull drum of the shipyards as he could be. The fantasy abruptly ended when he felt his ear being twisted from his head.
"Get on with it, you lummox," the iron-smith seethed, wrenching his ear between two fat fingers. "You're not here to daydream. The water won't fetch itself."
Nicholas quickly snapped to attention as his mentor, himself just a journeyman iron-smith, finished berating him. The iron-smiths of the Capital Shipyards were responsible for the manufacture of all of the metal fabrications found within the great galleons of the King's Navy, from the nails and bolts to the steel reinforcement that would be placed around the ribs of the boat to secure them from attack. It was Nicholas's job to learn the trade of the iron-smiths, so instructed by his father, who himself had been an iron-smith before an accident claimed the three best fingers of his hammering hand. As a boy nearing manhood, Nicholas was stepping up to learn the trade of his father, albeit from a friend of the family. Although ornery, his mentor was a genuinely kind mind and as with all iron-smiths, fiercely proud of his profession and product, the King's Navy.
The job of laborers, especially shipbuilders, was never one which would lead a man to glory. It was the trade of peasants, as if a farmer but one who toils the ships instead of the land. However, the shipbuilders were also responsible for the finest fleets in all of Indagar, and the King, who would visit the shipyards from time to time, would often heap praise as well as a gold bonus onto the laborers of the shipyards because he knew that without them, Arkland would not exist. The shipbuilders understood this well. The merchant-class of Arkland, whom relied on the ships and the Navy, understood this well. The Lords, the Ladies, the Barons, the Dukes, all the Landowners, and everyone else around the Bay of Kings, all understood this well. Most of all, the proud shipbuilders understood it, but for the boy, Nicholas, who endlessly dreamed of a life of adventure, it was simply not going to be enough.
The Capital Shipyards
The Capital Shipyards is the main shipbuilding port for the Kingdom of Arkland, a short few miles distance from King's Crossing. There, laborers working under the oversight of the Ministry of Shipping, led by two Dukes appointed by the Baron of King's Crossing, generally considered the right hand of the King, perfect the proud craft of shipbuilding. The Shipyards are the largest manufacturing point for new galleons which are commissioned for the King's Navy and will eventually become war ships.
Other shipyards within Arkland produce swift trading vessels, known as carracks and yet other smaller towns and villages along the Bay of Kings are responsible for the fishing fleets that the people of Arkland maintain for a rich food source. However, the Capital Shipyards are known throughout all of Indagar as the premier location for commissioning state of the art vessels bearing the latest in engineering marvels and boasting the latest available sea-faring technology of the time.
The Shipyards themselves have grown so large as to become its own small city, adjoined by a short, paved road to the city streets of King's Crossing. Hundreds of skilled, peasant laborers are housed in cottages and small homes which line the streets, and they toil in the shipyards daily, producing as many as five large galleons at a time in the large drydocks along the shores of the Bay of Kings. Still more skilled laborers live in the surrounding area who are responsible for all of the components of shipbuilding such as iron-smiths, carpenters, and other craftsmen. Living among the peasant housing as well is a burgeoning middle-class, comprised of the businessmen who direct and finance the Shipyards as well as the architects, inventors, and engineers who aid in their construction. Living in the Capital Shipyards is a life of labor, but it is a proud labor and comfortable life for those who master the trade.
Christening a Ship
When large ships have finally finished construction, a process which typically takes just over a year for rushed projects but typically two to three depending on the size of the ship, the drydocks are filled and boats are launched into the bay. On the day of launch, the aristocracy of King's Crossing will sail the bay on a new boat, undergoing a naming ceremony. The names of ships are given typically after the Lord or Lady who provided the major financing for the vessel, or if financed by the King, a name is given typically after great Kings or Commanders of the Navy.
Each and every ship of the King's Navy, constructed in the past 100 years, has since been also christened by the Priests of Light and bears the mark of the Light known as the Burn. Placed on the bow of the ship, a Priest, lowered down on a scaffold channels the power of Light Magic, forever marring the hull of the ship with the symbolic burn mark whereby all Arkland ships are recognized. This burn mark can take on many shapes, from majestic animals to arcane symbols, but the scorched wood of the ship never heals and is never painted over for it is considered a holy blessing of the Light.