The majestic Grand Spice arrived at Port Bigton. Olaf Holgerson stood and watched the big merchant ship sail in easily.
The Grand Spice had been overdue, not by much, but someone had to keep an eye on the situation. Spice was always in high demand, if delays lengthened stock could run low and then they'd have angry citizens and settlers at their hand.
The Grand Spice wasn't their only ship dedicated to bring ship-holds full of spice from the colony. But the harvests from both Spiceria and Spicetia regularly brought in by the Grand Spice and her sister ship, the Awesome Spice, were needed to maintain a happy town.
A happy town was especially important currently, because the town had a big building project going on, with a whole new suburb being created, bringing many aristocrats from foreign reaches.
Olaf hadn't been to the new suburb yet, but Sandra Smith from next to the market had taken a walk over and told of the wondrous things she'd seen. A theater dominated the center of the new suburb, surrounded by large houses with elaborate decorations, and sprinkled in between were masterfully crafted pavilions. And everything was created with the best marble imported from the smaller colony Tobaccoco in the southern reaches.
But the buildings weren't everything Sandra had gushed about, she also spoken of the people wearing clothes spun from finest thread, trimmed with silver pelts, not even looking at the indigo colored dresses fancied in other parts of Port Bigton..
By her accounts everything was so expensive no one in their own neighborhood could ever dream of buying the smallest thing from those stands.
Nevertheless Olaf held the hope, that his son Björn would one day stroll easily along the marble walkways. He would never be an aristocrat, but a merchant, yes, that was the dream Olaf held for Björn.
For Björn had taken up the hard work of a whaler, spending his days far away in the icy cold Whaleria far up in the north, hunting the whales at great danger to his own life. It was the pay which had drawn him to such dangerous work, for if he worked hard, he would be able to leave behind the lowly life of a simple citizen.
Björn's free-time was sparse, but maybe he would be able to catch an elusive silver-pelted hare. The pelt of a silver hare would be the envy of all their neighbors when it adorned the wedding dress of Molly Green, Björn's fiancee, a better seamstress Port Bigton had never seen.
It was an open secret that the administration sought to establish their own production of fine aristocratic clothing instead of having to import it at great cost.
Sandra had heard rumors that as soon as their depleted stone stocks had been replenished a new tailor's shop would be built right here in Port Bigton, with only the best of the best seamstresses to work there. And Molly was among the best of the best, she was sure to get that job.
There was a bright future ahead of Björn and Molly.
And to make that bright future happen, Olaf could no longer watch the unloading of the Grand Spice but had to hurry along to the office. For it was his duty to watch over the import and export ledgers and to keep careful watch over which stocks kept depleting faster than they were restored and which stocks had excesses to sell.