The port was still and silent during the early hours. The air was cool and moist, the smell of sea salt and fish was penetrating. Sunlight gleamed on the waters until a splash sent the drops flying up. What caused the splash was a large, white dolphin soaring gracefully through the air. Kleon Horus could see the mermen stirring beneath the waves with the dolphins, most likely hunting with them for crabs and shellfish. Today seemed especially peaceful, but Kleon wasn't sure whether it was always like this or if he just felt loathe to leave his home. He had descended from his manse on the hill earlier in the morning, eager to set sail with his crew. They would be strangers to him, he knew, all but Ramses. He set his cousin out even earlier to watch over the loading of goods on the Champion, so that some sneaky dockworker wouldn't think of palming a loaf of bread from their stores. He also instructed most of the crew to wake before he arrived on his ship, so he could greet them immediately. The specialists he had hired were instructed to stay at an inn nearby. A very lavish inn, fit for wealthy merchants and mercenary captains. Kleon had sent his servants to wake them and meet him on the Champion. That was a while ago, and most likely they were already assembled on deck. Kleon got up from the mossy rock he had been sitting on and continued down the stony shoreline to the docks. There he saw the crew just about finished with the loading, and his cousin Ramses watching silently over them. "Good morning, cousin. Fine day, isn't it?" he asked. His cousin grunted in agreement. Kleon couldn't help but smile. His cousin's lack for words at first seemed disrespectful, but now it was amusing, and Kleon's daily routine involved pestering Ramses with courtesies, only to be shot down with grunts and snorts. He made his way up the ramp and onto the deck, motioning Ramses to follow. There he met his crew assembled. Fifty sailors, Isene, merfolk and tree-men. Ten were doctors and wise-men and scribes, all dragonspawn. The ship's cook, Spice, was there as well, old and portly. And there in the middle stood the crew Kleon had hired. The family assassin was in line with them, one of the strange Mama Wata's from far down south. The merchant mermaid was there as well. Far to the north came their explorer. The Horus family was infamous for their love of magic and its practitioners, so Kleon had hired two of them, a mystic and a sorcerer. And finally there was the captain. She was new to him, and Kleon had the old captain reassigned to another ship, much to his grumbling. Kleon stood side-by-side with Ramses and stood straight. "Good morning, crew! It's a good day today, I can feel it. I want you all ready for the voyage, so get to it! Raise the anchor and open the masts, or whatever it is you sea-lovers do." To his specialists, he said, "Meet me in my chambers whenever you're ready. There we'll plot our first course." Kleon bowed and made for his chambers, with Ramses trailing behind him.