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Little Victory

No matter what brilliant strategies I have, no matter how many battles I win, my fleet is always considered secondary to that...over glorified fishing boat!
— General Kadano, leader of the  Ostarin navy, privately
Little Victory is a great example of the Empire's strength, resourcefulness, and willingness to overcome all challenges in order to fulfill the dream of an unified Ostari!
— General Kadano during a speech
The most accomplished ship in the Empire of Ostari's navy is a simple fishing vessel. Instead of proving its worth through battle, Little Victory has acted as a spy, messenger, scout, and even guerilla fighter to earn its reputation. 

Humble Beginnings

Little Victory was once an ordinary fishing vessel and its owners were normal fishers. After one of the owners, Irri, was conscripted into the Ostarin Empire's army, he found recognition and respect that he had never experienced as a fisher and he felt unsatisfied after returning home. He returned to the war often, straining relations between himself and his siblings who were more interested in supporting their elderly father and expanding the fishing business.
I feel like I don't even know you anymore! More often than not you're not even here and when you are here, you're not here in spirit, only in body.
— Alo, second oldest
While he was home, Irri and several siblings got caught in a sudden storm while out fishing. The boat crashed into the beach, breaking it apart and inflicting great wounds on the siblings.
All I remember is water flooding my lungs, feeling like my chest was burning, thinking that this is how I die. Then it was gone, I was floating in a sea of silver and a voice spoke to me. "You have great potential and the great drive to make use of your potential" it said.
— Irri, recounting his first encounter with Sovereign Zinnayas 
Irri by Hero Forge
Irri entered a pact with the sovereign, in return for his service, she would save his life and grant him arcane abilities. Irri was the only survivor which only further increased tensions between Irri and Alo, as Alo resented the fact that Irri was the only survivor. As Irri recovered from his injuries, he assisted in the repairs of the ship and was able to weave some magic into it. The ship is able to create minor illusions over parts of itself and exert limited influence over the waves, winds, and other weather.

He soon left home once again and offered his and the newly rebuilt ship's services to the Ostarin Empire's military. The military gave him a crew and put them on messenger duty. Even though this was dangerous as they were able to go deeper into enemy territory undetected than other crafts, Irri chafed at being confined to simple messenger duties. He felt he deserved more and was able to do more with his new abilities than what the empire was letting him do. He became more and more sullen and crew morale suffered as a result.
The captain is surely or angry all the time, he snaps at us for any mistake and sometimes seemingly for no reason. If he notices any of our work he certainly doesn't give any indication of it. All this combined with the cramped quarters and it's a miracle someone hasn't attempted mutiny even with the captain's arcane abilities.
— Soha

The Beginning of a Legend

Soha by Hero Forge
Irri finally got his chance to prove his and his ship's worth when several Ostarin spies in Virse needed a quick escape. Little Victory was able to easily blend in with the other fishing vessels and rescue the spies before Duvin authorities closed in on them. The spies had important information on Duvi's plans to attack Lintara and force a surrender.

Thanks to Little Victory, the spies were able to carry this information to the government and the invasion of Lintara was foiled. Little Victory was named after this incident. Afterwards Irri threw himself into the work and didn't complain about the assignments he was given. He apologized to his crew and stepped down as captain, instead giving the position over to his strongest detractor, the navigator Soha.

Under her leadership, Little Victory flourished, branching out from messenger duties to acting as a mobile base for spies, transporting small forces into Duvin territory, and even sabotage. These seemingly little measures added up over time, especially since Little Victory allowed the Empire much more reach that it would have had without it. The ship's unique abilities and its important missions made it quite well known in the Empire and it became a popular part of Ostarin propaganda. As the years passed, Irri and Soha had to work together closely and began to get along with each other rather well. Eventually Soha promoted Irri to co-captain. Not too long after, the Lasting Peace was established, bringing an abrupt end to the war.

After the Lasting Peace

The crew of Little Victory were all granted generous pensions befitting national heroes. Irri, Soha, and one other crew member stayed together on Little Victory to travel the empire. They educate people, especially children, about the war and the Empire's military history, perform in ceremonies, and complete tasks for Sovereign Zinnayas.
Don't worry about us. Our job is even easier than ever now. After all, who would expect national heroes or their ship to be aiding the enemy?
— Soha to Nalgi
Little Victory is secretly still waging a war, but this time the war is against the empire itself. Irri and Soha both secretly back the Ostarin revolutionaries and use the skills they honed against Duvi to assist the revolution. Little Victory has added smuggling to its repertoire as the revolutionaries are always in short supply of weapons and other equipment.

The Ship Itself

Even after being rebuilt, Little Victory is a relatively simple ship. It has one mast with a sail that can be raised or lowered depending on the weather. When the wind is not blowing a favorable direction it can be rowed. Below the top deck is a storage space which in normal fishing vessels is used to store fish and fishing equipment so they don't clutter the top deck while the ship is in motion. Little Victory uses this space to store supplies for their current mission, fishing supplies to help disguise the ship as a normal vessel, and sometimes even as quarters for spies or saboteurs that it's transporting. The lower deck also contains several secret compartments.

Because it was originally a fishing boat, Little Victory is not equipped for long ocean travel. To migitate this, it must sail very close to the islands as it travels and moor itself most nights. Depending on where they've stopped and how full the lower deck is, the crew will either sleep onshore or on board the ship. The ship also needs few crew due to its small size and often only has a crew of six to eight people including the navigator.

Cover image: by GDJ


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Sage George Sanders
George Sanders
3 Oct, 2021 17:01

I like the story. There is a history that could lead into a lot more there!   In the Lasting Pease section there is a tooltip that needs an end tag in your text.   The text is a little hard to read- maybe thicker? you did good increasing the size, I got through it.   I liked all the twists! Some of the twists confused me at first read. The first paragraph in Beginning of a Legend might be better in the section above and spilt that second into 2? (might want to wait until after the promotion period for that kind of edit if the change makes sense for your story).

Read about the ancient history of the Anhult Wildlands in my Challenge article, Echoes of the Past.

Submit articles for Lavani to read by leaving a comment on her Reading List!
6 Oct, 2021 01:09

Thank you. The tooltip has been fixed. I've actually been thinking about changing the font entirely but I'll also consider increasing the size as an alternative.

Creator of the the Disputed Lands, a bronze age world of politics and clockwork magic.
4 Oct, 2021 18:36

The story behind the ship is intriguing and there were also many nice twists in the story. I also like the idea that once an ordinary fishing boat has built its own legend. I also really liked the use of variables in the article. It was nice that with variables reader can have easily more information, without that information making the text heavy to read. It would be nice add, if there would be similar kind of variables of all the persons introduced in the article, as it would have been nice to have little more information of them too. Sadly, the background texture of the main text and fine font made the text bit difficult to read. Lower contrast in background texture could make the text easier to read. Overall, really good job!

7 Oct, 2021 02:15

Thank you. I didn't have any variables for the people introduced because they didn't exist before this article so I don't really have any information on them besides what's present in the article. I have been thinking of changing the font entirely but I will also consider your suggestion of lowering the background's contrast.

Creator of the the Disputed Lands, a bronze age world of politics and clockwork magic.
13 Oct, 2021 13:28

Great story and history. I love the emphasis on the people as well as on the ship. :)