The Sails of Steel
Three hundred leather-bound sheets of paper. That was all it took for fifteen-year-old Melius Inato to finish compiling the three volumes of The Sails of Steel, commissioned by the Order of Aeramen and started by his great-grandfather, the former Grand Master of the Order. It is the premier treatise on navigation, a collection of traditions, tales, and techniques formerly only orally transmitted. This magnum opus of sailing is fiercely guarded, with only sworn apprentices, master sailors, and nobility being able to access it in entirety: however, the general public may read portions of book two.
To instruct apprentice sailors and to guide master sailors. A book of traditions and techniques used in sailing.
Preamble (Book One, most famous line): "It is universally accepted that the one who masters the Seas of Steel and the one who will come to rule over the Ironfoot isles are one and the same." Book One: On Sailing Techniques and Structure This book covers techniques needed for sailing, including the storing of provisions, hoisting of sails, heeling, tacking, and jibing sails, hoisting and lowering the banners of Colren, hoisting and lowering sails, how a ship is ideally organized, duties of navigators, captains, first mates, second mates, bosuns, chief engineers, chief doctors, medics, engineers, ensigns, and cooks, chain of command, obedience to orders, completion of objectives, and discipline. Book Two: On Sailing History and Traditions This book covers the whole history of sailing, from the legendary First Master of the Aeramen Order who innovated square-rigged vessels and was the first to sail to the Ironfoot isles to the present day naval revolution ongoing. It also lists the many traditions, tales, and legends of the sailors of Ironfoot. Book Three: On Naval Warfare Book Three was on current naval warfare tactics, the proper use of a navy, how to organize a naval base and a camp, methods of promoting order and valor within the ranks of soldiers, selection of recruits, from which places and what kinds (of men) are soldiers to be authorized and with what exercises of arms they are to be indoctrinated. Also deals with how to deal with the king's court when fighting a war: valuable tips other doctrines often did not contain.
No documents are referenced besides the royal charters for the Order: based on oral traditions and orally-transmitted skills in the Order.
Private to members of the Order of Aeramen
The state of Colren was one of the weakest of the seven kingdoms, having lost many of its original territories from the beginning of the war until 203 B.U. Only their patriotism and natural barriers prevented their heartland from being invaded. Aeramen Grand Master Inato saw this, and began work on The Sails of Steel, along with advocating for the naval reforms known as the Colreic Plan, or the Hundred-Year's Plan. The plan was very effective, and his work began to transform Colren into the second-most powerful state in the Ironfoot isles.
This document was started by Grand Master Inato of the Order of Aeramen to record naval knowledge that might otherwise be lost. He started his project on the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the civil war (203 B.U.), hoping that the treatise would help bring peace to the Ironfoot isles and begin a new unified kingdom under Colren. However, during the battle of Ceria in 168 B.U., he was mortally wounded by a crossbow bolt while leading his squadron to victory. His squadron was able to annex the western state of Ameral, but he did not live to see it. After that, his son, newly appointed commandant of the Kareng Commandery on Ameral, continued his work, logging over four hundred interviews with all sorts of veteran and elite sailors and marines. However, due to his duties as a commandant, he often had to deal with raids from other states, and did not have the time to compile the document. He left the task to his daughter in the year 144 B.U, when she was only fifteen years old. However, she diligently attended to her task as captain and guardian of the knowledge until a sea battle against the Democracy of Mitrand resulted in her death. Her first mate did not know of the papers, but her son, future Admiral Inato of the left fleet, did, and completed the compilation of the second and third books from when he was aged ten to fifteen, and presented the books in order before the Grand Master Benicius between the years 124 B.U. and 119 B.U. Grand Master Benicius was so impressed by his work that he granted him a ship at age fifteen and took him under his wing as the second in command of his entire fleet and his protege. This document elevated Colren as a powerful enemy of the other states, and therefore indirectly led to the 119 B.U. invasion of Colren by the Federation.
The Sails of Steel is still a national treasure of Colren. The lessons Book Three teaches are still valid one hundred years after its creation during the final stages of unification. Admiral Inato (the current one) is still regarded as the greatest admiral of all time, and he is revered for his role in protecting the autonomy of Colren and for his loyalty to his country until death.