I had explored the mainland and several islands, following signs and adverts. I talked to people as well, some were fair enough, some were rude or ignorant. I found many buildings and some spectacles, but not clean, elegant artistry of construction.
I came to Port Caledon fully expecting to leave again that day. Look around, explore a bit, log it, and then move on.
Three weeks later and still in Caledon, I knew I had found my new home. It was immediately obvious to me that this was a great place to retire from my seafaring days, but it took a while for me to talk myself into ending my explorations for a while and finding work and a place to live in Caledon.
I was immediately impressed with the high manners of the Caledon citizens. Here was I, a sailor and steamship worker in work clothes, and yet they were all kind, polite, welcoming and accommodating. As I wondered, I saw how all the paths, buildings, land, water, bridges, even the steam train and steam trolley were all in a comfortable 19th century style. The clothes of the residents showed care and artistry, as did their homes and buildings. Caledon presented itself as a land of artisans and elegant folks that cared deeply about the appearance and functionality of their society.
Despite twenty years at sea and many nights of cards, drinking, trading, and swearing on ship and on the docks, I quickly reformed my manners to present my best. I took to this place easily, automatically, as if it called to some far away lost part of me.
I was home in a place I had never been, and it was clear that the next chapter of my life – perhaps the final chapter – would be spent in Caledon, among the scholars, builders, researchers, storytellers, and socially refined merchants.
It was time to meet the owner and lord of Caledon, Mr. Desmond Shang, to find out what it took to be able to live in Caledon. I had some money saved, and was willing to work hard to earn my keep and contribute to the beauty and elegance that was Caledon in any way I could. I had no idea of the requirements, nor of how truly generous Mr. Shang is. I was about to find out.