The expedition had been planned by Merlin Athrawes, Emperor Cayleb, and Admiral Rock Point, as a way to buy time for Charisian shipbuilding, and to distract activies in the Gulf of Dohlar. Rock Point was to orginally lead the expedition, but it was finally decided that Admiral Manthyr would, instead, Rock Point was too valuable to risk on the adventure. Manthyr on the other hand, was an experienced seaman, possessed of a singular attention to detail and an iron nerve, but was not a member of the Merlin's Inner Circle, meaning he was not going to be able to examine any satellite imagery. Despite these concerns the expedition was sent off.
Admiral Manthyr's mission would be to blockade the Gulf of Dohlar, and intercept any effort to combine Thirsk's galleons with the Harchongese contingent building further south around Shipwreck Bay, in the provinces of Queiroz, Kyznetsov, and Selkar. (AMF)
Journey to Claw IslandEdit
Admiral Manthyr was bound for the Sea of Harchong with eighteen galleons and six thousand marines, specifically, for Hardship Bay, on largely uninhabited Claw Island. It was also little more than two hundred miles south of the equator, and its barren, mostly treeless expanses of rock and sand, but Hardship Bay did offer a good deep-water anchorage, and the small city of Claw Keep would offer his squadron a home port. Most importantly, it was better than twenty-one thousand sea miles from Tellesberg which put it about five thousand sea miles from Gorath Bay. Claw Island also lay off the western coast of South Harchong, where a quarter of the Harchong Empire's galleons were under construction, and it was less than fifteen hundred miles from the mouth of the Gulf of Dohlar.
The voyage to Claw Island would have been shorter had he sailed east, by way of Chisholm, instead of west, past Armageddon Reef and around the southern tip of the continent of Howard, but he would have had both favorable winds and currents going west, especially that time of year. He averaged about fifty or sixty miles more a day on his projected course, and it took approximately three months to complete the voyage. (AMF)
- HMS Dancer, flagship