It had started with a book.
It was a simple enough book, a book he’d won at school, but even Mrs Lillard… for that was what he had to call his brothers wife at school, could not have imagined the fire it would light within him.
The book described the life and times of a young nobleman. Not any old nobleman one that had risen from the squalor of the gutter to become one of the most powerful men in the country.
His mother would call him a dreamer, a tattle headed boy who’s head was in the clouds but he could see no reason why he couldn’t do the same.
Surely a boy with a decent education stood a better chance than a boy who had begun life as a farmhands son? Besides Grimstead had a reputation even lord Hamdun’s father had been a mere tailor.
He had not told his secret to his mother and Forrest for fear of them laughing at him, his mother would sigh once the giggling had subsided and tell him what a great fool he was being.
His Grandmother did not think him a bumble head, his grandmother had said that if a Gawen could own a fine tavern, then a fine mansion was not perhaps such a stretch after all.
He had a plan, it was quite a simple one really, the man in the book had earned his title and he would do the same.
Infact in someways his plan was so simple, he was amazed no-one had thought of it before.
There were two ways to become a noblemen. The first was to perform some great service to the king, but what chances did the son of a fisherman have of performing such a service, chances where he’d never even meet the king face to face and even if he did he was neither good with a brave or good with a sword.
The Second, way to become a nobleman was far more reliable. You simply had to accumulate enough wealth that you could not be ignored.
This was where his plan came into action. He was going to start a pig farm. It silly really … 40 years of being and Grimstead still imported most of it’s meats dried from the mainland. A few private land owners kept a few cattle, chickens or pigs for private consumption but no-one really bred them for sale to the mass’s and those that did charged a kings ransom per hunch of meat.
Lifting the lid to his money box he counted the coin’s, another months work and he would have raised enough coin to buy two pigs a mated pair. The pigglet’s would see him well on the way to his dream.
However this was not the end of his plan, sure enough a pig farm could earn a man a tidy living but it could not earn him enough to become a nobleman, he would need to expand. Own a farm on every estate… and that was where the plan got tricky.
The Law’s of the land allowed a merchant a single place of business, in order to be allowed multiple he would need to go to university. This was where his plan came somewhat un-hinged, his Mother and Forest had worked hard to put him into private education but their budget would never stretch to university.
He thought perhaps if he could get the first of his farms up and running he could earn enough to put himself university but he was not naive and he knew it would not be easy and he had a stiff deadline if he was going to get himself on that boat.