May 8, 305BC
Pavlvs Marialanvs had secured his trading contract and went down to the docks to finalize the loading of his ships. He had recently purchased a modest fleet of 3 penteconters from a local consul who was in dire financial straits, which Pavlvs had refitted to their new purpose of mercantile exploration. He had also secured a complement of 45 Mamertinus to join the expedition. Pavlvs planned to travel further up the Levantine coast to chase the rumors of the land of the red forest, which supposedly contained a wood that would never rot, even in the water. He had leveraged his wife's latifundia to fund the expedition and his father-in-law was beside himself. If the mission failed he understood that he need not return home.
The following day, he boarded his flag ship the Ivlia, in honor of his wife, and they rowed quietly out of the harbor. The Odoneru Sea treated them well as they made the crossing to the Levantine coast.
May 17, 305BC
They had stopped in a small fishing village on the Levantine coast to trade for food and water and Pavlvs was pleased to have parted with some of the iron tools and olive oil that was taking up so much room in his holds. The local tyrant had also released two contubernia of Auxilia and their Decani, in return for a payment of 10 silver talents or 400 cubits of the famed red timber.