Pseudo-fantasy medieval setting at the dawn of industrialization. Gun powder is now a secret. The first ships with black powder weapons in the world are being built several days upriver of a coastal city. Refugees are coming into the city from the south. The site of the ship building is protected from scrying, so that what exactly is happening can't be found out with magic.
How to I hide that these ships are being built? Or rather, what would be a workable cover story for this divergence of resources?
I need to make these huge movement of resources and people look like something other then what it is. This fleet needs to be build ASAP as we are under attack from a island nation with a strong fleet (that does not have gun powder). Most wizards not involved with magically cloaking the ship yards are involved with fighting the invading forces.
To clarify some points: A huge amount of resources are going to this major city and then sent upriver. This isn't a small scale thing where an extra cart form here and there will do it. This is the resources of pseudo North America being assigned to build a fleet to fight pseudo England's fleet. All while a war is happening and large sections of the south of the country are bring ripped apart by armies and war wizards. Enemy spies are going to notice because its their job to notice these things.