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Thread: Intercontinental Trade on Krynn

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    Default Intercontinental Trade on Krynn

    Starting a new thread on trade, because this is a subject that has been neglected far too long. This is also a very complex topic, so I hope everyone will put in their two cents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Interesting. So, are we talking about expeditions launched in those times? like Columbus and Magellan? Are you thinking of a time similar to the musketeers?
    I don't think that Ansalon has the preconditions for a culture of exploration that occurred in Europe. Ansalon is far more isolated from other continental landmasses than Europe is, so there is no land-going trade routes to Taladas or Adlatum. There is no Mediterranean equivalent to warmer climes with exotic goods, nor is there the coast of an adjacent continent like Africa where you can set ashore and more easily circumnavigate to get to a place like India. There is also no rival Islamic world that you want to get around and cut out of the action. So I just don't see Ansalon developing the great sailing vessels that were common to Europe's age of exploration, nor do I see them developing lanteen sails that arose from the Indian Ocean trade.

    This is borne out by the books and adventures. The Solamnic Army marches. The Dragonarmy marches. The Nerakan army marches. Even, (inexplicably) the Minotaur army marches. I cannot think of any major naval engagement in either Ansalon's history, or any war mentioned in any of the novels. Ships are for supply lines and troop transport, and generally there are no major engagements at sea. Given that, I'm going to assume that most ships in Ansalon are fairly basic, single sail vessels that default to muscle power (or simply sit in port) when the winds aren't blowing the right direction. Therefore, Ansalon is not a colonizer, but will be colonized by a place that will develop these technologies. I would say it has been, by the resident sea peoples of Ansalon, the Saifumi pirates and the Ergothian nobility. Both of these peoples coincidentally, share little ethnic or cultural links to people surrounding them or subjugated by them. Other seafarers may come from other continents to trade and colonize, though their impact will be blunted because Ansalon is a war-torn land with powerful armies and military technology.

    But since trade is inevitable and links for D&D adventurers to go to other continents is desirable, the first thing we have to determine is how much trade is possible, what trade links exist, and what each continent would get out of the relationship?

    Ansalon

    Surplus goods: I would say based on D&D modules, Ansalon has no shortage of precious metals and gems. Heck, gold seems to be so common that when it stopped being used as currency, the value of the raw commodity plummeted. I would also say that Ansalon (particularly Solamnia) would have an easier time with agricultural production than Adlatum, Taladas or Icereach. I also believe that high quality manufactured goods and new technology, particularly weapons, would be a trade advantage for Ansalon due to having more fantasy standard dwarves than other continents, and true tinker gnomes.

    Scarce goods: Since most of Ansalon seems to have a climate similar to Europe, spices, incense, and narcotics are probably the biggest trade goods in demand. Another scarcity for Dragonlance seems to be the trade in magical items, due to the strict control of arcane magic by the Wizards of High Sorcery.

    Possible trade routes: I would say due to Ansalon's overall weak maritime tradition overseas trade to Taladas is probably dominated by the Saifumi, sailing up the spine of Taladas. The Saifumi would probably send Taladan goods into Flotsam for the eastern markets and Palanthas for western markets. I also think that the Saifumi and Ergothians would have links to the continent of their homelands and trade various luxury goods from there. Ergoth would probably be the biggest trading partner to Adlatum as well. I can also see an overland trade route to Icereach/Chorane through Zeriak and Brackenrock for various arctic trade goods such as ivory, fish, and whale products.


    Taladas

    Surplus Goods: Taladas doesn't have much to offer in high value, easily transportable items which are that useful for trade. One thing that Taladas might have is superior ceramics and glassworks in the Minotaur Empire. There also seems to be no shortage of iron on Taladas, whereas it seems to be rare in eastern Ansalon. Due to the lava sea, Taladas would also be rich in gold, gems and other precious metals. Finally, and I'm hesitant to say this because the elves have suffered enough, but Neron is probably the best place to find the fantasy equivalents of rubber, gum or sugar. Finally, Thenol could be a place for objects of black magic to come from, and following their conquest by the Minotaur Empire many necromancers may have decided that Eastern Ansalon might be a greener pasture.

    Scarce Goods: Taladas is a more brutal land than Ansalon, being dominated by a Minotaur Empire valuing strength above all else, and various barbaric peoples. Plus, their "thinker" gnomes aren't as imaginative or inventive as Ansalon's. Thus, its methods of warfare and their arms are fairly antiquated, so they would certainly be interested in technology and superior arms, especially if anyone wants to go against the League or the Armach.

    Possible Trade Routes: Other than trade with Ansalon through the Spine of Taladas there is probably unlikely that Taladans can make it over the sea to other places. However, the trade will likely be fairly sluggish, because they don't really have much to offer each other at present. There are a couple of Ansalonian colonies on Taladas, but I don't see them particularly being successful. New Silvanost will probably be absorbed and assimilated by Armach. Likewise, while the Knights of Neraka managed to found New Jelek before the summer of Chaos due to the patronage of Zeboim, with Neraka being largely landlocked at present it will probably be taken over by other traders, probably from Saifum or Flotsam. It will still be a hub of evil in a Heart of Darkness sort of way, and I can easily see New Jelek changing their devotions to Hiddukel.


    Adlatum

    If anyone was involved in this project, I would really like you to fill in this section. I will say, that Adlatum does seem to be fairly commercially sophisticated, but insular with most of their settlement and markets centered around the inner sea. The Colinesti certainly would be able to cross the sea fairly easily, but they seem to be in a dominant trade position in the centre of the continent and don't really have a reason to seek opportunity elsewhere. The most likely candidates to brave the deeper seas would be the people of the Shattered Isles, or even more likely the people of Onar, who seem to have been settled by the same sea peoples that colonized Northern Ansalon since there are black people on a small bit of territory in the southeast of that country and nowhere else.

    Ryodo

    I couldn't find a finished product of this, but if anyone is actively working on this, it would be good to know what Ryodo could offer in trade, and what it would desire. I'm assuming goods like silk, paper and tea would be the main exports.

    Possible trade links: Ryodo seems to be the most isolated of Krynn's continents, and thus it might be impractical to visit and trade with for a few centuries.

    Bakatwa

    Continent of the Sea Peoples, (which I named after the Shona word for "Lance"). This is a continent I think needs to be created to explain holes in setting's consistency. Other people might not think so, and that's okay. Bakatwa will be drawing influences from Pre-Roman North Africa, Pre-Islamic East Africa and Pre-colonial Sub-Sarahan africa, with the Indian Ocean thrown in for good measure.

    Surplus Trade Goods: Spices, incense, and narcotics naturally. Add in papyrus, ivory from large animals, ebony, teak, and magical items, particularly potions and scrolls. I would also say ocean going ships themselves would be a valuable commodity since none of the other continents are very good at producing them.

    Scarce Trade Goods: I would say that this continent is probably poor in easily accessible gold (sedimentary gold), lead and silver.

    Trade Routes: Obviously the sea peoples of Bakatwa would have the most extensive trading links with Adlatum and Ansalon, as we've seen evidence of them settling on those continents. I would argue that they would also have links to Taladas in the markets of the Minotaur Empire. One thing I am left to wonder is what effect the maelstrom has on the prevailing winds. Does it encourage the winds to blow in certain seasons like the monsoons of the Indian Ocean do? Or perhaps it makes travel to Ansalon very easy from the north, but very difficult to sail away?
    Last edited by ferratus; 04-30-2017 at 09:11 PM.

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    Ithin'Carthia could easily be expanded as just one in a series of minor continent landmasses extending in a chain up toward the equatorial region of the planet. Certainly a huge invasion force came from there on the backs of Nerakan ships, so you'd be smart to think about how that was managed if all ships in Ansalon are single-sail carracks.

    Too, there's an Ergothian Merchant Marine, with ports all along the northern coasts of Ansalon around to the western shores of the outer islands, doing brisk trade in the new era.

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    Default On ships, fleets and war

    Little piece risen from the graveyard of my old, old files

    Ships from 900c BC to 1525 AD are certainly the kinds you may find on the world of Krynn. Basically, anything you’d see sailing from Ancient Greece, to just the start of the Age of Discovery (1500 AD): the caravel, carrack, cog, galley (i.e. Penteconter, Bireme, Trireme, Quadriremes, Tessarakonteres, Dromon), galleass, hulk, longship or knarr, koch and possibly even the galleon, which evolved from the carrack. Non-European types from that timeframe are also possible. Such as the Arabic dhow and the Chinese junk (the storied “treasure ships” of the Expedition of Zheng He for another example).

    Those ships from the 1600s and beyond would not have had any Krynnish counter part; the brig, brigantine, clipper, corvette, cutter, schooner, sloop and windjammer all developed after generations of long range trans-oceanic travel. Ships designed specifically for war (mostly unknown before the Renaissance) such as the frigate and often the mentioned "ship-of-the-line," or any warship really, used from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries on Earth, wouldn’t likely be used by Krynn’s natives. Those ships only can evolved as a result of the introduction of the cannon (and we know how a lot of fantasy fans hate those).

    Up to Medieval or Renaissance times, a naval fleet was not so much a “thing” as it was “an event,” with an assemblage of ships, soldiers, and sailors for a specific military expedition. Instead of one that is owned and operated as an institution by a state government (i.e. Britain’s Royal Navy). To give a real historical example, when King Edward III of England organized his great flotilla to invade France in 1347, barely thirty of the seven hundred ships actually belonged to the king. All the rest were borrowed/hired from private merchants and fisherman. When the army landed, the fleet broke up and the individual ships sailed away to resume their normal schedules. All this usually paid for by the royal or national treasure or even personal fortunes if necessary. The man in charge of assembling these momentary fleets and outfitting and manning them was often a Lord Admiral (sometimes called a High or Grand Admiral), whose job was largely administrative and mostly judicial rather than military. He shared the job with the Clerks of the King’s Ships and only commanded the “Navy” in the sense that he organized the resources of the kingdom or nation necessary to raise a fleet. Also since the Lord Admiral was usually busy with duties mostly on land, actual command of the Navy at sea fell to the ruler himself, or some other great noble or leader he selected to command.

    It’s not surprising that medieval wars at sea looked like wars on land. Ships would fight one another in much the same way they had since the beginning of naval war, and almost always in sight of land. After coming alongside each other to trade volleys of arrows or crossbow darts, soldiers, marines, knights, then scrambled on board the enemy’s deck to kill the crew and capture the ship (which being an expensive thing to build was valuable). The fighting was hand-to-hand, with the same weapons as on land and just as savage. The longbow, crossbow, sword, and pike were the crucial equipment on a ship, along with the men who used them. Those who actually handled the ship itself, its master and his crew, counted for very little. Naval warfare in the age of sail as we know it via books and movies didn't start until the Renaissance, when the distinction of "warship" came into it's own and became distinct from the marchant ship.

    Since virtually any large craft could do the "navy’s" primary job at that stage, transporting soldiers into battle, ships actually dedicated to warfare were rare (after all ships were originaly intended to transport people and trade goods). Those that did followed the pattern of the classic warship of the Mediterranean, the multi-oared galley. Their open decks and shallow draft made them useless for long-distance travel, let alone on the open ocean. But in the enclosed bodies of water, or inner or narrow seas, their light construction, speed, and superb maneuverability easily outclassed heavier, clumsier sailing vessels such as the cog, the potbellied freighter of trade. A war galley crammed with one hundred to two hundred soldiers and archers, and outfitted with multiple weapons sweeping in all directions, the war galley remained a formidable fighting machine. Even after the introduction of the cannon, the Mediterranean war galley remained a force until the 19th century when steam-powered vessels appeared.

    Example: Naval & Merchant vessels (by origin date)
    Ancient
    Dhow
    Galley (Penteconter, Bireme, Trireme, Quadriremes, Tessarakonteres, Dromon)
    Junk
    Mtepe
    Uru

    Medieval
    Balinger
    Birlinn
    Cog
    Hulk
    Knarr
    Koch
    Kondura
    Longship

    15th c.
    Carrack
    Chinese treasure ship
    Caravel
    Hoy
    Trabaccolo

    16th c.
    Galiot
    Galleon
    Galleass
    Flyboat
    Fluyt
    Man-of-war
    Square-rigged caravel (round or de armada)
    Xebec

    17th c.
    Sloop
    Corvette
    East Indiaman
    Frigate
    Galeas
    Polacca
    Ship of the line

    18th c.
    Gallivat
    Gundalow
    74-gun ship of the line
    Sloop-of-war
    Trincadour

    19th c.
    Blackwall frigate
    Clipper
    Windjammer
    Ironclad (steam-powered)

    Also see: The Development of the Square-Rigged Ship. From the Carrack to the Full-Rigger. Particularly the sections 1 & 2. Section 3 on the galleon can also work as this type would still come into being even without the introduction of the cannon.
    Last edited by DaemonAngel; 05-01-2017 at 05:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I cannot think of any major naval engagement in either Ansalon's history, or any war mentioned in any of the novels. Ships are for supply lines and troop transport, and generally there are no major engagements at sea.
    Not so much in the novels, but there are some references to significant naval combat in the gaming material.

    The River of Time timeline in module DL 14: Dragons of Triumph states that during the War of the Lance there was some naval combat between the Minotaurs and the Silvanesti when the Silvanesti evacuated their homeland.

    The minotaurs of Mithas and Kothas are recruited to the evil causes and belatedly attempt to intercept the elven fleet sailing to the west. Although a series of sharp skirmishes cost each side some ships, the fleet sails through, reaching Southern Ergoth near the end of the year.

    There's likewise a fairly detailed entry in Lord Gunthar's War Journal that describes a naval engagement during the War of the Lance off the Solamnic western coast between six Solamnic ships and five Highlord ships. (The Highlord ships were attacking a Solamnic supply convoy that Gunthar's ships were escorting.) Gunthar does not seem that surprised to see the Highlord ships, which suggests these type of convoy battles might have been relatively common during the War of the Lance.

    As for larger scale naval combat, the timeline in the Dragonlance Campaign Setting describes a lengthy naval war between the Silvanesti and Istar.

    673-630 PC-Istar and Silvanesti Clash: Istar expansion threatens Silvanesti naval merchants. Sea skirmishes lead to a blockade of Istar, which signs the Swordsheath Scroll.

    So at least in the past Ansalon appears to have had some large scale naval combat.

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    Default Special bonus to the last post.

    Gnomes (mostly from Ansalon)
    The ships of these folk have no uniformity, as no two vessels are alike except that they all share the risk of spontaneously exploding. They are haphazard and almost chaotic in design, often having features that almost never work as intended. The one advantage a Gnome vessel has would be its steam engine or some other mean of propulsion, such as a clockwork engine or an animal or creature in some kind of mechanism (rumor of giant hamsters persist in some cases). Such a means of self-propulsion frees them from the limitations of all ships that have only sails. A ship built by the gnomes don't last very long (again due to that tendency of most gnome creations. They Explode).
    In most cases other races keep a safe distance from any gnomish vessel. Fortunately, gnomish "vessels" travel alone. But rumors of groups have been heard around seaports. The very idea of a whole fleet of gnome seacraft together would make even a minotaur mariner very nervous.

    Kender
    Why build ships to travel when you can just “wonder” onboard someone else’s. Word to the wise: If the passengers and crew complain about tools and items disappearing, then you got a “per of busy deck hands” you don’t need.

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    I think most of your assumptions are wrong.

    The center of Ansalon is controlled by Ogres and Goblins and after the Chaos War the Knights of Neraka, as such, sailing around the continent is actually important to ensure trade between the east and west. Not to mention the speed of travel for ships compared to overland and amount of cargo that can be transported.

    Also, the Perechon is listed on the Lexicon as a dual masted ship, so the ships went beyond single masted galleys prior to the WOTL.

    I believe in the Minotaur trilogy they talked about huge ships with three masts and the minotaur navy was immense.

    The Solamnics have a large navy as well, this allows them to get to and from Sancrist Isle. I recall Kalaman is a major ship building city. Caergoth is a major port and Palanthas always was a huge port city. The Solamnic fleet was needed to protect those three cities and water ways in between.

    The Ergothians naval prowess grew as well after the Cataclysm (It was kinda necessary) and all of the area around New Sea became major ports because of the fracturing of the land.

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    Put into perspective 90-95% of international and inter-continental trade is done by ship. It was a fact in the ancient Mediterranean and it still is global today. Even planes, trains and automobiles collectively can’t match the cargo compacity of a fleet of cargo ships. Also, regardless of peace or conflict on a continent, coastal shiping is a fact, especially for the interior of a continent that, post-Cataclysm, now has direct access to the open sea.

    Citing info from the novels and game books are tricky since the information on a subject is limited by the author’s personal knowledge (to be fair the focus is the story. Not so much the background or setting of the story). When you know more on said subject than the author, you just can’t help see the problems. Guess it’s just a flaw of mine. When I see a huge mistake a fantasy writer makes on anything from the maritime domain. I just can’t be help but be bothered by it. I suppose it’s a good thing that the fantasy genre doesn’t do “sea” based stories often.

    Since DL is a medieval fantasy setting, few true nation-state run navies would exist and those that do would be very small compared to the collective whole of the privately owned ships of said nation. I promise you, the Ergothen then Merchant Marine fleet is far larger than the Imperial Navy. Fortunately, there would be no separate category of warship and merchant ship for any ship built in such a setting. In a mid to late Reminiscence area it would be different.

    Solmania being loosely based of the so-called Holy Roman Empire, with little to no central government, the only fleets at hand would be the ones the Lord-cities have (IE Palanthus, Kalaman, Ceargoth etc). These cites work like the city-states of the Italian peninsula and the Hanseatic League of the HRE, thus these quasi-independent cities are were the Solamnic’s “naval” power comes from. Those fleets are together likely large, but just like with Ergoth, most of those ships will be privately owned but would be available to be impressed or hired to serve in any conflict. The Knighthood itself has it own ships. These vessels are likely owned and operated by “knight families” who in peacetime mostly focus on trade. The minotaurs likely do the same as the knights. Only on the clan level and on a larger scale.

    More focused list of ship types
    Dhow
    Galley (Penteconter, Bireme, Trireme, Quadriremes, Tessarakonteres, Dromon)
    Cog
    Hulk
    Knarr (longhip)
    Koch

    Full-Rigged Sailers (capable of inter-continental voyage)
    Caravel
    Carrack
    Galleon (minus any firepower, is still possible, even likely with inter-continental trade)
    Last edited by DaemonAngel; 05-02-2017 at 10:10 AM.

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    There are a few comments I want to respond to, so I hope you will all be patient with me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cam Banks View Post
    Ithin'Carthia could easily be expanded as just one in a series of minor continent landmasses extending in a chain up toward the equatorial region of the planet. Certainly a huge invasion force came from there on the backs of Nerakan ships, so you'd be smart to think about how that was managed if all ships in Ansalon are single-sail carracks.
    I think the Tarmak might have come to Ansalon on their own ships, which looked like Polynesian vessels.

    I assume this for a couple reasons.

    1) The Tarmak must have got to the island somehow before the Nerekans got there. Polynesia seems like the best model for their ships in such a case.
    2) On their own initiative they invaded the Missing City (or as I like to call it Iyestapur) after the War of Souls.

    Too, there's an Ergothian Merchant Marine, with ports all along the northern coasts of Ansalon around to the western shores of the outer islands, doing brisk trade in the new era.
    Yep, I'm already going to acknowledge the superior ship building of the Ergothians and the Saifumi because I believe both came from another continent. I would give most of the ocean going trade to them, particularly on the North and West. Of course I expect some of the Solamnic cities such as Kalaman, Palanthas, and Caergoth to take advantage of this as well, buying ships from Saifum, or hiring Saifumi craftsmen. Mostly though, I expect ships are cogs that look like this cogs that look like this.

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    Hmmmmm. There's too much going on in this topic for me to process without it being a 200 page essay. I'll try to piece together ideas and eventually turn them into paragraphs. In a nutshell, exploration could easily happen.

    Gods would be involved with missionary work. missionary work is basically battlegrounds and lands for military conquest, even in POV from the Gods of Light. If you want to spread your name on a foreign land, you need scouts on the ground, supporters to sustain the scouts/missionaries and troops to protect the supporters, and supply lines to keep everyone fed until troops can gain enough territory to grow local supplies. So I see exploration due specifically by Godly decrees will happen. Perhaps forcing earlier expansion.

    You'd almost see Shinaire salivating at the chance for more trade and would push gods to expand. The first light or dark god to start using amassed forces in one continent to invade a new land would have an immediate race of exploration with an evil god wanting to do the same thing and to cut off invasion attempts of the enemy.

    Among nations with naval forces, obviously Sanscrit/Nevermind. Northern Ergoth being an island would probably have an Emperor who understands freedom means having a navy to protect it. In central ansalon, trade goods are obviously flowing between Sanction, Schalsea, and Solace areas, like the Mediterranean. I can easily see it rise to power like England especially if it can lock in all sea trade trying to come out of the New Sea. If Ansalon's future is going to be anything like Europe, it would seem that Britain/Ergoth has the advantage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaemonAngel View Post
    Little piece risen from the graveyard of my old, old files

    Ships from 900c BC to 1525 AD are certainly the kinds you may find on the world of Krynn. Basically, anything you’d see sailing from Ancient Greece, to just the start of the Age of Discovery (1500 AD): the caravel, carrack, cog, galley (i.e. Penteconter, Bireme, Trireme, Quadriremes, Tessarakonteres, Dromon), galleass, hulk, longship or knarr, koch and possibly even the galleon, which evolved from the carrack. Non-European types from that timeframe are also possible. Such as the Arabic dhow and the Chinese junk (the storied “treasure ships” of the Expedition of Zheng He for another example).
    I certainly don't think we have anything like the Galleon, or anything else that would be a robust sailing vessel. As well, if there are any Mediterranean-style war galleys, I have yet to see any examples

    But I certainly think we have caravels and carracks, and I would make the technology originate from the Ergothians and Saifumi, because they seem to be the only peoples that can be shown to have made ocean voyages... and that's only because I'm making assumptions about how the princely caste of Ergothians and Saifumi seem to be different people from the pre-cataclysm inhabitants. Otherwise, there seems to be no mention of either people nor goods coming from or going to Taladas for example. There would have been some transmission of this technology of course in the few hundred years they've been here, but building ships like carracks and caravels is expensive and requires the funds of either nations or powerful trading companies. As Falconer will tell you, Krynn was pretty much a basket case after the cataclysm with the entire continent divided up into petty kingdoms that didn't really encourage a lot of movement around. The great battles of the War of the Lance and the Summer of Chaos allowed certain factions to claim large chunks of territory, but I would contend none of these factions are all that interested in innovative ship building for overseas travel.

    So I think the humble cog, barge, and balinger probably does most of the moving of goods along the North Coast of Ansalon and the Bloodsea. The Newsea has its own issues which I'll get to later.

    Those ships from the 1600s and beyond would not have had any Krynnish counter part; the brig, brigantine, clipper, corvette, cutter, schooner, sloop and windjammer all developed after generations of long range trans-oceanic travel. Ships designed specifically for war (mostly unknown before the Renaissance) such as the frigate and often the mentioned "ship-of-the-line," or any warship re Epecific military expedition.
    Certainly not. The most basic bombard that just arrived in Krynn was found in use on Earth in the late 13th century. Caravels and Carracks should be cutting edge sailing technology, and I'm surprised this is so controversial. Are we really going to say that Krynnish technology is more advanced than the 14th century.


    Instead of one that is owned and operated as an institution by a state government (i.e. Britain’s Royal Navy). To give a real historical example, when King Edward III of England organized his great flotilla to invade France in 1347, barely thirty of the seven hundred ships actually belonged to the king. All the rest were borrowed/hired from private merchants and fisherman. When the army landed, the fleet broke up and the individual ships sailed away to resume their normal schedules. All this usually paid for by the royal or national treasure or even personal fortunes if necessary. The man in charge of assembling these momentary fleets and outfitting and manning them was often a Lord Admiral (sometimes called a High or Grand Admiral), whose job was largely administrative and mostly judicial rather than military. He shared the job with the Clerks of the King’s Ships and only commanded the “Navy” in the sense that he organized the resources of the kingdom or nation necessary to raise a fleet. Also since the Lord Admiral was usually busy with duties mostly on land, actual command of the Navy at sea fell to the ruler himself, or some other great noble or leader he selected to command.

    It’s not surprising that medieval wars at sea looked like wars on land. Ships would fight one another in much the same way they had since the beginning of naval war, and almost always in sight of land. After coming alongside each other to trade volleys of arrows or crossbow darts, soldiers, marines, knights, then scrambled on board the enemy’s deck to kill the crew and capture the ship (which being an expensive thing to build was valuable). The fighting was hand-to-hand, with the same weapons as on land and just as savage. The longbow, crossbow, sword, and pike were the crucial equipment on a ship, along with the men who used them. Those who actually handled the ship itself, its master and his crew, counted for very little. Naval warfare in the age of sail as we know it via books and movies didn't start until the Renaissance, when the distinction of "warship" came into it's own and became distinct from the marchant ship.
    These two paragraphs are very good, and I think perfectly encapsulates how naval combat is currently being fought on Ansalon today.

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