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Thread: Intercontinental Trade on Krynn

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  1. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    The Chronicles don't really support the idea on Ansalon being a land of mystery were trade is minimal. There we had Derek Crownguard and company having no problem getting to and from Solamnic territory to Tarsis. The First Council of Whitestone where nations from all over Ansalon attended a diplomatic conference. And perhaps most tellingly Tanis and company not thinking it was a big deal to charter a ship from Flotsam to take them to Palanthas or Sancrist. (Nor did Maquesta seem that concerned with sailing off into the west.) If ships can be easily chartered to sail from the Blood Sea to Solamnia then obviously the continent has recovered a great deal from the Cataclysm. (Which makes sense given that the Cataclysm was 350 years prior. It would be absurd if Ansalon had not recovered after that much time.)
    Three hundred years isn't that much time when you consider that it is a asteroid extinction level event. You had 1/5th of the continent literally blown away. That means decades of famines, and massive extinction level event (biodiversity is probably much reduced compared to before the cataclysm, particularly in terms of megafauna), that means a couple years of winter and darkness where people literally clustered around whatever wizard could conjure magical light and heat. We are talking complete population collapse from cities of millions to clustered communities of a few hundred.

    Three hundred years is not a long time to recover from that. It is a very short time, and is proof that the Gods in fact did not abandon Krynn.

    But if ships can sail from Flotsam to Solamnia, why wouldn't they be able to sail from Ak-Khurman to Solamnia. The Goodlund Peninsula is not some insurmountable barrier to get around.
    Because it is cheaper and easier for the Solamnics to stop in Flotsam. The Khur and Baliforians bring the goods from Khur across the Khurman Sea to Port Balifor, then overland on the narrow part of the peninsula to Flotsam. The Solamnics avoid having to take a long, expensive, isolating and unnecessary trip around the peninsula, through Minotaur infested waters.

    If you look at trade routes you will always find that they look to cut off time spent on the boat whenever possible, as long as there are middle-men who want to trade fairly. When the middle men start getting more expensive than tripling the length of your sea route, then you start looking for alternatives. The Goodlund penninsula is long, doesn't really have many people worth trading with, and would require sailing through Clare Elian where the Minotaurs collect a lot of their timber and sinister monks will tax your passage through their strait. Better to do business in Balifor.

    In peacetime I would agree with you but remember that that quote was in the middle of the War of the Lance. Solamnia's vast verdant farming plains were under enemy occupation at the time and Kalaman (which is obviously the grain port for the Solamnic plains) was under Dragonarmy siege. Thus the Palanthians couldn't get food from the Solamnic plains, which is why I imagine they were supplying southern Solamnia with food purchased from the Northern Ergothians.
    Well they are certainly not going to get rice from Blodehelm during the War of the Lance, or really anywhere else besides Northern Ergoth. Palanthas probably had to use up its own stores, and probably had a hard couple of years (like everyone else) following the war.

    But you were talking about it as it was an ongoing thing.

    On the other hand Ansalon does have a goddess who is becoming more active in world affairs and is devoted to encouraging trade. All it takes is for Shinare to send a religious vision to some merchant prince about the wealth to be had from sailing to Taladas or Adlatum and get the ball rolling.
    Sure, but you know, she is the goddess of trade, so that trade actually has to make sense and be profitable.

    But it seems in this thread people want Ansalon to have everything. It has all the good commodities. It has the best ships in the world. It is the source of all invention. It has the most dynamic trade. It is the favoured of all the gods. It will sail out and conquer everything, because it has to follow Europe's history. Bah humbug!

    Sounds reasonable, though I still think that once Ansalon starts trading overseas (even if that doesn't happen for one hundred years), Palanthas would be in the vanguard.
    Sure, though I don't understand why Palanthas gets to have everything. The primary identity of the Ergothians and the Saifhumi is that they are mariners, complete with iconic representations and an official class in the Age of Mortals book.

    Palanthas is already the seat the greatest empire on Ansalon, the seat of the most powerful military, the dominant culture. At least the Tower of High Sorcery was taken from them. Why do they have to have the primary control of merchantile shipping as well? Is Ansalon more than just a Solamnic continent?

    Why not. It sounds like most of the damage to the city during the Blue Lady's War was probably from fires raging out of control and while that would do a great deal of damage to buildings within the city, it wouldn't necessarily kill that many people. (Think of the Great Fire of London which destroyed 7/8 of the city's housing, but had a small death toll.) If most of the city's population survived the Blue Lady's War then the city should have been able to recover quickly. (Especially since access to clerics of Mishakal would allow for the population to grow very rapidly, since they would prevent plagues from devastating the city.)
    It would still be extremely expensive, and all of Solamnia would have to recover the costs of the war. But I don't see a small death toll when you had literal banshees whose screams can kill you when you hear them, dragonfear and death knight fear causing everyone to flee in a blind panic, draconians dropping from the Flying Citadel and gliding down everywhere in the city, and so forth being an even with a small death count.

    You'll notice that Palanthas didn't really put up much of a resistance after the fall of the High Clerist's Tower to Ariakan's legions, and it probably was because they simply didn't have the strength. Palanthas would stay under Nerakan control for the next 30 years. Since they submitted to the Nerakan yoke, they avoided war with the Dragon Overlord Khellendros and probably had favourable access to trade in Nerakan controlled lands. Since it is Palanthas, merchants were probably still being tolerated by their traditional allies. This is where du Chagne and other merchant lords would have really made their money and rebuilt the city.

    After Khellendros was dead, and Solamnia was attacked by Ankhar's horde, Palanthas would have also avoided the worst of that as well. There is enough time for Palanthas to be wealthy again by Markham's rise if you don't rush it. Before that, Palanthas doesn't really need to be wealthy. So in the end the story can make sense that way, taking 70 years to rebuild, rather than assuming they could reconstruct the city quickly.

    You don't think the wealthiest surviving city on Ansalon would be an incredibly tempting target to raiders and warlords if it wasn't properly defended? And for most of the Age of Despair, Palanthas wouldn't have any wizards (at least not openly.) Wizards had been banned from the city during the Kingpriest's reign (mentioned in the short story "True Knight") and weren't really allowed back in until Dalamar opened up the Tower of High Sorcery.
    I'm saying it is fairly easy to defend with a minimal amount of force. You don't need a massive navy to discourage pirates because it is naturally very well protected.

    As for wizards in Palanthas, you are incorrect. Two full fledged conclave archmages, Justarius and Antimodes, hail from Palanthas, and it had a wizard's school for girls. sources: Soulforge, Night of the Eye trilogy.

    As well, Justarius was a playboy in his youth that didn't really take the study of magic seriously, while Antimodes was half-merchant, so it is obvious wizards are part of the social fabric of Palanthas in an open and casual way.

    We know Ansalon has tarbean tea (which is obviously coffee.) Where do you think it is coming from if not Nordmaar?
    Who says its coffee, maybe it is this instead?

    But yeah, I don't want to stick the entire spice trade in Nordmaar or keep everything (silk, spices, tea, coffee, cocoa, surgarcane, chilies etc etc.) all on Ansalon, or there is no real reason to visit other continents at all... and therefore people lacking in all those commodities will come to Ansalon instead. If that's the way the community wants to go with it, that's fine too. Otherwise we should save some commodities for Taladas, Adlatum, and the other two continents. Myself I'm a big fan of the Isle of Gargath being a place to find all sorts of exotic things, given the power of the graygem over that island. I'm imagining it likeSocotra, which is place where a third of its plant species can't be found anywhere else on earth.

    But wouldn't the Silvanesti exiles in Southern Ergoth still be producing goods. Indeed trade with the outside world would be essential for them. Southern Ergoth can't really support both the Silvanesti and Kagonesti populations, but the Silvanesti could produce luxury goods there, sell them to the outside world, and use the profits from that to purchase food supplies.

    As for Silvanesti being a living nightmare post-War of the Lance, it was being reclaimed over those 30 years, so each year more and more of the land would be restored. And the parts that were restored could obviously be resettled and start producing trade goods which the Silvanesti would need to sell to the outside world to fund the rebuilding of their capital. (Pink marble ain't cheap.)
    I'm still not buying the fact that Silvanesti traded after the War of the Lance, there just isn't enough time to get re-established, open a trade route, and overcome their own traditionalism and isolationism. Southern Ergoth however being a place that produces Silvanesti goods for the Palanthas market makes much more sense. They are right next to Solamnia's main pilgrimage site (the tomb of Huma), and the people from Silvanesti who would stay in Ergoth would probably be the lower castes who make stuff, because they would lose the social mobility they gained if they returned to Silvanesti.

    If Khurish war horses are better than Solamnic breeds, then there are Solamnic nobles that will be willing to pay the extra price. And if there is a demand then some enterprising trader will find a way to get the horses from Khur to Solamnia. (The Spanish were able to get horses across the Atlantic Ocean, so I'm sure the Khur can figure out how to get them from Khur to Solamnia.)
    I'm sure there would be desire for Khurish horses for leisure riding, showing off, and perhaps breeding, but the Solamnics have a completely different form of warfare than the Khur, and therefore a larger, taller, and stronger horse for doing their fighting on. The Solamnics charge with heavily armoured calvary, while the Khur are more about mobility and lighter, faster, calvary. I do think that Solamnia would trade with Khur (through intermediaries) I just don't think they are hugely interested in their horses. Rugs and incense though probably would be more desirable, more profitable, and easier to transport.

    Well I would certainly expect a massive population expansion due to the return of the Gods (clerics of Mishakal would greatly curtail plagues and infant mortality, while clerics of Habakkuk would enable greatly expanded agricultural production.)
    Yeah, but within reason. As well though women don't have the size of families in Ansalon that they might have had on earth. Gender equality, access to magical contraception, and female mortality due to women participating in conflict are going to interfere with population growth. The society of Ansalon is a creative anachronism. Heck, most characters we know only had 1-3 kids because that's what is normal for us. This would be somewhat balanced by a lack of mortality, but that might just encourage people to have even less children.
    Last edited by ferratus; 05-14-2017 at 02:17 PM.


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