Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 43

Thread: Intercontinental Trade on Krynn

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    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.
    Well, I know that the Silvanesti sailed away during the War of the Lance (and fought the minotaurs) but again, that isn't overseas travel. They hugged the coast the whole way. A long journey, but not one that requires a lot of technology.


    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.
    Again that could be any number of different coastal ships common in the 12th century, and neither side probably built them as warships.

    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.
    I wonder exactly what kind of ships Istar would have. I'm guessing galleys and dhow. Tarsis has references to "white winged ships", and a bird in flight looks like this picture of a dhow sailing vessel if it was viewed over the horizon.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ITA_CRX View Post
    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.
    Yeah, but trade with who in the east? Ogre lands or Minotaur pirates? The Goodlund penninsula which was sparsely populated before the Desolation of Malys? The isolationist Silvanesti? The whole point of this thread is trying to figure out where the trade routes are.

    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.
    Marquesta-Kar Thon, the captain is from Saifum, so I assume the ship is as well.

    I believe in the Minotaur trilogy they talked about huge ships with three masts and the minotaur navy was immense.
    Sure, but having more masts doesn't mean you have a particularly advanced ship. Cogs could have three masts, but it doesn't mean it would be a vessel capable of going to Taladas or Adlatum.

    Besides, why would the minotaurs have the best ships? They don't trade, they raid... and the government usually changes every time the Emperor loses a fight in the arena. They might build good ships for raiding like the viking's longship but ocean going trading vessels or dedicated warships? I can't see it. There certainly isn't much evidence that the Minotaurs use their navy as a means to extend their power across Ansalon, if their navy is actually so great.

    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.
    I mean they sailed to Sancrist to be sure, but as political exiles. The reason to go to Sancrist, presumably, was because it would be difficult to follow them there. Again, I'm not saying that there aren't ports or they never sail, I'm just saying Ansalon doesn't trade as much as Europe did on the verge of the age of sail, nor does it have the ingredients to be innovative ship builders.

    Heck, Ansalon is so poor and war-torn and in a state of upheaval that it is almost impossible to imagine conditions for a luxury market necessitating long distance trade even exist at all.

    The Ergothians naval prowess grew as well after the Cataclysm (It was kinda necessary)
    Yeah, in the previous novels about Ergoth's past (The Ergoth Trilogy, Elven Nations Trilogy, Legend of Huma) the people of Ergoth are white, with the Ergoth Trilogy showing that culture as having quite a bit of similarity to Persia. In the game materials, Ergothian warriors are described as having african features and ethnicity. In Mary Kirchoff's novels (Defenders of Magic) it is explained that the black nobility live in castles and the white peasantry plow the fields. So to reconcile all of this, noble Ergothians migrating from across the sea and conquering the remains of the Ergothian Empire in Northern Ergoth Isle is the only thing that makes sense.

    Likewise, the Saifum seem to have little in common with other Istarian Empire descendants (such as the Nerakans) which seems to imply that they migrated to those lands at the same time Ergoth was conquered.

    all of the area around New Sea became major ports because of the fracturing of the land
    Except they didn't. Aside from Sanction, these ports are all small towns, and Sanction wasn't that impressive a city until it was taken over as a staging ground for the Dragonarmies.

    It is tempting to make the Newsea into Ansalon's mediterranian, but it simply can't be the case. The reason those new ports stayed so small is because it tiny compared to as the Mediterranian, doesn't go anywhere particularly populous or useful, and is very easy to completely blockade in two different places with a small number of ships. I mean it is a pirate's paradise.

    What is more, if you look at a map of pre-cataclysm Krynn, the whole area was fairly flat. Even if we assume new fault lines from a shattered plate, the whole Newsea is probably no deeper than 1000 ft at its deepest points, and maybe only a few meters deep at its shallowest points, like the Caspian Sea or perhaps even as shallow as the Sea of Azov.

    It would be a treacherous sea to navigate for anyone but locals who are aware of the lay of the sea floor, and much of the sea would be hazardous to large deep vessels. You might literally run aground on waterlogged remains of some ancient wood.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    652

    Default

    How much have you read about Dragonlance? I ask because some of what you posted is contradicted by either novels or source books.

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    Yeah, but trade with who in the east? Ogre lands or Minotaur pirates? The Goodlund penninsula which was sparsely populated before the Desolation of Malys? The isolationist Silvanesti? The whole point of this thread is trying to figure out where the trade routes are.
    Prior to the Cataclysm, there was significant trade around the continent and even the Silvanesti were involved because they affiliated themselves with Istar. Istar was a major destination because of the amount tithes that were sent there in addition to the other luxuries the city wanted/needed. Palanthas also became a major port city and grew in wealth prior to the cataclysm and it was all by sea trade.

    Sure, but having more masts doesn't mean you have a particularly advanced ship. Cogs could have three masts, but it doesn't mean it would be a vessel capable of going to Taladas or Adlatum.
    This was about the size of the ship. They were large ships with three masts as opposed to small ships with three masts jammed on them.

    Besides, why would the minotaurs have the best ships? They don't trade, they raid... and the government usually changes every time the Emperor loses a fight in the arena. They might build good ships for raiding like the viking's longship but ocean going trading vessels or dedicated warships? I can't see it. There certainly isn't much evidence that the Minotaurs use their navy as a means to extend their power across Ansalon, if their navy is actually so great.
    They actually had significant trade within the Minotaur empire. The empire had several different islands and each island was the producer of a major resource. Ore came from one of the smaller islands and food was produced at others. I believe the empire had 5 major islands and then a lot of other smaller islands further east into the ocean. Weapons, tools, grain, cloth, taxes etc all had to be transported by sea and the only way to maintain the empire was to have a navy. The minotaurs were also explorers and kept ranging out farther east and north into the ocean. The minotaur wars trilogy also had a minor sentence where they talked about another continent.

    I mean they sailed to Sancrist to be sure, but as political exiles. The reason to go to Sancrist, presumably, was because it would be difficult to follow them there.
    It was actually because they were kicked out of almost every other city and Sancrist was the one area that was guaranteed they would not be kicked out of. Also, they ran the entire Knights out of Sancrist for years. This would require a navy so they could send troops places. After the WOTL the Knights were still headquartered in Sancrist but now had operations throughout Solamnia. You can only have that with a navy.

    Heck, Ansalon is so poor and war-torn and in a state of upheaval that it is almost impossible to imagine conditions for a luxury market necessitating long distance trade even exist at all.
    The WOTL source book contradicts most of this. Solamnia had a quick recovery after the Cataclysm and even the kender cities of Hylo and Lemon became ports. The Night of the Eye discuss a significant amount of shipping since the heroes are always hopping on ships to go places and taxes on a shipping route was the major component of the novel. Also, the nations of Lemish and Saifum are both known as locations that are big on piracy. Without significant shipping, you don't have pirates. Also, think about where the pirates are, Saifum and the Minotaur empire in addition to the blood sea cities and Lemish. If there was really no shipping in that area, they would then need to sail west of Kalaman to conduct any piracy. They would not sail 600+ miles without the knowing there were boats to plunder. The Lemish pirates would be operating in New Sea and the Straits of Algoni. Additionally, because bandits controlled all of the roads in Abanasinia, shipping around the peninsula would have been a ton safer than going overland. It is probably why New Port is a city at all. Just based on the amount of piracy, you can infer there is a significant amount of trade by sea.

    Yeah, in the previous novels about Ergoth's past (The Ergoth Trilogy, Elven Nations Trilogy, Legend of Huma) the people of Ergoth are white, with the Ergoth Trilogy showing that culture as having quite a bit of similarity to Persia. In the game materials, Ergothian warriors are described as having african features and ethnicity. In Mary Kirchoff's novels (Defenders of Magic) it is explained that the black nobility live in castles and the white peasantry plow the fields. So to reconcile all of this, noble Ergothians migrating from across the sea and conquering the remains of the Ergothian Empire in Northern Ergoth Isle is the only thing that makes sense.

    Likewise, the Saifum seem to have little in common with other Istarian Empire descendants (such as the Nerakans) which seems to imply that they migrated to those lands at the same time Ergoth was conquered.
    Sadly, I don't yet own Cam Bank's masterpiece Races of Ansalon, so I really can't say why the races developed differently. As far as Ergoth, that is all probably just minor errors by the authors.

    Except they didn't. Aside from Sanction, these ports are all small towns, and Sanction wasn't that impressive a city until it was taken over as a staging ground for the Dragonarmies.

    It is tempting to make the Newsea into Ansalon's mediterranian, but it simply can't be the case. The reason those new ports stayed so small is because it tiny compared to as the Mediterranian, doesn't go anywhere particularly populous or useful, and is very easy to completely blockade in two different places with a small number of ships. I mean it is a pirate's paradise.
    I sort of agree. If you look at a map of new sea, the area/towns west of Schallsea would have developed shipping routes with destinations as far away as Palanthas and Kalaman. Anything east would be at most a sea town with a few fishing boats. Also, the town of Alsip and Halter Wood southwest of Qualinesti would be a place ships continued to travel to because that is basically the only way for Wizards to travel to Wayreth. And even throughout the dark times after the Cataclysm Wizards continued to take the test.

    What is more, if you look at a map of pre-cataclysm Krynn, the whole area was fairly flat. Even if we assume new fault lines from a shattered plate, the whole Newsea is probably no deeper than 1000 ft at its deepest points, and maybe only a few meters deep at its shallowest points, like the Caspian Sea or perhaps even as shallow as the Sea of Azov.

    It would be a treacherous sea to navigate for anyone but locals who are aware of the lay of the sea floor, and much of the sea would be hazardous to large deep vessels. You might literally run aground on waterlogged remains of some ancient wood.
    There was a submarine operating throughout New Sea with no problems, so it is probably deep. Not to mention the map shows that it has significant coastal shelves with massive areas of deep water. Additionally, as you mentioned the Dragonarmy was based out of Sanction and did ship units out of Sanction. After the Chaos war Sanction became a significant port because of its location and the fact that it was not controlled by a Dragon Overlord. After the War of Souls, Sanction became the headquarters of the KoS and as such, would still be a major shipping location. All of that indicates that New Sea was not shallow nor treacherous to navigate.

    Again, I'm not saying that there aren't ports or they never sail, I'm just saying Ansalon doesn't trade as much as Europe did on the verge of the age of sail, nor does it have the ingredients to be innovative ship builders.
    I think this is the main point of your post, which I think it is now safe to say Ansalon has always had a significant amount of shipping. Probably more so than Europe because of the shape of the continent. Heck, remember Tarsis was at one point the biggest shipping destination in Ansalon. With that much shipping you will always have ships being built and improved upon over the years.

    As for ocean going vessels capable of intercontinental travel, eh, maybe. If you look at the Saifhum islands, if they were conducting piracy operations west of Kalaman, then they would be traveling away from the coast for significant amounts of time to reduce travel time significantly. With ships being lost in naval battles and to Zeboim's temper, you would always have a steady stream of new ships being built and each one would have some minor modifications and/or improvements. And with the amount of time that Ansalon had shipping operations, 2,600+ years, you would have a continuous improvement in the ships.

    I think it is safe to say you would have ships that are capable of intercontinental travel, however, it is probably almost none ever did conduct intercontinental travel.
    Last edited by ITA_CRX; 05-03-2017 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Correct years of Shipping

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    717

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    I mean they sailed to Sancrist to be sure, but as political exiles. The reason to go to Sancrist, presumably, was because it would be difficult to follow them there. Again, I'm not saying that there aren't ports or they never sail, I'm just saying Ansalon doesn't trade as much as Europe did on the verge of the age of sail, nor does it have the ingredients to be innovative ship builders.
    Well during Dragons of Winter Night there is a reference to the parts of Solamnia that haven't been overrun by the Dragonarmies yet being dependent on Palanthas to keep from starving.

    With Palanthas in her hands and the harbor under her control, the Highlord could easily starve the rest of Solamnia into submission and then wipe out the troublesome Knights.

    If the harbors of Palanthas were essential to keep the rest of unoccupied Solamnia from starving then Palanthas must have been doing a lot of sea-borne trade with Coastland and Southland. (And since Palanthas isn't exactly overflowing with farmland, I imagine the Palanthians were buying food supplies from Northern Ergoth and then selling that food to the Coastlanders and Southlanders.)

    Moreover, doesn't the fact that Palanthas is the richest, most populous human city on Ansalon suggests it must have a thriving maritime trade? What else could the Palanthian economy be based on? It's very difficult to get to Palanthas by land, so overland trade is out. It doesn't have any substantial hinterland to develop agricultural wealth. And AFAIK its never been suggested that Palanthas has any special natural resources or unique talent for manufacturing. As such I can't really think of any other way the city could have become so wealthy and influential other than by being a maritime trade hub.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Absalom, City at the Center of the World
    Posts
    2,105

    Default

    Being an island nation/people does not mean you certainly become a trans-oceanic sea power. The contrast of medival England and Japan is intersting. As one broke out, the other later turned inward in isolation, a dangerous tendency of island people. Granted, Japan did not have a subculture of martime tradition like England and the Dutch. But that did not stop medival China. Which brings me to the Middle Kingdom; that being a mainland or “continental” nation/people doesn’t exclude you from being a merchant and/or naval sea power. China’s medival merchant fleet was unmatched in size until a change in Emporers and (like Japan) went into isolation (it wouldn’t be until the 19th century that such huge fleets of merchant ships would appear again). If China stayed open and if Japan felt intimidated enough by that, could we have seen some things repeat themselves like they did with England vs Spain? I find this an interesting question. But that's for another forum all togther.

    Looking at Ansalon and knowing about things like the Ergothen Marchant Marine, I know it seems like it. But Northern Ergoth at present doesn’t quite strike me as another England. Current Ergoth strike me as a Latin/Mediterrean state, an island version of Italy (think Venice and Genoa states, if they were all that was left of Rome). Also, there are cultural and social reasons why Solamnus broke from the old empire to start with. Though that old empire was largely gone after the Cataclysm, this is still something to keep in mind. Fortunately, the age old antagonism between Ergoth and Solmania are over by the time of the WoTL and later.

    Solamnia has a chance of taking advantage of it’s strong maritime sectors in Palanthus, Kalaman and Ceargoth, and like the newly born United States did with its maritime based northeastern States (ie New England), become a developed sea power in it's own right. A maritime allience between Solmania and Ergoth is a must to counter things like the Minotaur Imperium.



    I greatly suggest checking out David Fitz-Enz's Old Ironsides: Eagle of the Sea: The Story of the USS Constitution, Chapter III “The Elements of Sea Power”. Just pages 47-62. Here the six principles of becoming a global sea power (Economic/Military), are summarized. All are very important, but not necessarily absolute. Chapter III is the only part of the Fitz-Enz book that come closest what matters to this dicussion. As the book is focused on martime stuff during the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, so the rest doesn’t apply to a medivel setting. But I do find the information in Chapter Three very interesting. So you can just check the library for this one.

    Six Principles:
    Geographical Position
    Physical Conformation
    Extant of Territory
    Sailors within the Population
    Character of the People or Natural Charter
    Character of the Government


    Other material
    To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Herman
    The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain 660-1649 by N. A. M. Rodger

    These two books gave me a decent look into the maritime aspects of the anciant, medival, and Renessiance worlds.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    652

    Default

    I don't think fantasy has to follow reality, so even though it would be nice for a realistic growth of naval vessels, they can grow just because the authors and designers said so.

    Did anyone in Ergoth have the funds to actually build a merchant fleet or docks to support them? No idea, but the novels said they have it, so they did.

    What about the minotaur fleet? One day they are on the end of a peninsula, next day island nation. Then magically a navy. Realistic? Probably not, but they have one.

    I think at this point we all agree that there is no intercontinental trade on Krynn, although they could be in a position to develop one.

    And, there is a significant amount of trade by ship around Ansalon.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Berkeley Ca
    Posts
    7,822

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ITA_CRX View Post
    I don't think fantasy has to follow reality, so even though it would be nice for a realistic growth of naval vessels, they can grow just because the authors and designers said so.
    Well, yeah. But since we have nothing new. Ferratus's original post is really about his request for commentary about Ferratus's 16th century Ansalon, and the discussion is all about whether centuries of time allows any nations to become intercontinental. In my mind, he's picking our brains on what we think might happen, and how it merges with his ideas on a game he's going to run. and whatever we say, with our explanations, goes into how "realistically" it can happen. But you're right, anything can really happen. I could say Teyr has the monopoly because of their flying citadels, at 400 AC. by the 16th century AC, it must have a huge buildup of vessels by that time. Heck, Ansalon might even be a draconian nation if it was left unchecked for 1200 years. But then, I'm biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by ITA_CRX View Post
    I think at this point we all agree that there is no intercontinental trade on Krynn, although they could be in a position to develop one.

    And, there is a significant amount of trade by ship around Ansalon.
    So I hope you can agree with me that the significant trading in 5th century Ansalon would mean there's quite a bit technology shift towards intercontinental ships?
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    652

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Weldon Chen View Post
    Well, yeah. But since we have nothing new.
    Sad.
    Ferratus's original post is really about his request for commentary about Ferratus's 16th century Ansalon, and the discussion is all about whether centuries of time allows any nations to become intercontinental. In my mind, he's picking our brains on what we think might happen, and how it merges with his ideas on a game he's going to run. and whatever we say, with our explanations, goes into how "realistically" it can happen. But you're right, anything can really happen.
    Honestly, we'd need a timeline of the 1,200 years. I think the growth of an intercontinental shipping trade would almost entirely depend on war. If Solamnia decides the minotaurs are a threat and helps the elves reclaim Silvanesti, well, that is different than if the minotaur empire is left unchecked to explore/grow. Also, since my knowledge of Taladas is basically limited to the name of the continent, it would depend a lot on that end as well. So, someone else needs to fill in the blanks.

    There could be a scenario with Teyr allying with the Mintoaurs against the ogres and Knights of Neraka and then the Solamnics having a build up and fight against all of them to keep them weak. If that is the case, then entire continent would not be stable enough to have intercontinental trade. Then the trade development would be on the side of Taladas adventuring to Ansalon.

    I can't see a war being 1,200 years though, so intercontinental trade would definitely be ongoing by the start of Ferratus' game.

    I could say Teyr has the monopoly because of their flying citadels, at 400 AC. by the 16th century AC, it must have a huge buildup of vessels by that time. Heck, Ansalon might even be a draconian nation if it was left unchecked for 1200 years. But then, I'm biased.
    This is very important, does Teyr actually have a flying citadel? Because, oh my if so. I'm salivating planning that future. Also, I agree. Based on the birth rates listed for Draconians, I would say they would be a huge power player in only a 100 years, much less 1,200.

    So I hope you can agree with me that the significant trading in 5th century Ansalon would mean there's quite a bit technology shift towards intercontinental ships?
    At some point yes, but I like fantasy to be fantasy, so what would that shift be? Intercontinental sailing ships or would they move to steam power? My preference would be sailing with no real advancement of technology.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Absalom, City at the Center of the World
    Posts
    2,105

    Default

    The full-rigged ship, in a combination with nautical charts and celestial navigation, give you mastery of trans-oceanic navigation.

    Also, to protect any global scale shipping, you need to develop “true” warships and that (other than say some kind form of magical weapon) demands the cannon. This turns a ship into a weapon system all its own and not just another application of transportation. Ballistias and catapults don’t really cut it as ship killer weapons. If your in a mid to late Renaissance setting their exsistance would be justifiable if not a certainty after a couple of centuries of having a trans-oceanic trade system in place.

    On a somewhat related note: I couldn't get into the fan-made Royodo. For my Dragonlance I'm puting an "Oriental" land mass stright north of Ansalon in Krynn's northern hemisphere. There dragons are very few, but very powerful. But the most potenial threat comes from giants and True-Titans. Another big difference, unlike the other three known continants which lost conciderable land to the ocean, this "new" one actually gained more land from the sea as the result of the Cataclysm. The "Middle Kingdom" here is locked in a cold war version of the Three Kingdoms era. There's also a Persia of sorts here.

    Not sure if I'll place a Dragonlance equivulent of India here, that may require a continant all it own but linked too the south pole, but direactly opposite of Ansalon itself. That still leaves room in the southern hemisphere and another major landmass to have elements of Africa.
    Last edited by DaemonAngel; 05-10-2017 at 06:19 PM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Berkeley Ca
    Posts
    7,822

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ITA_CRX View Post
    This is very important, does Teyr actually have a flying citadel? Because, oh my if so. I'm salivating planning that future. Also, I agree. Based on the birth rates listed for Draconians, I would say they would be a huge power player in only a 100 years, much less 1,200.
    Well, in Dragons of Krynn, in the Teyr locations, I definitely wrote that there's a secret plan to raise a castle. Look up Castle Aeries. However, I wrote that so it's completely biased. It's a total adventure's hook, where adventurers could sabotage the plan, or for the future where Teyr is a power nation that has to be stopped, or heck, even steal it. I used that premise to explain why a flying citadel is flying over the ocean, exploring new islands etc for my 4e DL adventures.. I heard someone else took the idea, stole the castle for the elves, and the elves has a mobile base to retake Silvanesti.
    Fanwank
    Formerly from Wikipedia, circa 2006-7,
    A fanwank is [...] an attempt by fans of a work of fiction to explain or justify plot holes or continuity errors, often through convoluted contrivances...

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •