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 Post subject: Re: Musings of a Canadian Nierite. . .
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:53 am 
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Location: Portland OR
The Wealth of Gulf of Coryan, The Shadow Towns and Piracy

There is apparently a lot of trade going back and forth across the Gulf of Coryan and the League of Princes. Which makes sense. Plexus, sits on the Corvus river the way New Orleans sits on the Mississippi. Geographically it’s a natural trade hub. And across the waters are exotic lands that, as far as we know, never been directly controlled by the First Imperium or the Coryani Empire. Plexus is Coryan’s potential “point of access” to the the Kio Kingdoms, the Shadow Towns and maybe Seremas. It surely rivals Savona in scale which is logically the primary point of access for Altheria, Milandir and Censure.

The volume of trade in the Gulf of Coryan has never been explicitly quantified or stated, but I think it is heavily implied to be immense. First we have the reported wealth of the Shadow Towns. Second we have stories about lots of piracy. Undir know the mangrove forrests of the Shadowed Towns as no one else, and can easily switch back and forth between fishermen and raiders as opportunities present themselves. And if oe port gets too “hot” they can move to a different location.This situation kinda reminds me of the Straights of Malacca in the real world. The Straights of Malacca is a 500 mile(ish) stretch from the Malay peninsula past Indonesia that connects maritime trade between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Except for a few places like the Panama Canal, this is one of the greatest collections of trade and wealth on the planet. And despite the fact the the US and other countries patrol it heavily, it’s also often infested with (old-timey to modern day) pirates. Like the Undir, there are no shortage of south asian villages on countless islands that produce people who have immense local knowledge of the coast, fish on weekdays and maybe know people who take advantage of all the passing wealth when the “tides” align…

I’ve written before that as presented, the wealth of the Shadow Towns does not make a lot sense to me. To our knowledge they aren’t on a “Silk Road.” And “fine manufactured furniture” - an offering from one of the Shadow Towns, doesn’t seems like something you couldn’t just as easily get in Altheria or from the dwarves. No one talks about the immense wealth Altheria and the dwarves generate with trade in fine furniture…. Still we are told the Shadowed Towns pay extraordinary levels of tribute to two different countries AND still make money hand over fist. For me, this lacks verisimilitude. I believe something else has got to be going on.

If I was running a home campaign, to justify the wealth, I would add additional sources of wealth, to make their shipping and piracy make more sense. First I would make them middlemen for Seremasi pearls. Romans desired pearls more than diamonds - presumably the Coryani do as well. Certainly the val’Ossan family of Salantis. Its possible that neither they nor the Seremasi have much desire to deal directly with each other. Which would make the Shadow Towns the perfect place for trade to take place. An infrastructure to keep such precious materials secure would also work to allow the Kio of export their Emerald and Ruby wealth that gets mined from the Lauzhyr Mountains. And second I would make the various sarkalwood and mangrove forests of the area a primary source of temple incense. In the real world myrrh and frankincense were pretty exclusively grown in East Africa and brought to market by the Nabateans to their very great profit. The incense trade would potentially be a gigantic resource with a constant demand. We all know they go through a ton of it in Savona alone.

As I’ve written above it would make sense for the Shadow Towns to import grain from Coryani. They also probably import metals since coastal forests seem like a poor place for mining.

Eric Gorman

AKA Ambassador Tukufu, man of letters, tomb raider and Master Sword Sage
. . . and Sir Szymon val'Holryn, Order of the Phoenix
Formerly Sir Jaeger val'Holryn. Weilder of the Holy Avenger: Thonanos. Gave his soul to help free King Noen

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