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  1. #1
    Birthright Developer Raesene Andu's Avatar
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    Trade Goods from Müden

    I'm running an adventure on Sunday where the players have to sneak aboard a roundship recently arrived from Müden to steal a particular item bound for Avanil (part of an intrigue organised by Diemed, but that's a whole other story).

    As my PCs are a very inquisitive lot so to help flesh out the ship's interior a bit, what sort of trade goods do you think a large trade ship from Müden would be bringing to the Imperial City of Anuire in the height of summer?

    I've already decided on a few small items of particular value that will be stored in the room they have to rob (silver bars, glassware, weapons, paintings and other artwork), but what sort of bulk items would Müden export to Anuire in the main hold?

    I've already been through the Brecht & Müden sourcebooks looking for ideas but I'm at a bit of loss now. Anyone have some good ideas for me?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raesene Andu View Post
    As my PCs are a very inquisitive lot
    Aren't those types the worst? Damn curious bastards.

    so to help flesh out the ship's interior a bit, what sort of trade goods do you think a large trade ship from Müden would be bringing to the Imperial City of Anuire in the height of summer?
    Interesting question. HotGB says that lumber, cotton and food are the major exports. So lumber and cotton are easy to include. Food is a broad category- what food would they export- something that couldn't be found in Avanil.

    Perhaps a particular type of fish (or other seafood) that swims in the Krakennauricht. Or maybe some sort of local berry. I could see either packed in barrels of salt for preservation during the trip.

    Also, i'm sure Brecht beer is renowned throughout Cerilia.


    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 09-26-2014 at 05:11 AM.

  3. #3

    Spices, fungi, dried fruits

    I would say anything that grows in that region of the world that does not grow in the heartlands would be in big demand (whether for spell components or for eating).

    Ivory Carvings, rare animal skins... again, something not found in southern Cerelia that may be considered valuable or a delicacy.
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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    The Brecht trade a lot, and are reasonably technological, so perhaps:

    A telescope (as navigators they would be interested in the stars, but Anuirean astronomers and astrologers also want telescopes)

    A crate of mirrors set in scrimshaw

    Fine wines (Frost Wine and Champagne perhaps, be careful with the latter as the bottles may explode due to imperfections in the glass)

    The latest in High Muden fashions ordered by the noble ladies if Anuire.

    Vos goods traded on to Anuire such as Varsk leather and "barbarian art"

    An Orrey of the Cerilian system

    Some commercial magic items made to order by the mercantile wizards amongst the Brecht (non-adventuring stuff but possibly useful to a small ruler)

    Parts for the clock built for a clock tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    A telescope (as navigators they would be interested in the stars, but Anuirean astronomers and astrologers also want telescopes)
    I really like that one. Seeing as i'm currently studying astronomy, i'm rather annoyed that i didn't think of that.

    You could throw astrolabes and sextants in there too- unless you think the Brechts might not want to trade away their navigational superiority.


    -Fizz

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fizz View Post
    I really like that one. Seeing as i'm currently studying astronomy, i'm rather annoyed that i didn't think of that.

    You could throw astrolabes and sextants in there too- unless you think the Brechts might not want to trade away their navigational superiority.

    -Fizz
    That could easily be used as a teaser.
    1. The party finds the content.
    2. The party tracks down the new owner.
    3. The party finds the owner has better navigation items.
    3a. The party finds that one of the items uses a mebhghail stone or somehow is calibrated to Deismaar (or maybe a place other than Deismaar, like a place in the Shadow World)
    4. The party identifies why these items are required.
    5. The party goes off to find out more information relating to this purpose.

    Sorontar
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  7. #7
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I think I remember reading somewhere that the Muden marines accompany every navigator with a sextant with orders to get it overboard if the ship looks likely to be lost.

    It should of course be noted that telescopes were used to look across the land before they were used to look up, and that an Anuirean might well want a telescope for military purposes.

    Also, while I was thinking of practical mechanicals, of possibly more interest to Anuireans might be art/conversation pieces - birds that sing and flap their wings, parts for steam-powered statues and the like - the ancient greeks and their trading partners had all sorts of weird stuff that got lost to the ages so even if you don't have the renaissance type machinery you can have the arty bits.

    And of course there is all sorts of other art that might be shipped.

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    Why exactly is the cargo transported by ship from Müden to Avanil anyways? Wouldn't it be more logical to transport goods south from Müden and then sail down the Asarwe river to get to Avanil? Sailing all around Rjurik and through the sea of storms sounds like an inferior option to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yrk View Post
    Why exactly is the cargo transported by ship from Müden to Avanil anyways? Wouldn't it be more logical to transport goods south from Müden and then sail down the Asarwe river to get to Avanil? Sailing all around Rjurik and through the sea of storms sounds like an inferior option to me.
    Not necessarily. Consider that you need to transport a lot of heavy cargo (lumber, barrels of food stuffs, etc).

    You'd need dozens of heavy horses to carry the equivalent that a ship can haul. Going south from Muden you'd have to cross forest and mountains, making it very slow going and leaving you open to brigands.

    You'd also be crossing many borders, each of which may have their own taxes on your load.

    And if you did take the Asarwe River, you'd be bordering the domain of the Sphinx, which probably isn't the safest place to be. And then you'd have to go through the Harrowmarsh, which of course is home to the Hyrda and basically lawless.

    And upon reaching the Gulf of Coeranys you'd need to board another ship- is there a port in the Harrowmarsh? Or else go north and cross the Iron Peaks, which may not even be passable for horses- very difficult anyways.


    So from a logistical standpoint, it's much easier just to load a ship and sail around the continent. It might be twice the distance, but i'd wager a good Brecht merchant vessel could do it in the same time or better than a party on the ground that has so many obstacles in the way.

    That's one reason the major powers of Europe ultimately decided to sail around Africa to get to the East- because it was cheaper than shipping by land. And they didn't even have any awnshegh to deal with.

    -Fizz
    Last edited by Fizz; 09-27-2014 at 08:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Another reason for sailing is the old saw, when you have a good hammer every problem looks like a nail.

    If you have a ship you can trade very ably around the basin. Any trading organisation will look to trade heavily across the bay as it is so easy, boats also go up and down rivers - and almost every major settlement will either be on the coast or a river. The only use for pack-mules, draft horses and the like is to haul goods from forests and mines, or haul carts from farms to the nearest town.

    That means that the trading costers will look to expand into new markets primarily with the existing major transport method - their ships - and just trade further and further afield.

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