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Author Topic: Twilight Ramblings 13 - Trader Families  (Read 3060 times)
Carcharoth
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« on: June 10, 2011, 10:06:37 am »

Some proper ramblings here... these were written on my blackberry while on the train back from London and haven't really been reviewed yet, but they might spark some random discussions! This seemed like a good topic to consider as there has been lots of talk about trade across the empire and hopefully this might help to answer a few questions, or prompt some others.


Since before the first towers fell there have been brave fubarnii who travelled the lands carrying news and goods across anyaral. In the earliest days the travellers steered clear of the towers, riding fast beasts with light loads so that they might evade the devanu. It was a dangerous but profitable life.
As the devanu were pushed back, those travellers slowly got an easier life. It was still dangerous, but they could employ bodyguards to protect them rather than trying to evade the devanu. They could use larger, slower packbeasts to carry heavier goods.
There were attempts to build road networks, but these were prime targets for devanu attacks and were impossible to maintain for the long distances.
The original travellers became the founders of the old trade families. Each family traces its roots back to those brave travellers and speaks with pride of all that was done in those days and how their families helped to forge the empire. Those families consider themselves apart from the clans, and are effectively a clan in their own right. They have a seat on the empire's council in the same manner as all the true clans, and pay taxes separately from the clans. They are generally exempted from providing jenta to serve as knights, although this is mainly by mutual agreement than anything official (the trader families would of course provide jenta if asked by the emperor, just so long as the emperor never asks). The old trader families hold a lot of power, that far outweighs their single seat on the council.

New trade families have sprouted up over the years, but they are generally part of the other clans. The old trader families do not generally approve of these newcomers, but they generally make it difficult for these traders to operate too far from their homelands.

All clans that are serviced by the traders are expected to provide safe passage through their territories. Most clans have special units of militia who carry out that role, or they employ mercenaries (at their own expense) to protect the traders. Most clans have learned that scrimping on the protection does not prove cost effective in the long run.

This protection does not generally apply to the clan trade families, who thus have to pay for their own bodyguards etc.

The traders generally get on well with the ferals when they pass, but they rarely travel together as the baruk and belan do not generally like the presence of the huge migratory herds. They will meet and trade then go their separate ways.

The trade families do not venture in to the delgon territories. They will often trade with the dhogu in the towns close to the borders, but they have never been allowed across the borders.

Traders often travel in very small groups, with one or two traders and a handful of beasts. In more dangerous regions they travel in larger groups for better protection.

When a trader caravan arrives in some of the more remote towns they are met with much excitement. in the central empire several traders will pass through a town every day and they provide varying services, specialising in different goods. Some travel short routes repeatedly, others make long routes that take a year or so, picking up small, valuable goods along the way.

Traders will carry letters, and there is a formal system in place to ensure that traders from any family will carry a letter if it is on their way. In some parts of the central empire this is even better structured, with dedicated riders carrying important mail between towns.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 10:13:27 am by Carcharoth » Logged
Jubal
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 04:13:37 pm »

So the mail riders are a (marginally) more settled set of the trader families, or do the clans employ them? The family pack-caravan life of the traders wouldn't seem to fit quite so well with fast message running, somehow...
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 05:31:51 pm »

Do settled Fubarnii ever feel that traders out-stay their welcome?

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Carcharoth
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 07:01:01 pm »

I imagine that settled fubarnii have mixed opinions of traders. They are very useful, but are more than a little arrogant and they are certainly paid well for their services. So I imagine they do outstay their welcome at times...

The mail service in the empire is something I've thought about on a few occasions ( there's a long thread about it somewhere). I'm not sure how much the newer, faster mail services relate to the old families who have traditionally carried mail at a more sedate pace...
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lightderakeer
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 07:06:38 pm »

ahh godd i love the ramblings  Grin
good work massa. keep it going!  Smiley
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