Technology, Trade, and Setting

  • Technology, Trade, and Setting

    For the avoidance of doubt, it should be made known that this is a medieval server. After the Collapse and the start of the second dark ages, much of the Old World technologies were forgotten, buried, and abandoned. Surveyors, pickers, scavengers, or whatever you may call yourselves, be warned. Much of the old world may have been buried with time, but much of the old world should remain buried. However, there are still those who would not heed this warning, and yet many more who will find Old World technology where it has unearthed itself.

    As said above, this is a medieval server. All technological advancements have been rolled back to a late iron-age setting. This includes your traditional kings and queens, knights in armor, swords and spears, and traders traveling in carts. This also means that the barter system - a system designed around trading one item of value for another without exchanging money - is also a popular trading method.

    Technology


    About fifty years after the collapse, humanity had finally started reforming into small tribes and villages. These warring tribes grew and fell for about fifty years, some being conquered, some falling ill and disappearing, and others ruling. After another fifty years or so, these larger tribes began organizing into proper nation states. They studied the remains of the Old World, building their own worlds in its image. Buildings were cleared and rebuilt, ships were created, farms were planted and livestock gathered from the feral herds. However, there would yet be unrest between the nation states. Some wished to study the teachings of the Old World and learn from its mistakes, never again treading that old path. Others were just content to let the world play out as it would. However, for one group, this was not good enough. They believed that the Old World held secrets that would grant them the knowledge to lead. Knowledge of how the great civilizations of old were able to grow as large as they did. Their ostracism was quick and harsh.... Once others heard of their beliefs, they became fearful that they may unearth something of great power that would destroy the land around them. A weapon capable of destroying the entire world. Cast out, this group wandered the wastes until they found a newsprint of the Old World and the wonders of SE7EN. From here on, they knew their goal, and taking a name from the newsprint, LuzFaltex set forth to retrieve the knowledge they sought.

    But the world around them was a hostile place. Armor made of leather and metal from scavenged pieces of Old World machines was the only thing protecting them from feral animals and the elements. Metallurgy was on their side, however, as the smiths of their Nation State had afforded them swords and axes. Their supplies were packed into a wooden cart hauled by two Oxen. Wooden barrels hold most of the smaller supplies, including water and food, and the entire cart is covered in a leather tarp.

    About ten years before the discovery of the Citadel and far to the North, another Nation State arose. A L'abri is a curious city, whose lords are unique in their own right. The city is ruled by a king and queen, though the queen seems to be the one who holds the power. Built high into the Northern cliffs, their castle is made entirely of ice and stone, starkly different than any other structure. It us unknown how this was constructed, as no known technology is capable of producing such a structure, though it appears to be sturdy. The queen appears to be a blind woman, preferring to cover her face with a white scarf. Her black cloak hides the rest of her form, and she is rarely ever seen without her king or at least one of her guards at her side. The king on the other hand appears to sport two large, black wings on his back, and while he is never seen flying, a large bird can occasionally be seen flying near the palace. It is speculated that it may be him. Their private guard is also better armed and armored than any other force seen yet, and it is uncertain how they formed such a force so quickly. However, the city they reign over seems friendly enough, if not a bit on the cold side. Having spoken with a few residents, it seems to be a peaceful town where the residents are happy. Plenty of mead and ale with which to keep warm, it would seem.

    Trading

    The large Nation States mint their own coins, however a coin from one Nation State is not equal to a coin from another. Value of the coin, among other things, is determined by the gold or silver content of the coin, how established the Nation State is, and how stable the coin is. Stability is determined by how often the value of the coin changes across a period of time.

    Coins are used because they are always worth the same amount (assuming the coin is stable), and are preferred by those who have shops in cities, vineyards, mines, and other permanent structures. This is because these structures are typically well protected and immobile. Traders on the other hand prefer to use the barter system, a system which involves trading for goods as well as notes. This is because traders are often traveling between cities. Carrying coin on them would make them obvious targets if they're attacked, but highwaymen are less likely to attack if they know they have to carry off a bunch of salt or furs.

    Trade Guilds
    Trade guilds are fraternities of craftsmen and traders who decide to work together for their mutual benefit. This often includes management of "prices, workmanship, the welfare of its workers, and the suppression of interlopers and sharp practices." Trade guilds offer many services to craftsmen, farmers, and the like, such as the transportation of goods and mail to other Nation States, management of a general shop where items can be bought and sold, and providing work. Individual traders will travel to trade guilds to get assignments for porting goods and materials to other Nation States, however money is to be made here as well. Traders don't make much of their money by transporting goods, but rather buying and selling goods. A trader hauling wheat purchased from a farming town may travel to a sea port town to trade the wheat for salt, and then take that salt to another region to trade for furs. A good trader travels quickly and knows the ebb and flow of resources required for certain towns at certain seasons. Sea towns further North where salt is the main export buy furs to help them stay warm through the winter. The plains buy salt in exchange for surplus fur to help preserve their food. They also sell their wheat to traders who take it South to warmer regions who exchange it for fruit such as apples and oranges.

    Trading guilds and experience are responsible for informing traders where goods are needed and may best be sold. However, one unique thing about trading guilds is that the guilds are often owned by larger companies with holdings in multiple cities. These companies share inventories between their guilds, which expands the amount of goods and profit to be made by them. If a trader comes in selling furs and wants salt, and that particular guild doesn't have salt (or doesn't have enough,) that guild will write the trader a promissory note. This note, signed by a company representative, entitles the trader to a certain amount of goods from that company. However, the note is time locked. That is, a person is entitled to whatever amount of goods is equal to that value. If the note, for instance, is good for $5 worth of furs and the value of furs at that location is lesser than where I got the note, I am still entitled to $5 worth of furs. This means I get more furs. These furs can then be taken and sold for a profit elsewhere. But likewise, if the value of furs goes up, I can always hold the note while I wait for the prices to drop or take it elsewhere to another guild of that company in another city where the prices may be lower.