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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2021 :  02:02:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

What's the historical perspective?
Iriaebor was for a long while dominated by competing merchant houses accepting restraint only because escalation is bad for business.
While it's still not clear whose influence produced those fancy spires with whole web of catwalks and bridges...

What would be a "close enough" known example of their starting point? Delzimmer, methinks.
Then moving in "more sophisticated" direction as the town grew would be affected by examples of... what's on its roads?
South: Amn.
East: these ports on Sea of Falling Stars are the whole point. So...
Sembia? It fits well with the general shape of power: merchant houses that suffer from constant infighting until they are sick of it enough to accept some mostly-impartial authority.
But Sembia is also big, it produces and exports many things, rather than just caravan supplies and services. There's a lot to feed growth.
For "more civilized" influences?
Turmish? Perhaps even Ravens Bluff (which was shaped into its "mature" form as a personal project of one high priestess of Waukeen, after all), except without a crowd of adventurers they won't go for knightly orders and be less gung-ho in general.
And then there's Westgate as a constant "don't end up like them, kids" example.
While it's still not clear whose influence produced those fancy spires and web of catwalks...



Since most of the information about Iriaebor is from the 1e-2e era, this is from the perspective of the end of 1371 (there is a later section about what the city looks like post-Second Sundering). I have Iriaebor operating under that name for about 1150 years. It had a couple different names before that and was originally founded by a couple merchants from Cormyr.

When the city first started out, the merchants were more cooperative simply because the area was so dangerous ("only a fool fights in a burning house"). That was born out by the fact that the city was completely destroyed at one point and almost wiped out a second time (in fact, the only reason it wasn't completely abandoned was because of safety offered by the Tor).

As the city increased in size, there were certain individuals and groups that tried to take over the city or even just used it as a source of amusement (the dragon Shhuusshuru). Giants, gnolls, orcs, etc. kept reminding the city just how dangerous the area was. Even then, things were heading in the wrong direction and Iriaebor would have very likely destroyed itself if it hadn't been for the Harpers. It was through their work that Iriaebor's greatest high lord came into power: High Lady Irri yr Yetanza el Netzirn. It was she that changed the government to one for everyone and not just subject to the whims of the Merchants of Iriaebor.

As for the spires, think about it. You have a 50 ft tower on top of a 300 ft plateau. What do you think is going to happen in a thunderstorm? Yep, they were first made as primitive lightning rods but they are going out of style as actual, Gond-inspired, High House of Wonder-made lightning rods have come into use. Of course, they still don't stop people from saying a quick prayer to Talos or Auril (depending on the time of year) as they pass the two shrines on the Path of Appeasement.

Some of the "bridges" are just support to help prevent a tower from falling over (they tend to be there for the gothic-style towers). Actual bridges were also built for various reasons: smuggling, joining two properties owned by the same merchant, a way for lovers to meet for a secret tryst, or even as a symbol about how two merchants were joining forces.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  11:46:47  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban
Technically, there should be a set of landmarks that designates Iriaebor's boundaries but I am lazy enough to not want to create and define those given how much I have already had to come up with for this thing.


Look at that geography! What is important to Iriaebor? Goods from the Sea of Fallen Stars moving West and goods from the Sword Coast moving East. The cheapest route for goods West/East is the following route: to move is up river from Baldur's Gate, to Iriaebor, to Easting, to Proskur, and then downriver to the Dragonmere. Iriaebor is going to want to control monsters and bandits along those routes. It should also want to control land up river of it going to the Far Hills.

Iriaebor has a pretty exposed position. A key choice was whether it wanted the river to its back to either the North or the South and it chose to have the river to it's back to the South. The benefits of this is that it could expand it's borders to the north bank of the Chionthar, and to the Reaching Woods and Far Hills, leaving a gap between Asbravn and the Reaching Woods as its weakest front. That's not a lot of Mountains and sea to anchor its borders, but what are you going to do right? Some rulers in Iriaebor past probably aimed for that at a minimum and then tried to move as far East as possible.

Keeping with the idea that Berdusk and Proskur are independent, though, here's what I think Iriaebor's border should look like:

The border with Berdusk should be roughly halfway between them, being the border in the West. The Sunset Mountains/Far Hills makes a good border to the North. I can see Easting and Asbravn as both being within Iriaebor's sphere of influence if not outright a part of it's territory. I could see it's Western edge being roughly halfway between Easting and Proskur. To the South? I dunno. Iriaebor could choose to claim everything south of it to the Snakewood, but backing that up would be another thing. Any border south of the Chionthar is naturally going to be very fuzzy and shift according to Iriaebor's strength of arms.

I don't know if you will find this useful, but there you go.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

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1289 Posts

Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  17:32:54  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban
Technically, there should be a set of landmarks that designates Iriaebor's boundaries but I am lazy enough to not want to create and define those given how much I have already had to come up with for this thing.


Look at that geography! What is important to Iriaebor? Goods from the Sea of Fallen Stars moving West and goods from the Sword Coast moving East. The cheapest route for goods West/East is the following route: to move is up river from Baldur's Gate, to Iriaebor, to Easting, to Proskur, and then downriver to the Dragonmere. Iriaebor is going to want to control monsters and bandits along those routes. It should also want to control land up river of it going to the Far Hills.

Iriaebor has a pretty exposed position. A key choice was whether it wanted the river to its back to either the North or the South and it chose to have the river to it's back to the South. The benefits of this is that it could expand it's borders to the north bank of the Chionthar, and to the Reaching Woods and Far Hills, leaving a gap between Asbravn and the Reaching Woods as its weakest front. That's not a lot of Mountains and sea to anchor its borders, but what are you going to do right? Some rulers in Iriaebor past probably aimed for that at a minimum and then tried to move as far East as possible.

Keeping with the idea that Berdusk and Proskur are independent, though, here's what I think Iriaebor's border should look like:

The border with Berdusk should be roughly halfway between them, being the border in the West. The Sunset Mountains/Far Hills makes a good border to the North. I can see Easting and Asbravn as both being within Iriaebor's sphere of influence if not outright a part of it's territory. I could see it's Western edge being roughly halfway between Easting and Proskur. To the South? I dunno. Iriaebor could choose to claim everything south of it to the Snakewood, but backing that up would be another thing. Any border south of the Chionthar is naturally going to be very fuzzy and shift according to Iriaebor's strength of arms.

I don't know if you will find this useful, but there you go.




Thanks. Iriaebor, if I am not mistaken, has the largest standing military force on the Chionthar if you take it at the listed 8,000 men. However, even that force can pale compared to the area covered. If that two day's ride is used, that can be quite big. If we take it as 50 miles, that makes the area that Iriaebor would be patrolling larger than the state of Connecticut and almost the size of New Jersey. Connecticut has a total police force of almost 8,000 (as of 2016) but it is only about 2/3rds the size of the Iriaebor area (and that is with modern communications and motorized vehicles). Villages of any size in that area should have their own small force and can expect help from Iriaebor if needed.

Now, Asbravn is about 60 miles from Iriaebor and they have their own force (the Red Cloaks). They can and have asked for help from Iriaebor and it was provided.

Easting is only 42 miles from Iriaebor and has a very small force but they have a very capable militia thanks to the prominent dwarven presence there. Between Easting and Priapurl, you get to the Barony of Maerantede.

Proskur is a cesspool that is 140 miles away from Iriaebor. Since Cormyr is the one that maintains the roads between Cormyr and Proskur, that town is Cormyr's problem (and probably why it was eventually annexed by Cormyr).

South of the Chionthar, that is patrolled by both a gauntlet of troops from Berdusk and three detachments from Iriaebor. They operate out to about a day's ride from the confluence of the north and south forks of the Chionthar. However, they do patrol the Forrest Trail linking Eshpurta and the Chionthar confluence to about the half way point (patrols from Eshpurta handle it south of there).

Both Berdusk and Iriaebor operate river patrols. There is a jointly operated fort at about the half way point on the north side of the river (east of Fendarl's Gate).

Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  18:13:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say one day's ride is more reasonably for active control -- that's the area you actively patrol.

It wouldn't be unreasonable to put outposts further out than that, but those outposts would be more of a "Watch over this smaller area and let us know if anything is coming" type of thing. They'd not be responsible for patrolling that entire range, but they'd at least patrol the area around the outpost.

And obviously, those outposts are going to be in more strategic areas -- you'd not put them all around, you'd concentrate on areas you need to keep an eye on. I see them being positioned closer to important trade routes, at natural chokepoints, and in areas where known threats could come from.

People here sometimes forget that national borders in fantasy settings are a nebulous concept, and quite unlike what we have in the real world we live in now. A nation or city-state may claim that its territory extends so far out, but the reality is that they really only control the area they can effectively patrol. There is going to be a lot of concentration on natural strategic points like mountain passes and river fords, and a lot less focus on large, indefensible areas like open plains.

And however much area they control, it costs money to do so. A more prosperous realm can maintain border outposts and have regular patrols further out -- but this can be cost-prohibitive for smaller realms, and even for the larger realms, it becomes increasingly expensive the further you get from the core of the realm. These costs are not just the wages for the poor schmucks that are stationed out in the middle of nowhere -- you've got to feed them, supply them, build and maintain the physical structures they use as their bases, supply them with horses and everything to take care of the horses...

So whatever area a realm claims, it's simply not realistic for them to control much more than one or two days' ride around the core of the realm and any major fortifications (including cities).

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  20:31:25  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The city says 2 days just so some clown doesn't get the idea to build a stronghold in that area and say that Iriaebor needs to pay him taxes (it has occasionally come up in the past with Iriaebor hiring adventurers to cure the individual of that idea). The 2 days is really just active road patrols. Non-road patrols are much closer in at 1 day or so. Villages here and there will have a barracks/stable for The Shield's use. In exchange, the city pledges to have a patrol there every one to two days. Other villages may see a patrol only once or twice in a 10 day.

If there is trouble reported in an area, a larger force will be sent to deal with it. On occasion, the Black Talons may be sent instead with that becoming the Zhents in the mid to late 1400s.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  09:06:33  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.


I dunno as that they have to be thin as all that. 8,000 is basically two Roman Legions. You had entire Roman provinces, larger than the territory for Iriaebor that I suggest, that could be held down by two legions. (Granted, that Iriaebor's 8,000 would not be organized as a Roman Legion. Iriaebor would want the majority of its army to be calvary that could be deployed fast to where they were needed.)

But lets say that you are correct and 8,000 would be stretched thin. Iriaebor is supposed to be a really happening trade city. Trade. Lots of goods moving. Anybody that wants to go from the Dragonmere to the Chionthar or vis versa has to go through Iriaebor's territory. Through what is essentially a strait. Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade. And they can't find a way to collect enough fees on goods moving through so as to secure their portion of the trade route? They don't have to be the most competent rulers in the world to do that.

Or is the lore that Iriaebor and its trade route are very recently established, being carved out of the frontier in the past hundred years? I could better buy it then.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  12:10:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  15:55:21  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.


I dunno as that they have to be thin as all that. 8,000 is basically two Roman Legions. You had entire Roman provinces, larger than the territory for Iriaebor that I suggest, that could be held down by two legions. (Granted, that Iriaebor's 8,000 would not be organized as a Roman Legion. Iriaebor would want the majority of its army to be calvary that could be deployed fast to where they were needed.)

But lets say that you are correct and 8,000 would be stretched thin. Iriaebor is supposed to be a really happening trade city. Trade. Lots of goods moving. Anybody that wants to go from the Dragonmere to the Chionthar or vis versa has to go through Iriaebor's territory. Through what is essentially a strait. Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade. And they can't find a way to collect enough fees on goods moving through so as to secure their portion of the trade route? They don't have to be the most competent rulers in the world to do that.

Or is the lore that Iriaebor and its trade route are very recently established, being carved out of the frontier in the past hundred years? I could better buy it then.



Iriaebor has been around for a long time. The first canon reference to it that I could find was that El's nephew was there in the 200's. It was founded there because that is the furthest up the Chionthar you can get a barge (moving goods on water is a lot easier and slightly safer than doing it overland).

Iriaebor used to be a violent place. So to keep that down, about 3,000 of the 8,000 are kept within the city at all times. That leaves 5,000 to do the actual patrolling. Each patrol is about 10 men so that would be 500 patrols. But, you also have to take into account days of rest, required training (all members of the Shield are required to be fully trained in both mounted and foot combat), rotation (so that all troops are familiar with city and plains combat), that cuts into that considerably (let's be generous and say that gives us 450 patrols). Oh, we have specific facilities outside the city that need to be guarded. That would knock it down again to say 200 to 300 patrols. So, we have 200 to 300 patrols to cover about 7,700 square miles (with the emphasis on guarding the trade road and river since that is the city's lifeblood).

The actual breakdown of Iriaebor's field forces is:

1 Lord Patrol Commander
5 Shieldmaster
5 Protector
15 Defender
45 Guardian
135 First Shield
405 Patrol Shield
4050 Patrol Targ
4661 Total Patrol
466 Reserves
5127 Total Shield Stationed Outside of Iriaebor

Edit: Fixed the date for El's nephew.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 13 Sep 2021 15:57:56
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  05:39:40  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.



Yes, armies can go around and approach from any direction. I'm not talking about that.

I said, "Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade.

Merchants don't have an incentive to want their goods to stay on wagons between the Dragonmere and the Chionthar any more than they absolutely have to. From the west that means moving goods to the farthest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. From the east that means getting to the closest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. That's Iriaebor.

Everything is a tradeoff. If merchants want to go around Iriaebor, then that means adding additional days to their journey. Unless they have a very good incentive to do so, they won't want to incur the additional time and cost to their journey.

And since this is a fantasy world, the costs for merchants to bypass Iriaebor potentially include monsters and things. So yes, it is a choke point for trade.

Is it the strongest choke point? No. It's not an actual strait.
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  05:43:52  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
TheIriaeban,

What is the population of Iriaebor in the time period that you are working with?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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36611 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  12:34:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.



Yes, armies can go around and approach from any direction. I'm not talking about that.

I said, "Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade.

Merchants don't have an incentive to want their goods to stay on wagons between the Dragonmere and the Chionthar any more than they absolutely have to. From the west that means moving goods to the farthest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. From the east that means getting to the closest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. That's Iriaebor.

Everything is a tradeoff. If merchants want to go around Iriaebor, then that means adding additional days to their journey. Unless they have a very good incentive to do so, they won't want to incur the additional time and cost to their journey.

And since this is a fantasy world, the costs for merchants to bypass Iriaebor potentially include monsters and things. So yes, it is a choke point for trade.

Is it the strongest choke point? No. It's not an actual strait.



They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Sep 2021 12:35:21
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Kelcimer
Learned Scribe

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  13:30:24  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  14:39:30  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

TheIriaeban,

What is the population of Iriaebor in the time period that you are working with?



The population of Iriaebor has been all over the place in canon sources. It has been as high as 81k to a low of 16k. In the FRA, it was the second largest city on the Chionthar (after Baldur's Gate). So, what I did was take the 3e numbers and made Iriaebor the second largest based on that. That gave Iriaebor a population of 40k. Since the other cities seemed to include their forces as part of that number, that makes it 32k residents and 8k military forces.

This is around 1371. It used to be a bit higher but there was a population loss due to the Zhentarim Interregnum in 1363. Around the same time, there was the Far Hills Iron Rush where a bunch of people moved to Asbravn. Otherwise, it would have been larger than 40k in 1371.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  15:15:49  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





Ed has said this about the Chionthar:

"By contrast, the Chionthar is like a shipping channel for much of its length: eighty feet or more wide, thirty feet or more deep, slow-moving in its lower stretch (below the confluence), silty (so one can never see through the waters), and serving as the sewer of the cities along it."

The river is definitely barrier. There are no fordings west of Iriaebor and the next bridge would be the one at Berdusk. There may be a ferry here or there but they aren't very big and it would take a long time to get a caravan across.

Also, people WANT to get north of the Chionthar as quickly as possible. Balagos feels that his territory ends at the Chionthar (north fork) so once a caravan is on the other side of the river, they are safe from him. That also explains why Iriaebor isn't subject to his depredations. (The Chionthar being the border of his territory was very likely a deal he made with Varalla. He doesn't go north of the river and she and her pet black great wyrm doesn't decide to make trouble for him.)

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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36611 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  15:40:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





So what, they tax every single caravan they see, regardless of where it is in their territory? Or are you saying they've walled their entire territory and even further beyond, so it's impossible to bypass it? Don't be ridiculous.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Sep 2021 15:41:47
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sleyvas
Great Reader

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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  17:03:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





Bastards doesn't mean absolute power. Wooly is right. Unless there is some driving reason that some ruler is going to be able to micromanage a vast swathe of territory, things will slip through the cracks. Traders are smart too, and soldiers are disloyal. Nor can most rulers actually do that much micromanagement. Sure, they can tax folks, but they also need to not be so much of an arse about it that people don't like the city. Being hospitable and keeping the taxes lower makes trade amicable. Pissing off caravan masters is not the method to grow your city.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  19:01:08  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed addressed Iriaebor taxes in FRA where he has:

"These huge stables of trained war mounts are used for breeding. Periodically some are sold off, providing the city with much wealth, so Bron taxes only lightly."

Iriaebor taxes are low enough that a vast majority of merchants will go through the city. Sure, there may be a few that will not do that but then they will also have to deal with a higher chance of being attacked since they will be off the heavily patrolled major trade routes.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  22:02:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Ed addressed Iriaebor taxes in FRA where he has:

"These huge stables of trained war mounts are used for breeding. Periodically some are sold off, providing the city with much wealth, so Bron taxes only lightly."

Iriaebor taxes are low enough that a vast majority of merchants will go through the city. Sure, there may be a few that will not do that but then they will also have to deal with a higher chance of being attacked since they will be off the heavily patrolled major trade routes.



Hmm, that's kind of interesting. I wonder what the average useful time is for a warhorse (my google-fu says it takes 4 or 5 years to train one, and they can live to 30, but I'd bet few last past age 10 or 15 before having to be used for less aggressive duty). I know that was written for 2e, but just to use 5e info... warhorse 400 gold... figure half that is cost of raising them in general, including paying trainers. So, 200 gold... and if they sold a thousand a year... not bad. Profit margin may not be THAT good (they may only make 50 gold on each for all I'd know), but still..

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  22:57:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These are NOT your average warhorse. The area is known for its fine mounts and draft animals (that is in FRA, too). For the breed used by Iriaebor, think of something kind of like a cross of a Sosser and Semphari but has been bred for the plains of Sunset Vale, Greenfields, and the Dragon Coast. The breed's base was the herds of horses that were found in the area whose origins were entwined with the Horsemen of Ur (they lived in the area long ago). Each of these animals could easily go for 1200gp if not more since they are closer in quality to a paladin's mount than the average war horse.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Exodite
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  01:55:18  Show Profile Send Exodite a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





So what, they tax every single caravan they see, regardless of where it is in their territory? Or are you saying they've walled their entire territory and even further beyond, so it's impossible to bypass it? Don't be ridiculous.



I could see trade caravans taking overland routes (instead of those coming by barge) being stopped by patrols for a toll charged by the wagon/oxen, obviously at a higher rate than those that go through the city - if those are charged at all. Especially coasters that don't have holdings within the city itself, which may have agreements with city leadership to bypass or lower the fees. If this is the case, caravan masters finding barges that will pick them up just outside of Iriaebor's domain at a more modest fee than the city patrol would charge seems likely. Licit and illicit business dealings revolving around such tolls and trade deals given the location and influence of the city would have to be occuring.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  05:37:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Exodite


I could see trade caravans taking overland routes (instead of those coming by barge) being stopped by patrols for a toll charged by the wagon/oxen, obviously at a higher rate than those that go through the city - if those are charged at all. Especially coasters that don't have holdings within the city itself, which may have agreements with city leadership to bypass or lower the fees. If this is the case, caravan masters finding barges that will pick them up just outside of Iriaebor's domain at a more modest fee than the city patrol would charge seems likely. Licit and illicit business dealings revolving around such tolls and trade deals given the location and influence of the city would have to be occuring.



I don't see it, unless it happens at some sort of physical chokepoint like a bridge or ferry, or some sort of other difficult to bypass terrain feature.

There are three reasons I don't see it.

One is that depending on the route, a caravan could be stopped by multiple patrols -- and if they're getting taxed multiple times while passing a specific area, they're going to avoid that area in the future.

The second is that you're empowering armed men, operating independently and far from supervision, to collect these taxes, and you're expecting them to be honest, not overcharge, and to not keep these bags of gold they'll be traveling with. Not only that, but in additional to standard soldier's training, they'd have to be trained at recognizing various goods and their worth, unless you're charging a flat X gold per wagon fee.

The third is that when entering a city, a merchant is going to expect certain things: a chance to find quarters and supplies, perhaps a chance to recruit more people, a chance for trade, and relative safety while doing all that. These are things that make the taxation worth the expense. If you're bypassing a city, all you're getting from patrols is an assurance of relative safety -- and you've already got your own guards for that, most likely. Merchants asked forced to pay for goods and services they're not receiving are not going to be return customers.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  12:42:59  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Exodite

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





So what, they tax every single caravan they see, regardless of where it is in their territory? Or are you saying they've walled their entire territory and even further beyond, so it's impossible to bypass it? Don't be ridiculous.



I could see trade caravans taking overland routes (instead of those coming by barge) being stopped by patrols for a toll charged by the wagon/oxen, obviously at a higher rate than those that go through the city - if those are charged at all. Especially coasters that don't have holdings within the city itself, which may have agreements with city leadership to bypass or lower the fees. If this is the case, caravan masters finding barges that will pick them up just outside of Iriaebor's domain at a more modest fee than the city patrol would charge seems likely. Licit and illicit business dealings revolving around such tolls and trade deals given the location and influence of the city would have to be occuring.




And then when brigands start dressing up as patrolmen whenever they see a caravan on the horizon and roaming the countryside looking to "tax" people.... who think its legitimate and pay them because its the practice... and then they meet a real patrol and are expected to pay again and don't believe them and it causes a ruckus.

Now the city's reputation is on the line and they MUST find these brigands or suffer bad press. Furthermore, taxation is now haphazard, and people will seek to skirt patrols. Then there will also be patrols that only REPORT having met up with half their caravans OR charge some extra fee that's not on the books.

In other words, this practice invites banditry, discourages caravans interacting with patrols, stealing by patrolmen, and creates an air of distrust of the forces in the region. The pittance you're gaining isn't worth the bad press for your city. Honest trade and benefits gained for going to a city should win the day, or your city will suffer. Corruption is not the way to build a city.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  12:56:53  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

These are NOT your average warhorse. The area is known for its fine mounts and draft animals (that is in FRA, too). For the breed used by Iriaebor, think of something kind of like a cross of a Sosser and Semphari but has been bred for the plains of Sunset Vale, Greenfields, and the Dragon Coast. The breed's base was the herds of horses that were found in the area whose origins were entwined with the Horsemen of Ur (they lived in the area long ago). Each of these animals could easily go for 1200gp if not more since they are closer in quality to a paladin's mount than the average war horse.



Oh, even better. I didn't realize these were treasured horses like those sold by the Nars, etc.... I wonder if any of Waterdeep's noble families that are into horse trading can be linked with Iriaebor (like the Roaringhorn family that is also in Baldur's Gate and Cormyr).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  14:17:25  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

These are NOT your average warhorse. The area is known for its fine mounts and draft animals (that is in FRA, too). For the breed used by Iriaebor, think of something kind of like a cross of a Sosser and Semphari but has been bred for the plains of Sunset Vale, Greenfields, and the Dragon Coast. The breed's base was the herds of horses that were found in the area whose origins were entwined with the Horsemen of Ur (they lived in the area long ago). Each of these animals could easily go for 1200gp if not more since they are closer in quality to a paladin's mount than the average war horse.



Oh, even better. I didn't realize these were treasured horses like those sold by the Nars, etc.... I wonder if any of Waterdeep's noble families that are into horse trading can be linked with Iriaebor (like the Roaringhorn family that is also in Baldur's Gate and Cormyr).



It is canon that the Piiradosts are in Iriaebor so there may be more. The actual reference says that they are a "lesser branch of the family". I am taking that as snobbery towards the nobility of Iriaebor since it is the Golden Table that votes to ennoble a family and most of those votes involve almost open bribery. The nobles in Cormyr would have the same attitude.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 15 Sep 2021 14:20:04
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  17:11:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

These are NOT your average warhorse. The area is known for its fine mounts and draft animals (that is in FRA, too). For the breed used by Iriaebor, think of something kind of like a cross of a Sosser and Semphari but has been bred for the plains of Sunset Vale, Greenfields, and the Dragon Coast. The breed's base was the herds of horses that were found in the area whose origins were entwined with the Horsemen of Ur (they lived in the area long ago). Each of these animals could easily go for 1200gp if not more since they are closer in quality to a paladin's mount than the average war horse.



Oh, even better. I didn't realize these were treasured horses like those sold by the Nars, etc.... I wonder if any of Waterdeep's noble families that are into horse trading can be linked with Iriaebor (like the Roaringhorn family that is also in Baldur's Gate and Cormyr).



It is canon that the Piiradosts are in Iriaebor so there may be more. The actual reference says that they are a "lesser branch of the family". I am taking that as snobbery towards the nobility of Iriaebor since it is the Golden Table that votes to ennoble a family and most of those votes involve almost open bribery. The nobles in Cormyr would have the same attitude.



Oh, where's that at? You've definitely done your research. Thinking with all the horses, it would be fun to have a shrine to Lurue in the city who awakens horses.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  19:04:21  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
2e Waterdeep: City of Splendors, Book IV page 12, it has this:

"Bringing this to the elder lord, Hemmerem was given money to keep this news quiet (and young Piiradost was sent to live with lesser relatives in Iriaebor)."

Edit: Oh, my understanding is that for domesticated horses, it would be Chauntea since her portfolio includes Agriculture (which includes the raising of domesticated animals for food and other uses).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 15 Sep 2021 19:20:41
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TBeholder
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  20:12:39  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban


Proskur is a cesspool that is 140 miles away from Iriaebor. Since Cormyr is the one that maintains the roads between Cormyr and Proskur, that town is Cormyr's problem (and probably why it was eventually annexed by Cormyr).

...and this makes it the problem of anyone wary of Cormyr's expansion.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
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It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  20:44:42  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban


Proskur is a cesspool that is 140 miles away from Iriaebor. Since Cormyr is the one that maintains the roads between Cormyr and Proskur, that town is Cormyr's problem (and probably why it was eventually annexed by Cormyr).

...and this makes it the problem of anyone wary of Cormyr's expansion.



You mean like the fact that Pros, Illipur, Teziir, and Elversult also ends up becoming part of Cormyr (as either a vassal or a protectorate).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  20:53:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

2e Waterdeep: City of Splendors, Book IV page 12, it has this:

"Bringing this to the elder lord, Hemmerem was given money to keep this news quiet (and young Piiradost was sent to live with lesser relatives in Iriaebor)."

Edit: Oh, my understanding is that for domesticated horses, it would be Chauntea since her portfolio includes Agriculture (which includes the raising of domesticated animals for food and other uses).



Well, was more thinking of the part of awakening the horses (i.e. Lurue is goddess of talking beasts).... I was just thinking about bringing a horse up to the auction block and it starts talking about itself. As with many things, it was a stray thought in the many I have.

Picture it:
Pompous noble stands up and puts in a bid of 600 gold like its an amazing amount

Horse says, "Oh, is that all you can afford? I guess that's about right given those clothes your wearing."

Bidding war starts just to prove just who is the most "noble" in the crowd.... and the first noble doesn't want to stop lest he lose face. His fellows egg it on, knowing when to stop, just to push the price up.

Luruar priestess rescues the horse from the noble after its bought

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 15 Sep 2021 20:54:39
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  21:44:31  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

2e Waterdeep: City of Splendors, Book IV page 12, it has this:

"Bringing this to the elder lord, Hemmerem was given money to keep this news quiet (and young Piiradost was sent to live with lesser relatives in Iriaebor)."

Edit: Oh, my understanding is that for domesticated horses, it would be Chauntea since her portfolio includes Agriculture (which includes the raising of domesticated animals for food and other uses).



Well, was more thinking of the part of awakening the horses (i.e. Lurue is goddess of talking beasts).... I was just thinking about bringing a horse up to the auction block and it starts talking about itself. As with many things, it was a stray thought in the many I have.

Picture it:
Pompous noble stands up and puts in a bid of 600 gold like its an amazing amount

Horse says, "Oh, is that all you can afford? I guess that's about right given those clothes your wearing."

Bidding war starts just to prove just who is the most "noble" in the crowd.... and the first noble doesn't want to stop lest he lose face. His fellows egg it on, knowing when to stop, just to push the price up.

Luruar priestess rescues the horse from the noble after its bought



Ah, yes, the Mr. Ed spell.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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