Bell Digest vol11p02.txt

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To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Gerald Bosch)
Subject: RuneQuest Digest Volume 11, no 02, part 1 of 5: Trade in Genertela
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM, (Gerald Bosch)
Comments: Gerald's Trade Notes, part 1
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	Five files of information.  Use it.  No contents
	listing here, as Gerald's submission contained one.
	See below.

	Now a question, did anyone send me anything during
	say, the last six months for inclusion in a digest?
	I admit I've lost track...

	May Issaries bless this document.	

The RuneQuest Digest is published by Henk Langeveld.
It covers all aspects of the Avalon Hill RPG and Greg
Stafford's world of Glorantha.
Contact RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM or 
Henk.Langeveld@Sun.COM for subscription information.
Use those same addresses for submissions.

Trade in Genertela

     My purpose in doing this is to provide gamemasters with a
set of tools to run trader characters and also to allow them to
fill in the background more fully.  The way that household
production works, for example, will determine what goods are
available for trade, but it also contributes to how the family
works, what that farmyard the characters walk into looks like,
how cities work... any number of things.  I want to allow the
gamemaster who likes world-spanning campaigns to be able to run
trade all over, while also allowing the gamemaster who runs
detailed local campaigns to get a better feel for the productive
life of his community.  It is important to bear in mind that all
this is very much my vision of Glorantha.  I tried to hold to the
written sources, but in the absence of other material, I decided
what regions I thought should produce various goods, what regions
would want them, what things were important to include and what
to ignore, so feel free to take issue with any of this and to use
and discard at will.

     I have confined myself to the regions and cultures described
in the Genertela source pack.  These notes are really only about
human trade.  Although Trolls are superficially similar to humans
in some ways relating to trade, Mostali and Aldryami (not to
mention Dragonnewts!) are so alien in needs and in mindset that
their economic priorities are bound to be different than those of
mortal humans who must produce and consume to survive.



     Notes on Trade
          Profit and Trade
          Production and Consumption

     Commodity Trade Notes
          Luxury Goods
          Magic Goods

     Regional Trade Notes
          The Rest of the World

     Notes on Trading Cults


Notes on Trade:


     In trying to discuss trade in Genertela, I will be using a
number of idea from economic theory (but rarely discussing
them...that was close, huh?).  To do this, I am assuming that
certain things that economists hold to be true on Earth are also
true on Glorantha:

     1. Relative scarcity determines value:
          In other words, the value of a good is determined by
how much there is, how many people want it, and how badly those
people want it.

     2. All other things being equal, people will give up as
little as possible for whatever it is they want.
          A person looking at identical or interchangeable goods
will buy the cheaper one.  This does not mean, however, that a
rabid Sartarite patriot wouldn't buy something at higher cost
from an Issaries merchant that he could get cheaper from that
hated Etyries merchant.  In addition to his goods, he is buying
the right to trade with who he wants.

     3. The Gloranthan economy operates like pre-industrial
economies on Earth.
          This is probably the most controversial assumption I'm
making, but I think it holds up.  This doesn't mean I'm thinking
in direct analogues (although this seems plausible with the
West):  For example, my ideas about Peloria combine agricultural
techniques from Mesoamerica with irrigation techniques from the
Nile and an agricultural and marketing organization from ancient
Rome.  I believe the fit is general, and varies by location.

     4. Material concerns interact equally with socio-cultural
concerns in shaping Gloranthan economic realities.
          I'm rejecting the idea that the material realities
determine the cultural ones as well as the idea that culture
overrides material concerns.  Both interact to create the
Gloranthan landscape (I include the mythic with the cultural).

Profit and Trade:

     One important idea to consider when designing elements of
the game related to trade is that people exchange things for
other things because they believe that what they are getting is
worth more than what they are giving up.  In other words, people
are seeking profit in exchanges- they are not simply trading in
order to trade.  Profit can assume many forms beyond the
acquisition of material wealth.  A piece of art provides an
aesthetic value beyond its purchase price to one who appreciates
it, whatever the general market price.  A donation to a charity
can provide the giver a certain social status, the feeling of
having others be grateful, or just joy in the happiness of
others.  Each of these id profit of a sort.

     This doesn't mean that people are always happy about the
terms of exchange.  A person dying of dehydration in the Vulture
Country might not want to give up all their metal goods to those
Bison Riders in return for water, but if they value their life
above their goods, they will make the exchange.  This is an
important point-- just because someone doesn't like the trade
they are making doesn't mean they aren't making a "profit". 
Merchants turning a decent profit have been complaining about the
prices they pay and the value they receive since time immemorial. 
In the absence of physical force (i.e. theft or taxation), people
will not exchange goods unless they think they are getting more
than they are giving up.

     When determining whether trade in a good exists between two
places, there are a number of factors to consider:

          1) Supply--Is there a surplus of the good at the point
of production?  How much are they willing to give up?  What do
the producers want for it?

          2) Demand--Is there a demand for the good elsewhere? 
If so, do those who want the good have the means to pay for it?

          3) Substitutability--Is there a local good that can
replace the good in question?  If there is, why do the locals
want to pay to import the foreign good? (Why would a Praxian
tribe buy Sartarite leather goods when they can make the stuff
themselves?--If there isn't some other factor, such as superior
durability or attractiveness, that offsets the difference in
cost, they probably wouldn't.)

          4) Transportation costs--Can the good be moved from
point A to point B?  If so, how much will it cost to do so?  A
famous economist once said that a market for a particular good on
Earth and the same market on Mars can be said to be linked, the
only difference in price is the cost of transportation.  Whether
the consumer is willing to pay that additional cost will
determine whether a trade route can develop between two points.


     The means for moving goods from point A to point B are
vitally important in understanding trade.  Goods can be moved in
four ways, listed here in descending order of cost: human power,
animal power, wagon, and water.

     The costliest way of moving goods is by having humans carry
them.  Human beings are weaker than any draft animal, and more
stubborn.  They can, however, adapt themselves to conditions no
animal could.

     Animals have a much higher capacity than humans for carrying
goods.  They are also able, depending on the species, to move
over broken and difficult ground.  They are, however, susceptible
to a number of diseases and environmental conditions, and must be
fed and watered.  Animals transporting goods cannot simply graze,
because while they are moving around in search of edible ground
cover, they aren't hauling their loads from point A to point B.

     An animal's capacity for moving goods is greatly increased
by hitching them to wagons.  The problem is that wagons require
either relatively flat and open ground or roads.  Some areas of
Genertela are blessed with good road systems, but many are not.

     By far the least expensive way of moving goods is water
transport.  Even in the modern world, a longer sea voyage is
usually preferable to a shorter land voyage for most bulk goods,
hence bulk goods being shipped from one coast of the U.S. to
another are routinely shipped via Panama rather than by rail. 
Water transport is also generally faster and more reliable.  In
the Eighteenth century it took less time for a piece of mail to
travel from Boston to London than it did for a piece of mail to
travel from London to the West Country of Ireland.

     Long distance land-based trade is usually only possible with
low-bulk, high value goods.  The spice and silk trade between
Europe and Asia is a good example.  Even that trade, however,
used rivers and seas wherever possible.  The trade in Indian
cottons, by comparison, was only possible once sea links around
Africa had been secured.

     Gloranthan caravans were greatly stimulated by the Closing,
and are now slowly being strangled by competition from the sea. 
When adventurers do encounter caravans, they can be sure they
will be laden with highly valuable and relatively easily
transportable goods.

Production and Consumption:

     The purpose for all economic activity is consumption, the
use of resources be they food, clothing, magic goods, whatever. 
Any process that leads to consumption is production, from
gathering walnuts to manufacturing a Protection 4 Matrix.  Trade
only exists as a way to convert production into different types
of consumption (Trading the Protection 4 Matrix you
manufactured/produced for a fine horse you want to use/consume.)

     The bulk of people in Glorantha are engaged in primary
production, in using their labor to provide directly for their
own needs.  They are farmers, herders, or hunters and they spend
the bulk of their time producing food, shelter, and clothing. 
This is true even in those societies that are the most highly
urbanized.  These people produce most of what they consume and
consume most of what they produce, leaving little surplus for
trade.  A minority of people are involved in secondary
production, the trading of skills and labor for the necessities
of life.  These people include everyone from warriors to artisans
to merchants to nobles to priests, anyone who doesn't actual
kill, raise, or grow their own food.

     If we use the cultural categories provided by RuneQuest
(primitive/hsunchen, nomad, barbarian, civilized) we can see an
increasing specialization of economic functions, leading to
increasing numbers of people working in secondary production. 

     Almost all production amongst the various hsunchen peoples
is primary.  Only shamen exist off of selling their skills to the
tribe.  The rest of these hunter-gatherers produce all their
necessities themselves and consume very few things they do not
produce.  If terrestrial hunter-gatherers are any guide, the bulk
of their diet is actually produced by gathering (usually done by
the women and children).  What trade they engage in is mostly
geared toward luxury items.  They usually have no formal market
structures, and outside traders hoping to deal with them must go
to where they are liable to have congregated.

     The nomadic cultures of Pent and Prax are somewhat more
specialized economically than the various hsunchen peoples, but
are still mostly self-sufficient.  Most nomads are herder,
hunter, craftsperson, warrior, all combined.  Once again, if
terrestrial models are any guide, most of these people's diet
comes from non-animal sources, either gathering or small-scale
gardening at semi-permanent camps.  Part of this role in Prax is
taken up by the Oasis Peoples.  The nomads are somewhat more
inclined towards trade with livestock acting as the basis of

     The biggest step toward economic specialization comes with
agriculture.  The Theyalans are able to support a wide range of
secondary producers, including nobles, priests, specialized
craftspeople, and merchants.  The food production of the Theyalan
cultures is somewhat specialized between pastoralists and
agriculturalists, but most Orlanthi are small peasant free-
holders growing grain, gardening, and raising some livestock. 
Local trade is dominated by village markets linked into larger
trade patterns with the cities.  Most people are still rather
removed from trade and are mostly self-sufficient except for
certain manufactured goods.

     The Western, Pelorian, and Kralorelan cultures enjoy an even
higher level of economic specialization than does the Theyalan. 
In each of these areas, most people are peasant farmers whose
lives are very similar to those in Theyalan culture.  The major
difference is that most of these are not free-holders, they are
required to pay a portion of their crop to a landlord (usually a
nobleman).  Supplementary agricultural labor (beyond what the
household can provide) usually comes from the local poor or from
one-year indentures of young people from other families.

     These cultures also have a number of primary producers who
are bound to the land in one sense or another.  They may be the
serfs who live in the farming villages of Seshnela or the coloni
working the huge grain farms of the Lunar Heartland, but in each
case they own next to nothing and are unable to leave the land
without permission.

     Most trading among these farmers, bound and unbound, is very
small scale.  There are regular local produce markets that also
provide access to a limited amount of goods from outside the

     The economic specialization of these cultures also allows
them to support an urban society comprised of merchants,
craftspeople and a small wage labor market.  It is in the urban
areas that the bulk of trade goes on.  These people use money
more often than their rural counterparts, allowing them more
access to a wider variety of goods.

     Most urban wage-earning families supplement their income
with small-scale gardening.  The keeping of gardens and livestock
within cities was more common than not until recent times.  There
are estimates that suggest that as much as one-third of the
support for an urban family in the industrial northeast of the US
during the nineteenth century came from gardening, raising
animals, and selling homebrew (all of this done entirely by the
women and children, who were also wage-earners).  I assume this
is also the case in Gloranthan cities.

     Household production plays a large part in most industries
(especially textiles).  When Europeans were paying top money for
Indian textiles, most of the Indian textile production was done
in the home.  An entrepreneur would bring around raw materials
and then come back later and buy the finished pieces which he
then sold to the cloth merchants.  The same "out-work" system
also operated in Europe.  This system is in operation in most
areas of Genertela, but in Fronela and Teshnos especially.

     Young, unmarried craftspeople, who are learning their
trades, join a skilled craftsperson's house, and are supported by
the household system. When supplemented with unskilled wage
labor, this system produces the urban workshops that are the
genesis of modern factories.  This type of production is common
in Safelster, Peloria, and Kralorela.

     The end result of these different types of manufacturing are
rarely sold directly.  The manufacturer usually sells to a
merchant who then retails the item to the consumer. 

     Large-scale retailing is a result of industrialization,
modern transportation, mass production, an urban society, and the
fact that mean individual income in the west has increased by a
factor of twelve since 1700.  Without all of these elements,
there is no support for modern retail stores.  This doesn't mean
that people in Glorantha, particularly in towns, don't buy
things.  It means that most things are bought on a piecework
basis.  The model is a tailor shop.  A person walks in and orders
an item of clothing, the tailor takes measurements and then makes
that item from raw materials in stock, and then sells it to the
customer.  Some common items will be held in stock, but not many. 
Most things will be made-to-order.

     We can think about Gloranthan trade as falling into two
broad categories: local and long-distance.   Local trade usually
occurs within a cluster of villages which have a regular market
in a central village.  Other possibilities include meetings
between different clans or tribes among hsunchen and nomadic
peoples.  The trade is in locally produced goods.  One village
has a bumper crop of yams, another has had a bad year, but has
cloth to trade.  There is also trade for superior versions of
commonly made goods. One example might be a metalsmith who is
known to be particularly skilled, so people from all over the
area come to trade with him, bypassing other smiths.  Another
example is a particular nomad who is very good at leatherworking,
so other nomads trade extra meat or milk to him for items they
could produce themselves, but not as well.

     The villages (or meeting places, or whatever) on the
peripheries of these clusters will be linked to another cluster
and so on... Villages that have local markets one week can also
trade in markets in neighboring villages on others.  Villages
close to a city might schedule their marketing around that city's
market days.  For nomads and hsunchen, this type of marketing
would occur at oases, clanmoots, or during religious ceremonies
that bring different groups together at regular intervals.

     These markets facilitate local trade, but they can also act
as a conduit for transferring goods from further away in short
jumps, one market to another.  Thus they are also part of long-
distance trade.  A trader at a local market sells goods that are
not produced locally.  Some of these goods will be consumed in
the area where they are originally sold, but others will be
carried to the next market by another local trader, and so on,
until there is no profit left to be gained from another re-sale.

     There is also the case of the wandering merchant who tries
to by-pass the costs of these repeated re-sales.  This merchant
buys his goods at the point of production, then by-passes several
intermediate local markets to sell directly to a more distant

     The other component in long-distance trade is the
stereotypical large international merchant.  This person operates
in a major port or other large trading hub, and has shipping
contacts, or owns their own shipping.  They buy goods in large
quantities from some distance away for import or from local
producers for export.  These merchants sell the goods to smaller
retail traders who then introduce them into local trade. (A large
vertically-integrated firm could combine these operations--the
same person owns the production facilities, the necessary
transportation, and employs smaller merchants to sell the goods. 
The Hausa of West Africa are good examples of pre-modern traders
of this type.)  They also buy their local products from these
smaller traders, who in turn buy them from the actual producers
(see my comments about "out-work" in the discussion on textiles).

     Much of this cycle of trading will originate in a city. 
Local trading has been continual in human history, but the
evolution of large-scale commerce has always been linked to the
towns.  This is why Europe's mercantile age began with the
Italian renaissance and why China has one of the longest
commercial traditions in human history.  The population densities
associated with urban cultures encourage specialization of labor
and trade.

     Note that the Issaries cult has sub-cults which reflect each
of these types of trader.  The Harst trader is the local villager
who supplements his or her income by small-scale trading.  The
Goldentongue is the wandering merchant, moving from city to local
market, and then between local markets.  The Garzeen is the
large-scale trader specializing in foreign trade.  Thus, a
Garzeen merchant in a large city buys goods from a distant place
(perhaps brought in by a Goldentongue caravan).  The Garzeen
sells these goods to several Goldentongue merchants and some
local smaller-scale urban Garzeen retailers.  The Goldentongues
then take the goods out into the countryside, selling them to
smaller-scale Goldentongues who carry the goods to further
markets, local Harst traders who sell to their neighbors, and
local consumers.  The Lokarnos and Etyries cults may or may not
have the same sort of sub-cults, but they would definitely have
members fulfilling the same roles.


From henkl@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sat Sep  3 16:44 EDT 1994
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To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Gerald Bosch)
Subject: Volume 11, no 02, part 2 of 5: Commodity Trade Notes
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     Food: Rural areas and people living in wildernesses tend to
be self-sufficient in foodstuffs (and if they fall short they
rarely have the wherewithal to purchase food).  Merchants
involved in food trading are usually trying to sell to cities. 
Long distance trade in foodstuffs is probably rather rare.

     Foodstuffs tend to have a low value to weight ratio making
them expensive to transport.  There is also the problem of
perishability.  Grains will usually stand up to transportation,
but most fruits, vegetables, meat, and animal produce (milk,
eggs, etc...) will be produced locally (within a day's journey),
even in the case of cities (research indicates that medieval
cities fed themselves from sources within 30 kilometers, except
where access to navigable rivers or the sea was possible). 
Whatever isn't produced locally will have to be preserved in some
way (dried, salted, etc...).  Most cities will have people
keeping livestock inside the city proper.

     Water transportation will allow for long distance trading in
grains, but only when there is a good market waiting at the other
end of the journey.  All Gloranthan economies are agrarian,
pastoral, or hunter/gatherer, and thus are mostly self-
sufficient.  Even when an area experiences a famine, it is
unlikely that those starving will have anything to trade for
imported foods (for a terrestrial example of this, see eastern
Africa for the last few decades).  Long distance trade in foods
will usually exist in order to feed a city.  A city provides for
a market and for the necessary concentration of wealth to make
such a trade profitable.  This is one of the reasons why pre-
industrial cities tended to be on or near bays or rivers, access
to the necessary water transport allowed food prices to be kept
low enough to allow that concentration of population to develop. 
The best terrestrial example of a pre-industrial long distance
trade in food is ancient Rome, which was able to feed itself on
Sicilian and Egyptian grain.

     The Oslir river is one of the most important grain routes in
Genertela.  Given the magical ecology of the region, it seems
likely that the Oslir floods regularly, like the Nile, and thus
provides rich harvests and ready transportation.  The Poralistor
is important for moving Oslir valley grain throughout the Lunar
Empire.  The Lunar Empire subsidizes grain shipments and other
trade through the Sweet Sea and down the Janube into Fronela (see
my notes on the Etyries cult below).  This trade has been
disrupted by the rise of the Kingdom of War, leading to higher
grain prices in Sog City and more importation from the sea.

     Choralinthor bay is another busy place for grain ships. 
Esrolian grain feeds the entire basin.  The Lysos would provide
inland transport capacity, although the Upland Marsh would
prevent Esrolian grain from moving much further north by water. 
The excellent roads in Sartar make overland grain transport
somewhat less expensive, allowing Esrolian grain into the area
even though  Dragon Pass is fairly self-sufficient in terms of
food.  Esrolian grain is also be sold as far west as Ralios
(through Handra and the riverain trade route), Seshnela (through
Noloswal) and Fronela (through Sog City) if grain prices in those
regions are high enough (due to bad local harvests, war, good
harvests in Esrolia, etc...), although these areas are also
usually self-sufficient.

     The waterways of Kralorela are filled with barges moving
rice to the rest of the region, and perhaps into the East Isles
as well (but probably not to Vormain).  It seems unlikely,
however, that there is any foreign trade in grain with the west.

     Textiles: Textiles were one of the earliest and most
important long distance trade items in human history, as well as
being on of the earliest and most important manufacturing
industries.  Most textiles (and I include raw materials, cloth,
and finished goods in that term), like most other items in
Glorantha, are produced, traded, and consumed locally.  Most
rural families produce their own clothes, only in cities will one
find tailor's shops, although rural families might buy high
quality ready-made cloth as a luxury item.

     Most traded textiles are produced through the "out-work"
system.  An entrepreneur buys raw materials, sells them to
skilled producers who usually work in the home, buys the finished
cloth from them, and then sells the cloth.  In the absence of
modern commercial retailing, mass produced clothing is non-
existent, although certain unfitted items, like cloaks, togas,
saris, etc... will be made in advance of sale.  Some large cities
support large workshops similar to small factories.

     Only high quality textiles will be traded over any distance. 
The most significant example is silk from Kralorela.  Although
most areas of Glorantha produce small amounts of silk, the
majority of that cloth comes from Chi Ting, home of the "Friendly
Silkworms".  Kralorela's other textile needs are met internally. 
The Kingdom of Ignorance could provide a potential market for
foreign woolens, but the inhabitants are too cut off and poor to
afford them.  Silk provides one of Kralorela's main exports.

     High quality cotton goods are produced in western Peloria
and in Teshnos.  The Teshnan cotton is grown in the countryside
and processed in Dombain.  The resulting fabric is called Teshnan
and is exported to Kethaela and to the West.  Pelorian cotton is
grown around Oronin Lake, then shipped up the Poralistor to Elz
Ast where a guild of skilled craftsmen creates Elzastin cloth. 
Elzastin is exported down the Poralistor to the Sweet Sea and
then to Fronela, and up the Oslir into the empire and onward
through Dragon Pass into Kethaela.

     Fronelan craftspeople produce a high quality linen from flax
grown around Ozur Bay.  The cloth woven in Northpoint and
Southpoint is called Fronelan Point and is exported upriver to
Peloria, and by sea to Seshnela and Kethaela.

     Tarshite, Sartarite, and Heortland raw wool is shipped to
Nochet where a high quality woolen industry operates.  These
woolens are then shipped west to Seshnela, Ralios, and Fronela,
and north through Dragon Pass into Peloria.

     Metals: (For purposes of simplicity I will use the names of
terrestrial equivalents for all metals.) Most common ores suffer
from the same problem that food does, a low value to weight ratio
that makes it unprofitable to transport them very far.  The
solution here is the same as with grain--water transport.  Most
common metals will not be moved very far before being processed
and sold, in that most places in Genertela are relatively close
to sources for those metals, except in the case of Prax.  There
we find a vibrant overland trade in metal goods, but one that is
being slowly supplanted by imports through Corflu and up to

     One further note on Prax: Do not underestimate the
importance of the trade in more mundane metal items, such as
tools and knives.  Flint and bone are simply not as good for
these uses (imagine trying to skin an animal with a sharpened
piece of flint, and you can understand).

     Iron is, of course, the most valuable metal in Glorantha,
and thus can absorb fairly high transport costs before losing its
value.  This makes iron in Glorantha a lot like gold on Earth, a
very useful medium for long distance exchange, but with the added
benefit of having a number of practical uses as well.

     The major source of iron for Genertela is the Iron Mountains
in Seshnela.  Lesser sources include Bad Deal in Ralios, Noastor
in the Jord Mountains of Peloria, and Dwarf Mine in Dragon Pass. 
Despite the existence of the Iron Forts, there seems to be no
source of iron in Kralorela (My theory is that these are
artifacts from before the God's War and as such are outside
normal explanations).

     The iron trade routes generally run west to east along the
coast, with iron getting more expensive along the way.  With the
array of trade goods being exported from Kralorela and Teshnos
(see below), a trading situation much like that between pre-
industrial Europe and Asia has arisen.  Textiles, spices, and
luxury goods are traded westward while iron, other precious
metals, and gems are traded eastward.  This drain on "specie"
keeps iron prices and the value of money high in Genertela.

     Gold runs a close second to iron in value in Glorantha. 
Gold has a slightly higher value among the solar cultures in
Peloria and Kralorela due to its mythical links with the Sun. 
All official monetary transactions in Kralorela are carried out
in gold, although there is a vibrant "shadow economy" in other
specie.  In Peloria the existing solar currency has been
supplemented by a more diverse Lunar currency.

     The magical ecology of Genertela also has ensured that these
two areas are the major sources of gold in Glorantha.  Large
deposits exist in the Shan Shan mountains and in open pit mines
in Dara Happa.  Smaller alluvial deposits can be found in most
rivers running from the Rockwood mountains, especially in
Wenelia.  Gold is widely circulated throughout Genertela, but
there is a definite specie drain towards Kralorela.

     Silver runs well behind iron and gold in value, but is
widely circulated.  There is little specie drain of silver toward
Kralorela, and thus silver prices remain stable in terms of local
goods and are dropping in terms of gold (as gold becomes more
scarce, less gold will buy an equal amount of silver).  This
makes silver a more stable medium for currency and helps explain
its prevalence in Genertela west of the Wastes.  There are
numerous silver mines in Genertela, but the largest sources are
in the Storm Mountains south of Dragon Pass.

     The next most valuable metal is Quicksilver or Aluminum.  It
is little traded in most of Genertela, however.  The only source
for it is trade with Mermen.  It is mostly valued for decorative
purposes or for curiosity, although some western sorcerers value
it for magical purposes.  There is a rumor that Vormain contains
a land-accessible source of the metal.  There is another rumor
that purchasers for the Lunar Empire have been snatching up
whatever pieces they can get in the markets around Choralinthor

     Tin is valued mostly for its usefulness in creating bronze. 
The major source of tin in Genertela is mines in Caladraland. 
Kethaelan merchants trade tin north to Tarsh (up the Lysos, then
overland for a short distance), west by sea to Ralios (through
Handra), Seshnela, and Fronela, and east by sea to Kralorela.

     Bronze is the most commonly used metal in Glorantha.  It is
made up of the bones of dead Storm gods and, since the Storm gods
fought and died everywhere, is as common as iron ore on Earth. 
There are open pit bronze mines everywhere, except Prax, the
Wastes, and Pent.  There are probably ore deposits there as well,
but they remain undiscovered due to the difficulties involved in
prospecting amongst the nomads.  The bronze supply in central
Genertela is supplemented by the availability of tin from
Caladraland, which, when mixed with easily available copper, also
creates bronze.  Because of this, bronze is slightly cheaper in
Kethaela, Dragon Pass, and southern Peloria than it is elsewhere. 
This lower price helps bolster the trade into Prax.  Most bronze
trading occurs inside the broader regions of Genertela.

     Copper is an common metal due to its association with the
very deities who make up the earth (or perhaps its association is
due to its ubiquity).  Almost any mountainous region on Glorantha
will have some copper deposits, and most rivers will have
alluvial deposits. (Since the Aldryami commonly use copper, and I
can't picture them mining, in my campaign most of their copper
comes from rivers in the forests and the rest from trading with
humans).  The largest copper deposits are found in the Mislari
mountains and in those rivers running from them.  Ralian mine
owners pay the Basim for the right to mine areas close to the
riverain trade route to Handra.  This is the only copper
exporting area in Genertela.

     Lead is most valued among the Uz, but human have uses for it
as well, especially in certain types of decorating and
manufactures.  The most active human trading in lead occurs in
the cities of Safelster in Ralios, where the manufacturing
interests buy lead ore from the Argan Argar caravans operating
between Guhan and Halikiv.

     Luxury Goods: This is a catch-all term for a wide variety of
low-bulk, high-value goods that only those with at least moderate
wealth can afford.  This can include any number of items, but I
will discuss essences/perfumes, gemstones, woods, beverages,
drugs, herbs, spices, and slaves.

     Essences and perfumes, like most goods, will mostly be
produced and consumed locally.  Only a few special items command
sufficient price to be shipped long distances.  The following is
a list of expensive scents used in Genertela and their places of

Red Lotus      Kralorela
Orchid         Teshnos
Frankincense   Fonrit
Myrrh          Umathela
Purple Rose    Ralios
Peony          Peloria
Lavender       Fronela

     The single most important source of gemstones in Glorantha
is Caladraland in Maniria.  The Mostali of Gemborg sell diamonds,
rubies and sapphires to traders who then sell them throughout
Genertela.  Caladraland and the Shadow Plateau are both major
sources of onyx as well.  Choralinthor Bay and the inland
waterways of Kralorela are both sources for pearls.  Kralorela is
also the only source for jade.  Emeralds are imported from the
East Isles, and are highly prized.  Another precious material is
ivory, the major sources of which are walrus tusks from the White
Sea and elephant tusks from Teshnos.

     There are two types of wood that are widely traded in
Genertela.  The first is a broad category called dyewoods.  As
the name suggests, these woods are source for various dyes. 
Different dyewoods can be found in coastal Wenelia, Fethlon in
Teshnos, and on various of the East Isles.  Another highly prized
wood is sandalwood, which grows in Teshnos.  Sandalwood is used
for making decorative boxes and very expensive furniture (like
thrones) in central Genertela.

     A number of high quality beverages enter into long distance
trade.  Peloria, Esrolia, and Sartar are each known for
distinctive types of whiskey, the finest of which are traded with
each other, into Prax, and to the west.  The Dara Happa region is
known for a variety of fine quality wines and brandies which find
a ready foreign market to the south and west.  Teshnos and
Kralorela both produce distinctive teas which are highly valued
in western and central Genertela.  Caladraland produces coffee
for most of Genertela.  A distinctive coffee grown only in
Jrustela called Blue Mountain has recently begun to reappear in
small amounts in major trading ports.

     A few drugs are also traded for those wealthy enough to
afford them.  Hazia smuggling from Prax into Peloria continues
despite continual efforts by solar cults at both ends to wipe it
out.  Opium is grown and used in Teshnos and is also traded into
Kralorela for silks and gold, despite official disapproval. 
Increasing amounts of opium are appearing in the other trading
cities of Genertela.  Can Shu, the current Exarch of Bliss in
Ignorance is subsidizing exports of Black Lotus Dust.  Most of
this goes into the rest of Kralorela, Teshnos, Vormain, and the
East Isles, but some is making its way into the rest of
Genertela.  Small amounts of the drug have always been carried
into Peloria via Pentan nomads.

     Some herbs are traded over long distances.  Belladonna and
Hemlock from Esrolia play a major role in Lunar Dart
Competitions.  Aloe from Teshnos and Kralorela finds a ready
market in most major cities, so much so that entrepreneurs have
tried to transplant it into the Zola Fel valley.  Wenelian
camomile is used throughout Kethaela and Dragon Pass as a cold
remedy.  A number of cantharides are made from the giant beetles
of Dagori Inkarth and are traded into the major cities of the
Oslir valley as cures and aphrodisiacs.

     Spices have long been a staple of international trade on
Earth and the same is true on Glorantha.  Cloves, cinnamon, and
nutmeg from the East Isles are increasing sought in central
Genertela generally.  Kralorelan black pepper is a major export
item, as is Caladraland's red pepper.  One spice whose popularity
is rapidly growing throughout central and western Genertela is
processed sugar.  First grown in Teshnos, sugar cane has now been
transplanted into the lower Zola Fel valley by Lunar
entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on this quickly growing market.

     The slave trade is an unpleasant fact of life in much of
Glorantha.  There are a number of problems with long-distance
trading in slaves, especially the injury to the slaves (thereby
lessening their selling price) and the danger of revolt/escape (a
cargo of silks rarely tries to kill the merchant carrying them!). 
In terrestrial history, most long-distance trading in slaves was
an adjunct to another, more lucrative trade (gold in the trans-
Saharan trade, and the general vibrancy of the Mediterranean
trade).  The exception was the Atlantic trade to the slave
plantations in which there was a combination of unusually low
costs at the point of purchase, cheap transport rates since the
trade was almost entirely by sea or river, and a very high demand
at the end due to the extremely lucrative nature of the early
Atlantic commodities trade.  In general, Genertelan slave trading
is liable to be fairly local and fairly small scale except in
areas with large slave-worked agricultural industries.

     Extensive use of slaves in the households of the rich is
common in Peloria and in Kralorela, and less so elsewhere.  There
are only a few areas in Genertela that support chattel slavery
such as existed in the Atlantic slave economy on Earth.  The huge
grain farms of Peloria are worked by slaves, mostly locals or war
captives of the Lunar Empire.  The sugar plantations in the Zola
Fel valley and in Teshnos are slave worked, as are the tea
plantations of Teshnos and Kralorela.  Some rice farming in
Kralorela is done by slaves as well.  These areas get their
supplies locally, since there is no abundant source of cheap
slaves such as Africa was in the 16th to 19th centuries.

     Some written sources have named Prax as a source for slave
exports, but it seems unlikely given the low population density
there and the difficulties in transporting slaves overland. 
Also, it seems likely that the slaves taken in Praxian tribal
conflicts are more valuable for their ability to increase the
tribal workforce than they would be for trade.  It is more likely
that the vast majority of Praxian slaves are bought by other
Praxians or people living in the Pavis and the Zola Fel valley.

     Magic goods: Magical goods are a mixed bag when it comes to
trade value.  They are high-value, low-bulk goods, and so are
excellent for trade.  Many of them, however, are also widely
available and thus do not gain value by being transported (as
does, say, bronze when you move it from Sartar to Pavis).  Given
the widespread nature of the God's War, it seems likely that
magic crystals are available in each major region.  They will be
traded locally, but are unlikely to be widely traded between

     Since truestone is only found in Prax, it is an exception to
the general run of magical goods.  It will gain in value the
farther it is transported from Prax, but only for those who can
use it (i.e. theists).

     It seems likely that most traders in magical goods will
specialize in supplying regional markets.  An Issaries merchant
might go to someone capable of making spirit magic matrices (I
use the Gustbran cult for this) and commission them to make, say,
ten Protection 4 matrices on rings.  The merchant will then haul
these rings to a place where there is no local capacity for
creating such rings and where there is liable to be unfulfilled
demand for them (such as an encamped army).

     Temples won't create divine magic matrices for sale, nor
will most sorcerers.  Such items come to market because the
original owners lost them (usually through violence).  Spirit
magic matrices and crystals are another matter, these are traded
by specialty merchants to those few clients able to buy them.


From henkl@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM Sat Sep  3 16:46 EDT 1994
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Message-Id: <9409032042.AA27420@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Gerald Bosch)
Subject: Volume 11, no 02, part 3 of 5: Regional Trade Notes, Part I
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM, (Gerald Bosch)
Comments: Gerald's Trade Notes, part 3
Sender: Henk.Langeveld@Holland.Sun.COM
Content-Return: Prohibited
Precedence: junk

     In these notes I will concentrate on major imports and
exports, as well as notable internal trades.  It would be
impossible to describe every aspect of trading in Genertela. 
What I have tried to do here has been to suggest ideas which the
gamemaster can then expand upon for regional development as well
as providing a little detail for use when PCs are "just passing

     I have tried to remain faithful to what documentation I have
available to me, but in some cases I have had to make things up
out of whole cloth.  I hope you find my improvising useful and
know that you will chuck anything you don't like in any case!


     Imports: iron and horses from Seshnela, Ralian manufactures,
indigo and other dyes, grain from Peloria and sometimes Esrolia,
textiles from Esrolia and the East, small amounts of luxury goods

     Exports: Sorcerous items and knowledge from Sog City,
Fronelan Point linens, bearhounds (large canines sought as
fighting dogs in Seshnela and points east)

          Fronelan trade has begun to revive since the lifting of
the Syndics Ban and the end of the Closing.  Local trade is
structured around small village fairs in the more settled areas
and around clan centers in the wilder ones.  The major local crop
is barley, but various other grains are also cultivated.  Another
major local crop is flax, which is used in the production of
linen cloth.

     The Janube River creates a natural trade corridor through
the center of the region and is the most natural link between
Peloria and the west.  The existence of the Kingdom of War,
however, stifles much of this opportunity due to its position
astride the Janube.

     Internal trade is divided into two zones, east and west, by
the blocking of the Janube.  Trade in western Fronela is
dominated by Sog City and Loskalmi merchants.  Trade in eastern
Fronela is dominated by the link between Riverjoin and the Sweet
Sea.  Most traders in this area are Etyries cultists.

     There is a caravan route from the High Llama Pass to
Eastpoint allowing Etyries merchants to trade Pelorian imports
for Mostali goods.

     Trade between Loskalm and eastern Fronela and Peloria is
carried on via a caravan route linking Sog City to Riverjoin via
Karstall, Molene and Einpor.

     An overland route from Tastolar to the Janube allows the
merchants in Loskalm access to some specialty animal goods,
especially reindeer antlers, and some Uncoling art, as well as a
limited amount of Aldryami goods from Winterwood.

     Western Rathorela, along the Sweet Sea, is becoming a source
for timber.  The tall straight conifers there are in high demand
for ships masts.

     Zoria is the major source for trained Fronelan bearhounds. 
These dogs are shipped downriver to Riverjoin, and then to
Peloria for re-export.  Some dogs, raised in Loskalm, are shipped
to the west, but these are considered to be inferior by canine

     Fronelan Point Linens are marketed during two huge cloth
fairs every year.  The first is held during the last week of Sea
Season in Northpoint and the second is held in the first week of
Earth Season in Southpoint.  Merchants from as far away as
Kethaela come to bid for high quality textiles.  Local merchants
from all over Fronela also pour in to buy the wares brought by
the foreign traders.

     A Note on Lunar Strategies in Fronela:  Fronela provides
more than a market for Lunar merchants.  If the Janube could be
opened to trade, the Empire would have a sea and river link to
Seshnela.  This would increase the Empire's access to iron and
lower the prices it has to pay.  The Lunar government is
subsidizing grain shipments into eastern Fronela to help
strengthen the Etyries cult's position there.  It can be expected
to take action to clear riverain trade if at all possible.


     Imports: iron, gold, gems, opium

     Exports: essence of red lotus and orchid, black lotus dust,
jade, pearl, dyewoods, aloe, black pepper, tea, silks

          Kralorela is the most urbanized and richest culture in
Genertela.  Its internal markets handle an amount of goods equal
in value to that of the rest of the continent.  As trade revives
in the post-Closing era, more and more gold is being pumped into
Kralorela, leading to general inflation.  Western merchants,
seeking a good to trade in place of specie and gems, are
increasingly turning to opium from Teshnos.

     Kralorela is a land of local village markets linked to the
cities by Lokarnos merchants.  No other cult may trade in the
Empire, except within the boundaries of Wanzow, and no one may
trade except Lokarnos cultists.  Each city has an independent
temple to Lokarnos to which all city merchants belong.  The
Emperor usually grants monopolies on major trade goods to one of
these city temples until such time as another temple may petition
to prove themselves more worth of holding that monopoly.  There
are no monopolies on rice or barley.

     Rice is the most common crop in the lowlands and river
valleys, while barley is the staple in the highlands and in the
Kingdom of Ignorance.  The Suam Chow and the major rivers of
Kralorela provide excellent avenues for internal trade, so most
goods are not shipped far by land.

     Red lotus and orchids are cultivated along the east coast of
Wanzow, near northern Fanzai.  These flowers are dried and sent
north to perfumeries in Lur Nop, from whence they are shipped
throughout Kralorela and exported to the west.

     Black Lotus is grown and processed on slave-worked farms
owned entirely by Exarch Can Shu.  It is smuggled both overland
and down along the coastline.

     The eastern slopes of the Hso Shan mountains are the major
source for jade.  Although most cities have artisans who work in
jade, those of Kuchawn are considered to be the best.  The
merchants of Chang Tsai ship both raw jade and the products of
Kuchawn throughout Kralorela.

     Puchai province is the major source for both tea and black
pepper.  The trade in both is monopolized by the merchants of
Laonan Tao.  They charge western merchants very high prices in
Lur Nop, a situation which has encouraged the growth of an active
smuggling trade through Tung Shui An.

     The merchants of Chi Ting control two-thirds of the world's
production of raw silk, and are extraordinarily wealthy.

     Opium is brought in illegally over the Hachuan Shan from
Teshnos, then downriver to Sha Ming and thence to the rest of the
Empire.  Merchants from Guiching are involved in smuggling Black
Lotus dust from the Bliss in Ignorance to the rest of Kralorela. 
There are rumors that some western ships are slipping into the
western part of Modaings to deliver opium cargos directly to
these same merchants, but that is unproven.

     Some few goods are still exported through Bliss in Ignorance
via the land route to Peloria, but this trade has declined since
the end of the Closing. 


     Imports: textiles, indigo and dyes, all luxury goods,
Seshnelan and Grazeland horses, Fronelan bearhounds, Ralian
manufactures, truestone

     Exports: Elzastin cloth, grain (esp. to Fronela), ivory,
sunflower, essence of peony, Pelorian whiskey, wines, brandies,
coriander, Mostali goods and iron from Imther and the Jord
Mountains, gold, Fronelan re-exports

          Peloria runs a close second the Kralorela in wealth. 
People in general enjoy a decent standard of living.  Peloria has
a vibrant internal trade centering on the Oslir and Poralistor
rivers.  Much of the gold going to Kralorela comes from Peloria
and hence the Pelorian economy is suffering a slight shortage of
coin and some deflation in relation to gold.  The Lunar Empire's
use of silver, though, has acted to stabilize the economy.

     The Etyries cult enjoys a favored position in the Empire and
receives a number of tax breaks.  The Lokarnos cult primarily
acts as a cult for teamsters who transport Etyries goods,
although this is less true in Dara Happa.  Issaries merchants can
be found throughout the provinces and in the barbarian lands,
usually complaining loudly about the extra duties they are forced
to pay.

     The major grain in Peloria is maize, which will bear twice a
year in the absence of a harsh winter.  The moderating weather in
Peloria has made that region wealthier than usual in terms of
food and this helps explain the internal stability of the Empire. 
Wheat is widely grown in the Provinces, barley in Carmania, and
oats in the barbarian lands.  Each of these are shipped by river
into the Lunar Heartland.

     There are two major forms of agricultural organization in
Peloria.  In Carmania, the Provinces, and in the barbarian lands
peasant small-holders are the rule, either serfs or free
clansmen, depending on the area.  In the Lunar Heartland,
agriculture is dominated by huge farms owned by the nobility. 
These farms are worked by a class of bound agrarian workers
similar to Roman coloni.

     Markets in Peloria are similarly divided by type.  The
pattern of small local markets, usually in villages, linked
indirectly to city markets dominates trading in Peloria outside
of the Heartland.  The Heartland area is extremely urbanized. 
The extreme fertility of the area combined with the bound nature
of the agrarian workforce allows for the large cities present in
the Oslir valley.  Trade in this area is primarily urban,
although the coloni have regular Godday markets where they trade
garden produce and small handcrafts (similar to the Sunday
markets among the slaves in Brazil and the Caribbean).

     One reason for the extreme wealth of this region is the
ready availability of water transport.  Most of the rivers in
Peloria are extremely navigable.  The special relationship of the
spirits of the Oslir river with the surrounding human population
means that water elementals are readily bound, thus allowing
easier transit upriver than in many other areas.

     Carmania's oldest source of wealth has been its brass mines. 
More recently the same river routes used to ship brass ore have
become important for the shipment of cotton grown around Oronin
Lake to the skilled weavers of Elz Ast.  The Esel river provides
a route for trade with the southern reaches of Carmania and for
lye gathered from Brolia.  With the re-opening of trade with
Fronela, Harandash and Storal on the coast of the Sweet Sea have
become major ship-building and trading points.

     The Lunar Heartland surrounds the ancient civilization of
Dara Happa, one of the wealthiest in history.  The gentle
flooding on the Oslir provides good irrigation and top soil
allowing bumper crops of grain year after year.  Gold flows from
the mines in the Yolp mountains down the Joat river and into
Raibanth.  Elzastin cloth and Fronelan and Dara Happan trade
goods are moved by barge up the Oslir and into the provinces from
whence they are exported to Kethaela and from there to the rest
of the world, while imports from the south are moved downstream
and on to the tributaries and the Poralistor.  The Imther and
Jord Mountains provide Mostali goods for consumption and for re-
export.   First Blessed exports essences and perfumes
manufactured in Torang and Yuthuppa, as well as Yuthuppan torches
which remain lit for a whole week.  Darjin and Sylila are both
known for excellent wines and brandies.

     Thunder Delta provides one of the two major sources of ivory
in Glorantha.  Walrus tusks are traded by trolls there.  Their
ivory carvings are currently in fashion in the Tripolis cities.

     During the period of the Closing, the Lunar Empire developed
a caravan route to Kralorela through Pent.  Some silks, spices,
and other luxury goods are still transported by the hardened
caravaneers of the Red-Haired tribe.  Since the end of the
Closing, however, the renewal of sea trade through Kethaela and
Dragon Pass has begun to supplant this land route, and only Lunar
subsidies keep the caravaneers in business.


     Imports: textiles, many luxury goods, Seshnelan horses and
iron, Fronelan bearhounds, Ralian manufactures, Tanier River
Cats, truestone

     Exports: Sartarite and Esrolian whiskey, Esrolian grain,
gems, tin, red pepper and coffee from Caladraland, lavender,
Wenelian camomile, belladonna, hemlock, copper, silver, Nochet
woolens, cantharides from Dagori Inkarth, onyx from the Shadow
Plateau, dyes from Handra

          Maniria runs third behind Kralorela and Peloria in
terms of wealth.  It combines a number of internal advantages
with the advantage of location.  Kethaela is a natural trading
crossroads between Kralorela, Peloria, and the West.

     The Issaries cult is the primary trading cult in this area,
although Lokarnos, Etyries, and Argan Argar cultists also operate
here, as do Western traders.  Due to its world-spanning trade
links, the city of Nochet boasts the largest Issaries temple in
Genertela.  In most areas not under Lunar domination, Issaries
cultists occupy a slightly favored position.  In Lunar dominated
areas, the government provides tax breaks and other incentives to
Etyries cultists, while imposing additional duties on Issaries
cultists (Lokarnos, Argan Argar, and Western traders merely
forfeit the tax breaks, but do not have to pay the additional

     Kethaela is the wealthiest area in Maniria.  The seaborne
trade out of Choralinthor Bay is the most active international
trade on the continent, combining the export of local products
with the re-export of goods from all over the world.  Kethaelan
is another word for middleman. In addition to trade the area is
itself rich.

     Esrolia is the most productive grain producing area in the
world.  It supports a dense population, yet still supplies
exports to the rest of Maniria and to the West.  Esrolia's local
trade is predominantly village based, with frequent local markets
tied to the nearest city.

     Issaries merchants buy raw wool in the highlands of Sartar
and in Heortland, then transport that wool to Nochet.  That city
supports the most skilled woolen craftspeople in the world.  The
resulting cloth is sold throughout Maniria, Peloria, and the

     Caladraland, although wild, is a source for many valuable
goods exported by Kethaelan merchants.  The Mostali at Gemborg
provide the majority of Genertelan gemstones.  This area also
supplies most of Genertela's tin.  The fertile volcanic hillsides
of Caladraland have recently come under cultivation by
entrepreneurs who grow and export coffee and red pepper.

     Heortland and the Dragon Pass region are mostly self-
sufficient.  Their local markets occur around regular meetings of
the local clans, while the traders themselves operate out of the
area's many cities.  These traders sell expensive foreign
imports, luxury goods and the products of city craftspeople to
the clans in return for raw wool, high quality whiskey, and other
goods.  There is also an active export trade in apple wine from
Sartar into surrounding regions (including Prax).  Traders buy
the highly-coveted Grazelander horses whenever possible.  Local
traders also re-export truestone and Praxian handicrafts to the
rest of Maniria and Peloria.  Another opportunity in the Dragon
Pass area is a more ready availability of certain Troll goods,
especially insect products.  Finally, the Storm Mountains supply
one half of Genertela's silver.

     This area profits from its proximity to Kethaela, both from
lower grain prices and from the trade with Peloria.  Esrolian
products and re-exports can only be moved upriver as far as
Sartar, and even moving as far as Beast Valley and the Upland
Marsh is full of danger.  King Sartar and his descendants built
mighty roads through their kingdom, thus making it the most
efficient route for shipping goods into Tarsh on their way to
Peloria (Once the reach Furthest they can again be moved by
river).  Issaries cultists, Mastakos cult teamsters, and Royal
tax assessors all profit from this position along the north-south
trade route.  

     The bulk of Wenelia is a trading backwater.  Such was not
always the case, but with the end of the Closing the caravans
that once crossed Wenelia are quickly being supplanted by sea
trade.  The big winner in all this is the port city of Handra
with its advantageous position as handy stopping point for ships
moving between the west and Kethaela as well as being a terminus
on the riverain trade route into Ralios.  Like Heortland and
Dragon Pass, the clan structures dominate the patterns of local
marketing in Wenelia.

     The Mislari mountains are relatively rich in copper.  The
Nimistor and Solanthi rivers both have large alluvial deposits
which the Trader Princes buy and export.

     Handra is becoming an increasingly important port.  It is
the major trans-shipment point for goods from Ralios heading for
Kethaela, especially manufactures and copper, and for Kethaelan
goods heading for Ralios.  Handra is also one of Genertela's
major dye producers.  Various types of sea shells from along the
Wenelian coast are shipped to Handra where local manufacturers
grind the shells to produce pigments from which they produce
dyes.  These dyes are traded to all major textile manufacturing
centers in central and western Genertela.


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To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Gerald Bosch)
Subject: Volume 11, no 02, part 4 of 5: Regional Trade Notes, Cont'd.
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM, (Gerald Bosch)
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     Imports: few, some metal goods from Peloria, some other
goods from Bliss in Ignorance, especially Black Lotus Dust

     Exports: horses, some trinkets, and re-exports of Black
Lotus Dust

          Pent is an absolute backwater for trade.  There is some
internal trade within the tribes for luxury goods, metal goods,
superior handcrafts, and especially horses and herd animals.

     The Pentan nomads are isolationist and self-sufficient and
if there is a route to profit trading here, no one has found it. 
The Pentans want little from the outside except for metal goods
and to be left alone, and the Pentans possess little that
outsiders would want.  The nomads obtain some few trade goods
from sporadic encounters with both eastern Peloria and Bliss in
Ignorance.  The Red-Haired Tribe carries on a desultory trade
along the Pelorian frontier and on across the plains.  Many of
the foreign goods found in the tents of the wealthiest Pentans
come from raids on these caravans.  The major trade that Pentans
engage in is the exchange of hardy Pentan ponies for bronze from


     Imports: iron and horses from Seshnela, Sorcerous goods and
knowledge from Sog City, textiles, dyes from Handra, some luxury
goods, Esrolian grain up the riverain trade route

     Exports: Mostali goods from Bad Deal, Safelsteran
manufactures, some animal products to Esrolia, wolfhounds (prized
as hunting dogs in other parts of Genertela), Tanier river cats
(prized by Manirian Orlanthi as familiars), essence of purple

          Ralios boasts two almost entirely separate economies. 
The cities of Safelster are sophisticated urban centers which are
home to some of the most skilled artisans in Genertela, while the
tribes of Vesmonstran and the East Wilds are mostly self-
sufficient and nearly isolated.  Local trading in Safelster is
urbanized and is centered around Lake Felster itself.  Local
trading in Vesmonstran and the East Wilds is very small scale and
is structured around the tribes.

     Safelster is a vibrant part of international trade.  The
crafts guilds of Safelster produce goods that are shipped
throughout Genertela, including glassware from Syran, rapiers and
daggers from Tortun and metal goods from Azilos, furniture from
Tiskos, tapestries and rugs from Tinaros, toys and mechanical
clocks from Fiesive, and other manufactures.  The guild-masters
play a role in the convoluted politics of the region.

     Merchants from Drom profit not only from the trade with
Handra, but also from a deal with the Basim tribe which allows
them access to the westernmost part of the Mislari mountains. 
There the merchants from Drom support copper mines whose ore is
sold to Maniria through Handra.

     Merchants from Fiesive exert a monopoly over river trade
north to Bad Deal.  It is this long association with the Mostali
which has allowed Fiesive to develop the most skilled human
mechanical craftspeople in the world.  Fiesive built clocks are
prominent in every city in Ralios and in much of Seshnela as
well.  Such clocks are also being sold everywhere outside Ralios,
except in Kralorela, where the locals seem very indifferent to
machines generally.

     Fiesive also acts as the central point for the local market
patterns in Vesmonstran.  Kilwin holds a similar position in the
East Wilds.  Merchants from both cities wander the tribal lands,
moving from stead to stead and from local market to local market. 
A small amount of handicrafts and animal goods, especially wool,
are brought back to both cities for export to Safelster.  The
clanspeople of Lankst raise wolfhounds which are widely sought as
hunting dogs.  These dogs are usually sold to Fiesive before
being moved onward for re-export.

     Ralios has two major trading links with the rest of the
world.  It is linked by the Tanier river to Seshnela, which area
also profits as the middleman in the trade with Fronela.  There
is also the riverain trade route to Handra and thence to Kethaela
and the east, as well as the direct trade with that city for
dyes.  Before the end of the Closing, the river route to the
Nidan mountains and the High Llama pass was the major route to
Fronela.  This route is still important for the trade with the
Mostali of Bad Deal, but the combination of lower freight rates
by water and the extortionate tolls charged by the folk of the
High Llama Pass has shifted the bulk of Ralios' trade with
Fronela to the Tanier river and the sea.

       Argan Argar cultists run regular caravans between Halikiv
and Guhan.  These caravans provide Ralian merchants with access
to lead, which is used by the glass-makers of Syran and other
manufacturers as well.  Enterprising merchants are also able to
secure some troll goods for re-export.


     Imports: textiles, some luxury goods, occasionally Pelorian
or Esrolian grain, Ralian manufactures--especially weapons,
Sorcerous goods and knowledge from Sog City

     Exports: iron (over one-half of the world's iron supply),
trained warhorses

          The internal markets of Seshnela are not well
developed.  Only the nobility can afford much in the way of goods
from outside.  Also, the nobles of Seshnela are hostile to the
development of a strong urban class of skilled artisans and
merchants.  Such a development does not fit well with the social
and cultural ideals of the area.  For the most part, the major
nobles have servants who deal with outside traders while the
peasantry only engages in local village marketing in produce and

     The local nobility profits handsomely on its taxation of
Ralian goods being moved down the Tanier river to Noloswal for
re-export to Fronela.  The Dukes of Nolos and Pasos have begun to
try to encourage trading and they also profit from charges for
naval protection paid by trading vessels moving to and from

     During the last week of Sea Season of each year there is a
huge horse market held in Segurane under royal auspices (the King
of Seshnela gets ten percent of the value of all sales).  It is
here that foreign merchants can buy the Seshnelan warhorses so
prized throughout central and western Genertela.

     During the first week of Earth Season of each year the
Mostali of the Iron Mountains travel to the ruins of Laurmal to
sell iron.  Tierre of Caskall dominates this trade from the
Castle Rhis, taking a twenty percent commission from the human
traders in all transactions.  The remainder of Seshnela benefits
both from relatively low iron prices and from customs duties
levied on iron being moved down the coast or up the Tanier river.


     Imports: silk and jade from Kralorela, Black Lotus Dust,
gold and gems from the west

     Exports: tea, sugar, opium, jasmine, ivory, sandalwood,
dyewoods, indigo, re-exports of emeralds and spices from the East
Isles (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), Dombain cloth

          Teshnos internal trade is concentrated around small
weekly village markets in patterns dominated by the three major
cities.  The hsunchen living in the Sofali islands and along the
mountains of the north mostly live in small isolated communities
that only trade with their nearest neighbors.  Teshnan traders
wander from group to group to trade for various goods.

     Most people in Teshnos live the life of agrarian peasants. 
The nobility controls large slave-worked plantations that produce
commodities for export.  Indigo is grown in Wokistan, cotton
between Gio and Dombain, tea on Melib island, sugar on the small
northern Sofali islands, and opium in Matkondu.

     The merchants of Dombain control most of Teshnos' export
trade.  The products of the slave plantations are shipped to
Dombain for export, as is ivory.  Merchants from there also move
through the Sofali islands trading for jasmine and handicrafts. 
These merchants also trade with the Aldryami of Fethlon for a
variety of goods.  Dombain merchants also sail into the East
Isles seeking emeralds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for
consumption and re-export.  Finally, these merchants control the
local textile industry, whose finest quality work is in
increasing demand in the west.

     There is an active overland trade in opium across the
Hachuan Shan mountains.  This route is starting to be supplanted
by bold western merchants willing to risk smuggling opium into
Kralorela by sea.

The Wastelands-

     Imports: metals and metal goods of all sorts, some luxury

     Exports: truestone, some animal products, aloe and some
sugar from the Zola Fel valley

          The Wastelands are only slightly less of a trading
backwater than Pent.  The internal trade is mostly centered
around seasonal gatherings of the major tribes.  There is also
trade within Prax, mostly centered around the Paps, the various
oases, the Block, and Pavis.  Most internal trade is in metal
goods, beasts, and superior handcrafts.  There is also an active
internal trade in salt from various slave-dug open pit mines
controlled by different tribes.  Foodstuffs grown in the oases
are commonly traded as well, as are slaves.

     What trade there is with the outside world is mostly
centered around Prax.  There is some small trade around the Iron
Forts in Kralorela.  Until the end of the Closing, what few
Kralorelan goods were getting to the west were traded by Praxian
nomads and a few intrepid caravaneers, but the sea trade has
bypassed all that.  Most trade with Prax occurs through Sartar,
although there is a growing direct sea trade between Corflu and

     The major item the Praxians want from the outside world is
metal and metal goods.  They have also developed a taste for some
luxury goods, especially Sartarite Whisky, and for cloth. 
Although treasure hunters swarm to the Big Rubble, most of the
world is only interested in one item particular to Prax:
truestone.  The major flow of trade between Prax and Maniria is
metal in and truestone out.

     There is a great deal of trade between the peoples of the
Zola Fel valley.  This area has the highest population density in
the Wastelands, it is the most fertile area, and it is the
wealthiest.  Corflu, originally intended by the Lunar to be their
point of entry into the sea trade with Kralorela, has become
important for its access to the valley peoples and Pavis.  The
ability to bypass the high costs of transporting goods overland
is key to the future of Lunar economic development in the Zola

     Much of the food grown in Pavis and Sun Counties is consumed
in Pavis itself, creating an active grain trade.  The citizens of
Pavis benefit from being a major point in the truestone trade
with the outside world and from the flow of treasure seekers
entering the Rubble.

     The Lunar settlers of the Grantlands are becoming a
significant local economic force.  Whether they develop beyond
that will depend on their ability to find a product for trade. 
Aloe and sugar have been brought from Teshnos in an attempt to
make this Lunar colony economically viable.

The Rest of the World-
     There is as yet little sea trade with Pamaltela, Teleos,
Jrustela, and most of the East Isles.  Some East Isles goods
enter the Genertelan market through Teshnos.  What few ships do
make the journey into southern waters bring back a number of
exotic goods.  Genertelan traders are finding that Pamaltela is a
good source for many items, particularly ivory and spices.  Some
of the ships that bring goods to and from Pamaltela are also the
means by which Jrustelan Blue Mountain coffee reaches Genertela. 
The ships anchor off areas where the beans are known to grow wild
and spend a few days gathering beans.  The intrepid Genertelan
trader who wants to make a journey to Pamaltela usually carries
luxury goods and, sometimes, truestone.


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Message-Id: <9409032043.AA27428@glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM>
To: RuneQuest-Digest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM
From: (Gerald Bosch)
Subject: Volume 11, no 02, part 5 of 5: Notes on Trading Cults
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM, (Gerald Bosch)
Comments: Gerald's Trade Notes, part 5
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     The Lokarnos cult is the oldest of the major trading cults. 
Lokarnos invented the wheel, the wagon, and coinage and is the
patron god of traders and teamsters.  The Lokarnos cult is very
conservative, as befits the trade deity of the Solar pantheon. 
The cultists disdain accounting methods, letters of credit,
insurance, and other innovations.  The Lokarnos cultists are
forbidden the use of any currency except the gold wheel, and they
disdain any non-specie medium of exchange.  They will, on
occasion, use gemstones whose weight and value have been
certified by a neutral third party.

     The Solar pantheon is structured around the idea of an
immutable celestial hierarchy.  This idea is reflected in the
social structures of solar-dominated areas.  Each person occupies
a fixed place in the solar scheme for society, with fixed rights
and obligations.  The archetypical Lokarnos trader is a loyal
member of society and expects society to protect him in return.

     In areas of Solar domination, such as Kralorela and Dara
Happa, Lokarnos cultists compete for royal favor in the form of
legal monopolies on various forms of trade.  In return for their
legal protection, Lokarnos traders are steadfast in paying their
taxes and expect the state and the cult hierarchies to place
restrictions on trading policies and prices.

     Of course, by no means are all Lokarnos traders are


     The Issaries traders are much more widespread than are
Lokarnos traders.  They are extremely flexible in their dealings
with non-chaotics.  Issaries invented the idea of differentiating
currency.  Issaries merchants are ritually forbidden to make use
of wagons, but they side-step this by hiring non-Issaries
teamsters (usually of the Mastakos cult in Orlanthi dominated
areas).  This is typical of the relations between God and Cult,
except in the most important of areas, Issaries expects his
worshippers to "bargain" with him.

     The Issaries temples provide a number of important support
services for traders.  They act as depository banks (usually
charging a straight percentage for storage and paying no
interest), clearing houses for bringing borrower and lender
together (for the most nominal of commissions), they will issue
guaranteed letters of credit based on holdings in the temple,
they also act to bring together insurers with those desiring that
type of protection.

     Issaries merchants vary in their relationship to society. 
Some are respectable local traders as conservative in their own
way as any Lokarnos cultist.  Others are vagabonds with no
loyalty higher than their own pockets.  The divisions of the cult
help to point out the differences.  The Harst worshipper is a
craftsperson or farmer who also sells their own goods on the
side.  The Goldentongue is the wandering merchant, the
caravaneer, the local peddlar, anyone who buys in one place and
sells in another.  The Garzeen is the large-scale trader, the
retailer, the entrepreneur who buys and sells in one place.

     Issaries merchants are equally different in their attitudes
toward local governments.  Some are patriots, some citizens of
all nations, and some place their loyalties wherever there is
profit to be made.  The one near universal cult idea is that
taxes are bad and that the state should leave matters of trade in
the hands of those who understand business, the merchants.


     Etyries is the youngest of the trading cults and draws upon
both of the earlier ones for its structure and practices.  The
Etyries merchants are as sophisticated in trade as the Issaries
while being as dedicated to the state as the Lokarnos, while
being different from either.  Lunar cultists see this as another
embodiment of the Goddess' aspect of change linked with

     The Etyries cult was drawn from the Issaries cult in
Peloria, but those early Etyries had a long tradition of dealing
with the Lokarnos cult, and shared many of the cultural ideals of
the Dara Happans.  The Etyries cult is, like all the Lunar cults,
not solely a cult, but also part of the Pantheon of a single
state, the Lunar Empire.  In many places in Glorantha the cult
and state are strongly unified, but in no place more so than in
the Empire.  The success of the cults is the success of the
state, as the success of the state is that of the cult.  They
stand or fall together.

     The Etyries temples provide all the same services as the
Issaries temples.  In addition, they have developed banking and
lending at interest.  The large temples in the Heartland also
assist in the formation of joint stock companies formed with
modern idea of limited liability (if the company falls, the
investor only loses the amount of the investment, in most other
places the investors are jointly responsible for the total amount
of the company's debts).  These developments have allowed for
larger concentrations of working capital, and thus more weight in
the world's marketplaces.

     These joint stock companies may only be formed with Imperial
approval, and are granted trading monopolies on the Lokarnos
model.  The Elz Ast Trading Company, for example, has a complete
monopoly on the exportation of Elzastin cloth under Imperial law. 
The Etyries merchants are tightly tied to the state.  In return
for preferential treatment in matters of taxation and military
protection, the Etyries merchants are duty bound to assist the
officers of the Empire in enforcing law inside the Empire and in
implementing policy outside.  Etyries merchants will often pass
useful information on to the government for free, motivated by
patriotism and their belief in the Lunar Way.


     There are four standard types of coinage in use in
Genertela: Issariesite, Etyriesite, Western, and Lokarnic.  The
trading temples, beginning with Lokarnos, invented money in order
to facilitate trade.  Unlike terrestrial currencies, Gloranthan
currencies are usually minted by the trading temples, the people
most in need of a medium of long distance exchange.  This origin
and this set of conditions has helped to create a fairly
standardized system of coinage in Genertela.

     The gold Wheel invented by Lokarnos is the oldest form of
currency on Glorantha and is the only official medium of exchange
in areas dominated by the Solar cults (Lokarnos Priests have a
17th century European's view of paper letters of credit and bills
of exchange).  It is a relatively large gold coin with the hub,
spokes, and rim of a wheel of Lokarnos' wagon depicted on it.  It
is the only coin commonly found in Kralorela and Teshnos and is
widely circulated in Peloria, alongside the Etyries coinage.

     In order to make the Wheel into a more flexible medium of
exchange, Lokarnos traders, and others, commonly break the coin
into smaller segments composed of the central Hub and ten wedge-
shaped Spokes (each with a segment of the rim).  Each Spoke is
equivalent in value to a Guilder or Lunar, and the Hub is worth
ten Spokes.

     The young god Issaries saw the possibilities inherent in
Lokarnos' invention.  Using his charming ways and golden tongue
he managed to convince the various elemental deities to allow him
to use copper, silver, and gold to make his own coins.  He even
convinced Lokarnos to permit him to make a gold coin equal in
size and composition to the Wheel, but with different
decorations.  Even today, Lokarnos traders will accept the other
systems' gold coins at par.  As the Theyalan missionaries of the
First Council moved westward during the Dawn times, they carried
the Issaries coin system along with them.  To this day, the
Western monotheists continue to use local variants on the
Issaries system.  When the Etyries cult arose in the Lunar
Empire, it adopted the same Issaries coinage, but with different
decorations, thus maintaining the Lunar way of balancing change
with stability.

     The smallest coin is called the Clack, it is a small copper
coin decorated with a Communications, or Issaries, Rune on one
face and a Harmony Rune on the other.  The Etyries version is
also called a Clack, but substitutes a Lunar Rune for the
Communications Rune (all Etyries coins have a Lunar Rune on one
face, a practice borrowed from the West).  Western versions are
usually called coppers and have a Law Rune on one face (as on all
coins) and a symbol of local significance (a nobleman's or city's
device, usually) on the other.

     The next coin is a larger copper coin called a Tree and is
worth five Clacks.  It has an Earth Rune on one face and a
stylized depiction of a tree common to the area where it was
minted on the other.  The Etyries variant is called a Castle.  On
the face not depicting a Lunar Rune it has a stylized rendering
of Castle Blue.  Western variants, particularly in Fronela, often
simply have a stylized Castle on the free face and are also
called Castles.  Once again, the Etyries cult borrowed this
practice, probably from Carmanian coins.

     The smaller silver coin is called a Guilder and is worth ten
Clacks.  One face usually depicts some local ranking nobleman
from the area and time the coin was minted.  The other face
usually depicts the sign of the local Silversmith's Guild from
where the coin was minted.  The Etyries variant is called a
Lunar.  The free face depicts the Goddess's victory at the First
Battle of Chaos.  The Western variant is called a Penny.  The
free face usually has the device of the political authority who
had it struck.

     The larger silver coin is called a Storm and is worth one
hundred Clacks.  This coin bears the Issaries Rune on one face
and the Storm Rune on the other.  Non-Lightbringers will rarely
handle this coin without defacing at least one side.  The Etyries
version is called a Daughter because the free face usually
depicts one of the Daughters of the Red Goddess.  The Western
variant is called a Sovereign because it usually depicts the
local sovereign noble.

     The Issaries gold coin is called a Sun and is worth two
hundred Clacks or one Wheel.  It has the same hub and radiating
spokes pattern on one side, but this is called a sun pattern
rather than a wheel pattern, on the other face it has a Movement
Rune.  Lokarnos cultists see their own god's runic associations
and so are happy to handle the coin, while Lightbringers see
associations with the success of the Lightbringer's Quest, and so
are equally happy.  The Etyries variant always depicts the
present Emperor on the free face, and is thus called an Imperial.
The Western variant is called a Golden and usually depicts some
local triumph that the reigning nobleman wants commemorated (some
victory or achievement).

     A Final Note:  On Earth, there was a common practice when
specie was in wide circulation called coin-shaving.  Gold and
silver coins would be filed down or re-cast with other metals in
order to make more coins.  Earthly authorities usually dealt with
this problem through an official ritual called Capital
Punishment, or through an impromptu ceremony called Lynching.  On
Glorantha, the same modes of enforcement are in common use in
areas where the trading cults are scarce, such as the West.  They
are unnecessary where the trading cults are active because any
initiate or above of Lokarnos, Issaries, or Etyries can detect a
shaved or adulterated coin upon holding it.  Note that Argan
Argar cultists usually don't care about the shaving or
adulteration of Bolgs.

     Issaries       Etyries        Western             Lokarnos
  1  Clack(c)       Clack(c)       Copper(c)
  5  Tree(c)        Castle(c)      Castle(c) 
 10  Guilder(s)     Lunar(s)       Penny(s)            Spoke(g)
100  Storm(s)       Daughter(g)    Sovereign(s)        Hub(g)
200  Sun(g)         Imperial(g)    Golden(g)           Wheel(g)