Re: Mills

From: Henrix <>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 14:26:03 +0200

From: Andrew Barton <>
>>>Incidently do the
>>> Orlanthi have clan flour mills or does each stead grind its own?
>> Good questions. Would depend what 'technology' of mill they use.
>Water-mills or wind-mills would both seem a bit 'advanced', but
>Some of them at least would be using querns, stones for grinding corn by
>Anyone have a date for the first appearance of water- or wind- mills? The
>Romans had them.

Well, the Romans did know the art of watermills, the oldest mention (and detailed description) seems to be Vitruvius, who wrote his book in 25 B.C. They start to appear archaeologically around the same time.

The earliest windmills appear in Persia around 950 A.D. In Europe they saw use from the 12th c.

Both water- and especially windmills require quite a lot of specialized skills to build and maintain. I do not think that either is in widespread use in Sartar. I think somebody mentioned that the Westerners have windmills since the Darkness, so perhaps Heortland has a bunch.

Me, I think it is a Zistori trick to trap Orlanth.

The most common form of large mill was of course driven by animals (horse or donkey) or slaves.

But again, in Sartar, I think that querns are used almost exclusively, with the exception of the odd simple watermill in some of the larger villages. You cannot just build a water- or windmill just about anywhere. A watermill often requires canal digging and dams. And it often necessitates transporting corn and meal, you have to collect enough for it to be any use to start the mill.
So a quern in each stead is generally more practical.

I suppose the clans relations to local water spirits could play a part too. Building dams, ducts, mills and digging canals could severely damage your relations to them, and might provoke attacks against these constructions.

This could be a fun cameo. An itinerant millwright (from Heortland?) comes to the clan and tells them that he could help them construct a watermill nearby. (Perhaps he is not alone, you need somebody to carve the millstone as well, not a very easy task.) If the clan accepts and erects a mill, the local Potameid (who until now has been quiescent and unnoticed, turns furious and wreaks havoc. (The millwright has of course by now left the scene, with his payment.) The Potameid must now be contacted and appeased, somehing that requires travel and adventure for our heroes.


Powered by hypermail