bronze supply (was: Re: Heortlings and inheritance)

From: Bryan Thexton <bethexton_at_...>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 15:28:12 -0000

Thanks for all the responses, but this bit raised a new question for me: Where do the heortlings get their bronze from?

I know, I know, in the broader sense it is the bones of dead gods, but presumably any that was just lying around in easy to reach places was long ago used up. I've yet to see a reference to human mines in Dragon Pass (although again, I've not read most of the material in the fan publications). I'd always assumed that bronze was quite heavily valued, and that bronze items would be passed down over the generations, and even broken items would be gathered and repaired or melted down for new use. After all, in much of the ancient world, material wealth was something that was really accumulated over generations, not years or even a single lifetime. In this model, small amounts of trading and raiding would cover any net losses to the bronze stocks, and maybe even steadily increase them.

But if heortlings are regularly buried with their weapons and armor-- even if for most bronze would only be in spear head, dagger, and maybe some edging on helmet and shield--this is still a substantial loss of bronze. In essence each young man would need a kilogram or two of bronze to outfit him. Warriors obviously would need quite a bit more. This would require either mines, or substantial trade for bronze.

So, where do the Heortlings get their bronze? If they mine it, who does it and where? If they trade for it, who do they trade with, and what do they trade back in return?

Just curious.


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