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  • Educational empire videos

    I've recently become acquainted with this YouTube channel Kings and Generals, which features short, animated documentaries on various subjects of ancient history.

    I think it would be useful for people getting an idea of things concerning national organisation and expansion and international trade that might be useful for putting together things in the setting.

    For a start, here are a couple of the most recent videos, concerning the value of Egypt to Rome and the manner in which trade links with India improved the empire's wealth.





    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

  • #2
    this is certainly a useful insight for the interaction of the Realm and it Satrapies in terms of resources.


    .

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    • #3
      Based on that first one, it sounds like the equivalent regions in Creation would be The Lap, for food production, and Wu-Jian, gateway to the untapped riches of the West.


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      • #4
        I wasn't really thinking about direct analogues so much as giving a conception for how these things are structured and flow, as well as what some of the valuable commodities would be. Like, the relationships between cities along different points of the trade routes, and some of the necessary supporting infrastructure.

        I mean, the Lap can't really be for the Realm what Egypt was for the Italian peninsula, because a lot of the dynamics are drastically different; the Blessed Isle is a lot more self-sufficient when it comes to staple crops, for instance (although that could change in a scenario where the Dynasty appropriates more and more farmland and reduces ever more peasants to disenfranchisement). The Realm probably also wants a majority of its peasant population concerned with spending their earnings on food rather than luxury goods, considering the national ideology.

        That being said, now more than any other time, the Realm is hardly the only empire in town. Between this and some things I watched and read surrounding Apocalypto, one could probably make a lot of the dynamics surrounding Ixcoatli.


        I have approximate knowledge of many things.
        Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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        • #5
          Hmm, my initial thoughts were that the distribution of Creation's land and sea doesn't quite lend itself to the kind of situation provided in the second video, where control of Egyptian access to the Red Sea creates a route to India that bypasses Africa. It felt like a pity, such that's such a distinctly interesting geographic highway that has functionally shortened the connection between very different parts of the world, which has had a profound effect on world history; Ottomon control of that corridor sent the Portuguese around the entire length of Africa, and several other Europeans across the Atlantic.

          But... upon review, I think something close enough can be found in the layout around the Southeast. Those seas east of Harborhead have a lot of potential. The most direct access Southeast goes through Ma-Ha-Suchi's territory, and I can imagine that it's very hard for the Realm to establish shipping that way. But those bodies of water seem like they'd be an ideal way to transmit goods in bulk to the Inland Sea once they make it across the Summer Mountains. It seems like a ripe area for the Realm to be concerned with having control over as a means of ensuring that Southeastern wealth flows their way.

          Might also provide some additional background to Prasad, if it's needed. That Houses Burano and Ophris were at the forefront of establishing control of that region once it became clear that practical Realm access to the Dreaming Sea would need to come from the west rather than north, with the importance of that traffic investing them deeply in establishing local administrative apparatus, such that they spent a disproportionate amount of time there. As the years went on, it felt more and more natural to extend some control over both sides of the mountains, to more effectively coordinate gathering and transition of goods.

          And then once Ophris and Burano scions were actually on the ground down there, they realised that they were both at a distance that would shield them from the Realm and were amidst sufficient wealth to continue living in a manner to which they were accustomed, or even beyond.

          I'm not picturing it as a deliberate ploy so much as an emergent process as more and more of their assets got shifted east, until one day everybody realized that suddenly two Great Houses had slouched off into the Threshold in a manner that the Empress couldn't fully rebuke, either from lacking effective military access or willingness to jeopardize southeastern trade and tribute.

          It was a divil of a time re-establishing control over those seas, though.

          Going off on a tangent of my own there, but the idea of those bodies of water conveying some of the same principles as the Red Sea feels like it is serviceable.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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          • #6
            Another consideration:

            My first thought would be to look for avenues to tropical environs, since as that video points out, those are a source of valuable trade goods; silks, spices, incense. But if I adjust my parameters a bit... I find that the River of Tears could also serve such a function, and even do it a bit better since it provides access to maritime routes.

            By way of that river, one would have a shortcut to the White Sea, which I imagine is also a good deal safer; the river is probably a better sailing trip than going around the western end of that archipelago, which seems quite likely to be filled with rocks and icebergs (and probably more than a few pirates and reavers). It even carries some of the political connotations for the Realm; the main entry point to the river is covered by Lookshy (which I don't think would cut them off entirely, but probably tolls exorbitantly and represents an ideological issue in paying up). The conquest of Medo offers them an alternative passage; the Realm traffics into Port Calin, where they can be carried overland to friendly river ports, and go further to the White Sea, or even the bodies between Mela's Fangs.

            You won't get spice and silk, but there are other valuable commodities that could come from such a biome; furs, ivory and whale products, probably a few varieties of stone and metal ore, and with the main East blocked off by the hostile River Province I'd say it could be a premier source of lumber.

            I'm imagining that for much of the history of House Peleps, a lot of their reputation as romantic adventurers carrying the name of the Dynasty were focused on long voyages to the mysterious Northeast; often with an intent to intervene in manners that would maintain the lumber trade (both of particular value to them so that they have materials for the Imperial Navy, and being an element of their closeness to House Mnemon who are especially gratified at a good source of pine), and with the occasional legendary expedition right up to the Wyld.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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            • #7
              For my own edification, what direction does the river of tears flow? I imagine the prevailing wind is mostly from the north, for obvious reasons.

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              • #8
                Oh wait, Port Calin is part of the Confederation? Well, it's only a minor detail.

                Originally posted by Exthalion View Post
                For my own edification, what direction does the river of tears flow? I imagine the prevailing wind is mostly from the north, for obvious reasons.
                Looking at Scavenger Sons, I can't seem to find any reference stating outright; it's described as having water flowing from one sea to another, but doesn't appear to state which is which. Perhaps at the time, this was intended to be adjusted for games.

                Arguments can probably be made for either direction being beneficial for the First Age Exalted who created it. Taking boats against the flow of the river wouldn't be impossible, but in this schema I'm attached to... I can't actually assess whether it would be more beneficial to allow ships to flow up to reach the White Sea or flow back down to facilitate return to the Inland.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Iirc, there aren’t that many well mapped routes across the sea to the West, which apparently has lots and lots of unique spices and other rare materials, like the shellfish extract that makes Maiden Tea truly effective. The southern route is long and takes you through water infested with Lintha and Lunars. The Northern route is even longer. Sailing directly there is shortest, but can you carry enough supplies for the entire trip AND enough cargo to make the trip worth it?

                  Going through Wu-Jian breaks the trip up into two legs, each of which is shorter than sailing directly there, gives you a spot to resupply, and lets you get the latest gossip so you have a better idea where you should take that cargo of metal ingots, just in case there’s a better deal to be had than the one you planned on.

                  You don’t absolutely control the gateway to the West if you control Wu-Jian, but the majority of the shipping traffic is going to want to go through it, so it’s quite possibly the most lucrative port in Creation, well worth the shipments of food necessary to keep the place running.
                  Last edited by BrilliantRain; 04-28-2019, 02:39 PM.


                  ....

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                    [Wu-Jian is] quite possibly the most lucrative port in Creation...
                    Except maybe Chiaroscuro or Nexus.

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                    • #11
                      I don't really want to get too hung up on how Wu-Jian doesn't effectively function as a reference to the kinds of history that I find compelling about that video. My intention in sharing these videos wasn't to find the closest equivalent in the setting but a reference point for the imagery of such ancient world international trade and economy dynamics.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Oh wait, Port Calin is part of the Confederation? Well, it's only a minor detail.



                        Looking at Scavenger Sons, I can't seem to find any reference stating outright; it's described as having water flowing from one sea to another, but doesn't appear to state which is which. Perhaps at the time, this was intended to be adjusted for games.

                        Arguments can probably be made for either direction being beneficial for the First Age Exalted who created it. Taking boats against the flow of the river wouldn't be impossible, but in this schema I'm attached to... I can't actually assess whether it would be more beneficial to allow ships to flow up to reach the White Sea or flow back down to facilitate return to the Inland.

                        If I am correct that the prevailing winds are generally from the north, then flowing from the Inner Sea to the White would be the most useful in the AoS. Egypt had an analogous situation where the river flowed north and the wind blew south.

                        When sailing north you could just let the current take you. When sailing south you would raise sail and let the wind do the work. Although, perhaps the wind and perhaps the flow change directions seasonally?

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                        • #13
                          As a bit of a tangent, I've come across something that makes me want to learn more about the history of places all over Africa from about the 16th to 18th centuries.

                          This is because I've just gotten some rudimentary information about Queen Nzinga and the Imbangala marauder bands. Those latter ones... I've never known of any group of people like that before, and if even half of the stories about them are true they sound both fascinating and terrifying.

                          Aside from the general gratification of knowing ever more about the tapestry of human societies and history, it creates all kinds of new ideas for what could be going on further away from the Inland Sea.


                          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                          https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                          • #14
                            Is that OfficiallyDevin doing the narration?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                              I mean, the Lap can't really be for the Realm what Egypt was for the Italian peninsula, because a lot of the dynamics are drastically different; the Blessed Isle is a lot more self-sufficient when it comes to staple crops, for instance (although that could change in a scenario where the Dynasty appropriates more and more farmland and reduces ever more peasants to disenfranchisement). The Realm probably also wants a majority of its peasant population concerned with spending their earnings on food rather than luxury goods, considering the national ideology.
                              Perhaps not for the Blessed Isle itself, but for nearby Satrapies and kingdoms. Since the Lap's tribute is in foodstuffs, I wouldn't be surprised if the Thousand Scales redirected a lot of it to other places in the South. 2e Chiaroscuro had agriculture issues due to Delzhan resistance to developing farmland (since it'd interfere with nomadic ranchers) and a lack of major fresh water sources outside of First Age desalination manses(which only put out enough water for the city and some of the nearby hinterlands). Nothing useful grows near Gem and Harborhead's inter-ethnic raiding depletes food sources.

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