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  • #16
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    grimjaws, I assume that are speeds per day of travel, yes?
    I don't know for sure, but I think they are sustained speeds (over a day?). A knot is 1.85 kph or 1.15 mph so I think it really comes down to how long each day the ship sails. So trying a simple trip from Stavanger to the Shetlands it is roughly 270 miles. So if I sail in my longship (Skudelelv 2) to raid and we'll assume a fairly favorable trip travelling at the 8 knot speed. It will take 29 hours of constant sailing to get there.

    I recall reading somewhere that it was, on average, a day's sail from SW Norway to the Shetland islands and then another day from the Shetlands to the Orkney Islands.
    Last edited by grimjaws; 03-30-2017, 09:53 AM.


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    • #17
      As my Vikings Werewolf players are finally coming to go for the Byzantium as their destination, so I need some travel times estimates. They have a very vague image of Europe from a Latin book from the 5th century, but not a proper map ( it's a long story involving raiding monastery at Iona Island ).

      Our first story stop on route 'from Varangians to the Greeks' will be (Staraya) Ladoga, known later also as Aldeigjuborg in Old Norse. So for this I need travel time estimation for journey from Uppsala to Ladoga, on 'blind guess' - on ships and sledges, of course. Maybe our forum historian Khanwulf can help on this?
      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-09-2018, 05:35 AM.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        As my Vikings Werewolf players are finally coming to go for the Byzantium as their destination, so I need some travel times estimates. They have a very vague image of Europe from a Latin book from the 5th century, but not a proper map ( it's a long story involving raiding monastery at Iona Island ).

        Our first story stop on route 'from Varangians to the Greeks' will be (Staraya) Ladoga, known later also as Aldeigjuborg in Old Norse. So for this I need travel time estimation for journey from Uppsala to Ladoga, on 'blind guess' - on ships and sleighs, of course. Maybe our forum historian Khanwulf can help on this?

        Well I'm very much NOT a "forum historian", but I can play quick-and-dirty researcher easily enough! First, take a look at the wikipedia entry for the route. It will also give some ideas on scenes and events that you can include.

        Another source with interesting descriptions is here. I can not attest to the ultimate veracity of any of this or Wikipedia, but for use in a game you only need "accurate enough for feel."

        A few relevant travel/time points:
        * The ships start moving in April.
        * The [Varangians/Rus] traveled in convoys and flotillas, often with more than more than hundred boats, and built fortified trading posts. They traveled on the inland waterways in shallow-draft boats carved by local residents from tree trunks. [Kiev was a major center for sale of pre-made hulls by locals to the Varangians.] These boats were about 20 feet long and 7 to 10 feet wide.

        Dnieper Trade Route

        The Dnieper route began in what is now Riga on the Baltic and followed the Western Dvina River to Vitebsk for portage to Smolensk on the Dnieper. An alternative route began in Gulf of Finland. Traders ventured on the Neva River to Lake Ladoga and then headed south on the Lovat Volkhov River to Velikiye Luki to Smolensk. Large ocean-going vessels traveled down the Neva River to Lake Ladoga, where cargo was unloaded and switched to smaller vessels better equipped for traveling the narrower inland waterways.
        The journey from Kiev to the Black Sea took about six weeks. When the Rus traders reached the Black Sea they attached sails to their boats.
        Portages on the Dnieper
        The most dangerous part of the journey on the Dnieper was a series rock-strewn rapids about 200 miles upriver from the Black Sea that could only be navigated during a few weeks of high water each year. Some of the rapids could be navigated by skilled oarsmen. Other had to be portaged.
        During the portages, Rus traders were often attacked by local tribes. The most feared of these was the Turkic Petchenegs. In 972, they killed Prince Svyatoslav of the Rus and made a drinking cup of his skull. Those that made it through the section if rapids often stopped at St. Gregory's island to offer sacrifices of birds, bread and meat.
        In 950, the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, wrote: "At the forth great rapid, which in Rus is called Airfor [Ever fierce]...everyone brings their ship to land and those who are in it stand watch after they disembark. These sentinels are necessary because of the Petchenegs who lie constantly in ambush. The rest take their belongings out of the dugouts and lead the slaves, fettered in chains, across the land for six miles, until they are past the rapids. After that they transport their vessels, sometimes by hauling them, sometimes by carrying them on their shoulders, past the rapids.”

        My estimate is that if Kiev to Black Sea took six weeks, you'd be looking about 6-8 weeks from Lagoda to Kiev. The route through Slavic lands was also dangerous:
        "Trade through Russia was difficult in part because of hostile Slavic tribes, including the Krivichi (near Smolensk), the Dreovichi and Drevljane (west of the Dneiper), the Radimichi (east of the Dneiper), the Pechinegs, Poljani and Magyars (on the lower Dneiper), and the Khazars (east of the Slavs). Traders had to be as much warriors as businessmen, for the Slavic tribes a significant hazard. As a result, bands of Scandinavians who travelled eastwards joined formally as companies, swearing oaths of mutual assistance, defense, and support. The term for such an oath in Old Norse is var, and these eastern adventurers became known as Varangians."

        Please note in this last link it shows why these eastern trade routes were so important: they (especially the Volga River route to the Caspian) served as the main link between Scandinavia and the Arabs for silver (and gold). Silver used as currency as well as crafting.


        You could probably make the larger ship-journey to Lagoda from Uppsala in a couple of weeks--mostly a matter of waiting for the weather to be right. It would normally be possible to travel down to Constantinople in the spring, trade, and make the way back before the freeze in the fall. April to June would be travel to Kiev and making the ships ready to depart from there, then Kiev to Constantinople.

        --Khanwulf
        Last edited by Khanwulf; 01-08-2018, 11:34 AM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
          A few relevant travel/time points:
          * The ships start moving in April.
          (...)

          You could probably make the larger ship-journey to Lagoda from Uppsala in a couple of weeks--mostly a matter of waiting for the weather to be right. It would normally be possible to travel down to Constantinople in the spring, trade, and make the way back before the freeze in the fall. April to June would be travel to Kiev and making the ships ready to depart from there, then Kiev to Constantinople.
          Thank you very much, Khan! My only problem is that we want to start earlier the whole journey - just after the Dísablót - most important festival in North - that in Gammla Uppsala started earlier than in rest of Scandinavia.

          The Dísablót was the blót (sacrificial holiday) which was held in honour of the female spirits or deities called dísir (and the Valkyries ), from pre-historic times until the Christianization of Scandinavia. Its purpose was to enhance the coming harvest.(...)The celebration still lives on in the form of an annual fair called the Disting in Uppsala, Sweden.
          The Dísablót appears to have been held during Winter Nights, or at the vernal equinox. (...)
          This suggests that the rite was performed by women, especially in light of what is generally believed to be their nearly exclusive role as priestesses of the pagan Germanic religion.[1] However, according to the Ynglinga saga part of the Heimskringla, the king of Sweden performed the rites, which was in accordance with his role as high priest of the Temple at Uppsala. (...)
          In Sweden, the Dísablót was of central political and social importance. The festivities were held at the end of February or early March at Gamla Uppsala. It was held in conjunction with the great fair Disting and the great popular assembly called the Thing of all Swedes.


          Players need to go at the start of March as Idigam is hunting werewolf where they are - so they want to leave Uppsala, so monster would follow only them on trail, not attacking whole community.

          Question is this - If players will start journey at the begining of March, will they come to Baltic Sea shores that let them cross it to future Kiev Russia? They will be whole month before normal start of those journeys. It may as well be all route in snow and ice now...


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
            A few relevant travel/time points:
            * The ships start moving in April.
            (...)

            You could probably make the larger ship-journey to Lagoda from Uppsala in a couple of weeks--mostly a matter of waiting for the weather to be right. It would normally be possible to travel down to Constantinople in the spring, trade, and make the way back before the freeze in the fall. April to June would be travel to Kiev and making the ships ready to depart from there, then Kiev to Constantinople.
            Thank you very much, Khan! My only problem is that we want to start earlier the whole journey - just after the Dísablót - most important festival in North - that in Gammla Uppsala started earlier than in rest of Scandinavia.

            The Dísablót was the blót (sacrificial holiday) which was held in honour of the female spirits or deities called dísir (and the Valkyries ), from pre-historic times until the Christianization of Scandinavia. Its purpose was to enhance the coming harvest.(...)The celebration still lives on in the form of an annual fair called the Disting in Uppsala, Sweden.

            The Dísablót appears to have been held during Winter Nights, or at the vernal equinox. (...)
            This suggests that the rite was performed by women, especially in light of what is generally believed to be their nearly exclusive role as priestesses of the pagan Germanic religion. However, according to the Ynglinga saga part of the Heimskringla, the king of Sweden performed the rites, which was in accordance with his role as high priest of the Temple at Uppsala. (...)

            In Sweden, the Dísablót was of central political and social importance. The festivities were held at the end of February or early March at Gamla Uppsala. It was held in conjunction with the great fair Disting and the great popular assembly called the Thing of all Swedes.
            Players need to go at the start of March as Idigam is hunting werewolf where they are - so they want to leave Uppsala, so monster would follow only them on route, not attacking whole community.

            Question is this - If players will start journey at the beginning of March, will they come to Baltic Sea shores that let them cross it to future Ladoga region? They will be whole month before normal start of those journeys. It may as well be all route in snow and ice now...
            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-08-2018, 01:10 PM.


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            • #21
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

              Thank you very much, Khan! My only problem is that we want to start earlier the whole journey - just after the Dísablót - most important festival in North - that in Gammla Uppsala started earlier than in rest of Scandinavia.


              Players need to go at the start of March as Idigam is hunting werewolf where they are - so they want to leave Uppsala, so monster would follow only them on route, not attacking whole community.

              Question is this - If players will start journey at the beginning of March, will they come to Baltic Sea shores that let them cross it to future Ladoga region? They will be whole month before normal start of those journeys. It may as well be all route in snow and ice now...
              Well, they're actually on-track then to arrive in Lagoda in April, when the ships start for Kiev, as far as I can tell.

              Problem of course is the ice. They might be able to sledge across the straights to Finnland, then around the coast to Lagoda. Otherwise, they could head south, catch a boat to the Baltic, and over. February-March is the peak ice season, and depending on the climate you could have everything up to and including Gotland encased in ice!

              Borrowed from another game (Pendragon), a horse cart can get you about 20 miles in a day on a road. An ox cart half that. Assuming they will travel on a decent "ice road", and are motivated to push things, giving them about 20 miles a day would make sense. The reason I point to carts is because hauling food for yourself isn't hard--hauling food for your animals IS hard, and you need to supply enough high-value grain and oats to keep the horses going in the cold.

              Sane men wait for the spring thaw. Insane men will brave wind and grinding ice to prove their bravery as something dark and unnatural tears up the flow behind them...

              Cheers,

              --Khanwulf

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              • #22
                Well, on last game session we established that local Jarl, a 'friend' of PCs, is supporting them in boats and sleighs preparation - you know, sledges to move the boats itself to the coast in (late) winter. So depending on weather - they can go all the way on the sledges, across now Finland. Or they could go on ships in Baltic.

                Hmmm, makes me wonder how to judge weather then in this scenario? Assuming that Idigam is ( or rather will be ) pursuing them, we will probably run this as Contested Tracking ( WtF 2E, p. 95 ), with Uratha PCs and their ships crew on sledges as prey tracked by Idigam. Probably instead normal hours, I will make this roll as one per day. And there we come to weather problem - assuming I use my weather dices I bought some years ago...



                It still leaves us with problem that normal rules for Tracking assumes weather to have impact in hours intervals. If I make one Contested Tracking roll per day - and snowing weather makes -1 for hunter to his Spoor score by each 6 hours - does this leads to situation that running on one roll per day hunter get's -4 Spoor just before the roll if there is snowing now?

                Also, I assume that small convoy of 5 big sledges enough to move 3 small ships and circa 30 people - will make rather Strong Trail, yes? So general +2-3 for the Idigam to find them, just because how big is prey here?
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-09-2018, 06:04 AM.


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                • #23
                  I looked over Temperature Averages now in Uppsala - and in March it's 0 degrees of Celsius, in modern days. In 800's, before Industrial Age, it should be few degrees below 0 C on average. So routes slightly on the North will be even more cold. Yes, I can clearly see how even in March, Vikings parties could go on sledges over frozen parts of North Baltic Sea.

                  Yes, even turn of February/March is typical month where ice coverage is thickest in Baltic!

                  Originally posted by en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi
                  In the Baltic Sea ice conditions vary greatly. The annual ice cover is at its greatest between January and March, usually around the end of February/beginning of March.

                  On average, ice covers an area of some 170 000 km2, which stands for 40 % of the total Baltic Sea area (422 000 km2, including Kattegatt and Skagerrak). The minimum ice extent has been on winter 2008 when there was only 49 000 km2 ice in maximum.

                  The ice formation in the Baltic Sea starts along the coasts of the northern Bay of Bothnia and the inner Gulf of Finland. This occurs usually in October-November. Thereafter the freezing spreads to the Quark, the open Bay of Bothnia and the coasts of Sea of Bothnia. In normal winters the ice gets to cover also the rest of the Sea of Bothnia, the Archipelago Sea, the whole Gulf of Finland and parts of the northern Baltic Proper.

                  In mild winters the Sea of Bothnia doesn't freeze at all and the Gulf of Finland only gets a partial ice cover. In severe winters the ice reaches the Danish Sounds and the central Baltic Proper. The last area that freezes up is an area north-east of Bornholm in the Southern Baltic Sea.

                  The melting season starts in April and proceeds from the south to the north. In the northern Baltic Proper the ice disappears in early April. By the beginning of May there is only ice left in the northern Bay of Bothnia, where also the last ice pieces melt away by the beginning of June.
                  More to read about Baltic ice covers in this article.

                  And here is nice Google Maps route showing that going from Uppsala to Stara Ladoga on sledges by winter months is more than doable! And Google Maps shown that this route takes about 1005 kilometers, so assuming our sledges speed approximation by horse cart - i.e. speed of 20 miles per day, so circa 32 kilometers per day - we look over 31 days of travel from Viking Era Uppsala to Stara Ladoga. Perfectly for spring going south on Dnieper River!
                  Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-09-2018, 05:36 AM.


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                  • #24
                    I was checking also is Kiev was real trading post in circa 800 - and it seems it was at least small to medium city of that time, one of first in the region.

                    Originally posted by Wikipedia on history of Kiev
                    There is debate when the city was founded, some believe that Kiev was founded in the late 9th century,other historians have preferred a date of 482 AD. In 1982, the city celebrated its 1,500th anniversary. The first humans on the territory of Kiev can be traced to the late paleolithic period (Stone Age).Population of Kiev during the Bronze Age was part of so-called Tripillian culture to that point out selected objects found in the area.During period of early Iron Age around Kiev lived settled tribes practicing land cultivation, husbandry and trading with Scythians and ancient states of the northern Black Sea coast. Trade relations with the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire are ascertained with findings of Roman coins of the 2-4th centuries. Direct ancestors of ancient Slavs that later established Kiev are considered the carriers of Zarubintsy culture. (...) The origin of the city is obscured by legends, one of which tells about a founding-family consisting of a Slavic tribe (Eastern Polans) leader Kyi, the eldest, his brothers Shchek and Khoryv, and also their sister Lybid, who founded the city (The Primary Chronicle). According to it the name Kyiv/Kiev means to "belong to Kyi". According to archaeological data, the foundation of Kiev dates to the second half of the 5th century and the first half of the 6th century. Some claim to find reference to the city in Ptolemy’s work as the Metropolity (the 2nd century).Another legend states that Saint Andrew passed through the area and where he erected a cross, a church was built. Also since the Middle Ages an image of Saint Michael represented the city as well as the duchy. There is little historical evidence pertaining to the period when the city was founded. Scattered Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city.


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                    • #25
                      Returning to topic one year later - My PCs pack have gone from Uppsala to Kiev ( or, rather, Kuaru ) from 18th February till 19th May of of 800 AD. Two weeks ago in story they lost all non-pack participants in journey in bloody battle with Slavic vampires. Now two packs of werewolves - one PCs of 4 Uratha + 1 Wolf-Blooded slave, second of 3 NPCs Uratha - are deep in future Kievan Rus, aiming for Byzantium ( called 'Greece' by traders ), going to get to Khazars Empire lands in now Kuaru Slavic settlement. Going down and down by - now called - Dnieper river. So PCs are in three months of journey and adventures get around 2000 kilometers by ice, land and rivers.

                      From Kuaru, it's about 1400 kilometers till Constantinople ( modern Istanbul in Turkey ). So next circa two months of travel. Taking in account that Khazars in their Empire have much better road network than open Steppe in future Belarus PCs were travel - it should be much shorter travel. But much more interesting.

                      You agree with me, Khanwulf? Some things I should take in consideration on this part of travel to 'Greece'?
                      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-16-2019, 03:18 PM.


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                      • #26
                        Well they've been taking their time, but you knew that. Most of the travel from [Kiev] to Constantinople is not by road, but by boat. They would reconstruct the boats at Kiev or nearby (this, from memory), and then sail down to the Black Sea and around the western coast to Byzantium.

                        Or straight across if they had good navigators, but it wouldn't be necessary.

                        Since they've been through so much it's almost anticlimactic to throw more things at them unless you need to introduce characters or locations for later. Hope they like big city life!

                        --Khanwulf

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                          Since they've been through so much it's almost anticlimactic to throw more things at them unless you need to introduce characters or locations for later. Hope they like big city life!
                          I plan to introduce some plots from Contagion Chronicle, so some new adventures on the road are looked for - as we wait few (real world ) months for Contagion Kickstarter...

                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                          Returning after long time no writing - but probably with new cool ideas. As Plague of Justinian (541–542 AD) is now canonically in CoD one of historical instances of Contagion ( from Contagion Chronicles ) that also cemented Jeremiad Sworn faction - and with previous Requiem for Rome pointing that it's time Lancea Sanctum took power in Constantinople - I think I would base setting on Sworn groups alliances from CC, rather than classical each races splats only split.

                          Then we have historic Sworn split over monster races respond to Contagion in Justinian times, that became de facto 'monstrous parliament', kinda similar to Camarilla of Rome, but limited only to Byzantium and connecting to all monsters in Empire. And it’s cross factions idea is to stop next Contagion to show up in area, that returned in small portions till 8th century. This system all start to break down with passing centuries and not seeing next great Contagion up to the disintegration of Eastern Roman Empire itself.
                          Does not Khazars have something more in Empire, on it's western sides, between Kuaru and their boarders with Byzantium? Or is it 'steppe, steppe and more steppe'?
                          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-16-2019, 05:17 PM.


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                          • #28
                            I am sure that a pack of werewolves packed together on a viking ship for weeks of a time would probably be great fodder for a story. Trying to stay calm and not fly into Basu Ilm would probably be a challenge. I think there are a number of movies where a group of protagonists are in a confined space trying to survive as tensions escalate. Throw in a Beshilu on board and I am sure it would make for a fun trip.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by grimjaws View Post
                              According to the Viking Ship Museum:
                              Skuldelev 1 (ocean going trader, picture is Ottar a modern reproduction): Average speed 5-7 knots, top 13 knots
                              Skuldelev 2 (longship, picture is Sea Stallion of Glendalough): Average speed: 6-8 knots, top 13-17 knots
                              Skuldelev 3 (coastal trader): Average speed 4-5 knots, top 8-10 knots
                              Skuldelev 5 (longship, pictured Helge Ask (I think)): Average speed 6-7 knots, top 15 knots
                              Skuldelev 6 (fishing ship): Average speed 4-5 knots, top 9-12 knots
                              With 5 Knots being circa 10 km/h ( 9.26 km/h, to be precise - so knot is 1.852 km/h ) we have those speeds for mentioned by grimjaws ships:
                              • Ocean going trader, picture is Ottar a modern reproduction: 9 km/h, top 24 km/h
                              • Longship, picture is Sea Stallion of Glendalough: Average speed: 11 km/h, top 31 km/h
                              • Coastal trader: Average speed 8 km/h, top 18,5 km/h
                              • Longship, pictured Helge Ask (I think): Average speed 11 km/h, top 28 km/h
                              • Fishing ship: Average speed 8 km/h, top 22 km/h


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