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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Jun 2021 :  14:22:44  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

I have put together some laws for Iriaebor and I would like to get your feedback. Here is what I have now:

The laws of Iriaebor were codified centuries ago not long after the government was founded. Named the Principles of Commerce, they have been modified several times over the centuries to take into account various circumstances. The Principles of Commerce are currently:
• Everyone within one day’s ride of Iriaebor is subject to these Principles.
• Anyone accused of violating any of the Principles of Commerce must be granted a hearing held by one of the City Magisters.
• Rulings made by City Magisters are subject to review and alteration only by the High Lord of Iriaebor.
• Sedition against the government of Iriaebor is expressly forbidden. Those convicted of this offense may be punished by imprisonment, banishment, or even death. City Magisters have discretion for sentences with the High Lord of Iriaebor reviewing the case and punishment before the punishment is carried out.
• Acts that negatively affect the free flow of trade are expressly forbidden. That includes but is not limited to blockades, seizure of or damage done to the means of transportation (wagons, barges, etc.) for goods. Members of The Shield or Guardian Wizards Guild are exempt as long as these actions occurred as part of their duties to protect Iriaebor and its people.
• Theft or seizure of goods is expressly forbidden. Those convicted of this offense will be sentenced to imprisonment in the Dungeons. The length of imprisonment is at the discretion of the City Magisters. Members of The Shield or Guardian Wizards Guild are exempt as long as the seizure of goods was done at the direction of a City Magister as part of a judgement.
• Forgery or misrepresentation of either documents or goods is expressly prohibited. Forgery includes but is not limited to fake letters of mark, coinage containing less than the normal amount of precious metal (gilded lead coins as an example), glass gems, or livestock not of the stated lineage. Those convicted of this offense may be punished by imprisonment or banishment. City Magisters have discretion for sentencing in these cases.
• Slavery is expressly forbidden. Any and all individuals subject to these Principles are inherently free. Any individual convicted of attempting to enforce servitude upon another individual shall be sentenced to imprisonment in the Dungeons for five years per offense, served consecutively. Incarceration and forced labor as the result of a Magister’s judgment is exempt.
• Murder is expressly forbidden. Killing in self-defense or the defense of another is allowed if an investigation by The Shield/ Guardian Wizards Guild concludes that there was sufficient provocation. Members of The Shield/Guardian Wizards Guild are exempt as long as the death occurred as part of their duties to protect Iriaebor and its people. The penalty for individuals convicted of murder is death.
• Assault is expressly forbidden. Individuals may defend themselves or come to the defense of others without being charged if an investigation by The Shield/Guardian Wizards Guild concludes that there was sufficient provocation. Members of The Shield/Guardian Wizards Guild are exempt as long as the assault occurred as part of their duties to protect Iriaebor and its people. The penalty for individuals convicted of assault is at the discretion of the City Magisters.
• Magic used to alter the state of mind of an individual for any reason is expressly forbidden. Those convicted of this offense will have all of their goods and property forfeited to the city and will be banished from Iriaebor. The individual or group harmed by this magic will be paid compensation derived from the sale of the offender’s confiscated goods and property. Only individuals that have received pre-approval of this magic by the Lords of Iriaebor and are working directly for the city at the time are exempt.
• Magic use outside a personal residence may only be used for the following purposes: construction/warding, general entertainment, healing/curing, and defense. Members of recognized city temples and individuals specifically empowered by the city are exempt.
• Using magic to provide structural support for a structure is expressly forbidden. Individuals convicted of this offense will have their property seized and the offending structure torn down at the individual’s expense.
• Individuals who have conspired with others to commit any of the above offenses will be considered Co-conspirators. Co-conspirators, if convicted, will suffer the same punishment as their convicted brethren in crime. If there are multiple convicted brethren, then all will suffer the maximum punishment handed down to any of their brethren.
• An individual whose punishment is determined to be banishment who is subsequently found within one mile of the walls of Iriaebor will be punished by death.
Please note that the current method of execution is hanging.






"Within one days ride"..... by wagon, by horse, by giant eagle?

On the mind control thing, possibly an allowance for leniency in the even someone uses magic in the defense of the city or its citizenry.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 15 Jun 2021 14:34:00
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 15 Jun 2021 :  15:28:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For any fantasy setting, unless there is a strong reason not to, I'm always going to assume that "one day's ride" refers to riding a horse. It's generally the default, aside from walking.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Jun 2021 :  23:10:02  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

For any fantasy setting, unless there is a strong reason not to, I'm always going to assume that "one day's ride" refers to riding a horse. It's generally the default, aside from walking.



In our world, but the realms is different. I only mention it because it can enhance the flavor of the text to add these kind of quantifiers. Perhaps one might want to say its "by giant eagle" or "by pegasi" or by "rothe pulled wagon", etc.... and if by horse, by warhorse or riding horse (which I don't recall if there's a movement difference between these in the rules in the various editions, but there probably should be)?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 16 Jun 2021 :  02:15:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

For any fantasy setting, unless there is a strong reason not to, I'm always going to assume that "one day's ride" refers to riding a horse. It's generally the default, aside from walking.



In our world, but the realms is different. I only mention it because it can enhance the flavor of the text to add these kind of quantifiers. Perhaps one might want to say its "by giant eagle" or "by pegasi" or by "rothe pulled wagon", etc.... and if by horse, by warhorse or riding horse (which I don't recall if there's a movement difference between these in the rules in the various editions, but there probably should be)?



I said "For any fantasy setting" horses are the default. That most certainly applies to the Realms -- sure, there are other options, but almost any time someone speaks of mounted travel, they're talking about horses. Horses are more common than the exotic mounts and more people know how to ride them. It's a fairly common skill, horseback riding.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 17 Jun 2021 :  00:53:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pretty much what Wooly said. Technically, there should be a set of landmarks that designates Iriaebor's boundaries but I am lazy enough to not want to create and define those given how much I have already had to come up with for this thing.

Besides, while it says "a day's ride", The Shield actively patrols out to 2 days ride and if someone does something against the Principles within that area, The Shield patrol is going to act. Since Iriaebor is a fairly benevolent power, none of the merchants, residents, or small communities are going to complain. Now, they may have wanted to when Lord Cutter was in charge and very likely reached out to Berdusk for assistance. Had Lord Cutter's rein gone on for much longer than it had, it is very likely that a group of cities/organizations would have done something.

Edit: Oh, the mind control magic thing. There is an exclusion laid out for those working for the city. They just need pre-approval (which the Inquisitors, Warders, and Staves of the Guardian Wizard's Guild already has).

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 17 Jun 2021 00:58:25
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 17 Jun 2021 :  02:02:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

What's the historical perspective?
Iriaebor was for a long while dominated by competing merchant houses accepting restraint only because escalation is bad for business.
While it's still not clear whose influence produced those fancy spires with whole web of catwalks and bridges...

What would be a "close enough" known example of their starting point? Delzimmer, methinks.
Then moving in "more sophisticated" direction as the town grew would be affected by examples of... what's on its roads?
South: Amn.
East: these ports on Sea of Falling Stars are the whole point. So...
Sembia? It fits well with the general shape of power: merchant houses that suffer from constant infighting until they are sick of it enough to accept some mostly-impartial authority.
But Sembia is also big, it produces and exports many things, rather than just caravan supplies and services. There's a lot to feed growth.
For "more civilized" influences?
Turmish? Perhaps even Ravens Bluff (which was shaped into its "mature" form as a personal project of one high priestess of Waukeen, after all), except without a crowd of adventurers they won't go for knightly orders and be less gung-ho in general.
And then there's Westgate as a constant "don't end up like them, kids" example.
While it's still not clear whose influence produced those fancy spires and web of catwalks...



Since most of the information about Iriaebor is from the 1e-2e era, this is from the perspective of the end of 1371 (there is a later section about what the city looks like post-Second Sundering). I have Iriaebor operating under that name for about 1150 years. It had a couple different names before that and was originally founded by a couple merchants from Cormyr.

When the city first started out, the merchants were more cooperative simply because the area was so dangerous ("only a fool fights in a burning house"). That was born out by the fact that the city was completely destroyed at one point and almost wiped out a second time (in fact, the only reason it wasn't completely abandoned was because of safety offered by the Tor).

As the city increased in size, there were certain individuals and groups that tried to take over the city or even just used it as a source of amusement (the dragon Shhuusshuru). Giants, gnolls, orcs, etc. kept reminding the city just how dangerous the area was. Even then, things were heading in the wrong direction and Iriaebor would have very likely destroyed itself if it hadn't been for the Harpers. It was through their work that Iriaebor's greatest high lord came into power: High Lady Irri yr Yetanza el Netzirn. It was she that changed the government to one for everyone and not just subject to the whims of the Merchants of Iriaebor.

As for the spires, think about it. You have a 50 ft tower on top of a 300 ft plateau. What do you think is going to happen in a thunderstorm? Yep, they were first made as primitive lightning rods but they are going out of style as actual, Gond-inspired, High House of Wonder-made lightning rods have come into use. Of course, they still don't stop people from saying a quick prayer to Talos or Auril (depending on the time of year) as they pass the two shrines on the Path of Appeasement.

Some of the "bridges" are just support to help prevent a tower from falling over (they tend to be there for the gothic-style towers). Actual bridges were also built for various reasons: smuggling, joining two properties owned by the same merchant, a way for lovers to meet for a secret tryst, or even as a symbol about how two merchants were joining forces.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Kelcimer
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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  11:46:47  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban
Technically, there should be a set of landmarks that designates Iriaebor's boundaries but I am lazy enough to not want to create and define those given how much I have already had to come up with for this thing.


Look at that geography! What is important to Iriaebor? Goods from the Sea of Fallen Stars moving West and goods from the Sword Coast moving East. The cheapest route for goods West/East is the following route: to move is up river from Baldur's Gate, to Iriaebor, to Easting, to Proskur, and then downriver to the Dragonmere. Iriaebor is going to want to control monsters and bandits along those routes. It should also want to control land up river of it going to the Far Hills.

Iriaebor has a pretty exposed position. A key choice was whether it wanted the river to its back to either the North or the South and it chose to have the river to it's back to the South. The benefits of this is that it could expand it's borders to the north bank of the Chionthar, and to the Reaching Woods and Far Hills, leaving a gap between Asbravn and the Reaching Woods as its weakest front. That's not a lot of Mountains and sea to anchor its borders, but what are you going to do right? Some rulers in Iriaebor past probably aimed for that at a minimum and then tried to move as far East as possible.

Keeping with the idea that Berdusk and Proskur are independent, though, here's what I think Iriaebor's border should look like:

The border with Berdusk should be roughly halfway between them, being the border in the West. The Sunset Mountains/Far Hills makes a good border to the North. I can see Easting and Asbravn as both being within Iriaebor's sphere of influence if not outright a part of it's territory. I could see it's Western edge being roughly halfway between Easting and Proskur. To the South? I dunno. Iriaebor could choose to claim everything south of it to the Snakewood, but backing that up would be another thing. Any border south of the Chionthar is naturally going to be very fuzzy and shift according to Iriaebor's strength of arms.

I don't know if you will find this useful, but there you go.
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  17:32:54  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban
Technically, there should be a set of landmarks that designates Iriaebor's boundaries but I am lazy enough to not want to create and define those given how much I have already had to come up with for this thing.


Look at that geography! What is important to Iriaebor? Goods from the Sea of Fallen Stars moving West and goods from the Sword Coast moving East. The cheapest route for goods West/East is the following route: to move is up river from Baldur's Gate, to Iriaebor, to Easting, to Proskur, and then downriver to the Dragonmere. Iriaebor is going to want to control monsters and bandits along those routes. It should also want to control land up river of it going to the Far Hills.

Iriaebor has a pretty exposed position. A key choice was whether it wanted the river to its back to either the North or the South and it chose to have the river to it's back to the South. The benefits of this is that it could expand it's borders to the north bank of the Chionthar, and to the Reaching Woods and Far Hills, leaving a gap between Asbravn and the Reaching Woods as its weakest front. That's not a lot of Mountains and sea to anchor its borders, but what are you going to do right? Some rulers in Iriaebor past probably aimed for that at a minimum and then tried to move as far East as possible.

Keeping with the idea that Berdusk and Proskur are independent, though, here's what I think Iriaebor's border should look like:

The border with Berdusk should be roughly halfway between them, being the border in the West. The Sunset Mountains/Far Hills makes a good border to the North. I can see Easting and Asbravn as both being within Iriaebor's sphere of influence if not outright a part of it's territory. I could see it's Western edge being roughly halfway between Easting and Proskur. To the South? I dunno. Iriaebor could choose to claim everything south of it to the Snakewood, but backing that up would be another thing. Any border south of the Chionthar is naturally going to be very fuzzy and shift according to Iriaebor's strength of arms.

I don't know if you will find this useful, but there you go.




Thanks. Iriaebor, if I am not mistaken, has the largest standing military force on the Chionthar if you take it at the listed 8,000 men. However, even that force can pale compared to the area covered. If that two day's ride is used, that can be quite big. If we take it as 50 miles, that makes the area that Iriaebor would be patrolling larger than the state of Connecticut and almost the size of New Jersey. Connecticut has a total police force of almost 8,000 (as of 2016) but it is only about 2/3rds the size of the Iriaebor area (and that is with modern communications and motorized vehicles). Villages of any size in that area should have their own small force and can expect help from Iriaebor if needed.

Now, Asbravn is about 60 miles from Iriaebor and they have their own force (the Red Cloaks). They can and have asked for help from Iriaebor and it was provided.

Easting is only 42 miles from Iriaebor and has a very small force but they have a very capable militia thanks to the prominent dwarven presence there. Between Easting and Priapurl, you get to the Barony of Maerantede.

Proskur is a cesspool that is 140 miles away from Iriaebor. Since Cormyr is the one that maintains the roads between Cormyr and Proskur, that town is Cormyr's problem (and probably why it was eventually annexed by Cormyr).

South of the Chionthar, that is patrolled by both a gauntlet of troops from Berdusk and three detachments from Iriaebor. They operate out to about a day's ride from the confluence of the north and south forks of the Chionthar. However, they do patrol the Forrest Trail linking Eshpurta and the Chionthar confluence to about the half way point (patrols from Eshpurta handle it south of there).

Both Berdusk and Iriaebor operate river patrols. There is a jointly operated fort at about the half way point on the north side of the river (east of Fendarl's Gate).

Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  18:13:16  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say one day's ride is more reasonably for active control -- that's the area you actively patrol.

It wouldn't be unreasonable to put outposts further out than that, but those outposts would be more of a "Watch over this smaller area and let us know if anything is coming" type of thing. They'd not be responsible for patrolling that entire range, but they'd at least patrol the area around the outpost.

And obviously, those outposts are going to be in more strategic areas -- you'd not put them all around, you'd concentrate on areas you need to keep an eye on. I see them being positioned closer to important trade routes, at natural chokepoints, and in areas where known threats could come from.

People here sometimes forget that national borders in fantasy settings are a nebulous concept, and quite unlike what we have in the real world we live in now. A nation or city-state may claim that its territory extends so far out, but the reality is that they really only control the area they can effectively patrol. There is going to be a lot of concentration on natural strategic points like mountain passes and river fords, and a lot less focus on large, indefensible areas like open plains.

And however much area they control, it costs money to do so. A more prosperous realm can maintain border outposts and have regular patrols further out -- but this can be cost-prohibitive for smaller realms, and even for the larger realms, it becomes increasingly expensive the further you get from the core of the realm. These costs are not just the wages for the poor schmucks that are stationed out in the middle of nowhere -- you've got to feed them, supply them, build and maintain the physical structures they use as their bases, supply them with horses and everything to take care of the horses...

So whatever area a realm claims, it's simply not realistic for them to control much more than one or two days' ride around the core of the realm and any major fortifications (including cities).

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 12 Sep 2021 :  20:31:25  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The city says 2 days just so some clown doesn't get the idea to build a stronghold in that area and say that Iriaebor needs to pay him taxes (it has occasionally come up in the past with Iriaebor hiring adventurers to cure the individual of that idea). The 2 days is really just active road patrols. Non-road patrols are much closer in at 1 day or so. Villages here and there will have a barracks/stable for The Shield's use. In exchange, the city pledges to have a patrol there every one to two days. Other villages may see a patrol only once or twice in a 10 day.

If there is trouble reported in an area, a larger force will be sent to deal with it. On occasion, the Black Talons may be sent instead with that becoming the Zhents in the mid to late 1400s.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Kelcimer
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Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  09:06:33  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.


I dunno as that they have to be thin as all that. 8,000 is basically two Roman Legions. You had entire Roman provinces, larger than the territory for Iriaebor that I suggest, that could be held down by two legions. (Granted, that Iriaebor's 8,000 would not be organized as a Roman Legion. Iriaebor would want the majority of its army to be calvary that could be deployed fast to where they were needed.)

But lets say that you are correct and 8,000 would be stretched thin. Iriaebor is supposed to be a really happening trade city. Trade. Lots of goods moving. Anybody that wants to go from the Dragonmere to the Chionthar or vis versa has to go through Iriaebor's territory. Through what is essentially a strait. Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade. And they can't find a way to collect enough fees on goods moving through so as to secure their portion of the trade route? They don't have to be the most competent rulers in the world to do that.

Or is the lore that Iriaebor and its trade route are very recently established, being carved out of the frontier in the past hundred years? I could better buy it then.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  12:10:37  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 13 Sep 2021 :  15:55:21  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban Given the sizes of the forces in the area, they can be stretched a bit thin at that 2 day's ride but unless you tax the snot out of people, you can only afford so many troops. That is why merchants in the area still employ guards for their caravans.


I dunno as that they have to be thin as all that. 8,000 is basically two Roman Legions. You had entire Roman provinces, larger than the territory for Iriaebor that I suggest, that could be held down by two legions. (Granted, that Iriaebor's 8,000 would not be organized as a Roman Legion. Iriaebor would want the majority of its army to be calvary that could be deployed fast to where they were needed.)

But lets say that you are correct and 8,000 would be stretched thin. Iriaebor is supposed to be a really happening trade city. Trade. Lots of goods moving. Anybody that wants to go from the Dragonmere to the Chionthar or vis versa has to go through Iriaebor's territory. Through what is essentially a strait. Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade. And they can't find a way to collect enough fees on goods moving through so as to secure their portion of the trade route? They don't have to be the most competent rulers in the world to do that.

Or is the lore that Iriaebor and its trade route are very recently established, being carved out of the frontier in the past hundred years? I could better buy it then.



Iriaebor has been around for a long time. The first canon reference to it that I could find was that El's nephew was there in the 200's. It was founded there because that is the furthest up the Chionthar you can get a barge (moving goods on water is a lot easier and slightly safer than doing it overland).

Iriaebor used to be a violent place. So to keep that down, about 3,000 of the 8,000 are kept within the city at all times. That leaves 5,000 to do the actual patrolling. Each patrol is about 10 men so that would be 500 patrols. But, you also have to take into account days of rest, required training (all members of the Shield are required to be fully trained in both mounted and foot combat), rotation (so that all troops are familiar with city and plains combat), that cuts into that considerably (let's be generous and say that gives us 450 patrols). Oh, we have specific facilities outside the city that need to be guarded. That would knock it down again to say 200 to 300 patrols. So, we have 200 to 300 patrols to cover about 7,700 square miles (with the emphasis on guarding the trade road and river since that is the city's lifeblood).

The actual breakdown of Iriaebor's field forces is:

1 Lord Patrol Commander
5 Shieldmaster
5 Protector
15 Defender
45 Guardian
135 First Shield
405 Patrol Shield
4050 Patrol Targ
4661 Total Patrol
466 Reserves
5127 Total Shield Stationed Outside of Iriaebor

Edit: Fixed the date for El's nephew.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 13 Sep 2021 15:57:56
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Kelcimer
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  05:39:40  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.



Yes, armies can go around and approach from any direction. I'm not talking about that.

I said, "Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade.

Merchants don't have an incentive to want their goods to stay on wagons between the Dragonmere and the Chionthar any more than they absolutely have to. From the west that means moving goods to the farthest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. From the east that means getting to the closest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. That's Iriaebor.

Everything is a tradeoff. If merchants want to go around Iriaebor, then that means adding additional days to their journey. Unless they have a very good incentive to do so, they won't want to incur the additional time and cost to their journey.

And since this is a fantasy world, the costs for merchants to bypass Iriaebor potentially include monsters and things. So yes, it is a choke point for trade.

Is it the strongest choke point? No. It's not an actual strait.
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Kelcimer
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  05:43:52  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
TheIriaeban,

What is the population of Iriaebor in the time period that you are working with?
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  12:34:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Not so much of a chokepoint. Sure, there's a river, but other than that, it's flat open ground all around -- easy to bypass.



Yes, armies can go around and approach from any direction. I'm not talking about that.

I said, "Entire kingdoms have been built upon such choke points for trade.

Merchants don't have an incentive to want their goods to stay on wagons between the Dragonmere and the Chionthar any more than they absolutely have to. From the west that means moving goods to the farthest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. From the east that means getting to the closest navigable spot on the Chionthar as possible. That's Iriaebor.

Everything is a tradeoff. If merchants want to go around Iriaebor, then that means adding additional days to their journey. Unless they have a very good incentive to do so, they won't want to incur the additional time and cost to their journey.

And since this is a fantasy world, the costs for merchants to bypass Iriaebor potentially include monsters and things. So yes, it is a choke point for trade.

Is it the strongest choke point? No. It's not an actual strait.



They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Sep 2021 12:35:21
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Kelcimer
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  13:30:24  Show Profile Send Kelcimer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  14:39:30  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

TheIriaeban,

What is the population of Iriaebor in the time period that you are working with?



The population of Iriaebor has been all over the place in canon sources. It has been as high as 81k to a low of 16k. In the FRA, it was the second largest city on the Chionthar (after Baldur's Gate). So, what I did was take the 3e numbers and made Iriaebor the second largest based on that. That gave Iriaebor a population of 40k. Since the other cities seemed to include their forces as part of that number, that makes it 32k residents and 8k military forces.

This is around 1371. It used to be a bit higher but there was a population loss due to the Zhentarim Interregnum in 1363. Around the same time, there was the Far Hills Iron Rush where a bunch of people moved to Asbravn. Otherwise, it would have been larger than 40k in 1371.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  15:15:49  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





Ed has said this about the Chionthar:

"By contrast, the Chionthar is like a shipping channel for much of its length: eighty feet or more wide, thirty feet or more deep, slow-moving in its lower stretch (below the confluence), silty (so one can never see through the waters), and serving as the sewer of the cities along it."

The river is definitely barrier. There are no fordings west of Iriaebor and the next bridge would be the one at Berdusk. There may be a ferry here or there but they aren't very big and it would take a long time to get a caravan across.

Also, people WANT to get north of the Chionthar as quickly as possible. Balagos feels that his territory ends at the Chionthar (north fork) so once a caravan is on the other side of the river, they are safe from him. That also explains why Iriaebor isn't subject to his depredations. (The Chionthar being the border of his territory was very likely a deal he made with Varalla. He doesn't go north of the river and she and her pet black great wyrm doesn't decide to make trouble for him.)

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  15:40:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





So what, they tax every single caravan they see, regardless of where it is in their territory? Or are you saying they've walled their entire territory and even further beyond, so it's impossible to bypass it? Don't be ridiculous.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 14 Sep 2021 15:41:47
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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  17:03:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





Bastards doesn't mean absolute power. Wooly is right. Unless there is some driving reason that some ruler is going to be able to micromanage a vast swathe of territory, things will slip through the cracks. Traders are smart too, and soldiers are disloyal. Nor can most rulers actually do that much micromanagement. Sure, they can tax folks, but they also need to not be so much of an arse about it that people don't like the city. Being hospitable and keeping the taxes lower makes trade amicable. Pissing off caravan masters is not the method to grow your city.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  19:01:08  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed addressed Iriaebor taxes in FRA where he has:

"These huge stables of trained war mounts are used for breeding. Periodically some are sold off, providing the city with much wealth, so Bron taxes only lightly."

Iriaebor taxes are low enough that a vast majority of merchants will go through the city. Sure, there may be a few that will not do that but then they will also have to deal with a higher chance of being attacked since they will be off the heavily patrolled major trade routes.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  22:02:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Ed addressed Iriaebor taxes in FRA where he has:

"These huge stables of trained war mounts are used for breeding. Periodically some are sold off, providing the city with much wealth, so Bron taxes only lightly."

Iriaebor taxes are low enough that a vast majority of merchants will go through the city. Sure, there may be a few that will not do that but then they will also have to deal with a higher chance of being attacked since they will be off the heavily patrolled major trade routes.



Hmm, that's kind of interesting. I wonder what the average useful time is for a warhorse (my google-fu says it takes 4 or 5 years to train one, and they can live to 30, but I'd bet few last past age 10 or 15 before having to be used for less aggressive duty). I know that was written for 2e, but just to use 5e info... warhorse 400 gold... figure half that is cost of raising them in general, including paying trainers. So, 200 gold... and if they sold a thousand a year... not bad. Profit margin may not be THAT good (they may only make 50 gold on each for all I'd know), but still..

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 14 Sep 2021 :  22:57:12  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
These are NOT your average warhorse. The area is known for its fine mounts and draft animals (that is in FRA, too). For the breed used by Iriaebor, think of something kind of like a cross of a Sosser and Semphari but has been bred for the plains of Sunset Vale, Greenfields, and the Dragon Coast. The breed's base was the herds of horses that were found in the area whose origins were entwined with the Horsemen of Ur (they lived in the area long ago). Each of these animals could easily go for 1200gp if not more since they are closer in quality to a paladin's mount than the average war horse.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Exodite
Acolyte

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Posted - 15 Sep 2021 :  01:55:18  Show Profile Send Exodite a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Kelcimer

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
They could simply go around the city, but stay within its patrolled territory. Taxes are usually only charged entering/leaving a city, so if Iriaebor wasn't their end destination, and the merchant wants to save money and has adequate supplies, there's no reason to stop. Staying within the patrolled territory, the city could be easily and safely bypassed.

Hence, it is not a chokepoint.



Do you think that the rulers of Iriaebor throughout its history have been uniformly dumb and hapless? Or do you accept that there have been at least some moderately intelligent (at least) bastards ruling the city over the course of its thousand year history? Being a ruler has a way of bringing out the bastard in people, so I really hope it is the latter.





So what, they tax every single caravan they see, regardless of where it is in their territory? Or are you saying they've walled their entire territory and even further beyond, so it's impossible to bypass it? Don't be ridiculous.



I could see trade caravans taking overland routes (instead of those coming by barge) being stopped by patrols for a toll charged by the wagon/oxen, obviously at a higher rate than those that go through the city - if those are charged at all. Especially coasters that don't have holdings within the city itself, which may have agreements with city leadership to bypass or lower the fees. If this is the case, caravan masters finding barges that will pick them up just outside of Iriaebor's domain at a more modest fee than the city patrol would charge seems likely. Licit and illicit business dealings revolving around such tolls and trade deals given the location and influence of the city would have to be occuring.
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