Guns Of Icarus Online

Main => World => Topic started by: Helios. on October 18, 2015, 03:47:12 pm

Title: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on October 18, 2015, 03:47:12 pm
so we have talked about all of the factions, except for the MG.
what we know: the mercantile guild came about after a plague struck the lands to the south, decimating the population and driving the pilots across the land to desperately find a cure for their country-men and -women. In their travels to find a cure they developed a large network of contacts, when the cure was found, they used these contacts to create a huge trade empire. they have outposts all over the world, and trade routes connecting presumably most if not every city.
they control territory to the south in an area called "the vastness" and their capital city is Vyshtorg. Their bird is the swan, their colors are gold and white. the Mobula is based on a Mercantile guild design, having a lot of storage space for transporting goods, good visibility for spotting ambushes, and LOTS of guns for fending them off. the railings are sophisticated but not ostentatious, as the wealth brought by the trade empire has not caused them to forget that their forefathers created the trade empire to rescue their people from plague, a plague which claimed the lives of too many of their citizens.
nowadays their trade empire spans across the world, but because of the ubiquitous dangerous from raiders of various kinds, they have a vast naval fleet to perform escort duties and protect their interests. they have been in some kind of conflict with the Yeshans for a while, although i think i remember someone from muse saying that the conflict had died down some or even completely these days, likely due to either territorial disputes along their mutual border in the south-west of the map or the arashi's continued attacks on MG convoys of goods through the arashi desert and the wastes (the arashi desert it stands to reason is conrolled by the arashi, and we know the desert nomads, who I'm presuming are the arashi, captured Nalm because of lusse's travels entry on battle on the dunes, so it stands to reason they control  the desert between nalm and the arashi desert itself as well, if only because no one else could live there even if the wanted to, which they don't. I would love to hear from muse if this is incorrect)
SO: this is some of what we know, and some of what I have guessed. we are going to pass out of the canon into my feelings on the MG. some of it is shards of canon sourrounded by my own embellishment, so some things might make you think 'no duh, we already know that from the faction feature article." Yes you might very well have done, read on, there's more.
i imagine that the mercantile guild traders are like the elite of any large trade city.  they are dressed impeccably (although because of the history of the MG, not ostentatiously.)    we know they can speak many languages and can make a passable job in local customs of various kinds, especially in areas with which they trade often. the merchant companies themselves, although from a tradition of selfless service to the national benefit, have followed the arc of history away from altruism towards self interest. while some social conventions that are nods to the more idealistic age are maintained, the merchants and their companies serve money: that which allows them to survive as a merchant, and to thrive as such. they are 'ruthless operators,' as we heard from the prologue video, who survive most likely because they value so highly their own survival (and by that I, of course, mean the stacks of gold seen in the same.) the mercantile guild acts with all the compassion of a epidemic, when they need to, ironically. the design of the mobula suggests something about their psychology: they are not at all squeamish about using violence. you would expect a ship designed to defend trade caravans or trade goods to be able to defend itself against attack in some kind of reactive way: guns on the sides and back, where danger might be lurking from a hiding foe. what we see is a ship that is designed with excellent sight lines, and is intended to sight, turn to face and engage fully, overwhelmingly any threat to the interests of the guild.
That is how i imagine them, chime in, how do you see them?
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on October 28, 2015, 04:35:59 pm
These guys are money makers and movers, they'll be most influenced by that. Minimal government and a mafia family style organization. One family eventually gets on top and is the most influential. Government is little more than there to run local Guild halls and handle defense affairs. These are massive government buildings where each company has a voice and runs their affairs, also where customers can come and hire a company. This would make sure their work and private lives are kept more separate. You don't just show up at a family's doorstep looking to do business.

Corruption is very possible in this system and more likely than not happens. But to balance it there is sort of a code of ethics. If it is crossed, the offender is basically black listed by Mercantile society. So the trick is to get away with things and not get caught. I could see there being a time before ethics were instated where it was all out war between families. Kinda how I pegged the Aero3 story.

The military as I mentioned would be more for defense and border patrol activities. Funded by the Guild Halls and money donated. Perhaps even make it a pseudo militia where each town has a unit assigned to it. That would spread the leadership. Outside of the families, the highest form of power would likely be those running these units. Yet they could likely be bought and paid.

This would be a system where both the Arashi and Chaladon would find offense to. You could never really trust a merchant and each may have different goals or policies. One might be more charitable and another more cutthroat. Loyalty could be bought and sold.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 03, 2015, 02:05:16 am
         we don't really know how much solidarity there is between the various merchant houses, or even really how the merchants are organised, whether it is a large number of independent freelancers because the markets and or merchants themselves are too volatile or too xenophobic (or merchants too territorial) to share or be allowed to share,  small number of large organised (perhaps as suggested-hereditary) "ruthless operator" maybe  mafia-y companies, or if they all work for a centralized government.
       we DO know that they have people in almost EVERY major city, and they all owe allegiance somehow to Vyshtorg, but not how much that allegiance is worth, or how the network is protected, either by the individual companies or by the guild with the navy as a national asset.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 03, 2015, 03:32:08 am
Yeah they have operations everywhere so that would take a foreign policy that is very flexible and likely based on whatever family controls the route. Hence I'd assume they are very  minimal on government. But at the same time there has to be something that binds them enough where they'd be part of "The Guild."

Lot we can only guess based on how the other nations react to the Guild. We know Yesha likes them alright. Likely because Yesha has a lot of resources and industrial capacity. Hence they need a shipper. Chaladon doesn't directly hate them but doesn't like them much. We can assume based on Chaladonian dealings with the Arashi and their isolationist stance that they've been burned by the Guild in the past. Now if we look at Chaladon's enemies, we mainly have Anglea. Anglea is a bunch of tech nuts who raid people and are wild as you can get. If Chaladon is a more structured society and values order, they'd see Anglea as the bane of all things good.

So perhaps a Guild family did something reckless around those lines and it left a black mark in Chaladonian minds. I'd assume from that, that Chaladonians are the kind of people that don't quickly forget a wrong. Or at least are very wary. Now if we look at the Arashi who hate the Guild, there is a similar history. They are tribal and tribal governments don't forget offenses. Hence you'd have a common enemy between the Arashi and Chaladon.

That isn't to say there wouldn't be Guild branches in or close to those lands. Just maybe very limited as to which families do business. Hence foreign policy is dictated by the families.

If there wasn't something to bind Guild members. Some kind of code or ethics, then you'd have total mafia like war between them. Each fighting over routes and killing each other. So the question then comes down to, what binds the Guild together? If we consider that Yesha has "The Yeshan Way" which we can assume is some moral code or way of life, and it meshes well with the Guild, then we can assume there is a form of "Guild Way" that does something similar to keep the Guild bound.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 05, 2015, 01:11:21 am
        the mercantile guild is a government that is a conglomerate of merchant companies, they have a treaty which I've forgotten the name of, so it seems likely they pay some tithe to a centralized government, likely to pay for some kind of contract enforcement agency of some kind. also likely that these funds are also what fund the mercantile guilds naval ships that they use to escort and protect the trading convoys that are the life-blood of the nation from raiders (likely Arashi or Anglean attack, given their geography and philosophical predisposition.)
       I still don't know how the guild's actual merchants act, and who their allegiance is to. from the fluff their trade fleet begins because of an altruistic drive to find the cure for the disease ravaging their homeland. we have no way to know how much of that attitude still survives to the present day. depending on what the treaty says, and how much of that altruistic attitude survives to present day, the fleet could be the mafioso style you invision, or actual governmental agents of some kind, serving the interests of Vyshtorg. i guess we will have to wait till someone at muse gives us some hint as to what is in the treaty.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 05, 2015, 06:19:35 am
Kinda consider the fleet as serving the minimalist government. They have to have something to protect routes and borders since so much is dependent upon it. Maybe some kind of secret police in it as well to keep the peace between families.

Perhaps what happens is, to be considered a member of a local Guild hall, you have to invest into it. The investments go towards keeping the minimal government afloat as well as funding the fleets. If investment was purely privatized then you'd have full blown corruption where family would be paying off patrol ships left and right. If they intend to do business everywhere then along with a code of ethics they'd need some degree of oversight. Granted I think no matter what it still would happen. But a fleet like this would provide a place for people who aren't cut out for merchant business.

So power hierarchy would put the families in on top with the government either on par or under it. Those who can't cut it then protect those who can. Trickle down from there you'd have the local businesses and small startups vying to make it to the top.

The trouble comes in with how do they decide things. Is there elections? I'd imagine there wouldn't be. But lets assume there is a form of elder merchant system. Japan has a similar system. It doesn't really help and sometimes it hinders things, but people who retire from businesses often get an in road into public office. So imagine a similar system for the Guild. The former family leaders or those who retire and pass along the business to a heir then become the next government heads for a local region. Likely more than one. Perhaps at least one or more local civilian elders gets elected to provide a voice for the people, not just the companies.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 09, 2015, 03:55:22 pm
the origins of the merchant fleet were not for money and power though, so if you are right, wed have to explore that transition from an exploratory fleet centered around curing a plague (which they end up succeeding at) transitions, after the plague is cured, to the family buisness mafioso system you envision.  whatever the intentions of the fleet at its inception, we still dont know who it was that sent them, so it may not be a transition at all, it might have been the richest families to begin with that sent out the explorers.

that said, the fleet of ships to protect the web of marketplaces sounds more like the fleet that found the cure, while the merchants themselves might have to rely on the governmental fleet to protect them. if it were ME i woudl be very leery of huge corporations with private armies vying for control of the skies. the more successful the merchants become, the more dangerous they become (unless of course as i have suggested that the business of trading is so volatile that the individual merchant companies don't survive for ever, and will eventually get a run of bad luck and fall apart.) if the government maintains a strict ownership over teh military escorts on convoys it solves two problems as i see them:
1: what happened to the exploratory fleet? they are all very capable sailors and dealers, but they didn't ALL find the cure, and some are certainly more capable than wealthy, so what did they do as a society with these altruistic capable sailors? made them the navy of course to go to strange lands where brave polyglots would be uniquely able to do the job.
2: it helps the government stay in power! having the rich families have to rely on you to keep them safe creates the reliance on one another (what normal people call 'cooperation') and the specialization required for seamless trade across the world, and keeps the government (probably the heads of all the guild's merchant houses) is therefore invested in the safety of the merchandise, and the merchants invested in the guild. gotta pay your dues or the guild wont keep your ships safe, and if you dont pay, nobody will keep you safe, and the angleans or the arashi will pick you off faster than you can say 'all aboard for Nalm.'
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 11, 2015, 01:26:11 am
Yeah it has to be volatile. I could foresee the good merchants as those who are deeply involved with other nations. Always one step ahead. Information trading would be huge because it could lead to the downfall of a merchant empire.

So lets consider a moment, a system like this. What limits expansion of a business and fosters such extreme situations? Likely I'm guessing Merchant dues which make you part of the establishment. Sort of like taxes except for the Guild you'd know better what your money is paying for. Hence, the Guild's navy. Now some money would need to go to local cities to help maintain and such.  So we can assume there would be limited government to handle that.

This might then create a system where the rich companies are the ones who benefit most from the fleet as they'll be paying to maintain it which means they'll get the first pick of defense contracts. But what of smaller merchants? I'd imagine they'd be more or less exempt from this system. A lack of taxes would allow them to flourish and grow up to challenge the larger companies. Which would earn their way into the exclusive club that literally runs the Guild. If they can make it, they'd get a seat at the table and be on the forefront of trading.

An idea would be, compare DHL with UPS. UPS would be the Guild member elite. The 800lb gorilla. DHL would be the smaller company that may do things a little better and cheaper but isn't a member company yet. If the economic ecosystem was open enough to encourage business then DHL would eventually become prominent enough where they wouldn't have to pay private security to escort shipments and could then enter the Guild member system.

At some point there has to be a cost analysis where you'd look at the price of doing business before membership and the price after. If price of security of a large company rises exponentially and Guild membership relegated that fee to a level pay system then you'd have a reason why you'd want to become the 800lb gorilla. You'd get not only a membership seat and privileges at trade summits, but you'd also get the strength of the Guild Navy backing you.

Kinda fun thinking about all the possibilities of how their system would work. In a way I'm glad Muse hasn't done anything with the lore. Course I've had to do this for the last couple years working on the VN and then Aerodrome. Tho I didn't have much to do with the Guild arc in the VN. I had to rework it and update it but most of my thoughts on the Guild's system stem now from working on Chaladon arc and from Aero 3.

Aero 3's back story is kind of an extreme situation where a powerful family decides it wants to dictate Guild policy as a whole that is bred from others attempting similar. Information trading is used to manipulate and stir up the smaller companies into a frenzy which brings about the Mercantile War. So the main Guild guy could either be a villain or a hero. Eventually for another event we'll see the end result and the community can decide if they want to support his methods, or side with the opposition. Hence I asked Byron about using Timmy's name for it and we brought in a TB member for the voice. Figured it'd be a nice role to cast him as. Then we shot that video that was used for both Aero 3 and Timmy 2.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 11, 2015, 01:51:49 am
i tried catching up on the cantina stories but there is just way too much to get through to start at the beginning...

basically we know where they started, and have some idea of the people now through knowledge of their current government, sort of, and their culture, again sort of, because of their dress and the faction highlight.

im having a hard time squaring the merchant guild as mafiosos given how they dress and where they came from. its certainly possible that there are merchant families that weird tremendous power, but because of the origin of the fleet as a governmental group and the fact that we know they have a formal military of some kind, im thinking it might be like the navy in the age of sail, except more concerned with economic advantage and control than military advantage and control, ie. the fleet is a branch of the governmental armed services. you'd enlist to be a merchant sailor, your money would be split between the merchant guild that runs the fleets and the captains and crews keep some of course, as they did for capturing prices in teh Royal navy. this woudl allow for the extraordinary wealth of the merchant captains as we know exists, as well as a cohesive military, especially one that could maintain a grueling war with the arashi for years. if the trading fleets were privatized, they wouldn't bother fighting the arashi, there's no percentage in fighting hardened targets when there are markets in cathedral.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 11, 2015, 03:33:42 am
Even if we tie them in with say a...East India Trading company sort of setup. There would still be families with power.

War with the Arashi seems to come and go. From all I remember that Muse talked about, there was a lot of peaceful and war times. Generally Arashi get kept at bay by both the Guild and Yesha. I think how it happens is Arashi politics is entirely dependent on the ruling tribe in power. Tribal governments do not forget offenses but there can be moderates within them. Suppose a hardliner comes to power and decides to launch a massive attack on the trade routes, he's dealt with and then a moderate comes to power who is more open to talking to the Guild.

But we gotta ask the question, where does the Arashi get aide from when in peacetime. Chaladon can only supply so much. So what if main aide would be going to Alleron and the central cities, but outlining tribes would only get trickled down resources. They'd be more apt to then go raiding to make ends meet. Which would start a cycle of them gathering allies, challenging Alleron which gets lazy, and taking over. Which in turn starts another war path.

Personally I have a theory that the border between the Guild and Arashi is made up more of moderates who are willing to trade with some tribes, then in wartime they act as an early warning/buffer for the Guild. In fact if you look on the original map, there is an unmarked travel point within a giant crater that is very strategically placed. I dunno if Muse omitted it for a reason or just hadn't decided yet but I kinda like to think of that as a frontline staging area. If the depression was low enough and the walls high enough, it would be a great natural boundary. Just sit some defensive cannons up on the cliffs and done. Which could be why the Arashi haven't made major progress towards obliterating the Guild during a war event. If there was a major frontline base there, it would have to be taken first. Doubt they could siege it because one it would be big enough to have plenty of interior supplies, and two, the Arashi wouldn't have the resources to expend on taking it.

I can only back up the theory of a buffer region by looking at the city names. There is a stark contrast between interior Guild names and the border names. The area near the Arashi is clearly Japanese in naming. Originally Muse mentioned something about this that the Arashi desert was named by the Guild, but the Guild is a giant melting pot so suppose it was named by a Japanese style culture group that is part of the Guild but set up their own mini Guild within the Guild that borders the Arashi. If they were moderates it would explain why the Arashi kept the name and didn't go with a more traditional or local name.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 12, 2015, 03:41:53 pm
the arashi can sustain a war because they are inherantly scavengers by nature, whatever teh war was about you can bet that he arashi sold all the wrecked ship parts and the dead soldiers gear. they are sustained by two aspects: firstly that there is a lot of old tech lying in the desert for one reason or another, and so they are similar to the angleans in that their technology is based on adapting and reverse engineering the ancient tech, and as such they have pretty fantastic technology. secondly, the arashi can always find NEW wrecks worth salvaging, ships destroyed and cargo spilled on the dunes by natural causes or attack by ambush...
as for essential supplies that cant be found in the desert, namely food most likely, they can trade for it legitimately, selling the srap and pillaged goods from the MG to have enough cash to buy food and supplementary water
i sort of want to steer this back to the MG, as there is a discussion of arashi culture and tactics elsewhere.

as for the fine points of the dispute between teh league and the guild, i always assumed that the arashi were harrying the guildsmen's trade routes. theres nothing to be gained form conquering large swathes of desert (unless the oases that the arashi cities are centered around are rare enough that the guildsmen who also live in a ashen plain might covet, although they travel enough that i cant imagine they couldnt find water somewhere not surrounded by hardened desert dwellers.) so unles teh arashi wanted big swathes of stinking fetid ash wastes, i have to assume there are caravans or convoys passing over the deserts that the desert people were attacking, causing the guild to decide to put an end to their aggression once and for all, and attacked them, out of self defense, of course ;)
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 13, 2015, 06:38:10 pm
Well we don't know if there was something in the desert that is of value. We know Chaladon does business with the Arashi and uses the Arashi lands for testing tech. Since Chaladon hates Anglea for it's abuse of technology, we can assume that the Arashi do not seek the same. They don't have the old world zealotry that Anglea has. Perhaps Chaladon wants to avert a catastrophe that befell the old world and the Arashi are like minded so they let Chaladon handle dangerous tech.

I think somewhere it is noted that the Arashi and Guild were more one at one point. Then the split happened. So lets say that Guild lands were at one time much larger and it encompassed three cultures. If Vyshtorg became very prominent and was making policy that was out of touch with the others then perhaps this is where the break came. We know they don't like the Guild's oppulence or their ways. So possibly it was a big political move as the cultures diverged.

The Arashi would have more to gain from taking Guild lands than the Guild taking Arashi lands. Only reason the Guild would want to is to secure the routes. Which might again change based on who is ruling the Arashi. For that reason, I'd say the Guild must have either a fortress or some well defended base in the south to keep the Arashi from committing.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 14, 2015, 12:58:15 am
i feel like ive done a fair bit of back research, and have no idea where you decided that chaledon and the arashi were once one nation, given that chaledon is an island across the whole map, and famous for being isolated during the catastrophe, so much so they didnt even realize there had BEEN a catastrophe.
as for the trading dangerous tech, the chaledonians have lots of natural resources, but not a lot of ancient tech, as such have created a lot of NEW tech, stuff they actually understand, so i dont imagine they woudl want potentially catastrophic ancient tech from the arashi league.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 14, 2015, 01:57:01 am
Never said Chaladon and Arashi. Dunno where you got that. Was talking about Guild and Arashi.

Remember Chaladon has some biotech. Very big on medical tech too. Why the Guild doesn't like them because Chaladon won't let that tech out. They aren't country bumpkins. I'd assume they do buy a lot from the Arashi tho. But I do know for certain that Chaladon doesn't get along with Anglea and I remember reading it somewhere that it was because they abuse technology.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 14, 2015, 07:44:43 pm
my feelings about that conflict is something like a juxtaposotion between making something for yourself, and stealing it from someone else. also in the lusse's travels entry for anglean raiders, it says that the chaladonians have offered (for no clear reason other than 'peace' but who really beleives that...) have offered protection to the villagers of Hanat against raids from the angelans.

in that respect, the guild are "both" they would be happy to create a cutting edge technology EVERYONE would be willing to buy for a LOT, they would love that, but also willing to buy something on the cheap in cathedral and sell it for a lot in Nalm. that said part of their infrastructure is having a navy powerful enough to protect, as much as it is economical, their trade fleets.
im imagineing from waht i know of the various nations what sorts of trade goods the MG would be interested in, please jump in anyone if you think of somethign i didnt, or disagree on any point. here goes

Order of Chaledon:
as you mentioned the chaledonians have some measure of biotech, i am uncelar however if it is genuinely sweet advanced gene manipulation or just sophisticated husbandry and unique and very useful breeds of normal-ish animals or even animals that have survived there in the seemingly undisturbed natural landscape of the former world that have gone extinct and therefore are unknown in the rest of the world. the exotic or bizarre animals would OBVIOUSLY delight the rarefied sensibilities of a merchant lord, and as such we'd imagine the upper echelons would want them. also depending on what kinds of medicinal or biological marvels could be traded for (just because chaledon doesn't want it to get out or doesn't offer it OPENLY doesn't mean there wouldn't be a contraband market the guildsmen would be part of.)

Anglean Republic:
having the most advanced weapons would mean they would be able to use fewer vessels to protect their trade routes, so a certain amount of either original r&d or buying blueprints from other nations. presumably the Angleans who would pay a LOT for raw materials, which they are perpetually short of, but and have a lot of super sweet tech for sale,

Arashi League:
Despite years of intermittent conflict, the arashi who have similarly sweet tech from examining salvaged old world vessels that have crashed in the desert, but have their own serious natural resource issues, but in food and water, rather than ship-making materials, which they have a lot of because of the constant influx of wrecks in the desert. as such, a courageous merchant trader might be tempted to bring water and food to an arashi city to made a tidy profit.

Fjord Baronies:
Fish i guess? the fjordlanders basic governmental makeup suggests to me that there are lords and nobility of various means who woudl also be interested in luxury goods as well. the baronies in the past had been largely agricultural, and given that the area is relatively green, it might easily be that they are big on the food exporting business. other than that we dont really know much about them, they also have large cities and forests and mountains, so they might be fairly well off for natural resources. given that baronies are GENERALLY fairly self sufficient, or else the lord wouldn't hold the political and economic autonomy that they must to maintain his barony. it might be that the merchantile guild there woudl be more like traders of general goods. exporting raw materials: wool, wood, ore, etc, and importing finished items: textiles, metals and other finished products of all varieties that  city folk and craftsmen would want.

Yesha: Like the baronies i imagine the trade going in and out of yesha would be nuanced in terms of playing the markets than the angleans or the arashi who have unavoidable and serious resource needs. the yesha would probably be importing and exporting luxury goods of many kinds, along with a variety of manufactured goods, and given that they control the flayed hills, probably iron and apparently water come out of that region.

SOOOO, who knows if jess will show up and be like... that's not like that at ALL, but till then, lets have some fun!
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 15, 2015, 01:39:13 am
Nah Baronies is rather resource starved. That's been one clear thing in the lore. Well they at least have one refinery because we have Blackcliff map in game. I think the Fjordlands also have some form of mining operations due to the terrain. Perhaps much of the mines have been used up? To support a lavish lifestyle I could imagine them using resources rather recklessly.

Baronies gets support from Chaladon and both the Baronies and Chaladon have a common foe in Anglea. I personally have a theory that the cultures were at one time one and that Chaladon is another one of these cultural splits. Yet not an aggressive one. Perhaps Chaladon was originally a colony at one time that gained freedom but still has ties to it's homeland. We know the countries were not all in the same spots. That migration happened and borders shifted or changed. If the Baronies are in a decline state then it is possible at one time they were much much larger. Perhaps extended into areas that are now independent states. So maybe there was a revolution of some kind which broke it apart. Bad king/etc.

Guild are a bit too in bed with Yesha for their tastes however, I think from stuff I've read, the Guild does have operations there. So maybe a Guild family is more friendly to the Baronies and serves as an intermediary.

Yeah much of this is fun piecing together things that Muse has released or hinted or talked about. Working on the VN has afforded me a few extra tidbits but none of it is anything you can't piece together form what is there.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 15, 2015, 10:43:49 pm
the baronies have huge mountain ranges, and i dont know if this is entirely facetious, but i thogut there was usually iron deposits in mountains... have i played too many RPGs? maybe i have... at any rate it does seem that besides probably some wood and definitely salted fish, the fjordlanders are not fantastically natural resource rich. it's not very well defined what the landscape of the fjordlanders is, but we can look at the map, and it looks like a lot of ocean, and some forests, and a metric ton of fjords. my assumption that king Gregor would like shiny stuff from other parts of the world was based on the fact that he was king and therefore likely to want luxury goods, and luxury goods are prime trade.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 16, 2015, 01:51:14 am
as to the chaledonians being a long lost region of a larger nation of wich the fjordlandrs were part, from what we know of the chaledonian history, we know tat they have been isolated since before the great environmental disasters that brought low the rest of the world, but because of their resources, they didnt suffer with the ecological destruction of the rest of the world, in fact as i recall, they didnt even notice. when a fjordlander showed up there in an airship built on the gabrielan archetype, they realized they could cross the obscenely treacherous pass between the island of chaledon and the mainland by air, and when they did were appalled by the ecological destruction they found in the rest of the world.

what interests me with all this is how the merchantile guild would use the relative defecits and strenghts of the various nations to make a tidy profit, and with this profit, i imagine fund and create a powerful fleet of airships both of their own design, and also likely a smattering of foreign ships as well, both adapted and if need be, hired outright.

as for their involvement with the yesha, there's no reason to only suspect their involvement with one another, the yesha are the largest faction on the map both in terms of naval power, size and presumably raw industrial resources (and therefore presumably a large number of manufactured goods as well) OF COURSE they are trading with one another, the mercantile guild could not pass up such an opportunity!!
The MG is a group of traders so close to psychotically obsessed with gaining wealth through trade that i wouldnt doubt that the other factions couldn't help but look at them askance. they aren't EXACTLY warmongers, but they are prepared for EVERY contingency, and prepared to make a profit no matter what happens. the profit margins for proviting warships to warring states would undoubtedly be astronomical, and as such, we must assume that the MG would negotiate EITHER non agression treaties so they can sell war suplies to both sides for a HUGE margin, or cast their lot in with one side or the other either for a lot of cash (whatever cash is in this world) or for some kind of OVERBEARING advantage over a faction that harried them.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 16, 2015, 02:56:33 am
Yeah any connection between Baronies and Chaladon would have to be older then. Perhaps it was old world and those escaping the war fled to Chaladon. That to me would explain why in Chaladon there seems to be a mix of both northern and southern cultures. The British India setup that Muse describes.

Yesha gives them open markets. So they get trade benefits and from my understanding the "Yeshan Way" is not opposing to the Guild policy. Think it was hinted at that the expansionist policy works well with the Guild's goals.

I'd suspect that means that where ever Yesha goes, the Guild gets to expand their economic dominion better. So open markets spread to other cities which then reduces the hassle the Guild has to deal with in expanding.

At the end of it all, I'd say the Guild will eventually swallow up Yesha. Just because the expansionist policy needs money and resources to fuel it. When all of that becomes heavily leveraged on The Guild, they basically own Yesha and to pay debts Yesha would then have to give conquered land away to the Guild or give them more power over their economy. This is kind of the Aero 3 backstory again. Cept I did it on a smaller scale. Just northern companies conspiring to make this happen by taking advantage of the war torn north.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 16, 2015, 04:34:20 pm
if the yeshans' economy cant support the expansionist pushes, then it seems plausable. if they economy of the yeshan empire CAN support its expansionistic philosophy, then we might see the reverse, that the empire spreads apace with its means, and the merchantile guild is ultimtely confronted with a very large, rapacious neighbor to the north who might not have much compunction about taking controll of lands more previously controlled by guildsmen. if there is no financial leverage to hold over yesha's head, then its going to come down to how well the two nations behave  if they cant cripple the yeshan economy with an economic attack and take over that way, and have to throw down in a ship war (which, lets face it... we all wanted.)  it might be that at the beginnign of hostilities between the yeshans and the MG, the trade flow stops along the borders of yesha, and both sides start suffering very badly, in yesha they cant sell their stuff, in the guild there's less stuff, and fewer people to sell it to. before the blood starts raining from the sky, we might see serious problems within the two nations.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 16, 2015, 06:10:55 pm

Well if we look at the lands surrounding Yesha, there aren't a lot of resource rich areas. Yesha has all the goodies. Now if they took Anglea, they'd gain technology but I think a campaign against Anglea would be like Napoleon or Hitler's attempts at taking Russia. They'd likely expend more resources than they'd get back. So a economic take over might be better for them there.

Fjordlands is a bit far but in the middle you have the plains and a desert. Firnfeld after that. Yesha would have to take all these areas. That means not only expending resources on their own fleets but also on garrisoning troops and defending the conquered towns. For sure the Arashi would get involved as they'd see an opportunity to strike the Tiger in it's flanks, taking advantage of the situation. Unless of course the Guild picked up the slack for that.

Plus also take into account that everyone is armed in the GOIO world. Yesha would have to come in with overwhelming force to squash out any possible resistance which might not be very feasible. Big reason Japan ultimately decided an invasion of the US wouldn't be easy. That's a long supply chain and "behind every blade of grass would be a rifle." An armed population.

I considered this in Aero 3 for after the Coalition lost the war in Aero 2. Yesha in that situation was already war torn to begin with and so keeping a standing force in the Fjordlands or even absorbing and maintaining the peace would be difficult. Taking tributes and reparations would be feasible but spreading the weakened fleets with Arashi threats would be dangerous.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 17, 2015, 02:42:34 am
yeah nobody is going to invade anglea, i dont think there is a great amount of trade betweent eh MG and the angleans either, as id imagine the angleans would LIKE more metals and food, but would rather steal it than trade their hyper-awesome technological awesomness.
the yeshans are loaded with natural resources and while not a huge technological power, they definitely know how to make a ship, and 5 more after that... seriously they have ships for days...
unless the MG is going to be selling the services of their escort ships as mercenaries or shipyards for making auxiliary ships for one of two warring factions, which we know they do, i wouldn't imagine they would really be all that excited about actually BEING at war, too much chance someone would break their stuff...
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 17, 2015, 04:20:23 am
I remember there being more of a arms for food trade deal between Anglea and Yesha or something like that but I honestly never could really figure it. To me Anglea would find riper targets striking Yesha than Firnfeld. Or at the very least, Yesha wouldn't put up with Anglea so long. If they wanted to expand without military force then loaning out defense forces to independent cities would make that happen much easier. Yesha defends the town and route, builds good will, gives them a reason to want to join the Empire. This would directly oppose Anglea who would raid them.

To me it always seemed like Yesha vs Anglea was the ultimate antagonist relationship. Anglea has the edge in technology while Yesha has the edge in resources and size. There would be almost no way Anglea could sustain a long enough conflict against Yesha to probably even make it to Chang-ning. Or if they could, they wouldn't be able to hold it unless they secured supply lines along the way which Yesha would likely burn or target immediately. 
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 19, 2015, 01:24:32 am
i thin one of the most interesting aspects of the faction system is the reasons nobody can wipe out another of the factions. there is always a very good reason that the power centers of the various nations is perfectly safe from being sacked. the anglean cities are full of scary robots and buried underground. even though the yeshans have a huge natural resource supply and a disciplined and capable government and a massive airfleet, they arent going to be able to penetrate the anglean cities well enough to cripple them.
the one weird case is the MG. their stranglehold on trade means that they are largely immune from concerted attack except by from what im SURE they would call the 'outlaw states:'  the arashi league and the anglean republic. the arashi aren't populous enough, despite their individual resilience and skill, to deliver a hammer blow to the MG, despite the fact that i'm fairly sure the league has the edge in both the skill, dicipline, and toughness of their crews and technical savvy due to their intimate connection with the old world tech ruins they live around. the wars with the arashi i imagine must have been expensive, and except for the ruins of the old world in the arashi desert, theres not a lot of goods there worth having. not to mention the general disagreeable nature of the desert which keeps the arashi cities largely impregnable. nothing ruins a fleet of airships quite like a massive sand storm, and if reading Dune taught me anything about 'desert power' we can expect a lot of lightning fast ambushes with localized overwhelming force on soft targets like supply lines, or on isolated capital ships.
the MG have economic power enough to force, if not the surrender as you suggested, a sort of diplomatic immunity. nobody wants to risk an international incident which might threaten the flow of goods in and out of the nation, and so the guildsmen are allowed likely a fair amount of latitude in places that would be afraid to lose their commerce.
the arashi are too proud to accept an insult, however slight, even come Armageddon, so it wouldn't surprise me if this was the original cause of the conflict between the AL and the MG.
I'm sure the baronies are very welcoming to the guild traders, as are the yesha for the same reason: they need to buy and sell the goods from other nations to thrive.
the order of chaladon's historical isolation might mean that the MG were not AS welcome, as the chaledonians are more insulated by the lack of NEED for foreign goods. the guilds-men are likely to have to tread lightly there as well, but given the great natural wealth on the island of chaledon, its likely they would play nice. its the guildsmen who risk being shut out of the opportunities of chaledon, rather than the chaledonians being afraid of being shut out of the opportunities the guild can provide.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 19, 2015, 07:00:34 am
That might be part of it with Chaladon but something had to have happened with that technology. Imagine the Guild going through an epidemic. Knowing Chaladon likely has the cure next door but won't share it? Why? Simple isolationism doesn't compute to me. If it was so, they wouldn't be working with the Arashi.

The root cause I'm sure is deeper. Theory I have is that at one time Chaladon and Guild were a little more friendly. That friendliness was betrayed for profit. That or Chaladon saw the Guild's true colors. Imagine Chaladon had a cure but when they started to give it, they found the merchants and those higher in Guild society were hoarding it. Then charging a premium for the cure. Or maybe they discovered the plans for it and decided to not ship it. This isn't a plot line that is unfamiliar. It's been used in storytelling.

If Guild government is more family dependent like I theorize then it would make sense that it would change over time. Specially if one family does something stupid like that. Which would give rise to a demand for ethical dealings from the people. Course by the time the Guild established a formal code of ethics it was too late. Chaladon never quite forgot that offense. In turn they keep eyes on the Guild. Seeing their actions in other places causes only more wariness. Course through it something had to have happened to open up the relations with the Arashi. Maybe a major conflict between MG and Arashi ended with Chaladon mediating.

Course that would put the time line of events farther back. Question I ponder is, was there just one Blight or have there been many? If I look at the old map I see more than one major crater in Guild lands. Safe to assume in the old world, it was bombed pretty heavily. Ground down there could be toxic. So even if they did cure something once, that doesn't mean it wouldn't come back again. Or even perhaps a new disease or new strain comes out. Guild seems like a place of great wealth and with that comes great poverty too. Thus slums and breeding grounds for disease. Lot of pollution too. So another reason Chaladon wouldn't like them.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 19, 2015, 12:37:29 pm
the only reason i hesitate to agree is that we know the first contact with the outside world was with the fjord baronies, so it wasn't the MG who found Chaledon first. that said the plague hit after the age of air because the nobles took to the sky in huge barges. so its theoretically possible that Chaledon's isolation had ended and the future guilds-men could have known about Chaledon when they went on the cure-hunt. i wouldn't imagine that the Chaledonians would welcome someone from a place full of plague, you would think someone with that reputation wouldn't be welcomed.the order is not a tight knit government though, and id imagine that there would be some parts of the island more welcoming than others.

This is of course all valid only if the timeline matches up, that the plague was after the baronies first contact with chaledon. we only know that both of these events happened after the flight of the icarus
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 19, 2015, 12:58:05 pm
i found in the history that the age of red death is 50 AB-100AB but the flight of the icarus was in 212 AB, so i'm not sure what the guildsmen hiding above the plague were using...

the plague that hit the MG was not the read death but somethign called the grey blight, so there isnt a problem, potentially
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 20, 2015, 02:07:46 am
Yeah I think Guild lands as a whole is just a toxic site. Overhead pictures make it look rather dead and I wonder why they'd settle there. Must be water resources of some kind that they found there. That or there was a city already there that they just re-inhabited.

It just doesn't fit Chaladon's open nature with the Arashi and closed with MG unless something happened to cause it. Unless Chaladonians are selfish jackasses. Maybe Arashi is just "okay" with them being jackasses.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 20, 2015, 03:21:57 pm
teh chaledonains have a deal with the arashi? i missed that, if true that would be HUGE. my understandign is that while chaledonians are very interested in spreading the word and trying to save the environment, they arent all that excited abotu lettign people ONTO the island of chaledon.
i agree that to look at the map, there is nothing growing in the vastness, all the goods that the guild trades must therefore be some kind of manufactured goods, importing wood and textiles and exporting finished airships and guns and the like for example. with the profits from that kind of trade, they can afford to then BUY food and water from anyone who has a surplus (wich im not sure who that would be, but ok)
i feel like food is teh leephant in tehroom for a lot fo these nations, where does it all come from. we know the fjordlanders and angleans fish a lot, but that the fisheries are not keeping up, the land is recovering slowly, but looking at the map its a miracle theres enough farmland for everyone, if there even is...
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 20, 2015, 06:07:05 pm
Independent states likely play a large role in the food situation. There is a plains region and areas outside of Yesha or Chaladon where food could grow well. I imagine this keeps the independent states and cities viable. Especially for people who disagree with polices on the national level of some of the major countries. What could Firnfeld possibly have that Anglea could want? Likely imports from the south. Instead of attacking the routes they attack the destination.

Chaladon society is isolationist but that doesn't necessarily mean they are opposed to people visiting, just I'd say not in large numbers. Might have a "uchi soto" mentality like Japan has today. Welcome you if you are there to visit, but if you stay you are treated as an outsider. Cept for Chaladon I could imagine it being worse. They could be completely closed off or maybe only partially. Even Japan during the Tokugawa isolationism allowed the Dutch to continue trade with them.

Chaladon has some deals with the Arashi. I know somewhere Muse mentioned they use the Arashi lands for tech testing or at least buy/trade tech with them. I would guess for food and supplies. So the question comes in, why would an isolated country trade with known criminals unless they had a common enemy? They also have some deals with the Baronies which I can assume is for similar reasons since the Fjordlanders fight Angleans just as they do. So if there are deals with the Fjordlands and Arashi then I can assume from that both nations have some form of representation in Chaladon. Perhaps even get visitors from time to time.

I could imagine the immigration process into Chaladon being very difficult. Different from Anglea where it is easy to get in, just hard to get out. To become Anglean, just be captured and enslaved. They treat you like royalty and you lose all desire to leave.

In the VN we have a saying involving Chaladon and restaurants. Goes around the lines of..."just because we don't always order something doesn't mean we don't like to see what's on the menu." Implies Chaladon likes to know what is going on, they just don't get involved like the other nations.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 21, 2015, 12:38:51 am
i know the slavery thrall thing is popular in the boards and stuff, but i dont think they would use slaves at all for two reasons: firstly they have crude laborers in the form of automatons which secondly, they dont have to feed, which is a huge asset in country perpetually on the edge of starvation
slaves bring nothing to the table, the angleans are already the most powerful technomancers in the world, they gain nothing from stealing smart people from other places.

the food situation via independent states is interesting, but the nations around which it is most likely geologically are the least likely ideologically to suffer having to buy food from the same states. the baronies are expanding out of necessity  because their population is expanding due to immigration and general prosperity, so their territory must therefore also expand. the yesha are more expressionistic than ANYONE, they expand as a matter of course.

the chaledonian island is hard to get to, like REALLY hard by water, so everything going in and out has to come by air. their ships are designed as interceptors working in squadrons likely, and they wouldn't allow anyone in who wasn't invited. the idea that they would allow anyone in is contingent on them wanting them in, which is like saying that they need someone else. they are really the ONLY faction that has their shit together, their philosophy doesn't encourage outsiders, and their resources mean they dont need outsiders. their science is advancing at a faster rate than anyone, so despite the fact that they started late, they are one of the few cultures that are building up their tech, rather than reverse engineering something they dont actually understand.

the mercantile guild comes into this as a kind of release valve, to ease hunger in places that have too little, and provide a market for surplus and raw goods. the Chaledonians need neither, and dont really like outsiders. why would they allow the MG to make a profit selling their goods, they have a perfectly good system where they create adn use their own materials to make ships and machines and the like. there is no reason they would allow mobulas to come prancing in
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Squidslinger Gilder on November 21, 2015, 02:13:40 am
No early info on Anglea said they'd kidnap people. Usually smart people or those useful to them because they lacked knowledge to work the machines they'd dig up. That Anglea wasn't all that smart. They needed people to do it for them. Food situation is irrelevant if they not only raid for it but also gain it from Yesha as there allegedly is some weapons for food deal going.

Baronies is struggling and in resource deficits. The Fjordlands may look rich but I tell ya again, in the lore that we've had for awhile now, it is not that rich. The feudal society they have, rich get richer, poor get poorer. Theres a lot of infighting between the Barons. The only real loyalty is to the king whom they are very diehard loyal to. There is also a historical reason for why things are messy but I don't think Muse has talked about it in any public info. Had some discussions with Eric involving the northern nations for the VN but I'm not sure what can and can't be said. Some of it they may be saving for Alliance. The rest of it, I dunno. It might change. I get the feeling the lore has changed at times. Likely because the original writer of the lore moved on.

Chaladon hard by water? Then why are there boats all through Water Hazard? Small boats actually, ones which shouldn't be in areas that are turbulent. Perhaps there is a monsoon season there but looking at the map it doesn't look hard to get to and we know there is travel by boats because there is boats in the game. I don't know where you are getting the idea that sea travel is difficult and air travel is the only way. If anything air travel is more optimal and quicker, thus it would be used more.

I don't think you are considering the bigger picture and the cause and effect for all the nations. If you consider how a nation behaves now, you gotta look at it's potential past. A past we know very little about. Behavior and rivalries that we have displayed suggest something had to have happened between the Guild and Chaladon at some point. Countries just don't go about hating other countries for no reason...well cept maybe North Korea :D. But Chaladon isn't a tyrannical regime and as far we know they have a government system that isn't all that different from others. Yesha and Anglea both use a Republic style system. There are variations but they do. We can infer that the Guild has an election system even if they have family control because it would be a smart move when it comes to oversight. Chaladon last I heard had similar.

The real problem here is I think Muse has a messy lore that doesn't completely sync up or make sense at times. That or they are botching their own lore. The only other factor is that this is the lore and they are just botching the time frame. That just takes them sitting down and making a time line of events. If future events don't sync up then they need to adjust the history. You can't have nation A hating nation B without a justified reason. Even if it is a tiny reason that was just blown up and became tradition over time, there still needs to be a sensible reason.

Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 21, 2015, 03:01:21 am
in the order of chaledon faction feature it says this about the channel:

When they first encountered the more advanced technology of the ancient world, brought by airship over the treacherous, impassible Channel, Chaladonian scientists devoured it eagerly, dissecting and cataloging each new piece of tech they came across to learn what it was, how it was made, and how it might be improved upon. The celebrated shipwright Isaac Phillips was able to reverse-engineer and construct the very first Chaladonian-built airship based solely on his observations of a visiting Baronies corvette that made port in his hometown of Itonia overnight, a feat for which he was later knighted by the City of Averna
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: Helios. on November 22, 2015, 04:48:39 pm
The Merchantile guild problaby wouldn't have a problem with slavery ideaologically, but unless other nations were also involved with a slave trade, wich it doesnt look like they are, i cant imagine they would allow the MG to buy or sell slaves in their territory, much less TAKE slaves. its hard to know if the angleans woudl be willign to buy slaves from the MG, i wouldn't doubt if there were VERY valuable people. it woudl have to be someone worth feeding, because anyone not worth feeding gets to walk around outside, id bet.
Title: Re: The Mercantile Guild
Post by: TimTim LaBaguette on April 25, 2016, 12:24:47 pm
Guild fanaaaart

Escudete is not pleased