Author Topic: The Mercantile Guild  (Read 17881 times)

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #15 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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #16 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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #17 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.

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #18 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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #19 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.

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2015, 06:10:55 pm »
Right.

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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #21 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...

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #22 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. 

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #24 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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #25 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

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #26 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...

EDIT:
the plague that hit the MG was not the read death but somethign called the grey blight, so there isnt a problem, potentially
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 01:08:00 pm by Helios. »

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #27 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.

Offline Helios.

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #28 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...

Offline Squidslinger Gilder

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Re: The Mercantile Guild
« Reply #29 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.