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Mining in Dragon Pass region


jajagappa

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Jeff provided these insights on Facebook to mining in Dragon Pass and surrounding lands:

This is a tentative summary of the main mining sources of metals in Dragon Pass and the Holy Country. Bronze and copper are primarily locally sourced. Although some tin, silver, gold, and aluminum are locally mined, much of the supply is imported from elsewhere. Nearly all iron is imported - either from the dwarfs or from Seshnela.
Note that any metal can be bought from the Dwarf Mine, although their prices are always much higher than from human merchants (on the other hand, they always have supplies).
 
Bronze
Bronze can be directly mined from Gods Age battlefields where the storm gods fought and fell. Although they can be almost anywhere in the Dragon Pass area, such deposits are rare and very valuable. it is usually easier and cheaper to alloy copper and tin.
Mining sources:
Red Hill
Destor's Hills, Finovan Hills - sometimes called the Bronze Hills. Where many minor Storm gods fell fighting against the invasion of the Water Gods.
 
Copper
Copper is a common metal in the Dragon Pass area. Most copper is alloyed with small amounts of tin to create bronze, although some is used without alloying. Dragon Pass and the Holy Country are net exporters of copper.
Mining sources:
Barastaros Hills - sometimes called the Copper Hills (large)
Thorab's Hill (large)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
Indigo Mountains (small)
Sharl Plains (small)
 
Tin
Tin is an uncommon metal, However, there are several small deposits of Tin in Dragon Pass. Tin is also imported from the Lunar Heartlands and Teshnos.
Mining sources:
Starfire Ridge (small)
Auroch Hills (small)
Dwarf Cliff (small)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
Solung Plateau (small)
Falling Hills (small)
 
Gold
Gold is a very rare metal and in high demand. Dragon Pass imports most of its gold from the Lunar Heartlands or from Teshnos.
Mining sources:
Guardian Hills (small)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
Falling Hills (small)
 
Silver
Silver is a rare metal and in high demand. Dragon Pass imports most of its silver from the Lunar Heartlands.
Mining sources:
Guardian Hills (small)
Falling Hills (medium)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
 
Lead
Lead is a common metal in Dragon Pass. The Lead Hills are the main source of lead, and it is extremely easy to mine there.
Mining sources:
Lead Hills (large)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
 
Aluminum
Aluminum is a rare metal. Dragon Pass imports most of its aluminum from the seas in the form of Quicksilver.
Mining sources:
Indigo Mountains (small)
Dwarf Mine (unknown)
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7 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Destor's Hills, Finovan Hills - sometimes called the Bronze Hills. Where many minor Storm gods fell fighting against the invasion of the Water Gods.

Which must bring a fair amount of wealth to the Volsaxi lands and Whitewall.  A lot of that probably goes to Smithstone to forge into bronze goods.  

Lunars probably took advantage of that while camped outside of Whitewall to keep their soldiers' weapons and armors repaired.

11 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

The Lead Hills are the main source of lead, and it is extremely easy to mine there.

Easy to mine if the trolls let you!

12 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Starfire Ridge (small)

Probably helps the Orlmarth clan build some wealth. 

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1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

Do the Seshnegi commonly use iron instead of bronze? Or is it still rare but less so than in central Genertela? 

It's still very rare, comparably, but the Seshnelan mounted warrior elite seem to have enough to reliably equip them with a good deal of iron swords and armor, if probably not much else, and probably not all of them, iirc.

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Some additional comments from Jeff on FB:

My purpose in posting these notes is not to reenact tedious arguments from 25 years ago, but rather to make it clear that there are mines in Dragon Pass, and metal is transported from point A to point B. Remember most bronze is alloyed. Although copper is very common, tin comes from a handful of places - which means Issaries gets involved. So places like the Starfire Ridges, Auroch Hills, and Dwarf Cliff have small mines, kilns for smelting tin into bars, and markets where tin bars are traded. That tin is then taken to the cities or to areas where copper is mined to be alloyed with copper to make bronze.

This is stuff that the adventurers can get involved in. A mine has been taken over by something else - trolls, rock lizards, cave trolls, dwarfs, whatever, which means the local supply is unavailable and the local community asks the adventurers to help reclaim the main. Or an Issaries caravan has a large amount of valuable metal and hires the adventurers to help guard them (as they got the supply at the expense of an other tribe, dwarfs, Lunar noble, whatever).

Bronze bones have some very interesting magical properties....

Mines aren't big things like in our world. You'd likely have many small mines.

These mines might extend quite a way into the earth, but have a very small surface footprint.

 

Things under the Earth belong to the Earth Temple. The earth might get delegated to a clan, a tribe, an individual, another temple - or might stay with the Earth Temple. Of course, the Earth Temple probably gets something for the delegation.
So for example, the silver mines near Guilder Town are "owned" by the Asrelia Temple of Boldhome, and under the control of the Serzevethi family of the Kheldon tribe.

To the question: Do the Trolls trade for the lead in the Lead Hills, or do they simply mine it or take it themselves?

Trolls trade lead they find to human merchants through the Argan Argar cult. They probably take most of what they find, of course - but even the excess is a lot.

 

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It isn't necessarily the mines that have the big footprint, but the separation of the nuggets from the inert rock, and then melting and casting them into tradable ingots.

Panning or using fleeces are the classical methods for picking nuggets out of other material. Both require quite a bit of water, ideally running water.

Getting a river or even just a brook do the dirty work requires either brute force (like digging a canal, and then blocking the original course of the river - thanks a lot, Waha - or negotiating and enticing the water entity with gifts. Or tricking it to take the unwanted stuff as gift.

The fleece may be of interest, too. A cloud-fleece would be ideal if it could be rained off, removing the fleece nicely from the metal without having ot burn it away. Or certain metals require certain beasts' fleeces for optimum recovery.

But then there is another necessary form of water management - keeping the dig dry.

The rock or soil you have to dig into, and through, will influence the mine a lot, too. Even the stuff you don't wash out has to go somewhere.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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I remember an advertisement back in the Runequest renaissance days of an upcoming adventure taking place in a salt mine; if memory serves me, it was is Prax. Was this ever published?

A little off topic, but I also thought an early advertisement for Strangers in Prax included a character from the East.

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2 hours ago, OrlanthRex said:

A little off topic, but I also thought an early advertisement for Strangers in Prax included a character from the East.

East-ish.  An Orayan from the Red Hair Tribute, if I'm thinking of the same character.

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I keep hearing that the dwarves charge exorbitant rates... what does that actually equate to in real money terms?

Also, what do the dwarves take in exchange? I would have figured that there's nothing they'd want from the outside world and races, and they're fully self-sufficient.

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42 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I keep hearing that the dwarves charge exorbitant rates... what does that actually equate to in real money terms?

not so sure. If they ask more than the market (we know the "market" price, aren't we) nobody will negociate with the dwarves

 

42 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

Also, what do the dwarves take in exchange? I would have figured that there's nothing they'd want from the outside world and races, and they're fully self-sufficient.

any incredible or ridiculous things, I think. Protection, eggs, territory, mushroom, gem (not this one, I already have, but this one), meat, sea water, workforce, elf bow, coal, exotic wood, silk, magic item, uzuz head.... If they were really sufficient and powerful, they would have fixed the machine and win the war

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2 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Also, what do the dwarves take in exchange? I would have figured that there's nothing they'd want from the outside world and races, and they're fully self-sufficient.

Oh, well, there happen to be tasks that need completion for the World Machine to run properly.  Maybe go and recover a dwarf artifact or device from a dragon hoard (e.g. scenario in Sartar Companion), or from a troll lair (another scenario in Sartar Companion).  Or plug up a hole to the Void.  Etc.  That is, they want "expendable" units to perform tasks that would otherwise endanger their workers.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

not so sure. If they ask more than the market (we know the "market" price, aren't we) nobody will negociate with the dwarves

 

any incredible or ridiculous things, I think. Protection, eggs, territory, mushroom, gem (not this one, I already have, but this one), meat, sea water, workforce, elf bow, coal, exotic wood, silk, magic item, uzuz head.... If they were really sufficient and powerful, they would have fixed the machine and win the war

For minerals, metals, etc., dwarfs typically ask significantly over what a merchant might sell it for - but it is ALWAYS in stock. And in whatever quantities you ask for.

You want enough gold to mint some wheels - that's easy. You want enough gold to refurbish the Sun Dome Temple - you go to the dwarfs.

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In Balazar, the dwarves gather up a group of hunters periodically to, hold on, hunt for particular game over the next two weeks.  In return, they get a bronze dagger OR two bronze spearheads OR eight bronze arrowheads.  The king of Dykene trades leather goods, meats and furs.  The trader Joh Mith trades Mostali-related goods back to them.  According to the Griffin Mountain PoD.

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10 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Oh, well, there happen to be tasks that need completion for the World Machine to run properly.  Maybe go and recover a dwarf artifact or device from a dragon hoard (e.g. scenario in Sartar Companion), or from a troll lair (another scenario in Sartar Companion).  Or plug up a hole to the Void.  Etc.  That is, they want "expendable" units to perform tasks that would otherwise endanger their workers.

That I can get. Lots of tasks on the surface that they wouldn't need to handle themselves.

It was the material objects I was wondering about.

I suppose I should have been clearer... I'm referring to the traditionalists. Openhandists and Individualists I can understand trading more freely.

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11 hours ago, Jeff said:

For minerals, metals, etc., dwarfs typically ask significantly over what a merchant might sell it for - but it is ALWAYS in stock. And in whatever quantities you ask for.

You want enough gold to mint some wheels - that's easy. You want enough gold to refurbish the Sun Dome Temple - you go to the dwarfs.

But what's "significantly"? 

Could you guesstimate a multiplier? 1.3x book price? 1.8x? 2.5x?

(For me, 1.3x is just a bit expensive... 1.8x is very rude! 2.5x is exorbitant!!! Are we on the same page yet??)

 

(Edit: speaking of, the main book has 1 ENC of iron/gold around the 700/600 L region... Is that the price after dwarven profits? If not, where did that 1 ENC come from to be at that (apparently) low price? Should it be, "1 ENC of iron I looted from that Wind Lord last week" is worth 700 L?)

 

 

I know... These are all questions that should be in the upcoming GM's campaign book... Relative pricing across the lands.

Edited by Shiningbrow
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On 2/5/2021 at 4:03 PM, soltakss said:

You make a Bargain roll, they make a Bargain roll and you compare results.

 

Except - Bargain works on percentage of a base price. One which will change for many different reasons (such as location or supply (which would are related)). This wouldn't be appropriate for the Dwarf Mine, because they're in plentiful supply.

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On 2/4/2021 at 11:16 PM, Shiningbrow said:

But what's "significantly"? 

Could you guesstimate a multiplier? 1.3x book price? 1.8x? 2.5x?

(For me, 1.3x is just a bit expensive... 1.8x is very rude! 2.5x is exorbitant!!! Are we on the same page yet??)

 

(Edit: speaking of, the main book has 1 ENC of iron/gold around the 700/600 L region... Is that the price after dwarven profits? If not, where did that 1 ENC come from to be at that (apparently) low price? Should it be, "1 ENC of iron I looted from that Wind Lord last week" is worth 700 L?)

 

 

I know... These are all questions that should be in the upcoming GM's campaign book... Relative pricing across the lands.

ENC is too much of an abstract value to draw much from it. 1 ENC of gold bullion is worth 600L on average... 1 ENC of gold wheels is worth 2000L. 70% of the value of those coins must be in seigniorage! Or, alternately, 1 ENC of gold bullion is much less gold than in 1 ENC of wheels, because gold bars are much less convenient to handle than coins which can be stuffed into a purse.

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9 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Except - Bargain works on percentage of a base price. One which will change for many different reasons (such as location or supply (which would are related)). This wouldn't be appropriate for the Dwarf Mine, because they're in plentiful supply.

Bargain works however you want it to work.

You roll a bargain skill, they roll a bargain skill. You compare the results and describe what happens. I come at this from a heavily narrative point of view. If you ace the bargain you get a great deal, if you screw it up it costs a lot more.

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Also, an exorbitant price is fully appropriate, since the dwarves have more in stock than the entire region combined. Sure, you're paying way more for (to take a previous example) enough gold to cover the Sun Dome Temple roof than the market price for weight, but to get that amount of gold elsewhere would require buying the entire output of every single gold mine in Dragon Pass for decades!

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