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Jim

Sea travel between Nochet and Karse

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I’m looking at sea travel between Nochet and Karse. This seems longer  than the 75 miles/day coastal travel mentioned in GTG, so I assume that there would be stop off points on the regularly used route between the two cities.

I was thinking of one on the North Esrola coast (below Ax Hall before The Tangle) and on the island shown as part of the Bottomland Marsh (population 7k newtlings). The former would be in the land of one of the Houses, the latter perhaps a newtling or Triolini owned port with an interest from one of the Great Houses of Nochet. Lylket is a ruin, but I could imagine troll boatmen using it for nighttime piracy.

In my campaign timeline it is 1618, so the Holy Country fleet has been smashed by the Wolf Priates. This would make the crossing riskier and I’d imagine a premium fee would be changed by any safe harbour between the two cities. Pirates have set up on the County of the Isles, so I see ships making a dash for it from Karse to get as near to Nochet as possible before stopping in a port or dropping anchor off the coast of North Esrolia cost.

There could even be a Ludoch protection racket off the cost of North Esrolia where payment is made when ships drop anchor and are protected over night.

Has anyone given this any thought and developed this?

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Bear in mind the granularity of the map - small settlements and anchorages aren't going to show up on the scale of the map, so it is likely that there are several places on the islands between Karse and Nochet where a ship could safely spend the night.

Bottomland Marsh would be best avoided, as it is subject to the tides, and a vessel could get stuck until the tide changes, unless you know you can sail through it at high tide. The County of the Isles is also dangerously close to your route; as a pirate stronghold it is best avoided. In fact, given the situation after the disappearance of Belintar, a wise merchant captain would arrange to sail in a convoy protected by a few triremes from one of the Noble Houses - who probably own a share in the merchant ships. 

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I dropped a sea travel encounter from my story of pilgrims traveling to Nochet - they would have had an overnight stay at a friendly anchorage south of the tangle where local newtlings would peddle fresh food from the marshes to ships stopping over.

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10 hours ago, Jim said:

There could even be a Ludoch protection racket off the cost of North Esrolia where payment is made when ships drop anchor and are protected over night.

It's only a "racket" if those who don't pay are at EXTRA risk -- do the Ludoch raid such ships themselves?  Have some way to attract pirates?

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42 minutes ago, g33k said:

It's only a "racket" if those who don't pay are at EXTRA risk -- do the Ludoch raid such ships themselves?  Have some way to attract pirates?

The main usual risk on that stretch across the Mirrorsea Bay are sea trolls and boat trolls emerging from the (still somewhat secret) cave harbor at the bottom of the Shadow Plateau. Homebase to their fleet of black galleys.

(I am thinking of an installation similar to the ancient Egyptian one on the Red Sea, where the pharaohs kept their wooden ships that could be disassembled and re-assembled at need.)

For my own passage across the bay, I was planning on using a reported sighting of wolf pirate vessels. After the naval battle of 1616, the patrols never were brought back to their former density.

 

 

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Looking at the map and using its 5 mile hexes gives 16 generous hexes of travel - that's roughly 80 miles - just over 75 miles a day. You could argue that  a skilled captain could do it in under a day and that a poor trip with encounters and weather could take 2. According to the Guide p251 Mirrorsea/Choralinthor Bay is very calm and is ruled by the Triolini merfolk, the marshes have newtlings and the area has numerous small fishing villages. The events table gives two sea encounters: 

Quote

 

Common Events

Wolf Pirates raid islands.

Uncommon Events

Ludoch again investigating all ships and boats for something which they refuse to specify.

 

Red lines - following the 5 hex map giving a generous 80 miles

Yellow lines - as the crow flies, skilled captains roughly 50 miles.

Purple circles If absolutely needed, there're a couple of obvious stopovers:

Frog islands - likely some fisher villages, likely frogs. Holy island may have a bit more to it and so may not allow landings - sea god temples - monastery etc.

Karse-Nochet.png.898a42afca7719c18badf052c2c7b259.png

Clearly all of this depends on the style of travel - coast hugging is going to take much longer. 

 

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3 hours ago, g33k said:

It's only a "racket" if those who don't pay are at EXTRA risk -- do the Ludoch raid such ships themselves?  Have some way to attract pirates?

I had thought that the Ludoch could protect ships from the unfriendly denizens of the deep and also offer to repel/distract pirates through sea fog (although humans could also get this magic), command of large sea beasts, skirmishing, etc. I assume the pirates have ways to deal with this to an extent, but I also think the Triolini are master of their own domain in the end.

One other thought along the "racket" lines was protection from the non-existent hull boring worm that any ship might be "unlucky" enough to encounter, but then I thought that in our pseudo real word the Houses and sea captains would have got wise to that. So I assumed a more trade based arrangement would be realistic given the Triolini being part pf the Belintar's kingdom.

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3 hours ago, David Scott said:

Frog islands - likely some fisher villages, likely frogs. Holy island may have a bit more to it and so may not allow landings - sea god temples - monastery etc.

I didn't see the name Frog Island in the Atlas and Guide. Then I looked hard again at the diagram you kindly put together and it looked like you added this on (possible from the Companion?).

There is a Frog Island in London, I can see a messy industrial, polluting Zistor reclamation yard. Junk shipped over from places like the Clanking Ruins and other sites in God Forgot for reclamation, perhaps building some machines. Conflict with the local newtlings, possibly Triolini and the plot of the latest Spiderman film have just merged in my mind. Controlled by a Red Earth alliance minor house that has gone too far to the dark side. And I'm off...

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40 minutes ago, Jim said:

I didn't see the name Frog Island in the Atlas and Guide. Then I looked hard again at the diagram you kindly put together and it looked like you added this on (possible from the Companion?).

The RQ Companion, I also checked Greg's original map just to confirm.

52 minutes ago, Jim said:

There is a Frog Island in London, I can see a messy industrial, polluting Zistor reclamation yard.

Whilst that's a great idea, I prefer the serene river mouth version of the 1885 OS map sandwiched between Hornchurch and Rainham Marshes with a gentle population of giant frogs chirping under the control of their Trasker equivalent...

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27 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Whilst that's a great idea, I prefer the serene river mouth version of the 1885 OS map sandwiched between Hornchurch and Rainham Marshes with a gentle population of giant frogs chirping under the control of their Trasker equivalent...

No doubt with the The Frog Chorus method of worship as practised by their Gorrakiki worshipping friends, The Beetles. Sorry could not resist. Thanks again, Jim

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7 hours ago, David Scott said:

Looking at the map and using its 5 mile hexes gives 16 generous hexes of travel - that's roughly 80 miles - just over 75 miles a day. You could argue that  a skilled captain could do it in under a day and that a poor trip with encounters and weather could take 2.

I suppose seasonal wind direction will have a big influence on the travel time, and of course the wind shadow of the Shadow Plateau in times of northerly winds and funneling effects when it comes from a westerly direction might make it faster to take a southerly route around Frog Island rather than braving the shallows between it and the Bottomland peninsula.

On the approach to Nochet, ships have to handle the Lyksos current, which will add to travel times to Nochet, too. The return journey to Karse probably only takes a day when winds, currents and tides cooperate.

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

According to the Guide p251 Mirrorsea/Choralinthor Bay is very calm and is ruled by the Triolini merfolk, the marshes have newtlings and the area has numerous small fishing villages. The events table gives two sea encounters: 

Red lines - following the 5 hex map giving a generous 80 miles

Yellow lines - as the crow flies, skilled captains roughly 50 miles.

Probably used by express galleys relying mostly on oars. Braving narrow shallows with contrary winds in a sailing craft takes quite a bit of guts, even if the coast is mainly mudflat rather than rocky skerries.

Tidal variations add another problem to that route.

7 hours ago, David Scott said:

Purple circles If absolutely needed, there're a couple of obvious stopovers:

Frog islands - likely some fisher villages, likely frogs. Holy island may have a bit more to it and so may not allow landings - sea god temples - monastery etc.

Karse-Nochet.png.898a42afca7719c18badf052c2c7b259.png

Clearly all of this depends on the style of travel - coast hugging is going to take much longer. 

With the stump of the greatest volcano ever (Shadow Plateau) looming 3000 feet high and enclosed on all sides, there is little reason to hug the coast for landmarks - unless you rely on punting rather than oars or sails, leaving the mudflats in a safe distance sounds like a better plan.

 

How much will captains shun the City of Wonders during their crossings? Its inaccessibility might radiate a no-sailing zone.

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8 hours ago, Jim said:

I had thought that the Ludoch could protect ships from the unfriendly denizens of the deep and also offer to repel/distract pirates through sea fog (although humans could also get this magic), command of large sea beasts, skirmishing, etc. I assume the pirates have ways to deal with this to an extent, but I also think the Triolini are master of their own domain in the end.

Seems reasonable (and likely).  I'd guess that the different Nochet houses and their factors in Karse make arrangements with groups such as the ludoch, newtlings, and even trolls, to facilitate passage.

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18 minutes ago, Joerg said:

On the approach to Nochet, ships have to handle the Lyksos current, which will add to travel times to Nochet, too.

That's why you want to approach from the south via Holy Island, or make sure that you have an Engizi priestess with you.

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Don't forget that we also have Jennifer Lange's painting of Esrolia in Sea season from the Guide (page 656). It gives us an excellent view of Mirrorsea and Nochet.

a9cdb7ad9cde7a4409870144444dd3d6.jpg

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17 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the approach to Nochet, ships have to handle the Lyksos current, which will add to travel times to Nochet, too

I'm not sure this is a thing. The Guide has the Lycos as a sluggish river. It looks from the description and the Season picture that the meeting for Chlorinthor and Lycos is one of slowness.

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22 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I'm not sure this is a thing. The Guide has the Lycos as a sluggish river. It looks from the description and the Season picture that the meeting for Chlorinthor and Lycos is one of slowness.

this being Glorantha, the important thing is that the captain has not offended Lycos... or anyone with influence in that arena

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37 minutes ago, Psullie said:

this being Glorantha, the important thing is that the captain has not offended Lycos... or anyone with influence in that arena

That's very true as opposed to a current, the dominant god being Choralinthor.

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

I'm not sure this is a thing. The Guide has the Lycos as a sluggish river. It looks from the description and the Season picture that the meeting for Chlorinthor and Lycos is one of slowness.

Currents often cannot be discerned standing right on the shore. If you ever got into a riptide, you will be able to attest that. Dealing with such a current means lateral movement out of it, whether as a swimmer or as the captain of a vessel.

 

I was standing with Greg on the wall of Castle Stahleck, watching a rather strongly flowing Rhine just short of high water warnings casting eddies and even some foam on the banks, and Greg said that this was a lot smaller than what the Creek-Stream River carried down Dragon Pass. The speed was ok, but the width should have been closer to that of the Mississippi. Thus I imagine the New River as a stretch of whitewater, and a challenge to boatmen (or boat-ducks).

In light of that declaration, I do wonder how the fording at Valadon would be achieved. If it was just the Lyksos before the Creek Stream was joined to it, I have no problem with a wide river bed and meandering areas of current, but with the constant Engizi outflow (or at least better than 60% of it, the rest escaping into the Marzeel or the Underworld through the Styx Grotto) there has to be a strong current. To make it fordable means to find passages of slow current (which may be deep) or areas with fast current too flat to pull you off your feet. And it doesn't take much current to do that, even only at ankle height.

The ancient rivers had main currents and counter-currents, and the riverfolk worshipping such active rivers are able to find and use the counter-currents to their advantage.

The passage through the Bosporus with a trentaconter (the reconstruction of the Argo) in the 1970ies used such counter-currents too since their rowing speed was slower than the current coming from the Black Sea. Riding such currents in coastal waters is a critical skill for navigators and likely a gift by one of the entities of the waters there, and out there on the ocean you have the Doom Currents which demand similar skills, only at much grander scale.

The Waertagi go a step further and summon currents (or tidal waves) to carry their ships to their destinations.

Edited by Joerg

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The Mirrorsea is a mostly shallow and gentle sea. Somewhere I have a map of its underwater topography,, but if I recall it averages around 80 meters deep or so until you get near the Troll Straits. It has plenty of moderately large islands (encompassing 10 square miles or more), with plenty of places to take on fresh water. I doubt there are many places in the Mirrorsea where you would need to go more than 30 miles to find a shore.

Ludoch are common in the Mirrorsea, and it is rich with fish and life. I know of giant frogs, many species of crabs, crocodilians, salmon, plenty of turtles, seals, dolphins, and much more. It shares a lot in common with the Mournsea, except that the Mirrorsea is better sheltered thanks to the chain of islands across its south.

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9 hours ago, David Scott said:

I'm not sure this is a thing. The Guide has the Lycos as a sluggish river. It looks from the description and the Season picture that the meeting for Chlorinthor and Lycos is one of slowness.

Except that it's not just Lyksos, but the combination of Lyksos and Lorion/Engizi as of the time when Belintar built the New Canal.  That said, I'm sure the Esrolians propitiate the joint rivers to keep them calm and slow too (at least most of the year).

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