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womble

When is "Trade Time"?

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In the RQG quickstart adventure "The Broken Tower", the Clan Chieftain is said to be "away at a trade-time festival at the Sun Dome Temple, along with many other nobles and landowners..."

What time of the year would "Trade-time" be? I've had a quick Google and a search on here and couldn't find any reference. I'd hazard that it would be either late in Earth (as folks trade what they find they've got an excess of at the end of the harvest for what they don't have enough of to get through the Dark and Stormy Nights to come), or at the beginning of Sea (when folks start venturing out again and need to trade for what they find they've run out of over the winter).

I know you could run the adventure anytime, and use whatever excuse you like for why the head honcho isn't handling the situation more directly, but the concept of "Trade-time" seems like it might have some legs and "official" existence, so I thought I'd ask if anyone had anything concrete. I'm tending towards something like Earth|Movement since that week has Issaries' Holy day, and Gustbran's.

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Normally I would expect such a fair to be outside of the seeding and the harvesting times so that there can be quite a few participants who won't be missed in their home clans, which makes Fire Season a very likely date for such a festival. Given the influx of capital and additional potential worshippers, it would make sense to do this around a holy day or two.

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Issaries holy days? (Wildday/Movement)

Local fairs would follow or precede the harvest and plowing. Historically, fairs followed the quarter days, which were Lady Day, Midsummer, Michaelmas, and Christmas. These should correspond to the solstices and equinoxes in Sacred Time (spring equinox), Earth (autumn equinox), Fire Season (midsummer solstice), Dark Season (winter solstice), or in this case, the Movement/Wildday closest if Issaries is the trading cult.

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1 hour ago, jeffjerwin said:

Issaries holy days? (Wildday/Movement)

Yes except for Sacred Time.

These are two days after Orlanth's rituals and IIRC the day after the clan or tribal moot so many folk already gathered together.  The Table Races at Larnste's Table in Movementweek of Fireseason (see Coming Storm p.92) are an example of a weeklong fair for the Cinsina and Malani tribes with entertainment, rituals, moots, and market.

As Issaries merchants will be participating in Lightbringer Quests during Sacred Time, I'm not sure I'd expect a Fair at the spring equinox, but likely helps to contribute to whatever Feasting marks the end of the Sacred Time.

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48 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

As Issaries merchants will be participating in Lightbringer Quests during Sacred Time, I'm not sure I'd expect a Fair at the spring equinox, but likely helps to contribute to whatever Feasting marks the end of the Sacred Time.

I think this is our first shot at the winter shear and any local handicrafts people have completed over the indoor season. There's probably also a Issaries Mystery related to the lambing but timing depends on who owns the Peaceful Cut around here. 

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5 hours ago, womble said:

I'm tending towards something like Earth|Movement since that week has Issaries' Holy day, and Gustbran's.

In my Orlmarth campaign, the primary trading fair was in Fireseason when folk have time to travel, and the big event was the Fireseason fair at Larnste's Table.  

SKoH notes Horsetown near Runegate: Gundvingkor, the founder of the Hyaloring Triarchy, established the Horse Fair to honor Elmal and Redalda. The yearly Horse Fair is presided over by
the Elmal High Priest and attracts horse traders from across Dragon Pass and occasionally beyond.  

Sartar Companion further notes: Runegate is an important trade center and the Horsetown market is the largest horse fair in Sartar.  And: Horses can be purchased from Horsetown
during the small weekly market or at the annual fair each Fire Season.

I also had local fairs in Earthseason coinciding with Harvest festivals, so the Orlmarthi had their Harvest Games to select the Barley King who would marry the Harvest Queen.  They had a small fair at Orane's Loom where Issaries and Etyries merchants competed for attention and trade.

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2 hours ago, Psullie said:

I think an almanac of fairs and markets for Dragon Pass, Esrolia and the Lunar Empire would be an excellent supplement.

And some agricultural dates like Plowing, sowing, lambing, calving and the like. That'd be good... :)

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Does the weather maps in the Guide show when the temperature in areas rise over zero or go below? That's usually an important aspect of vernacular agricultural calendars. I think the start of spring sowing in my own country was traditionally determined by counting a certain number of days without frost to make sure it wasn't a false spring. Point is, it wasn't a set date, really, but relative to climatic events.

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4 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Does the weather maps in the Guide show when the temperature in areas rise over zero or go below? That's usually an important aspect of vernacular agricultural calendars. I think the start of spring sowing in my own country was traditionally determined by counting a certain number of days without frost to make sure it wasn't a false spring. Point is, it wasn't a set date, really, but relative to climatic events.

I get the impression that the progress of the seasons (barring exceptions like the Windstop) is more consistent in Glorantha, due to the magical nature of the world and the interaction of that magic with the Great Compromise. Also, the shorter length of the year means any delay before sowing is more significant on the lozenge than on our sphere. But some 'customary expected' timings would be a welcome addition to the ambience of the farmer-warrior culture of Sartar.

 

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The extent of frost in Dark and Storm Seasons still can vary quite a bit. Storm Season is known for harsh storms, but whether they bring snow or strong rainfalls may vary a lot from year to year.

After the main thaws have set in, travel (and raiding) may be taken up again.

I wonder whether the Sartarite highways used to have something like a snow patrol, with Orlanth priests or Kolating shamans reenacting Orlanth's victory over Thryk in the service of the Princes. With such support, some traffic might even be upheld in the worst parts of a normal winter.

And, picking up from my post on quarries, snow-covered land makes good transportation conditions for hauling big chunks of rock overland. Something which doubtless has mythical precedence, too.

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Snowy conditions might actually make for easier transportation in some cases. Sleighs, skis, frozen lakes and rivers, etc. Now, spring thaw-floods are a mess that makes everything more difficult.

This is with a temperate or sub-arctic climate in mind, mind you. I don't know how it's with mediterranean and subtropic climates, or deep continental ones.

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Violent snow melt has always caused rivers to become difficult to impossible to cross, and may have caused temporary floodings of pasture and even better land. Continuous snow melt would still swell rivers, but keep things manageable. Be prepared to get wet feet anyway.

You wouldn't want to rob lifestock prior to the thaws, though. It is weird going on a raid with bales of hay on your backs.

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Hmm... Trade Time festival at Sun Dome Temple.  That sounds like a long distance train of Lokarnos wagons have arrived.  Note, there is no specific date, so it is unlikely to be a holy day, and more about when the poor beleaguered bastards can arrive (Travel and trouble have the same etymological root).    As to Issaries and Etyries being represented, well, they'd be crazy not to attend and hawk their wares to the newcomers.

Edited by Darius West
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