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jeffjerwin

River Boats on the Creek Stream

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Just fishing for some help here: what do they look like? I assume the river is navigable as far as Duck Point or so (the Upland Marsh is presumably a bit unsafe anyway). But if I'm wrong I'd appreciate the correction.

How do they get upstream, or does traffic pass by other routes inland, and only passes southward via the river?

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I think there are a variety of river boats.

There are some Newtlings, so they would use their reed boats. Ducks might use something similar, or might use wooden boats. Aldryami would use hollowed out logs, but beautifully worked. Trolls might use some craft from Skyfall Lake, down to where the waters fall into Snakepipe Hollow. 

Would humans use different types of boat? Maybe, but I would assume rowboats far upstream and then small sailing boats nearer the sea.

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I'm thinking particularly of trading vessels headed to Nochet, loaded with goods from Tarsh and further afield.

Ducks might use coracles, I think. There are also trolls around the Shadow Plateau who might engage in trade.

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I would image that the boats would probably be light rafts, curragh or canoes similar to what people used in the past on Earth. 

 

To go upstream they probably pull the boats from the shoreline, from one or both sides of the river, maybe by animals. . Or they could use all pack animals and travel by land. Their boats could either be brought with them, possibly broken down, or if rafts, just broken up and sold for wood downstream. It depends on how strong the current is. 

I could see Aldryami of growing a plant into a boat shape, maybe even have some kind of living boat.  

Edited by Atgxtg

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Cargo heading downstream, I would presume a pretty barge-ish (large, flat-bottomed) watercraft.

Upstream, I'd presume barges only for slow/bulk traffic, low priority and/or non-urgent.  Other boats I'd presume would follow per-culture habits.

Plus, obviously, whatever modifications are relevant to the conditions at hand; no pole-barges in deep water, portages around rough water (too rough for a given type of boat; e.g. some might portage where others do not), etc etc etc.

 

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Barge traffic usually involves the same vessels upriver as downriver. If you want to have downriver only traffic, you usually construct rafts that get disassembled for ship-building and other lumber.

The Creek-Stream River is supposed to carry three strong currents towards the sea, even though two of them are somewhat muted by the Upland Marsh. Still, a lot of water from the Skyfall and from the headwaters of the Creek go into Delecti's marsh, and as much water is leaving again at its southern end, mingling with the Stream.

Such a strong current means that boats of whichever kind either take more crew upstream, or less cargo. Having either boats or pulling crew making part of the journey without cargo is a waste of resources.

A significant stretch of the Creekstream River runs through Beast Valley, which means that there will be no human teams available to pull the river vessels upriver, or to direct oxen to do so, and human boatmen might be discouraged from coming to the shore. New Crystal City might be the furthest up the New River that human boatmen participate in the upriver traffic.

If the durulz of Duck Point and Beast Valley carry the brunt of river traffic, possibly aided by newtling bachelors, the use of oxen for pulling barges is fairly unlikely since neither durulz nor newtlings herd cattle.

Horses pull much less than oxen before the development of modern horse harnesses, which makes their presence highly unlikely in the Bronze Age-y setting of Glorantha. The same would go for mules, donkey or zebras. I don't quite see Praxian herd beasts as suitable to pull anything except tent poles with light loads, for lack of suitable harnesses, with the obvious exception of herdmen who make excellent ship-pulling crews when suitably disciplined. (Which may be hard, even in sexually segregated teams, which don't come naturally to them. Geldings might be more manageable.)

River boat-people probably use eddies and counter-currents to make the upriver trip less arduous, possibly to the extent of taking water elementals into their service.

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I guess what makes this a bit complicated is the sheer climb up to Dragon Pass, which from what little I know of concrete numbers, is A LOT higher than most examples of trafficked rivers in the ancient world I can think of from the RW (Mesopotamia, the Nile, Danube, Mississippi, etc.), which only really climb height-meters fairly far back into their drainage basins. Unless I'm wrong on that, which is possible.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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Note (Guide p.252) that there are a series of waterfalls and rapids along the New River just north of the Building Wall and before the New River Gorge.  Presumably this is the upstream limit of larger ships/boats, and quite possible that Valadon is the effective limit (and likely best place, or enforced place, to transfer goods to barges bound for Nochet).  The passage from New Crystal City to Valadon looks like it could be rather harrowing.

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Going by the trade route map on GtG p. 469, I think part of the main international trade route that's on a river only goes up to Duck Point.  Then it turns east to through Boldhome and that section could be via the Creek, but there's also a Sartar Royal Road (GtG 188) which I think is meant to be the primary route.

And come to think of it, once you get to Wilmskirk coming from the north, I'm not sure how much traffic actually goes through Duck Point, as opposed to turning south on the Hendreiki road to Karse.  That branch is on the main trade route map, too.

It makes sense that the river run from the Mirrorsea would end at the waterfalls southwest of New Crystal.  Then there'd be another river run that might either end at the Marsh that's right there, or it would go through it.  The Marsh is unlabeled in GtG/AAA but in Kerofinela Gazeteer it's the Pharaoh's Marsh and is said to be home to Newtlings.  So maybe those Newtlings run that section of the river traffic.

Then there's the section through Beast Valley to Duck Point.  It makes sense that the Beastmen wouldn't let them run Ox-pulling teams.  It'd be natural for that run to be controlled by duck barges, except after Kallyr's Rebellion when they were outlawed.

GtG p. 469 also shows an alternate trade route through the dragon skull, but Jeff said it's smaller than the Sartar route (I think he said a tenth the size).  I think the Beast Valley boats would also run up that tributary, but on the North side of the skull, Grazeland detail maps show those rivers as being very rough, so that section might be all land traffic.

I don't know how much of the propulsion would be sailing, rowing, polling, or magic.  Or swimming, which canonically is how ducks do it (Sartar p. 233).  Polling feels like it'd be more for smaller rivers.  I'd probably say it's primarily rowing.

IMG the ducks can get through the Upland Marsh using land-or-water "duck boats" which are pulled by teams of beavers, together with the driver who uses an oar/pole along with their own feet, Flintstones-style.  But The Lakes section of The River is also hard to get through, so I'm not sure how much international freight would bypass Boldhome.  Small loads for special delivery, maybe.

Edited by Roko Joko
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If people are interested in how to manage travelling up-river IRL, the edges of rivers create eddies that run in the opposite direction to the bulk of the flow, a bit like rollers on a conveyor belt where rivers run straight.  This means that a boat with a sufficiently long hull may actually be forced upriver by the counter flow along the bank. 

Where rivers meander, the process is more fraught, as the currents actually corkscrew and must be fought with muscle power if you lack the luxury of an engine.

The Nile is an interesting example, as it enjoys a prevailing wind coming off the Mediterranean  that allows the dhows to simply unfurl a sail and travel up-river on wind power.

Now in terms of the Creek-Stream-River, I would suggest that the River is probably navigable, but the fact that there are no settlements on it except Crabtown and Snakepipe Hollow (a Chaos Settlement) speaks volumes.  The Creek is more settled, having its headwaters in Telmori territory and flowing past a number of Sartarite settlements including Jonstown, Dangerford and Two-Ridge.  It also passes by Alone, but the map suggests it is not navigable at that point.  By comparison, the Stream joins the slow moving flow coming out of the Upland Marsh and waters Wilmskirk, Sun Dome, Clearwine, and Duck point, making it potentially an important waterway.  Runegate, being in proximity to the Upland Marsh is also connected by a navigable tributary to the Creek-Stream-River system.  Given the cliff structure depicted on the map, I would deduce that New Crystal City is a portage for river traffic, and it picks up the Lyksos river coming down from Rich Post in the Grazelands.  Technically the Creek-Stream-River ends in a marsh north of Shadow Plateau, but the waterway clearly continues as the Lyksos River and goes deep into Esrolia, ending at the mouth of the river with Nochet City.

It is worth noting that in the GtG pp662-666 in the weather section, it is clear that there is a reliable wind blowing up the Lyksos/Creek-Stream-River system, that turns nasty in Dark and Storm season, probably denying further traffic upstream in those seasons.

As to the river craft being used, in the upper reaches of the River in Tovtari lands, and anywhere there are ducks, you will find coracles, which are great as the double as large shields in a pinch.  As to Sartarites, given their Heortland heritage and worship of Diros it is likely that they have access to a number of different sorts of watercraft, but are likely to mainly use western-style rowboats, as they are part of the Jrusteli heritage of the area.  They will also use punts and ferries for transporting animals across rivers where fords are not available.  Esrolians however favor rowed galleys with mixed sails, in the greco-egyptian model.  This may all change later when the various cultures get to see the versatility of Yggs Island dragon ships.  As to the Lunars, they seem inclined to favor the pure rowed river galley, likely not larger than a bireme, and without sail (because fuck Oralanatum, we don't need him, that's why).  

Edited by Darius West
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I used to imagine the Creek-Stream River (at least prior to the formation of the Upland Marsh and the fall of the Lead Hills, in the bed now occupied in part by the Marzeel River) to be quite similar to the Saltstraumen at Bodø in northern Norway - a huge flow of water pushing through a channel at high speed. (In order to be able to maneuver, a rusty freighter which I observed at the maximum current went by with approximately 50 mph. At this time, there was a "step" in the water between the shore and the rest of the current, a slope of water more than half a meter.

The flow was rather laminar there, but - possibly because of the speed of the outflow - the eddies pushed upward rather than backward.

The Lead Hills create another wetland on the south end of Beast Valley. While this may take a bit of the force out of the  current, and syphons off a certain amount of water through the Styx Grotto into the Marzeel River, most of that water bleeding down from Sky River Titan's wound and the collected rainfall of eastern Dragon Pass push through Belintar's New River.

I wonder whether those rapids were natural ledges of rock dug up by Belintar, or  whether he inserted them intentionally as steps to keep the rest of the river at lower speeds.

 

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now in terms of the Creek-Stream-River, I would suggest that the River is probably navigable, but the fact that there are no settlements on it except Crabtown and Snakepipe Hollow (a Chaos Settlement) speaks volumes.  The Creek is more settled, having its headwaters in Telmori territory and flowing past a number of Sartarite settlements including Jonstown, Dangerford and Two-Ridge.  It also passes by Alone, but the map suggests it is not navigable at that point.  By comparison, the Stream joins the slow moving flow coming out of the Upland Marsh and waters Wilmskirk, Sun Dome, Clearwine, and Duck point, making it potentially an important waterway.  Runegate, being in proximity to the Upland Marsh is also connected by a navigable tributary to the Creek-Stream-River system.  Given the cliff structure depicted on the map, I would deduce that New Crystal City is a portage for river traffic, and it picks up the Lyksos river coming down from Rich Post in the Grazelands.  Technically the Creek-Stream-River ends in a marsh north of Shadow Plateau, but the waterway clearly continues as the Lyksos River and goes deep into Esrolia, ending at the mouth of the river with Nochet City.

One thing to keep in mind is that the River used to be quite populated, during the EWF and the First Age, as we can see in King of Sartar and other books; we also know there were Far Point/Tarshite settlements on the banks before c.1450. So the reasons there is no one there is probably defensive.

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2 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

One thing to keep in mind is that the River used to be quite populated, during the EWF and the First Age, as we can see in King of Sartar and other books; we also know there were Far Point/Tarshite settlements on the banks before c.1450. So the reasons there is no one there is probably defensive.

You're right of course.  Delecti's Ruins is the location of the EWF capital city for example.  I could also add that the floodplain which would probably be quite good for intensive agriculture isn't really a preference for Sartarites, who are more inclined to being graziers and hillfolk.  I suspect that the maps need a few more ruins marked in.  Of course there is also the problem of all those broos defiling the river with their noxious diseased waste upstream.  If I were a Lunar carpetbagger I would be leery of setting up there for that reason as much as any.  The other thing being, Dragon Pass is a land of heavy rain, and the Creek-Stream-River is prone to destructive flooding, so much so that it is a potential power that the Thunder Brothers can employ in Sartar's defense.  That being said, would you want to be farming when a huge flood came down?  So, in short, there are probably a bunch of reasons why the River portion of the Creek-Stream-River isn't supplying fresh water to a number of settlements when it probably could.

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