Questions on the mundane world

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Questions on the mundane world

Post by Tentacle Therapist on Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:52 pm

The setting is primarily medieval, but magical. There is a lot of magic here, powerful gods of death and destruction slumber beneath the earth, uncaring gods dot the Aether, an overbearing organization controls the majority of magical individuals, corraling them into a central location so that they can better be controlled.

Ara'niel is apparently in a state of half-peace. Open wars not flaring, but grudges bubbling silently. Mages seem used primarily as weapons of war, cannons if you will.

There are many magical and mundane creatures that prey on villagers of various stripes in wayward towns away from major civilization, towns indeed too small to have a military of their own. But in that sense, are these towns not integral to the operation of a nation as a whole? A single capital can only support so much of a growing population, what then of the most recognized fantasy staple? The simple farmboy, leaving his backwater village to find glory in a world much larger than himself.

But the road from his village to the capital is long, and he faces many foes. Some are familiar, marauding creatures of every flavor of course, but he is has trained to fight these things, to stare down a bear that is chasing a loved one, or answer the call to arms when some greater threat arrives, he knows of bandits and beasts, but what of magic?

In the outskirts of society, what remains of knowledge of magic? Is it concrete fact? Does every village know of the tactics to fight a mage? Are they feared? Are tales told of horrible men who dabble in dark secrets and can flay you from stem to stern with a wave of their hands? Mages are rare, though they number in many types, but what of the worst situation? Some mages are not particularly fond of their mass imprisonment, what happens when one decides to become a common brigand, to support his lifestyle?

What happens when a person who only knows how to fight a beast with a sword, faces a cannon? The result is probably a question of luck, a question of whether or not instinct says to run or to freeze when one faces something used as a tall tale to scare children.

It is not outrageous to say that a significant portion of any given nation's population lives in outlying towns, away from "modern convenience" as it were, the convenience of a military, the convenience of a library, or of information not passed down from one's forefathers.

There has been discussion on the views of mages as a whole, but the whole is biased towards the enlightened living in cities. What of the humble villagers, what do they know of magic, what do they tell of magic, and how do they respond when something that might as well be legend to them, is suddenly before them?

Where do the majority of populations lie, and how do the outliers compare to the top of the curve?


Specifically:

How does knowledge of mages and the like change when trickled to villages far from central civilization, does it become myth and legend?
Where does the majority of population growth lie?
Does differences in knowledge between the outlying villages, and central villages, adversely affect the survival of people hailing from those locations?
The status of magical creatures; I recall there being mixed opinions on whether they should or should not exist. Are they around, and are they accounted for in such survival rates?
Just how large are these nations, that they can suffer the burden of untrained youth seeking glory?
In times of war, are there attrition rates similar to those when war consisted of two sides lining up and firing? (British style warfare)
Does the random faceless farmboy draftee have any way of surviving such a conflict aside from pure luck?
And are these potential biases put into place by lack of sufficient education, enough to seal a person's fate when suddenly confronted with a magic-user?
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:32 pm

Tentacle Therapist wrote:There are many magical and mundane creatures that prey on villagers of various stripes in wayward towns away from major civilization,

Wait, says who?


towns indeed too small to have a military of their own.

Garrisons and patrols. They are self-policing, not to mention that members of the Conclave and by extension the Inquisition make periodic sweeps to ensure no guild activity.


In the outskirts of society, what remains of knowledge of magic? Is it concrete fact?

Yes. The Conclave has a very large presence, and in the shadows of that presence the guilds attempt to flourish. The most common and widely told tale is of the Fall, where magic attempted to destroy the world and the continent was broken. The dangers of magic are preached, but depending on the point of view (Conclave of Guild), mages and magic can be controlled or trained such that they do not pose such a danger and can actively fight against such dangers. There are mages that come from small communities as well, after all.

Does every village know of the tactics to fight a mage?

Avoid spells and push a sword into their gut? Shoot them a couple times with a bow? They die like any other man. It's also widely known that magic is dangerous and that mages can exhaust their power (their feedback grounds) given enough time, so waiting is fine as well.

However, the biggest tactic would be to find the Conclave and have the Inquisition snuff them out. Even so, the rate at which hostile mages or magical forces are found is... rather rare. Such tactics hardly ever need to be employed.


Are they feared?

See: Broke The World.


Are tales told of horrible men who dabble in dark secrets and can flay you from stem to stern with a wave of their hands?

That does happen, yes.


Mages are rare, though they number in many types, but what of the worst situation? Some mages are not particularly fond of their mass imprisonment, what happens when one decides to become a common brigand, to support his lifestyle?

This hardly ever happens. Any mages that are a part of the Conclave either support the Conclave's ideals or they are dead. Mages trained by guilds are not allowed to stir up trouble because then that would show that there's a guild around. The only real possibility for someone to use magic that would do this if they are self-taught, which has happened very, very rarely.


What happens when a person who only knows how to fight a beast with a sword, faces a cannon?

While metaphorical, I still have to say cannons don't exist. You can also kill the person using the cannon somewhat easily. They are easily flanked, and a lot of preparation must be made to fire it (and that's even keeping with the metaphor).


It is not outrageous to say that a significant portion of any given nation's population lives in outlying towns, away from "modern convenience" as it were,

True.


the convenience of a military,

Home garrisons and patrols suffice.


the convenience of a library, or of information not passed down from one's forefathers.

Quite true.


How does knowledge of mages and the like change when trickled to villages far from central civilization, does it become myth and legend?

No, because when such a tremendous event happens, and when the influence of the Conclave reaches even those small villages, and when the guilds hide wherever the Conclave does no reach, when there has been warfare for hundreds of years that touched the known world, some of it might become myth and legend but there are far too many examples of proof.


Where does the majority of population growth lie?

Population growth? I'd say the major population centers, sometimes even in the cases of the major population centers compared to the entire rural countryside.


Does differences in knowledge between the outlying villages, and central villages, adversely affect the survival of people hailing from those locations?

Central villages probably fare better statistically.


The status of magical creatures; I recall there being mixed opinions on whether they should or should not exist. Are they around, and are they accounted for in such survival rates?

There's some crazy stuff in the south, which is largely up in the air, but they don't exist in the north except in rare, plot exceptions.


Just how large are these nations, that they can suffer the burden of untrained youth seeking glory?

I lean on picturing the map we have as being very, very large, like larger than North America. Untrained youth seeking glory probably didn't really contribute that much to society in the first place anyway.


In times of war, are there attrition rates similar to those when war consisted of two sides lining up and firing? (British style warfare)

No, esp. since no one has guns. I also don't know the attrition rate. However, they might be similar, considering that during wars magic is employed if available.


Does the random faceless farmboy draftee have any way of surviving such a conflict aside from pure luck?

Probably not, since they are usually placed in the first line of troops.


And are these potential biases put into place by lack of sufficient education, enough to seal a person's fate when suddenly confronted with a magic-user?

Can an untrained youth carrying a sword they don't really understand well how to use really match up against someone who has trained quite a lot to understand how to use magic, also trained how to fight against people with weapons other than magic, who is therefore much older than the untrained youth and likely has more general experience and wisdom?

Doesn't look good for the untrained youth. Doesn't mean it's impossible.
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by Tentacle Therapist on Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:39 am

Garrisons and patrols. They are self-policing, not to mention that members of the Conclave and by extension the Inquisition make periodic sweeps to ensure no guild activity.


There are garrisons and patrols for EVERYWHERE that is "controlled"? every town has a garrison close enough to police them, that doesn't consume all their food? Does every town get a garrison? That sounds like an organizational nightmare.

Avoid spells and push a sword into their gut? Shoot them a couple times with a bow? They die like any other man. It's also widely known that magic is dangerous and that mages can exhaust their power (their feedback grounds) given enough time, so waiting is fine as well.

However, the biggest tactic would be to find the Conclave and have the Inquisition snuff them out. Even so, the rate at which hostile mages or magical forces are found is... rather rare. Such tactics hardly ever need to be employed.

That sounds awfully simple, almost laughably so. Are mages looked upon so ridiculously? They just need a good stabbing and they won't ever trouble anyone again. If everyone knows that mages do horrible things (Like BLOWING UP THE WORLD) Why even suffer them to live? They are all gathered up really nicely, and it wouldn't be hard to provide nation-wide orders to kill anyone who shows signs of being magical, and then slaughter all the ones conveniently bottled up. What service does a mage provide that is so necessary as to keep them around? As a military asset? But there aren't wars going on! That does seem surprising given the supposed military presence though. It seems like there isn't much keeping the people from just saying enough of it, and demanding them all killed for the good of everyone.

Home garrisons and patrols suffice.

A world this large, and there are not bandit problems? Nothing that a farmer and his sword can't take care of, when the patrols aren't in town just that minute? It seems rather utopian for that to be enough honestly. Again, who feeds these patrols? who gives them orders? Nations routinely face food shortages during times of military mobilization.

No, because when such a tremendous event happens, and when the influence of the Conclave reaches even those small villages, and when the guilds hide wherever the Conclave does no reach, when there has been warfare for hundreds of years that touched the known world, some of it might become myth and legend but there are far too many examples of proof.

They contact everyone in the known world, with no degradation of message, and with a great swiftness? Is that what the mages are for? to magic up loudspeakers to make all parts of a nation aware of goings on? You say that the world is "very, very large, like larger than North America" It takes roughly 45 days to cross america on horseback. A trip on horseback from america to the panama canal took more than TWO YEARS. This world is larger than north america, and yet has no problems keeping the dispensing of information consistent and timely, despite the massive distances involved? How is such a homogeny of information gained?

Tentacle Therapist wrote:It is not outrageous to say that a significant portion of any given nation's population lives in outlying towns, away from "modern convenience" as it were,

True.

Tentacle Therapist wrote:Where does the majority of population growth lie?

Population growth? I'd say the major population centers, sometimes even in the cases of the major population centers compared to the entire rural countryside.

What then is a "significant portion" of a population? It is clearly less than 50%, or else population growth in major cities couldn't be higher. How does this medieval tech world manage to provide both major population centers, and a standing military large enough to police the entire breadth of it, with less than 50% of the population farming? Most farms run by "mom and pop" so to speak, have notoriously low efficiency, lack of refridgeration makes it impractical if not impossible to move food from one place to another. When a farmer can barely feed himself, how then does he support the patrols and garrisons that let him live in this utopian safety? One bad harvest and the entire military would fall apart. Of course, these militaries actually seem to be independently run, and operated similar to medieval serfdom, than they are to being organized and led by the nation as a whole. This would be all fine and good, if those weren't prone to mass starvation as well when mobilized.
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:40 am

Tentacle Therapist wrote:
Garrisons and patrols. They are self-policing, not to mention that members of the Conclave and by extension the Inquisition make periodic sweeps to ensure no guild activity.


There are garrisons and patrols for EVERYWHERE that is "controlled"? every town has a garrison close enough to police them, that doesn't consume all their food? Does every town get a garrison? That sounds like an organizational nightmare.

No, there's a garrison in a central location, maybe not even at a town but at some sort of small fort perhaps, that send out daily or weekly patrols through series of towns to ensure nothing happens without notice. Very organizationally simple.


That sounds awfully simple, almost laughably so.

It was meant to be. Mages can be killed as easily as any other man, usually more easily since only very few actually wear armor (and the ones that do are often minor mages).


Are mages looked upon so ridiculously? They just need a good stabbing and they won't ever trouble anyone again.

No, they aren't, I was just telling you that everyone knows they die as easily as any other man.


If everyone knows that mages do horrible things (Like BLOWING UP THE WORLD) Why even suffer them to live?

They can and do still benefit society. Mages were persecuted for a very long time, mind you, but they were still recognized as very useful resources. The Conclave rose to power and now no one can really compete against it, especially since they have the same ideals as the nations that wish to persecute mages (just without the senseless slaughter).


They are all gathered up really nicely, and it wouldn't be hard to provide nation-wide orders to kill anyone who shows signs of being magical, and then slaughter all the ones conveniently bottled up.

In the past, nation-wide orders to kill all mages or those who show any capacity has happened. That no longer happens. Sieging the Conclave now is also rather impossible, and no one wants to start because they'll be fought by every other nation. Even if there was some large group of nations together that decided to war against the Conclave, the Conclave itself would be terribly difficult to take down and it's actually far more likely the Conclave could fight them off since they've gained a monopoly on everything magical.


What service does a mage provide that is so necessary as to keep them around? As a military asset? But there aren't wars going on! That does seem surprising given the supposed military presence though. It seems like there isn't much keeping the people from just saying enough of it, and demanding them all killed for the good of everyone.

They are very useful military assets, none of which the respective nations want to do without. They can also supplement farming, create magical artifacts useful to common citizens, etc.

The thing keeping people from just fighting each other is fear of who the Conclave will side with and also that they also just came out of a huge, all-encompassing war that still leaves large swaths of the land destroyed by both magical and conventional means.


A world this large, and there are not bandit problems?

There are certainly bandit problems. Just not bandit MAGE problems. Rogue mages are still persecuted by the Conclave and Inquisition, and where they are found there are guilds nearby, which means the guilds won't train anyone who might turn rogue, or might actually deal with any rogue elements FIRST.

Again, who feeds these patrols? who gives them orders? Nations routinely face food shortages during times of military mobilization.

It's all perfectly manageable. In rural areas, they are like police, tax collectors, the mail system, etc. A small group of men, perhaps ten to fifteen, may go through the same number of towns and villages before their patrols are over (which can take multiple days). They aren't always a 100% effective, but it's not something drastic like you're making it sound. This is no different than local nobles having some sort of small army or bodyguard, they are just state-controlled and fewer in number in areas that are not given to nobles (or in nations that don't have nobles).


They contact everyone in the known world, with no degradation of message, and with a great swiftness?

No? It's called traveling groups of the Conclave and Inquisition that frequent even the rural areas looking for mages and guilds. They don't have to be swift at all.

Is that what the mages are for? to magic up loudspeakers to make all parts of a nation aware of goings on? You say that the world is "very, very large, like larger than North America" It takes roughly 45 days to cross america on horseback. A trip on horseback from america to the panama canal took more than TWO YEARS. This world is larger than north america, and yet has no problems keeping the dispensing of information consistent and timely, despite the massive distances involved? How is such a homogeny of information gained?

By about 1,300 years since said huge event happened, probably, around 800 of which the Conclave has existed. Why does word have to be consistent and timely? Now you're being facetious...


What then is a "significant portion" of a population? It is clearly less than 50%, or else population growth in major cities couldn't be higher.

Population =/= growth. I was also only thinking of birth = growth rather than growth = birth - death. Then I'd have to say it definitely varies.

How does this medieval tech world manage to provide both major population centers, and a standing military large enough to police the entire breadth of it, with less than 50% of the population farming?

Well, if it helps, tech at one point was closer to industrialization. More than that, the major population centers are more of the cities that were not destroyed during constant warfare. They have been made to support large populations and upgraded constantly with the newest technology available. Also, you're thinking of a far larger military than I was talking about. There is still an issue with food supply, but you're not taking into account that there are nations that produce huge surpluses of food and trade exists.


When a farmer can barely feed himself, how then does he support the patrols and garrisons that let him live in this utopian safety?


There is no utopian safety. There are still dangers, just as there are methods taken to counteract them.
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by Tentacle Therapist on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:42 am

They can and do still benefit society. Mages were persecuted for a very long time, mind you, but they were still recognized as very useful resources. The Conclave rose to power and now no one can really compete against it, especially since they have the same ideals as the nations that wish to persecute mages (just without the senseless slaughter).

How do they benefit society? You suggest that they "can also supplement farming, create magical artifacts useful to common citizens, etc." How does a mage help with farming? What kind of magical artifacts are useful to random peasants, but easy enough to make that they can be put out on a massive scale, and useful enough to warrant sinking resources into such a thing?

If mages are really rare, then there wouldn't be enough around to contribute meaningfully to the farming situation, unless they were somehow accelerating the speed at which crops grow. Making it easier so that more field can be tilled, while possible, is ruined by the whole "Won't ever manage to transport any significant distance without spoilage". Unless mages help with THAT too. Again, historically, farmers don't usually have the luxury of transporting produce any appreciable distance, they were more often taken to eating what they could, and turning the rest into alcohol, as that keeps much better in transportation.

It's all perfectly manageable. In rural areas, they are like police, tax collectors, the mail system, etc. A small group of men, perhaps ten to fifteen, may go through the same number of towns and villages before their patrols are over (which can take multiple days). They aren't always a 100% effective, but it's not something drastic like you're making it sound. This is no different than local nobles having some sort of small army or bodyguard, they are just state-controlled and fewer in number in areas that are not given to nobles (or in nations that don't have nobles).

So how big are these towns? How far apart are they? Are they contiguous like modern towns and cities are? "Now leaving here, and entering here"? That seems to clash with the fantasy theme if that were the case, but it would be absolutely immense otherwise. So can a nation be split up into different groups based off the towns and cities serviced by a single garrison? Like counties and county sherriffs? What happens if a band of thirty bandits gang up on that small patrol, the number is actually irrelevant, but what becomes of the people in that area? Is there some central body made to react to a garrison, and thus their power in a certain "county" suddenly disappearing? If the garrisons are autonomous, how long before anyone finds out that something is amiss?

By about 1,300 years since said huge event happened, probably, around 800 of which the Conclave has existed. Why does word have to be consistent and timely? Now you're being facetious...

So there isn't anyone actually alive to verify any of this? We just have records that it happened, and a group that formed 500 years after the event spreading that information, and there are no inconsistencies? Nobody questions it, or disputes it, or has anything to say other than the staunch and baseless belief that everything the Conclave says is right? Things can become myth in 30 years, let alone 1,300. I find it hard to believe that everyone sees mages as a dangerous threat, because of something that supposedly happened 1,300 year prior, and hasn't happened since. I can see that happening if the Conclave were essentially a religious organization, dispensing with a religious dogma, but those are also hardly known for their consistency of message.

If the message isn't consistent, or consistently applied, then again, how does EVERYONE know this, without a shadow of a doubt, so much so that it has become so ubiquitous to hate mages?

Population =/= growth. I was also only thinking of birth = growth rather than growth = birth - death. Then I'd have to say it definitely varies.

Population is a result of growth, and population is also a CAUSE of growth. If farmers have enough food to support themselves, there will be room for children. If city-dwellers have enough food provided to them, there will be room for children. But the children of a farmer are more likely to become farmers than the children of a city-dweller. The cities exist because the farmers provide for them, but the farmers don't exist because of the city-dwellers.

If the populations were perfectly equal, and neither were found wanting for food, they would grow at roughly the same rate. But that is assuming that food isn't an issue, and assuming that 50% of the population is enough to provide 100% of the population with food. But then again, a city likely has it's own farmland, and benefits not at all from a farm half-way across the nation.


Bah, this isn't making any progress at getting answers on this front.

How many people live in a nation? How many in the known (northern) world? None of the feudal systems worked on very large scales, properly at least. The crusades beign a good example of the failings of a feudal system.

Well, if it helps, tech at one point was closer to industrialization. More than that, the major population centers are more of the cities that were not destroyed during constant warfare. They have been made to support large populations and upgraded constantly with the newest technology available. Also, you're thinking of a far larger military than I was talking about. There is still an issue with food supply, but you're not taking into account that there are nations that produce huge surpluses of food and trade exists.

If we are operating on the scale that you have provided, size-wise, trade of food just isn't feasible at all. A shipment of grain might last a few weeks, if that, produce might last as long. Dried meats might be more feasible, if producing them on a large scale wasn't so prohibitive, and detrimental to farming efforts. But even properly preserved meats and the like are still easily affected by spoilage. A good example here is the 13 colonies of america, any further inland than those, and it was physically impossible to transport grown food to the coastline. It isn't an incredible distance, but all but barred people from moving further inland if they wanted to contribute to the coastal cities in any fashion. Pioneers could very well have settled further west, but pioneers feed themselves, not a city.
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by MidgetNinja on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:02 am

Cool story bro.

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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:29 am

How do they benefit society? You suggest that they "can also supplement farming, create magical artifacts useful to common citizens, etc." How does a mage help with farming? What kind of magical artifacts are useful to random peasants, but easy enough to make that they can be put out on a massive scale, and useful enough to warrant sinking resources into such a thing?

Improved soil, improved irrigation, nigh-unbreakable tools and equipment...
Not to mention that mages must be well-learned in magic, and they will also pick up knowledge on other things in time, or that most of the technological academies are also located near magical academies as well. There can even be improved types of crops yielded through crossbreeding of plants and such.


If mages are really rare,

They aren't SUPER rare or anything, they are just quite outnumbered by non-mages. Rough estimate (pulling it out of my ass, don't quote me) is 5 to 10 percent of the population.


So how big are these towns? How far apart are they? Are they contiguous like modern towns and cities are? "Now leaving here, and entering here"?

If it's rural then probably anywhere of a population between 50 to a few hundred or so, I imagine. I'm not terribly good at medieval rural population estimates, so I'm trying to mentally work with WW2 era images of villages in the European countryside.

Are they contiguous? Do you mean is there a road or trail connecting them? Yes, there is. Is there a sign? Well, if the town was important enough to have a name, then maybe.


That seems to clash with the fantasy theme if that were the case, but it would be absolutely immense otherwise.

Why would it be impossible?


So can a nation be split up into different groups based off the towns and cities serviced by a single garrison? Like counties and county sherriffs?

I guess. That's roughly how it was in Medieval Europe.


What happens if a band of thirty bandits gang up on that small patrol, the number is actually irrelevant, but what becomes of the people in that area? Is there some central body made to react to a garrison, and thus their power in a certain "county" suddenly disappearing? If the garrisons are autonomous, how long before anyone finds out that something is amiss?

Regular messages and reports are sent to the nearest fortress or otherwise continuous military presence. Any report or messages not received on a regular basis are given a small window of time for being received late before a response force is sent out. The response force, I assume, would be other garrisons supplemented by the military.

What becomes of the people in that area? Probably whatever the bandits want until that response force arrives. Information isn't instantaneous.

So there isn't anyone actually alive to verify any of this?

No.

We just have records that it happened,

Yes.


and a group that formed 500 years after the event spreading that information,

They aren't the only ones. The Sword States also tell of the cataclysm happening, there are ruins where signs of civilizations suddenly stop at the water's edge, records in all surviving nations (and records that survive in nations that were born of the ashes) about how there was a huge population influx from the refugees that triggered an all-encompassing war.

and there are no inconsistencies?

There are some, here and there, but the largest prevailing recollection was that the undead appeared and began slaughtering the people before the land sunk beneath the waves in a glorious column of light.


Nobody questions it, or disputes it, or has anything to say other than the staunch and baseless belief that everything the Conclave says is right?

Again, the Conclave are not the only ones, they just preach it because it's the event that lays the foundation for their ideology that all magic should be controlled to stop events like that happening ever again. They spread the word, but their word is backed up by everyone else.

Things can become myth in 30 years, let alone 1,300.

Yeah. Even so, people believe in them so long as they are raised believing it (points to how all the Scandinavian sagas survived, most of the world's religious texts, etc.). It helps when there's archaeological evidence and surviving records from countries that support it.


I find it hard to believe that everyone sees mages as a dangerous threat, because of something that supposedly happened 1,300 year prior, and hasn't happened since.

Well, people can look at a cannon made around that same number of years ago in reality and think that they're dangerous. Mages can spout FIRE AND LIGHTNING FROM THEIR HANDS. That's pretty dangerous.

And a world-breaking event like that hasn't happened in 1,300 years, yes, but in the war that followed mages were persecuted for a long time and the horrors they could unleash were witnessed. Not to mention they were persecuted even WAY before the fall simply because non-mages just didn't understand.

On top of all of that evidence, that's pretty much what the Conclave preaches.


I can see that happening if the Conclave were essentially a religious organization, dispensing with a religious dogma, but those are also hardly known for their consistency of message.

Except that it's the only message they have (which means almost perfect consistency). They aren't religious, but there are elements, like the Inquisition, that carries out that will with a religious fervor.


If the message isn't consistent, or consistently applied, then again, how does EVERYONE know this, without a shadow of a doubt, so much so that it has become so ubiquitous to hate mages?

Woah, not everyone hates mages. The Conclave doesn't even hate mages, they just hate ROGUE mages and guilds because they have the potential to cause something like what happened 1,300 years ago (or they believe it can happen anyway. It was actually caused by a Death Scythe and a Death God, although magic was the cause of actually destroying the continent to stop what the Death God and scythe were causing).


How many people live in a nation? How many in the known (northern) world? None of the feudal systems worked on very large scales, properly at least. The crusades beign a good example of the failings of a feudal system.

No idea. I'm sure it varies.


If we are operating on the scale that you have provided, size-wise, trade of food just isn't feasible at all. A shipment of grain might last a few weeks, if that, produce might last as long. Dried meats might be more feasible, if producing them on a large scale wasn't so prohibitive, and detrimental to farming efforts. But even properly preserved meats and the like are still easily affected by spoilage. A good example here is the 13 colonies of america, any further inland than those, and it was physically impossible to transport grown food to the coastline. It isn't an incredible distance, but all but barred people from moving further inland if they wanted to contribute to the coastal cities in any fashion. Pioneers could very well have settled further west, but pioneers feed themselves, not a city.

That doesn't mean it's impossible.

Let's say you've got large inland farmland, too far from the coasts to make trade feasible, but can provide food for the entire nation.

Now you've got coastal farmland too. All of that becomes export. Done.
I would also have to say that technology into preservation is rather high (since food is VERY important). If the export or import of food is very important for a nation, then they might buy the services of an ice-mage to chill the food or buy an enchanted box that radiates enough cold to increase the lifespan of the food sufficiently. They might also be shipped on sailing vessels that have one or more wind mages that ensure the sails are full.
Or they could contract out the shipping and transportation.
Also, don't forget that there can be (and is, although it's never majorly discussed) foodstuffs unique to RoKK that might be made for the sole purpose of making this happen.




Cool story bro.

MN, if you have nothing constructive to say, then don't say anything at all, especially if it's that pitiful or that evident that you're being an asshole. I'll delete your post next time.


Last edited by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Questions on the mundane world

Post by CromTheConqueror on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:31 am

MidgetNinja wrote:Cool story bro.

lol!

So there isn't anyone actually alive to verify any of this? We just have records that it happened, and a group that formed 500 years after the event spreading that information, and there are no inconsistencies? Nobody questions it, or disputes it, or has anything to say other than the staunch and baseless belief that everything the Conclave says is right? Things can become myth in 30 years, let alone 1,300. I find it hard to believe that everyone sees mages as a dangerous threat, because of something that supposedly happened 1,300 year prior, and hasn't happened since. I can see that happening if the Conclave were essentially a religious organization, dispensing with a religious dogma, but those are also hardly known for their consistency of message.

If the message isn't consistent, or consistently applied, then again, how does EVERYONE know this, without a shadow of a doubt, so much so that it has become so ubiquitous to hate mages?

You know how just about every culture seems to have a flood story? The same applies to this. We actually had discussion on what peoples perceptions were. Not EVERY single person believes The Fall was the fault of dangerous magic (some for example it was God[s] punishing Man for their sins). Guilds are another example of people who may have different dogmas on magic But just about everyone on the continent remembers the endless Great War and how magic was used to maim and destroy. They are told stories of the plague. And they've also benefited from the Conclave effectively being the driving force for peace and the end of the Great War. The common teachings of nearly every land in northern Ara'niel is that magic needs to be controlled and it needs to be controlled by the Conclave. And if you don't agree the Conclave hunts you down and offers you a simple choice. Become sanctioned to the Conclave or die. It's not a hard choice for most.

How do they benefit society? You suggest that they "can also supplement farming, create magical artifacts useful to common citizens, etc." How does a mage help with farming? What kind of magical artifacts are useful to random peasants, but easy enough to make that they can be put out on a massive scale, and useful enough to warrant sinking resources into such a thing?

If mages are really rare, then there wouldn't be enough around to contribute meaningfully to the farming situation, unless they were somehow accelerating the speed at which crops grow. Making it easier so that more field can be tilled, while possible, is ruined by the whole "Won't ever manage to transport any significant distance without spoilage". Unless mages help with THAT too. Again, historically, farmers don't usually have the luxury of transporting produce any appreciable distance, they were more often taken to eating what they could, and turning the rest into alcohol, as that keeps much better in transportation.

I think we've talked a lot about all the little things they can do. Just search some magic threads to find examples. Some now would be fertilizer that makes crops grow faster and/or healthier. Magic to protect crops from disease and bugs. Waterskins that can be filled past what they appear to be capable of holding. Tools that are sharper and last longer. The Conclave has mass-produced a lot of simple magical items. Not flashy and sometimes barely noticeable if you didn't use the item every day but still helpful.

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