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Old 06-21-2017, 06:11 AM   #1
dds_ks
 
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Default Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Hello, everybody!
Some clans of Zarak trade with Sahud and with Megalos. However, they only have one Trade Town, and on the maps, no trade town seems to be close to the borders of Zarak.
My Interpretation is, that the trade Partners need to move to the trade towns - on the surface, as Zarakun only invite people into their caves whom they really really trust - and even then only into one single hall for very trusted guests.
But if my Interpretation is right, it would be necessary for humans to reach trade towns from Sahud and from Megallos as well...
... and that, in consequence, would mean that anybody could travel from western Megallos to Sahud easily by just pretending to move to/from a trade town.
Are there surface highways in Zarak connecting Sahud and western Megallos?

DDS

Last edited by dds_ks; 06-21-2017 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:16 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

The Yrth maps tend to be somewhat stylistic. I expect every trade town has a wide path leading to it, and I think three of them are in a wonderful location to trade with megalos: they seem to line the southern border of it.

On the other hand, the locations of the trading towns changes depending on the maps you use. This is particuarly flagrant in the Sahud-Zarak Border. Durinel and Ekarriel are in two very different places on the two maps. And if you accept the Sahud maps, Western Zarak has no trading town. If you accept the Zarak maps, Sahud is limited to a single trading town, despite sharing border as long as the Megalos-Zarak Border.

I would not put roads through the mountains. The trading towns are on the edge of dwarven territory, and the dwarves have less that no motivation to build nice surface roads through their territory.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Per Banestorm 160:

Quote:
Humans, gnomes, and a few others live on the surface of the dwarves' mountains, usually with their permission and sufferance.
So I don't see why there wouldn't be mountain trails between these surface folk and the trade town.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMason View Post
Per Banestorm 160:

So I don't see why there wouldn't be mountain trails between these surface folk and the trade town.
I have to agree with JMason. Also, I have to strenuously disagree with ericthered who said:
Quote:
and the dwarves have less that no motivation to build nice surface roads through their territory.
The Dwarves are merchants & a large part of their economy is based on trade.
Trade requires that goods move from one location to another. Both Sahud & Megalos are major trading partners of Zarak. Why would the Dwarves make it harder to trade with their partners? They have a lot of incentive to build nice surface roads, it's called profit.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Mountain paths are not nice roads. They are windy, persnickety things that go up and down and more emphasis is placed on making sure you don't get lost than on say, flat areas you can roll a wagon along. In contrast, the gates to the trade towns tend to be huge, so that things like 100 foot statues can be put through them in one piece. The roads going up to the trade towns are quite nice, I would guess.

But I'd think a clan that wished to trade with both sahud and megalos would use two trading towns, not open a path for strangers to go through your lands. You don't profit off of trade unless you have a way to get a piece of the pie, and Trade towns make excellent places to ensure that.

Also, from a dwarven perspective, there are already roads between trade towns. Really nice ones, that don't make you go up in the nasty sun. Why build more?
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Maybe I misunderstood the question. I thought it was: Are there surface roads into Zarak from Megalos & Sahud.

I see what you are saying about once in why have good surface roads between Dwarven cities.
However, it's a lot faster & cheaper to build a surface road than a tunnel. Especially since Dwarves don't have any phobias of sunlight or light blindness, like some other subterranean races.
It makes a lot more economic sense to me to build surface roads between cities.
Also, why do you think they already have an entire extensive underground road system? I've never seen that referenced anywhere.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
Also, why do you think they already have an entire extensive underground road system? I've never seen that referenced anywhere.
Banestorm, p. 157: "The true kingdom of Zarak lies underground. It is possible to travel the length and breadth of Zarak without seeing the sky, and the dwarf tunnels extend thousands of feet down."
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

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Originally Posted by Tinman View Post
It makes a lot more economic sense to me to build surface roads between cities.
Deep roads are much more secure though.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:08 PM   #9
ericthered
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

The problem with the economic argument is that you have an underground civilization in the first place. Tunneling through stone is horrendously expensive, especially without explosives. The dwarves for whatever reason have this cave complex that would cost billions to make. There are more reasonable interpretations of dwarf societies, but Zarak is not one of them.

from the blurb on 160:
Quote:
...dwarves think all surface dwellers* are a little crazy
* including dwarf surface dwellers. They just plain don't like it.

The distinction between paths and roads was not directly specified in the question, but its a distinction worth making.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Yrth: surface highways through Zarak?

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The problem with the economic argument is that you have an underground civilization in the first place. Tunneling through stone is horrendously expensive, especially without explosives.
Shape Stone isn't that expensive in comparison.
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