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Old 02-03-2019, 08:03 AM   #128
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Default Re: Materials the ASN need for their industries

Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
Do the various worlds the ASN have access to have geology duplicating that of their original world? If so, that makes finding these resources a lot easier.
Note that finding abundant reserves of any natural resource is much easier with access to dowsing and divination magic, even if you plan to exploit them with mostly mundane technology.

The geology of Germania Hyperborea is Earth-like, in that the same rules apply and there are even rough analogues to various geographical locations on Earth, but the world is not an identical mirror of Earth at any point in time, so resources cannot be simply assumed to be in some location because it's the exact same distance in some direction from the Exernsteine as a place where that resource is found on Earth. However, in general, areas with similar topography as rough analogues on Earth will have similar geological makeup and thus likely the same natural resources and a geologist can use his skills unchanged to analyse terrain on Germania Hyperborea, just as he could do with a region on Earth that hadn't yet be surveyed.

Jötunheim and most other places they have access to are much more alien worlds, but Jötunheim, for example, has vast reserves of untapped fossil fuels and mineral resources that are easily accessible. Indeed, the first major gate there leads to coal fields every bit as rich as the Ruhr and numerous sources of iron ore, except that no one has ever worked them and vast reserves of goethite and bituminous coal are on the surface or near it. Under some of the coal seams, there is plenty of seatearth, which may or may not be the best source of fireclay for them, but I imagine it is harder to mine than coal on or near the surface. Limestone and sandstone are present and accessible at the first industrial site in Jötunheim. There is dolomite there as well, but I have no idea how hard or easy it is to mine.

There are rivers, streams and various wetlands located fairly near the first gate to Jötunheim, with possibilities for navigable rivers and canals. The terrain around the first settlement in Germania Hyperborea is similar to prehistoric Northern Europe, complete with about the same density of rivers as our Rhineland and Westphalia. There is no reason to believe that there won't be substantially similar natural resources located in the settlement area of the ASNs on Germania Hyperborea as there are on Earth in that area.

Better iron ore than the goethite is also available relatively near the first gate to Jötunheim in decent amounts, although not quite as easily accessible as the bog iron, which can be 'mined' easily with TL2 methods. As for sources of iron ore as good as the best mined at TL7, the sort you need for the best modern steel alloys, well, these exist in both Jötunheim and Germania Hyperborea, and the ASNs know where when they settle, but there is no convenient gate next to an ideal source of unending 'Swedish iron ore'.

The best they can do is around 500 km from a gate to some very good iron ore sources (pretty ideal for sword steel, at least, which should be of some use for gun barrels and simple AP projectiles of hardened steel), with the best potential replacement for 'Swedish iron ore' they've found bring located more than 1,000 km from any early ASN settlement or gate leading to one, which makes it impractical to work until they have better mundane transport infrastructure. Of course, the reason exploring the World Tree and the new worlds it gives access to is such a high priority is that if they find a valuable natural resource near a gate on a new world that has convenient access to one of their settlements through the World Tree (where distance is very abstract and things can change in weird ways), it may allows extremely cheap exploitation and transport of that resource to where they need it.

There are petrochemicals and natural gas in Jötunheim as well, but not within easy walking distance of the first gate there. Well, there might be sources of natural gas there, but the closest easily accessible major field that would provide fuel for generations is at least 150 km away. There are TL7 methods of fracking that would allow tapping closer sources of shale gas, but with the amount of coal gas produced as a byproduct of coking, I can't imagine much need for it.

The most promising major oil field is around 300 km from the second gate discovered to Jötunheim (the gate was found in early 1945, though the first industrial settlement was almost entirely around the first gate and remained so for many years). There are some smaller sources of oil closer and there are extremely rich natural gas fields in several locations between 300-500 km from the second Jötunheim gate. I imagine that the ASNs are not, by Year 51, inclined to lay railway tracks that far for anything they do not desperately need and most likely their petroleum industry is still fairly small in scale, given their much easier access to coal and coal gas.

I imagine that diesel and any refined petroleum fuels are still extremely scarce and expensive, limited mostly to military airship projects. Anything that can use coal or coal gas is much easier to do, as they can literally walk those over from Neue Ruhr on Jötunheim to end users in the magical demiplane around Wahr Wewelsburg (though Himmler passed some pretty stringent legislation about environmental protection there and would prefer only clean energy be used there).

Moving anything produced in Jötunheim to Germania Hyperborea through magic requires a fairly circuitous climbing route over the World Tree that takes about an hour for a healthy adult with Light Encumbrance. Defacing the World Tree by cutting brances and laying track or building roads is not an option (for one thing, such changes would mean the route no longer led to the same place), but using airships to carry cargo while hovering 'over' the route on the World Tree does work.

And in a direct line by airship, the distance along the World Tree is only about 1 km, although it is obviously necessary to have enormous control over the airship in order to avoid collissions with huge branches (that can't be removed or altered without risking the route being changed as well). That means RPM casters have to be involved on some level and a lot of workers need to acccompany each airship per trip, as the trip is essentially one long landing approach.

Granted, at first, the gates would be fairly small, but I'm thinking that for these particular ones, increasing their size at a steady rate over the history of the ASNs makes sense. Tiny balloons and blimps at first, but huge, specialized cargo zeppelins by the time their industry can support that.

I'm not sure whether the supply of coal and gas that could be man- (or beast-) handled over the World Tree was enough for the initial settlers in Germania Hyperborea, even with the aid of early balloon or blimp contraptions. Likely enough they developed some smaller coaling operations of their own, given that there were probably some minor sources close enough to the first settlements for that to be practical within a few years. Or maybe they just burned wood, having emerged in a massive primeval forest like the ones that used to cover much of Europe.
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Last edited by Icelander; 02-03-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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