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Old 08-16-2022, 06:29 PM   #5951
malloyd
 
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Crops like the banana, sugar cane, and mulberries, have also made it to Rome.
Bananas are an odd choice here. They're notoriously bad shippers, and while the climate around Rome will grow ornamental bananas, to set fruit you need something like 18 frost free months (or at least close enough to frost free that you or occasional sheltered microclimates can protect your plants from whatever frost there is. There are parts of the Roman Empire where frost free winters aren't rare (north Africa, or even bits of southern Spain), but it's a bit too far from the equator to be very banana friendly.
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Old 08-17-2022, 02:59 AM   #5952
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Bananas are an odd choice here. They're notoriously bad shippers, and while the climate around Rome will grow ornamental bananas, to set fruit you need something like 18 frost free months (or at least close enough to frost free that you or occasional sheltered microclimates can protect your plants from whatever frost there is. There are parts of the Roman Empire where frost free winters aren't rare (north Africa, or even bits of southern Spain), but it's a bit too far from the equator to be very banana friendly.
The Arabs introduced bananas into the Mediterranean basin during their conquests. The Arabs grew bananas both in Egypt and southern Spain. I'm certain they grew them in Morocco and the Sudan as well.

Bananas are a good food crop in many ways. They'd be welcomed in ancient Egypt.
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Old 08-17-2022, 08:36 PM   #5953
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Bananas are a good food crop in many ways. They'd be welcomed in ancient Egypt.
Maybe. The thing is bananas were certainly grown in southern Africa by 2000 BC, including in Uganda not far from the headwaters of the Nile, and maybe as much as 1500 years before that, and yet didn't get imported to Egypt. What we know about interactions between ancient cultures in Africa is often not terrific, but there was at least [some] North-South trade, so there may be some other barrier. My guess would be rainfall. Bananas really like [wet] warm climates, they certainly grow in Egypt now, but I don't know how much they need to be irrigated. Not that Egypt didn't irrigate pretty much everything anyway, so I dunno.
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Old 08-18-2022, 01:33 AM   #5954
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Well, other than soft fruit, did you like the whole "Roman sea dogs in the East Indies" idea?
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Old 08-18-2022, 04:38 AM   #5955
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Well, other than soft fruit, did you like the whole "Roman sea dogs in the East Indies" idea?
The fruit isn't that big a problem either, it's just a bit odd. Other interesting fruits from Asia that hadn't arrived in the Mediterranean at this point but grow there now include citrus and kumquats, white (low acid) peaches, loquats, persimmons (these haven't even been introduced to Japan yet!)

The other important Asian staple that is a good candidate for introduction is rice. Risotto is a classic north Italian dish now, but rice isn't grown in the Po valley until the Renaissance.

I will note that better Roman ships are not going to stay confined to the Indian ocean for very long. The conquest of Britain is probably going better too (it stalled out under Hadrian), Ireland is in reach, and somebody is going to try sailing around the Sahara on the west side of Africa too. This is also the period during which the first Indian influences reached Indonesia. As is so often the case, we don't have a lot of documentation, but [somebody] in southern India seems to have been engaged in some degree of colonial adventurism at or slightly before this timeframe, so there's a potential rival out there.
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:10 AM   #5956
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This is also the period during which the first Indian influences reached Indonesia. As is so often the case, we don't have a lot of documentation, but [somebody] in southern India seems to have been engaged in some degree of colonial adventurism at or slightly before this timeframe, so there's a potential rival out there.
Which adds that "No peace beyond the line!" goodness to the campaign.
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Old 08-18-2022, 03:57 PM   #5957
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Which adds that "No peace beyond the line!" goodness to the campaign.
Not that there is a lot inside it either. Pausanias' Descripition of Greek has a section about the operations of Cilician pirates during the reign of Hadrian.

And while we think of the Roman Empire as unified polity, it was a patchwork held together by laws that were notoriously underenforced, and composed of polities which were sometimes happy enough to fight each other. That we class these things as civil wars or disputes over imperial succession and not clashes of rival nations is something of a matter of convention. Though this period is perhaps the closest it ever came - by the time Hadrian ascended a lot of the client states and special case provinces had been reorganized (one war at a time) into fairly standardized imperial provinces. Just in time for Hadrian to destabilized everything again by embarking on a near empire wide reorganization of how the government was structured.... Amazingly he largely pulled it off.
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Old 08-21-2022, 03:41 PM   #5958
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Meroe

Meroe is a Q5 Low Mana parallel showing out time interference. Someone brought Maize, meso American beans and squash, along with the knowledge of how to treat maize with lye to make the niacin and a wider range of proteins available, to the ancient city of Meroe around the local year 1200BCE.

These crops when combined with the crops of the Ethiopian highlands created the basis for a far richer and more stable Ethiopia. This richer Ethiopia conducted trade throughout much of Subsaharan Africa. This trade spread maize first and then several Asian crops that the Ethiopians were introduced to through their wider trade networks.

This led to a far richer and more widely cultured Africa. It also led to African cultures being in far wider and deeper communication with each other. This led, as similar conditions would on other continents, to far greater cultural complexity.

It's now 28BCE. The battle of Actium was fought three years ago and Augustus Caesar wishes to develop better diplomatic ties with the wealthy kingdom of Meroe. The Cabal wants to dominate the embassy. This Africa is likely to be one of the richest Africas in terms of occult science. The Cabal wants that lore.

Meanwhile, Homeline is mainly interested in the cultures and artistic achievements of this Africa.

Basically, exploration of a fantastic new world. Both Rome and Africa could benefit from the connection. Can your PCs promote real benefits to the people of this parallel and prevent the Cabal from robbing them blind?
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Last edited by Astromancer; 08-21-2022 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 08-24-2022, 03:19 AM   #5959
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Deluge

For reasons not clearly understood sea level rose one hundred and fifty feet between 1650 and 1810 in this Q5 Low Mana parallel. The rise started faster. The Commonwealth organized shipping it's people to America. The Dutch made a deal with the Commonwealth and exported its population as well. In fact a higher percentage of the Dutch crossed than the English. In Germany, France, Spain or Italy, the people moved to the high ground.

It's now the year 1975. English and Dutch have blended into one language. Chicago has become the center of the American Commonwealths. Although both the treatment of Native Americans and African Americans was harsher in this world, differences in the political system have rewarded cooperation and assimilation very strongly.

The TL is five, more or less resembling the technology of the 1880s.

More later....
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Old 08-24-2022, 06:39 AM   #5960
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Here's a map of a 45 meter sea rise that could be helpful. It's set to 45 meters (about 150 feet).
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