Maritime Trade

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Re: Maritime Trade

#26 Post by Leitchy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:09 pm

Like everything we humans do, it's probably more messy than that simple sentence. The Great Clans almost certainly get hit with fewer fees where they are liked and more fees where they aren't...up to outright cargo confiscation during particularly troublesome times. But there's also human personalities involved; if the local tax collector doesn't like a particular captain—not because of clan affiliation but just due to personality clashes—his fees are going to be higher, even up to the point where it's uneconomic to dock there.

But none of this helps GMs very much except that it gives them justification or freedom to do pretty much anything.

I'm with Munin; where there's a strong Mangai presence or a tradition of trading widely around the region, the idea would be that when a ship docks at a port, the cargo meant for that destination is offloaded into a bonding house where a tax is assessed. Any cargo to be shipped out is taken out of the bonding warehouse, where it's taxes have already been paid, and loaded aboard. Let's work an example.

Bales of Kandian raw wool and bolts of woollen cloth are sold to a merchant in Golotha for sale to spinners and clothiers in that fine city. After the clipping season in Kanday, bales of raw wool are sent to Aleath from the surrounding region where a local merchant buys some of them and puts them into the bonding house with the bolts of woollen cloth he's gathered. He offers the contract of the shipment to local shippers and the captain of a local coast hugger buys the contract. When the ship is next due to sail from Aleath to Golotha via Selvos (and other points long the west coast) the wool and cloth are taken out of the bonding house and loaded aboard. They are not unloaded at any point along the journey. When the ship arrives at Golotha, the wool and cloth are unloaded and placed in the Golothan bonding house, where a somewhat higher fee is charged (Rethem and Kanday aren't good neighbours).

That's the path the goods take. Now what about the money? Well, that's tricky.

The Golothan merchant wants wool and cloth so he writes a contract saying he'll pay x amount plus fees & taxes for such-and-such goods. That contract is accepted by a merchant in Aleath (the actual paper contract makes the journey from Golotha to Aleath via some means, usually via another ship, and such mail will of course attract a fee).

The merchant sources the goods and stores them safely in the bonding house, and pays the fee, which is marked on the contract. The merchant sells the contract to the captain of a ship. So possession of the goods moves from the merchant to the captain. He now owns all that wool and cloth and is responsible for it. Naturally, the price the Kandian merchant can charge is less than the price the Golothan merchant indicated he was willing to pay, but that's a negotiation between the Kandian merchant and the captain. The ship sails to Golotha and unloads the goods into the bonding house and fees are charged, and noted on the contract. The Golothan merchant is presented with his contract, he goes down to the bonding house, inspects his goods, notes the condition, and negotiations begin. The captain will want way more than the asking price, the merchant will try to stick to the amount in the contract. At the end, a price is settled on, and this plus the fees noted on the contract, are paid to the captain.

The goods attracted fees at both Aleath and Golotha. By selling the goods to the ship's captain, the risk of shipping the cargo was transferred away from the merchants. The merchant in Aleath made a profit, the captain made a profit, and presumably the Golothan merchant will also make a profit once he sells the merchandise. And the authorities in Aleath and Golotha also made a bit of money.


This is how the vast majority of cargo will move from one place to another, in response to a contract. While a captain might buy some cargo on spec, to see if he can sell it in some port, that kind of speculation probably only accounts for ... I don't know....10% max?? of a ship's tunnage. Maybe even just what can fit into a single cheat in the captain's cabin. They'll almost certainly be high value, low weight goods like a few bolts of silk cloth, or a crate of fine glassware from Evael, or maybe a sword or two from Azadmere. Something that he can buy really cheap (relatively speaking) in one place and sell really dear in another.
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Re: Maritime Trade

#27 Post by Krazma » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:36 pm

Derfman wrote:Is there a section of a publication that ... uses the phrase "He is fish all the way down"
Sounds more like Call of Cthulhu...

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Re: Maritime Trade

#28 Post by Targan » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:52 pm

That all makes sense, but damn... I'll have to engage my brain more actively if I really feel the need to get into the nitty-gritty of maritime trade.

What about this scenario (as is occurring currently in my Orbaal based campaign). Sherwyn-sponsored pirates have set up a camp on a small island north of Marby. They've been using various fairly small, fast, up-oared vessels to interdict shipping near Marby, and having larger vessels sail over from Sherwyn every couple of weeks to cycle pirate crewmen in and out and collect captured cargoes.

The PCs in my campaign are mostly Cyeen clansmen and are crewmen aboard a trading nivik captained by one of Tursi Cyeen's twin sons. They successfully defended against a boarding action by the pirates, all-but wiping them out and capturing the pirates' vessel (an up-oared ocean-going talbar). A second boat, a large pinda of the kind used in whaling, was being rowed towards the battle by pirates but turned around and fled when it became apparent their side was losing the fight. The PCs chased the pinda back to the island but were only able to catch and kill one of the second group of pirates there.

The PCs found the pirates' camp and took possession of the cargo goods the pirates were holding there. They torched the rest of the camp. My question is would Orbaalese clansmen use a similar system as the southerners for maritime salvage and dividing up the shares? Also the talbar they've captured belongs to a free Jarin clan near Marby. It turns out that most of that clan's wealth was invested in the vessel, and when it was lost and many of the clan's adult males (who were it's crew) were killed, the survivors decided to sell up, take what belongings they could carry and move to the Leriel/Gwaeryn area.

Both Marby and Arathel tend to respect the legal rights of Jarin freemen. Is it realistic for Clan Cyeen to follow the salvage code as described in the Pilot's Almanac? And most of the cargo recovered from the island had been taken from a foreign dak by the pirates. It seems to me that there would be little legal encumbrance on that cargo and the PCs' captain would be largely free to dispose of it as he sees fit.

Thoughts on all of that?
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Re: Maritime Trade

#29 Post by Leitchy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:59 pm

The cargo is easy; do as you propose. It's theirs to sell.

Salvage rights of the ship; the clan is much diminished so they probably wouldn't be able to pay the salvage fee anyway. So the ship is probably going to belong to the heroes in any case. What will they do with it?
  • Sell it, keep all the money.
  • Sell it, give half the money to the clan, keep the rest.
  • Keep it? What are they going to do with it; who's going to sail in it?
  • Give it back to the clan. What can the clan do with it? And how does this benefit the heroes?
They would garner a lot of goodwill if they gave the ship back to the clan, but to what end? The clan is greatly reduced and wouldn't have a lot of ... well, anything really ... to offer or give to the heroes (unless you thought of something appropriate for your campaign).

Unless the ship can be fully utilised by the heroes, the last point is what I'd do with the ship; it potentially opens up lots of roleplaying fun.

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Maritime Trade

#30 Post by MDMann » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:10 pm

That's an old English saying but I don't recognise it in terms of Harn.

I'd probably go with Peter and give the boat back to clan as a goodwill gesture if I had no use for it. They can do as they please but this should gain tgem the most really. The goodwill will extend to both Marby and Lerial which is not inconsiderable. It's also reasonable to lend the vessel to the clan in bond, taking a share in profits until they can pay off terms salvage rights. Low risk, high reward and still garners good will (also makes them look less like chumps who'll fall for any hard luck story).
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Re: Maritime Trade

#31 Post by Derfman » Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:56 pm

Krazma wrote:
Derfman wrote:Is there a section of a publication that ... uses the phrase "He is fish all the way down"
Sounds more like Call of Cthulhu...
If you don't recognize its probably not Harn. Maybe 7Seas......

Anyway, the context was that smuggling of small items was sometimes done by hiding them at the bottom of a barrel of preserved fish. The honest man was 'fish all the way down'.

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Re: Maritime Trade

#32 Post by Targan » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:52 am

Leitchy wrote:Unless the ship can be fully utilised by the heroes, the last point is what I'd do with the ship; it potentially opens up lots of roleplaying fun.
The ship could be fully utilised by the PCs. Nearly all the Orbaalese PCs have decent Seamanship skill, and one is a pilot and another is a shipwright. I think it will end up in the ownership of Clan Cyeen, with the PCs as shareholders.
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Re: Maritime Trade

#33 Post by Targan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:18 am

I'd like to return to the topic of lading. I assume Robin was aware of the (real world) practice. The issue of whether or not the practice is widely used in Harn and western Lythia seems hugely important to me in terms of influencing the character of maritime trade.

It seems to me that if the practice is widespread, the only vessels trading with small local ports would be local vessels trading out local products and trading in goods not easily available locally, or non-local vessels arriving specifically under contract. Only the larger ports would tend to attract significant foreign trade.

If lading is not widely practiced (perhaps as has been suggested because the Mangai actively discourages it) then there would be an entire population of maritime traders that would trade from port to port to port, selling smaller lots to many more customers.

So the existence or otherwise of lading would have a big impact on the size and types of trading vessels in western Lythia, the need for large trading hubs, the tax income of ports (particularly the larger ports) and a variety of directly and indirectly related economic and marine transport issues.

I'm no genius, so can anyone help me by considering the way ports and maritime trade are described in canon and use that to extrapolate whether lading is likely in the game?
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Re: Maritime Trade

#34 Post by Leitchy » Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:11 pm

I don't understand why you're referring to "lading" in particular. The word simply means the cargo loaded into the holds of a ship (let's leave this discussion to maritime trade). If you also mean to include the concept of a bill of lading, then that would be something those mercantile contracts I referred to in an earlier post would include. Those contracts would act as a specific request for goods (with an implied/explicit contractual obligation to pay), a bill of sale, a bill of lading...and probably one or two other things I've not thought of.

Does this cover what you mean by "lading"???

IMO the Mercantylers Guild would encourage the use of contracts because it would be between their own members, thus preserving their monopoly on trade. That's why the usual state of affairs is that the ship owner (mostly NOT the same person as the ship's captain) would be a member of the Mercantylers Guild. Or the owner-captain would have a bonded master merchant as his supercargo. They would be the ones responsible for interacting with other merchants, buying and selling contracts, and arranging affairs to move goods from one place to another.

So I agree with your first point; the only vessels that reach smaller ports are local coast huggers and the occasional larger foreign vessels that sails in because of an existing contract. Now, none of this preclude those ship owners from carrying non-contracted cargoes, but as I said before, these kinds of speculative cargoes would USUALLY (note the emphasis) constitute a small percentage of the total tunnage. Here's my reasoning:

Sea voyages are risky enough! Weather, pirates, pure dumb bad luck; lots of things can make a voyage unprofitable and ship owners are already facing more risks than the average trader. So merchants are risk averse, and one way they can reduce their risks is to ensure the voyage costs plus a small profit would be covered (hopefully) by the contracted cargo. Because that's (hopefully) a guaranteed income. The non-contracted, small tunnage, high value speculative cargo carried by the ship would be where any bonus profit would be realised.

When I say "high value" I mean high value where the ship is going, not where the goods were bought. A sack of spice bought in some large city in Heperkeria will increase in value the further north it goes, so by the time it reaches Aleath, a tiny package of the spice might be worth 10 times what the whole sack cost in the originating port. That's an example of the kind of trading in non-contracted goods I'm talking about; buy low, sell high. :)

According to canon, Harn only has one port worthy of note; Cherafir. All the rest are too small to warrant regular foreign-owned vessels. The only exception is the occasional mad sailor willing to dare the Gulf of Ederwyn to get to Aleath and Golotha, and neither of those ports are very big. The ship might carry a speculative cargo of high value, but trips aren't just one way. What cargo is good enough in Aleath to risk the voyage? Vellum? Raw wool? Both are high volume and low value, and both can be bought for not much more in Cherafir, without risking the voyage to Aleath. Would the sale of the speculative cargo be worth it? Hmmm...that's very risky. Aleath is a small city...a large town, really. There probably isn't enough wealth in the town to pay for the whole cargo, and I think that's the crux of the issue...only Cherafir is big enough to warrant bringing a largish speculative cargo all the way from Lythia. And that's the hub-and-spoke model that was discussed before.


For the small coast hugging ships that pick up cargo in Aleath and make the voyage to Golotha and back, they're likely to call in to places like Dunir and Selvos to deliver and/or collect cargo, and tradesmen like the local blacksmith might visit the docks and ask the captain (or, more likely, his supercargo) to bring 50lbs of iron ingots on his next voyage. If the ship is a regular at that port, and this is a regular kind of request, it might be handled informally. But in my games, I'd have the supercargo draw up a contract specifying the required items, and committing the blacksmith to paying for the cargo when it arrives. There might also be a down payment of some percentage, which further reduces the ship's risk. That percentage would be high if the parties are unfamiliar with one another and the goods present some kind of risk, or very low if the parties or the transaction is regular and the risks are well known and small. It's all about the circumstances and the personalities involved. :)
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Re: Maritime Trade

#35 Post by Targan » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:17 pm

Sorry, I was referring back to this:
Munin wrote:Part of the way that medieval ports made their money it through the common practice of lading; put simply, if your ship is full of cargo but only a small portion of it is intended for local sale, you can't just unload the bit you plan to sell - you have to unload the entire ship. This not only takes time, it also means that all of the goods need to be stored somewhere (before you turn around and load them back onto your ship), which means they need to be put in bond (and pay the bonding tax). It also means you need to pay for longshoremen and carters. And you'll be tied up at the wharf longer, so it means more wharfage fees. This is one of the reasons why "hub and spoke" trade routes look the way they do, and why large vessels are unlikely to frequent small ports.
If that's not correct, I apologise.
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Re: Maritime Trade

#36 Post by Leitchy » Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:18 pm

That's cool. Not your fault I didn't properly reading previous posts by someone else. :)

I haven't found any references to the term "lading", or to any practice of forcing ships to unload all cargo into a warehouse for the sake of assessing taxes. But it's certainly true that ships entering a country would be taxed on the entire cargo. The rate seems to always have been about 10% of the total value. This same practice applied to goods transported by other means, too. And it was in practice throughout most of Europe from at least late Roman times, and may have extended all across the Known World as far away as India and China.

However, I did find this:
[The ships] were beached on the strand or tied up by the shore to await the arrival of the wic-reeve and other royal officials to undergo the customs process in the royal port jurisdiction. The cargoes were unloaded and displayed on the shore, and local merchants took an active part in assisting the royal officials in assessing their value. Tolls were paid, and pre-emption rights were exercised if officials of the king’s household arrived within the allotted time. Merchandise acquired on behalf of the king may have been stored in royal halls or warehouses which also served as market places and where sales transactions were witnessed in public. The right to buy the cargoes in bulk rested with local merchants acting collectively to share in the bargains.
REF: http://www.medievalists.net/2011/10/ear ... ign-trade/ pg 350.

This applied to foreign ships only and they were required to call at specific royal ports. Which exactly mirrors the Alienage in Cherafir. Ships from Lythia are required to call at Cherafir, and foreign sailors and merchants are restricted to the Alienage.

:)

However, from my reading, once the goods had entered the country, they would usually get a seal attached to them (the sacks or crates, I mean) showing that the proper taxes had been paid. They wouldn't be required to pay again...in that jurisdiction, that is.

But this doesn't really apply to cargo around the coast of the rest of Harn. Yes, taxes would have to be paid in each jurisdiction, but maybe not on the entire cargo. Just the cargo that's being loaded or unloaded. In other words, just the goods that pass through the bonding house.

Not sure if that helps...
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Re: Maritime Trade

#37 Post by Targan » Mon Apr 03, 2017 1:40 pm

What percentage of foreign ships (not including northern Ivinian ships) do you think would sail directly to Orbaal, bypassing Melderyn?
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Re: Maritime Trade

#38 Post by Derfman » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:00 pm

Targan wrote:What percentage of foreign ships (not including northern Ivinian ships) do you think would sail directly to Orbaal, bypassing Melderyn?
pHarn the following as desired. Other folks certainly do....

Canon (Cherafir 2):
"....Around 80% of Harn's trade with the continent passes through the city...."

That means 20% of Harnic trade bypasses Cherafir (and therefore Melderyn unless they are smugglers landing in Melderyn).

I pHarn that 20% as split between 'skillfully piloted ships' (or insanely brave depending on your pHarn) that sail derectly to a western Harn port, mostly Golotha, but a SIGNIFICANT portion going to Aleath (read the canon), and a few landing at lesser ports (so yes, once or twice a year even Sarkum might have a small Dak call at its port....). The ships doing the 'skillful' (or insane) routes will be HEAVILY slanted to the more seaworthy types.

(Edit:
A common argument I get on this is that the Gulf of Eder is so insanely dangerous that it is an Iron Wall of flame and insta-death that is never crossed (although coastal trade somehow is not affected).
Canon DOES state that the Gulf is feared and known to be VERY dangerous. So sharply reduced traffic is sensible. But if it was so horridly dangerous as to make even experienced pilots and crews, familiar with the route, view it as just too hazardous to even consider, THEN you'd also have NO 'coastal' trade. But canon is solid that trade does flow, BY SEA, between Melderyn and western ports......
....enter the Dak (and Karune). In my pHarn a small (but slowly growing) number of these ships are bypassing Melderyn. The Lorkin (Firefly) being an excellent example...)

The other half of the 20% is Orbaalese trade.
So... in my pHarn about 10% of Harn's trade with Lythia is Orbaalese.... This can easily be pHarned up or down depending how much of the non-Melderyn 20% you send to western ports.
But assuming the '10%' I use, the next question is 'how much is non-northern Ivinian?'.
The answer is wide open to pHarn. I'd say maybe a quarter of the 10% as a guess, so 2.5% of the trade with Lythia, mostly Chelemby ships.
And keep in mind, canon makes clear that ships do sail between Orbaal and western Harn. While such trade does not 'bypass' Melderyn as it is not Lythian trade, it certain ignores Melderyn.
Also, some non-Lythian trade between Melderyn and Orbaal also probably happens, pHarn as desired.....

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Re: Maritime Trade

#39 Post by Leitchy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:31 pm

If you sail along the southern coast of Harn, always keeping the coast in sight and able to find a protected bay or at worst beaching the ship, then the Gulf of Eder is not that bad...

It's bad when you have no way of avoiding the sudden white squalls, the contrary waves, and the outright horrendous conditions that rise up within just an hour. That's the power, and the danger, of the Gulf of Eder.

Some say it's the demigod Eder himself that stirs up the oceans to punish any who dare to cross his stretch of water without proper obeisance...

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Re: Maritime Trade

#40 Post by Derfman » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:54 pm

Reasonable enough.

I've just found a huge amount of push back to the idea that Golotha, and to a lesser extent ALSO Aleath, have regular traffic with Lythia that does not dock at Melderyn, and even some lesser ports can are used now and then. Spend for a few good dinners for some knowledgeable merchants, and a fairly good picture of regular traffic can be had. Most will be at Golotha and Aleath, but a ship that stops at a less port like Sarkum or Selvos "every Larane, usually early in the month" would not be hard to discover.

I think some GMs are just hell bent on FORCING the PCs use Golotha to catch such a ship, or to remove their availability all together......

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Re: Maritime Trade

#41 Post by Leitchy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:00 pm

Well, whatever floats their boats is fine. It's not canon, but that's not a problem.

Personally, I like the idea of there being very little foreign ocean-borne traffic reaching Aleath and Golotha. Golotha is obviously the larger port; it has to be because it the ocean connection of the Thard River basin. From Aleath, goods would have to be loaded onto a caravan sent overland. Much more expensive than loading up talbars and sailing up the Thard. Even if towpaths have to be used when the current is especially strong.

But the volume of trade is such that larger ships simply are not needed. There might be a few, but I prefer to leave those as very special and unusual circumstances. I mean, a huge dak visiting Golotha should be an event! :)

And a huge risk for its owners and crew, both physically and financially. :)
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Re: Maritime Trade

#42 Post by MDMann » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:59 pm

Unless the owners hail from Meokolis. In which case it becomes a nice seaside retreat. :?
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Re: Maritime Trade

#43 Post by Derfman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:30 pm

If you assume a small or mid sized Dak is freakishly unusual, perhaps.
Likewise, is such risk present for ANY ship?

The 'Standard' Dak sizes are 48', 60', 72' and 84'. The Lorkin is 64' (and is at the high end of size of ships I'd see making such runs, simply because of the size of its cargo hold....)

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Re: Maritime Trade

#44 Post by Peter the skald » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:19 pm

Not sure why we fixate on open sea passage via the gulf of Eder to bypass melderyn. Surely one could merely coast hug it round the island of melderyn and then hop.to Harn and then coast hug west and vice versa.

I do not see the melderyni trying to stop such coastal hugging ships by coming out of port and chasing them.

Admittedly, it is still.a long voyage along an uncivilised and alien coast (without elven connections) to small markets....but Dublin was as equally isolated and managed quite well. Imho such isolation shapes the nature of such markets...making them quite attractive to those that take the risk.....big slave market Dublin.....:)
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Re: Maritime Trade

#45 Post by Derfman » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:41 pm

I've mentioned that before, although not in this thread. While a small Dak might not hug the coast quite as closely as a small Nivik, it does not mean the only other options is to be 500 miles from land.

And substantial portions of the coast of southern Harn are 'unfriendly', or at least very unwelcoming (the Sindarin). In my pHarn, the preferred havens would be the two 'barbarian' islands on the way (Domi and Chymack), and perhaps a coastal camp/trading post (or two) in Hodiri.

Side note on the Sindarin:
Its not so much hostility, but more a firm intent to 'discourage' 'visitors'. Its a small step from friendly help to becoming a preferred stop. My pHarn Sindarin attempt to walk the fine line between 'not being heartless' and 'leaving the uninvited visitors (shipwrecked or not) with a hearty desire to NOT repeat the experience'.
Invited guests, or ones willing to pay obscene fees to see a small potion of one coastal city, are treated better (although fees will be raised even more if 'tourists' become to common.....).

...having said that, a shipwrecked group of sailors observed by the Sindarin to be a bit fearful and working frantically, but not overly destructively, to get OFF Sindarin land might just be watched......

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Re: Maritime Trade

#46 Post by Eder » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:30 am

Targan wrote:I'd like to return to the topic of lading. I assume Robin was aware of the (real world) practice. The issue of whether or not the practice is widely used in Harn and western Lythia seems hugely important to me in terms of influencing the character of maritime trade.
...
I'm no genius, so can anyone help me by considering the way ports and maritime trade are described in canon and use that to extrapolate whether lading is likely in the game?
Let's use the term "lading" to mean: if a ship enters a port, it must unload its entire cargo and pay a 1 month bonding fee for it, even cargo that was never meant to leave the ship and will immediately be reloaded onto it.

I can't speak for Western Lythia. But as I said, the structure of Harnic ports suggests to me lading is practiced only in Cherafir, and only in relation to Lythian goods. If there is widespread lading, merchants try to minimize stops for cargo, since it pays taxes at each stop. So, either two ports are large enough to ensure that the goods produced in one for the other (and for the other alone) can fill a ship's cargo, or there will be no direct trade between them (unless one is a hub, see below). If you look at Harnic ports, virtually no pair of ports seem to satisfy this condition, whether you use the Pilot's Almanac tables, or just eyeball it on the basis of the local population. In a nutshell, Harnic ports serve areas that have too few people to justify cargoes made of goods entirely produced in one, and entirely meant for the other.

Instead, in the presence of lading, cargo from/to small ports will be collected at the hub port of the region (where "region" is loosely defined, but should definitely hold at least 4-5 ports, and possibly as many as 20-30). This will be relatively central port, ideally with lowish taxes, where all cargo that will eventually reach port A from 10 different ports B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K is unloaded from the respective ships (that hold cargo for many other destinations) and assembled into a single ship bound for A. Conversely, all cargo from A to B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K is brought to the hub using a single ship, and is then "split up" at the hub for its various destinations. But since every cargo passes through the hub, this means that the hub will see as much traffic as all other ports in the region combined! Harn has no single port so much larger than the nearby ones.

Instead Harn seems to have lots of small ports that, with the exception of Cherafir, have size proportional to the size of the community around them. With "small" ports once again I mean: ports that can't fill your average nivik's hold in a few days with the stuff locally produced and meant for consumption at one specific other port. This is strongly indicative of ships that "tour" the ports, hopping from A, to B, to C, etc., unloading and replacing at each port only a small fraction of their cargo. Which is not what you'd see in the presence of widespread lading.

I'd add that lading is somewhat ineffective as a means of taxation, because it involves a lot of work, and a lot of accounting that leads to a lot of embezzling. If you are a local ruler and want to tax the local trade, just increase the local anchorage/wharfage fees based on physical dimensions of ships, which are much easier to assess, and much harder for your taxmen to "skim".
Last edited by Eder on Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Peter the skald
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Re: Maritime Trade

#47 Post by Peter the skald » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:35 am

Inefficient as taxation but good for employment...
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Re: Maritime Trade

#48 Post by Leitchy » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:34 am

Peter the skald wrote:Inefficient as taxation but good for employment...
Not sure that employment was uppermost in the minds of rulers. :)

In fact, I guarantee the labourer/longshoreman was not a consideration at all. Ever!
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Re: Maritime Trade

#49 Post by Peter the skald » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:07 pm

Leitchy wrote:
Peter the skald wrote:Inefficient as taxation but good for employment...
Not sure that employment was uppermost in the minds of rulers. :)

In fact, I guarantee the labourer/longshoreman was not a consideration at all. Ever!
Really? Imho in the grand game of politics acquiescing to guild influence often had advantages. Also there are examples of enlightened rulers creating fake jobs in times of hardship precisely to avoid the evils of urban unemployment. Some might say from altruism, others might cynically say from a desire to corral the mob...
Plots and schemes are the same thing..

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Re: Maritime Trade

#50 Post by Targan » Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:52 pm

Peter the skald wrote:Really? Imho in the grand game of politics acquiescing to guild influence often had advantages.
It's not a guilded occupation... but I guess interested parties (such as the Mercantylers Guild) might exert influence.
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