Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Ionian Gulf

Jan 26, 1651, Monday afternoon
Weather:  with pleasant temperatures and a quickly passing storm, with a fresh breeze

Although the amount of rain has markedly increased as the party has headed south, the overall temperature has steadily improved.  A week before, on the day after the dinner, the Petrel met with a gale, that drove the ship brutally for half the day ... but examination of the ship showed an utter lack of damage of any kind.  The Captain determined there was no need to go into any port, and since there has been nothing of its kind.  The party has not seen so much as a flake of snow since (the gale was in the form of another Bura, or blizzard) ... though there has been a lot of drizzle and rain.  The decks are free of ice, cool temperatures have warmed the wood each day and now, this Monday afternoon, the sky is cloudy and blue and the weather is positively marvelous.

But there has been nothing on the horizon, and for much of the journey the ship has been tacking into deeper water, so that even land isn't visible for much of the time.  An map of the voyage is below:



Sorry about the map being such a mess.  It's in the middle of being redesigned, and right now this is the best one I have.

You can see that you've come out of the Adriatic and into the Ionian Gulf.  The Captain understands that once you've gotten past the Ionian Islands, the ship will catch prevailing winds that blow south by south east, as opposed to southwest.

The town of Zante is beyond Ithaca (the island in the extreme bottom left corner).  The Captain means to make for there and rest the crew for two days.  In the meantime, this is as much time as I have to work out the calculations for the above ... but journeys do tend to be long and boring, so I guess I'm presenting the actual feel for the events correctly.



25 comments:

Ahmet said...

Ahmet passes his time counting his eggs before they hatch.

Alexis Smolensk said...

That's right, you gotta make your own fun!

Lukas said...

Lukas continues teaching reading. When not, he will be seeing if any of the crew or hired men know anything about markets and mercantile things. Preferably local mercantile things, or management mercantile things.

Andrej said...

Andrej continues his studies while Sofia continues her training and getting to know the soldiers better. Any update on Andrej's literacy level?

Ahmet said...

Enrico also continues his studies, taking great pains to conceal these efforts from Ahmet. But it's obvious Ahmet takes no interest in Enrico's doings when he's not assigned to chicken guard duty.

Alexis Smolensk said...

We may presume that there has been, Andrej ... but unless you need to read something specific, I'd rather collect these days at one time. Call it a chance for improvement for every day since leaving Fiume.

The crew is no more from around here than the captain, Lukas ... so they know not a thing about the economy in the area. They're all from the North Sea.

Lukas said...

What about the men at arms?

Alexis Smolensk said...

They are, you'll remember, from Germany; they gained their experience from the war that ended in 1648.

Lukas said...

Indeed. Well if you want to do something right... Hire a sage.

Ahmet said...

I'm not sure what you're after, but perhaps Enrico and his lads can help? They're from Naples, which is closer. And Enrico has a field of knowledge (Civitas).

Lukas said...

Me too! I'm just trying to get some advanced knowledge of the area around our holdings and perhaps some advice for beginning investments.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Understood.

But since you haven't actually asked a question, I don't know what to tell you.

You seem to be expecting me to randomly offer information.

Lukas said...

Well, I'm considering general advice to keep us from doing something 'stupid' that we didn't think about.

For instance, what kind of things should we look for in the town to help understand it's room for development?

What should we know about the people and their traditions regarding trade and markets?

Where should we look for getting key construction and development supplies if they are not available at the site?

What are some of the local laws regarding development and untitled developers?

What are some local traditions for beginning development or hiring laborers?

And probably some kind of adviser that can help reign us in should we start going down the wrong path.

There are many other things of interest in that area I probably haven't thought of yet.

If we can ask you directly Alexis, sure, but I have a feeling my Civitas knowledge might not be specific enough if rolls are involved, and would hate to be 1000g into a project and have the local ruler's men march over and yell at us for breaking such and such law without knowing we were breaking said law.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, of course I have some limitations in that you haven't actually been to the town, so any specifics of what you can do can't at this time be discussed - such as the people. I can't tell you if they're industrious, torpid, oppressed, educated, etc, because they're not here to be asked. And you really don't know any Greeks - though the Turk undoubtedly has an opinion.

That said ...

It is the same problem that affects economies everywhere, taking advantage of Lukas' 17 intelligence. If there are no natural resources, you have to question yourself as to unnatural resources are practical. If there are natural resources, how are they under exploited? Again, you're not there, you can't tell which it will be.

All construction is local. It is too difficult and too expensive to move materials. Count on lots of stone, very little wood.

Between the various members of the party, you can determine that both the Ottoman and Venetian economies are plutocracies. The rich make the laws. In the Ottoman empire, this is hedged by the fact that the most noble families are the richest ones, so even if you have money, if you're from a bad family, tough luck. In Venice - and by extension Koufonisia, - it's a mercantalist free-for-all. The most serious crime is theft. Murder is probably secondary, unless it is for the purpose of theft. Almost any kind of taking of things, including wives for adulterous purposes, is seen as theft.




Andrej said...

As one who accepts the premise that any laws are only there as a means of shaking us down for money, I say we build what we want how we want and deal with the problems as they arise. Put another way, I suspect it will be easier to beg forgiveness (and offer bribes) then ask permission.

Be it storms, tax collectors, foreign invasions, monster infestations, labor strife, guild or merchant house interference or the hand of god... something will appear to oppose us eventually, no? Let us whack it upon the head when it makes itself known. In the broad sense, I suspect endeavoring to establish a military port so close to contested waters will attract plenty of friends and enemies and therefore adventure.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There are no labor traditions. If the population is disinterested, however, they probably won't work even if you pay them. There is likely no market on Koufonisia, so no where for most of the population to spend money, even if you pay them. The local economy, apart from tributes, taxes and rent, is probably barter, based on families all eating the same foods, living in the same material circumstances and having the same expectations.

Zante is also a Venetian port. Persons in Zante would trade with Kandia, the Venetian port effectively in control of Venice trade in the Aegean. If you wanted an agent, start there.

There's no reason to think that your fear regarding the local ruler would ever happen. Since the holder of the title was a person living in Germany who hadn't collected on the property for 19 months, chances are the people have never met who owns the island going back several generations.

It would be hard to imagine its an island in the center of any governor's agenda. Someone might show up for their "cut," but it would be a taxation at worst.

You're bigger issue might be someday the Ottoman Empire expanding their war with Venice from Crete into the other islands of the Aegean and the Ionian Gulf.

Lukas said...

So basically to get these people to build things, we're going to have to make them WANT to build things. That's the most interesting part to me there.

Furthermore, hopefully we wont have too much trouble 'proving' that we're not just a bunch of folks who run the place with our documentation.

I'm all for squashing troubles as they come Andrej, but just like you don't proceed without keeping an eye for obvious traps or without adequate food, I want to see what I can do to prepare.

As for the industriousness and heartiness of the folks. For folks who probably live on a rather unpleasant island, they're probably tough and stubborn...

Tough is good, worried about stubborn.

Alexis Smolensk said...

In my mind's eye, Lukas, I keep seeing the scene from the Guns of Navarone, when the team sits down at the wedding. They're not from there, but everyone is relatively easy about their presence; they are polite to one another, if not conversant.

Also, I just posted something on my facebook that you should go look at - specifically about entrepreneurship in third world countries. It really resounded with me as truth. The link is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chXsLtHqfdM&list=PLNBDE0_Rck9oiYrNb8PLPOY6-4L2gisQP

Andrej said...

Preparation is good, but there are some things we just won't find out until we begin. I think you're on the right track asking about an agent or advisor for us to hire.

Maximillian said...

Lukas, you did receive two other ways to prove your legitimacy to doubtful illiterates. Just Sayin.

Maximillian said...

(ooc: Thought you might like to know I received my copy of the book last night. Lulu moves fast, considering I used the cheapo shipping.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: that's good to hear!

I know you said the cover didn't sell the book, but ... how does it look? I haven't got a copy yet)

Alexis Smolensk said...

I am sorting myself out in order to get the next post up. I know that there isn't much new in the above ... but travel is always an annoying time-thing.

Ahmet said...

Can we, as we did when we were prisoners, just jump ahead a few days to the next encounter (or we get there), and just assume Andrej and Enrico continue their studies and Ahmet continues glaring at chickens?

Oddbit said...

(OOC: Hey guys im probably not going to have access to the internet till teus.)