Dwarves?

Dwarves?

Postby Frigidmagi on Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:04 am

I haven't seen this question asked so I have try and send it up.

Was trade cut with the Dwarves at the same time as the rest of the outside world? We learned lately that the Raccoonan homeland was established before trade was cut off and the mistwall created, we also know that this was at least 4 or 5 generations ago (as the elders seem old enough to have grandchildern by now, not that's a problem when you can breed for over a 100 years). With the plauge being at least 2 generations after. Granted this is somewhat miniumist in scope.

Meanwhile the cut off with the Dwarves seems hinted at to be more recent. Quentyn notes that Ral's father is wealthy as a direct cut off of the trade, his father not the family or grandfather, so it might even have been in Quentyn's lifetime (he's what 14-15?) The scarity of metals seems to be the opening of the finial stages in Racconan society, with poverty and what not setting up in the major urban centers but not yet creeping out to the rural lands (see any 3rd world nation for what crippling 3rd world poverty is like). As prices are still stable enough for everyone to afford bread and keep the farmers working. It's become the center of political debate among the elites but not out among the commons, least not of any urgentcy among them. The city dwellers haven't split into camps over this to the point where one side doesn't assoicate with the other (for examples democrats and republicians are less and less likely to assiocate all other things being equal). This seems to suggest a recent cut off?

If so, why? Is the plauge to blame? Some disagreement over payment? Politics? Fear that the dwarves would sell the information to humanity? Where the dwarves prehaps blamed for the plauge itself? Or was it a later development?
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Postby TMLutas on Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:30 pm

Well Freeman Downs had a united front voting for the free trade bloc which is part of the reason why this quest happened at all. I'd say that if they weren't interested, they'd have permitted themselves to be bought off with goodies from each of the blocs and shifted with the wind. That's the lucrative way to manage an issue you don't much care about.
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Postby StrangeWulf13 on Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:13 pm

From what I know, the dwarves have been trading with the Rac Cona Daimh long after the mistwall went up. They'd meet out in the middle of the lake, trade food for metals, then go their separate ways. Then one day, the Racs went to the middle of the lake and waited.....

The dwarves never showed up. They haven't been seen since.

It's been devastating to the economy. Metals had to be preserved and recycled as best they could. Metal prices shot through the roof and those who specialized in selling them became quite rich. They'd only be interested in reestablishing trade to increase their stock.

If Quentyn could manage to find the dwarves and find out why they stopped trading, he might have a chance to convince them to start trading again, or fix whatever problem is stopping them from doing so. After all, considering how sudden it happened, chances are it wasn't their choice. You don't develop a hatred of your trading partner overnight, or not without good reason.

:roll: And they're both furry enough to get along just fine...
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:30 am

Maybe the Dwarves figured "If they just had an epidemic virulent enough to decimate a race with such magical medicine, maybe we better stay away!"
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Postby LoneWolf23k on Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:44 pm

Or maybe something attacked the Dwarf traders..
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Postby Axelgear on Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:13 pm

Or they were enslaved. They're smaller, with slightly less strength capacity but a lot of useful skill and a different culture and there's also the fact that, like any race, they wouldn't be conflict free. The inevitable result would be a slow start with internal conflicts resulting in the losers being sold off as salves, then slowly slave raids begin, until soon everyone is fair game. Humans have been doing it for centuries, and the Dwarves are prime targets.
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Postby Frigidmagi on Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:31 am

Let be sure I got this down. There are several human cultures who view the dwarves as slave fodder?
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Postby Axelgear on Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:25 am

No, humans have viewed other humans as slave fodder so long as they were percievably weaker. That's what happened with Africa; the Dutch traders that went there first met with African Tribal Leaders who saw the defeated and captured enemies in their last tribal war as potential trade goods. The Africans gladly sold their enemies away, and slowly the Dutch began, along with the rest of the world, to view the less advanced culture as pathetic and weak. Then slave raids began, and profiteering members of other tribes gladly assisted for money, tools, food, etc. The end result was several centuries of slavery. All it takes is a bit of greed and an underdeveloped nation.
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Postby Frigidmagi on Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:52 am

How do we know that there's infighting among the dwarves?
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Postby Axelgear on Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:45 am

In the recorded 5000 years or so of human history, there has been peace between all nations for a total of about 350 years. If Dwarves are anything like us, infighting comes around constantly.
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Postby Frigidmagi on Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:19 am

In our our world there's only one specis capable of forming national groups. I do not believe that it makes a good model for a world with at least 5 (Listed so far are orcs, elves, humans, raccoan and dwarves as races that create nation/tribal groups) intelligent specis competeing with each other for resources.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:39 am

There are more on the UberCD...at least goblins (modeled on bats) and maybe one or even two others I have forgotten.
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Postby Axelgear on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:13 pm

Yes, but Rac Conans have a very similar, if not identical society to humans. Now, I don't see someone like RH putting evolution into his comic, so the logical conclusion is that they all have the same mind set as humans. While a person from a different place has different customs and functionings, the truth is, humans all have the same instincts. Slavery has been going on for all recorded history, and it only makes sense it'd happen here too.
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Postby Frigidmagi on Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:22 pm

Actually from what we've seen, they don't have a silimar society to the humanity they're aware of. They humans they know live in fuedal societies where the commoners have little to no recourse. They live in a very libertain republic, which honestly hasn't really occured on Earth either to the best of my knowledge.

But that's not my point. My point was, it may be best to assume that a specis would avoid enslaving it's own or otherwise competing with each other when there are more different targets around. For example it would be easier to justifiy a war on a dwarf kingdom then a war on a human kingdom. After all those dwarves aren't anything like us and all in all we would be doing them a favor by bringing them into "civilization." Or so it goes.
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Postby RHJunior on Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:48 pm

1)To be fair to the Dutch, those slave trade routes were established centuries prior--- by the Arabs. Europe was a latecomer to the field, frankly.

2)While Europeans engaged in slavery, Western civilization marks the only time in human history that <I>the slave owning class</i> disputed and finally overthrew the institution..... and that due to internal religious controversy over the issue. The Jews also practiced slavery--- but their own religious laws on the matter were so strict and leaned so far in favor of the rights of the slave, that it bore little to no resemblance to the institution as practiced elsewhere in the world (this is arguably in remembrance of their own bondage in Egypt... a Jewish slave would today more accurately be called a <I>bondservant.</i>) This carried over into the Christian world, where the issue of slavery en toto brought around centuries of debate, dispute, and (in the case of America) war... and was finally abolished entirely as a Christian moral principle.

As it stands, both the Arab and African worlds still engage in slavery.

The Racconan civilization is made up of a race that both escaped from bondage (as the Hebrews did), and which largely adopted Christianity (the Sojourner faith) as its main religion even before the founding of Sanctuary. As such it should differ little from western civilization in its opinions on slavery. There may be bond-servant arrangements still in existence, but those are temporary contracts and used generally to settle old debts.


3)Multiple races "competing" for resources is no more unfeasible than multiple tribes, races and nations doing the same. In fact it's probably a bit more feasible-- as what is waste to one race would likely be valuable real estate to another.

Also, you have two choices... "Compete," or <I>cooperate.</i> You will note that the Racconans, brownies, bogies and dryads have all reached a more or less amicable cohabitation.... the Racconans are the source of the large infrastructure the others inhabit--- the barns and storehouses that the brownies make their hunting grounds; the orchards that the dryads tend and nurture; and to a lesser degree the attics, gutters, and sewers that the bogies skulk. It's not always perfect: the dryads can make pests of themselves when they stray from the orchards, and the bogies tend to be poor houseguests.... but it's a more or less balanced system.
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Postby Axelgear on Sun Dec 10, 2006 4:11 pm

RHJunior wrote:1)To be fair to the Dutch, those slave trade routes were established centuries prior--- by the Arabs. Europe was a latecomer to the field, frankly.


Heh heh, that's not entirely true. Every society had slavery right from the get-go, be they European, Arabian, or Asian. The only difference is that one eventually decided to give their slaves slightly more freedom (Serfs were, essentially, slaves. They just were able to change masters of free accord, but if a Noble killed one that belonged to them, no harm, no foul) and soon enough, they revolted and brought a bit more equity into play.

RHJunior wrote:2)While Europeans engaged in slavery, Western civilization marks the only time in human history that <I>the slave owning class</i> disputed and finally overthrew the institution..... and that due to internal religious controversy over the issue. The Jews also practiced slavery--- but their own religious laws on the matter were so strict and leaned so far in favor of the rights of the slave, that it bore little to no resemblance to the institution as practiced elsewhere in the world (this is arguably in remembrance of their own bondage in Egypt... a Jewish slave would today more accurately be called a <I>bondservant.</i>) This carried over into the Christian world, where the issue of slavery en toto brought around centuries of debate, dispute, and (in the case of America) war... and was finally abolished entirely as a Christian moral principle.

As it stands, both the Arab and African worlds still engage in slavery.

The Racconan civilization is made up of a race that both escaped from bondage (as the Hebrews did), and which largely adopted Christianity (the Sojourner faith) as its main religion even before the founding of Sanctuary. As such it should differ little from western civilization in its opinions on slavery. There may be bond-servant arrangements still in existence, but those are temporary contracts and used generally to settle old debts.


As far as the Hebrew slaves went, yes, it's true. It is most likely a remembrance of the suffering of Egypt, but in Europe it was definitely not like that. As far as slavery goes, the Jews were by far the most compassionate. In Europe, a slave could be of any ethnic origin, could be beaten, raped, even killed without issue, and this was before African slaves.

As to the Rac Conans, it's more about Dwarves and Humans. If Rac Conan's were enslaved, it's likely any other smaller-than-humans race was too. Elves, not likely, but Dwarves? A definite possibility.

RHJunior wrote:3)Multiple races "competing" for resources is no more unfeasible than multiple tribes, races and nations doing the same. In fact it's probably a bit more feasible-- as what is waste to one race would likely be valuable real estate to another.

Also, you have two choices... "Compete," or <I>cooperate.</i> You will note that the Racconans, brownies, bogies and dryads have all reached a more or less amicable cohabitation.... the Racconans are the source of the large infrastructure the others inhabit--- the barns and storehouses that the brownies make their hunting grounds; the orchards that the dryads tend and nurture; and to a lesser degree the attics, gutters, and sewers that the bogies skulk. It's not always perfect: the dryads can make pests of themselves when they stray from the orchards, and the bogies tend to be poor houseguests.... but it's a more or less balanced system.


Cohabitation is a surprisingly rare relationship, and even then it takes a long time for equity to take route, and the moment it does, people take advantage of the system. The idea of brownies hunting in the farm houses sure fits well with Rac Conans, but what if one asks for a salary? Or they go on striek and unionize until the Rac Conans treat them as employees? What if they started their own business that competed against Rac Conan's? Cohabitation only goes so far until your neighbour becomes your greatest nuisance. The whole reason for tribal conflict is either a cultural or economic dispute, and even when it is the former, the latter often comes into play a lot. Now, in a society as organized as the Rac Conans, people are obviously treated with respect, but in an unorganized society, what happens when you can't feed your children anymore? Who do you complai nto? Where do you go for infrastructure? What if your entire family was unable to eat? Your village? Your entire tribe? Well, obviously, you do whatever you can to survive, and if reason doesn't work, war results. When you have food, what do you do with the losers? They won't willingly join your society, so you make them slaves. And what if you later want something? You sell them, and slave-trades are the result.

So, to sum it up, sure, in a civilized society cohabitation and competition are met with fairness and diplomacy, but in a place where no such amenity exists, things can very quickly degrade to warfare. This happened in Africa with the British and the Zulu's (Admittently the logical minds didn't want it but the people living in Africa didn't stand for people with different colored skin and culture living nearby, even though it was under a brokered contract), and the end result was the Zulu tribe was decimated, their capital shattered, and many of the captured people enslaved.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:47 am

Axelgear wrote:
RHJunior wrote:1)To be fair to the Dutch, those slave trade routes were established centuries prior--- by the Arabs. Europe was a latecomer to the field, frankly.


Heh heh, that's not entirely true. Every society had slavery right from the get-go, be they European, Arabian, or Asian.


I think RH was saying that the particular routes into sub-Saharan Africa were started by Arabs. Which makes sense.

Axelgear wrote:As to the Rac Conans, it's more about Dwarves and Humans. If Rac Conan's were enslaved, it's likely any other smaller-than-humans race was too. Elves, not likely, but Dwarves? A definite possibility.


Sayyyy. Perhaps it's a good thing that the rumor of elves living indefinitely persists. If humans knew that they had declined to a desperate race of youths, there would almost certainly be a strong interest in elven slaves. Sure, they wouldn't last as long as others, but when you consider 19th-century child labor...
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Postby TMLutas on Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:50 pm

Axelgear wrote:No, humans have viewed other humans as slave fodder so long as they were percievably weaker. That's what happened with Africa; the Dutch traders that went there first met with African Tribal Leaders who saw the defeated and captured enemies in their last tribal war as potential trade goods. The Africans gladly sold their enemies away, and slowly the Dutch began, along with the rest of the world, to view the less advanced culture as pathetic and weak. Then slave raids began, and profiteering members of other tribes gladly assisted for money, tools, food, etc. The end result was several centuries of slavery. All it takes is a bit of greed and an underdeveloped nation.


Mediterranean slavery (which went in all directions) was similar but less predictable in how it would play out.
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Postby TMLutas on Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:53 pm

RHJunior wrote:Also, you have two choices... "Compete," or <I>cooperate.</i> You will note that the Racconans, brownies, bogies and dryads have all reached a more or less amicable cohabitation.... the Racconans are the source of the large infrastructure the others inhabit--- the barns and storehouses that the brownies make their hunting grounds; the orchards that the dryads tend and nurture; and to a lesser degree the attics, gutters, and sewers that the bogies skulk. It's not always perfect: the dryads can make pests of themselves when they stray from the orchards, and the bogies tend to be poor houseguests.... but it's a more or less balanced system.


There is a middle solution called cooptition. It is simultaneous cooperation in certain areas and full throated competition in others. It's a relatively recent innovation.
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