Economic Systems


Sea Trade

From the imposing silhouette of the Roque Tower, clear past the edge of Tartaran and out to the Fang of the Sea, ocean traveling vessels ebb and flow like the blood of The Cross. They carry, the trade that feeds every town and government from one edge of the land to the other. Sea trade is what keeps The Cross flourishing, as it has for untold ages. All of this trade must pass over the mass of water that straddles every shore of The Cross, the Karban Sea.

The Karban Sea fills the interior space of the various lands of The Cross, touching upon the swamps of the north, the plains and forest of the west, the mountains of the south, and the imperial island and sheer cliffs of Bisemutum to the east. While this provides easy access for The Cross’ shores to each other, only two pathways exist to the outer world at large from this sea. In the north sits the channel called the Dragon’s Maw, named so as the Fang of the Sea sits like a beacon, warning of the narrower passage between Bisemutum’s natural barriers that sit like great teeth, and the island of Tartaran. To the south, lies The Gouge. The Gouge sits south of Tartaran’s southern edge, sunken beneath the sheer cliffs of the island that gently taper inward to Snootport. To its own south lies the rapidly rising Dragon’s Spine Mountains, permanently donning bright white snow on their slopes. The shape of The Gouge is thus immortalized, a giant scrape affixed the middle of two imposing sides, with the Snooty Bay providing a large refuge from the rocks. With such features abound and the great dependence of the people on sea trade, there were few who could truly understand or appreciate the scale of the sea’s material wealth, and most of those lived in Roqueport.

Blessed with a natural harbor and near the center of the Karban Sea, Roqueport is uniquely capable of handling the vast majority of the sea trade that passes through The Cross. A safe harbor and some of the most developed docks in the region have also made Roqueport the port of call for many of the international shipping routes that come into The Cross from beyond Dragon’s Maw and The Gouge, far out past the Great North Ocean. While some Cross vessels can indeed be impressive, these titans from across the world shatter the ideas of what most believe is possible. With few exceptions, they can only be maintained by the largest cooperative ventures of massive trade companies. The Perch Trading Company itself even has only one of these vessels, sailing lands afar.

Even the smallest town relies on the vessels that call varied ports their home. The movement of goods between The Cross is vital to fill the lacking needs of each region, as it’s rare for any one place to contain every commodity. In the case of massive trade deals, say the procurement of a good for a whole city over a year’s time, Dragon’s Tear shards are invaluable. Confirmation of their existence is enough to cement such deals past most suspicion right away, or cause immediate subterfuge and espionage. It’s a dynamic that is carefully danced around as shards are traded for goods and services on industrial scales. Of course, the more affluent members of society also trade shards, but usually for more esoteric goods, the kind of things that get tucked away into the dark corners of the other massive shipments that sail the seas.

The most well-traveled route on the Karban Sea is the relatively straight path between Roqueport and Atlas. The two jewels of The Cross maintain regular, well-tracked shipments of commodities, the luxury items of the upper class of Roqueport being traded for Atlas’s magical and material goods. Spreading out from these two massive ports like two great trees growing opposite each other are the trade lanes to the smaller cities and regions. Some intersect, cross over each other, run parallel and even join up to create bigger trade routes. Of course, this draws the attention of those who seek to gain their wealth by taking it from others. Piracy is of great concern to The Cross, as it harms all involved.

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