Year Two

Gerard starts making more public appearances as time passes, even outside the castle. While Solange is looking into a long-term solution for Gerard's wheelchair needs, he has something custom-made for his immediate use. A couple of young guards accompany him many places so that he can be carried up and down stairs if necessary. It becomes fashionable to hold meetings on the first floor of the building.

As public buildings are rebuilt in Amber, the limits of a man in a wheelchair become more apparent, and building designs are altered to accommodate him. Ramps and wide corridors are the order of the day. Ossian comes up with some interesting new design concepts based on Gerard's needs. Some work, others don't.

"Naturally no one gave a shit before a member of the Royal Family was in the wheelchair."

Ossian will sketch soaring spiraling ramps, in the place of stairs in some houses. The ramps are never too steep, but sometimes too narrow for a wheelchair.

Vialle is happily working away as Chatelaine of Castle Amber. When Folly and Paige are in the city, she continues to give them lessons in deportment and fashion, ably assisted by Lucas when he is willing and not travelling. The reconstruction of the former family wing is an ongoing concern of hers.

If she needs the help of an architect Ossian is more than willing.

Over time, it becomes apparent that Vialle is really good at figuring out what kinds of things each of you wants and needs. Your chambers are all stocked with the things you like best, the cooks all know your favorite recipes, Nestor has books set aside to lend you, etc.

Hmm... I'd be intrigued to see what Vialle has left in Lucas' rooms... Will elucidate privately.

She is also in charge of the first anniversary commemoration of the Sundering, which is a well-organized affair in the fall.

Vere will ask her if there is anything he can do to assist her, and will happily go along with just about anything she suggests. He will also spend several nights in solitary walking in the vicinity of the mass graves in the nights immediately preceding the anniversary.

Paige attends, but is perhaps conspicuous by her lack of an escort. She'll happily wile the hours away speaking with any interested about the local fashions of the season and what a wonderful evening Lady Vialle's arranged which could only be bettered by one of Lord Rein's ballads but you're quite correct I think the beef was a bit more tender at Felicity's charity ball of course you must try the veal, it's simply delicious... ad nauseum.

She makes an appearance at the party thrown at the Prince, an obligation as she originally sponsored it, but leaves early and alone, returning to her chambers at the Castle.

Folly offers to help coordinate the music, and to play, sing, or write, as needed. She attends the gathering, but she is noticeably more staid than usual -- maybe the deportment lessons are finally working. Late on the night of the anniversary she sits alone on Kolvir's slope, enacting her own private ritual, alternately playing a wooden flute and burning little scraps of paper -- messages to her friends in Texorami.

Martin spends much of his time travelling. If the family takes up Jerod's scheme to shift the burden of trade so that he can have the flexibility to lay a permanent path, he's willing to travel almost full time. He's happy to have either Folly or Vere accompany him in his travels.

Vere would be delighted to accompany him on two or three of the trips, though he doesn't feel he can spare time for any more than that. He will take the opportunity to observe Martin shifting Shadow, and ask many questions about what it feels like, the exact procedures, and so on and so forth.

Martin gives him the same general sort of lessons about music and Pattern theory that he gave Folly. However, not even Dworkin can give Pattern theory lessons with a bagpipe. ;)

Folly accompanies Martin on about every third trip.

That works out to about the same number of trips as Vere. She also gets more lessons in Pattern as music.

When he is in Amber, Martin continues the tradition of hosting poker games for his male cousins and friends at the Red Mill. Once Gerard starts going out and about, he too receives invitations, and occasionally he accepts.

Lucas isn't much of one for poker. Hazard, on the other hand...

The boys get to try Hazard, and any other game of chance that the Red Mill is equipped for. Which is many of them.

Cambina travels as well, although she prefers to travel existing routes rather than forge completely new ones. She travels a bit more slowly than most of the rest of you, but brings home good results. It's clear that she would prefer to remain in Amber, however. She takes particular interest in excavating the Pattern chamber.

Once Folly has returned from her first voyage, she shows significant interest in this, as well.

Vere will ask to be kept informed of the progress of the excavation, and will ask if there's anything he can do to assist.

Paige will continue the ladies card night, much more genteel than other poker nights in name if not action. They're now held at the Castle in one of the sitting rooms, and as such the local friends are invited less, but Vialle receives a regular invite, as do any other worthies of the Household.

If Vialle shows an interest in actually playing cards, Folly will devise a deck that can be read by touch and propose some dealing rules to ensure that the dealer can't read the cards in this way.

Vialle is glad to come for the company, but isn't interested in playing cards. However, she proves to be useful as a totally disinterested dealer.

Other issues:

As regular trade routes are re-established, even if they are only accessible to the Royals at this point, there is some clamor to open up trade to non-Royally sponsored vessels. What do you all recommend to Gerard about this?

Paige is for this, if they understand all that the voyage will entail. They will have to follow the Royal pilot and trade in the same ports. They won't be able to strike out on their own, nor should they be allowed to compete for the same products as the Royal ship.

Vere is in favour of this, and would like to use this as a chance to reward the merchant houses and individual captains who were most helpful during the crisis. He will draw up detailed lists of every one of them, and everything they have done to assist him since the Sundering, and every single thing they have done that has made his job more difficult. He will present individual copies of these lists to every member of the family at dinner, and will be happy to go over them in detail with anyone who has any questions.

Ossian basically agrees with Vere. That way the crown will not have to pay for all ships involved in the trade.

Folly is in favor of the idea. The specifics of fees as discussed by Vere and Jerod sound reasonable to her.

Lucas is quite happy to let other ships sail all they want to. If they can't seem to get anywhere without Royal assistance, then I guess that's their problem.

To clarify the question: all of the ships that have sailed to date have had a significant Royal financial involvement. Basically, the government (read: you and your flunkies) have picked and purchased cargo, sold it on the voyage, returned with cargo -- almost all food -- and have sold it to local merchants to resell. What the merchants now want is an opportunity to buy and sell in Shadow directly, accompanying the Royal vessels but not using the crown of Amber as a middleman.

This is not to say that Lucas' comment is an inappropriate response. ;)

Have we gotten anything as formal as trade treaties set up with the places we've been going to, or have we been negotiating strictly on a business level for each transaction? If we've already got treaties established, Solange thinks private enterprise ought to be welcome, so long as they agree to abide by the terms of whatever treaties we've established. If we HAVEN'T set up trading guidelines, now would be a very good time to do so. If the situation doesn't seem to call for any treaties, maybe we just ought to charge the private merchants a reasonable fee for accompanying the royal fleets, call it a trading license or whatever, and let them come along. After all, they couldn't get anywhere without accompanying the Royal fleets, so the privilege of accompanying us ought to be worth something, and then we could use the funds for more rebuilding efforts.

Nothing so formal as trade treaties, although interest in continued trade has been indicated at most ports. (Not the one where the Amber ship was attacked, though!)

"What about land routes? There had to be some, no? Just because they weren't the primary routes doesn't mean they can't be useful. On would think that it would be easier for larger groups of merchants to follow a Royal on land routes with their own caravans, much like my father led troops through Shadow..." Paige suggests.

Solange gives her a dirty look at that last comparison.

Paige recognizes her faux pas, and gives her friend a look of deep apology.

"I'd be willing to attempt that, if other trading concerns can be taken care of, or perhaps in addition to them."

Prior to the Sundering, did the Crown get a percentage of all trade by non-royal vessels? For example, because of the fact that they were using shadow routes laid down by the family, or the "privilege" of using Amber's port facilities (above and beyond any relevant usage fees). This assumes said non-royal vessels were following routes and not accompanied by a member of the family or part of a fleet as such.

Oberon took 5% of cargo (in kind or money payment) from all Amber flag vessels on harbor entry. On long runs outside of Amber, cargo might be bought and sold without an intervening port call in Amber, but Oberon didn't attempt to take a direct share from those profits.

There were also customs and fees assessed on both Amber vessels and outside vessels (who pay more). The customs and fees are collected by an appointed official, who got the office from Oberon, probably by purchase. The taxes and fees are supposed to go to the Crown, but rare is the official who isn't skimming a little. Rare also is the official who is skimming a lot, because Oberon got cranky about that stuff.

Eric and Gerard never made significant changes to the system -- Eric didn't have time to replace the officials with loyalists of his own in all cases, and the offices have not been lucrative since the Sundering.

Then why not go with that? 5% on all cargos as per the flag...for ships accompanying royals specifically to get through a non- navigable shadowpath, an additional "user" fee (minor but there). Vere's starting to get a handle on harbor activity...let him monitor whoever's handling the customs fees and report back if there's any changes he'd want to make in the officials - he knows his stuff for sure.

Vere agrees with this, and would like to draw up a list of merchants who will be allowed to accompany various expeditions, based on their service to Amber during the crisis.

If the vessels are accompanying a royal fleet (or vessels) on a route that requires a royal accompanying them (because of shifting shadows), Jerod's likely to be supportive of requiring a donation or fee for accompanying them.

As a related side note, what did you all decide to recommend to Gerard about the usury laws?

The question was: does the advisory council recommend that Gerard set prohibitions on usury (lending at excessive interest), and if so, under what conditions?

Setting the prohibition would allow some indebted merchant houses who were counting on income from ships lost in the Sundering to have some chance to pay off their debts. However, it might cause moneylenders who depended on that income to go out of business. Either case would have some effects on the economy.

Other options include a possible suspension of interest for a time or Crown subsidies for certain people/houses whom the Council decides are economically important.

Vere is in favour of an emergency proclamation against usury, although he's willing to abide by the majority opinion when we present our report to Gerard if it is different.

Jerod would offer that for those activities that are directly focussed towards the restoration of the city and Crown, and can be proven as such before Court, would be permitted to apply for a restriction against usury. For business activities not directly related to this, and without significant indirect impact on the restoration activities, then things should be permitted to operate as before.

The sticky part would be activities which are not directly related to restoration, but which if they were to go under would have an indirect and detrimental impact on the restoration. These would have to be figured, well, I'm not sure about that...:)...other opinions and comments?

Vere is concerned that the continued imposition of interest, or even the demand that regular payments be kept up, will cause unbearable hardship to the merchant houses and individual captains who currently have no income. In his opinion they are more important than the money lenders. If the latter go out of business more such will step in to take their place.

Paige has to agree, and in a purely employment sense, the merchants employ a good number more, i.e. are better for the economy, than any moneylender. While Jerod's suggestion has merit, she's honest in the fact that she'd rather not deal with vague laws, when they're sure to eventually come before her...

Merchants may be better in the physical sense for the economy, but people need to remember that moneylenders are your venture capitalists...if you don't have someone investing in the merchant's endeavour...then you have limited endeavour and limited innovation. That's why Jerod is not willing to just shut down a lot of moneylenders in favor of the will have a long term impact. A balanced approach between moneylenders and merchants is essential...otherwise we'll have definitely have something come back to bite the kingdom.

Vere agrees with this, and is certainly not in favour of simply putting the moneylenders out of business wholesale. Nor is he proposing that merchants should benefit from moneylenders going out of business, and thus having their debts wiped out. He simply feels that we have to ensure that the minimum disruption occurs during the crisis, and that as trade resumes we still have a strong merchant base ready to make the most of it.

So far (if I'm understanding correctly), Vere is in favor of abolishing usury at least temporarily as an emergency measure, Jerod is in favor of abolishing it for those deemed "worthy" (in that their continued operation directly benefits restoration efforts). Folly's position is close to Vere's -- put a cap on interest and extend payment schedules. Finances aren't really her strong suit, though -- any plan that seems fair and attempts to minimize the number of people plunged into financial ruin sounds good to her.

Solange further suggests that the cap be set somewhat lower than the original permitted levels. You hear her muttering the word "Greenspan."

Ossian suggests setting an upper limit for interest (there might be several different upper limits, depending on the length of the loan). He will also suggest giving emergency loans to certain important people/houses. The loans may work as a powerful tool to keep those people in check if they get too powerful.

Did Ossian ever put up his monument to the dead of the Sundering?

He did. Hopefully it is finished at the anniversary. (It is a huge project, and a year is a very short time to finish it) What might restrain the monument building is the cost of bringing large living trees from Arden.

There is no way it will be finished at the end of the first year. Maybe you can unveil it at the end of the second year. Probably what you do at the end of the first year is plant the first living tree or mark some other project milestone.

Then Ossian will have a lot to do during the second year; overlooking the details of the construction of the memorial. (I expect he will have an escalating amount of work during the process of the construction.)

This cost might on the other hand be heavily reduced if we point out the fact that ships involved in the tree transportation may be alowed to get into trade on the first availible opportunity. (Do I get the geography right here? If I remember correctly Arden is close to the coast, so transporting the trees should be easiest on ships)

Arden isn't coastal. But that's OK; you'll find a way to get those trees there anyway.

What was the recommendation about Jerod laying permanent paths?

Paige is all for it, and willing to go back out. She'd like to try and find a port close to Heerat on her next journey, if it still exists.

"A place of adobe and stone-a commercial center at the junction of several trade routes." HoO, p. 231, SFBC Edition _Chronicles of Amber_ Vol. II

Folly is in favor of it. She doesn't know enough about Amber's former trading partners to make any recommendations beyond "someplace where we can get a lot of staple foods."

Lucas is quite happy to let Jerod struggle with laying permanent paths.

Vere thinks it's a good idea, establishing regular trading partners is vital and we can't count on easily finding our way back to the same Shadows every time if we don't have the permanent paths established. Although, since Vere is far from an expert on Shadow travel he will defer to the experts on this.

Ossian heartily agrees with this, as he would have to spend less time traveling with the merchant fleet.

With respect to the Golden Circle ambassadors whose shadows seem to be lost, the suggestions so far are: wait for the elders; offer them citizenship and put them to work; use them as trade negotiators. Do you have a group recommendation for Gerard on this issue?


What about offering them a position as trade negotiators while awaiting the return of the Elders? While Jerod's reasonably sure citizenship might seem something appealing to some people, he's not so sure that a group of people who are away from their homes would see it in the same light. As GC diplomats, there is perhaps something of an obligation on the part of Amber to help in getting them home...especially if those Shadows did provide support to Amber during the crisis against Chaos as would be expected of a loyal ally.

Paige is in favor of the latter two options, specifically citizenship and then using them as negotiators if they're suited to the work...

Vere is a little hesitant to offer them blanket citizenship, since their first loyalty should be to their home Shadows. We could give them the choice to work as trade negotiators for us until contact is re-established with their particular Shadows, or else they can simply wait in their embassies and pay exorbitant non-citizen prices for food and supplies....

In response to those who think the ambassadors would reject an offer of citizenship due to loyalty to their home Shadows, Folly says, "Just because we offer citizenship doesn't mean they have to accept it. Does Amber recognize dual citizenships? If so, the ambassadors could enjoy the priveleges of Amber citizenship without necessarily feeling that they were giving up their loyalty to their home Shadows."

I think Folly was the one who suggested using the ambassadors as trade negotiators. She's still in favor of it -- and she's also willing to talk to them individually to see whether they might have other skills and interests they'd be willing to use for the good of Amber while they're waiting to re-establish contact with their own governments. Who knows, maybe one of them is a former shipbuilder, or something....

There is a significant outflow of population into Garnath under the homesteading plan, and some demand for the near part of Arden to be opened. There will be problems with the Rangers if you do this. Again, what is the recommendation?

Vere will defer to Solange on this, but his quietly expressed opinion is that allowing settlers into Arden is a change that we won't be able to undo when the Elders return, and he's against it unless we decide that it's vital.

Thank you, Vere!

Lucas is all for getting miserable folk out of Amber City. Arden is big. They can lose a few trees.

What's Solange's take on this? Jerod doesn't have enough information at the present time to make a reasonable suggestion.

Gerard is particularly interested in the opinions of Solange, Lucas, and Martin, who have all spent time in Arden and/or Garnath, and who have been involved in the resettlement programs (Martin less than the other two).

Martin sees both advantages and disadvantages, but defers to the opinions of Solange and Lucas, who have spent more time dealing with the Garnath locals, the settlers, and the rangers than he has.

Paige will defer to Solange or Martin on this, but herself thinks it's a good idea.

Solange points out that [settling Arden] will provoke the Rangers mightily, and that might not be a good thing to do considering that they're all the ground forces we have left in Amber for the time being. She believes she can suggest that land already cleared by harvesting ships' timbers be opened for farming, but that any more than that won't fly.

Aren't there other open lands in other directions? Can any land- rich but money-poor nobles be persuaded to sell off portions of their holdings to the Crown? No loss of title or rank, of course.

Lands north of the city are not that well exploited, but the terrain out there is such that you'll never get more than subsistence farming out of it.

There is no such thing a land-rich Amber noble. Amber is a city-state more than a nation-state. It has not exploited the continent very much and is turned seaward to an extent that makes it unlikely that it ever will. (This may be by design.)

Gerard wants everyone's input on these issues.

Folly is in favor of anything that maximizes the number of people with roofs over their heads and food on their tables. If it's a choice between opening parts of Arden to settlement and letting people go homeless and hungry, she's in favor of settling Arden. However, if some of the land to the north really will support some subsistence farming (if nothing more than that), she's in favor of offering that land first, for those who would benefit from it.

[The player adds: Many generations of my mother's family farmed the rocky, sandy soil in the mountains of Kentucky. Their cash crop was tobacco, which apparently does pretty well in nasty terrain. Given what a bunch of nicotine addicts the Elders are, I can totally picture a small group of working-class Amberites starting a little farm on crappy land and surprising everybody by turning a nice profit a couple years later when they show up with armloads of tobacco....]

Folly will also suggest doing a little exploring for additional arable land.

"Why not populate Kolvir more densely. THere should be space there for more sheep and goats.

"That would also keep Lucas happy. I guess he likes shepherdesses." Ossian adds with a smile.

Solange is more than happy to volunteer for exploring.

What is the state of Folly's army of good works?

Still active, if only loosely coordinated. They band together occasionally for big projects -- constructing or reinforcing buildings, for example -- but a lot of their efforts are on a much smaller scale: sharing food with sick or injured neighbors, tutoring and mentoring kids, and just generally looking out for each other and promoting a sense of community. To that end, a few folks have organized a weekly informal jam session/community gathering at the Pickled Grouse, a dockside pub, which has become quite popular among the locals.

Folly maintains a couple of close dockside contacts who keep her informed about community concerns. Her presence at the Pickled Grouse sessions is not uncommon.

As the emergency duties all of you took on in the first year draw to a close, how do you fill your time? Is the travel sufficient to keep you busy, or do you do other things?

A couple times a month, Folly invites the children of the dockside community out to a local park for an afternoon of singing and dancing. She invites any of her cousins who are interested to join her in this endeavor, with the caveat that they should be willing to act silly and get dirty.

In addition to her travels and her continuing dockside involvement, Folly spends quite a bit of time in the library. She starts out researching the traditional songs of the area -- one never knows when one might get a request -- but sometimes she just wanders through the shelves pulling whatever titles strike her fancy at the time -- comparative religion, developmental psychology, non-Euclidean geometry.

Paige spent several years as Rein's apprentice and is familiar with many of the old trad's of Amber, and when Cambina, nor Jerod, nor Solange are around will teach her "The Siege of Kolvir", an underground hit at best... Paige is more than willing to help Folly when she's in town.

Ossian would gladly hear that one, if he is invited.

Folly's also writing a lot and performing a lot, usually informally. She knows which pubs have the best open sessions, and she attends whenever she can.

I do other things, as has been noted.

For the second year, Jerod is more heavily involved in the laying of permanent shadow routes, subject to the needs of trade operations (involving the other family members leading ships) and Court activity in general. He will be especially focussed on dealing with the remaining ambassadors, the members of Court, the trade situation as it pertains to Court and any other duties as would be assigned by Gerard.

With the relaxing of the crisis (a bit), Jerod begins to take a bit more of a look into the areas where his cousins are operating, though he is careful to do so only as an observer - he doesn't step on anyone's toes and is careful to do his homework first.

Jerod continues to spend time with various members of the family - especially Vialle and Cambina when time permits. He also spends time hanging out with Martin when he is back in port - this would include games at the Red Mill. His presence becomes more commonplace at the Diogenes Club as well and he is occasionally seen in the presence of certain people in the city such as Barenthkov.

He spends a little more time in the forest areas of Arden hawking...for those of the family who do not do so, and are interested (like Folly perhaps), he's willing to arrange to bring some people along. This is another of Jerod's few vices.

The Rangers grudgingly accept Jerod's presence, but welcome him more heartily when (if) he accompanies Solange. Martin and Cambina accept Jerod's invitations for hawking, on separate occasions, of course.

He'll be sure to show up with Solange, if it can be arranged of course, to smooth over tensions between the Rangers until they get used to him being around - whether they really accept him is another matter and he's not too worried about that. He doesn't order anyone around while he's and doesn't interfere with their work either...but it's also clear he takes his limited recreational activities very seriously and hawking is one of those activities...

And he very much likes the company when he's out...

Should things change based on how the year goes, this will be updated.

Paige paints more, and can often be found on the slopes of Kolvir, either working out in the morning or sketching in the evening, when not occupied by her duties. As mentioned above, she's willing to go back out again, but is not spoiling for the sea.

Ossian will be away a lot, if that gives Jerod the opportunity to lay permanent shadow paths. However he does not seem to be interested in learning how to lay said paths himself.

When he is home Ossian will slightly increase the amount of lessons he is giving. He will also check in on the excavation project. And moonlit nights he will go up on Kolvir searching for a way to get up to Tir.

As things slowly calm down from an emergency situation Vere is going to be handing more and more of the less critical duties of the harbour over to underlings. There is a lot that doesn't need to be handled by him directly, and having a good hierarchy in place is essential. He will use his increased leisure time to study more intensively in the Library, and will begin asking his Cousins to start collecting interesting and useful books while they're treading for food. He and Nestor will come up with a list of topics on which more information is needed.

He is also going to continue his mastery of the piano, an instrument that has rapidly become his favourite. He can be heard at all hours playing on the grand piano in the drawing room; usually formless music of his own composition that has little in the way of traditional structure, but is emotionally overwhelming. Servants in the hall outside the drawing room often weep or laugh for no apparent reason, and a rumor begins to spread that there's something supernatural about Vere's music.

Vere also spends a lot more time with his father; just quietly enjoying the chance to be with him. Partway into the second year Vere mentions to Solange that as of that day he has spent more time in Gerard's company since coming to Amber than he has during his entire life before leaving the Isles.

"I know what you mean; it's been the same for me. Before all this, I saw Dad maybe once or twice a year when he came to visit my parents -- I mean my foster-parents -- and to check on how I was. Of course, I always expected that I'd see more of him as I grew older, and that he'd acknowledge me publicly, eventually. It's just that circumstances forced his hand. How often did he come to see you, when you were younger?"

"When I was very young, the first five years or so of my life, he was there at least four times a year, often much more than that. He never stayed for more than a few days, though. Later on he would sometimes be gone for as long as three years at a time, but would compensate by spending several weeks with us when he could visit."

It is clear that Solange isn't too certain just how old Vere is, and that she herself has only recently reached adulthood -- perhaps only with the added responsibilites on her following the Sundering. Before then she was either a growing child, briefly a young lady (which is not quite the same as an adult), and, after that, a student for several years.

Vere doesn't answer the implied but unasked question.

Gerard is happy to have both Vere and Solange around too. He breaks his fast with them daily if they are available.

[is there anything else outstanding that I missed?]

How many children have I sired in my controlled breeding experiment?

On usury, the council recommends that Gerard limit interest, but possibly with gradated limits based on the size and length of the loan rather than outright prohibitions. Gerard takes this recommendation and sets out a schedule. He also takes Ossian's suggestion about direct Crown loans.

On the question of opening the trade to tagalong non-royal vessels, the council recommends yes, with the standard fees as applied in the old days. Gerard appreciates Vere's list and asks everyone to make up a similar one.

On the question of Jerod attempting to lay a permanent path, the council recommends yes. Gerard agrees and tells everyone to rearrange their schedules to accommodate the extra work. This means that some of you will be going to different shadows than the ones you visited, or, more likely, additional shadows. (More on Jerod's effort later, in a subsequent post.)

On the question of opening Arden to more settlement, the council is split. Gerard decides to open the lands north of the city, and likes Ossian's suggestion of sheep for that land. Perhaps someone could walk into shadow and find some good sheep-like critters? He's also open to subsistence farming and cash crops, if we can figure out what will grow out there. The question of opening the nearer reaches of Arden is deferred for the time being, but Gerard does ask Solange to find out how much trouble he's in for if he opens some cleared land for farming.

On the question of the ambassadors, the council recommends offering citizenship and positions as trade negotiators. Gerard rejects the suggestion at this point, explaining that doing so would be tantamount to admitting that he didn't think they were going to get back home, and he's not ready to make that admission yet.

There is some talk of exploring the land routes (Paige having mentioned them and Solange having volunteered to explore). How do you all plan to make that viable for cargo? Gerard wants to know. Bringing back a bunch of sheep is one thing, but actual cargo trade, e.g. food trade, on the order of a ship's worth will require some effort.

Paige is happy to start with sheep as part of the initial exploring. She's more experienced at Shifting by horse and also more comfortable. As to how? It would have to be a long term caravan. Unless they luck out on a reasonably close Shadow, the turn around should be much longer than the sea routes, but one would think that land routes would be easier to lay, also. Of course order doesn't neccessarily work that way. Paige submits that water, by it's very nature is changing, thus resists order and permanancy. The earth, it resists change, and once the paths were laid might be easier for merchants to travel.

Paige likes the idea of perusing the Library for maps of the continent, also. Maybe beyond Arden or further up the chain behind Kolvir there are suitable areas for settlement...

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Last modified: 1 Jan 2002