Trading caravans

Table of Contents

Lords and ladies are linked to the land over which they rule, making them all powerful over the area over which their wards spread. Because of this, most are reluctant to leave those areas, and even more so to let any of their people get out of their reach and trust that they will return. Therefore few individuals travel beyond the fief where they were born. However a small class do so, and it is on them that most trade over the world is done.   Those travelers are gathered inside caravans that are made of horse- or oxen- driven carts and people walking alongside them. Caravans move alongside corridors of neutrality between the wards of the fiefs, including inside the City of the Hundred Fiefs. Those roads are little more than uncared-for dirt paths. Because of this, high-quality caravans who have the means to do so rely on magic to suspend their vehicles a few centimeters above ground to ensure a smoother travel.   In practice, caravans are their own mobile little fief placed under the power of a powerful leader. They also fight with each other for the control of trade routes and the patronage of powerful fiefs. Caravans are specialised in the transport of specific cargos, in stealing the cargo of other caravans, or in the delivery of messages and information.   Because of how vital their activity is, lords and ladies ruling fiefs usually respect their neutrality and are happy to offer them hospitality for short stays. This can lead to tense conflict when caravan members believe themselves to be above local laws and lords and ladies have to choose between letting this abuse go unchecked and unpuniched or angering those on which they depend for so much. In the end, it is always a question of power and who between the lord or lady ruling the fief and the leader of the caravan has the most of it.  

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Cover image: Trading caravans by karenfoleyphotography on DepositPhotos


Author's Notes

Written as a bonus article for Summer Camp 2022 prompt "Α vehicle or type of vehicle used for long journeys".

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