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Page 6-8
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26th Apr 2019, 7:11 PM in Chapter 6
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Author Notes:

Rocktopus 26th Apr 2019, 7:11 PM edit delete


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Product Placement 26th Apr 2019, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
Product Placement
I mean... "why wait 4 years?" is an awfully legitimate question.

If I was a moneygrubbing lord, I certainly would come running as soon as I saw an imbalance in the tax return.

Me suspect an ulterior motive but I'm not sure what. If this is a traditional serfdom, then he already owns the land and wouldn't need to "confiscate it" for tax evasion.
Rocktopus 26th Apr 2019, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
True! Though you can't confiscate what's not there!
Lisekmaly 27th Apr 2019, 3:04 PM edit delete reply
That leaves either crippling the village by leaving them nothing and letting them starve or slavery. I guess selling the young women could bring in some quick cash. Stupid in the long and short term, but I can see this idiot attempting something like that.
Guest 26th Apr 2019, 7:56 PM edit delete reply
Heir to the throne. Hmmm. That would make him a crown prince, not a duke. Either the population is severely underinformed about who rules them and don't realize, or this bandit king is going to torch the place to let them "lead by example" if he doesn't get his money...
Rocktopus 26th Apr 2019, 8:17 PM edit delete reply
Or, someone else he knows is the actual the crown prince, and he disagrees...
Rodryg 26th Apr 2019, 8:37 PM edit delete reply
This looks like civil war or conflict about the inheritance of the crown. Plus considering that he screams he needs the money right now we can assume the war is not going well for him... or he underpaid his troops and needs money before they start deserting or decide that it will be better idea to fight for his oponent.
I really doubt hes the crowned prince considering the way he acts he dont have a good understanding about economy or proper ruling expecting to get money right now...
That or he already lost the war and is on the run trying to get as much gold as he can collect before fleeing the country ?
lipa 26th Apr 2019, 8:31 PM edit delete reply

Nice work on the BG characters.
Rocktopus 26th Apr 2019, 8:33 PM edit delete reply
thanks, lol.

Quality shitpost.
chris-tar 26th Apr 2019, 10:26 PM edit delete reply
Well if the villagers cannot pay their taxes, then the Duke will bring in Illegal Immigrants/ Refugees/ Asylum Seekers/ Pilgrims/ Undocumented Migrants to replace them that ARE willing to pay those taxes.
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
A little harder to do that in a medieval world.

Although, not impossible.
breaddieboy 1st May 2019, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Huh, never thought about this "modern" issue like that. Makes enough sense.
Bringing in and subtly forcing those who just want peace so taxes can be paid, if the local populace is beginning to think for themselves and starts to resist and argue.
chris-tar 1st May 2019, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
Congratulations. You are now "Awake".
awesomesauce 26th Apr 2019, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
I'm surprised no one tried to assassinate this moron ..... then again , in a world where gods exist and can manifest servants and bestow powers to the faithfull and the fact that the main faith in the region is the "highfather", that is supposed to be fair, righteous, it wouldn't be nice to try such tactic since the repercussions can be both from mortal and celestials.

btw What is the name of Colleen's faith , its just called " the highfather" ? what name people call those that follow that faith?(like when someone call a person christian).
Banarok 27th Apr 2019, 12:25 AM edit delete reply
it might not have a name, or it's called something generic like "the faith" or "the pantheon" while foreign religions have actual names, their faith is probably polytheism hence even if one worship the death god and another the high father they are still part of the same faith.
if you're primarily devoted to one god, you usually say you're a follower of "god name", the god is unlikely to be mad even if you pray to other gods, as long as you don't pray to it's nemesis.
Blackwing 27th Apr 2019, 2:57 AM edit delete reply
Since this is your typical fantasy universe, there must be a guild of assassins somewhere. I'd be surprised if there wasn't. Maybe nobody has been able and willing to pony up their asking price, or maybe the order makes its own decisions about who to kill. On the other hand, the Duke probably knows many people want him dead, and so he surrounds himself with guards, boobytraps, magical wards, etc. wherever possible, so nobody has been able to get at him yet.

I too am a bit curious about how Colleen's religion works. Randulf is the only character I recall mentioning gods, plural. So the Dwarves are polytheistic, but it's not clear if the Humans are. Colleen and the other Emerald Islanders appear to worship the Highfather exclusively. So, are they monotheists, or is the Highfather just the chief deity of a pantheon?
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 4:23 AM edit delete reply
Good questions!

There are many gods in the world of Marblegate, both real and false. The Highfather (or Solus, which means "Only" in ancient elvish), was the first god, (arguably) the primary creator of the world and of life, and is believed by his followers to be the only true, omnipotent god. Most other gods came after the creation; mortals that ascended to godhood, or supernatural beings that manifested themselves some other way. Using historical terms, those other gods are a lot more like Greek gods or other pagan gods than the Abrahamic God.

The human followers of the Highfather usually just call themselves general terms like disciples or followers or the flock, since they don't believe people need other gods or religions. They refer to their faith simply as The Church or the Faith. To people of other faiths, they are called Soluns, and their faith is called "Solunism". Those terms comes from the ancient elvish word "Solus" mentioned above. Ancient elvish is the holy language that I depict in the comic as Latin.

Any race of creature can worship the Highfather, but the Church is made up of humans mostly. Many countries hold the Highfather as their only official deity. Other faiths aren't forbidden to exists in most (but not all) of these lands, but disciples of the Highfather are strictly not allowed to participate in worship of other gods, leading to many cultures being monotheistic, including the Green Isles.
Northie 3rd May 2019, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
This is basically the approach Abrahamic religions (i.e. juidaism, christianity, islam) take in our world with the main difference being them being relatively young compared to world's other religions.

I suspect Abrahamic faiths rose from multi god worship partially because it was easier to control population through "divine mandates" when there was a single omnipotent but absent god. The "divine lawyers" could invent anything they wanted as long as they were charismatic enough to pull it off or backed with a powerful organisation that could enforce the rules.

Here the situation is a bit of the opposite where multi-god worship rose from older single god worship if I understood correctly.

I wonder if followers of other gods can perform divine magic or is it restricted to priests of the Highfather? I also wonder how much of the worship and dogma of Highfather is based on actual interaction with the god instead of "facts" dictated by priests or holy text (i.e. bible vs actual word of god)?

Finally how much scripture and obligation there is in worship of Highfather? I mean modern Christianity is popular because it is easily approachable. You have absent and abstract god that doesn't demand anything and already absolved your sins. Add benevolent missionaries instead of crusades and you have a very appealing religion.

Anyhow. Very interesting approach to faith nevertheless!
someone 26th Apr 2019, 11:16 PM edit delete reply
Medieval peasants usually paid their taxes in nature -- grain, cattle, and days of work. Tithe and corvée. They didn't have much in the way of coin since they didn't trade much -- and when they did, it was mostly bartering. Coins were rather for burg-dwellers, the bourgeois.
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 6:28 AM edit delete reply
Yup, although most D&D-style fantasy worlds used the Gold Standard. I like to imagine these villagers have their goods and product measured out in terms of gold-value, and they also trade/barter/sell what they can to the nearby city to make a profit, and pay taxes in both coins and food/resources.

Soldiers gotta eat.
StLOrca 27th Apr 2019, 12:55 AM edit delete reply
More like “the way I run this douche-y”, amirite?
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
The pun-ishment for crimes in the douche-y is relentless dad jokes
BornOnTheNinth 27th Apr 2019, 4:58 AM edit delete reply
I'm guessing that Duke Frankfurt is either an eldest son who was disinherited for being incompetent, or he's the king's jealous second son, and he's trying to usurp the throne from his brother whose the actual King.
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 6:32 AM edit delete reply
I think someone is on the right track....
padanew 27th Apr 2019, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
This is why laws are so important if you want rule of law the law has to apply to everyone. Not just to some people. Also the country is at war. How is the war going? They could also appeal to the king about the unfair taxes. If the king is fair and all. They could also appeal the the enemy kingdom. I would love to help out my newest subjects with lower taxes or even no new taxes!

Also keep up the good work Rocktopus you keep us guess that is what makes this interesting.

One more thing, During the Middle ages there was a very large shortage of metal coins in Europe from the fall of the Roman empire to the discovery of the new world. Very few common people ever saw a gold coin and if anyone got coinage they often hide it so as to save it for hard times. If they died and they did not tell anyone it was lost. Interesting reading.
Rocktopus 27th Apr 2019, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Thanks! In most D&D-inspired medieval fantasy worlds, they use the Gold Standard, so I imagine in this world taxes are paid with coins and goods.

Also, I won't spoil anything, but the current king of the Green Isles is no longer living.
Cogswerth 30th Apr 2019, 12:21 AM edit delete reply
In one D&D campaign I played in the GM used for his economy silver coinage issued from the god of agriculture. It was based on the Koku and said coin could be exchanged from a temple for grain from thier reserve.

The koku was originally defined as a quantity of rice, enough rice to feed one person for one year (one masu is enough rice to feed a person for one day). A koku of rice weighs about 150 kilograms (330 pounds).

The kingdom also has a mint that produces other coin as per the rights of the king.

As the world was still growing(literally the plane/planet was getting bigger at a rate of roughly doubling every third generation. (This growth would wreck any building that didn't have a proper cornerstone.) These new areas would often have new resources(metals) in the ground as placed by the gods. (new flora and fauna too.)

This new metal would cause deflation of the money if efforts by both the church and kingdom to pull money out of the economy.

The churhes method is to simply to use thier silver to make holy water, 25 gold pieces of silver per vial can be an effective method.

The kingdom's method was to simply use it as building material for building projects/magic item creation gathering it from the nobles as part of thier tribute. Thus when my adventurer brought back massive treasure hoards from adventuring I see the offer of appointment to nobility as the backstabbing/revenge measure it is.

It was these efforts that kept prices to gamebook listings.

In Roctopus's setting such an influx of coin from the Marblegate is almost like coinage being created ex Nihilo and can have significant effects on the world economy. (Just remember the wilingness of many nations to go to war to secure control of access to it.) I suspect the inflation is blunted by said coin being used to pay the exorbitant wages of the adventurer's support staff in the town such as the wizards doing research and making magic items.

Anyways here is a link to a website that shows what could be bought with ancient Roman coin in ancient Rome.

This seems related to somebody's history class so I can't verify the accuracy of the site but I hope it is interesting reading.

This is a link to a site with pictures of ancient coins. There isn't much about thier spending power to be had but the coins are really shiny.
Guest 30th Apr 2019, 4:14 AM edit delete reply
"(This growth would wreck any building that didn't have a proper cornerstone.)"

I like this. Stealing it for my own game.
padanew 2nd May 2019, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
Dragons serve as economy controls in d and d universes. They sit on huge gold resources. Two are very hard to get them to loan them out. But if you are strong enough or worthy enough you will get it.
DocMesa 27th Apr 2019, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
A little advice, my corpulent friend - people only let you rule them for as long as they are willing to let you rule them. Cheese them off enough and that crown on your head will turn into a circular piece of metal and nothing more. Also, working all day in fields and quarries gives you a lot of physical strength and a pitchfork or mason's hammer make great impromptu weapons. Just saying.
Guest 27th Apr 2019, 5:43 PM edit delete reply
Pitchforks can be decent and tend to have good length, while mason's hammers and knives tend to be fairly short. While these improvised weapons in some cases have the potential to be used effectively, especially depending on the engagement (for instance ambushes and surprise attacks against armories where the peasants can get better weapons and equipment, etc.), they still tend to be fairly poor. Worse AFAICT, the peasants tend to have no armor and no shields, apart possibly from a few scant improvised shields, and soldiers with shields, strength, endurance, training, armor can slaughter numbers of peasants that are many times their number. Worse, depending on engagement and terrain, a cavalry charge can be disastrous for the peasants. And without shields and armor archers can be incredibly deadly against the peasants. And then there is the issue of tactics, training, experience and leadership.

Furthermore, it might not reach that point, especially if the local ruler is not a foreign conqueror or does not use mercenaries, because then the soldiers might come from the local people, the ruler might be of that people as well, and the other local rulers or any regional ruler might disapprove greatly if conditions get too horrible. And the local ruler often (though definitely not always) did tend to provide strictly necessary and vital services to the population, especially the earlier you go in history. Wild life were in earlier times much more of a threat, and an important duty of ancient rulers in Europe and especially the Middle East were to defend against beasts such as lions. The absence of lions in Southern Europe as well as the Middle East might be directly due to people and rulers intentionally hunting them all to extinction because they were a threat to the population (you sometimes see lions and tigers being threats to the population in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa as well as India, though still often not that big of a threat due to basic ability to fight, hunt and war).

Guest 27th Apr 2019, 5:44 PM edit delete reply

The introduction of guns that the regular population can use, can change this to an extreme degree. I have not studied the topic considerably, but reg. the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille gave various groups in Paris weapons that required little to no training nor strength yet were extremely effective military-grade weapons. And at the time, AFAIK at least, the "weapon vs. armor" effectiveness favored weapons extremely much (there are bulletproof armors of various kinds today, and there are tanks, though weapons still arguably have a very large advantage). These days, in many or most countries, the populations tend to be (completely) disarmed, and kitchen knives, Molotov cocktails, bricks and the like tend to be complete crap against soldiers with automatic rifles and body armor (molotov cocktails might have some efficiency, but still). This is different from perhaps a century ago, when the population generally including workers and farmers AFAIK frequently had simple rifles in their homes, for protection against others as well as wild life or hunting (especially for farmers). The widespread weapons also resulted AFAIK in some/many assassinations and murders, possibly depending on countries and time periods, for instance the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose murder kicked off World War 1 (other top officials and the like have been shot since then, for instance John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Norwegian prime minister Olof Palme ( ), Ronald Reagan (who survived: ), etc.). Many countries in the last century had and have strict gun control, AFAIK the Soviet Union had extremely severe gun control of workers and depending on time period also of farmers and peasants. See for instance the Tambov Rebellion in 1920-1921, when Russian peasants rebelled against grain confiscation: , with some estimates claiming 250,000 dead. The Wikipedia article also claims the Soviet Union used chemical poison gas to murder peasants, as well as concentration camps (including "hostage taking") with extremely high mortality rates, 15-20% per month). AFAICT from quick skimming, the later Soviet Union (maybe post-Stalin) did not in practice have strict gun laws for peasants (since the peasant/farmer populations were likely smaller due to industrialization at that period in time, and they again needed weapons for hunting and protection and wild life, as well as personal protection when they often are very far away from law enforcement with very high response times) but very/extremely strict gun laws for people in cities. Today much/most/almost all of Europe have very/extremely strict gun control laws, like many/most countries around the world.
Guest 27th Apr 2019, 5:51 PM edit delete reply
I apologize, that should have been Swedish, not Norwegian, prime minister Olof Palme.
Matthew 27th Apr 2019, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
I'm still not sure exactly what's going on, but things are not going well for this Duke if he has to come out in person to shake down one small village. You're supposed to have *people* for that. I don't blame the villagers for being incredibly confused. There's supposed to be a hierarchy to these things. Sure your local Thane might come out to collect taxes in the name of the Duke, but it's still your local Thane doing the collecting. This is like if the Regional Vice President of a chain of stores showed up to personally bag your groceries. It's like, what the hey?
padanew 29th Apr 2019, 2:22 PM edit delete reply
If your regional Vp shows up at your store, three things have happened. One, your boss has screwed up so badly the Vp is here to fire him. (Has happened). Two, your Vp has screwed up and is here for damage control. Three hes here to promote new robots working at your store.
Oldarmourer 27th Apr 2019, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
There's more than one instance of peasants putting the boots to a small contingent of soldiers, the only thing that really stops them from doing it frequently is the realization that when a larger force returns, burns their houses and salts the fields to make an example of them, then departs to let them mull over the error of their ways, they'll still end up having to work for the same liege..unless they emigrate ;)
Odd Donny 29th Apr 2019, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
Hmm... Grey skies. Cut wheat. Is winter approaching? If he takes their winter stores then they will be properly screwed.

He may instead make them pay by providing free housing for some troops, or conscripting every able bodied male. Or doing both. That wouldn't go well at all.
Sheepyhead 29th Apr 2019, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
The way this kid holds the grain is a reference to something but I'll be fucked if I can remember what it is
Elderac 29th Apr 2019, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
Rightful heir...of my LATE father...the king.

Would that not make him the king?
Cogswerth 29th Apr 2019, 11:34 PM edit delete reply
Not necessarily. His "grace" might not be first in line(for example being the younger brother). His "grace" might not have been deemed worthy of succession by his father and thus a younger sibling or even a child of an older sibling could have been appointed. If a political marriage to merge two kingdoms occurred the succession of the crown might have been passed through another sibling to the child of such a union. Often in stories brother #2 objects to the crown/title being passed to the child of dead brother #1(who was the heir).(Sometimes Brother#2 objects simply because the title isn't passed to Brother#2 but sometimes for the good of the kingdom as the nephew isn't of suffiant age and experience to rule.)

But ultimately the rites of succession vary from kingdom to kingdom. From trials of combat to apointment/confirmation via committee to a simple declaration of the previous king who the successor shall be to convoluted rules of based on who was born first. Some rules limit the sucession to males, some to males borne from females of the line...

Ultimately it is the Author that will reveal the Rites of sucession.
DaveP 1st May 2019, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Fun Historical Fact #2:
During the Spanish Civil War, both the Nationalist and the Republican sides went abroad to purchase military aid. The communist/anarchist/socialist Republican government used Spain’s gold reserves to purchase weapons and equipment from Stalin’s USSR on a cash-and-carry basis; while Franco’s Nationalists secured loans from Fascist Italy and the Third Reich, to be repaid after a Nationalist victory with raw materials and finished goods.
About halfway through the war both sides again started to run dry and needed “more of everything”. The Republicans had already spent all of their hard cash; when they went to Stalin with empty pockets they were told the store didn’t give credit: no gold, no goodies. Franco, on the other hand, told Hitler and Mussolini that if he didn’t get more support he wouldn’t win and if he didn’t win their loans would never get repaid*. They coughed up and the rest is history.
Moral: If you finance your war on other people’s money, they will have a vested interest in your victory. ALWAYS FIGHT YOUR WARS ON CREDIT.
* This made Francisco Franco the man who swindled both Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini out of their jockey shorts, and a world class example of That Guy.
Guest 1st May 2019, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Source on the Nationalists in Spain getting loans and not regular aid? Source on the Nationalists having to repay? And source on the Soviet Union ceasing aid?

Reg. "ALWAYS FIGHT YOUR WARS ON CREDIT": That seems like extremely poor advice. Especially because you then are in debt to others and they can hold great power over you both during and afterwards. And if you do not pay, they may finance the other side in return for the other side promising to pay back your loan in the form of enslavement, spoils of war and the like taken from you. And taking loans from those that may end up loaning to you in order to profit and not do a genuine favor may result in them financing, or even instigating, wars, in order to loan to both sides and profit. And that sets an incredibly horrible precedent.
DaveP 1st May 2019, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Sources: Hugh Thomas, “The Spanish Civil War” and Payne & Palacios’s “Franco: A Personal and Political Biography”. Thomas gives a full rundown on what was promised vs what was delivered to the Axis powers and details the amount of gold sent to Russia... and the end of Soviet military aid.
The American Revolutionary War was won on loaned French gold; one of the biggest reasons for the South’s loss of the American Civil War was the collapse of their economy due to (among other things) their inability to secure loans from European powers. American loans kept England and France in the First World War and were arguably more important to both nations than America’s actual military contribution (but read Mosier’s “Myth of the Great War” and Watt’s “The Kings Depart”).
As for the rest, history doesn’t care what you feel or how things “seem” to you.
Guest 1st May 2019, 5:13 PM edit delete reply
Reg. the Soviet Union ceasing aid, and that , you are correct about that, though many discussions online claim other reasons than inability to pay reg. why the Soviet Union ceased aid:

Reg. the Nationalists getting loans and having to repay, that does not seem consistent with , though that is of course Wikipedia and thus not reliable. I do not at the moment have easy or quick access to the sources you give, regrettably.

Reg. loans for war:
- American Revolutionary War loans from France: Given not for the purpose of profit but to help France hinder its war enemy and rival British Empire. And from what I can tell from quick skimming online ( ) some proportion of the "economic aid" were donations, not loans, though I do not know whether that proportion was large or small. France also ended up entering the war directly.
- American Civil War loans: Near the end of the war, the Confederacy ended up spending something like 56% of their budget on debt service, and only something like 40% on the war... ( ). Aid would likely have helped them much, much more than loans and even more debt.
- World War 1: The purpose of those loans does not seem like profit but first and foremost help, which fits fully well with the USA in 1917 entering the war directly and sending troops over the Atlantic.

Reg. "As for the rest, history doesn’t care what you feel or how things “seem” to you.", that is true, and is not at all relevant for my comment, which you already are fully aware of.
Guest 1st May 2019, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
I apologize, the first line should read:

"Reg. the Soviet Union ceasing aid, you are correct about that, though many discussions online claim other reasons than inability to pay reg. why the Soviet Union ceased aid:"
DaveP. 1st May 2019, 9:25 PM edit delete reply
You asked- rather rudely- for my sources.
I gave them to you. I owe you nothing further. Our interaction is concluded.

Google- "Wikipedia IS Not A Valid Source"- about 33,200,000 entries.

Bing- "Wikipedia Isn't A Valid Source"- about 139,000,000 results.
Guest 2nd May 2019, 1:44 AM edit delete reply
My good sir, how is asking for sources rude or unwarranted, especially when at least multiple of one's claims are very bold and also does not seem to fit with the claims that many others come with? And I did mention that my usage of Wikipedia is not unproblematic.

And I would appreciate any counter-arguments and the like, especially since it seems like that several of your claims are partially or fully false. It is in general beneficial for all if falsehoods are discovered and made clear. Why not seek the opportunity to learn, get insight and help enlighten others? Would that not reflect very well on yourself and benefit you as well? But I do guess that is one of the challenges of discussing using user names, reputation can become a concern, which can both help and hinder the health of the debate. Have you considered discussing these kinds of topics anonymously, for instance here through the usage of a "guest user"?
io 2nd May 2019, 6:23 PM edit delete reply
this reminds me of king John. He taxed England excessively because he dreamed of retaking Normandy but all it lead to was the magna carta which he had to sign or lose all power.