Monday, April 16, 2012

Pathfinder Ship Building History

Well, I've been researching heaps into the nautical world so I figured I should create a bit of a history of ship building in the Pathfinder world. My plan is to have Andoran technology be greater than the major empires to partially justify how they've managed to do so well. Plus, they are allying with those gunsmithing dwarves in the Mana Wastes after all so their minds are open to technology over magic (technology is a great leveler, magic requires study and knack).

So, here goes it. Here's the expanded timeline and here's the engineering timeline:

Age of Enthronement
For much of their time as members of the Taldan Empire, Andoran built mainly two kinds of ships for the Taldan Empire. Longships (reliant on oarsmen and used as warships though lacked room for adequate provisions) and roundships (used sails, carried freight, held more provisions, very slow, though able to weather storms better). Towards the end of the empires' rule of Andoran, cogs were invented in Taldor (supposedly) and became widely used.
4081 AR: Taldan Empire ceded Andoran to Cheliax.
4100 AR: Andoran built caravels, which were designed by a Taldan shipwright in Augustana, led to safer and more regular travel across the Inner Seas and up to the Varisian coast line as well as strengthened trade routes.
4197 AR: Carracks are designed by a Chelish shipwright and the technology soon spreads to Taldor and its other colonies. Initially, carracks have a 200 ton capacity.
4200 AR: Besides coastal exploration, Andoran ships also made trips further out to gather meteorological and oceanographic information and meet with ships further afield. The Taldan Empire benefits from this information. Small colonies are also settled on far flung continents though many ships are lost en route unless powerful casters are there to help guide them through it. Carracks have reached a size of up to 2,000 tons.
4450 AR: The galleon was invented and designed by an Absalom shipwright who sold the designs far and wide. This remained the mainstay of the various naval and merchant ships as they didn't really have a need for anything of better build due to a preference for those who wanted impeccable ships to rely on magic or enchantments and for others to simply accept the galleon as the pinnacle of ship building.
4600 AR: King Cullaim II founds the Eagle Knights.

Age of Lost Omens
4606 AR - Aroden dies.
4640 AR - Rise of the Thrune Ascendancy in Cheliax.
4669 AR - Andoran declares independence from Cheliax in the People's Revolt. Cheliax begins 20-year embargo of Andoran. This motivates the Andorans to seek out new methods of ship building and started designing full-rigged ships with the use of a full jib-boom, three masts, extension of the lower and main masts with a topmast and topgallant mast to increase the number of sails, use of staysails, experimentation in hull designs, and improved rigging designs.
4689 AR - Chelish embargo of Andoran ends with the sinking of three Chelish warships outside Westcrown, including the flagship of the Chelish navy.
4690 AR - Years of lobbying by representatives of the Andoran druids about the dwindling forrests finally catch attention and laws are laid down for reforrestation and tithes of land and other necessities to the druids in exchange for their assistance with growing farm-forrests. This has led to certain animals in certain areas being considered taboo to eat - though this depends on the local government infrastructure's willingness to take druidic wisdom on board. There is still firm distrust between the loggers and the druids.
4691 AR - Korvosa splits off from Cheliax after the Queen Illeosa debacle with the new druidic Queen Callistri.
4692 AR - 4697 AR - Andoran starts seeking ties of alliance within further flung countries such as the Mana Wastes. Due to these connections and the long journeys involved, they made several breakthroughs in the fields of mathematics, cartography and naval technology.
4698 AR - Andoran starts importing gunpowder and guns and pay dearly for exclusive rights (as an external country) to the technology.
4699 AR - Andoran starts building canons on its own and plans to equip naval ships with them though they are kept thus far hidden. Privateers and pirates are not granted access to them. A standing Navy is drawn up (with increased costs) in order to ensure loyalty that certainly can't be gained with a pressgang.
4704 AR - Preparations are completed. Andoran creates a treaty with Riddleport and representatives of other major Varisian personas in case of war. Korvosa (we played Crimson Throne and now its run by a druidic queen in open defiance of Cheliax) sign a peace treaty but not an alliance in event of war.
1 Calistril 4704 AR - Cheliax begins pressganging their own citizens in various countries in preparation of war. This is the first day of the campaign.

Want to learn more about the Andoran? Check here for the Pathfinder wiki.

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