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Silk Town-Thesmar Canal

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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:14 pm

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What I am wondering about the Sathar Canal is if it's big enough to accommodate the EOC's riverclads.

I think Lyonheart is right in predicting that the EOC will seize control of that canal in the near term future.

Don
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by Louis R   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 4:48 pm

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If it was built to the same plan as the Holy Langhorne - I think it's a safe bet that Shan Wei ordered it - then it looks touch and go for the riverboats. IIRC, the River IIs are actually ~30' longer than the lock chambers on the HLC.


n7axw wrote:What I am wondering about the Sathar Canal is if it's big enough to accommodate the EOC's riverclads.

I think Lyonheart is right in predicting that the EOC will seize control of that canal in the near term future.

Don
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:43 pm

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Hi JeffEngel,

Thank you very much for bringing up these great questions!

A good probability is that Desnar built it before it started its wars with Siddarmark more than a couple of centuries ago [3?] to supply the southwestern ~2/3-1/2 of Siddarmark now which was part of Desnar then; as well as to possibly compete with the Seridahn-Charayn Canal network or the potential of using both to support its armies against Siddarmark, with the CoGA's blessing; though the RoS then stuck in Old Province, was hardly a threat to anyone.

It would have been easy for Shan-wei's Terra-former's to have built it as well, far ahead of need, but the evident fact they did build more than was immediately needed argues for it.

Since RFC says Silkiah was almost uninhabited before the 869 treaty strongly argues against the locals having the manpower to build it [which with muscle power would have taken decades], even if they did have the cash.

Although the possibility suggests itself that they offered lots of land for the workers to settle on after building it is very intriguing, since it all profited Silk Town by concentrating the canal traffic from the north to Silk Town as well.

So they all hold some water. ;)

L


JeffEngel wrote:It connects Silk Town with the Somyr River, which empties out into Lake Somyr. The far side of Lake Somyr is near Thesmar. Lake Somyr is separated from Thesmar Bay and saltwater by Swamp Neck - which I guess is a low, soggy isthmus.

I'm wondering what the point of this canal is. Silk Town and Thesmar can communicate by sea. The trip is somewhat roundabout, especially if you want to avoid the trickier passages near shore in the Gulf of Mathyas, and you'd be going through two narrow channels (but plenty deep enough for ICN ships) at either end of Sandfish Bay.

My best guess is that it's mostly for local traffic, providing Silkiah's interior a useful water highway - particularly one that can empty out into Silkiahan Silk Town instead of Siddarmarkan Lake Somyr. But given the sparsity of population in Silkiah back when, and the political element of the second consideration, it'd mean the canal was built far ahead of need, or that it was recently built. I could swallow that one: Silkiah probably needed all it could get to attach the hinterland to Silk Town, and if it wasn't allowed to spend on a military, and had no small amount of trade income through Silk Town, building such a canal could be more affordable than for a lot of other realms. (Poor envious Sodar.)

It may also be for the use of much cheaper, more easily crewed vessels. Barges are cheap and simple. The waters just east of Silk Town will take a serious ocean-going vessel and good charts - they do not look friendly to small coasters - and the ships good for the Gulf of Mathyas may be less than ideal for Sandfish Bay and Thesmar Bay.

A last consideration could be military. Silkiah and Siddarmark have and have had no navies to speak of. Desnair hasn't had much, but more than nothing, and really ambitious raiders from Trellheim could operate in the Gulf of Mathyas. For that matter, if either state worried about Charis or other Out Islands (which really ought to include Tarot too), canals inland would be a useful alternative.

Still, none of those look compelling in the face of the capital costs of canal building - not unless one of those reasons is stronger or more relevant than I know of. Anyone got ideas?

(And yes, this is tremendously nit-picky. Blame it on snippet-withdrawal.)


Nit-picky or not, they're still great questions.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:19 am

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Hi EasternMystic,

Welcome to the forums, please enjoy your favorite simulated beverage on the simulated forum. ;)

Kudos for the excellent points!

Although for the first, the distance I measure is only about a third again [possibly half if you go very wide] the sea distance which given ships travel 5-7 times as fast does argue strongly against the cost.

For the second, excellent point indeed.

Regarding the third, its a bit more iffy; since there was no Silkiah territory for it to belong to argues against customs which would require centuries for the canal to pay off.

OTOH, the fact the South March Lands were then Desnarian makes sense for a non sea connection, even if no one except Charisians were getting out of sight of land.

Then again, if Dohlar had ever tried to charge Desnar too much for its customs or tolls, I suspect the Imperial Desnarian army would have come calling.

Since we have no textev it did, we have to hold off on supporting that hypothesis, but either argue against building a canal solely to sidestep customs.

The fourth is another excellent potential reason, though we still lack the details; personally I like a combination of Silkiah financing part of it, in connection with Desnar and the CoGA, in its role as building infrastructure to benefit God's children 3-4 centuries ago, when Desnar was much more powerful NTM far richer.

On one hand for the fifth, I wholeheartedly agree, exploiting your territory is what nations do; OTOH I doubt Silkiah built it since 869, though as above Silk Town with help may have done it a few to several centuries before.

L


Easternmystic wrote:First of all, The sea route is roughly four times as long as the canal route. the sea route also has to skirt some extensive shoals which makes inclement weather during transit more likely to result in lost shipments.

Second, The largest cost item in shipping is the number of times a shipment has to be transshipped, i.e. moved from one vessel to a different vessel. It is possible that some items can be shipped with less transshipment via the canal route.

Third, The canal route is actually a more effective route into southern Siddarmark and northern Dohlar than either sea route. It also avoids the custom duties that Dohlar was levying on ships sailing through what they considered their territorial waters.

Fourth, there may be valuable resources in the interior, such as lumber, ores and rare botanical or medicinal items.

Fifth, an important point in international law is usage of a territory. I see no reason why the same principal would not be considered important on Safehold. Basically if a territory is claimed but not used by a nation or effectively policed, a different nation may come in and claim it as an abandoned territory. Generally speaking that claim will be taken seriously by other nations. The canal is something that Silkiah can point to show that the territory is being used and that it gives them the ability to enforce their national law in the interior.


JeffEngel wrote:It connects Silk Town with the Somyr River, which empties out into Lake Somyr. The far side of Lake Somyr is near Thesmar. Lake Somyr is separated from Thesmar Bay and saltwater by Swamp Neck - which I guess is a low, soggy isthmus.

I'm wondering what the point of this canal is. Silk Town and Thesmar can communicate by sea. The trip is somewhat roundabout, especially if you want to avoid the trickier passages near shore in the Gulf of Mathyas, and you'd be going through two narrow channels (but plenty deep enough for ICN ships) at either end of Sandfish Bay.

My best guess is that it's mostly for local traffic, providing Silkiah's interior a useful water highway - particularly one that can empty out into Silkiahan Silk Town instead of Siddarmarkan Lake Somyr. But given the sparsity of population in Silkiah back when, and the political element of the second consideration, it'd mean the canal was built far ahead of need, or that it was recently built. I could swallow that one: Silkiah probably needed all it could get to attach the hinterland to Silk Town, and if it wasn't allowed to spend on a military, and had no small amount of trade income through Silk Town, building such a canal could be more affordable than for a lot of other realms. (Poor envious Sodar.)

It may also be for the use of much cheaper, more easily crewed vessels. Barges are cheap and simple. The waters just east of Silk Town will take a serious ocean-going vessel and good charts - they do not look friendly to small coasters - and the ships good for the Gulf of Mathyas may be less than ideal for Sandfish Bay and Thesmar Bay.

A last consideration could be military. Silkiah and Siddarmark have and have had no navies to speak of. Desnair hasn't had much, but more than nothing, and really ambitious raiders from Trellheim could operate in the Gulf of Mathyas. For that matter, if either state worried about Charis or other Out Islands (which really ought to include Tarot too), canals inland would be a useful alternative.

Still, none of those look compelling in the face of the capital costs of canal building - not unless one of those reasons is stronger or more relevant than I know of. Anyone got ideas?

(And yes, this is tremendously nit-picky. Blame it on snippet-withdrawal.)
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:14 am

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Hi McGuiness,

You may well be right that Shan-wei built it.

But a few facts to keep in mind; it does not connect with the Salthar-Silk town Canal, what you may be interpreting as the canal is probably the high road nearby, since the textev is explicit that the barges have to go through Silkiah Bay, which the ICN has blockaded, forcing the Desnari to haul everything 60 miles to avoid that little obstacle.

60 miles means 3 days round trip for a dragon, and since its smaller than the New Northland ans other northern Siddarmark canals, it means several dozen rather than a hundred dragon wagons [I loved the Lockheed Dragon-Wagons from the '70's] to move one barge load when the Army of Justice needed at least a couple every day to handle 2250 tons of fodder, and 300+ tons for food, without getting into hundreds of cattle, replacement parts and ammunition etc.

How wide the gap between the Salthar and Thesmar Canals is an unknown but I think we can assume its more than a few miles that could be fortified like Claw Island etc, so I'm thinking its close to ten possibly more [RFC may go either way for his own reasons].

Simply dredging a channel in the shallow off beach sand or surf, or keeping an already clear channel clear after noticing it may be all that was needed until the ICN started interfering, with a corduroy road for the dragons on shore which was replaced every year after the storm season closed the route.

Given the annual weather obstacle, it's quite likely there is a connecting road at the 60 mile mark as the most convenient transfer point.

The benefits of steam tugs has been pointed out many times by me, though surprisingly disputed by others; not just for the harbor gains but speeding the canal barges an average of 5 times faster per day [@8 mph/26.516666 etc], a fantastic advantage for the alliance on its interior lines.

Given the Dairnyth-Alyksberg Canal could have provided supplies to the Army of Justice in a pinch [ie some delay in timeliness], your assumption of the critical nature of the Thesmar can be questioned although its an obvious simplification for the IDA's logistics, especially over the past 2-3 centuries before they lost all their northern provinces.

L


McGuiness wrote:One obvious observation that hasn't been made about the canal yet it that it was most likely built by Shan-Wei.

Look at the facts: It's located in East Haven, where most of the canals were laid out and built by the Archangels, and the Salthar canal, which intersects it, most certainly was.

Also, RFC needed it to exist for the logistics of LaMA, which is the reason for its existence. QED, end of debate, there's your answer. I suspect that RFC would admit that yeah, it's there because he needed it to be, since the ICN has total control of the seas - although he'll have pages and pages of historical data showing how it was created and its primary uses. ;)

The Salthar and the Silk Town - Thesmar canal are linked, which we know because the ICN blocked that link in LaMA, forcing the AoS to have to unload all the barges, carry all the supplies sixty miles by wagon, then reload them onto barges to reach Thesmar. The mere act of blocking the connection between the two was a major reason Hankey ran out of food - barges piled up to be unloaded west of Silk Town, then had to wait for available wagon transport, and finally their contents were unloaded, hauled by wagon on a road of possibly questionable quality, since it isn't shown on the map, but the link where the two canals intersect isn't shown either, and we know that exists.

Hopefully the new maps will show a bit more detail here, and it's quite possible that both canals simply empty into Silkiah bay, so the barges that pass between them are simply dragged between the two using some sort of sail-powered or even oared tugboat. (Which would explain why it was so easy for the ICN to block traffic between the two canals.) Silkiah is going to wet itself with excitement when Charis offers to provide steam-powered tug boas as part of the treaty I expect it to sign with Silkiah giving it full access (and possible control) of the Salthar canal.

As for the traffic on the Silk Town - Thesmar Canal, I suppose there was quite a bit of food shipped from the South March Lands, and a bit more sophisticated cargoes going north - farm equipment, etc. I doubt it was a heavily used canal - certainly not in the league of the Salthar or the Great Langhorne, but RFC needed it to exist for Desnair to invade Siddarmark, so it certainly came in handy for that - unless your quartermasters happen to be Desnairan! :lol:
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:53 am

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Hi PeterZ,

You may well be right on its importance to Desnar. ;)

Strategically speaking, Desnar probably needed that canal centuries earlier, back when sea storms drove most main-landers from the sea and made supply from the sea impossible with possibly unfortunate results for any Desnarian army. ;)

Thanks for pointing out the fact, to me at least, that the RSA was well into what is now the North Watch Province which indicates the Thesmar canal already existed before the Grand Duchy's formation or the RSA couldn't have penetrated so far.

Hopefully HFQ will answer many of our questions in 8 weeks.

L


PeterZ wrote:Simple. The canal was needed to facilitate a Desnarii invasion route into Siddermark. Desnar has been trying to make an invasion stuck for centuries. I wouldn't be surprised if the Treaty of Silktown wasn't written to prevent Siddernark from gaining control over a newly completed canal after another failed Desnarii invasion attempt.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:56 am

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Hi McGuiness,

Actually there's textev in OAR that Desnar used to have a large navy, but that was some time ago.

Just 2-3 decades back would bracket the Silk town Treaty of 869, when because the CoGA had put an end to Desnarian adventures against the republic, it no longer needed a navy, and there were other demands on its dwindling gold.

Even further back might have been because the eastern coastal provinces that used to be Desnarian had been taken by Siddarmark, probably closer to to 800 YoG or before.

The AMF reference regarding having their galleys built elsewhere has seemed to me to deliberately downplay or depress the obvious natural notion or expectation that Desnar has or had a large navy.

It'd his creation, and not all nations with long coastlines immediately or permanently became sea powers; like the USA, where most of the line-of-battle-ships begun building during the War of 1812 were still on the stocks at the beginning of the civil war.

One might argue our frigates were usually enough especially when they were like the 'Independence', but it was their reputation much more than their numbers that permitted them to be so few, and the fact the RN was carrying most of the world's weight in peacetime patrolling, though it was far smaller than most suppose again due to its mammoth reputation.

One wonders how small the ICN may shrink while converting to armored steamships though casting a tremendous shadow or more accurately a huge pillar of fire and how long wooden ships particularly schooners and other useful specialized types may last.

L


McGuiness wrote:I'm sure RFC will have an explanation for this, but in OAR the Dohlaran navy didn't use the Salthar canal to shorten its journey by 20,000 miles because IIRC, according to RFC, the Knights of the Temple Lands couldn't pretend that they weren't acting in their capacity as vicars of Mother Church if they forced Silkiah to allow a military force through the Salthar canal, since Silkiah is an independent country.

However, the only possible reasons that the Go4 couldn't have forced Desnair to allow the Dohlaran navy to use the Hankey - Mahrosa canals to save 19,000 miles or so of sailing time is that Dohlar and Desnair hate each other's guts, and since Shan-Wei built those canals, a modern galley might not have fit into its locks. (Note how cleverly I gave RFC two explanations as to why Dohlar had to go the long way around?) ;)

However, since Shan-Wei clearly built the Salthar canal, and RFC has admitted that the Dohlaran galleys could have fit through its locks, they would also have been able to pass through the Desnairan canals. So it came down to politics, which was the same reason RFC cited for Dohlar not using the Salthar canal.

In researching this, I realized for the first time that Desnair was not included in the attack on Charis in OAR. It should have had a sizable navy based on the fact that it was well-off due to its gold mines, plus it has thousands of miles of shoreline to patrol to control smugglers, etc. So why didn't Desnair have a fleet that the Knights of the Temple Lands could order to join the others? (Yes, I realize that at the end of OAR Charis has the only fleet still afloat, with the exception of Chisholm.) So Desnair must not have had a fleet at all, which is hard to believe since it's one of the most powerful mainland realms.

So why no Desnairan fleet in OAR? :?

Clearly Desnair knew how to build a navy, based on the fleet it built for the NoG at Iythria, which was initially composed of galleys due to Magwair's stupidity. Desnair is the only country that was giving the ICN trouble in protecting its merchant convoys in LaMA, due to the schooners it was building in the Gulf of Jahras until Merlin's "spies" reported the location of the ports where the schooners were being built, which enabled the the ICN to locate and destroy those ports along with the schooners they were constructing and the supplies required to do so.

Admiral Shain, who commanded the ICN fleet in the Gulf of Jahras outlined a plan to blockade the Bay of Mahrosa. He also proposed to capture the city of Handryl that doesn't exist on the map, but is probably in the northwest of the Gulf of Jahras.

If his plan was successful and he captured Handryl, it would have cut off the land route to Siddarmark completely, and the ICN also cut it in six places in North Watch. He'd also have cut the semaphore to Howard, so I don't believe that his fleet actually captured Handryl, although they did block the Bay of Mahrosa and destroyed the locks to the Mahrosa canal, which forced all the Desnairan supplies being shipped to the AoS to be carried by wagon from west of Mahrosa to the Salthar Canal in Silkiah on a "high road" that was mostly wishes rather than reality. (I begin to understand why Harless' forces were starving!) :lol:
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:04 am

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Hi JeffEngel,

Besides RFC's earlier posts [linked] I think the main answer is the story line.

Dohlar's fleet was going the distance and meeting Tarot's, Desnar wasn't necessary and may have confused things, or it may have had to be edited out for space reasons.

However, the image of the former large excellent Desnari navy rotting away as the borers destroy the medium or small sized galleys from below for the past 20+ years should probably be seen as the primary answer.

L


JeffEngel wrote:
McGuiness wrote:In researching this, I realized for the first time that Desnair was not included in the attack on Charis in OAR. It should have had a sizable navy based on the fact that it was well-off due to its gold mines, plus it has thousands of miles of shoreline to patrol to control smugglers, etc. So why didn't Desnair have a fleet that the Knights of the Temple Lands could order to join the others? (Yes, I realize that at the end of OAR Charis has the only fleet still afloat, with the exception of Chisholm.) So Desnair must not have had a fleet at all, which is hard to believe since it's one of the most powerful mainland realms.

So why no Desnairan fleet in OAR? :?


The no fleet at all possibility is genuine, but it's hard to swallow with that much coastline, reasonable militancy, and Desnair's later naval activity.

Other ways to account for no Desnairian naval participation in OAR could include:
1 - No good navy. Maybe the Desnairian navy tended to be galleys in poor condition, possibly laid up without active crews. That sort of navy would be worthless to try to use, especially if they wanted speed or operational security. (And they did want operational security, however much the plan made that dubious.)
2 - No ocean-going navy. That's hard for galleys, and it was arguably a mistake to try to bring Dohlar's that far. Desnair would also have had to make moves that may have been further out to sea than its ships and crews would be prepared to do, despite being (for all we know) a decently sized, available, and capable navy for traditional coastal work.
3 - No single navy. Part of what makes the no navy at all theory hard to take is that even Ferayd had galleys to guard it, but those may have been less Delferahk's than those of Ferayd or the duchy or other component of Delferahk in which Ferayd lay. Similarly, duchies, earldoms, and free cities in Desnair may have kept their own galleys in addition to or instead of a central Desnairian one in the OAR time period. That would have been a mess for the Temple to have mobilized for the attack on Charis.
4 - No large navy. Maybe the Desnairian navy was just not large enough to be worth the added complication and exposure of a plan that was suffering much too much of that already.

Similar questions and theories come up for Harchong's navy in the OAR time period, though I think we've got a bit more evidence there that Harchong's problem was all or mostly a variation on no good navy.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:09 am

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Hi Isilith,

Its always good to see your posts.

Yup, the temple bought and paid for the Jahras Bay industrial complex.

Presumably they also built the yards etc that built the 20+ ships at Geyra and Desnar as well.

Hopefully those will be sunk in HFQ pretty soon too. 8-)

L


Isilith wrote:The two of you keep bringing up Desnairs shipbuilding capability as proof that Desnair SHOULD have had a navy. Totally ignoring the textev that states that shipbuilding capability was built up by the church AFTER the Armageddon Reef disaster, so that they could build a new NoG to fight Charis.
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Re: Silk Town-Thesmar Canal
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:37 am

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Hi HungryKing,

One of the things the wiki certainly needs are references, because I don't recall any numbers or other details cited until AMF, which seems a bit late to explain its lack of naval interest.

But remember, traditionally on earth that's usually been sparked by someone demonstrating how vulnerable a long coastline is.

NTM we have other textev references to the Desnarian navy having more power previously, such as when it was discussed how now against the ICN's galleons it couldn't cross the Tarot Channel [only 400 miles] to help King Gorjah III if he became that desperate in BHD IIRC.

So who would have demonstrated that historic vulnerability to Desnar?

Siddarmark's never had a large navy, then the temple proscribed a modern one when it became rich enough.

Tarot's always been too poor.

Charis had no reason to raid its coast, and being outnumbered more than ten times in population besides all those gold mines was a very good reason not to give Desnar a reason to develop a navy that could raid and ruin Charis's commerce, if not invade Charis itself.

Even with the possible romance by later generations regarding the Ahrmahk's piratical heritage, they were all far too smart for that kind of nonsense.

The rest of Howard, save the Harchong are too intimidated by Desnar's power and wealth compared to their poverty.

Thus the Desnarians had no one to provoke them to greatness. ;)

L


HungryKing wrote:Desnair did have an active Navy, or at least a fleet, before OAR, in fact, according to the wiki it was fourty vessels at its highest strength, but was only twelve at the time of the battle of Darcos Sound, all foreign built.

I think at some point some Desnari Emperor, or his advisors, had hit upon the concept of bypassing the Siddarmarkian defenses and landing in their rear. At the level of preMerlin Safehold calvarly hold where ever there is no infantry. Of course the logistics of sea transporting calvarly is rather daunting, so the project was abandoned.
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