alpharaposa: (Rumex writing)
[personal profile] alpharaposa
This week, the question was how do people travel? How do things get moved around?

And the answer:
The elves use boats wherever there are rivers available inland, and along the ocean shore. The best boats are made of alloys of metal and swimming creatures (dolphins, fish, otters). The best sails are woven from clouds; they’re light, take no damage from damp, and catch the wind easily. It is common for large ships to have a pair of sunlish elves whose only job is to remove troublesome cross winds and twist them into ropes for later.

Where the rivers aren’t useful for travel, there are roads. The roads tend to be built of stone, in layers like a Roman road. In the mountains, the main pack and riding animals are goats, actually a variation of a markhor with more luxurious wool. They can be ridden, but carts are the norm. Carts, like boats, are made of light metal alloys which may or may not have anything living worked into it. Bells are common on merchant carts. Families often have bells tuned to matching notes so that the whole group sounds chords as they walk together.

In the lower forests and on the grasslands, the elves ride elk or use them to haul carriages or wagons. The elk are often shoed with split shoes.

Gryphons are never used to haul freight. War-gryphons may sometimes be used to haul gear during a campaign, but never when battle is expected. There are some gryphon subspecies that are too light to even carry a rider (racing and show types, mostly). Those who do own gryphons that are suitable for riding do so often, and there are gryphon riders who carry messages and mail. The fee for such service is higher, similar to the difference between paying for ground shipping versus air mail.

Gryphons cannot be housed in the same building as goats or elk. Even if the gryphon is trustworthy (not all are that well trained), the ruminants will not stay calm with a predator about. Wealthy nobles have separate buildings. Many households just have stables for goats or elk, while the gryphons are assigned perching space with a shed nearby for gear. Trained gryphons can be allowed to go hunt for themselves (best to ask first, though, in case the prize bull is rutting nearby), and will return when finished.

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