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The economy of Whisk

Whisks economy is primarily subsistence-based agriculture. Food production outstrips food

consumption, leaving sufficient surplus for storage and export. The province exports wheat, oats and
rye, along with dried fruit (mostly apples and apple cider) sesame oil, cheese and medicines. It produces
potatoes, milk, fish, fowl, pork, and beef solely for domestic consumption.

Whisk employs a three-field rotation. One set produces wheat, one with potatoes and legumes, and one
other products like oats, hay and commercial products. One person requires about 24 bushels of wheat
or its equivalent to survive a year, while a farm family (average size 5.5 persons) requires about 110
bushels of wheat roughly 11,000 calories a day or 4 million a year. The average Whisk subsistence
farmer has a farm of 40 acres, a cow and a draft animal (horse, ox, mule) requiring another 60 bushels to
survive. They may also keep pigs and chickens.

[NOTES FOR CALORIE CALCULATIONS: The total budget for 5 million Whisk residents, 70 percent adult
(2000 calories/day) and 30 percent children (1500 calories/day) is 3.376 trillion calories a year. A farm
family of 5.5 (three adults, two children) has a daily calorie budget of 10,000 and an annual calorie
budget of 3.65 million. Cows and horses require a couple of acres of pasture and 125 bushels of oats
each in the winter.]

Twelve hexes (500 sq. miles each, with 45,000 resident farmers), yield 13-16 bushels an acre, are used
primarily for wheat production, producing a net of 50-60 million bushels of wheat 2.5-to-3 billion
pounds of wheat flour, worth 50-to-60 million florins at 2 pence a pound. (This includes the millers 5
percent commission.) Three-quarters of this crop is sold, and a quarter exported in years with little
blight. This crop covers about 1/3 of the caloric requirements of the province, after feeding the farmers
and their families.

Six hexes grow potatoes, a recent innovation. Potatoes yield 200 bushels (50 pounds each) an acre,
producing 288 million bushels 14 billion pounds of potatoes sold at 4 pence a bushel, though half are
simply eaten by farmers and their livestock. That is 11.5 million florins of potatoes are produced, with
6.7 million florins of potatoes entering the economy. Potatoes alone support 1/3 of the caloric needs of
Whisk. Population is quite dense in potato territory, at about 120 per square mile, because of the labor
intensity of potato farming. Potatoes are subject to blight and store and travel poorly theyre good to
feed livestock in the winter, though.

Six hexes produce peas and beans. Combined with grazing for manure, these nitrogen fixers help
replenish the soil. Dried peas are excellent storage foods with a high protein base, while beans are
calorie-dense 1500 a pound. A typical yield is 10 bushels of 50 pounds each, sold by the bushel at 5
shillings. Farms produce 19.2 million bushels of peas and beans, for 9.6 million florins in revenue. No
one farms peas and beans alone: the output only barely covers the caloric cost to produce.

Twelve hexes grow oats and hay, with a yield of 40 bushels per acre with high variability. Most oats are
consumed by livestock and sold at 12 pence per 32-pound bushel. 150 million bushels of oats is 18
million florins. This will support 1 million animals through winter fodder.
A warhorse will eat about 300 bushels 24 florins of oats in a year, supporting about 50,000 horses.
The dedication to the care and feeding of horses is one reason Whisks horse production is superior.

Four hexes produce barley and rye, which is to say produce whiskey, ale and beer. At a yield of 10-40
bushels an acre (which is highly variable, average is 25), Whisk produces 32 million bushels of barley and
rye. One bushel of barley (50 pounds) sold for 5 shillings = one 36 gallon barrel of beer sold for 30
shillings = 288 pints of small beer or ale, sold for 2 pence each. Most barley land is owned directly by
brewers. Half the crop goes to produce beer and ale. The rest makes livestock fodder, barley flour or
other products. That is 16 million florins of barley and rye, half of which becomes 48 million florins of
alcohol. About a tenth of the beer and ale is exported. Whisk drinks the rest and its about a tenth of
its total calories.

Three hexes grow almonds and sesame, also an innovation. Sesame is pressed for cooking oil, with the
remains used in baking or as livestock feed. An acre of sesame produces from 700 to 1500 pounds of
seed and from 30 to 60 gallons of sesame oil. Almond and sesame oil sells for 5 shillings a gallon an
average of 21 million florins produced in oil, and another 3 million florins in high-quality feed, covering
200,000 animals. Both almond and sesame are labor intensive and rely on itinerant labor. The typical
household uses 24 gallons of oil for lighting and cooking a tenth of their calories. Domestic
consumption is about 30 million gallons the excess (about 12 million gallons a year) is exported to the
rest of the realm and abroad.

Three hexes in the north grow flax for linen and seed, rotating through with peas and beans every other
year. Typical yield is 250 pounds of fiber per acre. Unthreshed flax fiber sells for 8 pence a pound. The
milling process to make line is labor intensive. It will also produce 20 feet of coarse linen twine, two 50-
pound bushels of linseed meal, which is sold at 5 pence a bushel as feed (mostly used to feed the farm
animals on the flax farms) after being pressed for 5 gallons of linseed oil which is sold at 5 pence a
gallon. Total output is 20 million florins. An acre of flax produces about 60 pounds of fine linen thread,
which makes 120 square yards of linen cloth for clothing or sails. A skilled weaver will be able to produce
20 square yards of cloth per day from line on a broadloom. Thats 114 million square yards, at 10-11
pence a yard, or 12 million florins of cloth. It employs roughly 75,000 women during the winter months
of Whisk. Three-quarters of this cloth is exported, and is a major trade item for the province,
constrained only by the lack of skilled labor on the looms.

Two hexes grow incense, hemp and medicinal plants. These crops are extremely valuable and highly
regulated both by the Whisk government and the church. Cultivation of these medicines is considered a
close secret, guarded zealously by the farmers of the area. All of the lands are church-owned. The
average income is 30 florins an acre, allowing territory around Gashak to produce 20 million florins in

Spread throughout these territories are two hexes of apple, cherry and pear orchards, blueberry and
blackberry farms. Tree production averages 50 bushels an acre at a florin a bushel, but production is
highly variable. Average is 18 million florins of fruit a year, a quarter of which is exported as juice or
dried fruit. But its also an important part of the Whisk diet it covers one-eighth the dietary need of
the province and staves away disease on long sea voyages. Another 160,000 acres of farmland is
devoted to table crops like lettuce and cabbage, green pepper, onions, garlic, squash and other local
perishables, with no export and little outside consumption.

Cultivated land produces about 240 million florins of production. (Add 12 million for cloth.) About 2.25
million people in roughly 400,000 households live in these densely-populated areas.


Most farmers keep oxen or a couple of draft horses to help cultivate their fields, and many also keep
chickens, cows and pigs, both for food milk, cheese, eggs and to help fertilize fields during crop
rotation years. The introduction of potatoes has fundamentally altered food production, leaving enough
fodder to grow pigs and cows for slaughter. Farmers are no longer living in abject poverty, even after
The Recede. The typical farmer can slaughter a pig a year for himself (about 4 percent of the annual
calorie budget) and sell one or two pigs for slaughter a year, at 20 florins a head. (I note that this pork
could feed 100 people a good meal at an inn at 5 shillings each.) Thats 12 million florins in pork.

Whisk crop farmers keep from one to two dozen hens (plus a couple of roosters) around for eggs and
poultry meat, at a cost of four or five bushels of barley 2.5 florins. Farmers will sell half, eat what they
want and pickle the rest. Eggs sell at 3 pence for two dozen, and hens average 90 a year. Thus the
average farmer keeps about 800 eggs a year 2 percent of the household calorie budget and earns a
florin a year from eggs. Thats 400,000 florins a year for eggs. The typical farmer butchers a chicken
every five days, for another 2 percent of household calories. Most farmers with a flock under 15 or so
wont sell chickens for the butcher. The average farmer sells 25 chickens a year, at 5 shillings each, for a
10 florin profit and 5 million florin revenue for the province.

Whisks 400,000 crop farming families keep an average of one cow for every family. Each produces
about three gallons of milk a day, about a third of which is immediately consumed for one-eighth of the
daily calorie budget. Cows produce milk for about 8 months in a year. Each makes about one pound of
butter from the cream, every day, worth 5 pence sold but half is simply used. Thats 5 million florins in
butter, with income of 12 florins a year to the farmer. Milk and butter represent 10 percent of the
caloric needs of the province. The two-thirds of milk that is not consumed becomes Whisks second-
most valuable export: Whisk red cheese.

Milk sells at 1 penny a pint/pound 8 pence a gallon, or 18 million florins in milk sold. Half 2 million
pounds of milk a day goes to cheesemakers. The province produces 80 million pounds of hard, sharp
cheese, which is widely exported. (Its 4 percent of the calorie budget for Whisk). Different varieties
carry different prices, but the average is 3 shillings a pound, or 24 million florins.

For most farming families, the extra 35 florins or so a year in hard currency income from a cow makes up
for the initial investment of 60 florins and the labor necessary to provide additional fodder. Cows are
typically slaughtered after four years, returning the initial investment of 60 florins and adding 20 square
feet of leather to the economy. A tanned leather hide sells for 10 to 30 shillings about 200,000 florins
in leather a year.
About a million people 250,000 households tend cattle, horses, goats and sheep in the 50 hexes
around the most heavily cultivated territory, in the grassland and low hills of the midlands and
northlands. Sheep and horses are most prevalent; beef remains a luxury.

Whisk crop farmers dislike keeping geese, because of the crop damage they do and how useless their
droppings are as fertilizer. Whisks shepherds have no such compunction. Enthusiastic gooseherds as
well, they keep eight to sixteen geese in their flocks, selling six or eight yearlings each year and eating
another three or four. A typical flock will produce 200 eggs a year, half of which will be sold for 5
shillings a year. (The calorie budget of goose eggs is negligible). Goose feathers are sold for quills,
fletching and down, worth another 1.5 florins a year. A 10-pound goose itself sells for a florin. The flock
will require about two florins in feed during the winter. Total economic impact is 1.75 million florins.

About 200,000 people 50,000 households -- in the highlands tend goats, which also produce cheese. A
goat herd is 20-40 animals. Half the herd will be sold for slaughter at 15 florins every year for an average
of 225 florins. Goats yield 50 pounds of meat and cover about 1 percent of the calorie budget of the
province. Goat meat is widely smoked and stored as travel rations, and about half of the 37.5 million
pounds of goat sold is made into jerky. Fresh goat sells at 45 pence a pound, while goat jerky sells at a
florin a pound, for 27.2 million florins.

The herd will produce an average of 250 pounds of milk a day. The farmers family will consume 10
pounds of it. The rest is sold, mostly for drinking, but a third to make goat cheese, earning the farmer
another 120 florins a year. Goat cheese is far less valued than Whisk red, and is sold at 15 pence a
pound, but theres far more of it available about 144 million pounds, or 21 million florins worth or 7
percent of the calorie budget of Whisk.

Another 50,000 families 10,000 households raise cattle for slaughter. A cattle herd may have one or
two dozen head to his name on a communal manor farm, and tend another three or four dozen for the
manorial lord. About 600,000 head are kept, with 200,000 slaughtered for beef a year. Fattening beef
for slaughter is not inexpensive a 40-50 florin cost is not uncommon but a 60-florin calf becomes a
200-florin sale, producing 40 million in revenue. The beef can be sold at preparation for a florin a pound,
and typically yields 500 or more pounds of meat. Its about 3 percent of the calorie budget for the

About 750,000 people 150,000 households are shepherds and their families. A shepherds family will
typically have 100 to 200 sheep. Whisk has some of the highest quality sheep wool to be found, which is
highly prized as a trade item. Each skirted fleece produces about 10-30 pounds of wool between 8 and
24 square yards of fabric for clothing or bags. Five pounds of Whisk wool produces four yards of wool
cloth. Raw Whisk wool is sold for 25 pence a pound. Whisk wool cloth sells for 5 shillings a yard.

Whisk produces about 410 million pounds of wool, worth 102 million florins a year. That produces 260
million yards of wool cloth worth 164 million florins. About 90 percent of this cloth is exported, at least a
third of which is exported out of the country. A shepherd with a small flock and low yield will have 250
florins in revenue. One with a very large flock and strong yield may come away with 1500 florins. But
as will be described in the section on taxation the wool trade is highly taxed, which is one reason
relations between the peasantry and the crown are strained.

Mutton is the meat of choice in Whisk. A typical farmer will slaughter a lamb for themselves every 10
days or so and sell 50 lambs for slaughter a year, at 10 florins each. It costs about four florins in feed to
fatten a lamb for slaughter, netting 300 florins for the farmer. Thats 75 million florins in mutton on the
market. Each has 50 pounds of meat (sold at 4 shillings a pound), providing 13 percent of the caloric
requirements of the province.

Shepherds often double as horse keepers. Whisk is the premier horse breeding territory of Cardinia and
the continent, producing 70 percent of the countrys horses. Breeders produce 10,000 warhorses every
year, and another 25,000 high-quality riding horses. They also produce 65,000 draft horses that are
nonetheless of very high quality. Breeders sell 4 million florins worth of warhorses, 2 million in riding
horses and 3.5 million in draft horses. Three quarters are sold to buyers outside of Whisk.

The famous House Skye, in the foothills of the northern highlands, trains and sells griffins and hippogriff.
These mounts cost 5,000 each, and require nine months of training. They sell no more than 100 a year.

About 200,000 families are fishers, a larger proportion than any province except Ironloch. The Round
Sea is filled with haddock and mackerel, cod and sea bass, and karageon a species unique to the Round
Sea. Haddock and cod are generally dried with salt and preserved, while sea bass and mackerel are
served fresh within two days, if possible. Fishing is tightly regulated by the Steward of Whisk to avoid
overfishing. Licensed fishermen are only allowed to sell in licensed markets the Steward is the first
buyer of all commercial fish. A license costs 25 florins, and 20 percent of the catch after the first 100
pounds of fish goes to the state.

Whisks fishing fleets are most often owned by a local lord or headman, though an ambitious man can
make an independent play of it after saving profits for five to ten years less if they get lucky with good
catches of karageon. A fishing boat built for sail and net fishing with crews of four costs 5,000 to 8,000

Low quality fish like haddock and mackerel are sold fresh or salted for 5 pence. High quality fish like sea
bass are sold fresh for a florin, while cod is typically salted and sold for a florin each. A fisher operating
alone will average 200-300 florins in fish during a six-month season. A four-man vessel will average
2,500 florins of fish a season, with the boat owner taking half. Two thirds fish on team vessels. Roughly
70 million florins in fishing revenue come from both groups.

Fishing communities police their own ranks well, with a kind of guild that limits the number of people in
the trade. Fishing covers about 12 percent of the calorie budget of the realm.

Round Sea karageon are prized and easily worth 50 florins each, with the caviar selling as a delicacy for
25 florins an ounce. A pregnant karageon may yield 30 to 60 ounces of caviar. Karageon is deeply
overfished; the crown (not the duchy) has right of first refusal for any specimen caught, and the fish is
legal to catch only for a few weeks a year. It is a catch that can change a fishermans life, which is what
keep many at the relatively poor occupation.

Animal agriculture produces 411 million florins in revenue a year, excluding the 165 million spinning
wool into cloth. The province is far, far from the starvation of yesteryear. At 166 percent of the caloric
requirements necessary, it produces two-thirds again more than what it requires to feed its 5 million
inhabitants. Half of that surplus is taken by tax. The other half is traded to other duchies or abroad for
imported products.


The forests of Whisk are profitable, dangerous places. Whisk produces about a third of the iron and
precious metals, 80 percent of its gems and about half of the tin and lead produced by the country, most
of which is produced in relatively shallow mines held by the countrys Olive Picks.

By royal writ, bound into the Cardinian Compact, any person born in the Emerald Forest and registered
as such in the first two years of his life has the right to acquire a lifetime permit to mine in the forest
with a fixed split between the crown and the miner, allowing the crown the right of first refusal on any
gem mined. This came after a major dispute that became violent after a generation of exploitation.
About 25,000 people (mostly men) have the licenses, which are issued on small steel and tin badges
embossed in olive green. The licenses, produced by the crown smith, are matched to pickaxes embossed
with the same olive stamp. The relationship between the crown and the miners is now extremely tight,
bordering on fanaticism, and the olive colored axes are marks of status and pride.

The law applies to dwarves as much as men. A handful of dwarven outcasts seeing the potential for
exploiting the right to sell metal and gems into the largest market available left their clanhold in the
Abinbur for Haistone shortly after the signing of the Cardinian Compact. Half of the dwarves 25,000
living there now have the right of an Olive Pick. The dwarves focus on iron, gold and silver, because they
know extraction processes that make gold mining in particular economically sustainable. Theres some
rivalry between human and dwarvish miners there, but nothing murderous.

Human miners make use of prisoners sent by the crown to supplement their labor; dwarves do not
25,000 prisoners serve terms from two to ten years there. Prisoners mine copper, tin and lead only.
Another 50,000 people come in from the countryside for about four months a year to pick up additional
earnings. They pay a tax of 50 percent on the value of the metal they recover, but typically earn 100 to
125 florins a season.

The crown pays its debts, salaries and invoices in gold florins. Most commerce is done in silver shillings.

Iron is the most profitable ore for the moment. Half of the miners operate iron mines, collectively
pulling out 12,500 tons of iron, worth 25 million at a florin a pound. About a tenth of that iron is turned
into fine steel for weapons and armor, tools and other objects.

About 9 million gold florins is coined (or belled) in Haistone, with the crown taking 30 percent as a tax
for its reserves, often trading land or other material for the rest. Two thirds of the silver mined there
more than 10 tons, worth another 21 million florins are coined into 150 million shillings, with the rest
either belled as reserves or used in jewelry. The mines produce 9 million florins in copper (at 20 florins a
ton), 6.6 million in tin (at 80 florins a ton), and 6.9 million in lead (at 15 florins a ton).

At least another million florins a year is produced in precious stones, primarily emerald, ruby and jet.

Free miners easily earn 1200 florins a year before the crowns cut of 25 percent of production. Other
than wool farmers, theyve become the most financially influential group in the realm.

About 50,000 people work full-time as woodcutters in Whisk, with another 50,000 people coming in
from farms for seasonal work. The industry is regulated partially by the crown, partially by the elves and
generally by the denizens of the woods. Any woodcutting near a beridir is going to come at a toll of
about half the value of the wood cut. The duchy and crown do not impose a tax on beridir wood, but
require licenses for woodcutters of 50 florins a year and a third of the value of the wood as tax. The
work is dangerous, both as a professional issue and because the deeper, more valuable woodland is also
plagued by forest evils.

The woodcutting business is vital for producing ships, housing and home supplies, and heating fuel. A
woodcutter can clear about two acres of pine or an acre of hardwood in a month and works 10 months
a year. The part-timers working three months a year can clear about half of that. An acre of woodland
contains about 50 trees. Clear cutting an acre of mature pine would produce about 60 cords of wood. As
a practical matter, Whisks cutters will work through about a tenth of a standing forest in a year. That
means woodcutters are operating in about 36 of the provinces 150 forested hexes in any given year.

Most logging is done near Haistone or along the White river moving timber otherwise is quite difficult.
Theres pressure on the woods at this rate, leading woodcutters to have to move deeper into the forests
to get at relatively expensive trees. Thats driving the costs of wood higher. A woodcutter will sell a cord
of wood for 6 florins to a woodcarter for transport who will expect to make 8 after transporting it to
market. Four cords will heat a home for the winter. About 15 percent of the pine and oak production
covers the heating requirements for the duchy. Coliers export another 5 percent as high-grade charcoal
elsewhere. It takes one cord of charcoal to make 50 pounds of proper steel.

70 percent of the wood is sent to any of the 1,200 sawmills along the river to be cut for boards or turned
for other uses. Cut, dried boards are worth three times the value of wet lumber. The mills are all owned
by the duchy or by various barons along the waterways, and are an important source of revenue for the
state. The total production is 36 million florins in cut wood, of which about 2 million is exported as
charcoal. The value of planed wood production is 72 million florins.

The total revenue for extractive industry in Whisk is about 160 million florins before taxes.


About 800,000 people 500,000 adults provide the unskilled labor and merchant middle class of
Whisk sailors and drovers, smiths and boyers, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.
Roughly 175,000 men and women travel as itinerant unskilled laborers, earning wages of 150 to 300
florins a year. Theyre welcome at harvest time or in planting seasons, and generally suspect at other
times. Those outside of cities contribute 21.5 million florins to the economy.

Most villages have only ten to fourteen non-farmers: perhaps a lay minister, a baker, a carpenter, a
shoemaker and a couple of others. Nonetheless, simply by volume, about 350,000 tradesmen and
laborers live in villages across Whisk.

In addition to the 20 to 30 farm families composing any given village, each will also have a minister or
headman, one to three carters or wagon drivers, one to three unskilled laborers and three to five of the
following: a baker, a tailor or seamstress, a general shopkeeper, a grocer, a cobbler or a tinkerer. All will
also have three to five of the following: a carpenter, a smith, a potter, a weaver, a cheese monger, a
textile mercer, an iron monger, a fish monger, a wood seller or a mason. The incomes for each aside
from the laborers are in a range from 500 to 900 florins a year, and collectively contribute 140 million
florins a year to the economy.

About 250,000 people drive wagons or carts for a living, from the village milkmaid to the kings own
horsemen, and form the backbone of the merchant class. Only about 50,000 work outside of towns and
cities. Work as a teamster is informal, but it requires some capital two good draft horses worth 75
florins each, a wagon worth 100 florins, and a license to use the royal roads which costs 120 florins a
year. The crown sells 150,000 licenses a year for 18 million florins. The horses require a 12 pence, 32-
pound bushel of oats a day, and the average trip takes four days, for which a driver will earn 4 florins if
paid only for the trip.

A heavy wagon can carry 4,000 pounds on the royal road or the main roads of the duchy. Lighter carts
are necessary to negotiate the dirt paths and gravel of the countryside, usually being pulled by a mule
on a 100-pound cart with a 500-pound load. Local carters earn far less 250 florins net is common.

Many drivers, however, buy the load themselves and sell where they arrive for a profit. From these
practices are merchant empires born. The typical wagon driver will start at a net 250 to 500 florins a
year after expenses. Those that can build a fleet of interconnected wagon routes and relationships with
producers and marketplaces become a trading corporation. Half of carters are independent. The other
half in Whisk belong to one of about 20 large trade corporations with average incomes between 1
million and 5 million florins each. These houses are rapidly consolidating through marriage, partnership
and fierce competition.

Whisk is substantially less sea-oriented than other duchies. Only about 20,000 men and women sail from
its ports crewing ships at sea, mostly from the Bay of Silk. (Three smaller harbors dot the Whisk
coastline.) Unskilled sailors earn 40 florins a month. Able-bodied seamen earn 75 florins, while officers
holding proper certificates from the duchy earn 125 florins a month. A typical ship with 100 tons of
capacity will have a crew of 20, four of whom will be officers. A ship operates at a cost of about 2000
florins a month, and about 800 ships from Whisk move material around the Round Sea, generating 20
million florins in economic activity.
Another 5,000 men and women work the docks in Whisk. These longshoremen are well organized and
thoroughly penetrated by the Black League. The work is poorly paid, but steady --they earn a florin for
every day of labor, which is effectively immune to tax, 300 florins a year, 1.5 million in revenue.

About 3,000 inns and taverns spread throughout the cities, towns and villages around Whisk,
concentrated along the main trade routes. The typical inn will employ four to ten people. Inns are
almost always paired with hostlery services for horses and a communal kitchen, and are generally the
centerpiece of whatever village theyre in. A third of inns are public houses paired with brewers, with
cheesemakers, or both. A night with a poor at a typical inn is two shillings, four on the royal roads, with
a good meal another 70 pence to a florin. The Fellowship of Hospitalers guild is aligned with the Peoples
Covenant bardic college, facilitating the transmission of intrigue.

Inns generate about 100 million in revenue a year, a third of which goes to operating costs and another
30 percent to provincial and royal taxes. Nonetheless, the owner of a good inn may take a profit of 5,000
to 10,000 florins a year.

Whisk has about 6,000 mills spread through its farming, forestry and mining communities. Half are
watermills, half are windmills. Three quarters are used to grind flour. Grain millers keep 5 percent of the
wheat they grind as a commission. That flour is worth about 560 to 660 florins a year to the miller, with
2.75 million in average revenue for gristmills. About 1,200 sawmills dot the rivers near logging camps.
Sawmills are far more elaborate enterprises, typically employing four to six men another 6,000 millers.
The typical sawmill will net a profit of 5,000 florins, representing about 6 million in revenue.

The mines of Haistone (and a handful elsewhere) have 600 grinding mills that help produce metals for
smelting. The mills are generally part of the smelting and casting operations to make trade goods or
coins which are almost always owned by local lords, together employing another four or five people
3000 more millers generating about 6,000 florins in profit each 3.6 million florins of economic

Merchants and skilled tradesmen generally alight to towns with at least 1000 people. Whisk has about
90 of these towns, collectively housing 600,000 residents, plus another 150,000 people living in its cities.

Roughly 80,000 people 9 percent of the population living in Whisks urban centers serve as unskilled
laborers working however they can, joining the porters guild or the launderers guild or the like. About
10,000 of these women, however, work either as domestic servants for wealthy families or as
courtesans, and hold none of the formal protections of the guild system. These 80,000 people
contribute 20 million florins to the economy.

Another 200,000 city and town residents are merchants driving teams of wagons and carts across the
realm. About 150,000 are tradespeople.

Among the merchant classes, three forces contend for power. The relatively new power of guilds,
strengthened by the rights won in the Cardinian Compact, faces both what remains of the feudal power
of manorial lords and the independent trading houses that control the movement of goods across the
realm. With the exception of the textile guild and the International Alchemists Guild, the strongest
guilds in Whisk tend to be those providing services, like that of the barbers or the launderers. Within the
cities and towns, at least half of practicing tradesmen and laborers belong to one guild or another.

About 25 percent of these tradesmen 37,500 people work in textiles weavers of linen, cotton and
wool, cloth dyers, seamstresses and tailors, makers of shirts and hose and gloves and hats and shoes,
muslin, silk and lace. The center for Cardinias Supreme Order of Clothiers and Dyers better known as
the Black Coats is in Whisk, and the guild controls the import and export of finery. It is the largest and
most powerful of the trade guilds in Whisk. Defayne is closely tied to this guild it is a fundamental
source of political power for her over the shepherds. Guild merchants produce 75 million florins of
apparel a year, of which 20 percent is exported.

Another 25 percent belong to relatively small industries, like saltpackers, or butchers (only 500
professional butchers operate in Whisk), or hairdressers, perfume makers, candlers, fletchers and
others. Nonetheless, these industries combine to produce about 30 million in revenue.

The Fraternal Order of Masons and Stonecutters is a large guild of about 30,000 that is known for strong
traditions of mutual aid and relatively high standards and costs for membership. Stonework is not a
large industry in Whisk; the easy availability of timber and weak stone supplies sees to it. But they hire
the labor for the maintenance of the royal roads, and thus much of the governments money flows
through their tills. They generate about 20 million florins annually in work for themselves.

A small, powerful adventuring family the House of Ariellas uses a combination of magical
transportation and very secret local cultivation to make the cuisine from the rest of the world available
in Cardinia. Their methods skirt the edge of the magical prohibitions in place for a generation. However,
the availability of exotic spices, fruits and vegetables has lent itself to an expansive culinary scene for
people able to pay. The Guild of the Rainbow Spoon is a network of about 500 high end pastry chefs,
butchers, bakeries, fishing trawlers, and other chefs across the realm, offering meals for the very rich
that begin at 10 florins a pop and random acts of delight on the streets of Whisk and other cities. They
earn 15 million florins a year in Whisk.

Whisk has thousands of village blacksmiths. About 1000 operate in cities and towns, but only about 500
can handle real steel making. Most of those are in the direct employ of either the crown or the duchess.
By local order, smiths along with bowyers are prohibited from making martial weapons, half-plate or
full plate for anyone outside of the military without that person obtaining a special license from the
guard, requiring proof of ones moral virtue and 100 florins. The law is rarely enforced. Another 1000
smiths specialize in working with pewter and tin, copper or fine metals as jewelers. The writ of the Most
Excellent Order of Smiths doesnt extend beyond the walls of cities and towns in Whisk it is far more
powerful in the capitol and in Port Barco. They produce about 3 million florins in economic activity.

The price of paper has begun to fall with new techniques being exploited by the paper mills of Black
Pike. The result is a revolution brewing in the cost of producing printed material. Engravers and wood-
block printers have begun to emerge in the capitols and large cities of the realm, spurring a rise in
literacy rates, currently at 25 percent. A single broadsheet folio of paper eight inches by sixteen inches
sells for six pence blank. Printers can fill that sheet with print for another two. Broadsheets have begun
to regularly circulate for a shilling. New books of 200 quarto pages can be printed and sold for as little as
5 florins. Copyists have begun to shift their work away from mere reproduction to the creation of
woodblock cut. Moveable type is a matter of time.

Book binders, copyists and printers must be licensed both by the crown and the duchess, a process
handled by the Scriveners Guild. Their wares are subject to inspection on demand by agents of the
Master of the Theatre. The guild in Albania is studiously neutral with regard to the rivalries between the
Sages of Hape, the Arcane Society and other organizations. Members take an oath of secrecy about the
material they copy, which can only be broken by royal order not by order of the ducal courts which
infuriates Defayne, leading to punitive taxation 50 percent of revenue. The Couriers Guild has
overlapping membership. Together, they number about 10,000, and represent 10 million a year in
economic activity.

The Chirugeons Association unites Cardinias apothecaries, barbers, nurses, bathers and other healers
those who serve where the realms hospitals and magical healers do not. About 10,000 work in Whisk,
mainly in the main cities and towns, though half travel the countryside, pulling teeth and leeching the
sick. They are unusually powerful in Whisk because of their close association with the Cosian Union, and
indirectly with Defayne through it. They generate 10 million florins annually.

The Coliers Union controls the sale of charcoal, peat, coal, lamp oil and firewood in the major cities of
Whisk. Theyre also a union of chimney sweeps and lamplighters. They boast 5,000 members, producing
2 million florins in revenue.

The League of Oak and Pine the woodworkers guild does not get along with the Coliers Union, and
their disputes have been violent on occasion. About 10,000 people belong to the woodworkers group in
Whisk, which includes carpenters, wainwrights, shipwrights, wheelwrights, cabinet and furniture
makers. The League of Oak and Pine sets standards for the importation of timber from the countryside,
and works closely with both the Druidic circles and the crown to ensure a steady supply of lumber. It is
known for having rigid membership requirements. The business of wood generates about 10 million a
year in Whisk.

The Leather Guild of Whisk is distinct from the Supreme Order of Clothiers and Dyers, in that it only
covers the manufacture of leather items not to be worn by people. Saddles, bindings, book covers
thats the Leather Guild. They compete with clothiers for supply and generally find they have to import
to get their wares made here. There are 2,000 leatherworkers, producing 1 million a year in revenue.

The total economic impact of the trades and casual labor in Whisk is 525 million florins.


The social and economic upheaval of The Recede stripped much of the practical power of the nobility
and the church away and placed it into the hands of free men. In varying degrees, the church, the nobles
and the bourgeoisie compete for power in a carefully-orchestrated balance preserved by the artifice of
the king.

About 450,000 families 340,000 adults work in skilled professions requiring academic training, or are
land holding or mercantile leaders, granting social status and access. These are the sages and poets,
knights and barons, merchant lords and financiers of the realm.

Noble houses are sprawling things, often defined by loyalties as much as blood lineage, though lineage is
vitally important. About 100,000 adults claim allegiance and title to one of the 183 noble houses of
Whisk, in a way that entitles them to wealth and status. Even accounting for the fallow titles the 33
houses with a baron and no meaningful property -- noble houses (and the crown) retain about 40
percent of the holdings of the realm, though only about 20 percent of its more productive territory. That
territory throws off about 300 million in gross revenue. Through land rents and feudal obligations, noble
houses capture about 30 percent of this as profit 90 million florins a year to build estates, fight wars
and retain status.

Defaynes sprawling House Medana, with its retinue of about 1000 lordlings and noble vassals of varying
flavor is merely the largest of these, representing 10 percent of the nobilitys fortune an income of 9
million florins. The other 24 most powerful noble houses and the broad interlocking families of about
600 people each account for 50 percent of this wealth, with an average income of 1.5 million florins.
These are the major houses, defined in part by the size of the annual living allowance its junior members
can draw of around 1,500 florins each. The senior members of these noble families the 50 in each of
their core families are the scions of the nobility and can easily spend 10,000 florins a year or more
without depleting the estate.

The 125 minor noble houses typically have estates producing incomes of 250,000 to 500,000 florins a
year. For most of these families, the allowance from the estate isnt enough for junior members to live
in a lifestyle of aristocracy, or even wealth, without some productive personal work as well, often as
governesses to even wealthier families, huntsmen, hired swordsmen, or minor functionaries in the
provincial or ducal administrative regime. Junior members will draw an allowance of 400 to 500 florins,
while the core family of a dozen or so will live an aristocratic lifestyle at 3,500 to 4,000 florins annually in

The aristocracys interest is in preserving their wealth and standing the prerogatives of the noble class,
the entitlement to legal protection, to dues owed by vassals and peasants, and to the rights of land.
They are fiercely defensive about the rights of arms and of the hunt, and of their vote as members of the
Conclave. Minor nobility can pick up additional coin by exploiting their prerogatives of rank as warriors
a minor nobleman can pick a swordfight against anyone, with fewer legal consequences than even a
wealthy common man. Theyre also more likely to have the formal training in swordplay necessary. At
least 6,000 of these men have the training of a first-level fighter and use it.

They are opposed to some degree by financiers in their various forms factors, money changers,
bankers. While the Guild of the Golden Bell has a monopoly on coinage, it does not have a monopoly on
business. In Whisk, the most powerful banking institution is The Dorine Company, the great wool factor
of the city. Ymon Dorine is arguably the richest man in the duchy, with profitable relationships between
many of the wool producing merchants of the north and the wagon masters moving their material south
as the arbiter of the crowns wool trade in the Bay of Silk. But he is one among many, with no dominant
merchant corporation or banking institution financing all trade and speculation.

About 100,000 men and women jostle for position as investors and lenders, aligned with the great
merchant corporations. Their broad focus is on expansion, either of production within Whisk or of
Whisks territory. They are the investors on behalf of the bourgeoisie free men farming their own lands
and mining their own claims, sawing their own lumber and fishing in their own boats in the lands and
seas not owned by the crown and the nobility. Roughly 30 percent of Whisks productive territory is
represented in one way or another by the financiers of the realm.

Bankers can best be described not by their income but by the amount of capital they have at risk. The
typical banker has a portfolio of 5,000 to 10,000 florins, and is seeking returns greater than 16 percent.
Inflation in Whisk has been growing, and approaches 10 percent, forcing bankers to press for faster
returns. These bankers tend to be partnered with merchant guildsmen, offering the protection of their
vaults and access to their coin to stake new ventures. Bankers look for inventiveness and ruthlessness in
their partners, broadly, but they are also utterly dependent on their reputation for their services and
guard it with zeal.

Factors purchase inventory at a discount to the expected price of sale, providing liquidity immediately
for producers. A farmer can sell a harvest immediately at a discount, or warehouse the harvest himself
until a better buyer emerges. Factors manage huge warehouses as a result. The business is inherently
speculative, which leaves many farmers, miners and other producers to measure their risks by the prices
offered on the factors market.

The insurance industry at the industrial level is dominated by the priests of the goddess Asta. The Astan
Temple of Chance serves as a place of religious reverie for the devout, a casino for people seeking
diversions, and the main trading floor for Astan Auspices, which are both insurance contracts and
magical talismans. An Auspice is a promise to cover the cost of a loss when a risk is known, be it to a ship
or a caravan or a crop of wheat. The terms require both parties to act in good faith. The magic of the
Auspice reveals a break in faith, if a sea captain deliberately crashes a ship to seek the insurance, for
example. An Auspice Minor can be crafted by a 5th level priest. An Auspice Major requires one of 8th

If success or failure can be boiled down to a single roll, an Auspice Minor allows that roll to be made at
+2. An Auspice Major offers advantage on that roll. Crafting a minor Auspice costs 50 florins and
requires four hours of ritual labor. An Auspice Major costs 500 florins and requires 40 hours. Astan
priests charge the base price plus a cost reflecting the expected risk associated with the contract. Often,
on larger contracts, a local house will prevail upon a High House of Asta one with considerably greater
resources to reinsure the bet. The House of Asta prepares about 8,000 minor Auspices and 150 major
auspices a year, creating about 500,000 florins of revenue a year. Magically, mystically, the House of
Asta more or less breaks even on payment of the actual insurance contracts every year. The House of
Asta earns another 125,000 at its casino-temples.

Astan insurance contracts cannot be resold without breaking the magic. But to the initiated, they serve
as excellent signals of risk, influencing the prices offered by factors and the investments made by
bankers. This is particularly true when an Astan teller refuses a contract on a ship that alone is enough
to scuttle a voyage entirely. Other insurers use the prices charged by Astas clerics to set their own
actuarial prices for smaller contracts. The insurance industry covers about three percent of the
economic activity of Whisk 45 million florins generating a profit of 5 million florins for the 4,000
financiers in the business.

The bankers of Whisk compete for preeminence with clergy and the Church of Iao. There is about one
lay minister or parish priest of Iao for every 100 adherents in Whisk about 29,000 priests. Two-thirds
of these ministers serve in the villages as parish leaders. Thus, most villages can count on at least one
person being literate, understanding the law and having a basic grounding in the healing arts. Another
21,000 teach in either the parish schools or at the main seminary in Whisk. Of these 50,000 priests,
ministers and teachers, 5,000 have at least one adventurer level as a cleric.

The church can compel a tax equivalent to one-fortieth of grain sales across the realm to support the
hospitals and clinics in the cities and towns of Cardinia. Thats worth about 3 million in Whisk. The
church also earns about 7 million a year in Whisk from its own land holdings profit from land rents on
about 5 percent of Whisks productive territory. The church earns about 8 million a year in stipends for
performing rituals like birth sacraments, weddings, and officiating at funerals. And parish priests
supplement their church stipend from the offering plate, typically winning a poor lifestyle another 6
million florins.

Every town devout or not in Whisk has a hospital operated by the White Rose order. The order has
100 across the province. Most are small, with no more than 50 beds, an attending White Rose priest or
two, with a half a dozen nurses and laymen. (The Blessed Sanctuary of the City of Whisk has 500 beds.)
The smaller hospitals cost 10,000 florins a year to operate. The larger ones in the six cities outside of the
capitol cost 50,000 and the Sanctuary costs 150,000. The hospitals charge based on an ability to pay,
recovering about half their expenses.

The 15 million in other income just barely supports the 500 school houses spread outside of the towns
around the realm. About two thirds of the children of devout parents about 413,000 children attend
school between the age of 6 and 14. Most leave school at that point, with about half achieving literacy.
About one in six continue to high school, which requires tuition, room and board of 100 florins. The
church offers a scholarship to 20 percent of students, paid for through fines imposed by Whisks rather
aggressive ecclesiastical courts, which also fund the four Iao church vessels that take port there. The
seminary at Whisk trains 150 priests for ordination and another 1000 laity every year.

The seminary and the provinces 15 old-aged homes are supported by sales at the Arbor of Ansense.
Overall, the church of Iao runs a net profit of about 2 million in Whisk.
About 2,500 other fully-consecrated priests with adventurer levels operate in Whisk. The Humani have
the largest non-Iao following, with 800 consecrated priests 400 following Huma and Huma, 150
following Asta, 100 following Captic, 100 following Evette and perhaps 50 followers of Doot. Another
2,400 lay ministers operate in the province, primarily in the city of Whisk and along the coast. A Humani
chapterhouse is in the religious ward of Whisk. One of the major Astan temples of chance sits on the
docks of Aelwick, and smaller ones are present in every major city. Captic maintains a presence in Whisk
and in Gashak, while theres a small Evettan love temple in Llethy along with the large one in Whisk.

About 600 Druids of Theaghda walk the land, as do about 70 Samsadi Druids. The dwarves of Haistone
have 500 priests of Crom. About 330 Lightseekers of Etyx crowd the great Pillar of Light with their
followers. The remaining 200 are spread between the Igni, Quan Xi and minor sects. Overall, about
60,000 people have standing as clergy in Whisk.

About 10,000 men and women serve as men of knowledge, either as advisors to trade corporations, to
the crown, to the duchy, to noble lords or as private instructors. Any one of them could command a
wage of 1000 florins a year or more. The title of sage is a formal one, bestowed by one of the 10
universities of the realm, or by schools widely understood to be equal in merit. Foremost among them
are the Sages of Hape magically powerful seers trained on the Island of Hape in the far seas. About 400
of these diviners serve in Whisk, at least one in every major town and city, with 10 serving in the house
of Defayne and a core of 60 among the faculty of the University of Wyegrove itself.

The University of Wyegrove is a multidisciplinary academy of science and magic with significant
instructors in the arcane, fine art, divination, engineering, history, mathematics, language, agriculture
and alchemy. Its in a village of 7,500 people, 30 miles due west of Whisk, located outside of the city in
order to avoid attracting malevolent spirits to the city itself. Two-thirds of the town is either a student at
the university, an instructor, a researcher, or works there.

The university is one of the most important centers on the continent for the Cosian Union and the study
of biology. 100 Cosian Union wizards operate in the school, as do 50 magically-adept members of the
International Alchemists Guild and another 50 wizards of assorted pedigree. There would be more, but
the conventions established by the church during The Recede prohibit it. It has the strong administrative
and financial support of Defayne. While it charges tuition of 50 florins a year, it offers generous
scholarship support. The school and its thousand academics absorb a million florins a year from the
crown and the duchy.

About 2,000 full wizards operate in Whisk. Another 10,000 are hedge wizards, who have the feats
Arcanist, Magic Initiate or Ritual Caster. Any hedge wizard can command a salary of 1000 florins a year.

The International Alchemists Guild has a grand guildhall in the city of Whisk and smaller halls in each of
the major cities. It claims 5,000 members, but only about 500 are magically adept. Other members are
producers of alchemical products smokesticks or tanglefoot bags, thunderstones, potions of climbing,
alchemists fire and the like or are gatherers of alchemical ingredients. They easily earn 10 million
florins a year.
At least 20,000 professional artists work in Whisk. Many are journeymen masters trained in Ansense,
who paint portraits or other art for villagers and high patrons. Others are sculptors and poets and
dancers. About 1,000 proper bards including bards of the Bell operate in Whisk, spread between the
five colleges.

About 5,000 men and women serve as barristers in the realm. A fifth of them maintain some standing
with the Church of Iaos Silver Mace. Increasingly, members of the bar are also practicing bards of the
Peoples Covenant, which is a scandal in some quarters. Typically, an attorney representing a client at
court can expect a fee from 10 florins to 100 florins, depending on the nature of the dispute. Most
barristers earn 1,000 florins or more a year in income.

Another 5,000 have training as classical architects and engineers, proper clockmakers and supervisors of
large construction projects. Two hundred are gunsmith artificers, and 50 are transmutation alchemists.
One fifth of the membership is gnomish. Like the masons, the engineers are prickly and defensive about
credentialing. Theyre also wealthy, with incomes of 1,500 a year, each.

About 20,000 soldiers operate across the province, either in the provincial guard, in the royal army or in
formal mercenary companies like the Iron Brigade. The typical pay of a soldier is four florins a day, six if
marching, or about 30 million florins a year. Another 6,000 men of low-born status travel the land
adventuring as fighters, barbarians, paladins and rangers.

Economy by sector:


Wheat 50 to 60 million
Potatoes 11.5 million
Barley and Rye 16 million
Peas and Beans 9.6 million
Oats 18 million
Almond and Sesame 21 million
Flax 20 million
Medicinal herbs and hemp 40 million
Fruit and vegetables 18 million

Total: 209 million

Husbandry and Fishing

Pork 12 million
Poultry and eggs (with geese) 7.15 million
Milk 23.2 million
Goats 27.2 million
Beef 40 million
Wool 102 million
Mutton 75 million
Horses 10 million
Fishing 70 million

Total: 366 million

Mining and Timber

Iron 25 million
Tin 6.6 million
Lead 6.9 million
Gold 9 million
Silver 21 million
Copper 9 million
Precious stones 1 million
Lumber 36 million

Total: 113.5 million

Manufacturing and Trade

Local trades 140 million

Land transportation 125 million
Shipping 20 million
Inns 100 million
Mills 12.5 million
Textile manufacture and sales 239 million
Minor guilds 30 million
Masons 20 million
Culinary 15 million
Specialized smiths 3 million
Printing 10 million
Medicine 10 million
Coliers 2 million
Woodworkers 58 million
Leatherwork 1 million
Beer 48 million
Cheese 45 million

Total: 878.5 million


Unskilled labor, rural 21.5 million

Unskilled labor, urban 20 million
Dockworkers 1.5 million
Banking and finance 100 million
Noble income 90 million
Religious services 35 million
Sages 10 million
Alchemists 10 million
Hedge wizards 10 million
Artists 10 million
Engineers 9 million
Legal 5 million
Soldiers (Royal, provincial and private) 40 million

Total: 342 million

Grand total: 1.909 billion


Local land fees and agistment 90 million

Hospital tax 3 million

Provincial taxes

Harvest 4 million
Lumber duty 7 million
Fishing licenses and ship licenses 3 million
Hospitality 5 million
Stamp tax 5 million
Fines 1 million

Total: 25 million

Royal taxes

Roads 18 million
Hospitality 25 million
Mining 18 million
Export duties 60 million
Fines and royal charters 1 million

Total: 112 million