Caravans are assemblies of merchants and thier means of transporting goods across vast distances. The responsible Outrageous Fences organizes the defense of its caravans with the Merchant Guard Companies.
Typical Products by RaceEdit
Different nations obviously bring different things to the trade table.
Dwarven caravans of any given dwarven nation will generally bring preserved meats, cavern fish/shellfish, and plump helmets along with a vast assortment of arms, gems, clothing and armor, and spare drink. They may also bring along crates of silk and pig tail cloth, animals such as giant emu in the case of Spearbreakers' home nation, and battleyaks. Upon request they may also bring wagonloads of ore, metals, and fungal wood. Leather is also a common good that often nets them huge profits.
Humans have a much greater variety of salted, smoked, and dried fish and meats, drink, and produce to sell as well as sugarcane sugar, cotton and ropereed fabric and thread, and arms often not available to dwarves, such as the feared morningstar and the flail. Like dwarves, leather is a major export and fuels thriving domestication and hunting industries in thier nations. While they bring a variety of attire and armor to sell as well, most is too large to properly fit a dwarf or elf, and is generally only bought by dwarves to be recycled. Often the most requested thing they get from dwarves and elves are metals and drinks.
Unlike dwarven merchants who have protection provided by thier monarchies, human merchants hire mercenaries to defend thiers.
Elves, Silver XelicsEdit
Similar to a human caravan but thier lack of metals means any arms and armor they sell are at best only stopgaps or training implements. They do however bring a very wide variety of produce and drink and can often be coaxed into bringing some of the most fearsome beasts in the Coastal Reaches to trade. It is noted that unless one has been otherwise respectful for long periods and been a good trading partner, they will refuse further trade if you so much as offer a suit of armor that happened to have a fancy wooden inlay in it or a few stray twigs and toothpicks stuck to it.
The elves living on the east coast of West Everoc do not protect thier caravans, but those living on the west coast and in the vast inlands, due to the dangers that exist there not present in the east, do provide state protection, such as it is.
Goblinoid (goblins, hobgoblins)Edit
Depending on the greenskin race, caravans may be anything from simple assortments of cloth and preserved meats sitting freely in bags on pack animals towagons laden with advanced metals and arms. Trade relations are bumpy with goblinoids, with goblins rarely ever being accepted in places outside thier control, while Hobgoblins are welcomed with open arms so long as they have goods to trade.
They do watch over thier caravans, if haphazardly, and those of the hobgoblins are not to be trifled with, lest you have thier disciplined militaries brought to bear against you before they deem you a worthy opponent.
They essentially mirror human caravans, with the difference in state sponsored protection as opposed to mercenaries. Some may opt to use the meat from thier leather industries explicitly for trade. They seem to have some kind of rivalry with elvish and dwarven merchants, preferring to make thier rounds of dwarven lands in spring and autumn. Thier caravans are often welcome because of the access to Rainbow metal they bring ( a sort of "heavy admantine" made from processed nervous tissue refined with light and natural magic.)