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Celestia II

 
Momma was expecting you this evening. Others have already arrived. However, I'm sure that the meeting can wait under the circumstances.

Great, now I have to figure out what the tax is for entry into the city, lol. There was a gate tax in Amsterdam, like a toll, but I'm not sure of an appropriate conversion. Anybody have a good source for an appropriate gate tax?

I'll get the rest of the non-locals contacts pulled together tonight. I have errands to run in the afternoon and evening, so it'll be later tonight, but it'll probably get done.

It's probably best to send them to Blackbeam. Marden's Fight Ring, specifically Black Marden's Tavern, is located near the Northpoint Lock. Momma Toki has connections there. Black Marden is not to be confused with the infamous pirate who shares his name with the Black Marden Shipyards, though he himself profits by the name. It is unknown whether the name is the same by complete coincidence, or by some other mysterious connection, and Black Marden (of Blackbeam) is silent on the matter.

A few of my links on the clickable map of Blackbeam are not properly coded because I've been mucking about with that page. The links at the bottom of the page should all work.

I think Krellish would realize that if the ship is patroling, waiting til morning will give them time to report your disappearance and the direction you were heading. This would give the guard time to increase security at the main gate.

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Originally Posted by Wonder Woman View Post
I think Krellish would realize that if the ship is patroling, waiting til morning will give them time to report your disappearance and the direction you were heading. This would give the guard time to increase security at the main gate.
Yes, but do they allow people access at the gates at night? How much foot traffic is there in and out of the city? How close of a look could they have gotten at us?

If we truly want to be careful, we could wait more than one day. But I am presuming this is a large city with a lot of foot traffic, and that they have not gotten close enough to us for a good look. I am also presuming that a big honkin' swan boat will be more than a little conspicuous traveling the canals of the city.

If anyone has better ideas, I'm open to them. But if this is truly a major trading city, and if we go in small groups, I'm not sure how much more careful we can be. To analogize, one of the major issues relating to modern trade balancing against security needs is the issue of NAFTA and the borders (and separately, the issue of port security). If you search everything coming in, trade slows to a crawl. Depending on how things work in Fairhaven, I believe a similar analogy would apply.

The question also arises as to how paranoid they're going to be. A big boat with as many as 32 armed men on board is a security threat. Small groups coming in and out of the city? There's almost no way they can police that to any degree of granularity, not without very specific descriptions.

Nor should they be as concerned about it, IMO. Rogues and cutpurses and people up to no good are spawned within the city itself on a daily if not hourly basis. Outsiders coming in to do similar things, I imagine are not much cause to raise even an eyebrow. The bigger issue is organized military action, and I think the distinction is an important one.

Obviously, YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonder Woman View Post
Great, now I have to figure out what the tax is for entry into the city, lol. There was a gate tax in Amsterdam, like a toll, but I'm not sure of an appropriate conversion. Anybody have a good source for an appropriate gate tax?
In medieval times, my understanding is there were typically a few different kinds of taxes. Passage and pontage taxes were levied at gates and bridges for any travelers, and these were usually nominal.

For farmers and merchants bringing in wares, the wares were often taxed based on either value or weight, and this was a more significant tax.

There was also a stallage tax for merchants who rent stalls. That was often a daily, flat fee, but one of significance. There was less (or even no) tax on hawkers and traveling merchants, or on common areas without stalls such as farmers' markets.

Property taxes were typically levied quarterly, on people who owned or rented property within a city. And pasturage taxes were paid by farmers on a quarterly or annual basis.

There were also other taxes, such as poll taxes people paid simply for existing, and specific goods taxes such as the unpopular Gabelle tax on salt in France, but these were less common, IIRC. Typically, the taxes described in earlier paragraphs were among the medieval staples. You could also farm out tax duties to tax collectors, who were often hated due to their corruption. But again, that depended based upon the era. For a city like Fairhaven, which appears to be a relatively smooth bureaucracy, and is set up well for gate taxes, I think the traditional models should work reasonably well.

EDIT: Regarding amounts of the taxes, levies on goods should probably be anywhere from 10-20% (I think by value is more appropriate, generally, than by weight, you could even have bonded "appraisers" that work for the government trying to value the goods, and if people disagree with the assessment, no one's forcing them to enter the city). The gate tax should definitely be less (perhaps significantly less) than what you set for a day's wage for an unskilled or semi-skilled laborer, and the benchmark for thirty days worth of gate tax should probably be somewhere close to the monthly cost of a poor room within the town (moving higher or lower based on whether or not there is a labor shortage within town). Stallage can be a more significant flat fee, representing perhaps as much as 10-20% of what an average merchant might stand to make during a day's work. Property tax, I think you've addressed in an earlier post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headhoncho View Post
The question also arises as to how paranoid they're going to be. A big boat with as many as 32 armed men on board is a security threat. Small groups coming in and out of the city? There's almost no way they can police that to any degree of granularity, not without very specific descriptions.
Another possible formulation in their minds could be, "Hey, we just intercepted and chased off an unknown ship of strange origin, which then sailed back out to sea and fled. Yay us! Now give us medals."

I think we have enough duration to "beat feet" out to sea, and then double-back later to the village (or the other side of the city) once we're significantly out of eyeshot to do the dropoff.

Just a note, from the first thread for the non-locals:

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You've been told, however, that there is reason to believe that Brotherhood spies are watching the docks of Fairhaven as well. More conventional means of travel might alert them to the Fellowship's plans, in the unlikely event that your identies have been compromised.
Not that there's much you can do about it.

My errands took longer than expected, and I have to run my husband dinner at work as he got stuck on the overnight on a double shift, so not much is going to happen tonight.

I am almost done with contacts. Two more to write up. Lenna's is done, I just have to clean it up and post it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headhoncho View Post
I think we have enough duration to "beat feet" out to sea, and then double-back later to the village (or the other side of the city) once we're significantly out of eyeshot to do the dropoff.
This. This is a very good idea...assuming we get the chance to double-back before daylight. Otherwise, I think we may just have to chance it on the docks as planned.

Looking forward to "meeting" my contact!





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