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Keymonus

[OL-FB] Ice in the New World

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Posted (edited)

Breshaun, Le Bellan, August 622

Imagine you are an Oleander nobleman in Breshaun or a rich Eslandolan merchant in Weelond. You are having breakfast, and you would like a croissant or some butter on a slice of bread... but cows don't fare well in the tropical weather of the colonies, and the little imported butter is often almost rancid. You have lunch, and your servants couldn't find anywhere the seafood you wanted; still better than a few weeks before, when the Count's buffet ended up in a massive food poisoning. Soon it will be dinner time, but drinking anything colder than the temperature of your wine cellar is out of the question. Life in the colonies can be so unfair!

But now, thanks to Rimbaud Shipping Enterprises, things are going to change! Fresh butter every time you want it, fish as good as in the moment it was caught, cold drinks in front of the tropical Sea of Storms are just a few doubloons far!

Breshaun ice trade

Initially, the idea was considered halfway between clever, and absolutely foolish. Ice in Altonia is almost worthless, especially in winter; instead, there is no ice in the New World, so a seller could set any price. On paper, it would make sense, apart from the thousands of miles between Altonia and Breshaun.
However, if you are brave enough to fill a ship with blocks of Altonian ice, pack them with sawdust, and sail South as fast as you can, you would arrive in Breshaun with almost two-thirds of the initial cargo.

Breshaun ice trade

A ship used to transport ice requires more maintenance, and sailing during winter in the rough Altonian sea can be extremely dangerous, but the reward of a successful voyage is high. What in Altonia is worth a few silver guldens -the pay of the cutters and the cost of the transport- in Breshaun can easily be converted into a little chest of golden doubloons!
The captains of the winter ships soon discovered that they could also make a fine extra profit by transporting perishable goods in the hold: deer meat, barrels of butter, or cheese would, in fact, arrive in Breashaun almost as they left the port of Ulrich.

Breshaun ice trade

A little amount of ice is not unloaded from the ship: it will keep the hold cold enough to deliver some fresh products- mainly tropical fruit- to the motherland. Pineapples and bananas started to appear more often on the tables of Oleander nobles, even if they are still considered expensive luxury foods.

Breshaun ice trade

The Ice Queen has just arrived in the port of Breshaun. With several tons of ice and a dozen barrels of butter, her voyage could be considered a success… provided that the goods didn’t melt in a few hours! The precious ice cargo melting on the piers would be a terrible sight for the captain!
Breshaun ice trade

A few icehouses were therefore built in Breshaun harbor. These warehouses are built below the ground level and allow safe storage of ice and imported goods. At the same time, they offer the opportunity to preserve fresh fish, meat, and seafood for a longer time.

Breshaun ice trade

——————————————————

The ice trade from Ulrich to Breshaun is organized and controlled by the Rimbaud Shipping Enterprises. The Rimbauds, as several minor families of the little Oleander nobility, invested their money in the New World, while the most important families remained more focused on their crops and estates in the motherland. The flow of gold and silver arriving from the colonies is now shifting the balance of power among the Oleander noblemen, with the most conservative families remaining behind.

Breshaun ice trade

On the ground floor of Breshaun offices, the representatives of Rimbaud Shipping Company organize all the steps of the ice trade, from the cutting on Altonian lakes to the maintenance of the icehouses. Ice, however, is only one of the activities of the Company: gunpowder and silver on Ile de Zeus, gold on El Oleonda, and soon copper on Ile Dionysus... all these activities require supplies, workers, armed guards, transport ships, and even the building of infrastructures. Stacks of letters and accounting books are therefore required to organize the net of activities and trade routes.

Breshaun ice trade

Here, a captain and a representative of the Company have just concluded a transport agreement for the next cargo of ice, that would be harvested in Altonia in a few months. This deserves a toast! 

Breshaun ice trade

On the upper floor, the director's office is far more comfortable. The most important agreements are discussed there, and the most important letters are written there. The destiny of whole fleets, and of hundreds of doubloons, is decided in this office. However, at this very moment, the director is relaxing for a while, enjoying a cold dessert prepared with fruit, sugar, and, obviously ice... one of the advantages of his position!

Breshaun ice trade

 

Spoiler

Another angle of the office:
Breshaun ice trade

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The other building dominating that area of the port is one of Breshaun commodity markets. Sometimes cargoes are delivered on commission but, more often, they are simply transported to the settlement and sold to the highest bidder. This process practically defines the price of any commodity in Breshaun and, as a consequence, in the whole Empire: wood and copper, silver and wine, fruit and spices... any good can be bought or sold in the largest settlement of the New World!

Breshaun ice trade

The cargoes are sold with an auction system. The merchants should theoretically sit on the planks and place their bids with calm and order, but this is rarely the case. More often the buyers stand immediately in front of the auctioneer -where some of the goods are exposed- and yell their offers. Dozens of pieces of paper, where the merchants scribble numbers and calculations, must be collected every day from the mosaic floor! 

Breshaun ice trade

 

Spoiler

Additional pictures:

Breshaun ice trade

 

Breshaun ice trade

Upstairs, additional agreements are signed between merchants and captains. Not all of them are completely legal... in some cases, they involve trading with Lotii merchants, smuggling in Terraversan settlements, or delivering goods to pirate settlements. However, as an ancient proverb says, gold never stinks!

Breshaun ice trade

 

Spoiler

Breshaun ice trade

Additional pictures:

A fortune teller, reading cards in an alley.
Breshaun ice trade

 

Overall view:

Breshaun ice trade

 

Without the ship:

Breshaun ice trade

 

The Ice Queen:

Breshaun ice trade

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Writing the story took longer than expected, but I didn't want to lose the selected pictures.
I had planned something similar years ago when I launched a (completely unsuccessful) minichallenge on the ice trade (The Ice King). I'm very happy with the result, even if some parts of the ship are still a little too blocky; I wanted to add sails too, but the masts are not stable enough.

I tried to depict Breshaun as more "civilized" than other settlements I built into, with people wearing modern clothes (including servants wearing a livery), elegant musketeers instead of the usual bluecoats, and decorated buildings.

About ice trade: I introduced it in a rich and important settlement, but I don't want to expand it too much. I think that ice as an expensive commodity for the richest, some expensive tropical fruit for the motherland, and similar things are perfectly fine in our time frame, while an era of refrigerated food and massive transoceanic trade of fresh goods is not.

I hope you like the result!

Edited by Keymonus

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Awesome story in pictures - the brick-built ship looks great! Ice is a great idea and really well executed. The interior scenes look realistic - nice work.

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Great diorama and photo story! A shipping company building, an ice house and a mansion. In addition, a ship that is just delivering a new load of ice.

 

Is your story based on Frederic Tudor?

Frederic Tudo, Boston's "Ice King"

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Hey man ! You're foolish !

Do you realize how hard it is to leave a comment for such  a story and for all thoses pictures !!!

Do you think it's an easy job ?!

For instance take those deserved 👍👍

But you will hear from me, I'm not done with you.

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Very original concept and great execution!

Spent a good 10 minutes admiring this build on flickr when you first posted it :)

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Amazing docks, and great story!

 

Honestly the ice trade is such a forgotten thing it's really cool to see it make an appearance here! 

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Very good ideas beautifully put to bricks! The different angles are all worth watching. So much activity! 

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Ah, I love this idea and you've done a great job doing it justice - and then you've packed so much into such a small space!  Great storytelling and idea, I'd love to see this expanded on even more! :excited:

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Thank you all, guys! This was an ideas I had a long time ago, but I could never turn it into bricks before! The 2x1 trans clear bricks, in particular, did their job quite well!

On 8/19/2022 at 10:32 PM, NOD said:

Great diorama and photo story! A shipping company building, an ice house and a mansion. In addition, a ship that is just delivering a new load of ice.

Is your story based on Frederic Tudor?

Frederic Tudo, Boston's "Ice King"

Thank you! Yes, my ice trade is loosely based on Tudor’s activities. In our world, without an “American” continent discovered (yet?), ice comes from our equivalent of Northern Europe.

On 8/20/2022 at 4:20 PM, Captain Braunsfeld said:

Fine scene and fine photography. 

I like that ice story. Maybe it will lead to banana ice cream in Pontelli :pir-laugh:

Thanks… and never say never! BTW, if you want to do it yourself, the trade route is open and Nellissa is not that far! :pir_tong2:


I think I will license the whole scene as large commerce build.

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