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I'm creating a realm where materials, food, etc are created through a magic artifact, transforming a specific type of sand. Magic is limited and a Wizard can't create flying or moving objects. The realm doesn't have combustion nor electricity and humans are the only "living" entities. Sort of a purgatory, to make it simpler.

The way I designed it, transportation is a major problem, as there are no horses, but that is fine, I will have to work around it. However, I want to speculate about alternative means of transport that could work in this realm. Two come to my mind:

  • Bikes, but a good and lasting bike would be expensive because of the materials, and specialized assembling expertise. That will be a fancy rich object, not common on roads and cities.

  • Minecart of sorts, but I can't find realiable sources on how those worked (lots of Minecraft articles though...).

What other logistics could be used to transport people and stuff?

I'm trying to check if I'm not ignoring something that could be a major transportation means between cities and I'm looking for efficient ways to move people inside cities.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by sphennings, Andon, RonJohn, CaM, Vincent Mar 14 '18 at 17:15

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Please be aware that "Crazy ideas are welcome" and "I'm looking for a cool way to <do stuff>" read like invitations for calling this an "opinion-based" question and voting to close it as such. "Cool" is a very subjective criterion and answers can't be meanngfully rated by the community as we don't know what you think is "cool". What are your objective criteria for differentiating between "acceptable" and "good" answers? Like if I said a skateboard and another person said to use other humans and put them in front of a cart - which idea would be better and why? $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Mar 14 '18 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ Very fair, I'll edit it. $\endgroup$ – Silva Filho Mar 14 '18 at 15:55
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    $\begingroup$ Is this a world where magic actually is a thing? Like there are wizards who make food? Is this an actual purgatory, meaning people remember horses and wagons from before? $\endgroup$ – CaM Mar 14 '18 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ No living organisms? What about food? Or, you know, oxygen? $\endgroup$ – nzaman Mar 14 '18 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ @CaM, yes, they remember. Magic is very specific. There is no powerf wizard who can create fire or lightining. Creation of foods and materials is the most "physical" magic, using an artifact and a specific type of sand. There are 3 more magic artifacts: 1) enables ressurection to the current plane (spirits can be destroyed); 2) show glimpses of past life memories, in a very clear way; 3) searches for spirits in the surroundings. Nothing more than these effects. $\endgroup$ – Silva Filho Mar 14 '18 at 16:05
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Run on roads.

http://cuzcoeats.com/chasquis-communication-incas-time/ chasqui runner

http://www.perusupportgroup.org.uk/article-485.html

“The Chasqui played a fundamental role in the Inca Empire. They formed the empire’s communication system, racing up and down mountains at amazing speeds, in order to deliver important messages. Teams of Chasquis could transport a message as far as 200 miles in a single day. Chasqui hopefuls underwent a fierce selection process but only the fittest and most able would go on to become legendary messengers

Humans are really fine distance runners. Probably only a horse can outlast a fit runner over a long stretch and even then it can be a contest. To maximize speed, you want roads. The Inca did not have wheels or horses but they did have excellent and long spanning roads which were a key part of holding their huge empire together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inca_road_system

Roads were used mostly by humans on foot because except for llamas that is what there was. No vehicles. No wheels. The chasquis are the coolest because they were the fastest but you can bet there would also be some big slow guys toting bales along.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good one, I'm actually using something similar, but I didn't know this source. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Silva Filho Mar 14 '18 at 17:08
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Looking into it even a little bit, the terrain of your realm is going to make a big difference. After the Roman Empire, paved roads were uncommon in European cities until the 1700's. This slowed down transportation a lot. What roads were built were built by serfs, with rocks, as a kind of tax. However, the fastest and most preferred way to get anywhere was by boat on navigable rivers and canals.

So the first question is, does your realm have the clay to make pavers, the rocks to use as pavers, or any navigable water?

After deciding what your terrain will be like, then decide what will be appropriate for it. If people are transporting sand across sand, then sledges will probably be easier than wheels, since they aren't as likely to sink into the sand. If they are transporting things over pavers, then handcarts would probably be the norm. Over rough terrain that would break wheels or smaller loads within cities, you'd need porters. And if you have any navigable water, then ferries and barges would be used.

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  • $\begingroup$ Navigable water does exist, but I hadn't thought of it that way. I'm going to think this over. Great answer! $\endgroup$ – Silva Filho Mar 14 '18 at 16:37
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You could use handcarts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handcar They can be either powered by hand using mechanical means, or simply by humans pushing them.

You said this is sort of a purgatory. A slave-like class of people forced to push around others in their fancy, plush handcarts seems like purgatory to me.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just the type of thing I was looking for. I never saw one of these. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Silva Filho Mar 14 '18 at 16:36

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