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It is medieval times, and mythical creatures aren't so mythical. About half of all mountain lions are griffins, which use their wings to glide over rough terrain. Dragons dwell on mountain peaks, or in deep caves. (There are sea serpents,but they are very rare, so they don't really matter). And thunderbirds ride in on oncoming storms.

Dragons feed off of pretty much anything, and they range far and wide. Their body is anywhere from the size of a komodo dragon to a buffalo (not counting their tails and wings).

My previous question about thunderbirds.

My previous question about griffins.

enter image description here

Note - The areas that are shaded are not part of any country for a variety of reasons. Travel through the shaded swamp is impossible. The outlined areas are the different countries. The entire map is about the size of North America, and I haven't gotten around to cities yet. (Forgive the messiness of the shading and lines, I did it on my iPad.)

Given that these creatures exist in a medieval setting, how would trade between the countries above be affected?

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Well, if they had tame dragons they could speed up travel so increase trade speed and make much quicker cross ocean travel. Otherwise I can't see how trade would be affected. The human traders would travel in large groups and some would probably be armed in dangerous areas such as mountains anyway in case of bandits or mountain lions. These groups would be large enough to scare off or drive off griffins. The traders wouldn't be stupid enough to travel through storms and if they did go through a storm the weather would be more dangerous than thunderbirds.The dragons would be the only threat and trade routes would go around areas they live/hunt in although if these are mountain peaks people wouldn't cross it anyway but would go around..

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  • $\begingroup$ This isn't really related but I am curious, do they have tamed dragons in your world? $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Feb 5 '16 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ I don't know, I've been contemplating. They don't have tamed thunderbirds, they have the occasional griffin, and while Pegasi and Unicorns are rare horse breeds, rich people can afford them. Although they're just as dirty as any other animal. So if you see one in nature, don't expect it to have a beautiful pristine white coat. But, to answer your question again, people can probably tame dragons, but it is taking a wild, dangerous creature, like a panther. (It is more deadly, but also less inclined to violence.) So you'd better start off with an egg. And if you can get an egg, well, you're $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 6 '16 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ either an awesome theif or you've slain a dragon. Probably the latter. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Feb 6 '16 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon Thanks for the answer, in that case I would say no effect to trade. $\endgroup$ – Bellerophon Feb 6 '16 at 19:05
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Trade would be the same as through any wild lands.

Trade caravans would include a contingent of guards that are trained to deal (or gained experience dealing) with the local fauna. The creatures would likely learn to avoid humans after a few encounters. As the humans advance and build kingdoms then hunting parties would likely be paid to clear out dangerous creatures and open additional trading routes.

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I don't see trade been affected been affected that much. In our world stories of monsters abounded. Locations were monsters are believed to live or hunt were marked on maps ( here be dragons). People Crossing long stretches of territory would avoid these areas. In your world the same thing happens only the monsters are real.

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As people would already be aware of the creatures, they would pretty much be aware and also, would have designed tech or strategies for dealing (and/or) combating with them too.

For example, dragons exist in the Harry Potter world, and they are portrayed as dangerous as they are, in most other classics and mythological works. However, the people there have learnt to tame them, and some, in fact, learnt to use them for regular purposes. For example, the owls and birds for mail, etc.

So, they wouldn't affect trade as much as we would expect. These would be my reasons why:

  • As cited in the Harry Potter example, people would know how to tame them. In fact, people might also use them to help with trading. More like security. What's more powerful than having a dragon standing as security for your trade ship (if he's trained enough not to set the ship on fire, of course)
  • If they can't be trained, then people would definitely design trade routes which are less vulnerable to attacks from the wild beasts
  • Design security/weapons which help them secure the trade routes from the beasts. More like border security check posts

Having said that, I would still argue that people would be able to tame them, and in fact, train them to make trade easier and faster.

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