Worldbuilding Day 8: Economics and Politics

10 Jan

We are getting into the nitty gritty, folks. This is another section where I should probably look at the whole world, but to start I’m going to focus mostly on Kedron and Bellador.

Today’s exercise is all about economics and politics. Click the link for more information, because they give a really good explanation. Economics and politics can seem big and scary and might make you run for the hills thinking, “But I chose English, I didn’t major in either of those things!” Don’t stress! As the webpage says, economics is just “who has what, who needs what, how to get it there.” Politics is basically just figuring out who gets to decide what’s needed and figures out how to get it.

Okay, so it still isn’t that simple. How do you know which countries have what, anyway? Here’s a resource you might find useful. The CIA World Factbook lists all of the natural resources that each country produces. If your world or country is similar to a real one, you can match up their resources. If not, this should still give you a lot of inspiration for things to include in your own world. (Pro tip: click on the countries’ names and go to “economy” for a more in-depth view. You’ll be able to find agriculture, imports, and exports, which should help you fill out this list.) The exercise mentions to include “magical” resources too if your plot calls for it.

Kedron:
Produces: fish and seafood, salt, timber, sandstone, olives, grapes, wine, barley, fruits, small wild game, access to Sarians, knowledge of magic
Needs: arable land, additional food, spices, metal, weapons, cloth

Bellador:
Produces: arable land, wheat, cereals, vegetables, apples, sheep, cattle, dairy products, iron, nickel, cobalt, cloth, weaponry
Needs: spices, timber, paper, fruits, salt, knowledge of magic

The countries do not currently trade with each other, despite it being mutually beneficial, due to the embargoes Bellador has placed upon Kedron. This makes Kedron unable to trade with anyone, and they are dependent upon their own resources, many of which are quickly running out. If they were to choose to, both countries have well-maintained road networks throughout (dirt, for the most part, though some in Kedron are paved with sandstone blocks in major cities). The Black River is not so mighty that it can’t be crossed; small boats could easily manage, and could act as easy transport up and down the river. In some areas, it would also be possible to build bridges.

Perhaps the richest resource is Kedron’s access to the Sarians. After word of this gets out, other countries will be scrambling to get close to the Sarians themselves; it is already a source of contention within Kedron itself. People want to harness the Sarians’ fabled power and use it for themselves.

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