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Old 07-24-2020, 09:39 AM
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Default Salt

We tend to take salt for granted these days. In fact, a lot of people try to avoid it for health reasons. But in a world without reliable refrigeration, salt is worth its weight in gold. I imagine that salt would take on a renewed importance in the T2kU.

In researching various T2k sourcebook projects, I've come across underground salt mines in Poland (does the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow get any references in canon?), Austria, and Romania (South Korea harvests sea salt).

These mines are mostly tourist/health destinations (the dry, salt-ionized air inside/near salt mines is thought to be good for respiratory ailments) these days, but I can see them being returned to operation during the Twilight War. Salting would become one of the most important ways to preserve food, especially ersatz military rations. And, underground salt mines could serve as ersatz bomb shelters as well.

What other resources that have lost their importance in the modern world would regain it in the T2kU?

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Old 07-24-2020, 01:19 PM
Lurken Lurken is online now
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I am in total agreement with you regarding salt.

I read a description of a possible community encounter in one of the polish salt mines, how refugees had sought refuge there and lived there now.

Tar and old time coaling (burning wood in controlled forms with little oxygen) would become important. Tar is useful in many forms. Excellent to waterproof stuff with.
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:54 PM
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Default Tar, Baby!

Quote:
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I read a description of a possible community encounter in one of the polish salt mines, how refugees had sought refuge there and lived there now.
Do you remember which module you read that in?

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Originally Posted by Lurken View Post
Tar is useful in many forms. Excellent to waterproof stuff with.
Good call!
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
In researching various T2k sourcebook projects, I've come across underground salt mines in Poland (does the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine near Krakow get any references in canon?), Austria, and Romania (South Korea harvests sea salt).
From the Free City of Krakow. From his description it sounds like it may be the encounter Lurken is thinking of.

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About 12 km south of Krakow are the rock salt mines of Wielczka. They are quite famous, dating back to the 10th century; before the war, they attracted 300,000 visitors a year.

The mines are a a labyrinth of galleries, corridors, and white rooms with gleaming walls of salt crystal. There are over 150 km of underground passageways, and three chapels, including the reknowned St. Anthony Chapel which was carved from a single block of rock salt in 1675.

The arched ceiling of the Crystal Cave (the largest single chamber in the mines) is over 80 meters high, with walls and vaults covered by rock salt garlands. Many rooms contain lakes of extremely concentrated salt water.

The surface village has largely been abandoned and its materials transported below the ground into the mines, where a large number of people now live. Tents and flimsy shanties have been erected in the vaults for some; others (mostly latecomers) sleep on blankets in vast, common barracks. Many of the inhabitants are local civilians and refugees who fled here during the early days of the war. A second wave arrived when the nuclear exchange began. A number of deserters and separated military personnel have gathered here as well. Rather than becoming marauders, these have seen the opportunity for establishing a secure, hidden refuge and joined the subterranean community as its ORMO. For added security, several concealed exits have been constructed, some at a considerable distance from the former village.

Food is a constant problem (as it is almost everywhere). Some is grown locally. Most is imported in merchant caravans, bought from surrounding communities in exchange for salt, firewood, lumber and primitive manufactured goods turned out with what remains of the mine's machine shops.

Because of the food problem, strangers are not welcomed to the underground community, and may be warned away from the mine entrance by rifle shots. Foraging parties may be en- countered at some distance from the village, and visitors with food to trade and news of the outside world will be admitted for a short time. People wishing to stay must demonstrate skills useful to the community, primarily farming, mechanical skills, hunting, distilling, and so on.
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Old 07-24-2020, 03:57 PM
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Thanks, Rainbow.

When I was in Krakov for a couple days back in '15, I had a choice between a guided tour of the salt mine and free time in the city. I chose the latter. I'm not sure if I regret that decision or not. The students I was chaperoning who went to the salt mines enjoyed it and took some spectacular pics there, but I enjoyed my alone time in the old city. Hey, I guess I have an excuse to go back someday!
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:48 PM
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I routinely go to Fair Harbor OH to the salt mine under Lake Erie. There is one in NY state too (under Lake Ontario?, or was it Lake Champlain?). Salt would be valuable enough to use as money (just like the Romans did).
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:53 PM
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I know we've had some side discussions about salt in other threads, so I went looking...
The following threads have some mention of either, usefulness of salt, salt production or salt mines etc. etc.
(Note that I have started adding the 'salt' tag to some of these threads as well, including this one.)

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....highlight=salt
https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....highlight=salt
https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....highlight=salt
https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....ht=salt&page=2
https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....highlight=salt
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
What other resources that have lost their importance in the modern world would regain it in the T2kU?
A few that come to mind:

Urine and pure (dog dung) for tanning (which also benefits from salt for curing the hides - there are other ways, but not as simple).

Bone and tortoise shell for various lightweight uses (buttons, combs, needles, etc).

Rendered beef or sheep's fat to make tallow for diverse uses such as candles, shaving soap, pemmican, or lubricating saw blades.
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Old 07-27-2020, 10:25 AM
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@SSC: Thanks for the links. I was pretty sure that this topic had come up before. I tend to like gathering discussions of a particular topic in one central location, to focus the discussion and for ease of reference.

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Urine and pure (dog dung) for tanning (which also benefits from salt for curing the hides - there are other ways, but not as simple).
Feces would also resume much of its traditional importance as fertilizer for agriculture. In the third world, it still used quite often (oftentimes predominantly) but in the first world, it was completely replaced by chemical fertilizers many decades ago). In the T2kU, those chemical fertilizers would no longer be available, and dung, animal and human, would become the go-to fertilizer.
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Old 07-27-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
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In the T2kU, those chemical fertilizers would no longer be available, and dung, animal and human, would become the go-to fertilizer.
The danger with using human dung for fertilizing is that it can easily taint the soil with various infectious bacteria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_soil
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Old 07-27-2020, 06:48 PM
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Don't forget that animal dung i.e. cattle & horses, was mixed with mud for making walls using the wattle & daub method.
I'm surmising that dung from these particular animals was used because it had a useful size but perhaps also because of it's fibrous nature (which would help bond the mud).
Dried cattle dung was also used for fuel for fires.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
Don't forget that animal dung i.e. cattle & horses, was mixed with mud for making walls using the wattle & daub method.
I'm surmising that dung from these particular animals was used because it had a useful size but perhaps also because of it's fibrous nature (which would help bond the mud).
Dried cattle dung was also used for fuel for fires.
Good calls!

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