Gloomwrought is supposed to be this big center of trade and I just took it for granted. The problem is Gloomwrought isn’t at the center of any great trade nexus and the dead don’t produce much for exports.

As written, Gloomwrought’s major Houses are all mercantile, but the major players are shadar-kai…they’re immortality-chasing pleasure-seekers. They’re big spenders sure, but where does the money come from?

Ultimately, I thought of two things.

First, since shadar-kai like to live on the edge, they make natural explorers and thus, natural trade-route finders. These people have to call some port home, and that winds up being Gloomwrought.

It isn’t so much that Gloomwrought has stuff to sell, it’s that these risk-taking denizens bring a lot of wealth home. Naturally, bringing that wealth home makes the explorers and their families wealthy.

That wealth does actually attract other merchants and goods, who know a prime market when they see one: after all, these explorers might have made their money overseas, bit they’d probably rather spend it at home.

Now here’s the second idea: Gloomwrought is surrounded by a bog. Bogs are a great source of peat, which can be dried and used for fuel. It is explicitly stated that the bogs extend for miles inland: which means among other things there’s more likely a labor shortage than a fuel shortage.

But what would you want so much peat for, eh? How about street lighting, indoor heating, and large-scale, industrial mills and factories?

I mean, apart from the fact there is a great deal of water to provide power for watermills, there’s peat for furnaces and boilers. Lots of peat.

So, in addition to explorers, Gloomwrought’s primary exports could be manufactured goods. I’ll have to look into what sort of stuff lends itself well to simple manufacturing — but we might well have an industrial revolution on our hands.

The conditions are just about right. All there needs to be is a demand for goods, and a shortage of labor — now where am I going to get a high enough demand for goods that I can justify an industrial revolution?

Oh, here’s a thought: take the already pleasure-seeking shadar-kai people and introduce the drow culture’s inter-house competition for ‘most decadent and deadly.’

That’s practically enough for a new renaissance, if nothing else. Perhaps with some help pushing it in the right direction, all that money can go into industry instead of being squandered on the arts alone.

Church ceilings are great, mind. But you can go far with just the one — and Gloomwrought already has one, at that.

Actually it has a pool of blood that will being you to the brink of death and show you visions of things to come, but I can’t see how a ceiling could really improve upon that.

Now I just need to figure out how best to quantify this so I can account for it. I’m not really looking for exact numbers (as much fun as it might be), just ballpark figures.