Chapter 41: Industrial revolution
12 April 1260
The last four months I've been very busy with my newly founded Floris Industries
. Last year, at the beginning of December, the war with the Khergit ended in a complete conquest of their territories and extermination of their faction. Pretty soon I though of starting my own businesses. I had traded before, but now I would also produce. I had started by building an ironworks in Khudan, which worked like a charm. Now I needed to expand further. First I would take over ventures in Hollandic cities, and then in the other factions of Calradia. I wouldn't only rule the lands, but also the industry. Only one question remained: what was a good industry to dominate the landscape with? I knew that whatever industry I'd start, I could build only one per city, and story 42 units of the raw materials in the inventory. Was the ironworks I had build in Khudan really a good choice? I looked at all of my options:Bread:
For 1500 denars I could buy a mill and bakery, to make bread from grain. Even though it's the cheapest initial investment, it's not really worth the trouble. 6 units of grain will be converted into 6 units of bread, so a full warehouse will last only 7 weeks. After that time the baker will search the local market for grain. Cheap grain can be bought for 20 denars per unit, but bread is mostly sold for 50 denars. Also the working crew costs 30 denars per week, giving a profit of 150 denars per week. Not only will the initial costs be earned in 10 weeks, the profit is so low that it's actually not worth the trouble.Ale:
A brewery seems to be a better investment than a bakery. Only 1 unit of grain is needed to produce 2 units of ale, which sell for 120 each. The workforce costs 50 denars per week. That means the profit is 170 per week, and the stock can hold out for 42 weeks. This seems a lot better than producing bread. The only downside is the initial building costs: 2500 denars, which will take 15 weeks to earn back.Leather:
A tannery has one of the highest build costs: 8000 denars. The workers cost 50 denars per week, and they convert 3 units of hides, which you can get for 90 each, into 3 units of leather, which sell for 220 denars. That's a profit of 340 per week. A lot better than the previous two, although the stock only lasts for 14 weeks. The big downside are the buildcosts, which take 24 weeks to pay back for.Wine:
wine presses cost 5000 denars to build, and the men stamping those grapes cost 60 denars per week. Grapes can be bought for as low as 90 denars each, while wine mostly sells for 220 each. Of course this can be raised in certain cities to be over 300 denars, but for my analysis I'm using the averages. The workers use 4 units of grapes to produce 2 units of wine. That's a profit of 20 per week. If build in a profitable city it can be raised to 180 per week. The inventory will be out of stock in 10 weeks, while earning the initial investment costs 28 weeks in a profitable city and 250 weeks in an average one.Oil:
An olive press is cheaper than a wine press, costing only 4500 denars. The workforce is more expensive: 80 denars per week. And even though oil sells for a nice 450 denars per unit, there is a large catch: you need 6 units of olives, which you can buy for 120 denars each, to produce 2 units of oil. In 7 weeks you'll be out of stock, and the profit is only 100 per week. It would take 45 weeks to make earn your investment back.Tool:
Tools seem to be very profitable. Not only has an ironworks a very low buildcost of 3500 denars, they also use 2 units of iron, which you can buy for around 100 denars each, to produce 2 units of tools, which sell for 410 each. The workers are cheap too: only 60 denars per week. That means a profit of 560 per week, allowing you to earn your investment back in only 7 weeks. And another bright side: the stock will run out in only 21 weeks.Velvet:
The trade good that is most expensive to buy, selling for 1025 each. Is it worth the trouble? You'd need 2 units of raw silk, costing 600 denars each, and one unit of dyes, which can be obtained for as low as 150 denars, to produce 2 units of velvet. This means the supply lasts for 14 weeks. The workforce is expensive, costing 160 denars per week. A profit of 540 per week can be obtained, which sounds pretty nice. But the initial buildcosts of the weavery and dyeworks are 10,000 denars: it would take 19 weeks before you'd earned that back.Wool Cloth & Line:
Both the production of Wool Cloth and Line is very similar. Both use a weavery, which has a buildcost of 6000 denars; both use a similar workforce costing 120 denars per week; both use 2 units of raw materials to produce 2 units of the end product, meaning the supply can last for 21 weeks; both sell on the market for 250 denars each. The only difference is in the raw materials: obtained at the right place, you can get flax for 40 denars each, and wool for 50. Wool cloth thus gives a profit of 280 denars per week, meaning the investment will be earned back in 22 weeks, while Linen gives a profit of 300 denars per week, earning back the buildcosts in 20 weeks.
It seemed to me that I had made the right choice. The iron needed to produce the tools could be obtained mainly in Ahmerrad, Dhirim and Curaw in only a week, while it would last for 5 months. I made up my mind: I would slowly build ironworks in all the Hollandic cities. The black smoke from the chimneys would blacken the sky, and the industrial output would be enormous. This will be a revolution. An industrial revolution.The chimneys from the ironworks of Khudan blacken the sky. This will lure workers from far away, showing them that there's work available in town, while creating a really good profit for my treasury.
I set out to start the revolution in all of my eastern cities. Rivacheg, Curaw, Ichamur and Tulga: I bought land in them all, and ordered some very good smiths to start building foundries over there, while I was out in the field collecting very cheap iron. For that I had to travel mainly between the cities of Curaw, Dhirim and Ahmerrad, although some nearby villages also provided me with good and cheap iron. Each ironworks took a week to complete, but collecting such large amounts of iron took a little more time. It wasn't until 10 January 1260 that I finally finished my rounds and my tool industry in my homeland was finally at full capacity.
After I put the last iron in the warehouse of the ironworks of Tulga, I looked to the west. There were two of my cities too, but they were far away. I would pass a lot of other cities on the way, and if I expanded my ventures to there, others might easily copy it. Hadn't they always copied my style? When I decided to let my men wear the colours of my banner, others followed. And when I stopped doing that, the rest followed too. Who said they wouldn't set up an industry in their cities too? I needed to be the first, to get the best fruits. So I decided to expand my business beyond my territory, to turn my industry into a multinational corporation. The first steps were easy: Narra and Reyvadin were pretty close, along with Dhirim and Halmar: those four were the first foreign cities in which I founded foundries. But unfortunately it took me quite some time to get enough iron to make all those foundries fully operational. It took till today, 12 April 1260, to get the industry at its full capacity. I think I need to look for alternatives for the rest of Calradia, since more ironworks foundries won't get their full operational status with the current production of iron.Thanks to Floris Industries my weekly budget flourishes like never before.
While I rode from city to city to gather iron for my industry, some interesting developments happened in the international politics. Sultan Hakim of the Sarranid Empire recognised my might, and shocked by my swift conquest of the Khergits, he twice offered me a 30-day nonaggression pact. Both times I accepted, which improved our standing considerably. Also both the Sarranids and the Nords fought fiercely against the Rhodoks, pushing them back little by little. Even though they fought independently, it wouldn't surprise me if they had made an arrangement. Hakim is quite a smart diplomatic ruler. I think I'll start my new branch of industry in his sultanate.
I'm pro tools! Not only seem they to be the most profitable business venture, but also I started last month to work at the tool department of the local hardware store, also the uncle of my grandmother founded one of the largest tool rentals of the Netherlands.
Here is a picture of Floris' current stats:
The Rhodoks have been pushed back, losing Praven to the Nords and another castle to the Sarranids.