Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chandler's Shop


I am posting these tables as I polish and complete them, which explains why I am not posting groups of them at one time.  This table was expanded from three items to ten in the last day or so, wanting the chandler to have something interesting to offer.  I think the most useful element for playing is the description of how long each candle will burn.  Different ratios have been offered for beeswax vs. tallow candles, as they do not burn at the same rate.

An exact time for the candle burning has not been included since a change in the atmosphere can shorten or lengthen the potential of the candle.  Consider that the candle is likely to gutter out within 30 minutes of the time specified, typically leaving up to 10% of the candle unused.  These leavings were carefully gathered by persons and reconstituted in more candles ... it's always a laugh when Hollywood depicts these churches with huge piles of untouched melted wax to indicate how old a church is.  The wax needed to lit a space was expensive ... unused wax was never left to remain once a candle finished burning.

I've included one scented candle, but like anything else there's a potential for making candles have the odor of sandlewood, cinnamon, lotus, lavender or any of a hundred other scents.  There's little sense to including all of them.  The same can be said of the scented soap.

The 'candlelighter' is a long wand which is used to light candles high upon an altar or even upon a street corner, in rare places that offered oil-fueled street lamps.  It requires that a taper be fitted into it for use.  Incidentally, not that I've previously demanded this in my world (but now that I've added the item, I will), it should require a taper to easily light a lantern.  Can you imagine trying to light a lantern with a torch?  I'm sure the situation is mostly overlooked.

The lamp oil on the list includes the cost and weight of the flask - the flask is an 8 oz. earthenware container.  The oil in my world is fashioned from a wide variety of sources, including natural oils, marine oil, vegetable oil and so on.  For game play, lamp oil is the traditional 'flask of oil,' which despite arguments that it couldn't possibly exist in a medieval setting, does exist in mine.

Tallow is sometimes available when wax candles or not.  In any event, a character choosing to make his or her own candles would ultimately be cheaper.  The chandler's pot is an earthenware vessel that can be placed in fire embers for melting and cooking the tallow, and is about 8 in. deep so as to allow candle dipping (provided a large candle is not required).  A larger pot is available at the blacksmith's.

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