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  • Writer's pictureOwen

Under The Yoke Devlog 18: A journey through history

Greetings lords & ladies, walk with me for a while as we take another deep dive into history and see what we can take out for use in the medieval life-sim, Under The Yoke.


Travel in the medieval period is an interesting subject because, while it's echoes can still be felt today, it has changed so very much.

Let's start with the quality of the roads. Save for a few Roman roads which had survived into the medieval period, the quality of the roads was incredibly poor. Often travellers may even simply be unable to travel in the event of rain because the roads, being made up of well trodden footpaths, became too dangerous to use.

Irregular infrastructure was especially a concern to those bringing goods to and from towns as they may have struggled with tight footpaths. One could rely on the toll roads which were kept in some state of repair or local roads that had been maintained as part of week-work labour. In the event of a river crossing then a toll bridge would be your best option unless you wanted to risk getting wet (there’s no escaping the bridge toll even in the medieval period).

How does one navigate from one place to another then? People didn’t tend to roam too much and would often know their way around an area just from living there, though it wasn’t unheard of for lower classes, including peasants, to go on short pilgrimages such as to Canterbury for English peasants. Otherwise, one could rely on milestones on well worn paths or they would simply ask directions from one town to the next on the way to their destination. This is why roads in many English towns to this day are often named after the town that the road leads to.

What about the famed bandits and highwaymen of the day? Well, this was an obvious concern but perhaps not so bad as you’ve been led to believe, people mostly travelled in groups to avoid being accosted and carried walking sticks which could double as bludgeons as well as personal knives.

Under The Yoke

As Under The Yoke is a game about living as a medieval peasant here are a couple of extra things to consider, firstly if you are a serf you would need to get permission from the lord of the manor to leave the manor, though this was freely given unless there was a concern of escape.

Then, if you are travelling to market, how do you bring your goods to trade or bring goods purchased at market back? Once more, there are a number of options, you have you trusty old bag (need I say more?) or saddle bags if you have a beast of burden.

Then there are are hand-carts which are two wheeled carts which you drag behind you like a reverse wheel-barrow or the cart... cart, pulled by a beast of burden such as an ox, horse or donkey.

Currently, the travel system is instituted for taking goods to and from the local town, taking into consideration the speed and the carry weight from the various forms of equipment and animals but in the future it can and may be instituted for other travelling for either events or pilgrimages.

Phew, did you manage to keep up? Let’s regroup in a couple of weeks for another walk through history. Use the sign up form below to make sure you don’t miss it.

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