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One of Waterdeep's many guilds is the Fellowship of Salters, Packers, and Joiners (listed in the introduction of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, p. 13). What is a joiner in this context?

Merriam-Webster defines a joiner as a craftsperson who joins pieces of wood. Wikipedia has an article on joiners in the same sense.

But Waterdeep already has several guilds related to building things out of wood. It stands to reason that joiners would have some sort of connection to salting and packing food.

Any D&D/Forgotten Realms source is acceptable.

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The 2e boxed set City of Splendors discusses the activities of this guild on page 43 of the second book, Who's Who in Waterdeep (it's #11 under "Roster of the Guilds"). It says, in part:

Salters, packers, and joiners are the professionals at preparing goods for shipping long distances. [...] Joiners make shipping crates out of finished lumber after the salters (who employ brine, salt, and many other preservatives, to protect perishable goods such as meat or fish) and packers have wrapped (in cotton, canvas, hide, or even clay, baked hard) and prepared goods for travel.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A little additional flavor. The act of 'joining' wood is making the edges straight and flat so that you can join two pieces together with no gaps between the boards. Additionally in mechanized wood working a joiner is a machine that performs this task. Traditionally a draw knife or a plane would be used. \$\endgroup\$
    – Arluin
    Jun 1 '20 at 23:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Traditionally, in RL societies of comparable technical level, salted fish and meat were not shipped in crates, but in casks, and there would be coopers taking the place of joiners in that list. But apparently in the FR they prefer square crates, in spite of serious problems with tightness that would cause---even with meticulous joinery, you cannot make a crate watertight like a barrel. Trying to do so anyway would call for truly expert joinery. So that's where joiners come in. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ralf B
    Jun 2 '20 at 0:12

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