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Is Boldhome Overpopulated?


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10 minutes ago, Jeff said:

The cult also sponsors gladiatorial games as a form of human sacrifice. That is permissible to the Red Emperor (particularly the current Mask).

Do the gladiators help the crops grow or is the mystic power used in some other way?

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The Lunar Empire has, somewhere, an entire town of vampires. It's mentioned as one of the really Chaotic places in the Guide chapter on the Heartlands. Some of the vampires are used as the Red Emperor

If you want to trade anything from the Oslira watershed to Kethaela, you have precisely three options: 1. Shipping it via Bagnot or Dunstop to Queen's Post, then across the Dragonspines to Rich Pos

Also, I've been doing a lot of reading into settlement patterns in the Ancient World. 20%+ urbanisation happened in quite a few places, particularly along the Silk Road during the Hellenistic period.

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10 hours ago, Eff said:

(Sixthly, and conspiratorially, you curse your bloodline with limited fertility to restrict the extent to which the royal family can grow. Not that Sartar would do such a thing.)

The problem with that theory is that Sartar's descendants all had a pretty decent number of kids. Of the ones who weren't assassinated young, the majority of them had 2-4 kids. Sartar's bloodline has never had any serious problem with fertility, they've mostly had problems with getting assassinated by Lunars (and sometimes Esrolians).

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54 minutes ago, Leingod said:

The problem with that theory is that Sartar's descendants all had a pretty decent number of kids. Of the ones who weren't assassinated young, the majority of them had 2-4 kids. Sartar's bloodline has never had any serious problem with fertility, they've mostly had problems with getting assassinated by Lunars (and sometimes Esrolians).

If every Sartar descendant has an average of three children, across, let's conservatively say five generations, there should be about 3,000 descendants of Sartar hanging around by the modern day. An average of two children does produce 486, a number just sufficient to make three or four modern survivors plausible. (An average of four children produces 12,500 modern descendants. And really we should be looking at 110 years as five and a half generations...)

Now, normally, the claim would go extinct for most of these descendants, but the precedent of Temertain, Kallyr, and Argrath shows that distant descent still produces a valid claim. We might well argue, too, that Sartar's descendants might only intermarry with higher nobility, but that also doesn't seem to be the case. The numbers are strange, because free interfertility is something that's practiced by the Sartar royal lineage, but the (prospective range of) numbers remain small enough that assassins can credibly wipe them all out. 

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12 hours ago, Stephen L said:

It doesn't seem unbelievable.  Given the small size of almost all the cities (only Alda-Chur and Boldhome are above 2000), distinguishing between rural and urban population is meaningless.  At 2000, everyone in the city *could* till the fields, or herd cattle.  They just happen to have homes behind nice walls.  So the only question is really Boldhome, and that's only 11,000.

Boldhome has the dwarf-build pockets, cliffside-houses cut out of the rock of the mountains, without any provisions for gardening or keeping some husbandry. These also have some water management, both for fresh water and drainage of water. (Not designed for night-soil, except where there may be public lavatories - dwarves probably collect the "solids" for their alchemical production of black powder.)

In contrast, there are the tribal manors, small "palaces" which serve to store some of the tribal wealth and produce in the capital, supported by herds on high pastures reachable by the back path that winds its way through the Quivin Peaks to High Wyrm, and by some nearby pastures for hay making in the valley of Boldhome. In between there are the much more ordinary urban areas with multi-storied houses with inner courts where some husbandry is kept - pigs, fowl, donkeys or mules, possibly rabbits, doves or other such easily maintained source of beast protein.

I don't see much potential for fisheries, even though there are a few ponds and a major drainage outlet out of the high valley. Perhaps enough to keep the palace in fresh fish, but that's about it.

Boldhome is a very high place, which limits local gardening to either making use of the equivalent of orangeries (potted orchards brought inside through Dark and Storm Season) or to hardier produce only. No alleyway orange trees up here, unlike in (parts of) Kethaela.

Transporting meat into the city is fairly easy - it is driven there on its own legs, mainly, possibly carrying some other produce in the process.

 

12 hours ago, Stephen L said:

I don't have the Guide (I'm waiting until I feel rich), but I vaguely remember that Sartar Kingdom of Heroes was roughly consistent with the population figures for Sartar in the Genertela book from RQiii.

So is the Guide - Old Sartar and the Far Place together equal the numbers in the Genertela Box or the numbers in "Gloranthan Military Experience", the latter without accounting for minority ethnicities other than different species.

 

12 hours ago, Stephen L said:

There are 10,000 Ducks in Dragon Pass (according to Genertela book from RQiii).  Any idea how are they distributed?

As a working assumption, I assumed 1/3 near the marsh/Lismelder lands, 1/3 in beast valley and 1/3 distributed throughout Sartar.  Obviously this fluctuated in the Duck Hunt, as a good proportion of the distributed either get killed, or flee to the marsh/beast valley, before some fraction cautiously return.

The majority of the ducks live in the wetlands around the confluence of the Stream and the current coming through the Upland Marsh. I think that your figure for "distributed throughout Sartar" is way too high. Hamlets like Drakemere (in Pegasus Plateau The Rattling Wind) are rather uncommon, and even if there are occasionally one or two dozen ducks on a crannog in some less accessible wetland, I don't think they amount to one third of the total population. 

Any isolated population would have been easy prey for tax avoiders.

Ducks might be attracted by inns, as those places are slightly more tolerant of more alien visitors and occasional residents. Those ducks who act as factotum for moderately influential individuals like Gringle may be part of Jonathan Greenbeak's network of informers.

Currently, I would expect 8 out of 10 Kerofinelan ducks to inhabit Duck Tribal lands (between the Lismelder lands, Locaem lands, Colymar lands and fuzzy towards the Marsh and Beast Valley), one in ten along the Creekstream and New River, and the rest distributed, either attached to some influential human or as small bands like Yozarian's or the Drakemere bunch.

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17 minutes ago, Eff said:

If every Sartar descendant has an average of three children, across, let's conservatively say five generations, there should be about 3,000 descendants of Sartar hanging around by the modern day. An average of two children does produce 486, a number just sufficient to make three or four modern survivors plausible. (An average of four children produces 12,500 modern descendants. And really we should be looking at 110 years as five and a half generations...)

Now, normally, the claim would go extinct for most of these descendants, but the precedent of Temertain, Kallyr, and Argrath shows that distant descent still produces a valid claim. We might well argue, too, that Sartar's descendants might only intermarry with higher nobility, but that also doesn't seem to be the case. The numbers are strange, because free interfertility is something that's practiced by the Sartar royal lineage, but the (prospective range of) numbers remain small enough that assassins can credibly wipe them all out. 

And assassins did wipe most of the claimants out. All of the descendants of Tarkalor (which would represent the main lineage of the family) were killed. It was bad enough that the only adult family member able to claim the throne after Terasarin's death was a second cousin through a lesser wife (that would be Salinarg). It was so bad that when the Colymar went hunting for an heir in 1613, the only one they could find was another second cousin of Salinarg's.

By 1625, there are only a handful of descendants alive. Two of those known are Kallyr (grandfather was the brother of Prince Jarosar), and Argrath (great-great-grandmother was the sister of Prince Jarolar). These are slender reeds indeed, but are enough for the magic to work.

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12 minutes ago, Joerg said:

(Not designed for night-soil, except where there may be public lavatories - dwarves probably collect the "solids" for their alchemical production of black powder.)

No, for parquetry. At least there are some highly trained dwarves who practice this esteemed art, as long as they have the right diet (lots of roughage).

 

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There is a bronze age example of high population density - Tenochtitlan in pre-Spanish Mexico. 

Central America had a high population density because they had a great climate. Although Sartar does not have such a benign climate, its easy to see how Gloranthan magic could make up the difference.

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35 minutes ago, Eff said:

If every Sartar descendant has an average of three children, across, let's conservatively say five generations, there should be about 3,000 descendants of Sartar hanging around by the modern day. An average of two children does produce 486, a number just sufficient to make three or four modern survivors plausible. (An average of four children produces 12,500 modern descendants. And really we should be looking at 110 years as five and a half generations...)

One third of the acknowledged descendants of Sartar are reckoned as descendants of the Feathered Horse Queen. This means grazers. Inkarne also has claim to descent from Hon-eel via Moirades, so defining her as House Sartar is a bit difficult.

Tarkalor's son Saraskos had two recognized children who were treated like potential heirs of Sartar and assassinated, along with Terasarin's children. It isn't clear whether the Lunars persecuted Onelisin's lineage, although that may have explained the destruction of Argrath's homestead prior to his exile.

For some reason, the Helkos Brothers were spared in those assassinations when their wives (daughters of Terasarin) were not, even though another Telmori-born spawn was regognized as legitimate heir-in-waiting for the throne of Sartar (before dying heroically with his Household of Death).

By-blows from harvest rites should be common - Garrath for instance should have a pair of twins in the Garhound clan which is about to come of age by the time he liberates Pavis. Given his childhood experiences, it is possible that he has given them some Black Fang observers to avoid a fate similar to that of his parents before leaving on board of the Cradle.

35 minutes ago, Eff said:

Now, normally, the claim would go extinct for most of these descendants, but the precedent of Temertain, Kallyr, and Argrath shows that distant descent still produces a valid claim.

Eonistaran is the only by-blow of Sartar who is known to have received acknowledgement as a member of the royal house, and his children grew up as companions of Saronil's children. Eonistaran may have overseen Tarkalor's port project in Karse.

The Lunars may have been aided in their war of assassination against the House of Sartar by people in House Norinel in Kethaela, who may have sought retaliation for some of the assassinations against their house in the wake of the death of Sarotar, and also as a move to keep the majority of the Pelorian trade in Nochet.

 

35 minutes ago, Eff said:

We might well argue, too, that Sartar's descendants might only intermarry with higher nobility, but that also doesn't seem to be the case.

Saronil took his wives from Shaker's Temple. Tarkalor's dalliance with his cousin, the third Feathered Horse Queen, preceded him inheriting the principality by about 20 years. Terasarin's daughters had married their Telmori bodyguard cousins, and Salinarg's wife probably was a bodyguard before, too.

 

35 minutes ago, Eff said:

The numbers are strange, because free interfertility is something that's practiced by the Sartar royal lineage, but the (prospective range of) numbers remain small enough that assassins can credibly wipe them all out. 

The question is how much these lineages were acknowledged and pensioned.

 

35 minutes ago, MOB said:

No, for parquetry. At least there are some highly trained dwarves who practice this esteemed art, as long as they have the right diet (lots of roughage).

 

Yes, but the juices you get during processing...

Given the known recipe for Mostali food, there should be a high mineral content in Mostali droppings anyway. But let's not get too deep into these gritty details.

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35 minutes ago, EricW said:

There is a bronze age example of high population density - Tenochtitlan in pre-Spanish Mexico. 

More neolithic, I guess.

Tenochtitlan had the lake, and lake-based horticulture, which provided short travel times and enabled bulk transport.

35 minutes ago, EricW said:

Central America had a high population density because they had a great climate.

Also great crop cultivates and probably an expertise in soil improvement. Water management was too advanced for their own good, though.

35 minutes ago, EricW said:

Although Sartar does not have such a benign climate, its easy to see how Gloranthan magic could make up the difference.

I didn't know about Toena Valley, but from previous discussions with Jeff I knew that Killard Vale is a very productive place for agriculture. Fertility magic certainly plays a role, but mobility magic of the royal highways may play the greater role in keeping Boldhome's granaries stocked with grain.

In an earlier post, Jeff discussed how Earth Temples would hold agricultural lands and sort of lease those to the clans inhabiting those regions, some of that in a tenant relationship. I wonder how much of that is true for Killard Vale. Where are the local major earth temples?

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1 hour ago, Eff said:

The numbers are strange, because free interfertility is something that's practiced by the Sartar royal lineage, but the (prospective range of) numbers remain small enough that assassins can credibly wipe them all out. 

Clearly you underestimate the efficiency of the Blue Army's Assassins. Which is cool by us. Please, carry on doing that.

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2 hours ago, Eff said:

If every Sartar descendant has an average of three children, across, let's conservatively say five generations, there should be about 3,000 descendants of Sartar hanging around by the modern day. An average of two children does produce 486, a number just sufficient to make three or four modern survivors plausible. (An average of four children produces 12,500 modern descendants. And really we should be looking at 110 years as five and a half generations...)

Now, normally, the claim would go extinct for most of these descendants, but the precedent of Temertain, Kallyr, and Argrath shows that distant descent still produces a valid claim. We might well argue, too, that Sartar's descendants might only intermarry with higher nobility, but that also doesn't seem to be the case. The numbers are strange, because free interfertility is something that's practiced by the Sartar royal lineage, but the (prospective range of) numbers remain small enough that assassins can credibly wipe them all out. 

Maybe, as we are in a magical world, being a parent of Sartar is not enough to claim to be heir of Sartar. You may give some magical abilities, your blood / soul / runes / something may have some distinctive characteristic proving not only you are from Sartar's family but also you have a part of Sartar's power.

Doesn't mean you will be a good king. Doesn't mean you will be automatically king. Just you have some "qualification".

such qualification could be identified by divinitation or other magic purpose, and could be also be more or less given by preconception ritual (like ernalda blessing) to guarantee the king that his son will be king candidate too

So you can find 10000 Sartar's family people but only 4 or 5 or 10 able to claim what it is needed (after the assassins job).

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On 1/6/2021 at 9:34 PM, Eff said:

If every Sartar descendant has an average of three children, across, let's conservatively say five generations, there should be about 3,000 descendants of Sartar hanging around by the modern day. An average of two children does produce 486, a number just sufficient to make three or four modern survivors plausible. (An average of four children produces 12,500 modern descendants. And really we should be looking at 110 years as five and a half generations...). 

By 1453 the House of Osman, the founding dynasty of the Ottomans, had precisely two remaining members left. This despite previous generations of Osmans having multiple wives and concubines bearing children. One of them was Mehmet II, the soon-to-be Conquering Sultan, and the other was his distant cousin, Prince Orhan, who lived in comfortable detention in Constantinople (the Ottomans paid the Romans an annual subsidy to keep Orhan safely out of the way). But when Mehmet took Constantinople in May 1453, he took off Orhan's head. That left him the sole surviving member of the House of Osman.

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On 1/5/2021 at 11:40 AM, Akhôrahil said:

Transporting foodstuff using animals that in turn eat foodstuff very quickly becomes impractical, for instance.

Easy solution - Use zombie animals.

 

On 1/6/2021 at 7:40 AM, John Biles said:
On 1/6/2021 at 7:29 AM, Jeff said:

The cult also sponsors gladiatorial games as a form of human sacrifice. That is permissible to the Red Emperor (particularly the current Mask).

Do the gladiators help the crops grow or is the mystic power used in some other way?

In my Glorantha they take the blood-soaked sand from the arena and spread it on the fields. The sand contains the mana produced by the sacrificial combat.

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23 hours ago, MOB said:

In 1453 the House of Osman, the founding dynasty of the Ottomans, had precisely two remaining members left. This despite previous generations of Osmans having multiple wives and concubines bearing children. One of them was Mehmet II, the soon-to-be Conquering Sultan, and the other was his distant cousin, Prince Orhan, who lived in comfortable detention in Constantinople (the Ottomans paid the Romans an annual subsidy to keep Orhan safely out of the way). But when Mehmet took Constantinople in May 1553, he took off Orhan's head. That left him the sole surviving member of the House of Osman.

I have a theory that the lack of Osman heirs had something to do with the heirs killing all potential rivals once they ascended to the throne

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7 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

I have a theory that the lack of Osman heirs had something to do with the heirs killing all potential rivals once they ascended to the throne

Yeah, kill your siblings was the name of the game.

Royal trees can be weird.  One generation - goatloads of kids, another, everyone dies out.

Henry VII's descendents still sit on the English throne, but his immediate heir, Henry VIII, had 3 kids by 6 wives and they all died without kids.

 

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13 hours ago, coffeemancer said:

I have a theory that the lack of Osman heirs had something to do with the heirs killing all potential rivals once they ascended to the throne

Meanwhile, in the Byzantine empire, it was usually enough to maim them (slit nostrils was popular) and pack them off to a monastery.

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On 1/6/2021 at 12:03 PM, Jeff said:

And assassins did wipe most of the claimants out. All of the descendants of Tarkalor (which would represent the main lineage of the family) were killed. It was bad enough that the only adult family member able to claim the throne after Terasarin's death was a second cousin through a lesser wife (that would be Salinarg). It was so bad that when the Colymar went hunting for an heir in 1613, the only one they could find was another second cousin of Salinarg's.

By 1625, there are only a handful of descendants alive. Two of those known are Kallyr (grandfather was the brother of Prince Jarosar), and Argrath (great-great-grandmother was the sister of Prince Jarolar). These are slender reeds indeed, but are enough for the magic to work.

 

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Blinding and castration was also popular.

As much fun as discussing how the Byzantines and Ottomans dealt with royal claimants, we've gone far off topic. 

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When comparing Glorantha statistics with the real world, I think it's worth remembering how smaller Glorantha is.

If you want to rebuild Glorantha to make it completely consistant with real world examples, I think you'd end up with a very different world, with less different cultures.

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