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scott-martin

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For modern demographers, areas with population density below 6 per square mile are considered "frontiers," approximating wilderness. This is not a rare phenomenon on 21st Century Earth: Navajo territory and parts of Maine USA only push the upper limit, and we find even fewer humans stretched across relatively inhospitable or remote areas from Namibia to Greenland.

In your travels, as you identify territories in 17th Century Genertela in particular where the math works out especially lonely, please let me know here. As a rough rule of thumb, 6 residents per square mile translates into a per-hex population of 130, so a 100-hex "frontier" could support maybe 13,000 people and feel as empty as Namibia, Navajo country or the forest of inland Maine.

Again, I am not nitpicking or challenging the numbers. I am simply looking for the wildest corners the inner world has to offer. After all, depending on how the population is distributed, even high gross densities can feel extremely remote -- the modern Black Forest here on Earth manages to support nearly 1 million people across the equivalent of 73 Gloranthan hexes (570 per square mile, equivalent to modern Maryland) and you could trek a long time there without meeting anyone but ancestors and other spirit neighbors.
 

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Test case: Silver Shadow is an easy enough benchmark since it's a perfect ring around the Crater extending as far as north Raibanth roughly 3.5 hexes (17.5 miles) away. We know the Crater radius is 12.5 miles so the total this-world land area is roughly 2335 square miles. Between the cities, the rural population is about twice as dense as the modern Peloponnese -- not exactly a lonely land, but we should expect nothing less within walking distance of such a vast concentration of wealth. Not Lonely.

The Hungry Plateau, on the other hand, gives 36,000 sable riders 86-7 hexes (about 1,900 square miles) to rove so this is a much wilder territory than the imperial heartland without being truly desolate. Presumably the graze is harsh but uniquely suited to the sable way of life, supporting 4X as many per square mile as modern Mongolia supports Mongolians. No wonder they're pleased with themselves! Not Lonely.

Edited by scott-martin
a little clarity
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Without crunching the numbers, I would start with the desolations - North Pent, the Copper Sands and similar regions of the former Genert's Garden, the marsh lands surrounding the Auloring tribes in Maniria, and the mostali-caused wasteland dumps south of Nida and north of Greatway.

There might be an explanation for the lack of such nowhere places - nobody is there to maintain them for the Compromise, so they ended up being folded away by the Compromise, possibly as Hidden Greens. After all, Glorantha is real where there are people maintaining their Sacred Time rites.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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20 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There might be an explanation for the lack of such nowhere places - nobody is there to maintain them for the Compromise, so they ended up being folded away by the Compromise, possibly as Hidden Greens. After all, Glorantha is real where there are people maintaining their Sacred Time rites.

Thanks! It's a complex challenge because many of the "blankest lands" are between maps and claimed territories . . . and so we'll only get a sense of how empty they are once all their neighbors are resolved. 

As for explanations, I have to admit wondering whether hexes actually get larger around the limits of the inner world, giving humans who wander to the edge more relativistic space. This may have something to do with why the most ancient Brithini are so small, but that's a crazy though so I prefer your view. The "inner world" may simply be where the Compromise has been knit most strongly by the weight of mortal lives.

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Oh, that stretching effect is one of my pet theories - irrelevantly materialistic, of course. I think that entering the Outer World makes everything larger than life, quite often including the adventurer who necessarily has to take on a heroic stature to survive out there.

Take the battle between the Luatha and the Vingkotlings during Orlanth's Lightbringers' Quest. There is nothing to indicate that the Vingkotlings were any less in stature than the Luathans they fought, yet those very same Luathans crewing a single ship turn out to be 5+ meter tall giants when preparing the Drowning of God Learner Seshnela.

I think that the denizens of the Outer World have a choice whether to maintain that heroic/demigod stature when entering the Inner World and whether not. Prince Snodal and the Altinelan Damosel of the Veil who brought Siglat to Fronela both appear to have been of normal human stature, and so was Siglat himself.

 

The Malkioni rarely exceed five foot height by much, except for their wizards (who often take to artificial height enhancers like tall hats and plateau soles). The Brithini would have the same size range, perhaps a bit less for lack of admixture of "eastern" (central Genertelan) humanity. I don't think that this has to do with any outer world proximity, though.

Humans of my height (almost 2m) are rare in Glorantha, apart from the Men-and-a-half. I would expect the occasional tall guys among the Storm worshipers, and maybe some volcano worshipers too.

 

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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We'll put those scaling theories to the test as we survey the edges. The territories at the limits of the inner world are an obvious place to look for wilderness since they tend to be (a) remote from conventional man rune fertility systems and (b) "open to expansion" along at least one border. For example, the mapped portion of North Pent (roughly defined as east of the Troll Marshes, west of Jankley Bore and north of the edge of the central Pentite plateau) might be about 3/4 of an AAA map or 130,000 square miles, so if we extend up another half-map (200 miles, 3-4 days' ride) north you get an overall density equivalent to the modern Yukon. Granted, most of the population will cluster as far south as they can (especially with the Hot Lake so close) and things are going to get very strange up there, but that's how adventuring sages earn their beards.

Even if human habitation in North Pent stops short at the AAA edge (unlikely given label placement), the place is more desolate than modern Alaska or Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Far East where the movie Dersu Uzala was set. That makes sense. It's harsh up there and normal man rune fertility magic hasn't gotten much of a toehold there . . . probably for various reasons.

Likewise, while most of the population of Eol probably stay as close to the Thunder Delta as they can, including a lot of the territory on AAA Map 8 ("Northern Erigia") gives them a whole lot of almost empty space to roam. As long as we can find them about 1/3 of a map (54,000 square miles) they're as lightly settled as modern Lapland. Admittedly there are still a lot more of them crammed into a smaller zone than we see across the White Sea, so clearly those people are "blessed" by their pacts with the Empire -- starting to suspect this is true in a lot of areas, with advances in trade and other magical technologies feeding population pressures that would be unsustainable in previous ages of the world or if those advances hit a hard wall called "hero wars." 

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The problem with population in the far north are the trolls. They will stray into the coastal areas of the White Sea and further south, from either side fo the delta, and cause your population numbers to vary greatly. I don't know what exactly to make of the Hollri, and I expect to find uncharted outer World folk like Altinae or Hrimthurs in the western parts.

Fishing will extend land use into sea hexes, which should be calculated into population densities IMO.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

uncharted outer World folk like Altinae or Hrimthurs in the western parts.

With six Dark Runes west of the Jankley Bore the troll population there may be drastically undercounted unless they were brought to the edge of extinction in one of those elder race wars, maybe payback over Lentasia . . . and as for eastern outer world folk, Dozaki-Koromondol inverts the human demographics with 4 out of 10 known uz on the lozenge packed into that strange corner of the world. Even the mountains feel crowded with hsun chen. Substantial herds of lo fak retreating to the Panj Mao in winter, flocks of wind children (a lot we have yet to discover about storm worship here), white tiger people, etc. 

Edited by scott-martin
elder genocide of northern pent
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I had a quick look at Spol. It has 100k population in approx.  158 185 hexes (tough rounding those whole hexes, particularly in the forests). 540 people per hex about four times more densely populated than your frontier-standard. If you discount the urban 18,000 then is it 443 people per hex.

Edited by Byll
Miscalculaed density
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Thank you! Agreed rounding those hexes is tricky . . . Spol may feel downright haunted compared to the Blue Moon Plateau, depending on whether we draw the line around the top elevation proper (which Guide 308 implies, 114 hexes) or assume that the troll territory includes the upland forest as well. (Sort of a dodgy proposition based on what we know about their appetites, but they probably don't have a lot of competition.) In the former scenario, the Plateau is almost as densely packed with uz (3300 per hex, averaging 1.5X the threshold for "urban center" on the maps) as modern Ireland or New Hampshire is with people, which is a nasty prospect.

Sure, a lot of them are going to be trollkin and mutants but even a wretched enlo is hungry and takes up D6+6 SIZ. What awful things are they all eating? 

Latter scenario gets them down to about 1260 trolls per de facto hex of territory, so either way they're a whole lot more successful up there than the gloomy Spolites. 

(The disappearance of Jarasan as anything but a word on the map is ominous. I hope it's an omission because I like bird people, but maybe those trolls got hungry.)
 

Edited by scott-martin
clarifying that New Hampshire is not actually full of trolls and that even enlo need enlo room
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