[THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

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[THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi all, I'll now start a series of posts with the aim of highlighting and review the articles already appeared in Threshold magazine, starting from the beginning, issue 1.
The purpose of this is also to make an html version of each article, so that Shawn can easily upload them on the Vaults in the appropriate section (because so far the full issue is on the Vaults in pdf format, but not the individual articles). This way each article will appear, months after the publishing, also here on the Piazza and then in the Vaults.
Some could consider this too much but, as a thyatian would say "repetita juvant" (it helps to repeat things to better assimilate them). I think in fact that Threshold articles so far were so good that they deserve the maximum possible exposure and, speaking from personal experience, I know that sometimes you can find some things easier than others (for example it took me years to notice the existence of the Tomes of Mystara (http://pandius.com/tome/index.html) :-)
Beside that, I like to discuss the single articles with the community to better see how they could be used in play (and they can indeed provide plenty of adventures' seeds).
I'll begin with The Demography of Karameikos by Simone Neri (Zendrolion), splitting the discussion in parts because it's very long and each part deserves at least a brief comment!
First of all, the original article is in Threshold #1, that you can download here in pdf format, from page 6 to 36:
http://pandius.com/Threshold_1.pdf
The map that appears in the article is also bigger here:
http://pandius.com/Karameikos_8m_demog_DEF(2).PNG

(For Shawn, you can download an html version of the article for including it in the Vaults at a provisional link here: http://digilander.libero.it/Halag/Karam ... raphy.html)

In the following post I'll start reviewing and commenting!
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:23 pm

Ok we could make several interesting topics just from the first 5 paragraphs of this article:
- Low population Karameikos as presented in the Expert set never made any sense to me. Italians are obviously used to live in a country that has a quite high population density since the roman empire, so 250.000 inhabitants in almost 40.000 square miles always seemed ludicrous to me, considering that Traladara is an ancient nations near to other civilized nations, despite the humanoids and monsters. The figures of Zendrolion make much more sense, also considering as he said the cities populations. Personally I'd increase even more the numbers for demihumans and humanoids. My take on elves, for example, is that they cannot be considered hunter-gatherers with low populations, but an ancient civilization which, while living in balance with nature, must have in place quite advanced systems for food production. So my guess on Calaarii and Vyalia populations would be more like around 50.000 each. Same figure for gnomes and dwarves, that IMC have a society based on mining, manufacturing and trade and so theoretically could even be more numerous. The number of humanoids and other minor races too is much higher IMC, also because several areas that Zendrolion marked as borderlands in his map are true wilderness in my Karameikos, i.e. devoid of human presence. The percentage of territories "humanoid and monsters" control is more like 55% of the total nation, and their numbers are more like 500.000 than 40.000. I'll delve in population details later, but my assumption here is that, as the humanoids and other races mostly live in the same territories since centuries, side by side with elves, gnomes and humans, it should be assumed that they have at least some horticulture, pastoralism and trade to support their populations. It's absurd to think that they only live on hunting, gathering and raiding, IMHO.
Ok that said, how this would apply to actual play? :)
I indeed chose this approach long ago because I think it creates a more interesting setting: PCs who enter the wilderlands enter dangerous territories that can be survived only with stealth and cunning, not by brute force. Also it creates more opportunities for roleplay, where each borderland community will have its own strategies for survival.

Karameikos adventure idea 1 - Population explosions
- Let's say in your campaign you have a low population Karameikos, nevertheless during the years single populations could increase for several reasons:
An explosion of the human population could be simply due to a better organization of the central government, with safer roads and more trade. The first consequence of that would be the government wishing to settle more lands, particularly those now belonging to humanoids. The first step would be to send explorers to evaluate the numbers, the strenght and the weakness of humanoids. The second step would be war. But what if the government has severely underestimate the actual numbers of humanoids, or what if they have some powerful help, like Argos in the Dymrak woods?
- The Alfheim emigration after WotI would create an elven population explosion, and that too could create a lot of conflicts with humanoids, and a lot of work for adventurers.
- What if a numerous cabal of entropic clerics decide to supply an humanoid population of reliable clerical magic, with create food, water and healing? That would cause a humanoid population explosion pretty fast. What if a wise humanoid leader organize his or her people and decide to create an humanoid nation (as Dhrom Dhum in my article in the same issue 1)? What if a humanoid nation decides to trade extensively with humans? What if 10.000 goblin warriors out of the blue lay siege to Kelvin?

Karameikos adventure idea 2 - Humans-monsters relations
- Some borderland communities could be in constant war with local humanoids, but what if some aren't? A community could have an agreement with local humanoids. A classic dark agreement, as we'll give you travellers if you let us alone, or maybe just a grey agreement, we'll sell you weapons if you let us alone, or even a "white" agreement, we cooperate against worse monsters. Obviously PCs could happen creating any sort of misinterpretation and mayhem..

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Maladax » Wed Nov 05, 2014 4:11 pm

This is a great idea, Sturm!

There have been many great articles published in Threshold that deserve more attention and discussion.

I guess that's the disadvantage of the magazine format: everybody just reads and digests the massive pile of information in each issue, but there's no "natural" starting point for discussion, unlike when stuff is published as message board topics. Also, each issue has brought us so much good stuff that some interesting articles are bound get buried under the general awesomeness.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:52 pm

Indeed, these articles deserve a proper thread.

Continuing from Land Control, well Zendrolion's map here: http://pandius.com/Karameikos_8m_demog_DEF(2).PNG gives humans a bit more land control than I gave them in my 3.2 mph map here: http://pandius.com/kara1020.html, discussed at lenght in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7731&hilit=+karameikos+developing
Main difference are:
- The Radlebb plain for me is full in humanoids control, and the road is quite dangerous.
- Also the Dymrak plain and the interior of the Vorloi/Dmitrov Peninsula (has it another name?) are complete wilderlands, inhabited by fairies, dragons, undead and werecreatures
- Almost all the Dymrak woods is the dominion of Argos and his goblins.
So my Karameikos, even if more populated, still has a lot of wild areas (i.e. not inhabited by humans, but by other races).

About the number of villages, there could be much more than those shown on my 3.2 mph map. For example here in Italy, even in medieval time, there were few areas without at least a tiny hamlet every 2 or 3 km.
I think in the high density areas a village should be present every 1 mile
one every 3.2 miles in average and low density area (and probably also not-human communities in demihumans-humanoids areas)
one every 8 miles in low dentity areas.
opinions?

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:32 pm

Proposed table for Random generation of a Karameikan village:
- Roll 1d6 for the internal mood:
1) Very bad. People in the village are very unhappy, scared and/or there is an internal feud
2-3) Moderately bad, as above but without bloodshed, so far.
4-5) Normal, the village is placid and there are not serious problem, for now.
6) Very good, people are happy, friendly and united, rulers are fair.
- If previous roll is 1-3, roll 1d4 for human relations:
1) Thyatians and traladarans are at daggers drawn here, blood has been spilled or is about to be.
2) Thyatians and traladarans hate each others, scuffles are commonplace
3) Thyatians and traladarans tolerate each other well for now
4) The two people are fully integrated in this village.
- Roll 1d4 for humanoids relations (that could apply regardless of the internal mood, but obviously a bad mood will complicate things much):
1) Humanoids raid the outskirts of the village often
2) Humanoids aren't attacking now but the village fear they soon will
3) The villagers appease the humanoids somehow (paying tributes, trading or in worse ways)
4) The village is on peaceful terms with local humanoids
- Roll 1d4 for other nearby monsters (regardless of internal mood):
1) Many and dangerous, threaten the very existence of the village
2) Some monsters nearby, roads are often unsafe.
3) Rare monsters sightings, creating more curiosity than fear
4) No monsters in the nearby area, or only peaceful creatures
- Another possible 1d4 roll for xenophobia:
From 1, Severe xenophobia, other races could be killed on sight to 4, some villagers aren't human and well integrated.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Hugin » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:35 pm

Sturm wrote:Proposed table for Random generation of a Karameikan village:
Very cool! I may actually use this in my game soon.

:idea: You could have regional modifiers to those rolls as well.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:29 pm

Yes, sure, I'd give a -1 to human relations in the west, and maybe a +1 along the eastern road.
Also a -1 to humanoids relations could apply in the Dymrak area and the Radlebb plain, while the Cruth hills could have a +1 as local ogres and hill giants shouldn't be too aggressive, at least IMC.
Also a -1 to the nearby monsters roll could be applied to borderlands probably.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:39 pm

Populations and races
As I said, my take on Karameikos population it to have it even more numerous than in Zendrolion's article, which already has more population than canon products. That's because, comparing Karameikos to medieval Italy, an area of roughly the same size had more than 3 millions inhabitants, even during plagues and famine (now it has 20 millions). If Karameikos has a total population (between humans and not) of just 1 million and half, it still has less than half the density of medieval Italy.
So my estimation of the total human population in Karameikos would be around 700,000, of which 490,000 traladarans (70%, higher percentage than Zendrolion's), 105,000 thyatians (15% same as Zendrolion's), 84,000 "karameikans" of mixed descent (12%, less than Zendrolion's), 21.000 foreigners of various nations, mostly darokians and ylari, minrothaddans and ierendians, more than Zendrolion's, also counting thyatians of the Empire but not halfling of the Five Shires which are counted below among the halflings.
Also around 5,000 alphatians could be added after WotI and the founding of Krakatos magical school (more on this later).
Around 5,000 nomadic Darine (http://pandius.com/darine.html) could be added if used in the campaign.
Elves, 100,000 at least (250,000 with Alfheim immigrants after WotI)
Gnomes 50,000
Dwarves 20,000
Halflings 10,000
So the humans and demihumans should number over 835.000 (995,000 after the Alfheim immigration and WotI)
To some these figures could seem too high, but consider that 5,000 is just the population of a modern small town and we're speaking of people spread in vast areas. Next, I'll continue with more comments on the above populations.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by agathokles » Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:29 pm

On the other hand, Karameikos is hardly comparable with medieval Italy, as it is more inspired by Eastern Europe (with a dash of Plantagenet England, IMO).

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:31 am

Still Zendrolion wrote Balkans had 23 people per square miles at the time and that would be more than 900.000 inhabitants for Karameikos.
Anyway that's mostly a matter of personal preference, for example IMC the area was temperate before the Great Rain of Fire (as I use the Hollow World boxed set precataclysmic map) and had several previous civilizations, making it comparable to Greece or Italy, areas inhabited since old times and therefore with established communities, trade and a considerable population density.
Also I do not consider humanoids simply hunter-gatherers/raiders but also pastoralist, miners, horticulturalist, i.e. having a complex society able to sustain large populations.
I'll go into details about my ideas on Karameikos populations in the next post, with some more adventure ideas!

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:09 pm

About Thyatians and Traladarans, I toned down the percentage of new "Karameikans" because I think 30 years, or even 50 (or 120 if we consider the initial thyatian colonization) are not enough for the mixed population to reach 18%. 12% seems already quite high to me.
IMC the racial hatred has been quite toned down by the marginalization of thyatian extremist and by the recent politic of King Stephan, roughly as it happened in the almanacs. Yet "freedom fighters" may still exist in the borderlands.
IMC Karameikos also became more and more cosmopolitan with the arrival of alphatians, the founding of Krakatos magical school, the arrival of alfheimers and more trade from Sind, Yavdlom, Kastelios in Davania. I imagine Specularum's port as quite an exotic place where it's common to see any foreigner, including pearl islanders, atruaghin, sindhians, people of the Savage Coast, rakasta, lupins, tortles and other strange people.
Darines could also be a source of land trade from Sind, Slagovich and the Savage Coast, through the Five Shires or the Duke's road and Darokin.

Karameikos adventure idea 3 - Trade wars
All this could create much adventure when the Crown itself (or Queen Olivia, or Prince Valen), thyatian and traladaran noble families and powerful merchants, locals and foreigners, compete to monopolize new trade routes and exotic merchandise from faraway place. That could be a long city adventure/campaign where the PCs have to stop foreign agents, persuade trade partners and probably avoid too much bloodshed, in order to stay out of jail.
Piracy and smuggling, theft in rival houses and assassinations could well fit into such a campaign arc.

Karameikos adventure idea 4 - After King Stephan
By 1020 AC, Stephan is already 72 years old. it would be safe to assume he received some alphatian longevity potions from Terari, but he could die for several reason, like thyatian (or others) assassination. Bruce Heard already imagined here: http://pandius.com/wfac1018.html a difficult succession after him and indeed anything could happen to the young kingdom after his death, as any parties could decide to fight for the kingdom's future:
- Karameikan party: I think Adriana will try to keep the kingdom unite and maintain friendship with the alphatians. I think that Justin and Valen will eventually rally behind her, as many dominion rulers and ministers.
- Thyatian party: Desmond Kelvin II could try to claim the kingdom with Thyatian backing, and with the support of many lesser thyatian nobles, the order of the Griffon and part of the Church of Karameikos.
- Traladaran party: Traladaran nobles, mostly Magda Marilenev if still alive, could try to reclaim the kingdom with the aid of several freedom fighters like Andros Marilenev (http://pandius.com/andros.html), Achelos (http://pandius.com/westkara.html) and Gentleman Jehann (http://pandius.com/infvill.html). Some humanoid tribes (like Dhroom Dhum, also in issue #1 of Threshold), the Church of Nyx (see Mirror of Eternal Night in issue #1 too), Halag, Sulescu, Dmitrov and Rugalov could or couldn't side with them, depening on the circumstances.
- Black party: The Dark Triad, the church of Thanatos, Korizsegy and other vampires, several humanoid tribes, Argos and the goblin of the Dymrak woods, The Black Eagle and the Iron Ring could all fit into this party.
- "Grey" party: Some humanoid tribes, like the one of Dhroom Dhum, and the Church of Nyx could fit into this category. They aren't really evil as they just want independence, but will be probably perceived as evil by most humans.
- Many other players could obviously intervene in such a struggle for a party or another, as foreign nations, giants and fairies, druids, elves, gnomes and dwarves, alfheimers, alphatians, wizards in general, churches, guilds, adding layers and layers of complications :-)

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by agathokles » Wed Nov 12, 2014 3:57 pm

Note though that some "New Karameikans" might have been already there due to the fact that Traladara was a province of the Empire of Thyatis for quite some time.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:21 pm

Sure, still 18% seems a bit too much to me.. anyway there also could be a difference between "old thyatian-traladaran scions" (born between 900 and 970 AC) and their sons, and new karameikans (born after 970 AC). The former could have been segregated from both groups, thus forming their own communities, while the later could be much more involved in the New Kingdom and loyal to the King..

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:46 am

Elves of Karameikos
Zendrolion has less than 19.000 elves in Karameikos, to me 100.000 is a low estimate, considering they control relevant territories and are ancient populations. I see elves as an advanced civilization that carefully protect forest and knows how to obtain from it a great number of products for consumption and trade, therefore being able of sustaining even larger populations.
Callarii lands
I'd give Callarii, whose number I estimate over 55.000, slight less lands in the western Radlebb woods, a land dominated by undeads, but slightly more in the west. In their lands a large number of fairy folks, over a thousand, should also inhabit. Callarii lands are surrounded by troublesome people. The West is inhabited by undead and monsters, the South borders bugbears and hobgoblins tribes, the East is under constant harassment by dragon and goblins of the Dymrak woods. The less dangerous border is the northern one, where hill giants and ogres are quite peaceful and gnolls and goblins are too weak to really menace elven lands. Zendrolion also gives Callarii some territories near Highforge but that would me gnomish and dwarvish territory to me, even if I guess there could be some elves too, as relations with gnomes and dwarves should be good.
The central part of Callarii lands is indeed the most safe, as is the safe the road that cross their territories. After the arrival of alfheimers during the Wrath of the Immortal several things change.
I think that topic deserves another thread entirely, but for the part that affects Callarii, I put Chossum elves south of them, as I thought Chossum would want to be near a trading road.
I put Feadil west of Callarii lands, near to the undead lands, because them, being strong in clerical magic, were best equipped to deal with such creatures.. that, and the fact that IMC Koriszegy has been killed, as greatly reduced the menace of the western Radlebb woods.. yet part of it is still called the Night Land, and inhabited by dangerous unholy creatures.. (mostly dark fairies and undead).

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Zendrolion » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:23 pm

Hi, just dropping here some quick answers about Sturm's excellent review of my demography article - good to see it contributed to start some discussion! ;)

First of all, the assumption behind my demographic articles is that the Mystara setting can be described taking the real world as a reference, but there are many differences. Regarding population densities, one important thing has to be said: Mystara has a lot more dangers than an ordinary Middle Age setting - I mean monsters most of all, not humanoids who could be considered akin to the "barbarian" peoples of our world, but creatures like dragons, griffons, dangerous beasts, and the like. This, IMO, means basically one thing: civilized areas in Mystara are more or less like their equivalent real world counterpart, but borderlands and willderness areas instead tend to be more dangerous than the ordinary borderland or wilderness of our medieval world.

That said, the comparison between our Middle Age Balkans and Karameikos should be taken with caution, at least.

Second, I have preserved the (Traladaran : Halfblood : Thyatian) ratio found in the PWAs (and, IIRC, in GAZ1 also). Perhaps it would have been better to lower the halfblood population, percentage, but, as agathokles pointed out, the Traladaran borderland could have been the destination of Thyatian immigration for the past one century or two (or even more), considering that the amount of uncontrolled lands and the vicinity to the Thyatian mainland would have made it an ideal place for pioneers from the lower classes moving away from an overcrowded land (especially small landowning families who lost their lands to the rising power of the great landowners); think about the things which made the American West desirable for the European immigrants (on a smaller scale, of course).

Third, about elven population, IMO the elves (not only the Karameikan ones) have a different relation with their surroundings than humans: they tend to have a very small population growth in normal situations (GAZ5 IIRC says there are 3-4 children of 0-3 years every 1,000 adults - against a number ten times or more as large for the humans), and their demograhics should not be centered on population growth - like that of humans and other races - but on preserving balance between population and nature (i.e. resources). I mean that IMO the elves do not tend to give birth to children only because there are available resources, since this type of mindset is alien to them.

So the elven population likely tends to stay the same during the centuries, given negligible grown but quite low mortality (at least for natural causes); while the human population tend to grow quite a much but with a higher mortality. Of course, depending on the time and region, some elven clans may be prone to produce more children, and the Callarii might be one of those, but also consider that a much higher number of elves would have wiped out some of the humanoids (like the Dymrak goblins, clustered between the Callarii and the Vyalia), and likely influenced the development of the human cultures much more than canon allows us to think.

Also, canonic population figures for Alfheim range from 75,000 (GAZ5) to 180,000 (TM2); such figures likely need some correction, but consider that the Callarii should have been only one clan (and also a minor one) among those that were part of Mealiden's migration. Such ratio should also be taken into account when determining the number of Callarii, because, as I pointed out above, the elven population should mostly stay the same, so the number of Callarii in BC 800 has to be compared to the overall number of elves who took part to the migration.

Lastly, regarding the territories inhabited by the Callarii, note that the wooded hills between the Windrush and Hillfollow rivers, south of Highforge, are said to be inhabited by the elves in GAZ1, so those woods should not be considered gnomish land. Note also that while the Callarii arrive in Traladara as soon as BC 800 (GAZ5 IMO takes precedence over GAZ1, which is quite generic about the Callarii's arrival), the gnomes arrive later, so the gnomes would have settled in the hills of Highforge to the north of the woods already inhabited by some Callarii clans.

That's all for the moment! ;)
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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:16 am

Thanks for the clarifications but as said I've almost an opposite idea regarding populations. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate your work, quite the contrary as it was fundamental to develop my ideas on population levels :)
Yet I think 55.000 Callarii aren't too much, considering the territory they control and the number of centuries they've lived in the area.. the more time a people live in a region, the more they'll develop complex food production systems and trade routes to thrive and grow, and IMHO that's true for elves as for anyone else. For the same reasons I give higher population numbers to humanoids.
Goblins and elves haven't destroyed each others because, IMC and IMO, for centuries they had an unspoken agreement to fight only low intensity skirmishes without too much bloodshed. That's changed in recent years however because of human intervention..
More on this in another post...

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:52 pm

Continuing on Zendrolion's article of issue#1, here in html: http://digilander.libero.it/Halag/Karam ... raphy.html
The Vyalia are estimated as 7.500 in his work but I'd rather go to 50.000.
I suppose the eastern Vyalia, i.e. those not living in Thyatis, are the most reserved ones and have good relations mostly with the Vyalia of Thyatis and Haven, even if they should have some trade with Rugalov too.
North of Haven there are orcs, and the valley of the Rugalov is probably infested with the goblins of the Dymrak woods.. probably humans have done or are doing some colonization attempt in the area.. in the novel "Dark Knight of Karameikos" some human communities in the area are destroyed by orcs, but probably humans will try again :)
IMC the thyatian imperial territories north of Vyalia lands are inhabited by an ancient giant kingdom, with whom the elves have good relations.. but more on this later..
Last edited by Sturm on Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:27 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:04 pm

There are also two other elven communities, one is the village of Kota Hutan near to the Duke's road (it,s featured in the module B7, Rahasia, curiously the name seems to be indonesian for "urban forest" but the elves' culture seem more arabic.. as the module was written before Mystara existed I think any story about the origins of these elves can work).
The other are the Lindenelm elves of the Achelos woods, that I believe Zendrolion himself created from a PC in M5.
Both are very interesting communities to me but I'll again raise their numbers as 500 and 190 people are the brink of extinction. A durable and culturally distinct community cannot have less than 1.000 people, IMO, or will disappear from history in a few generations. That could be a longer time for elves, but still I'd like to have them a bit more numerous.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by agathokles » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:33 pm

Consider that the Lindenelm are, in the writeup we developed (Zendrolion devised them based on the M5 PC, I've added more background in Lords of the Cruth Lowlands), on the brink of extinction -- they are a remnant of the old clans aligned with Taymor sorcerer kings, and their population has been steadily dwindling in the last two millennia.

As to Kota-Hutan, Zendrolion likes to use all bits of "canon", but personally I think the vaguely oriental culture of Kota-Hutan (indonesian language -- "siswa" means "student" and "Rahasia" means "secret", fighting monks, etc) don't mesh well with the area, nor with the existing elven cultures. So, in my version of Mystara there is no Kota-Hutan.

GP

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:46 pm

Well indeed they do not mesh well, but personally I find it's fun to find some explanation for the weirder pieces of canon :)
Anyway RW can be weird too as there are plenty of ethnological isolated people with stange languages and so on...
They could be elves that come from somewhere else, maybe from some place where they were long in contact with ethengarians, ochaleans or similar people...

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by agathokles » Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:31 pm

Sturm wrote:Well indeed they do not mesh well, but personally I find it's fun to find some explanation for the weirder pieces of canon :)
Anyway RW can be weird too as there are plenty of ethnological isolated people with stange languages and so on...
They could be elves that come from somewhere else, maybe from some place where they were long in contact with ethengarians, ochaleans or similar people...
Sure, they could be*. They just do not IMC.

GP

* Although in Mystara Indonesian and related languages are employed for the Skotharian Rakasta...

P.S.: while there are many ethnologically isolated people, few of them live in a village along a major trade route on the other side of an ocean from the nearest related language, who happens to be spoken by a completely unrelated species... ;-)

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:21 pm

Well even if me too link the south-eastern asian cultures to skotharian rakasta, I'd use them also for Ochalea, Yasuko tribal lands and several other places between Skothar, Brun and Davania, so not so far away IMC. Anyway that's just because I try to fit everything in my mystara.. I think the patchwork of cultures is very mystaran :)

Back to the article, regarding Gnomes and Dwarves:
as can be seen in the map here: http://pandius.com/karameikos-3_2m_draft.png
I gave them a big area comprising all the southern Wufwolde hills, about 35x20 miles. As I wrote above I estimate the total population of this area as much higher, about 50.000 gnomes and 20.000 dwarves, while Zendrolion has 16.100 and 4.000. Some of this population however will not be only in Highforge (and in the seven other outlining towns I put there), but also in the other cities of Karameikos, and probably also in several small mining communities all over the Kingdom.
Zendrolion however is right saying that some of the southern Wufwolde hills were indicated as elven territory.. I guess several elves could live in the area, at least those who have good relations with gnomes and dwarves.
Also IMC, besides the elves, some human descendants of old taymorans lived in the area before the gnomes, as the southern hills, dotted as they are with ancient tombs and dungeons, were considered by traladarans a cursed area. Those people still live there among the gnomes and dwarves...

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:23 pm

Goblins
Zendrolion estimates a population slightly over 16.000, but my idea is much more:
Nightstalkers: 10.000. This is Dhrom Dhum's tribe, described in issue #1 of Threshold magazine, page 119.
Dymrak goblins: 50.000. Six different tribes as explained by agathokles here: http://pandius.com/karagobl.html
Faz-Plak or Yellow fangs: 3.500 goblins followers of Leptar.
Under Leptar's fist Hobgoblins: 1.500 goblins
In the northern Altan Tepes: 5.000 goblins, mostly under Hobgoblin rule too.
Nightseeker goblins: 10.000, followers of Nyx, north of Sulescu
White death: 5.000 goblins under Hobgoblin rule, in the Radlebb plains
Cruth goblins: 5.000 goblins scattered west of Verge and underground.
Therefore total number of goblins in my Karameikos would be around 90.000.
Several goblin tribes, particularly the Nightstalkers and the Nightseekers, claim to descend from the Nightfollowers, the first goblin tribe who came in Traladara in 890 AC. The Nightfollowers were initially submitted by gnolls, freed themselves and occupied the Dymrak woods after 760 BC. They were fully under green dragons' rule around 603 BC and very powerful, but after a series of setbacks against humans and elves and internal rebellions and strifes they scattered all over Traladara. Another major group of hobgoblins and goblins arrived after 490 BC, when Queen Ubdala's attack on Rockhome failed, and was lead by Leptar, terrifying central Traladara for years.
There are deep religion divisions among the goblins with followers of Hel and Wogar (Nightstalkers) Nyx (Nightseekers) and the Dark Triad (http://pandius.com/kararelg.html, mostly Dymrak and Altan Tepes goblins), Thanatos and Yagrai (White deaths) and Atzanteotl (Cruth goblins).
The Green Dragon Argos hold power over many goblin tribes in the east.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Gecko » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:18 pm

I wish I had more time to partake in this discussion- just too busy these day's, but one bit in particular got me interested:
Sturm wrote:Goblins
Several goblin tribes, particularly the Nightstalkers and the Nightseekers, claim to descend from the Nightfollowers, the first goblin tribe who came in Traladara in 890 AC. The Nightfollowers were initially submitted by gnolls, freed themselves and occupied the Dymrak woods after 760 BC. They were fully under green dragons' rule around 603 BC and very powerful, but after a series of setbacks against humans and elves and internal rebellions and strifes they scattered all over Traladara. Another major group of hobgoblins and goblins arrived after 490 BC, when Queen Ubdala's attack on Rockhome failed, and was lead by Leptar, terrifying central Traladara for years.
There are deep religion divisions among the goblins with followers of Hel and Wogar (Nightstalkers) Nyx (Nightseekers) and the Dark Triad (http://pandius.com/kararelg.html, mostly Dymrak and Altan Tepes goblins), Thanatos and Yagrai (White deaths) and Atzanteotl (Cruth goblins).
The Green Dragon Argos hold power over many goblin tribes in the east.
I never realised that there are two groups of Goblin descent (or at least influx) in Karameikos/Traladara, the Nightfollowers (890 BC) and the Leptarians (488 BC). They are all the same subspecies though, Goblinus Goblinus or Common Goblins, right? Any ideals on how to distinquish them (or even if they should be) - A thought that comes to mind is based on Religion: The Leptarian's follow the Dark Triad (Hircismus especially but also Orcus or Demogorgon), while the Nightfollowers are diverse (Hel, Wogar, Nyx, Yagrai, etc.) - with those under the Black Eagle's influence gradually turning to the Gens Celaenes. Is that correct? Any other differences?

Then again, on second thought, that is an awful lot of generations to remain as two distinct populations, especially for a race with a shorter number of years per generation than the human equivalent. Maybe just keep the ideals of "untainted blood" or "superior race" for the Nightstalkers and Nightseekers - that works nicely.

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Re: [THRESHOLD] Issue 1 Reviews: Demography of Karameikos

Post by Sturm » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:44 am

Well these two groups didn't exist in canon, I invented the Nightfollowers and agathokles, IIRC, invented the Leptarians.
About physical differences, I'd go with a variation of Goblinus Occidensis for descendants of Nightfollowers (greyish skin, brown hair) and a variation of Goblinus Goblinus (tan skin, rusty hair, use tribal markings) for the Leptarians.
IMC Five major religion exist among the humanoids of Karameikos. The traditional one is the cult of Hel and the humanoid immortals. An ancient one is the cult of Nyx, which humanoids took from local humans. Same for the cult of Thanatos. The Dark Triad cult spread after 490 BC, when Leptar terrified Traladara. The cult of Atzanteotl is more recent as it spread from 548 to 720 AC, when it was almost destroyed by the unified effort of the other cults, yet it still survives in some tribes.
Indeed I think the Nightfollowers descendant think of themselves as the superior ones, but probably the Leptarians think the same :)

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