Sartar population and why the Lunars invaded

Michael Hitchens (
Tue, 6 Dec 1994 16:56:30 +1100 (EST)

Hi!, second message

Now onto things populational....

John P Hughes
>The Maboder Tribe was not mentioned in the tribal population list 
>published last week.

Quite deliberately.  My guess was that the Maboder had ceased to exist as an 
independent body, any remaining clans having joined neighbouring tribes 
(probably the Cinsina and Torkani, as I guess further that the Maboder spoke 
Sartarite, not Tarshite).  But I could very easily be wrong about this.  Given 
what Sandy has said about the flexibility of numbers, postulating <1000 
Maboder in the hills is far from unreasonable.

Sandy Petersen

> [the] G: CotHW population figures [...] are ALL off by _up_ to a factor of 5
> as a regular thing, and that occasional estimates are off by even more  - --
> up to 100 if need be.

Bang goes my lovely house of cards population figures for Sartar.  Pity.  I
like playing with numbers.

>Anyone basing serious theories about Glorantha by using those  
>numbers is going the wrong way round -- use the theories to forge the  
>numbers, please. 

OK, here's a theory I'd like to throw to the savagery of public viewing:

Sartar built five sets of city walls in what became the Kingdom of Sartar.
This was an odd and new fangled idea in the region, the people having nothing 
bigger than a town at the time.  The city walls that Sartar built were large,
none of the them (not even Boldhome) have been filled as of 1621.

However, some people thought that this city idea was an interesting one, and 
moved into the area bounded by the walls.  Over the suceeding 100+ years the 
cities grew, until Boldhome became a major city (and one which inspired 
jealousy in the Red Emperor) and Jonstown housed a major university.  I 
postulate that Wilm's Kirk faired quite well too, Swentown not so well and 
Duck Point quite poorly (we'll get to why later).

Now, two things should be noted immediately.  This urbanisation was 
artificial.  It arose from royal policy, and not from the natural development
of the area (the central place theory referred to in RQ).  The second point,
which follows from the first, is that the urbanisation was not supported by the 
countryside.  It was artificially induced, and ahead of what the countryside
was ready for, economically.

The result, which I postulate as a theory, is that Sartar is relatively over 
urbanised and a net *importer* of food!

Why?  Where does the food come from?  How do they pay for it?

People may have gone to the cities because the king said it was a good thing.  
But it would take more than that to keep them there.  They would need to earn 
a better living then they could by going back to the farm.  What could provide 
that?  We are always told how strategic a place Dragon Pass is.  Sartar sits on 
the main trade routes between the Hoy Country and Peloria.  With the road 
building activites of the Sartar royal house, this position would only have
been improved.  I postulate that the cities (in particular Wilm's Kirk,
Boldhome, Jonston and Alda-Chur) got rich by taking tariffs from and providing
services to the merhants trading north-south.  This eventually (probably within
one or two generations) produced an affluent class ofmerchants and artisans
which required luxury goods on which to spend its new found wealth.  This 
encouraged the further growth of the artisan class, who had already been 
selling wares to the passing merhants.  Eventually the cities became rich 
enough to start producing enough goods to start trading them north and south, 
again increasing the wealth of the cities.

This wealth would have encouraged more people to leave the countryside and 
head to the cities, which would have led to the unbalanced population figures.  
A corollary of this wealth is that the Lunars did not invade Sartar solely for 
resaons of religion and revenge over Sartar's aid to the Tarsh rebels.  Sartar
had become rich and the Emperor wanted the money.  Remember that jealousy is 
said to be the fourth of the reasons the Emperor hated the kingdom.  If it
wasn't money, why was he jealous?  And it would take more than the produce of
hill barbarians to generate enough money to make the emperor jealous.  While
the Sartaries where simple hill barabrians the emperor was not interested,
invasion was not worthwhile.  With the wealth of cities invasion became a
viable proposition economically, the cities were wealthy enough to produce 
reasonable tax returns.

So where does the food come from to support the Sartarite cities?  That's easy: 
the breadbasket of Esrolia.  Up the Lyssos river, than via the Stream to 
Quackford.  From there distribution is via Sartar's excellent road system.  I 
think Quackford is a much more important settlement than Duck Point.  Sartar 
built that city in the wrong place.  I would not be surprised if Qauckford was 
two or three times larger (in population) than Duck Point and that there was 
actually only a very small settlement at Duck Point.  The map in TotRM #5 
seems to back this up a least a little (maybe).

So Quackford is important and the riverine trade and the offloading would 
have been (before the Lunars) controlled by the ducks (so we can have Duck 
Issaries worshipers to go with the stereotype Duck Humakt and Lhankor Mhy 
worshippers).  Puts another light on the proscription on Ducks after Starbrow's 
rebellion doesn't it?  Perhaps this event was used as the opportunity to get
rid of the duck control of the river trade and replace it with Etyries Priests.
This would explain why the bounty was never actively persued.  In 1621 there
are still ~10000 ducks in Sartar.  Once the Lunars had purged the duck
merchants of Quackford, they did not really care.  But they needed the excuse
of the ducks being responsible for (should that read *financing*?) Starbrow's
rebellion so that they could get  rid of the Duck merchants without upsetting
the populace too much.  So was Gringle at the Sartar council meeting as a
frontman for the Ducks?  Could be - I can't see why a local merchant from a
village is there otherwise.

Now the payment for the food obviously comes from the wealth generated 
from trade, but the last conclusion from this is that there were severe food 
shortages in Sartar's cities whenever the Lunars were at war with the Holy 
Country, as this would have disrupted the river traffic.

So Sandy, how's that for a theory?  Regardless of what the population of Sartar 
is, I postulate that more than 10% lives in the cities and pursues urban-type 
occupations.  The excess beyond what the ocuntryside can support is fed from 
outside the kingdom.  And there was more to Lunar motives for both the 
invasion of Sartar and the proscription of Ducks then there might seem at first 

John P Hughes


John says I should not have included the Princeros, Vantaros, Tovtaros, Bachad, 
Tres, Amad and Dinacoli in my population figures as they are not part of Sartar 
in 1621 and so aren't in the 180,000 figure in G:CotHW.

Afraid I have to disagree.  While those tribes may be part of Tarsh as far as
the Lunars are concerned, I think the book in question treats them as still
part of Sartar.
Genertela Book, p.53 says Tarshite is spoken in north Sartar.  Same book, p.58 
says Sartar consists of 24 tribes.  Seems pretty clear that as far as this
book is concerned those tribes are part of Sartar, and so the 180,000 figure
must include them.

John also seems to imply that the Dinacoli speak Sartarite, not Tarshite.
Don't know about this one.  I assumed they spoke Tarshite.  Got any references
for them speaking Saratarite John?

Sandy has alread shot my numbers to pieces, as numbers.  I am going to re-cast 
them as ratios.  Then you can choose your own population for Sartar and 
simply work out the tribe sizes for yourself.  Anyway, I like the 180,000 
includingd the north.  If we look at the figures in G:CotHW as providing rough 
ratios between areas, I would think that Tarsh being twice as populous as 
North and South Sartar together is, if anything, an underestimate.  Tarsh is
flat and fertile.  Much of Sartar is hilly.  Tarsh, I think, is bigger than
Sartar.  Therefore its population should be signifiantly larger.  Twice is a
moderate estimate, in my view.

>As for the Far Point Tribes, I'd keep the figures as they are, or even drop
>them by 20 or 30%. Far Point is wild and rugged, with few towns or roads, and
>all the local tribes were originally exile disaffects and rebels.

The Dinacoli live in a lovely river valley (hence my making them the biggest 
tribe in Sartar - no apologies to Colymar supporters).  As to the rest, well,
they did produce Alda-Chur, a medium city.  The popuation must have been 
reasonable.  Yes trade would have contributed to its growth, but it did not
have the push of Sartar building its walls.  It is a much more natural
creation.  And these tribes were able to raise a (relatively) large army in
support of Tarkalor the Huge when he wanted the crown of Tarsh.  They sent
9,000 warriors to support him (KoS, p.121).  Figures are wispy notions, but
that number must be read as a significant force.

Joerg Baumgartner

>From the glimpse on some friends' work on Jonstown (they work on 
>material by Greg) I'd estimate its total population as closer to 4000 
>than 1500, which still is quite low for a city sporting the greatest 
>university of the country.

I think you will find that 4000 is a reasonable size for a university city in
such a culture.  Look at St. Andrews, first university of Sotland.  It was a
pretty small town when the university was founded.  Perhaps Jonstown is, in
part, a univeristy town.  It supports the university and the merchants and
maybe that is it.  Maybe the town is divided betweeen them (politically at

>(Jeorg quotes some figures from RQ Companion which, for the most part, do 
not disagree with mine).

Hmmm. forgot to look at that map.  But if it puts Clearwine <100 then we are 
still stuck with that problem.  Why do you think Runegate was the same size as 
the cities?  It's not on the trade routes.

>(Joerg postualtes that 40% of the Sartarite city dwellers do not follow urban 
occupations but rural ones)

A reasonable assumption.  There is a lot of room within the walls (or at least
I think so) and using some of it for grazing and farming would be reasonable.
I actually think that the percentage of Sartar's population which lives in the 
towns and cities and follows urban occupations is biggger than 10%.  Just 
becuase they live in the towns you can't ignore them and consider only the 
cities.  It's whether they are engaged in primary food production or not that 

>When calculating the size of the tribal population, don't forget that 
>most Sartarite cities have at least 75% percent tribal population, 

At least, and possibly more

>Not even the larger stockades (Clearwine, Runegate) really would sport 
>an urban population, IMO, they'll just be slightly overgrown farming 
>(in case of Clearwine, gardening) communities, with the odd seat of a 
>noble or a temple strewn in.

I think some (if not all of them) fit the definition of town given in RQ.  Thus 
*most* of their population classifies as urban.  That's why Sartar is over 
urbanised.  Before Sartar (the man) came along the area was quite happily 
urbanised, the urban population living in the stockades, probably running to 
about 5% of the population.  His cities have possibly whacked another 10% on 
top of that.  It's quite possible that the rural tribal populations were only just 
getting back to their pre-Sartar sizes before the Lunar wars chopped them 
down again.

>Thus, we have to divide about 170,000 Sartarites unevenly between 24 
>tribes, averaging about 7200 people per tribe. The relative strength of 
>the tribes can be estimated from the 1613 numbers of followers given in 
>WF 7 for the Sartar High Council freeform scenario:

I don't think these figures can be used in this way.  The support for this 
rebellion was too patchy for these figures to be reliable guides to relative

By the way, were do you get the numbers of clans for some of the tribes?

Alex Ferguson

>Michael Hitchens:
>> The RQ GM's book says the maximum urbanisation is 10%.
>Urbanisation is a pretty vague, nay, woolly concept.  It's somewhat
>artificial to assume that everyone in a settlement of 999 produces
>110% of subsistence values of food, and everyone in a settlement
>of 1000, 0%.

True, as far as it goes.  But urbanisation can be postulated in terms of what 
percentage of working hours are spent in non food producing activities.  20 
people who spend half their time in other activites counts the same as much as 
ten who spend all their time.

>if it (Clearwine) serves
>as a trade centre for the Balmyr (and others) too, then you'd expect a
>concurrent rise in importance, and population.

I thought Wilm'skirk was the primary centre for the Balmyr?

>By the classifications of RQIII:3, a small city or smaller (up to 3000
>people) can be self-supporting, so wouldn't necessarily count against
>maximum possible urbanisation.  Towns/stockades certainly wouldn't,
>in my view.

I think you are misreading it.  It says that "This (small city) is the largest
size that an average city reaches  before it must bring in food from beyond
the immediate region".  That's not the same as self supporting.  I don't think
living in towns counts as "living in the coutnryside".  So towns (by RQ Book
III) seem to count towards urbanisation.  That seems to match what I remember
of studying history.  Towns were a lot smaller back then, but the historians
considered them urbanised.

>I personally feel that it would be Very Odd Indeed were as large a tribe
>as the Colymar, in as densely populated an area, to have no town of
>more than 500 people.

I would have no trouble with Clearwine being up to 1000 (ie a town).  And 
Runegate may not be as big, but still seesm tot be a town as well.

Percentage of population, by tribe (includes stockades as listed, does not 
include members of tribe living in cities)
Princeros (inc Glasswall)		3.2%	5 clans
Tovtaros (inc Ironspike)		2.4%	5 clans
Vantaros				3.4%	6 clans
Tres					1.6%	3 clans
Amad					1.3%	3 clans
Bachad					2.4%	5 clans
Dinacoli (inc Herongreen, Dangerford)	8.2%	12 clans
Torkani (inc Torkan's Last Fort)	3.4%	5 clans
Cinsina (inc Redcow)			5.7%	8 clans
Malani (inc Two Ridge)			5%	8 clans
Colymar (inc Clearwine, Runegate)	7.1%	12 clans
Culbrea					3.7%	7 clans
Aranwyth (inc Toena)			2.9%	4 clans
Lismelder				3.6%	6 clans
Kheldon					3.2%	5 clans
Locaem (inc Famegrave)			4.5%	7 clans
Balmyr					1.8%	3 clans
Sambari (inc Roundstone)		2.1%	3 clans
Balkoth					2.1%	3 clans
Kultain					4.7%	7 clans
Dundealos (inc Jaldon Kill Fort)	5.2%	8 clans
Sun Dome County (inc Stagwood)		3.7%
Telmori					2.5%
Durulz (inc Duck Point, Quackford)	5.3%	9 clans

Percentage of population for cities (includes all people who live within wall, 
regardless of occupation)
Bold Home	(Large City)	5.3%
Alda-chur	(Medium City)	2.1%
Alone		(Small City)	0.5%
Jonstown	(Small City)	1.6%
Wilmskirk	(Small City)	1.0%
Swenstown	(Small City)	0.5%

Well, that's it from me for now


- --------------------------------------
Michael Hitchens
Lecturer, Dept. of Computing
University of Western Sydney Nepean
PO BOX 10 Kingswood NSW 2747
- --------------------------------------
All that we do or seem
Is but a dream within a dream


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