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16  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / research links on: 10 December 2008, 01:08:56

If we want to start a link list, I will put one together later with descriptions.  That partial list was just done on the fly for a sample.  Let me know and I will start it.

the pedantic gnome :P
17  Organization and General Discussions / Active Projects / Re: Santhworld - Program Development on: 10 December 2008, 00:58:03

In the farmhouse, the title of the woman is the same as the man...

Also small fix needed with dialogue of the stories from the man - just the ending.

Very lovely otherwise!
18  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population Density Proposal for Races and Kinds on: 09 December 2008, 17:58:14
Okay, a nice neet table of maximums (BTW please suggest changes!!)


Elves*                      -                      -                    1-5/sqS     (1/sqS)
Dwarves*                 -                      -                    2-10/sqS    (1/sqS)
Orcs*                       -                  33/sqS               20/sqS       10/sqS
Hobbits                  100/sqS               -                        -                -
Nomadic Humans        -                  33/sqS               10/sqS        2/sqS
Agri Humans           100/sqS           33/sqS               10/sqS            -

Gnomes, Brownies and other minor races live in communities decided by other factors - they seldom approach limits.  Ditto on trolls and ogres and the rest.

The above numbers are mostly how many COULD live in an area.  This number is VERY HIGH based on late medieval rennaissance numbers, which would have placed this 40% less or so.  For humans we assume  (this is the important number...) that 50** of these numbers suffice to get the maximum crop yield, but that the other 50%** are then concentrated into far off cities and the local towns.  So, if a large stretch of farmland, like the Twynor Holdings is 250 square strals of good farmland plus a little other land around the edges, we expect given that it is a well developed region to have a maximum population of around 12,500 dispersed across in assorted dorfs, hamlets, small villages and homesteads.  In addition, then food and goods are produced in quantity to support around 12,500 persons in such small towns as Twyner, Yantellan and Kinsley, accounting for perhaps 6000 (assuming each is around 2000 pop*** in the nonagricultural inner town), and the other half of production being exported for profit to the cities (say 6000 persons worth of foods and goods to Marcogg, but perhaps 500 persons worth of goods to Klinsor).

Other races in the towns should probably be counted as with the humans for simplicity's sake.  Since they all then live on what is primarily the human agricultural economy, it wouldn't make a big difference.  And since none of these races are likely to provide to the urban agricultural economy so far as essentials go...  I.e., dwarves may supply tools, weapons, metal goods, etc., and gnomes do glass and paper, and elves all sorts of fine things, and hobbits may provide fine ales, tabac and furniture, but basic commodities like meat, potatoes and grain come from human farmers largely. 

*Elves probably do not follow biological logic - they do not increase to max thresholds, but rather find comfortable community sizes at which they stabalize.  With only a few exceptions, I would imagine elvish communities seldom are larger than a few thousands, and I would guess fewer mostly.  I imagine they seldom trade for basic foodstuffs and are essentially selfsufficient, perhaps only trading for some luxury foods and goods...

*Similarly, dwarvish clans are probably limited to 10,000 before they split up and become two clans, the one going somewhere else to mine.  Just my guess...  I would guess they can be selfsufficient, but probably prefer to trade for sunnier foods...

*Orcs seem a little like nomadic humans, only they do not concentrate well (hence why orchish cities are so rare - without humans to limit the orc testiness, they kill each other).  However, they are probably very good at surving in semiwilderness and wilderness contexts, hence the high numbers there.  Just my guess...

**Using the 50% (1/2)   here is totally unrealistic so far as agriculture in medieval history is concerned.  Estimates I have read rather place it at 10% and 90% respectively. That is, 90% of the population are farmers making food for themselves and with a surplus of 10%. The best estimates I know of are here (http://www.history.ac.uk/eseminars/sem24.html) who suggest at the peak around 1300 (and remaining the same till 1500, whereafter it may have declined again before becoming industrial) it may have risen to 20% and 80%.  However, in some areas that had especially good farmland and which also had large cities, such as the Low Lands, FLanders, etc, it may even have reached 40% urbanized and 60% rural farmers, but that is dubious. 

Okay, but we live in a world where the technology, while pre-industrial, is still high (near rennaissance), but also we have elven lore and loads of magic...  So, as Master Bard Judith notes, we can probably slide the scale considerably towards the modern industrial.  Thus, let us try out 50% or 1/2 urbanized vs. rural (that is 1/2 of the populace are essentiall rural and supporting themselves and the 1/2 who are urban).  But why not stretch it even further?  My own thinking is that if it goes even further than that, it unbalances the world - we cease to be medieval fantasy and start to look like something out of the 19th century England, which is just so dreary...  I love the thought of huge preindustrial farmlands (not saying I want to be a peasant by the way, no matter how much magic we have...) and horses and carts.  I get squeemish thinking about concentrating all the population in cities like modern times... 

Anyhow, this is an important number it would be good to agree on... So what do you all think, 1/2?

***The towns of Twyner, Yantellan and Kinsley are marked the way several small villages are marked.  My own thinking is that there needs to be a kind of town that is in between the large cities (e.g., Marcogg) and the smallest villages (those little rural groupings of people under 1000 in number).  My suggestion is to interpret the map "villages" as actually small towns - so, for example, Kolbruk, which is mentioned as having between 200 and 400 pop, actually has between 2000 and 4000 (x10) or perhaps as representing 200 to 400 families with an average size of 8 (meaning 3 children, 2 parents, 2 grand parents, 1 uncle or whatever)... making the population actually between 1600 and 3200, which fits the economics of the area better.  This may seem extreme, but it kind of works if one remembers that each dwelling probably is home to 8 persons, 3 of them children.  This is my suggestion to help make the maps work...

This is my guess on it all...  Please, your thoughts!!

19  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population and Races on: 09 December 2008, 16:00:57
or "Ever square danced with a gnome?"

Yes, races are all so different.  I agree on several of your points.

ELVES are self sufficient and largely trade for luxury goods, not basic stuffs.  They trade because it is beautiful and or amusing, not for need (with some exceptions as always of course...).  However, elves are also by necessity not densely populated either.  One can probably use the "wilderness" rule to calculate population, or 1 elf per 10 hectares max (so 10 elves per square stral), which would theoretically put limits in most of the forests at a few thousands of elves, which is probably about right (or?)  And of course, why would elves grow to their limits?  They probably maintain a sensible half of limit or something.  So the Auturian Sty'cal is about 750 sqS, meaning it could theoretically maintain 7500 elves, but 3000 is more likely...

DWARVES is an interesting case.  I agree, they probably CAN be selfsufficient, but probably enjoy getting some sun into their food on occasion.  And anyway, a real dwarf mines and makes, not farms... or?  However, an interesting question - how many dwarves in the Mithral Mnts?  Given one large, one medium and one small community, what does that make... some number of thousands?  But estimates based on sqS probably don't make sense, since they have the option of going deeper...

BROWNIES are... well... small.  I don't know what to say about them.  Actually, all of the minor races are really minor enough that population is not such a concern I suspect.  Gnomes...  Probably a lot like humans in the cities and otherwise like hobbits in the country.  HOBBITS, live in shires that I suspect are pretty human like for calculations.

ORCS... I suspect calculate like nomadic humans x2 (as in they are likely to have 2x what the human ceiling on a region would be). And they are always at their ceiling (they breed quickly).  So, if

NOMADIC humans - meaning you will find villages and such, but most of the food derives from moving herds accross large plateaus and such.  THough unrealistically high, I would treat concentrations to be like semi-wilderness lands, so 1 person per 10 hectares = 10 per sqS (like elves).  I am thinking for example about those peoples whose names starts with K way up north.

Okay, so to summarize a proposal... (I will respond to this link below)
20  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population and technology and sources on: 09 December 2008, 15:37:07
Just responding to Altario here and Judith in the other thread (and maybe we should then end this thread, since Judith's point is right)

But quickly to answer the point of sources and technology...

If I had footnoted my calculations, it would have been ten times and long (and ten times as boring!), but here are the assumptions I was working with:

Agrarian humans live in a manner that roughly parallels late medieval Europe with a Renaissance kick and less the black plagues.  So, for example, crops were 3 cycled for example, meaning you actually had 3 harvests per year.  To a the basic optimistic numbers, I added 20% or so for fantasy.  So, for example, in the first link, you will find an analysis of farming that suggests 3 acres feeds one person, but requires 0.9 people or so to work it.  So, I suggest we use the 2.4 feeds a person (coincidentally one hectare :-) ) and only actually requires 0.5 people to farm it.  Which is damn generous in anything less than 19th century industrial times...  Note the above numbers are all averages - actually, you needed groups of at least 8 working people to work together it seems, that and some oxen...  And given Judith's note about magic, perhaps even 1.2 acres will be sufficient to feed a person, which would be a big help if we are going to have a bunch of huge cities around...

Okay here are a few of the links I implicitly referred to:


So these are a few links of interests, but there are several more, and ia have hardbound texts as well.

Thoughts on these sources ans assumptions?

21  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Population and the Rule of FIVEs on: 09 December 2008, 14:09:31
Trying to make sense of worlds and how they work...

Even with an abundance of fantasy and magic to fudge numbers, it is still nice when the whole things sort of fits together in an elegant way.  So, here is a proposal for thinking about population generally, on all continents, where humans and halflings gather in agrarian communities (Dwarves and Elves and Orcs and Nomadic humans are going to require different analysis).  The idea is the RULE OF FIVES.

Every 4 square strals of rich land (2km x 2km)) that is populated and worked as farm land supports 400 persons, 200 of which live there and of whom 150 work it (50 are children too young to work).  So every 4 square strals will have a small dorf or hamlet (if orchards predominate), but this may include a small manor house and perhaps 10 other dwellings surrounded by another 20 peasant dwellings and 10 barns peppering the country side.  Not big enough to have even a tavern, at most you might have a small smithy attached to someone's home and perhaps a mill.  Since there is so little, these do not need to be represented on the map, they are just the repeated endless little spots of humanity that pepper the lands.  Graphically, they just require a few basic patterns that repeat. Let's call these DORFS and HAMLETS for the moment.

We may note that in less rich countryside, these will fill typically around 9, 16 or even 25 square strals of land and the houses will be even more dispersed with more individual dwellings standing along (shepherds huts, etc.).  You will see more cattle and sheep and such here, more hills, woods, etc., as well.


For every FIVE such hamlets, one is a full fledged market village - a village with a market and a few shops and the rest.  Villages have populations less than 1000 (so average 500 pop), and so most of them do not need to be noted on the map - again, they follow a basic repeated pattern.  They have a market, smithy, mill, minor tavern, manor house for local lords, etc.  Nothing fancy.  Thus, a village takes up about
5 * 4 = 20 square stralls of country in rich lands and fishing coastlines, or
5 * 9 = 45 sqS in less rich lands with more sheep and goats
5 * 16 = 80sqS in cattle and sheep country (mostly grazing)
5 * 25 = 125 sqS in semi wilderness areas. 

Each village represents around  1200 persons dispersed over this land with only 500 or so lving in close proximity to the central village, and it is probably the basic political unit and economic unit: i.e., it has a lord and/or lady probably of knight like status who serves a regional baronial status lord/lady, and assorted henchmen, and the like.  Since 80% are farmers, shepherds and the like, only around 240 persons occupy themselves with other work (lords, soldiers, millers, smiths, merchant, etc.)  Remember, of 240, we really mean about 30 families of 8 persons each, 3 who are children, and the so really you have about 30 families total who are doing something besides farming - something like:

1 Lord/lady family, 1 Smith, 1 Tanner, 1 Cobbler, 1 Horsebreeder, 1 Mason, 1-3 Ranger/wood cutters in charge of lands hunting, etc., 3-5 Millers, 1 Tavern owner, 1 Merchant who travels to towns to sell goods, etc...  Many of these yeomen types also double as men at arms for the local knight in times of war.

Thus, the "village" thus is the basic economic, military and political unit, but since they are pretty typical and similar (varying mostly by size or dimension) they are not normally noted on the maps.  However, each such village provides:

Basic agricultural goods (foods, wool and other goods) for itself
and 800 more, which is what gets sold in towns. 

Each also is the basic political unit of a basic lord or lady and assorted minor land holders.

Each also can be expected in normal war time to provide:
1 knight and squire, a seargent at arms and well trained men at arms, all possilby on horse based on region, using weapons that are regionally determined.  This was traditionally a service given to the local baron on a yearly basis for two or more months in lieu of taxes in medieval times. Note that 12 pesons is 1% of 1200 the basic avg. population here.

In addition, when times require it, another 100 or more yeomen can be called up, men (and women in some cultures) with bows or spears and the like.  This probably varies a lot, since an important measure here is the number of peasant serfs (who are bound to their land and typicall do not have weapons) as opposed to freemen who may or may not be land owners as well.

Okay, back to the rule of fives...

Every five such villages supports one of its members as a small TOWN of between 1000 and 3000 persons with 1000 rural farmers directly around the town for a total population of 7 to 9000 or say avg 8000 in the region.  Here is where the real markets are and all the rest can be found. 
Since 4 such villages and the town's own farms provide goods and foods for 4*800 =3200 persons coming from the villages, and with 2000 persons worth of foods, etc. produce at the town,, this leaves around 2000 persons foods and goods on avg for the big cities. 

Such small towns or large villages may or may not be walled, but they probably have a castle or large keep and are generally "baronial" in political importance, though this may be more "baronette".  In Halfling lands, this would correspond to a SHIRE.  In Orc or Drarven lands, this would be your basic tribe or clan (though they do not have village farming type structures of course). 

So such TOWNS would need to be on the map as they are pretty important.  Each effectively represents a total population of around 8000 avg (4*1200 + 2200 + 1000) and each such town provides foods and many basic goods for itself and is able to export foods and such for another 2000 persons on average.  The local baron or sheriff could also expect to field around 100 professional level soldiers normally:

5*12 = 60 rural knights and soldiers
40  baronial knights and soldiers who double as the city watch and guards. And tens times this in war time.

We expect to see such castles and towns every:

10x10stral =100 sqS in rich to very rich country
15x15stral =225 sqS in lower yields lands
20x20stral =400 sqS in hillier lands or strictly grazing lands
25x25stral =625 sqS in semiwilderness areas

For every FIVE such TOWNS, we have surplus exported to support 10,000 persons, so on average, we might expect a small city or large town of 6000 on average for each such five regions.

Every five of those would have surplus for a full fledged city of 20,000.

So, how to make this actually work in, say, Marcogg, a city of 20,000?

For one, one would have to assume that all the villages noted here and there in the country are actually representative of about 10x their number.  So instead of being villages of 1 to 300, they are 1 to 3000. But even then, we expect to find 25 such small and large towns.  This could almost work if all of the villages were graduated up by a factor of 10.  I will suggest this in another thread... it is maybe not such a big change afer all.

Okay this is step one to finding a solution.

Hope it didnt bore anyone too much!!

22  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population (Farming in In Manthria and the Dutchy of Marcogg) on: 09 December 2008, 12:20:34
Okay, I fear we may have a hunger problem growing....

First some assumptions:

Strals = Kilometers (Working from some legends, I calculated miles...)

The map of Manthria is the master map, so Marcogg to Ciosa is 600 strals.  Because the legend doesn't make sense (1:3.300) I am assuming the above, strals are kms and not miles, as was written somewhere I noted.

A natural question then is how much population can a region support, and in particular, how much urban population in particular (meaning, people who are not employed in farming, but typically rather live in towns and cities, collects taxes, take censuses, make armor and amora, dye clothes, galavant around on horses for the fun of it, sing songs, adventure, rule, have epic romances, die brave and noble deaths, etc...)

Assuming Marcogg is a city of 20,000, how are they all fed?  This by the way is a good case study of why larger cities are normally impossible... (but I will write another blurb on the larger cities, like Ciosa)

Marcogg is not the only full fledged urban center.  For example, Chrondra is at least a large town (meaning greater than 2000 or so) and in the west, there is Klinsor, which will draw on some of the regions cullinary resources.  No worries about the other cities, since they reside in other regions (over mountains, etc.).  But let us come back this question later - i.e., how many TOWNs are there with pops greater than 2000 or so.

First, it is impractical to import staples from far away (exception are ports that are centers of empires, like Rome, Venice, Athens, etc.).  So most grain, meat, etc. must come from the area.  That means only the fiefs that are quite near, not those on the east side of the Mithrall mountains, whose agricultural goods would anyway be needed up north for the city of Marduran. Because of the rivers and resevoires, it should be easy enough for the whole upper land area north of Marcogg to supply the cities, including Fiefs Grensa, Mashdai, Marcogg's outlying areas, Parthanul, as well as most of the Duchy of Twynor and even Grassen Steading of Huiscen.  We can safely assume that the Mithral Marches are NOT a food producing area (rather the opposite!) and everywhere else is too far.

Second, let us assume the best possible statistics for food production - late medieval/renaissance and even a bit more due to magic, active divinities, elves, etc..  Moreover, let us assume the climate here is IDEAL.  And let us assume that this is some of the richest land around for farming, etc..

Okay, it is said that medieval agriculture required 90% of the population to farm to feed everyone.  So, let us estimate that we rather need 80%, and even includes local nonfarmers like smiths and millers who are not directly involved in agriculture - in other words, let us suppose 80% of the human populations are agricultural, living in villages less than 1000 or on open ranges, in dorfs, etc..  This is *very optimistic*...  From this, we can figure out how many urbanites there are total in the area, because they make up the other 20% (and so figure out numbers living in towns and cities and major military castles and the like).

Apparently, a family of 5 needed 15 acres to survive in medieval times, so 1 per 3 acres, but assuming better numbers on this, let us work with 1 per 2.4 acres, which equals 1 hectare.  Then,

Each square stral of highyield farmland supports 100 persons.

A square stral = square km = 100 hectares

What about highlands and lower quality areas, hills, grazing lands, grass lands, wooded areas, etc.?  Such areas are not nearly as productive overall, and vary from 1/9 to 1/2, but let us take such lands as averaging 1/3 yield average, again optimistic.  That means 1 person per 3 hectares.

What about mountains and the like?  These are more likely regions requiring import of food to keep minors and dwarves happy.  Elves may be able to make things work in forests, but hunting and the like produces relatively little net yield - perhaps 1 person/10 hectares - enough for the locals and aristrocracy...

Okay, so how does this flesh out?   

So, roughly, we have the following scheme for the Region of Marcogg:

Fief            Total area    High yield   Low yield  Wilderness  Support Pop

Fief Marcogg       240sqS    70%         30%          -            19,200
Fief Mashdai        350sqS    25%         45%        30%         15,000
Fief Grensa         170sqS    25%         45%        30%           7,200
Fief Parthenul     160sqS    30%         30%        40%           7,000

Grassen Steading 400sqS   25%          45%        30%         17,100
Marches of
Cloudpierce         250sqS   10%         30%         60%          6,500

Fuef Aut'aye        160sqS   20%        60%         20%          6,700
Fief Yealm           150sqS   35%         45%         20%         7,800
Twynor Holdings  250sqS   75%         15%        10%         22,500

Total MAX supported population...................................   109,000

But here is the catch... ONLY 20% are not agricultural....    22,000

Traditionally, cities and towns can expect to have around 3% of the population.  Perhaps even 5% with late medieval to renaissance.  And even if we double this to 10% for fantasy...  we still only have 11,000 living in cities like Marcogg.  And there are other Towns that need to be accounted for as well, including Chrondra, Twyner, Yantellan, Myrth, Courtford, Nathembly, etc.

So... how to make sense of this all?

I will write some suggestions in my next post (but maybe I have overlooked something someone will point out to me :D)
23  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Re: Introduction (in character, gnomish census taker and scholar) on: 09 December 2008, 10:20:25
Greeting Mistress Bard Judith and all -

Thank you so much for the warm reception!

I see taxes are not pop'lar... so surprised :-)

I have begun work on census and will start a new thread on population in Manthria with some analysis and thoughts.

For the moment, Tchekoveu is more of an alterego than a PC...

May your quills never run dry and your dreams ever overfloweth
24  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / PC or NPC - Tchekuveu, Master Census Taker on: 08 December 2008, 05:34:04
Hi Decipher, Theroc, Alterio!

Well, Decipher, I looked less closely at your continent, but got the impression you had sort of covered the bases there already, also with a latent interest in trade and all that - am I getting your expertises right?

Theroc, did the warg pay her taxes this year?
In any case, no one escapes two things... undecided

Alterio - not to worry, the Sathran is sending the tax assessor to make sure your thane is not overtaxing you...  ;)

Cheers All!

Below is character conception, for NPC or PC or whatever - it is nice to do a little of this stuff again after a hiatus of having fun for far too long!

Note: Confidential personal details - For no one's eyes but the Sathran's... 

Name: Tchekoveu Kerby Kaniwish
Gender: Male
Age: 57
Race: Gnome
Tribe: Old Carthanian Gnomish family
Occupation: In service of the Santhran, ministers & clerks: census taker and tax assessor
Title: Scholar (aspiring Sage), Master Census Taker


From a family of wealthy Carthanian bookbinders, a Ximax graduate, Tchekoveu is now employed in the clerical offices of the Santhran with prospects to become the General Master of Census.  He is a prolific author of several exciting works, including "Tithes and Taxes in Santharia: An Overview" but also more scholarly works, such as "Recent Halfling Migrations and their Causes" as well as the highly popular (but contentious) "Druidic Sex Magic is Good for You!"  He is a well travelled scholar who enjoys both long hours in study as well as extensive travel to further his various researches and work.


Not yet greying, he has a slightly darker complexion and jet black, mid-length, somewhat unkempt hair, including midlength but thin beard and mustache. His eyes are dark as night but big and birght, and his facial wrinkles reflect ironic humor resulting from years of knowing too much. He is One ped and seven nailbreadths tall and thin for a gnome, some would even say gaunt. He tends to dress in greys and soft earthen tones, but sports a sedated red cap in near traditional gnomish style.  He almost always carries a learther shoulder bag with a book wherin he can be frequently seen sketching or making notes.  He keeps the silver broach of his office normally unprominently appended to the inside of his tunic - he has found that advertising his status as tax assessor of the Santhran did not always win him so many friends or the information he needed...


Dry but very wry sense of humor, seldom laughing loudly, he nevertheless finds wit absolutely capital.  Extremely intelligent and perceptive, he nevertheless lacks the discipline to excell at the more formidable magic arts.  Nevertheless, his memory is first rate and he is a natural scholar and sage.  He loves elvish philosophy and is a prolific reader of everything.  With an ear for language, he is also enjoys studying people of all races, and frequents taverns where he will quietly sit in a corner with his book and a beer, but actually be attentive to all the people and their conversations.  He also has an undiscussed interest and appreciation of the clandestine, and this is reflected in several of his activities.  His moral convictions are those of a scholar - disinterested - but his loyalties are resoundly with the Santhran, not least because the unity of the Santharia is so clearly in everyone's interest.  But he does not boast his loyalty, and if approached by a spy is likely to play along to discover the origin and purseholder of that spy.  He comes off as arrogant and aloof to many, but he does not actually regard himself as "especially special" as he might say. An excellent player of dice, cards and stones, he can hide his true thoughts and feelings rather well, and will frequently let the other win (even losing small amounts of money in the process), especially when he may be more interested in information or just a good story.  However, he is easily distracted, and has been known to end conversations in midsentence.  He loves to hear bards from everywhere and will go to taverns in the best and worst parts of town to find them and hear them, their songs, their stories (He is also something of a bard's bard in that he occasionally writes limirics recounting the bards he has met - but see below, because he has other intentions as well for keeping careful tabs on bards).  He will pay a great deal of money to acquire a book he has not read, whether magical or not - in fact, books are his major expense, and his home and office are full of them (he uses books as his sitting stool as well).  He is unmarried and true to his scientific pursuits, disinterested...  He is not at all prejudiced of any race, though he will mirror the sentiments of the one he speaks with, including their prejudices, if they have any.

While he does not have many friends per se, he does maintain an uncommonly large number of useful contacts everywhere he goes who are perhaps kindly disposed to him, and always he is on the search to have more, using wit, flattery, favor and a little money to help things along.  Anyone loyal to Santharia, of any status or class, is considered good people to him, and those who are not... well, best to keep on their good side as well...  He avoids making enemies wherever possible, but where it is inevitable, then best that they not know he is an enemy until it is too late...

While not a rule follower, still best not to break rules unless you must.  Of course, often one must...  He will accept a bribe if the long term benefits are sufficient, but personal gain is not enough, but bringing an important lord into his confidence might be...

without attracting attention, if there is a preferred divinity, it is Seyella.

Intelligence, extreme perceptivity, memory, some agility

Languages - familiarity with many tounges, written and spoken, as well as accents, and he can mimic several.  Also versed in several ancient languages and runes. Though not a scholarly "primary expertise" he minored in the study of languages and cultures.  Nevertheless, spoken thieve's cants and secret tongues are also a special interest.

Other scholarly areas and skills at his disposal are cartography, astrology, navigation, numerology, architecture (with an eye to architecture and engineering of older cultures), philosophy, metaphysics, theoretical foundations of magics, a little alchemy, and bookbinding.  There is a good chance he will have at least heard of any book ever written this side of the sea, as he has made it a point to visit libraries everywhere and is keenly interested in what is written about where, when, by whom and for what purpose. 

He has some rudimentary familiarity with seige engine design and military strategy, including seige, but the emphasis is theoretical.  Similarly, he has rudimentary appreciation of mechanics and locksmithy, though again more theoretical than practical.

Because of his work in the Santhran's treasury and census, he is intimately familiar with tradelore and tax lore.  He also has working familiarity with legal codes and can act as an advocate or prosecutor. 

He has a practised sleight of hand skills, minor tricks, dice, and excells at several popular games, both "chess" types and "luck" based.  Some dancing, singing and flute playing skills.

While not on par with bards and actors, he has made disguize a minor skill and keeps up a few alias identies to fit.  His travelling cloak can be warn insideout, with the exterior an expensive, earthy pastel orange, and the interior a dark and unnoticable, and poorish gray.  He keeps several extra coins of various mints in different places on his body, and his pouch has extra clothe in it to prevent clinking should he need to be silent. While not a thief, he nevertheless can be silent and hide well.

Never one much for brawling, he nevertheless keeps a few well placed daggers up his sleaves and on his belt.  He also lackers them with nondeadly sleeping poisons, and he has rudimentary familiarity with poisons lore.  He is very good at throwing objects accurately and skipping stones.  He also throws daggers (but not so well) and can handle darts.

While not a fully trained alchemist, he has mastered a few basic recipes for smoke bombs (which he has used on more than one occasion to get out of a difficult situation) and stink bombs and other assorted "tricks"

While he he did not excell at magics, he did study to level 4 wind magics, and some alchemy as noted above.  He has made lie detection and perception of intentions a serious study, as well as related physical/material wind based spells useful as cantrips and for smoke and stink bombs.  While full fledged invisibility is still beyond his abilities, he can achieve partial success, and the creation of "illusions" - especially minor unobvious illusions - are skills he counts in his repetoire. Weather prediction and calling of winds is another area pursued, though he is not a great mage as noted.

Uncommon for his kind, he can ride horse or pony, using minor illusions to help guide and control the larger animals.  Riding horse was a necessary skill given the extensive travelling his job as a census master requires, and it is much easier to carry one's books in a saddle bag...

He is comfortable on a ship and has worked as navigator, cartographer, and wind caller/weatherwatcher.  He can tie a mean knot, too, like his own leg to the mast... however he can swim reasonably well.


Most obviously, his limited abilities to defend himself.  While he might surprise an oponent with a poisoned dagger, and while he might make himself seem fierce through act and illusion, it is all bark and no bite.  His best defense is to avoid any direct combat.  Barring that, a smoke bomb, a trick, a ventriloquist cantrip, and run like hell to the shadows where he can make himself as invisible or disguised as possible.  Unfortunately, a short stature make runnuing even not such a good option....

As a practiser of the magical arts, his are second rate skills, and mostly of a perceptual kind (wind and mental based), some illusion, a little control of the winds.  His real strengths are in being clever enough to know what is coming and avoid a direct confrontation.  That and a gift of the gab.

A lover of tabac, and not toting a dwarvish constitution, he also must avoid injury and illness.

His greatest weaknesses are his insatiable curiousity about all things and his fidelity to the United Kingdom and its causem, both of which get him into harms ways all too frequently (after all, tax assessor is a dangerous job for he who is not corrupt...)

His fears include being catfood... literlly cat food (tigers, etc.) and he is drunk on one mead or ale...


Realm WIND, primary MENTAL, Secondary PHYSICAL

Perceptions, increased sight and hearing and smell, sense danger, detection of changes in the Aether (detection of magical disturbances)
Sensitivities to Thoughts and Intentions (e.g., Lies, partial ESP,)
Language learning and understanding enhancements
Minor Illusions (e.g., making objects appear moved, displaced or partially invisible, including self)
Subtle magics (disquizing the use of minor magic itself)
Creating minor lights, willowisps, minor pyrotechnics, flash of light
Predicting weather
Calling winds, mists, fogs, removing such
Whispering winds (listening for directions and locations of persons, places, things)

Very intelligent and so capable of understanding much magic lore, nevertheless self discipine and native magical strength are rather more average, so no great mage will he ever be.  Calling storms is beyond his abilities, but buffering against one while at sea would be, perhaps sufficiently to make the difference (enough to turn the tide, so to speak?)


Born to a well to do bookbinders family in Carthan, second of four children, he was overlooked as heir to the shop and business for his elder brother.  However, being raised around books and glassblowers and alchemists and intellectual types (His uncle is a successful alchemist of some repute in Carthan and his aunt a very successful glassblower mistress), he was already well prepared for a future in the academy.  He was also familiarized with travel and the sea at an early age when his uncle brought him along on several voyages to be his page and assistant, from where he learned rudimentary alchemy and ship skills between 12 and 20 years of age.  During these frequent travels, he grew very fond of bards, happily seeking them out in every port in every city to which he went, learning language and lore of a worldly sort, whether high or low, whether of nobles or of bands of thieves, with whom he happily consorted as easily as the better schooled.  So great was his interest, that upon telling his uncle and parents of his decision to become a bard, in great haste they rushed him off to Xinia to get a proper education suitable to a gnome of his family background.

At first greatly distressed, it soon became clear however that through his time there he would learn far more than he could have as mediocre flute player and story teller. Over the next 20 years, he remained at the school, with exception given to three sabaticals for a year each when he was pressed into service to one another wizard, all who knew of his uncle and so assumed the same latent alchemical talents would be there to be exploited in the nephew.  However, while alchemy was familiar, it was not his strength.  Indeed, early in his studies, he found himself in the school of air, or rather it found him.  Airy by personality, he quickly took to the weaving of the element, and soon was in advanced class.  There was even talk that he might one day become a wizard of repute...  However, this was not to be, for while his conceptual abilities were excellent, the raw internal strength needed to be a great wizard were lacking, or on occasion he was hired onto a ship that needed someone skilled in windcraft who had sea legs, and who was willing to see the school paid hansomly for their students time. By the time his 40th year was approach, now already a total of nearly two decades at the school, and already teaching freshmen himself and working on behalf of the school in other ways as well, it was nevertheless soon becoming apparent that his abilities were approaching a plateau: at best, he could become a mediocre sorcerer, and this he almost was already!

However, studies at the school are not limited to magics, but include lore of all kinds.  And he never tired of reading and studying of all topics, but most especially about languages, geography, peoples, cultures, races, philosphy, and architecture, as well as military history and strategy.  He had already undertaken two compendia by this time and was respected as a scholar of quality.  Notably able with numbers and language as well as assorted other skills needed in the mundane world, he was ideal for a position as a minister or advisor to a head of state.  Based on these abilities and with a few well written letters of introduction, he acquired middle level managerial position in the Santharian clerks office of the treasury.

It should be added that during his two decades mostly speant in Xinia, he did not just frequent the library, but retained his old love of music, stories, and bards, and so sought out and familiarized himself with ever tavern in Xinia, rich and less rich, without discrimination.  And with his excellent ability to listen and watch, he befriended many lords, travellers, bards, merchants, and those on the less reputable side of the law who lived in or came to Xinia.  More than once, he helped to procure various ingredients or lore for black market transactions, though always with and eye not to involve himself in any activity that was diabolicle.  "There are laws and there are laws, and then is there is right and wrong..."

Once in the service of the Santhran, it soon became clear that he had found his place. Within two years, a position opened up for a tax assessor agent to go abroad to the provinces and oversee and check taxes.  Taking this position of no small status, he undertook this work over the next ten years, travelling to every city and every province in the kingdom, meeting every major and many minor lords in the process.  All the while, honing his language and cultural skills, and perhaps most importantly his familiarity with the different regions politically.  With consider intelligence, he made a point not just to visit the lords and regents, nor even the many lesser lords, but to familiarize himself with the commoners and the vagrants.  He has perhaps visited every tavern with a bard in it as well!  And contacts and agents at every level of the society he began to accrue.  And with each successful job, the council's trust and respect in him increased, so that he was operating with something of a carte blanche by the end of the ten year period.

Perhaps most significant to his success was his successful infiltration and discovery of several tax evasions involving local lords, outside nations and merchants and spies between that bordered on treachery.  His skills as a clandestine operator were getting ever better, and in the seventh year, based on these successes, he was quietly indoctrinated into the Sathran's "Ministry of Eyes and Ears" though not "officially", since it was not even official.  Over the next six years, both the remaining three years he was primarily still a tax assessor and for three more years, he worked as a connecting agent setting up operations, collecting information, but with n'ver a word formally about this.

At the age of 53, he now is effectively a sitting member on the primary council of the Sathran's eyes and ears.  The fact that hardly anyone knew this, not even that he unofficially was part of the council of an unofficial ministry... Nevertheless, he had had opportunity to be privy to all the highest matters of the state, including audience with the Sathran, though always late at night when other eyes and ears were not around...  Nevertheless, his official title remains Master Census Taker of Santharia.

With an exceptionally quick mind, a broad range of experience, multifaceted talents of being both scholar and able to mix with many people and his unassuming demeanor, he is attempting to develop a highly effective information service within the nation of the Santharia to forstall internal rebellions and problems as well as headoff infiltration and spies from other lands...  There is now perhaps need for someone to be moreover sent off to initiate a series of contacts in those other lands...  Or at least to oversee its accomplishment.

Throughout the 13 years of service to the Santhran, he has quietly maintained and increased contacts throughout the entirity of the kingdom and developed a series of networks with agents at every level of society providing information of events that would move quicker than a hungry bard's story telling. And always undercover of tax and census taking, and an unassuming demeanor of a mediocre dice player who liked to draw, who would have known?

Besides his trusty daggers coated in sleeping poisons (.....), one in either sleeve and on either ancle and two on the belt for good measure, he has a pack of darts. And a butterfly net and some good good rope when he travels.  Around both of his forearms, he wears a finally crafted leather guard with small pockets sewn in them able to hold a coin, so that when they are all filled (and generally they are, since his salary is comfortable), they act as studded grieves or two small buckler shields.  OTherwise, he wears no armour and carries no other weapons, besides his everpresent quills and two smoke bomb vials, stink bomb vials and as much flaming oil and flash powder to boot.  Also assorted spell aids, including a small silver mirror, etc..


When travelling by land, he rides a horse, a mare, of small stature but good clip.  And to her attached all the needed items of travel plus a few extras of vials and such.

At home, he retains an extesive and ever growing library and a simple alchemical shop of materials and tool for basic work.  Since most of his excess money goes to his reading habit, there is little further room for luxury goods, though some fine hobbit furniture was inherited fom a grat aunt.  He also has a very fine elvin crossbow and bolts, but does not normally travel with these. 

With several associates and henchmen, he usually arranges to travel coincidentally with others more skilled in fighting arts.  He does not openly flount his position or that he has any henchmen at all, and keeps only one servant, a mute halfling, who has been with him for nine years and keeps his residence.  THe halfling can and does practise with the crossbow and considerably better with a shortsword... 

In every town and city in the kingdom, there is now a room kept in a tavern, sometimes two, where meetings can be arranged, or a quiet place for various agents to reside.  Also, each has extra equipment, clothes, money hidden under floorboards or behind walls for rainy days.  These rooms are at the expense of the Sthran, not his agent, but as he is the one who has arranged for these to be put into place, they are there for his use as well... though he makes a habit not to use such unless in an emergency...

Contacts with every kind of guild and order are maintained, servents in many of the main keeps and castles.  And many prominent bards know very well that they can receive coin from him in proportion to the stories they can tell of their recent visits to castles and all that they saw happening there...


Besides the mare mentioned above, Tchekoveu keeps several birds of several species, including a hawk, a skill he picked up in more recent years while consorting with the higher lords and ladies.  The hawks name is Eyes.

25  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population on: 08 December 2008, 05:09:32

I think that is more properly 467,242.5

...wasn't he a halfling?

26  Santharian World Development / Cosmology, Myths and Religions / Re: Where do Gods Live? on: 08 December 2008, 02:13:45
hi all!

The notion of *spheres* is old beyond medieval to antiquity.  I bet it had to do with the stars and planets and sun and moon residing on spheres in the aether.

hope that helps...

personally, i would think the elves would have evolved an extensive fine vocabulary to distinguish between seven fiffer kinds of "elsewhere" the way the inuit peoples have as many fine words for snow...  So ...

The gods went to [elvish word here] (elvish roughly translating as  rolleyes
27  Organization and General Discussions / Newbie Information, Joining Requests and Recruitment / Introduction (in character, gnomish census taker and scholar) on: 07 December 2008, 22:29:26
"Greetings respected members of council...."  [unusually well spoken in a high, somewhat squeeky voice, but with a clear accent showing almost no trace of gnomish gutterals]

"My face may be new to you, but mostly because mine is one of the many belonging to those many gnomish clerks behind all those desks and counting our kingdoms taxes and writing reports for you to assess.  Sometimes I feel more like a puppet and less like a gnome being pushed and pulled around, but alas, that is the life of Santharian clerk in the Santhran's illustrious halls.  Anyhow, it has come to our attention that it has been many score years since census was undertaken on behalf of our Santhran, and so I am seeking authority to begin this audacious work. 

"Why me?  Because I am a well-trained scholar, some would even say sage - at least I can boast the years to be such, if not all the magical expertise!  So please consider me for this post of kingdom census taker!

"I have three copendia in mind, the first a complete census of all races in Santharia.  Second, an analysis for the Treasury of Santharian trade and mint.  Third, a compendium of taxes levied throughout Santharia.

"With your permission, I will commence with these works...

"If you wish to review my qualifications, you will find my CDvee in the personnel office - just look under 'T' for Tchekoveu - That is T - C - H - E - K - O - V - E - U.  I have all the necessary qualifications, I quite assure you, for this task. 

"Please do not mistake my humble stature for inability to see this project to completion effectively and correctly.

"Also, the other gnomish clerks and Morden the Dwarf have asked for more beer rations at the midday meal.

"I serve at the pleasure of the Santhran,

[Tchekoveu, Santharian sage bows and leaves]
28  Organization and General Discussions / General Santharian Discussions / Re: Population on: 07 December 2008, 19:10:25

I am new and this would be my first post... But I can be adventurous!
And the work I see here is WONDERFUL!!

I have gone through and read a good deal about Santharia, much of the background, etc..  And I have been driven by several questions, but focussing on one topic primarily, I have hit a wall.  I have been trying to get a big picture of trade, roads, sea routes, and the like, but this meant first having a good sense of populations and production...

So, population and population of the major urban centers is very important if the world is retain consistency.  So, is there a list of all the cities and towns with their populations somewhere?  I am just focussing first on Santharia....

I did some preliminary analysis, and I figured that the overall population would be around 12 millions (or between 8 and 16 million)  This is based on FIEF and other medieval studies, and the fact that Santharia has around 216,000 square strals, and assuming an average of 60 pop per square stral.  However, this is also based on several important assumptions...

Most significant is that a STRAL is like a MILE and NOT a KILOMETER... From the maps (the legends in fact) strals calculate to miles... but in the converter (I think) it is written that they are kilometers.  If they were kilometers (requiring all the maps to have their legend scales redrawn - assuming I did my calcs right, and I think I did) then the total population would have to be drastically reduced to around 4,000,000 or ONE THIRD (because 216,000 square kilometers is around 70,000 square miles).

Okay, suppose it is miles... then I also made assumptions about very sophisticated technology and magic to retain the high average of 60 per square mile (remember, this includes some prominent desserts, swamps, mountain ranges, and forests full of unwelcoming other critters...)  This also does not account for the ways the nonhuman populations are quite different (and frequently less populous, as in the case of elves and dwarves and hobbits...)

But supposing 60 is about right overall...  Then according to most accounts I have read, expect 3 to 4% to be urban.  Let's say 4%, that makes a TOTAL human population of 480,000 living in ALL TOWNS AND CITIES greater than 1000 (village sized).  Noting that there are around 40 towns marked with a single hut and another ten with several, if we interpret the single huts as TOWNS (meaning say between 1000-9000 and averaging 5000 pop) that accounts already for 200,000 leaving another 280,000 for ALL TEN CITIES.  This would mean they average around 28,000 each.  And this all actually curiously makes sense (!), but it also means that one should NOT expect any of them to be greater than 100,000...

One would expect a spread of numbers something like the following, and just to fudge, let's increase the total for cities to 300,000.

1.   60,000
2.   55,000
3.   45,000
4.   35,000
5.   30,000
6.   20,000
7.   15,000
8.   15,000
9.   13,000
10. 12,000


What do you all think?  Perhaps a step back for a moment and we can figure this population thing out? 

Or has someone already done this?

Again, you have all done an AMAZING job here, and I hope you will allow me dream a little with you all here.


PS Avatar still in the works, but it will probably be a goofy looking gnome professor, entirely too pedantic...
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