Famine in Heortland?

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Wed 11 Sep 1996 - 00:38:00 EEST

Sandy Petersen
Re: Protein-starvation and shamans vs. sorcerers

> Heortland's not protein-starved -- Heortland's CITIES are

Heortland's cities are:

Numerous large towns with 80%+ farmer inhabitants,

Karse, with a sizable Islander-stock fishermen populace, under Lunar control
and supply from 1619 on;

Leskos and Vizel, both with up to half the populace Islander-stock, and
fishing fleets of their own, in their own bays/river mouths;

Backford and Duchamp, two minor cities with a fair portion of city-settled

and the three large cities of Jansholm, Durengard, and Mt. Passant.

All of the large cities have a fair contingent of land-owning Westernized
nobility who see to their own and their entourages' needs. They lack the
urban farmers in sufficient numbers, though, and the citizens not sworn to a

noble's entourage might suffer in the case of a general decrease in food

The craft guilds have contracts with Esrolia which grant them grain in
exchange for their goods. They do rely on the Mirrorsea trade between

Heortland and Esrolia, and their storage houses will deplete slowly after
both their goods and the grain payments get intercepted once in a while.

The poor population will suffer, as usual. The criminals will turn on the
countryside and raid, the beggars and unguilded workforce will starve,
leave, or become Lunars (after 1620) and eat Teelo Norri gruel.

>Heortland is in a state of chaos at the moment,

You mean after 1620?

>it unclear whether the Lunars, the Orlanthi, or the Malkioni are to
>be in power. The normal trade patterns are disrupted. Quite a lot of
>farmland was destroyed by the Queendom of Jab, too.

In the Syphon valley, i.e. all the way from Jansholm to Durengard, east of
the royal highway.

>>>What happened? Were there huge bands of scorpionmen roving around
>>>in 1616/1617?
> In late 1617 into 1618 and maybe later.

IMO later. It would take say three to four years for the unusual number of
surviving yearlings to reproduce to a scale comparable to a locust horde.

>The Queendom acted kind of like a huge locust horde.

Northern Heortland has gotten used to this kind of "locust hordes" already -
the Trollwood trollkin swarms had to be hunted down regularly as well. This
is why in my Glorantha (St) Elmal the vanquisher of Darkness is one of the

most popular cults/saints, and has (had, by 1620) a cathedral with gilded
roof-tiles (in 1620 IMG the roof left/will leave Jansholm on a fleet from
Karse to the Threstep Isles commandeered by a certain Mularik Ironeye).

>Basically, every single plant and
>animal in the territory the scorpion folk swept over was devoured,
>leaving only barren soil.

Like a trollkin outburst, or worse? Are the scorpion men herbivorous as
well? I used to regard them as carnivores...

>In the years since the Queendom was beaten
>back, only small grasses and pioneer species of plants have managed
>to return. This was a pretty large area affected, too -- maybe a
>sixth of all Heortland (mostly in the foothills).

Likely, because all the choice lowland farmland would have been divided out
between Rokari knights and pro-Western supporters of Richard and his
lieutenants, with the former thanes being disowned for high treason (i.e.
resistance against a throne contender who happened to win, or accusation
thereof if the land was really wealthy and the thane not that influential).
In the open farmlands of the western plateau the knights - even the native,
3rd rate chivalry - would have stomped out the scorpion breed.

> The people in the countryside have plenty to eat. But they're
>no longer taking it into the cities to cell. As a result, the cities
>are starting to shrink, with folk vanishing into the hinterland
>(where they're not particularly welcome), becoming bandits, etc.

Becoming bandits: join Brian of the Volsaxi or lesser Heortland nobles who
were opposed to Richard and lost their land, you mean?

>>Merchants have lower profit margins now, with all the extra guards
>>or safe passage vouchers they have to finance, and run a greater
>>risk, but trade still goes on on a considerable scale

> Trade is still greater than you'd find in Ralios

I doubt that: Lake Felster would have no navies if there wasn't a high
mercantyle volume of ships between the city-states.

>or the
>Wastes, certainly, but Ralios and the Wastes don't have economies
>that depend heavily on trade and seaborne transportation.

Safelster does, via Lake Felster, the Tanier, and the Doskior, and in East
Ralios the Doskior is the only useful route to transport anything. Same for
Otkorion and Lankst with the upper Tanier. The only part of Ralios without
water travel is Vustria, which has an economy similar to the Wastes.

>It only
>takes a tiny deficit in food to wipe out a very large urban
>population. [useful example snipped]

Luckily, Heortland has only a quite small urban population. Jansholm,
Backford and Durengard will be controlled by Lunar garrisons (not unlike
Pavis, although with less Lunar troops than numbered for Pavis, which were
greatly exaggerated IMO), and the Lunars will provide an occupation economy
similar to that in post-WW-II Germany (or Austria, like in "The Third Man"'s
Vienna). Oh, those who starve will likely be sold as slaves into the Empire...

Mt. Passant and probably Duchamp are worse off, since they get invaded by
God Forgot troops who retake what ambitious Heortland knights had conquered
half a (God Forgot Talar) generation ago around 1325-1370.

MGF-wise, Refuge should receive a contingent of 105 Lunar soldiers, a
prince, and a priest of Yanafal Tarnils. That way a Lunar Prince Kadakithis
would be possible...

>>That sounds like there was/will be a major involvement of the
>>Queendom of Jab with greater politics at some time.

> The Queendom of Jab is pretty much wiped out now.

Now: when do you speak of? My campaign has just reached 1617. I'd use 1620
for the height of the scorpion outbreaks... The fact that the queendom was
bled out for some time might be due to Lunar diplomacy...

>doesn't mean that some _other_ chaos danger (or a revived Queendom --
>after all, the scorpion folk remember it) can't surge forth.

The 1622 chaos force summoned by Tatius?


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