Re: Starving cities

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Sat 14 Sep 1996 - 00:50:00 EEST


Sandy Petersen
>Joerg says: Heortland's cities are:
>>Numerous large towns with 80%+ farmer inhabitants,
>>Backford and Duchamp, two minor cities with a fair portion of
>>city-settled farmers
> Give me a break. The farmers can't travel more than a
>half-day's out into the countryside to farm, so the local inhabitants
>have a definite limit to how much their farming can support the city.

Yes. It is three cities in all of Heortland which have to worry about this:
Durengard, Jansholm, and Mt Passant. All others would rather produce a
surplus in normal years, according to RQ3's Civilisation chapter.

>In any case, it's the 20% of the population who make the city unique
>that we are concerned with.

You forget the ties of kin the urban crafters have with urban farmers.
Unless the guilds are inbreeding in your Heortland (they aren't in mine)
most Heortland crafters will have more agricultural kin than urban kin, and
won't face starvation at once. The rabble will suffer, and turn bandit,
sure, but there is less kinless rabble in Heortland cities than there is in
Nochet.

>Farm-horses used as steeds for war-militia and slain,

Good that Barntar farmers use oxen to plow.

>silos full of grain pillaged for a foraging army,

That is a problem

>a year's income traded for a suit
>of armor that marched off and was lost at Whitewall or at sea or
>elsewhere.

The losses at Whitewall were a lot less than you picture them here, after
the inititial unsuccessful assault in 1619. Including superior Lunar
equipment taken there, the mountain rebels will be better equipped than the
ordinary peasants, and a lot of the mountain rebels are led by native
nobility forced into outlawry by Richard's Rokari, i.e. wanting to reclaim
the land rather than be outright parasitical.

>Recently, Heortland has been suffering heavily from many
>parasitic infections -- things that keep taking, but not giving; the
>Lunars, Richard the Tiger-Hearted, the Queendom of Jab.

Agreed.

>Temertain,

Him? How so? The only losses _he_ may have caused were in 1613, half a
generation ago, at the Storm Bull High Holy Day in Boldhome.

>All of these injured Heortland's surplus. None, yet, has provided
>anything to make up for it,

1618 and 1619 were comparably peaceful and productive. The Lunar march on
Karse did alarm northern Heortland, but the Rokari (wisely?) held their
subjects in check.

>except for Richard's abortive effort to
>build nomad-repelling fortresses.

Richard's reputation alone had caused a period of peace in the Praxian
marches in my Glorantha. IMG, that's where he first was stationed when he
and his band arrived in Heortland in 1615 (incidentally, IMG again, to
relieve a certain Brian of the Volsaxi and his Sartarite exile companions
who returned to Brian's tribe to stir up things in the Wilmskirk area).

>The Heortlings _paid_ for the
>forts, but they have been in place too short a time for them to have
>realized any benefits from them.

The presence of these lesser forts around the massive and ancient Knight
Fort (where Richard had been stationed when still only a mercenary captain)
did mitigate the losses the second Heortland civil war of 1620 to around
1624 on the Praxian Border, as much as his reputation made the region
survive through the throne struggle of 1617 even when the Marcher Barons
supported the Duke of Mt Passant (IMG the last serious contender Richard had
to overcome, and in a field battle). Afterwards, some Heortland nobles
displaced by Rokari knights took the offer of recompensation there, and
sufficed to man this one royal project of Richard which saw execution.

> Economically, socially, and politically, Heortland is
>spinning at dangerous speed, flinging off bits of civilization and
>culture as it accelerates. In not many years at all, it will
>doubtless have degenerated to the status of Brolia; tiny warring
>clans, scrabbling after scraps, supporting a fraction of its former
>population.

There is the charismatic lead of King Brian (at first only of the Volsaxi,
from 1624 to about 1629 of all of Heortland) to keep the pieces together for
a while. The Hendriki lands (the flat part of the plateau) will have the
Aeolian Church to countermand some of the phenomena you mention, whereas the
foothills will reach Sartarite status (likely verging on pre-Sartar conditions).

>>Karse, with a sizable Islander-stock fishermen populace, under Lunar
>>control and supply from 1619 on;
> The Empire's isn't supplying any food to Karse. How would it
>get there? Where would this surplus food come from? Prax? Shipped
>from Corflu? Perhaps from Tarsh, caravaned overland through the
>Grazelands, Shadow Plateau, Troll Woods, and Heortland? Don't make me
>laugh.

From Hendira's lands in and around Nochet, at first. Karse is a project at
the heart of Fazzur, as is Esrolia, whereas Whitewall is just an annoying
spark which could (militarily, and from magical considerations as well if
one succeeds with a Reaching Moon Temple in Nochet) be starved out slowly.
Therefore, as long as there are Tarshite commanders in Nochet and Karse
(which is the case in my Glorantha up to 1622 in Nochet, and even longer in
Karse), there will be extra efforts to bring some grain from Esrolia.

>>Leskos and Vizel, both with up to half the populace Islander-stock,
>>and fishing fleets of their own, in their own bays/river mouths;
> Exactly. These cities, who depend on Islanders and fishing
>fleets are exactly the cities which also depend on the Ludoch for
>their survival. The Ludoch have them right where they want them. What
>are the odds they'd make a decision that would counter the Ludoch's
>wishes, no matter how mild-mannered the Ludoch "requests" appeared?

Since this wasn't a secret to the half-islander population of these cities
prior to 1616, why should it surprise them now?

Ok, they do rely on some Ludoch support, but they have some water territory
of their own as well (the long river fjords are bad Ludoch territory, as are
the tidal flats before the plateau). Their newtling contacts are somewhat
valuable, too.

>>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.
> Of course, survival of the nobility is not the same as the
>survival of the city. The 0.5% of the city who make up this group can
>survive, so long as the city doesn't riot or the farmers rise up.

0.5% nobility, plus about 1.5 to 3.5% sworn retainers at least, including
some crafters and warriors.

Jansholm is worst off with food supplies, as Durengard has the royal court
most of the time which feeds even non-retainers quite well, and Mt. Passant
has the (up to 1620) most peaceful area of Heortland around it. From 1620 to
about 1622, that region is annected by God Forgot IMG, and liberated with
the help of the Whitewall survivors, and the Aeolian Church, and other
rebels against first Richard, then Lunar occupation.

Jansholm will become the main Lunar garrison in Heortland, but will
deteriorate most of the cities.

>>The craft guilds have contracts with Esrolia which grant them grain
>>in exchange for their goods.
> Esrolia's produce is reduced, too. They've been hoarding and
>suffering from Graymane and other problems.

Hinterland produce is reduced, yes. Esrolia has been raided again and again
earlier, without losing much of its export capacities up to 1617. 1618 might
be a bad year, 1619 is quiet again except on the northern border. 1620 sees
Fazzur reorganizing much of Esrolia's ressources for _his_ future kingdom in
the Holy Country (he is blissfully ignorant of Moonson's role in this, IMO).

>>Heortland is in a state of chaos at the moment,
>>>You mean after 1620?
> I mean after the Pharaoh's departure.

A civil war in 1617, 2 years of reorganisation and religious disorder,
conquest by the Lunars in the following year, two years later roused by the
Whitewall survivors - yes, I suppose you could say that. About as bad as the
more heavily taxed tribes of Sartar fare, IMO.

------------------------------

End of Glorantha Digest V3 #194
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