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    Canonfire :: View topic - Stonefist Population
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    Stonefist Population
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    Oerth Journal Staff

    Joined: Aug 16, 2001
    Posts: 46
    From: Milford NH

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    Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:28 pm  
    Stonefist Population

    According to the LGG and a few older publications the Hold of Stonefist has a popluation @50,000. That really doesn't seem to be large enough to occupy parts of Tenh, battle the Rovers and still pose a challenge for the Frost, Snow and Ice Barbarians. At best they might be able to field 10,000 men. That's assuming 20% of the population takes the field and that would be stretch. They would be easily be pillaged by any of their neighbors or any humanoid tribes in the mountains if they did do that. Any thoughts on this. Could this number not include the old Coltens Feodality citizens?
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 158
    From: Little Rock, Arkansas

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    Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:36 pm  

    Medieval armies were not terribly large. Duke William conquered England with ~10,000 soldiers when England had a population of around 2 million at the time.

    Of critical importance in DnD warfare is the effects of having class levels. I certainly imagine Sevvord leading the fists into battle William Wallace style while Duke Eyeh sipped wine in his palace allowing lower level subordinates lead the men into battle.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 02, 2003
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    Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:07 pm  

    Hi Fallon,

    Your point about Stonehold having its fighting manpower stretched thin is absolutely bang on. In fact, the situation you pose, about them being pillaged, in fact happened as per LGG pg. 95. It appears that Tang the Horrific with a band of Rovers raided into Stonehold for horses and razed Vlekkstad to the ground. As the text states "With most Fists either in Tenh or fighting the Suel in eastern Stonehold, Vlekkstad had almost no soldiers in residence". I think this happened around 587 CY.

    Anyway, whether you go by Canon or not, I think you must remember that the Fists are brutal warriors who probably don't need to occupy territory as much as threaten to bring down a rain of destruction. These terror tactics were employed by the Mongols quite effectively when faced with unruly populations. My reading of Stonehold suggests they are probably at least as brutal as the Mongols were.

    Even so, I agree with OldOneEye about the small size of Medieval/Fantasy Armies. The LGG suggests about 5% as the number of men under arms (approx 3,000 for Stonehold). Even if we give 10%, around 5,500, that is actually very large proportion of your menfolk underarms and could not be sustained indefinitely. Sevvord faces the problem of being surrounded by enemies on all sides (although he probably deserves it!), widely separated fronts, and limited manpower. He simply can't be strong everywhere all the time.
    Oerth Journal Staff

    Joined: Aug 16, 2001
    Posts: 46
    From: Milford NH

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    Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:09 pm  

    Very True. Thats why I posed the question about population. My guess is that the Fist's use a fair amount of humanoids as troops also. I agree that the Mongols would be a great histoical comparasion. Maybe even the Vandals could be used. I've always felt the the Suel Barbarians and the Fist's didn't get an awful lot of attention. Other than "Howl from the North" they didn't get alot of canon. There are even some references to ancient Suel ruins in the Rakers but that's about it. It's a fun region that could be really developed. Snow/Frost/Ice Barbarains, Fists, Ratik and maybe Fireland could hold endless possiblities.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 17, 2004
    Posts: 923
    From: Computer Desk

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    Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:52 pm  

    The population of Stonehold is sparse because of the harsh enviroment and the lack of ocean resource gathering the barbarians achieve,

    IIRC; the figure relates to the fists - The need for manpower could be the reason Sevvord wants to incorporate the Coltens Feodality as citizens. Remember it was only with the help of the Snow/Frost/Ice Barbarains that Tenh was overun and the "special charm" kept Sevvord from looting and going back north.

    When the "special charm" was broken; Sevvord retreated north to a strong defensive position that retained the lucrative platinum mines. Platinum is hard to give back. Wink

    Some more research: as to why no foreign power claims the Hold; simple enviroment. No one fought over Greenland because it has no value. Same for much of the Hold; barbarians are more interested in obtaining food and resources rather then marching an army and claim worthless barren tundra.

    Barbarians keep the Holders from the northern fishing grounds. Food in the north has value and raids to acquire goods have value. Hunting the northern walrus (one reachable resource) is seasonal.

    Food and resources are scarce in the north; note the societal reliance on hunting and raiding. The priority for the holders was to drive the livestock of Tenh north and to retain the northern mines not claim tenha farmland. The harsh enviroment inhibits the growth of large populations without a reliable food source. The eastern barbarians prevent the Holders from exploiting the open ocean fishing resources. Restricted to shore fishing and hunting within the barren landscape does not provide enough societal resources to support a large population.

    So to retain control the holders use the threat of force rather then mobilized troops. A hunter becomes a fist member when mobilized but when not needed he is hunting not guarding a barren tundra. The fists are not always mobilized but can be if needed.
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