Tilvanot (Scarlet Brotherhood) population
Date: Fri, October 30, 2020
Topic: Peoples & Culture

The Tilvanot peninsula was once a place of mystery. That is until this article was published. Herein lies the truth of the population of that hidden land as researched by Lord Bresin -- the next Mage of Power. 

The canon material presented on the Scarlet Brotherhood is understandably vague on the population of the Tilvanot peninsula to allow Game Masters to adapt it to their personal campaigns. That being said, this article is going to present a version of the Tilvanot population aligned with the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer country values. As much as possible the logic used to derive the value will be explained so that an aspiring GM can disregard the logic they don’t agree with. Although the opinion of any GM who does not believe that the Suel are the greatest of human races in the Flanaess should be ignored as irrelevant.

As a first step, we will try to define a reasonable target value. The closest approximation to the history of the Tilvanot would be that of the Theocracy of the Pale. Both were founded by a group of zealots that left their homeland to found a new country. Both countries have a similar geographical size. Both countries are Lawful, which give rise to an organized country with everyone mostly pulling in the same direction – to improve the overall society. Using the Pale with a 395,000, let us consider other factors to determine how different the Tilvanot would be to that value.

One noticeable difference is that the Pale is a lot more centralized than the Tilvanot so immigration from other countries would be easier. But this factor has a lot less impact in medieval societies than in modern ones. Most medieval peasants are tied to their lands which means their tendency to immigrate to other countries is fairly low. So, much like the Tilvanot, the Pale’s population growth would mostly be organic. The Scarlet Brotherhood also actively encourages immigration; by enticing Suel from other countries to move there (as from the Rhizian peninsula) or by forcibly encouraging immigration (i.e. capturing slaves). Taking these factors into account, it is logical to assume that the Pale and Tilvanot have similar growth rates over time.

One advantage the Tilvanot has over the Pale is that, being a much older country, it has had organic growth for much longer than the Pale. This is likely offset by the Pale being founded by a larger initial group of zealots leaving the Great Kingdom.

Now we can compare the two environmental factors to see if that would cause a deviation of population growth. Although the Darlene map shows the Tilvanot as having a large band of grassland around the plateau, it can be assumed, based on its proximity to Hepmonaland, that this was more than likely to be dense jungle when the original Suel came here. Taming these lands would adversely impact the population growth of the Tilvanot. As per The Scarlet Brotherhood supplement (page 24), the Suel did indeed “tame” the lowlands to create farmlands and plantations. The Pale is in similar straits, its land is cold and its land difficult to farm (as per LGG page 81). When a country must import food (LGG page 81), this has a serious impact on the population growth. Taking the two environmental factors into account, the Tilvanot probably has the environmental edge and would have an advantage on population growth.

Another internal factor for population growth is emigration. The Pale being insular and religious would likely have very little emigration. The Tilvanot, on the other hand, would have sent out colonists to the Olman islands, Hepmonaland and Amedio to set up outposts and villages there. Their stated goal to improve the blood lines and social values of those countries. This requires the displacement of loyal citizens to the new countries. This grants an edge to the Pale for population growth. Although the overall citizens of Empire of Shar (the Empire of the Scarlet Brotherhood spanning all their countries) would be dramatically increased by spreading out and assimilating the pure breeds from those countries.  

Now that we have looked into the internal factors driving the growth of the two respective countries, let’s examine external factors. The Pale was invaded and conquered by Nyrond in 356 CY. This war and occupation probably had a detrimental factor on the overall population of the Pale. The Tilvanot, by comparison, was never invaded nor had their population growth adversely impacted by foreign powers. Once again this gives an edge to the Tilvanot for population growth.

The Tilvanot as a whole is approximately 233,00 km2 (90,000 square miles). In theory this gives a frontier country with 490,000 people. The Tilvanot is a little more frontier-like than most countries on Oerth. Given these various factors, the Tilvanot peninsula’s population would be around 450,000. This then takes us to the next step in the process; what is the racial and geographical distribution of that population. As everyone knows, the Scarlet Brotherhood’s focus on racial purity is integral to their culture.

For purposes of this article, the races of the Tilvanot can be divided as follows: Citizens (pure Suel), Subcitizens (nearly pure Suel), Slaves (humans of non-Suel blood and demi-humans), and Humanoids.

This article’s stance on population distribution is as follows:

  • -- Citizens: the majority of citizens are located in the larger towns, running their estates on the plateau, or otherwise working as the elite classes in society (priests, mages, officials, top tier soldiers, etc).
  • -- Subcitizens: they manage the estates and plantations in the lowlands, the mercantile trade in the port towns with foreigners and run many of the businesses in the towns of the plateau. They are also used as household servants to the citizens on the plateau.
  • -- Humanoids: mostly residing in tribal villages spread around the coast to discourage landing by foreign spies and adventurers. The citizens also keep them entertained by making them fight against each other when not being used on foreign soil – as per The Scarlet Brotherhood (page 7). The Citizens would not want these mock battles to interfere with the affairs on the plateau so it makes sense for the humanoid villages to be in the lowlands. The majority of the humanoid villages are located Southwest of the Spine Ridge (The Scarlet Brotherhood page 30).
  • -- Slaves: mostly located in the plantations and farms in the lowlands. Although quite a few are used on the plantations located on the plateau.     

It is this article’s premise that the racial distribution of the 450,000 total population is as follows: Citizens (90,0000), Subcitizens (100,000), Slaves (200,000), Humanoids (60,000).

Based on a population of 450,000, using random settlement distribution would be (assuming Hesuel Ilshar is the largest settlement) we get four cities (12000 pop, 9600 pop, 7400 pop, 5700 pop), about forty towns (average population of 1,500) and hundreds of villages and hamlets. We then take a look at the size of three major cities based on the maps shown in The Scarlet Brotherhood, the following can be inferred:

  1. Kro Terlep has an area of 0.28 km2 (0.11 square miles), this gives an approximate population of 6,000 people.
  2. Ekul has an area of 0.36 km2 (0.14 square miles), this gives an approximate population of 7,000 people.
  3. Hesuel Ilshar has an area of 0.57 km2 (0.22 square miles), this gives an approximate population of 12,000 people.
  4. We can assume there is another large town somewhere in the Tilvanot - probably Taree based on the fact it is the only settlement that is described as a “city” in The Scarlet Brotherhood (page 28). To even out the population of the top four cities, Taree would have around 9,500 population.

 The Tilvanot settlements can be divided into four regions: the plateau, the south coast, the north coast and the neck leading to the vast swamp.

  • ·    The Plateau (136k): We can use the following values; Citizens (50,000), Subcitizens (20,000), Slaves (65,000), Humanoids (1,000).

    ·   The North coast (147k): We can use the following values; Citizens (24,000), Subcitizens (40,000), Slaves (75,000), Humanoids (8,000).

    ·   The South coast (88k): We can use the following values; Citizens (10,000), Subcitizens (30,000), Slaves (43,000), Humanoids (5,000).

    ·   The Neck (79k): We can use the following values; Citizens (6,000), Subcitizens (10,000), Slaves (17,000), Humanoids (46,000).

 When looking at the four main settlement of the Tilvanot we get the following distributions.

  • --- Hesuel Ilshar is the capital of the Kingdom of Shar. It is stated (in The Scarlet Brotherhood) that the majority of the population of Hesuel Ilshar are citizens, the rest are a mostly subcitizens. We can assume that majority would be ¾ of the population. Which gives us our first set of values of 8,000 Citizens, 2,500 subcitizens, 250 slaves, 250 humanoids.
  • --- Taree is an organized lumber and export port city used mostly for trade. This city would have a large number of citizens. We can use the following values; 4000 citizens, 2500 subcitizens, 2500 slaves, 500 humanoids.
  • --- Ekul is a complete chaotic settlement, the assumption being that the few Citizens here are to run things at a high level. We can use the following values; 1000 citizens, 3000 subcitizens, 2500 slaves, 500 humanoids.
  • --- Kro Terlep is a lot more organized than Ekul and therefore a larger population of Citizens reside here. We can use the following values; 2500 citizens, 2000 subcitizens, 1250 slaves, 250 humanoids.


This article comes from Canonfire!

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