Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time & the Compression Ratio Between Earth and Garnia World

I am just putting this out there, because Darryl and I spoke about the fact that it doesn't necessarily need to be held at a constant ratio, I'd rather it did though. So I started doing some calculations, and I came up with some interesting ideas. A 10:1 ratio of time passage rates Earth to Garnia (or the Realm of the Sidhe, Fairy Land, The Otherlands, Alfheim, or whatever you want to call it), gives us a campaign present that takes place roughly 207 years after the initial Celtic peoples arrival on the northern steppe.

Given that my initial Timeline had the Celts coming over initially in 60 BC, then filling the steppes in roughly 130 years, which would have been circa 70 AD and starting to fragment and feud after that until the Sidhe sparked an incident (as yet undefined) that united them in what would have been 150 AD and they unite under their first High King Gwaryn in 175 AD. He provides, in a mutated form, the name for the campaign world. The problem is, that at a 10:1 ratio we need 235 years just to get to the first High King for whom the setting is named, or we have to bring more Celts; which I find unrealistic, or we have to speed up events in unlikely ways otherwise. Additionally, our "multiple migrations" become kind of a serious pain in the ass if everyone is migrating to the steppes pretty much on top of each other. So while 10:1, or even faster, works better for fairy tales, I am going to have to slow things down quite a bit.

I thought about 5:1 and that doesn't solve a lot of our problems either. Sure, it gives us twice the time and history on Garnia World as 10:1 does, but it still has the disadvantage of running things too fast paced to allow for any real human history or societal divergence to take place. We only end up with about 415 years to work with, which gives us the completed overthrow of the Sidhe Empire in it's heartlands and Frodia's separation from Garnia, but it doesn't give a lot of time for late comers to develop their civilizations at all (Japanese I'm thinking of you), or for major events like the Necromancer War or the multiple envisioned overthrows of Garnia by Celtic invaders from the steppes, or the Orcish kingdom coming into existence on Garnian soil.

So I settled on a 3:1 ratio, for ever 3 years that pass on Earth only 1 year passes on Garnia World. That gives us 687.3 years since the initial Celtic Migration to Garnia World. They would have first become aware of the time compression ratio when the next migration of Celts arrived during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, because 103 years would have passed on Earth but only 34 on Garnia World. Over the next 35 Earth years more refugees arrive but only 11-12 years pass for the Garnians. Now, the original Pan-Celtic settlers spoke a wide variety of Celtic languages, these new imports are skewing the linguistic base pretty heavily towards Brythonic, assuming that they are coming in large enough numbers, which I am. This also is going to affect how quickly the steppes fill up, and consequently, how rapidly the Humans come into conflict with first each other (old feuds die hard, and the new people aren't all religious fanatics like the original settlers) and then the Sidhe. I am going to assume that the people are going to form new tribes/clans along linguistic lines, but I also think that the refugees in particular are going to stick with their old tribal connections.

Now I haven't figured out the numbers of British refugees that should be coming over in each wave, but there should be three major waves coinciding with the three major waves of Roman conquest in Britain. Actually, now that I think about it, and I don't want to rewrite this, maybe they should become aware even sooner, surely there would be refugees from Caesar's conquest of Gaul, right? Of course that was from 58-51 BC, so maybe no one noticed the effect yet. Gaul is any easy place to get people out of fast the Gallic campaign only lasted 7 years but it killed 20% of the population (and enslaved a further 20%), 1 million dead, we could sneak quite a few out I think. Although that further speeds up the filling up of the steppes and skews the linguistics towards Brythonic, they wee already going that way anyway though. Or do we assume that the "missing" Gauls are just Gauls that left in the 60 BC migration and to hell with anyone that stuck around for Caesar? They were warned after all.

Of course the 60 BC migration also included Gauls from Roman Gallia Cisalpina and Galatia in modern day Turkey, plus Britons, Picts, Celt-Iberians and Gaels from Ireland. I am undecided on Ligurians. Of those groups, the Gauls in Gallia Cisalpina were conquered by the Romans following the 2nd Punic war. The Galatians were conquered for being allied to the Seleucids, then freed and allied to the Romans since the Mithridatic war, they would eventually become a province rather than a client kingdom. the Celt-Iberians technically lived in the Roman provinces of Hispania, but the Romans kept a pretty light hand on them. I guess initially conquering them was hard enough and Spain was rich enough that riling up the primitive natives was just a stupid idea when you could leave them to their business. The Celt-Iberians probably spoke a Goidelic language, like the Irish.

So in the 60 BC migration 3 of the groups already lived under Roman rule or as their allies, as did some tribes in southern Gaul. In southern Gaul and Galatia they had contact with the Greeks. Celts had served as mercenaries for several truly ancient civilizations, the Persians, Carthaginians, Egyptians and the Greeks to name a few of the bigger, better known ones. Literacy, while not valued among certain castes of Celtic society, is not unknown, and since, by the time of the migrations, the Mediterranean is a Roman lake, they're largely preferring to be literate in Latin. We'll discuss Ogham at some other time.

Anyway, back to the Timeline-

The Egyptians (now extinct) migrated circa 2500 BC - Their culture would have been here for 1504 years, more than enough time to build their entire civilization up around their new Nile in Alt-Africa. Then the Goblins Zerg rushed them and ate them over the course of a few generations, adopting their culture and religion, but in an evil, Goblin kind of a way.

The Kushites migrated circa 1000 BC and were presumably placed by the Sidhe, for whatever reason right next to their real life Earth neighbors the Egyptians. I am going to make a judgment call here and say that in the 1004 years they've been here they started out as allies of the Egyptians and when the Goblins killed off Egyptian culture they fled away from that losing war, and have fought a long guerrilla war against any Goblinoid incursions into their territory ever since.

The Celts come in next at 687 years ago, they conquered the heart of the Sidhe Empire using their Iron Weapons and powerful offensive magic, given that the bulk of Celtic migrations arrive really close to the initial one, I am going to say that the time table for them expanding across the steppe and filling it to capacity is shorter, 1/2 the time 65 years, the war with the Sidhe starting maybe 50 years after that, and ending 20 years after that; all the territory that comprises Garnia, Frodia and the Steppes are briefly united under the rule of one High King; it's probably not Gwaryn, since that would be an exceptionally long lifespan for a warrior King. With Celtic elective Kingship it really could go to anyone, I vote for Erc Mac Cai, unless I already used that name somewhere else. I just really like the name.

Next we get a substantial population of Romans from the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius, we may get a few more, here and there, and there may have been a few before, but this is like direct divine intervention by the Sidhe since they know the Celts and Romans are traditional enemies by now and the Celts are becoming a nuisance. They get the summer population of 1/2 of Campania for their start 644 years ago the Romans estimated 16,000 citizen deaths, so take that for what it's worth. How many non-citizens and slaves died there too? 2 for every Roman? Did they only count men as citizens? Modern archaeologists have no way of estimating the total death toll, it's certainly in the thousands, is it more than 20,000? 30,000? 50,000? Pliny the Elder died there and he was one of the greatest minds of his time. The Romans get to mve into an area that is pretty much exactly like the one they left behind too, so they are going to get some serious advantages.

Then the Chinese, who have only been here for about 587.3 years building the Empire of Ming Liang. I demonstrated with math before, at the early stages of the blog how I made my assumptions of population growth for Humans, the Ming Liang are in an area that is actually pretty well suited to them, I am willing to give them a greater rate of growth than the Celts because their traditional way of life is in no way compromised, they just moved, as though they were moving to new village lands- the first generation might have a tough time building stuff from scratch, but after they're cultivating rice and silk and all the other traditional Chinese things they would have brought with them, it will be easy to expand. Additionally, this area also is the homeland of the Halflings, should they continue to exist, and they are a race that is by nature Good aligned, so they would probably help the new settlers. Although that's going to work out kind of like the Native American Indians helping the European settlers. Halflings may live longer but they don't breed as fast, mature as fast, or have the capacity to become as powerful as Humans; yes I believe in Human superiority over Demi-Humans. I am a supporter of level limits in D&D, because that's how I grew up playing and that's how this world was initially designed, so some of AD&D and B/X D&D are going to leak through as assumptions even when I try to design as system neutral as possible.

Next up are everyone's favorite almost Rohirrim, the Saxons. They showed up in Wodanslund about 520.6 years ago and have divided their time between building fortresses, sweeping Humanoids from the plains (and ultimately making expeditions into the mountains surrounding their vast plain), becoming horse riding cattle lords, and hiring themselves out as mercenaries, primarily to their neighbors to the north- Frodia. Most of Frodia's professional soldiers are Wodanslunder mercenaries, leading many outlanders to believe that Wodanslund is a subject kingdom to Frodia, but this is not the case.

Next up are the Norsemen, who have been here, off map, for about 387.3 years, since they live on an island chain that is unlikely to affect the main campaign area and are too far off map to make the voyage to the nearest part of the map, they are, in essence, a separate campaign.

I guess the next people on the list are the Chagatai/Golden Horde coming from circa 1300-03, when a severe drought caused untold devastation and starvation to both hordes, they were at peace with each other and everyone else for this brief period, so we'll save some people and animals and move them over to Garnia World then, it's the perfect time, neither horde is religiously zealous yet. The Khan of the Golden Horde is a theoretical Muslim, but he gets married to the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor, an Orthodox Christian and Muslims of his court referred to him as an Idol worshiper (either Buddhist or Tengerist), despite his favoritism towards Islam. So they've been here for about 236.6 years, but they're in an odd position of actually being near remnant cities of the Sidhe Empire who have learned how to play the ancient game of "let's keep the Humans divided", so they are really broken down into many warring clans of either Turkic or Mongol speaking peoples with shifting alliances and a fading memory of the golden days of Genghis Khan.

Then we get the Japanese from the end of the Nanboku-Chō war 1399 AD earth time. That gives them 204.3 years here, during which time they've colonized an island chain, established a Shogunate and greatly improved their seafaring skills, ironically based on Chinese designs. They have recently established trade with the Ming Liang, but have a vast edge in seafaring technology and many other skills that the Japanese originally got from the Chinese.

Next up to bat would be the Greeks from Trebizond, who are beating feet to out run the Ottoman empire when they find themselves on a weird foreign shore. They made their voyage in 1404 AD Earth time, so they've been here for 202.6 years. They're a civilized and advanced medieval/renaissance people so I think they'll do OK. The only people close to them are the Norsemen, with whom they have made trading contact. The Greeks got the better island, it's almost a mini-continent all off by itself.

Damn this is a long post already and I know I am leaving people out. I need a break though, so I'll do a part two. I need to establish things for non-Humans too. Orcs are the newest arrivals, Elves have always lived here. Their civilization is not necessarily as old as I originally thought though due to the time compression ratio.


  1. So far I've noticed that I missed the Arabs, Aztecs, Iroquois and Indians (the Hindu sub-continent kind); I am sure a keener editorial eye will pick up some more Human ethnic groups that got skipped.

    1. Oh, and, somewhat perversely, the Arabs get to come over in two waves to two different locations. One group may be Muslim, since their leaders are called Emirs, and that seems to be an Islamic royal title. The other, larger and more successful group is pagan, but now thoroughly mixed with the Indian population in the Necromancer Lands AKA "Kalipha Al Khalid". The other Arabs get to share bad terrain with the Iroquois, stuck to the south of the Mistlands between Garnia and Ming Liang, and make up some of the ethnic population of the Pirate Isles in the Sea of Nightmares. I think they got a raw deal. Live in the worlds largest most primeval swamp and share it with a bellicose nation of stone age warriors, or migrate out into a sea full of monsters. Try and advance north into the mountains and your vaunted Damascus steel rots, try to go east and you hit a Chinese empire that you have no chance against, because they have an enormous population, try to go west and you run into a line of border forts defended by warlike head-hunters who also outnumber you.

    2. I looked through my notes and the only Human ethnic group that I can see missing is the Kung San, and those poor bastards get to share the shite territory south of the Mistlands with both the Iroquois and the Muslim Arabs. There's a fun mix of people.

    3. And I'm wrong again, I missed the Roma people, or Gypsies, as they are usually called by outsiders. They live along the Frodia/Garnia borderlands, in both countries.

    4. Heh is that shite or shiite #seewhatididthere

    5. I am now working an an addenda post for this one, trying to get everyone placed and in their proper temporal context. Pre-Human timeline to come after.

    6. Incidentally, my research indicates that the Indians in what is now the Necromancer Lands have to come from a period of after 1100 BC, but probably no later than 150 BC, which makes them pre-date the Celts too. I had actually wanted them to be Dravidians, but I need them to be Vedic era Hindus.

  2. I'm just putting notes in as I encounter things I want to note:

    * I'm still thinking 130 years to fill the steppes is way short, or I have a different perception of what fill the steppes means. These steppes are something like 3000 miles across aren't they? All of it uncharted territory, full of monsters...familiarity with the climate and relative lack of intelligent life in the region would be a big boon, but even starting with whole villages basically intact (which not all migrations did IIRC) I think it would take a few hundred years to really spread out...

    as I keep reading I think my concerns can be quieted if we do bring larger numbers from some of the migrations - and hell, to placate us both simultaneously, just give some wiggle room on estimates for both total population of the steppes and the size of migrations, depending on which "expert" you believe (basically me or you lol) and it all works anyway...unless we aren't really talking about all 3000 miles of steppe in the first place...

    ok 65 years? either you trollin' or we can't be talking about the same 3000 mile wide piece of real estate, right? you must mean the region bordered on the east by the great rift and the mistlands but bordered by what in the west? how big a territory?

    Erc Mac Cai! Ha!

    ok - you gotta find the link to that old population post...I looked a little...I gotta see about this and see why my estimates are so far off from yours...we usually don't disagree on elemental things like this, so I must be missing something...

    once I wrap my head around the population projections though I am loving this - this is the post I've been hoping we could figure out since we restarted this thing!

  3. My original "fill the steppes" hypothesis was based on two things, the near doubling of the Human population with every generation (every 20 years), and the sustainability of a pre-industrial steppe population based on the Eurasian steppes population maximum, which I assumed were about the same size when I eyeballed it and made an educated guess.

    Now I originally started with a population of 120,000 Celts, drawn from every even vaguely Celtic population on Earth, hence the Picts, Gaelic Irish, Romanized Celts of Gallia Cisalpina, eastern Celts of Galatia, half-German Belgae and "primitive" Celt-Iberians, in addition to the Gauls and Britons. I hadn't considered it at the time, but Ligurians are a possibility too, adding another small linguistic group to the pot. The reason this works is that they share a common material culture, a common enough social culture, similar languages and a common religion.

    Now, the Eurasian steppe, and I don't have a source handy at the moment, had a "peak" capacity of roughly 10 million people I think, with a nearly geometric progression (and remember, much of their magic is based on either making them successful in battle or more fertile, lands or people or flocks of beasts), and they have both the horse and the wheel, as well as iron. These are new things in Garnia World. Their magic is strong and they are not afraid to experiment; the Sidhe start out with a big advantage there, but lose it quickly, humans are more willing to die experimenting or in battle, I figure the Sidhe, being otherwise immortal, are cautious, like the FDA or something, with new magic.

    Anyway, if we keep getting influxes of new refugees from Earth, during the Gallic war or the invasion of Britain and during the Christianization phase and during the Viking Age, and the Medieval Period, and so on, whenever Celtic culture takes a real hit, that steppe is going to fill up quick if they come in any significant numbers, as you pointed out they could very easily pick up another 60,000+ Helvetii after their defeat by Caesar at the start of the Gallic war, that adds another 50% or more to the starting population base right there.