Soul destroying - Issola Spoiler

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Thu Nov 10 07:03:51 PST 2005

Basically the Empire breaks down into three groups, which gives us some 
evidence for population trends:

1. Teckla. By far the most numerous. Our best view of what Teckla life is 
like for most of them actually comes from Athyra... The "City Teckla" are 
generally the exception, not the rule.

Given Smallcliff as an example of a "typical Teckla Village" we see the 
young girls are all agog over Ori, and Savn himself had eyes for Lova. 
Practically every adult in the village is a part of a family, and since 
they are farmers, we can probably take it for granted that Savn's family 
(where there are two children) is probably the smallest that is common 
among the flax-farming residents of the community. 

Given that each "child" is probably ready to marry after only 100-150 
years, and the life expectancy is in excess of two millenia, I don't think 
you can say that this group is shrinking. 

2. High Nobility. The least numerous. Contrary to what we see in the 
earlier Vlad books, however, most high nobility probably live on their own 
lands, rather than in the big cities. (Adron was this way, Morrolan is 
this way, and there is just too much territory in the Empire to manage if 
it were otherwise.) We have few clear examples of what family life is like 
for these folks, but for the landed gentry, they certainly have the means 
to raise a family of any size they like. Marriage among these folks might 
seem to be fairly rare, but we do have plenty of examples; Khaavren and 
Daro, Shant and Lewchin, Roannac and Malypon, Ibron and Sennya, Vernoi and 
Loudin, Rollondar and his wife, etc. (Adron and Verra probably doesn't 
fall under this category very well...) At least five of these 
relationships have produced at least one child. (Piro, Roanna, Ibronka, 
Zerika, Morrolan). Again, given the life expectancies of those involved, 
this sort of population increase might actually prove problematic in a few 
centuries... There's only so much land to be divied up. (The nobles of the 
PI period are actually lucky in this regard, as there are doubtless huge 
tracts of land (heh) that are left unclaimed from the Plagues and famines 
of the Interregnum)

3. Lower nobility (the bourgeoise). This accounts for most of the the 
population of the noble houses. (As high nobility is only a small portion 
of a select few houses). This group has the least textev to represent it, 
as many of these houses (Jhegaala, Chreotha, Tslamoth, Iorich, Hawk) have 
barely appeared in the books at all. If under-population is a problem for 
any group, this would be the most likely candidate. The means of these 
folks to raise children will be less, and most of these folks probably 
live in the large cities like Adrilankha; meaning they spend most of their 
time working in a service capacity, or as merchants. This would appear to 
leave little time for love. (It's worth noting, however, that these same 
factors are present in our own society, and most of us manage to make the 
time for romance.)

Also, bear in mind that "People getting killed" is not NEARLY as common in 
the real world as it is in, say, a James Bond movie. The Vlad books and 
the Khaavren books are both adventure series, and death will seem more 
common than it really is when trying to view the world of Dragaera with 
only this to go on. (How would Paarfi react to our culture if all he had 
to go on was "Die Hard", "Under Seige" and "Rambo"?)


(Phew. Sorry about the long post, I kinda went off there.)

On Wed, Nov 09, 2005 at 08:15:20PM -0500, Peter H. Granzeau wrote:

> I'm thinking about Dragaeran vital statistics--we see no evidence 
> that Dragaerans have more than a very few children (more closely 
> approximating modern Western demographics than anything else, it 
> would seem).  Given their very long life, one would think that births 
> and deaths are very rare occurrences. . . .

IMHO this is an area where Dragaeran textev just doesn't hold up.  Given
the apparent small family size, relative rarity of marriage, and amazingly
high number of people getting killed, textev inevitably leads one to the
conclusion that Dragaerans are in a steep population implosion.
Realize that life is a situation comedy that will never be canceled.  A
laugh track has been provided, and the reason why we are put in the
material world is to get more material. 
     From "Swami Beyondananda's Guidelines for Enlightenment"