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Relative size of combatants

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Sat May 30, 2015 4:57 pm

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How many Sharonans live on the Outworlds now is a key question. Most people seem to be assuming that the vast majority of Sharonans live on Sharona. The best text evidence I can find for that is from Zindel's speech before the conclave. He said, "none of our colonies have the manpower, out of their own resources, to hold against a powerful attack. None of them is capable of self-defense" (italics in original). At first glance that seems clear cut enough but there are three questions I think need to be asked about it.

1) How hyperbolic is it? Zindel is speaking to persuade, he may be exaggerating the weakness of the older colonies.

2) What does colony mean? My impression is there is more then one colony in some (most?) universes. What none can do alone they might be able to do together.

3) What does "powerful attack" mean to Zindel chan Calirath? If what he is saying is that no colony could stand off an invasion by Ternathia then it is probably literally true but a test that less then half a dozen of the nations on Sharona could pass.

Therefor, while the evidence certainly implies that the colonies are small it doesn't preclude a population distribution that has six billion on Sharona, two billion on New Sharona, one billion on Reyshar and one billion scattered among the Sharonan's other 37 worlds.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Sharonas found their First Outworld, New Sharona,
eighty (80) years before the books start.
The second might have been found a year or three later.

With that kind of Fertility Rate,
and much lower Death Rates,
how many of those ten billion Sharonans
were born in the Outworlds, and live in them now?

...snipped....
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Bewildered   » Sat May 30, 2015 5:40 pm

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Leaving aside the question of whether minerals are indeed the same everywhere, doesn't that presuppose equally accessible terrain, and portals located in an area that makes reaching said sites affordable? A portal near Alice Springs for instance would require a day's travel by rail just to reach gold mining areas. And if you wanted to access Alaska, Peru etc, that'd require a month's sailing from the coast. Sure you could do it, but if the next world has a portal nearer resources, and better terrain, wouldn't further actually be functionally closer?

phillies wrote:If the minerals are the same everywhere, then every time you occupy a new world there is a California gold rush, an Alaskan gold rush, a Peruvian silver rush, a Lake Superior copper rush,...which after a while tend to destroy the value of metallic currency, at least if your world is run by bullion fetishists. Until then it would motivate the search for new worlds. We had quite adequate inflation (though beneficial to the economy) as a result of the Alaskan gold rush. One might imagine this being a point of friction on Sharona.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Sat May 30, 2015 7:13 pm

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I recall Shaylar musing that Sharona's population was predominantly on Sharona. That argues for limited and specialized infrastructure in the colonies. Perhaps a small city serving several industrial centers or towns supporting mines along a rail line. Not a system to support a force capable of defending against a brigade of Ternaithian soldiers let alone a division.

brnicholas wrote:How many Sharonans live on the Outworlds now is a key question. Most people seem to be assuming that the vast majority of Sharonans live on Sharona. The best text evidence I can find for that is from Zindel's speech before the conclave. He said, "none of our colonies have the manpower, out of their own resources, to hold against a powerful attack. None of them is capable of self-defense" (italics in original). At first glance that seems clear cut enough but there are three questions I think need to be asked about it.

1) How hyperbolic is it? Zindel is speaking to persuade, he may be exaggerating the weakness of the older colonies.

2) What does colony mean? My impression is there is more then one colony in some (most?) universes. What none can do alone they might be able to do together.

3) What does "powerful attack" mean to Zindel chan Calirath? If what he is saying is that no colony could stand off an invasion by Ternathia then it is probably literally true but a test that less then half a dozen of the nations on Sharona could pass.

Therefor, while the evidence certainly implies that the colonies are small it doesn't preclude a population distribution that has six billion on Sharona, two billion on New Sharona, one billion on Reyshar and one billion scattered among the Sharonan's other 37 worlds.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Sharonas found their First Outworld, New Sharona,
eighty (80) years before the books start.
The second might have been found a year or three later.

With that kind of Fertility Rate,
and much lower Death Rates,
how many of those ten billion Sharonans
were born in the Outworlds, and live in them now?

...snipped....
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:41 am

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Hell's Gate: Chapter 1 wrote:Despite all of the magister's many years of discipline, his eyes gleamed, and he couldn't quite keep the excitement out of his voice. Not that Jasak blamed him for that. A portal cluster . . . In the better part of two centuries of exploration, UTTTA's survey teams had located only one true cluster, the Zholhara Cluster. Doubletons were the rule—indeed, only sixteen triples had ever been found, which was a rate of less than one in ten. But a cluster like Zholhara was of literally incalculable value.


This implies that there are less than 160 universes in the Arcanan sphere after more than 150 years of exploration and less than 200 years. We know that the distance from Hell's Gate to Garth Showma is approximately 100,000 miles. We also know from earlier in chapter 1 that this chain might be the longest of all the other Arcanan chains of universes. The number of universes would range from 30 to 60 in this chain alone depending on the average distance between portals (1,500 miles to 3,000 miles). That translates to approximately 1 universe per year. The dragons make exploration half as time consuming as Sharona's process.

Also, total distance from Hell's Gate to Garth Showma and these universe chain estimates suggests that there are more than 20 universe chains controlled by Arcana. This assumes that the one cluster discovered has 4 or more portals.

That means Sharona's 40-50 portals (including Hell's Gate) has between 2-3 chains not counting the 7 chains that extend from Hell's Gate but counting the 2 triples that separate the Kelsayr chain and rejoin it at Thermyn. The size of each side's territory is between 40-50 for Sharona and between 150-160 for Arcana.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:44 am

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response at bottom - htm

PeterZ wrote:
Hell's Gate: Chapter 1 wrote:Despite all of the magister's many years of discipline, his eyes gleamed, and he couldn't quite keep the excitement out of his voice. Not that Jasak blamed him for that. A portal cluster . . . In the better part of two centuries of exploration, UTTTA's survey teams had located only one true cluster, the Zholhara Cluster. Doubletons were the rule—indeed, only sixteen triples had ever been found, which was a rate of less than one in ten. But a cluster like Zholhara was of literally incalculable value.


This implies that there are less than 160 universes in the Arcanan sphere after more than 150 years of exploration and less than 200 years. We know that the distance from Hell's Gate to Garth Showma is approximately 100,000 miles. We also know from earlier in chapter 1 that this chain might be the longest of all the other Arcanan chains of universes. The number of universes would range from 30 to 60 in this chain alone depending on the average distance between portals (1,500 miles to 3,000 miles). That translates to approximately 1 universe per year. The dragons make exploration half as time consuming as Sharona's process.

Also, total distance from Hell's Gate to Garth Showma and these universe chain estimates suggests that there are more than 20 universe chains controlled by Arcana. This assumes that the one cluster discovered has 4 or more portals.

That means Sharona's 40-50 portals (including Hell's Gate) has between 2-3 chains not counting the 7 chains that extend from Hell's Gate but counting the 2 triples that separate the Kelsayr chain and rejoin it at Thermyn. The size of each side's territory is between 40-50 for Sharona and between 150-160 for Arcana.


Textev says that Reyshar, Sharona's 3rd Outworld,
has three (3) Outbound Gates (four in all, counting
the one leading back to Sharona). One of those three
leads into Hayth, which has two Outbound Gates.

see viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1673

This makes four (4) chains, and does not count any
branches from Reyshar's other two, or Hayth's other one.

Sharonan Outworlds with three or four Gates,
*that we have been told of*, are:
1-Reyshar,
2-Hayth,
3-Traisum,
4-Thermyn,
5-Hell's Gate.
I would guess that others, in those other three chains,
are more likely than not.
Other readers might guess otherwise.

Textev tells that Zholhara has six (6) Gates,
including the one back to Arcana.

HTM
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by phillies   » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:19 am

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Absolutely correct.

We do not yet seem to have heard about a world on which the gate is out in the middle of the ocean. On one side, you have superb docking facilities, but coming the other way you need to build a shipyard. That could be inconvenient if the yard is at the top of a one mile high cliff.

Indeed we seem to hear rather little about the gates out in the ocean someplace.

One way to avoid this is to propose that the gates are artificial, but the builders have been gone long enough that neither side's archeology is up to noticing.

Bewildered wrote:Leaving aside the question of whether minerals are indeed the same everywhere, doesn't that presuppose equally accessible terrain, and portals located in an area that makes reaching said sites affordable? A portal near Alice Springs for instance would require a day's travel by rail just to reach gold mining areas. And if you wanted to access Alaska, Peru etc, that'd require a month's sailing from the coast. Sure you could do it, but if the next world has a portal nearer resources, and better terrain, wouldn't further actually be functionally closer?

phillies wrote:If the minerals are the same everywhere, then every time you occupy a new world there is a California gold rush, an Alaskan gold rush, a Peruvian silver rush, a Lake Superior copper rush,...which after a while tend to destroy the value of metallic currency, at least if your world is run by bullion fetishists. Until then it would motivate the search for new worlds. We had quite adequate inflation (though beneficial to the economy) as a result of the Alaskan gold rush. One might imagine this being a point of friction on Sharona.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:33 pm

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Given RFC's tendency to file the serial number off of history, the match up pattern looks like an a-historic match between a "Hydraulic" magical civilization (Arcania) and an Industrial civilization with PSI-talents (Sharona).

[Hydraulic civilizations refer to pre-industrial civilizations able to do large water projects to provide food to support large urban populations.]

The thing pre-industrial about "hydraulic civilizations" like Egypt, China and Rome was that they could not really mobilize a large percentage of their fighting age male populations compared to step nomad horse riding barbarians.

While it is true that the Republican Roman city state mobilized large fractions of it male population in war. The total percentage of men in the tributary system was still under 1%.

An industrial civilization can put 10% of its adult fighting age males in uniform at peak mobilization.

NB: Arcania has to be much bigger than Sharona to be competitive in terms of fighting power based upon its relative level of discretionary economic surplus it can devote to war.

The relative fighting power of the non-magically gifted armed Arcanians is so inferior to that of armed Sharonan's that it parallels nicely that mobilization difference between hydraulic and industrial civilizations.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Astelon   » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:09 pm

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I suspect that Arcana is better off than a standard Hydraulic civilization. After all they have some machined materials (fabrics mentioned) and tools that seem to compare well with modern power tools (may be even better). I suspect their bottleneck will appear in a lack of gifted I dividuals and engineers to fill necessary positions.

The mention of power nets in snippet four may indicate that this is not as serious an issue as I was previously assuming. Either way I still suspect that Arcana will have trouble as high a percentage of its population under arms as Sharona.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by brnicholas   » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:12 am

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I don't know the authors minds so I can't say if they were thinking of the "Hydraulic" versus "Industrial" comparison or not but I doubt it will work as an analogy long term for this series.

I say that because as Mil-tech bard notes what determines how great a percentage of its personal and economic resources a society can devote to war is "its relative level of discretionary economic surplus." In other words how many of its people and how much of its economy must be devoted to keeping the population alive.

A second factor is how much political will there is to spend its discretionary economic surplus on war instead of on the comfort of its people. The issue of political will may keep Arcana from devoting its full resources to the war for a time but if Sharona starts to be a genuine threat to the Arcanan core worlds that will change.

What I want to speculate on is, if the political issues are removed because all Arcanans have come to recognize that they have gotten themselves into a war for survival, how much of its resources can Arcana devote to the war.

Since we haven't seen the Arcanan core worlds yet we have little to speculate on but there is what I believe is a very revealing quote from mul Gurthak's head in Chapter 39 of Hell's Gate. He thinks:

Kelbryan was typical of Ransarans, and there were a lot of them. An appalling number of them, as a matter of fact, when it came to seats in the Union Parliament. Unlike Mythal, which was experiencing a steady decline in population, thanks to the current massive garthan exodus (which had the caste-lords howling in outrage and threatening to impose emigration quotas—as if the Accords would have permitted them to do any such thing), the Ransaran population on Arcana Prime was growing steadily. Not just in absolute terms, but as a percentage of the total planetary population, as well. Despite their much vaunted individualism and the depressing technological advantages it had given them, however, Ransarans as a group tended not to relocate as much as other Arcanans. In part, that was simply because they preferred the creature comforts of home. Given the almost universally high standard of living amongst Ransarans, higher than that of any other group in the Union, outside a few dozen shakira ruling families, Ransarans simply preferred to stay home. Roughing it in a cabin in the wilderness, with no hospitals, no universities, no theaters or museums, no banks or stock exchanges, and no shopping emporia stuffed with luxury goods from every Arcanan universe, was simply too crude for most self-respecting Ransarans. That was one Ransaran attitude mul Gurthak understood perfectly. He missed the comforts of home, as well. Bitterly, at times.


This info dump tells us several things. First, it tells us that free movement of people is part of the Accords. Second, it tells us that Garthans are leaving Mythal at a sufficient rate to affect the balance of power in the Union Parliament. Third, it tells us Andarans and Mythalans tend to move to Arcanas colonies far more often then Ransarans (which could be politically significant if Arcana is ever considering trying to trade land for peace with Sharona). Fourth, it tells us that the large Ransaran population of Arcana enjoys a very high standard of living and describes that standard in language clearly intended to evoke the late 20th and early 21st century consumer driven societies of the developed world on Earth.

I believe that the combination of free movement of people and the "almost universally high standard of living amongst Ransarans" indicates that the Ransaran standard of living cannot be the result of exploiting the rest of Arcanan society. If Andarans or Multhari and Shakira caste Mythalans lived at a greatly lower standard of living then Ransarans I would expect large scale immigration from those societies to Ransar as well and we have no evidence for that. Differences in living standards on the scale of what is found today in the EU, or maybe even a little larger are believable, but they can't be much greater then that. That means the vast majority of Arcanans probably live with a quantity and quality of consumer goods comparable to what is available in the Developed World today.

Such a supply of consumer goods requires a very large "relative level of discretionary economic surplus" and thus shows that Arcana can devote a portion of its economy to war comparable to the portion that an industrial society can. If what I have said above is true then the "Hydraulic" versus "Industrial" comparison cannot apply.

Nicholas
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:36 am

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You missed the implications of the last sentence of my post --

The relative fighting power of the non-magically gifted armed Arcanians is so inferior to that of armed Sharonan's that it parallels nicely that mobilization difference between hydraulic and industrial civilizations.


Whether or not Arcania can generate lots of disposable magic based war material and supply. If it is magic talent limited -- see Battle Dragon pilots requiring not just a magical talent, but a SPECIFIC MAGICAL TALENT.

Then they have a mobilization problem compared to Sharona.

Currently, the Arcanian magical war material -- Dragons, unicorns and the implied magical WMD spells apart -- is far inferior to Sharonan and it is not limited in use to only their psi-talents.

NB: The Arcanians need numerical superiority in magically talented individuals at the point of contact to generate similar levels of combat power with industrial weapon equipped Sharonans.

And Sharonan talents mean that equivalent numbers of Shronans will be far better coordinated in their battlefield movements, all other things being equal.



brnicholas wrote:I don't know the authors minds so I can't say if they were thinking of the "Hydraulic" versus "Industrial" comparison or not but I doubt it will work as an analogy long term for this series.

I say that because as Mil-tech bard notes what determines how great a percentage of its personal and economic resources a society can devote to war is "its relative level of discretionary economic surplus." In other words how many of its people and how much of its economy must be devoted to keeping the population alive.

A second factor is how much political will there is to spend its discretionary economic surplus on war instead of on the comfort of its people. The issue of political will may keep Arcana from devoting its full resources to the war for a time but if Sharona starts to be a genuine threat to the Arcanan core worlds that will change.

What I want to speculate on is, if the political issues are removed because all Arcanans have come to recognize that they have gotten themselves into a war for survival, how much of its resources can Arcana devote to the war.

Since we haven't seen the Arcanan core worlds yet we have little to speculate on but there is what I believe is a very revealing quote from mul Gurthak's head in Chapter 39 of Hell's Gate. He thinks:

Kelbryan was typical of Ransarans, and there were a lot of them. An appalling number of them, as a matter of fact, when it came to seats in the Union Parliament. Unlike Mythal, which was experiencing a steady decline in population, thanks to the current massive garthan exodus (which had the caste-lords howling in outrage and threatening to impose emigration quotas—as if the Accords would have permitted them to do any such thing), the Ransaran population on Arcana Prime was growing steadily. Not just in absolute terms, but as a percentage of the total planetary population, as well. Despite their much vaunted individualism and the depressing technological advantages it had given them, however, Ransarans as a group tended not to relocate as much as other Arcanans. In part, that was simply because they preferred the creature comforts of home. Given the almost universally high standard of living amongst Ransarans, higher than that of any other group in the Union, outside a few dozen shakira ruling families, Ransarans simply preferred to stay home. Roughing it in a cabin in the wilderness, with no hospitals, no universities, no theaters or museums, no banks or stock exchanges, and no shopping emporia stuffed with luxury goods from every Arcanan universe, was simply too crude for most self-respecting Ransarans. That was one Ransaran attitude mul Gurthak understood perfectly. He missed the comforts of home, as well. Bitterly, at times.


This info dump tells us several things. First, it tells us that free movement of people is part of the Accords. Second, it tells us that Garthans are leaving Mythal at a sufficient rate to affect the balance of power in the Union Parliament. Third, it tells us Andarans and Mythalans tend to move to Arcanas colonies far more often then Ransarans (which could be politically significant if Arcana is ever considering trying to trade land for peace with Sharona). Fourth, it tells us that the large Ransaran population of Arcana enjoys a very high standard of living and describes that standard in language clearly intended to evoke the late 20th and early 21st century consumer driven societies of the developed world on Earth.

I believe that the combination of free movement of people and the "almost universally high standard of living amongst Ransarans" indicates that the Ransaran standard of living cannot be the result of exploiting the rest of Arcanan society. If Andarans or Multhari and Shakira caste Mythalans lived at a greatly lower standard of living then Ransarans I would expect large scale immigration from those societies to Ransar as well and we have no evidence for that. Differences in living standards on the scale of what is found today in the EU, or maybe even a little larger are believable, but they can't be much greater then that. That means the vast majority of Arcanans probably live with a quantity and quality of consumer goods comparable to what is available in the Developed World today.

Such a supply of consumer goods requires a very large "relative level of discretionary economic surplus" and thus shows that Arcana can devote a portion of its economy to war comparable to the portion that an industrial society can. If what I have said above is true then the "Hydraulic" versus "Industrial" comparison cannot apply.

Nicholas
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