Commentary, Never Alone No. 8

What do you call a statue in Tallinn? A stony one[1]!

This entry and the previous one allude to a few things about Lägraltvärld’s demographics that aren’t immediately obvious. I’ll spell them out here, because it’s kind of interesting.

First: Vrimderheimdalskaagerholmegvorrighrimdalholm is a very, very large city for its time, both in population and area—from Rakel’s entries and from Eirik’s exit you can see that it’s big enough to travel in. It’s not particularly densely populated by Earth medieval standards, but the living arrangements an average resident can afford are quite large. I’m not going to quote any numbers here because I don’t want to nail myself down to anything that might end up being implausible once I actually go through and figure things out for myself.

Second: current human territory covers about 70,000 square miles: a rough triangle bounded by the rivers Hrimdal and Heimdal, which flow (eastward) together in Vrimderheimdalskaagerholmegvorrighrimdalholm, and the coastline to the north of the city where the sea moderates the temperature. It’s also very, very sparsely populated, but that population is surprisingly mobile: there is enough traffic between the major towns (Vrimderheimdalskaagerholmegvorrighrimdalholm, sited at the confluence of the Hrimdal and Heimdal, population lots; Joarsgard, headwaters of the Heimdal, population ~15,000-20,000; Jötunberg, headwaters of the Hrimdal, ~10,000; Mikelsfjord, along the north coast, ~7,000) along the main roads to make it possible to throw an inn up every thirty or forty miles to give travelers a place to stay.

“But why?” I hear you ask. “That seems wildly implausible!” I’ll tell you why: the human empire was once much, much more populous and powerful, and controlled most of the pleasant parts of the continent (and the Northlands too). The occasionally-referred-to hiisi were then stirred up, and humanity fell to pieces, only to recover itself on the brink of destruction. That was in the very recent past. That’s where we are now: Vrimderyouknowtherest is swelled with refugees, many of them the skilled laborers from the rest of the empire. Raw materials flow from the rest of human territory to the city, and all manner of finished goods go the other direction, and it’s that trade that makes it possible for enterprising people to plop an inn down along the road and make it pay.

[1] Tallinn is the capital of Estonia[2].
[2] The demonym for Estonia is ‘Estonian'[3].
[3] When saying ‘A stony one’ with my particular accent, it sounds very much like ‘Estonian'[4].
[4] For this reason, the pun is funny[5].
[5] Or at least punny.

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