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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Building A Skyrim Style ACK Setting - Part 4: The Kingdom of Somerset


Somerset is treated as a singular kingdom in the campaign, but is actually composed of nine semi-independent earldoms.  They are bound together by culture, tradition, trade, and mutual defense. The office of High King is filled by an election held by the Earls, but the title is not hereditary. The High King leads the other Earls in times of war and mediates disputes between them during peace time. They are the face and voice of the kingdom and when other nations send diplomatic envoys, it is the High King’s Court that they go to.

Originally I tried to create the kingdom from the top down, but I was having issues doing that. I later realized it was an issue with nomenclature and how I want the kingdom to be set-up. What I realized is that I needed to treat each hold as a separate realm. This made life so much easier.

Realm Size and Political Divisions


There is a couple of ways to go about sizing up your realms. Per the Book

“If the Judge is developing the realms for a setting of his own devising, he will have to construct the realms based on the maps he has created and his own imagination. Using the recommended two maps, the large-scale 24-mile hex campaign map should encompass a huge empire or several kingdoms, while the smaller scale 6-mile hex regional map should constitute a robust principality of about 18,000 square miles (600 hexes), leaving 50% of the map available as unsettled, wild land. (Macris, 2011)”

In one of the examples in the book, the person drew the boundaries of his realm, counted how many hexes it filled and then used that for his base line.







Counting all of the Civilized and Borderlands, the kingdom is 136 24-mile hexes big.

I went with a population density of 4,000 families per 24 mile hex, or 250 families per 6 mile hex. 136 Hexes * 4,000 families = 544,000 families or a population of roughly 2.7 million humans! This is way higher than I wanted.

I was thinking there are maybe around 1 million humans in total or 200,000 families. 200,000 families divided by 136 24-mile hexes gives me a population density of about 1,470 families per 24 mile hex (91 families per 6 mile hex). Which is roughly 3 families (15 people) per square mile.

Ironically that is the same population density of modern day Norway.

I finally decided on a realm population density of 2,000 families per 24-mi. hex (126 per 6-mi. hex). That gives me a realm population of 272,000 families and a density of 19 people per square mile.  272,000 families fall within the range for a Principality (87K–322K), not a Kingdom (364K–2,000K). Mechanical we will treat each earldom as what it actually is. In role-playing the kingdom however, we would treat it as a kingdom.

There are Nine Earldoms (Duchy) in the Kingdom, if the population was evenly divided, that would mean 30,222 families per Earldom which is the range of a Duchy (20,000–52,000). However I don’t want all of my duchies to be the exact same. Some will be larger or smaller depending on location.


Earldom
Type
Realm Population
(families)
Realm Domains
Realm Size
(mi.2)
Realm Size
(6-mi. hex)
Realm Size
(24-mi. hex)
Silverfeld
Duchy
50,000
217
12,704
397
25
Ostenstrand
Duchy
48,000
187
12,192
381
24
Westbrerd 
Duchy
37,000
156
9,408
294
19
Bretenanmere
Duchy
25,400
106
6,464
202
13
Eisenburg
Duchy
24,600
85
6,272
196
12
Drachenfeld
Duchy
23,500
85
5,984
187
12
Wulf Dúnland
Duchy
22,000
85
5,600
175
11
Isenhelm
Duchy
21,500
85
5,472
171
11
Stánhold
Duchy
20,000
85
5,088
159
10
Total
272,000
1091
69,184
2,162
137


I think until I figured this out, this was my biggest stumbling block.  Since I now know how big each Earldom is I can update my campaign map.

 

 

Kingdom of Somerset Map – Earldom Boundaries




Instead of having the kingdom growing geometrically, I tried to establish a pattern of settlement based on how the early settlers would have built. The oldest settlement is actually Fýrdracaheald (Fire Dragon Hold), it is where the Sælíðenda (wave-riders) first landed and where the first settlement was built. Over time they explored down the coast. They would have discovered the fjords and natural bays and begun setting up settlements. From there they would have begun exploring the interior of the land via the rivers. Over time settlements would have been established along the rivers and lakes.

Earldom
Silverfeld
Ostenstrand
Westbrerd 
Bretenanmere
Wulf Dúnland
Eisenburg
Drachenfeld
Isenhelm
Stánhold
Total
Earldom
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
9
Shire
6
6
5
5
4
4
4
4
4
42
March
30
30
25
20
16
16
16
16
16
185
Herred
180
150
125
80
64
64
64
64
64
855
Total
217
187
156
106
85
85
85
85
85
1091


The above tables are the political breakdown of each earldom showing how many Shire (counties), marches, and baronies are in each Earldom (Duchy). In the smaller ones I may change some numbers as they 5 smallest all have the same number and look identical.

The next two posts I am going to be focusing the settlements and commerce in the Earldoms.

Woohoo!!! More Spreadsheets!!!