Demographics of Tsolyanu

Posted: 12 May 2011 in Settings

Another outing for Mr Ross’ entertaining mediaeval demographics algorithms! This time – Tsolyanu, the Empire of the Petal Throne.


Swords and Glory Volume 1 thoughtfully gives us populations per square kilometre for all the terrain types on the strategic map, and combining that with the hex maps from the 1975 TSR version of the game gives me a total population of just over 263 million and a total land area of about 2.5 million square miles. So, in big handfuls, Tsolyanu has a population a bit bigger than the USA, living in an area a bit smaller than Australia.

At 180 persons per square mile, the population fills roughly 58% of the land, with 42% being wilderness.


Depending on how you interpret the sourcebook and the map, you could claim anywhere between 21 and 31 cities in Tsolyanu; to get that number from this population, you need to assume maximum values for every variable in Mr Ross’ calculations, but it can be done.

I opt for a post-Crusades model, giving 270 towns. The total town and city population is thus a bit over 3 million – 1.2% of the total.

I won’t bore you with the numbers of shoemakers etc. per town, but notice that there should be about 10 universities – probably run by one or more of the temples.


Dividing the population by 50,000 shows there are nearly 5,300 active castles in Tsolyanu, of which looking at the map roughly 500 are “mile castles” along the Sakbe Roads. The average populated hex has 16 castles, the average unpopulated one, four.

By the RAW, Tsolyanu has been populated by a castle-building culture for at least 25,000 years. The calculations thus give it some 8,300 ruined castles – ye cats, they’re everywhere; 25 per inhabited hex, and 6 per uninhabited one.


We know from the 1975 rules that fiefs are granted to 9th level characters, and that a fief is about one hex in size. Thus, we can infer that 9th level characters and higher are about two per million population, and there are about 400 of them in Tsolyanu.


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