Normally a city gets most of its food from within about 30km. Within about 30 km of Boldhome is about 250-300 km2 of cultivated land, raising mainly wheat. Now that is enough wheat to support about 25-30,000 people, but with Boldhome there are some 38,500 people in that area. So where does Boldhome get the rest of its food?
1. The tribes around Jonstown and Wilmskirk both produce surplus, and send wagon trains of grain along the roads to Boldhome. This also likely increases the amount of monetization in those rural areas. The local herders also bring in plenty of sheep.
2. From Swenston comes Praxian livestock. Bison, antelope, llamas, and cattle from the Pol-joni get purchased and herded along the road to Boldhome by the Cattlewomens Guild (Eiritha) and are then prepared by the Butchers Guild (Waha). As a result, meat may make up a fifth to a third of the caloric intake of many Boldhome residents, much higher than in the ancient world.
It also means that the roads to Boldhome are often crowded with caravans (it is the main caravan road between the Holy Country and the Lunar Empire), with wagons of grain, and herds of sheep, bison, antelope, llamas, and cattle. Often there are stalls along the road selling food and drink to the herders, the equivalent of roadside taquerias.
Normally, the main foods that comes from the Holy Country are luxuries. Oranges, olives, spices, chilis, exotic herbs, coffee, tea, etc. The distance is too great for staples to be transported cheaply, unless there is great need or time of war. But during the Lunar Occupation, no doubt the Lunar Army was at least in part fed by grain shipped from Esrolia or Volsaxiland. Which got pretty ironic when the Lunar Army then invaded those places!
There are a LOT of granaries in Boldhome and more in the Killard Vale below. That’s not a place you can easily starve out, if the Prince has been doing his job.
So if you assume you need about 220 kg of wheat to feed a person for a year (with about 2000 calories a day), then Boldhome needs about 2,2 million kg of wheat stored up. That’s about 30 modern grain silos. So I expect we have over 3000 pithoi stacked up in various storehouses and underground storages in Boldhome – about 10 times the size of the storehouse in Knossos.
And of course this is one more task for the Lhankor Mhy scribes – keeping tallies on all of this. I suspect most scribes end up spending far more time recording grain supplies, toll revenues, tax assessments, etc., than they do getting to research Jrusteli grammar, troll cuisine, lost spell books, or EWF mysteries.
Just like real scribes.
Note that the Kheldon don’t really produce that much of a surplus comparatively. The Colymar do and likely their grain gets purchased at Wilmskirk, and then maybe resold in Boldhome when needed.
It is worth considering how stretched Lunar logistics were during that period and how much money the Empire must have been throwing into their Dragon Pass operations. Personally, I suspect that part of the reason Fazzur was replaced by Tatius is that the the Red Emperor was handing over more than 6500 talents a year (almost half his revenue) to a half-barbarian provincial. At the very least that money should be going to a kinsman!