The Big Rubble covers about 25 square km. With 6100 inhabitants, that’s almost 250 inhabitants per square km or 2.5 per hectare. In comparison, New Pavis with 28 hectares has 5150 inhabitants at 183 per hectare.
Now New Pavis is VERY densely populated, and probably feels overpopulated. The Big Rubble likely feels empty in comparison, but is actually more than ten times as densely populated as Sartar!
As we know, several areas in the Big Rubble are more densely populated than others. Manside and the Troll Stronglands are the most densely populated, while the Big Grazing and the Huntland are much less populated.
The Troll Stronglands has the most inhabitants – some 2,500 trolls and trollkin. That includes Trolltown and Temple Hill. The trolls ruled the Big Rubble until 1550 or so. They are still the most formidable group in the Rubble.
Manside has some 1500 inhabitants, centered on the Real City, which is the surviving rump of Old Pavis. If you squinted hard and ignored the greater ruins, you might imagine this a particularly anarchic human settlement – if it wasn’t for the occasional troll or broo gang. Plenty of bandits here among the desperate.
There are about a 1000 aldryami in the Garden, which I imagine as an overgrown Botanical Garden, that has had centuries to go wild. Plants not native to Prax grow in great profusion here, with trees, shrubs, and other woody plants, not seen anywhere else in Prax.
Pavis Historical Stages
Something else to think about – Old Pavis went through a couple of historical stages, we should be able to see in the city’s current architecture:
Golden Age. 831-924 (93 years). This is when the great structures of Old Pavis were built by the dwarves out of stone quarried from the Faceless Giant. This period lasted less than a century. Pavis likely had a population as high as 50,000 at its peak.
Foes of Waha. 924-1237 (313 years). This is a long period of decline. The Golden Age buildings were quarried, cannibalised, or turned into fortified strongholds (Opili’s Fort, Mani’s Fort, Real City, Zebra Fort, Angle Fort, Balastar’s Barracks, Old Flintnail Fort, and the unnamed Old Walls on the other Twin Hill). Thanks to the dwarves, the quality of this construction was still very high – and much of this construction was underground, linking the various strongholds together. The city’s population was no more than 10-15,000 people, and probably less. Nomads sometimes made their way within the walls, but were always forced out again. The Garden expanded greatly during this period.
Troll Occupation. 1237-1539 (302 years). The trolls rule the Big Rubble, occupying Opili Fort. Several other forts abandoned or destroyed (Old Walls, Angle Fort, Old Flintnail Fort, Balastar’s Barracks). Dwarves build New Flintnail Temple and maintain Real City – but otherwise most construction and maintenance is of low quality. Almost all construction is underground. Human population of the Big Rubble is maybe 1000 people and they are effective slaves of the trolls.
New Pavis. 1539-now (86 years). The Real City and Zebra Fort allied with the new Sartarite settlement. Trolls largely confined to the Troll Stronglands. Human population steadily grows despite emigration outside of the city. Indagos family of the Real City claims tracts of land in Pavis County, securing greater food supply and wealth.
Something else to think about – there must be many kilometres of tunnels beneath the surface. During the 300 years between the Golden Age and the Troll Occupation, the humans and dwarfs built tunnels to link the various fortified strongholds, so that inhabitants could get from stronghold to stronghold regardless of whether there were nomads within the walls.
Some of these networks were at least partially destroyed by men and dwarves at the start of the Troll Occupation. Others have underground watch posts, making sure that raiders do not use them to sneak into their strongholds.
From what we know, it would seem that Old Pavis had been laid out on a loose grid, most likely by the dwarves. The grid was looser than the Hippodamus plan, and has more angles and irregularities, likely to take advantage of landscape, magical lines, and other factors.
Old Pavis is on a Northwest to Southwest alignment, not North-South.
Here’s something else – I suspect funerary rites in Old Pavis are underground, and there may be an underground necropolis near the Real City. The tunnels might symbolically and artistically represent the Palace of the Dead, and the whole thing inhabited by countless ghosts. Heck this might even help explain the survival of the Real City during the Troll Occupation.
So let’s say the build up parts of Manside cover about 250 hectares (about 10% of the Big Rubble or about ten times the area of New Pavis). With 1500 human inhabitants that gets us around 6 people per hectare. But of course more than two-thirds of those people live in Real City, Mani’s Fort, or Zebra Fort – with maybe 50 people per square hectare in those settlements (so still empty feeling compared to New Pavis), and less than 2 people per square hectare elsewhere.
So from that you can see that Manside is mostly empty, like the rest of the Big Rubble. You have a couple of strongholds – the Real City and then Mani’s Fort, and that’s about it. Otherwise it is just bandits, adventurers, and people up to no good.
Within Manside (and not including the human strongholds) are some interesting ruins:
Kakstan’s Art Gallery: This relative intact building occasionally spawns some piece of magical artistry as if by itself. Most visitors claim it is empty but sometimes they report something fabulous. One time, the entire building seemed to be stocked with rare pieces, some of which were successfully looted and now hang or stand in the New Pavis Temple. The museum is a regular stop for many adventurers traversing the ruins.
Pavis Old Mint: This structure was built with two purposes. It was based around a giant child’s gift, looted by the Jrusteli. This “toy” allows the user to make coins to their own design from hard metal placed into one end. Unfortunately for many would-be looters, the device takes up 40 meters on a side and weighs hundreds of tons. No one knows how the Jrusteli got it to its present position, and no one has discovered how to move it since.
To protect the device, the residents of Pavis built a small fort around it, and that has stayed remarkably intact over the centuries. The Mint has there-fore become a strong point for every bandit gang in the Rubble, changing hands frequently with the fortunes of war. One can always tell who is in charge of the Mint by watching to see which ruffians are spending newly-minted coins in the taverns of New Pavis.
The money maker will take any kind of metal and turn it into coins according to the patterns set on the machinery. Until recently, a set of patterns for ancient Pavis coins was hidden on the premises, but an adventurer party found them shortly after the Lunar occupation and turned them over to the Lhankor Mhy sages for their researches. The party was amply rewarded.
Yelorna Temple: Almost diagonally across the settled human area from the main fort is the Yelorna Temple. This was originally a villa belonging to one of the great old families of Pavis, and it survived the ravages of nomad and troll surprisingly well. Now, Morganeth Star-maiden has taken her ancient family holding and converted it to the ways of her religion, the worship of Yelorna, daughter of Yelm and patroness of amazons and unicorn riders.
The Yelornans in the temple are equally distrusted and appreciated. They are man-despising women in a male-dominated area, but they are also doughty fighters who definitely aid the defense of Zebra Fort. The citizens leave them alone, honoring them only in official ceremonies; the militia trains with them on occasion. Temple doings are their business, and the Yelornans handle their own problems. Of course, when a young maiden turns up missing (not too common in a village of 500), they are suspected of abducting her, but no one has acted on these suspicions as yet.
Let’s say the built up portions of the Troll Stronglands are also about 10% of the Big Rubble’s surface (I’ll leave it to people who are more agile with such things to give me the exact percentage based on the map). So that is also about 250 hectares.
We know there are about 2500 trolls in the Big Rubble. That comes out to 500 dark trolls, 100 great trolls, 30 cave trolls, and 1625 trollkin. Let’s lump them all together for now.
If the trolls were evenly distributed that would be about 10 trolls per hectare, which would mean there’d be about 15 trolls per city block! But of course they are not – most of the trolls belong to one of the Four Great Clans, each with their own strongholds:
The Kaggroka clan is mightiest of all, numbering 800 – nearly a third of all the Rubble trolls. This clan is based on Temple Hill, in Opili’s Fort. Kaggroka is the only troll clan with such a secure refuge as the fort, and it has undoubtedly contributed to their success. Not all members live in the fort itself, and branches of the family live both on the hill, and off it to the east. Opili’s Fort is a well-known stronghold, and troll markets and religious ceremonies are frequently held there.
The Loricek clan numbers around 300 trolls and trollkin. They are noted for a preponderance of Zorak Zorani worship amongst clan members, though many remain pure Kyger Litor. This clan is mainly located in the ruins at the southern part of the Troll Stronglands and in Riverside. Warriors from this clan and nearby subservient clans are responsible for guarding the Troll Bridge and the underground passages leading into troll country from the south and west.They are a robber clan. They tyrannize all the nearby small clans and force them to send troops to support the Loricek war parties. The Loricek clan owns 30 great trolls; more than any other clan.
The Javis clan is the smallest of the Four Great Clans, with only 200 members. It is based just east of the halite (salt) mines. They control the troll stockade located there, and the clan sprawls across the western tip of Riverside. This clan is almost entirely outside troll country. A fairly large fort called Whitefort houses the clan not too far from the mines. This clan gets its power from its semi-monopoly over salt and from its ownership of White-fort. They trade salt with other trolls for goods, trollkin, and food. A historic Javis goal has been to conquer Ogre Island and settle clan members there, but this has never come to pass, despite several abortive attempts.
The Xaragang clan dwells around and near the Troll Break. There are some 300 trolls in this clan. This clan governs all trade at the Break, and skims off a Tariff on all transactions taking place there. The exact amount extorted varies with the power of the trolls or merchants being dunned. The clan runs a Thunderbreath restaurant in the heart of the troll lands, and several of its council of elders serve Argan Argar. It is likeliest of all the clans to have members visit New Pavis.
There are approximately 900 trolls that do not belong to any of the Four Great Clans. These are members of approximately 20 small clans scattered throughout the troll lands and elsewhere. The largest of these clans numbers around 100, and the smallest only a dozen or less. In addition, there are a few score outlaw trolls belonging to no clan.
Zebra Fort is occupied by people who claim descent from Baragrat the Bold. He was, they say, an ancient king of the Arrowsmith dynasty. Whatever their origin really is, their fort is as old as the most ancient settlements of the Pavis growth period. It might even be located above the remains of Joraz’s private palace, once named Zebra Palace.
The permanent population of the fort is about 300 souls, including an unusually large number of hired mercenaries and adventurers. During the Lunar Occupation, Hargran the Dirty ruled this band of cut-throats, who also collected tolls on the bridge. It surrendered to Argrath in 1624. and is now the ruled by one of his lieutenants, who is the captain of the Pavis Royal Guard. Zebra Fort serves as Argrath’s stronghold in the Big Rubble.