The cities started as early as that, as did magical experimentation (like the contest who would get oldest - I suppose the methods may have been used by other people outside of that contest, too).
The introduction of the super-crops ensured that the population could grow to Esrolian density and still give a huge number of people time off pursuing draconic meditation or simply becoming couch potatoes.
> The crops may have had additional advantages like not being susceptible to drought and famine and attune the populace into thinking draconically but I doubt that it significantly raised the total population.
It increased the number of non-primary-productive people that could live off the land, which means that these people would be born and maintained.
> Secondly the crops could only be grown within Kerofinela and weren't exported. There's little scope for huge population increases in Peloria and Kethaela.
Modern Heortland was a forested backwater, so little argument there. Esrolia behaved like the Nile Delta anyway, which means population growth between war losses.
Peloria did not profit from any specific magics. (I think I said so before...)
> > In God Learner influenced territory, a similar effect was reported using additional grain goddess magics - except where these failed (spectacularly).
> I'm unaware of this reported similar effect.
May have been from the Mongoose Jrustela/Umathela descriptions.
> The Goddess Switch wasn't about improving crop yields but trying to contact the Goddess Glorantha (Wyrms Footprints p37).
The Switch built on the experiences of introducing grain goddess support to agricultures formerly relying on sorcerous methods.
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