Re: Clan and Stead Populations

From: Peter Larsen <plarsen_at_S7hW1F6ZtnX6BOxtDU8mIWHu_wH1YIFZH89_SVOOgnW8hTJC0JJR_O7VyAc5-SJv8w5o>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 09:31:01 -0600

At 7:22 PM +1000 4/3/02, John Hughes wrote:
>Following the discussion, here's a stab at our clan population. I'm working
>on the clan gen figures and the basics stated by Bryan - 7 steads, smaller
>in hills, larger in plains, concentration at the chief's stead. I've also
>given the lowland steads slightly more children (prosperity) and
>concentrated the fyrd and weaponthanes in the lowlands and at the chief's

        Sorry if this is coming in a little late, but I'm a little confused by this arrangement -- TR states that clans are divided into bloodlines which are divided among steads. The "average" numbers are (if I remember correctly) 1200 people in a clan, divided into 6 bloodlines, each of which has 3 steads with approximately 70 people.

        Now, obviously, this model is a little screwy (as we have discussed), especially since it's not clear if that 1200 people are all adults, everyone, everyone above 5 years of age, etc. Additionally, I can't imagine that there is a clan organization that applied even in the Heortling all of cases, so clans with mixed-bloodline steads, hamlet organization rather than stead organization, larger steads, smaller steads, etc are probable the rule more than the exception. However, since we are supposedly constructing a generic setting, I think our clan should try to match TR as much as possible.

        So, my suggestion is that we up the population of the clan (adding in numbers for under counted children?) or reduce the size of Swensstead slightly (60 pop total?), or both. Increase the number of steads to bloodlines x2-4 (I would not necessarily be against having fewer bloodlines, or having 3-4 major bloodlines and a couple of starter, one-stead bloodlines (like Swenstead?). So the clan might look like:

Bloodline A -- 340 people, 4 steads
Bloodline B -- 300 people, 3 steads
Bloodline C -- 300 people, 3 steads
Bloodline D -- 250 people, 3 steads
Bloodline E -- 180 people, 2 steads

Bloodline F (Swensline): 80 people, 1 Stead

Total: 1450 (including those under-5 children)

        I imagine that bloodline D is the one that Swensline "calved off" of, Bloodline E is small because it's a) recent, b) reduced from raiding, illness, or some other misfortune, or c) you tell me.

        The steads ought to be made up of mostly one bloodline, although there are plenty of options for fosterage, summer workers, etc. For example, I imagine that Swensline and bloodline D are still pretty close, and there is a fair transmission of people between them still, with Swensline relying on their close kin in D for political support (although with 2 ring members, I'm not sure they need it).

        Any comments?

Peter Larsen            

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