I've been playing around with hexographer, thinking about how I might want to map out the Known Lands. When I throw around numbers for this, some rounding is involved. To help me figure out various aspects of building the world, I'm using a number of sources, including Expeditious Retreat Press' great A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe and A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture, S. John Ross' Medieval Demographics Made Easy, Alderac Entertainment Group's Empire, a ton of Wikipedia articles, and other sources to be named.
- The big hex showcases a small region, spanning some 10 miles/16 km from one side to its opposite.
- The big hex has an area of 87 mi2/225 km2
- The small hexes are very local, spanning 1 mile/2km from one side to its opposite.
- The small hexes have an area of 0.87 mi2/2.25 km2, some 557 acres.
For convenience, I've taken to calling the 10-mile hexes Regional Hexes and the 1-mile hexes Local Hexes. Working on this and doing some reading really makes me think about the logistics of this world. If you assume it takes an acre of cultivated land worked to keep one human adult fed for a year, it then takes 9 Regional Hexes to feed Hakeshar. That's a huge amount of land! How do they have surpluses? Well, by farming even more land than that for one, but the people of Hakeshar are also the beneficiaries of literal divine intervention thanks to The Bull. Furthermore, the entire Madaharine River basin's land has been the subject of public works and experimentation by the Pharaohs to boost its productivity: irrigation canals and alchemically enriched soil being the main tools there.
I'm wondering if there's a favorable rate of conversion turning grain into beer, if one could minimize their food expenditure by providing a lot of nutrition to the workers in beer form. In the South it would be easier to micromanage just what the laborers consume thanks to ancient, institutionalized slavery.