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  • #31
    Population measures for prehistory are highly unreliable because of European biases (unfortunately, most of the numbers on the internet still reflect the old European bias). The average population over the past 10,000 years may have been as high as 250 million and, leaving out infant and early child mortality, the average lifespan was probably 50 years, meaning that as many as 5 million people per year would have died. The total population of people who became wraiths over the last 10,000 years may have been as high as 2.5 billion (plus 7.5 billion drones). I would say that 80%-90% of them have transcended, been soulforged, etc, meaning the population would be around 375 million wraiths (with probably an equal number of specters) would be reasonable (meaning that there are some very old and very powerful wraiths in the Underworld).

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    • #32
      Originally posted by nothing View Post
      Ajax You seem (morbidly?) obsessed with these infant mortality rates. I'll indulge one last time. Ends of Empire says 5% of all persons who die become Wraiths. This includes infants. Buried Secrets says infants, babies, and small children (basically under 5 years), do not become Wraiths. Therefore, infants are included in the 95% of all persons who die that do not become Wraiths. The mother that dies birthing a stillborn has a chance of becoming a Wraith, though the fetus never did. This makes sense with the psychological physics of the Underworld. Even accounting for a 50% average infant mortality rate, we're still talking about numbers in the millions and billions.

      Cheers!
      I'm not morbidly obsessed. I just happen to have a background in demography, paleodemography and epidemiological demography and know that, even with those constraints, your math isn't terribly accurate. The actual equation needed to make that determination includes other factors - some of the numbers overlap and need to be calculated in several times before you reduce the equation. Said equation would be a sum (with a sigma) done the "easy" way and, to get a really good reading on wraith population would take an integral sign.

      In addition, there are several other factors that aren't taken into account. Like how often the dead "die" (fall to Oblivion, soul-forged,etc ) by percentage at each age cohort. How the Fettered and Fetter-less populations should be calculated, since the factors that reduce population are different on the two populations and there are certain complexities in moving from one population to the other (since age is a important, but not determinative factor). There are also issues related to drone vs. wraith vs. specter (and additional complexities in the possibility of movement between those populations).

      In the end, there are going to be substantially less than the roughly two billion you are positing. Since the above factors don't have answers, it would have to be a ball-park figure, at best, but I'd say, due to all the pressures reducing the population, it's probably, at most, half that, including all the wraiths in the Shadowlands, the Skinlands, Far Shores, etc., all the as-yet un-soul-forged (or jade-ed, ivory-ed, etc.) drones and all the specters (below the Neverborn). Probably more like 1/4 to 1/3.

      Which STILL doesn't adequatley address whether the "rule of thumb" of 1 wraith:20 living people is a legitimate figure. It may be the opposite of vampire, where the mandated number of vampires to humans is way too low. The wraith figure is probably too high by a few multiples. Probably more like 1:100 would be a better model.
      Last edited by Ajax; 08-20-2016, 08:44 PM.

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      • #33
        Ajax I think I see what's going on. Forgive me, perhaps I wasn't clear in my initial post. The ~2 billion isn'tthe current population of the Underworld - it's how many autonomous Wraiths have existed in the Underworld, and it's on the conservative side. (Rereading my initial post, the last sentence does seem to imply that ~2 billion is the current number). I do mention your listed concerns in my initial post, actually:
        Originally posted by nothing View Post
        So the Underworld has seen, conservatively assumed, 5 billion souls pass through it. We don't have metrics and percentages for Transcendence (which I assume would be very small, maybe .5%, the same as Willpower 10 occurring naturally), or being soulforged (which I assume would be much, much higher - frighteningly so), or falling to Oblivion (either by becoming a Shade, or starting as a Mortwright/Haint), and 63% of that 5 billion become Drones, that still leaves ~1,850,000,000.
        The whole exercise was meant to be an answer to the OP about Underworld societies' organization and structure ("[How do] Wraiths have a very well-developed and complex society compared to other splats[?] It's hard to have that level of organization and stratification with just a handful of souls." "There's been ~2 billion Wraiths over several millennia. They figured it out.")

        Plus, I thought the "morbidly" was fitting But really,
        Originally posted by Ajax View Post
        Which STILL doesn't adequatley address whether the "rule of thumb" of 1 wraith:20 living people is a legitimate figure. It may be the opposite of vampire, where the mandated number of vampires to humans is way to low. The wraith figure is probably too high by a few multiples. Probably more like 1:100 would be a better model.
        Hm. We're having a conflation issue here, that started at the beginning of the thread. I'm not doing maths right now, but someone should run this - maybe something like "Total number of dead in 2015 compared to total number of living in 2015, then 5% of that."

        Aya Tari Yeah, given the Eurocentric view of the source material, and my aversion to big numbers (and maths in general - except those round numbers. Love those averages), I was just trying to conjure up a rough estimate. I guess you could call it "Stygian-bias." Plus I'm not submitting this to peer-review for publication in a trade journal, or even for a grade. Ultimately, it's a fiction, so the Underworld has as many or as few Wraiths as needed - I prefer to have waves and swarms of Spectres, just millions upon millions, and I like to have my Stygia overly crowded to contrast with the few souls inhabiting Skinlands cities, and the desolation and loneliness of the Tempest.

        Originally posted by mark View Post
        otherwise what is there to prevent the various dark kingdoms from literally annexing the labyrinth?
        Malfeans. Neverborn. The corrupting influence of Oblivion itself. I don't think the Dark Kingdoms would "annex" the Labyrinth so much as try to seal it off and forget about it, if there weren't any rank-and-file Spectres.

        Cheers!


        If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
        'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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        • #34
          the veinous stairs lead to the labyrinth right? if so i have an idea... we'll have to built a wall and i will make the neverborn pay for it. after all they are not sending us their best, no! just rapists and murderers not worth the pathos to redeem.

          first day into my emperorship i seize mortwhights doppelgangers remittance payments and deliver the ultimatum to the malfeans

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          • #35
            Originally posted by nothing View Post
            Ajax I think I see what's going on. Forgive me, perhaps I wasn't clear in my initial post. The ~2 billion isn'tthe current population of the Underworld - it's how many autonomous Wraiths have existed in the Underworld, and it's on the conservative side. (Rereading my initial post, the last sentence does seem to imply that ~2 billion is the current number). I do mention your listed concerns in my initial post, actually:The whole exercise was meant to be an answer to the OP about Underworld societies' organization and structure ("[How do] Wraiths have a very well-developed and complex society compared to other splats[?] It's hard to have that level of organization and stratification with just a handful of souls." "There's been ~2 billion Wraiths over several millennia. They figured it out.")

            Plus, I thought the "morbidly" was fitting But really, Hm. We're having a conflation issue here, that started at the beginning of the thread. I'm not doing maths right now, but someone should run this - maybe something like "Total number of dead in 2015 compared to total number of living in 2015, then 5% of that."

            [USER="11683"]
            Aha! We were arguing two different but similar things from different directions with a significant degree of overlap in the boundary conditions.

            I still am not sure about how many Drones [sic OP] there are out there though... I don't know if our numerical calisthenics really touched on it. Either we're talking full-on wraiths and/or we're talking about population totals from which Drones and Wraith (and Specters) are derived. And the cultural factor of turning Drones into "stuff" complicates things to no end.

            I guess there are actually two questions?

            1) How many dead souls cross the Shroud as Drones as a factor of the total number of humans who die?
            2) How many Drones are there hanging around for PCs to meet?

            The latter seems likely to be a really low number. They might be seen wandering about if they self-Reap or Reapers know they've got a Drone when the breach the Caul (a standard Drone-dom test?), shackle the shambling thing up and trundle it off to the markets for sale to the Articifers and Moliators.. Which means most Drones are going to be seen in pens of moaning, thoughtless masses of ex-humanity in the process of being sold off...

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            • #36
              Don't most Wraiths have a somewhat short afterlife (in terms of historical time; maybe longer than their actual lives) before falling to the rigors of the underworld or their own internal psychological issues, with only the strongest and/or luckiest lasting multiple centuries? And aren't Spectres like mayflies in comparison, with few lasting more than a handful of years?

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              • #37
                Matt the Bruins fan They do, but it's also mentioned that wraiths can gain new Passions relating to the Underworld (and "weld" new temporary Fetters via Usury). So the ones that stick around tend to be the toughest, most stubborn ones. And when there's a million new wraiths a year, a percentage of that are going to find new ways to survive.

                Cheers!


                If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
                'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by nothing View Post
                  Matt the Bruins fan They do, but it's also mentioned that wraiths can gain new Passions relating to the Underworld (and "weld" new temporary Fetters via Usury). So the ones that stick around tend to be the toughest, most stubborn ones. And when there's a million new wraiths a year, a percentage of that are going to find new ways to survive.

                  Cheers!
                  I don't have the books to hand, but isn't it the Monitors that can create temporary Fetters, not the Usurers?

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                  • #39
                    Ajax You're right - it's Lifeweb, not Usury. That's what I get for typing too fast.

                    Cheers!


                    If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
                    'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Looking at the files, the Jade Emperor's Imperial Army had 'millions' of soldiers. At the low end, that's 2 million. At the conservative high end, it's 10 millions (more than that goes into 'tens of millions', the non-conservative high end) so there must be at least one wraith for every 3,500 living humans for that number to be possible. At the conservative high end, it becomes 1:700. Let's make the assumption, for argument's sake, that's literally every wraith in the Jade Empire (it isn't, of course), that Necropolis London is the entire population of the Stygian shadowlands (it also isn't), and that the Kingdom of Ivory is equivalent in population. That gives us 12 million total wraiths active. That knocks the ratio down to 1:584. If we add in the Kingdoms of Wire, we necessarily need to add another million (Auschwitz is stated to be the largest Western necropolis. London has a population of one million. Thus, Auschwitz must possess more than one million wraiths, which fits with its lethality and 1.5 million death toll.) to knock it down to 1:540.

                      Now let's get a little more liberal with it. 1 in 10 wraiths of the Empire is the usual figure for his army. It rises for the invasion that gave us the millions of soldiers line, so we'll put it at in in 4 to be somewhat conservative. At the low end, that makes it 8 million jade wraiths. At the conservative high end, 40 million.Without even factoring in the other kingdoms, we can arrive at a minimum figure of 1:875 and 1:175 respectively. Now, let's do the same thing for Stygia. We have no hard and fast population figures for Stygia's main holdings, but it seems reasonable to me to assume they're probably on an even footing with the Jade Empire as, though they lack the density of population Yu Huang can enjoy, they hold more territory. For the low end, let's make it so Stygia has a slight detriment and pop them at say, 6 million total wraiths (which would certainly make London a true world centre at 15% of the total population), and at the high end, we'll assume equivalency for another 40 million. Likewise for Africa - it has nearly as large a population to draw wraiths from, and the Ivory Kingdom's practices seem fairly conducive to keeping wraiths around for a while. We'll put it on par with Stygia (though unlike Stygia and the Jade Empire, they are not united into a single polity) so that puts us with a low-end figure of 20 million, and a high end figure of 120 million.

                      Respectively, that puts us at 1:350 and 1:60, without even getting into the other dark kingdoms, spectres, or drone populations. Obviously, these numbers are speculative, but they're speculative using some of the best sources of information we have on the subject.

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                      • #41
                        As an addendum, 500,000 wraiths were reaped from the battle of Verdun. In our reality, Verdun saw a total of 300,000 dead This tells us two things - first, that either the devs couldn't do maths or that the battle was at least twice as bloody as it was in real life. Second, it provides us with an 'optimal' figure for the growth of wraiths under horrendous conditions. 1 in 2 participants in Verdun became a wraith - less, if the battle saw more men rather than a bloodier toll.

                        The same source - the report of Scrivener Hiram of the Grim Legion (Great War (36)) - the Grim Legion had expanded by several million wraiths by the end of 1916. From a quick search about, something like 6.85 million men died between 1914 and 1916 on the Western Front. I don't have figures for the other fronts over the same period, but for the sake of a conservative estimate we'll bump it up to 10 million (jesus, I feel like Stalin - one death a tragedy, a million a statistic...) Low millions is the exact number given. For our purposes, we'll take a low end estimate of 2 million and a high of 4. This gives us either 1 in 5 or 1 in 2 1/2 deaths resulting in a wraith taken into the Legion, not including Drones, Spectres (of which we know many became), or those melted into tools, which could potentially see the number rise sharply.

                        For a low-end purpose however, we can use the 1 in 5 figure as being fairly representative of particularly horrible circumstances and the number of sentient wraiths they produce, with a potential for it to rise even higher in events that transcend 'horrible' and slide straight into hell on earth territory. Couple it with the peacetime figure of 5%, and between 5 and 20% of human beings should have produced a wraith, though how many of those wraiths stuck around long or were forged is not yet determinable. If we take the average of 15%, then of the ~107 billion people to have ever lived, ~16 billion or should should have become a wraith - but that then falls into the trap of how many babbehs in that figure, which I don't have an answer for either at this time.

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