Hyperborean Demographics – Khromarium

Realm of the Khromarium City-State (24-mile hexes)

Realm of the Khromarium City-State (24-mile hexes)

In my second post on Hyperborean demographics, I’m focusing on Khromarium and its vassal communities surrounding the Lug Wasteland (Stonebrook, Port Greely, and Swampgate). These four settlements constitute a single realm, the City-State of Khromarium.

(Again, this is a very wonkish post. Continue if you are interested…)

Hyperborea HR

Urban Demographics:

Not only is Khromarium the largest city in the realm, but with 30,000 inhabitants it’s the biggest in all of Hyperborea. This translates to 6,000 urban families in ACKS terms. Although in the baseline ACKS rules, this would be a “Large City”, it’s considered more of a Metropolis in Hyperborea. It boasts a Class II Market.

Let’s take a look at the “Villages, Towns, and Cities Placement” table from the ACKS Core Rules (p.231) and back-calculate the overall realm population based on Khromarium as its largest settlement:

Villages, Towns, & Cities Placement (Khromarium)

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m assuming that Khromarium is a highly advanced urban realm with a highly centralized settlement pattern. Therefore, I’m shifting two rows down on the “Urban Population” column and another two rows down on the “Largest Settlement” column.

Using the example of Achea (ACKS Core Rules p.232), let’s assume that the overall population is 50% urban, and that 50% of this urban population resides in Khromarium itself. This back-calculates to a total realm population of 6,000 × 2 × 2 = 24,000 families (120,000 inhabitants). This consists of 12,000 urban families and 12,000 rural families.

In addition to Khromarium, there are three other major settlements in the realm. The AS&SH Gazeteer describes Stonebrook (population 2,000), Port Greely (1,200 or more), and Swampgate (some 1,000 inhabitants). I’m going to tweak these numbers as follows (let’s assume that the sages compiling the census missed some of the poor and downtrodden):

Stonebrook: 440 urban families (2,200 inhabitants)
Port Greely: 275 urban families (1,375 inhabitants)
Swampgate: 285 urban families (1,425 inhabitants)

That makes each community a “Large Village” in ACKS terms (or a “Large Town” in Hyperborea) and therefore Market Class V. The combined urban population in these three settlements totals to 1,000 families.

So 6,000 urban families in Khromarium plus another 1,000 in its vassal settlements. Since there are 12,000 urban families total in the realm, that leaves 5,000 urban families scattered in smaller villages and towns (Market Class VI) not shown on the map.

There are also 12,000 rural families supporting all these communities. They would live in scattered homesteads and hamlets along the coast and throughout the Lug Wasteland.

These are quite a few people (25,000 urban inhabitants and 60,000 rural peasants) who are not mentioned in the Hyperborea Gazetteer at all! Apparently the Sages’ Guild of Khromarium don’t do a good job enumerating the countless families which are needed to support their great city…

Mapping the Realm:

A realm of 24,000 families is considered a “Duchy” in ACKS terms. Within a Duchy, there are typically 4-6 Counties. This lines up nicely with Khromarium and its 3 settlements, plus maybe another County or two covering the Lug Wastes. There are also a bunch of Marches and Baronies, which I’m not too concerned with right now.

Assuming average population density, the realm would encompass between 4 and 11 24-mile hexes. Given my “Points of Light” assumption, I’m going to say that each settlement only controls the hex it resides in, plus part of the adjacent hexes if its home hex is incomplete.

The usual ACKS guidelines state than any secured domain within two 24-mile hexes of a city will be “Civilized”, and will be borderlands for another hex out. Let’s say each of Khromarium’s vassal communities are considered “Borderlands”, forming a ring around the Lug Wasteland.

Authority Figures & Criminal Guilds:

The AS&SH Hyperborea Gazetteer lists Gill Sampatose as Lord Mayor of Khromarium. He is Master of the Mariner’s Guild, selected by an oligarchy of men comprising the cityís most powerful knights, nobles, and guild masters.

Normally the domain ruler of a Class II city should be 12th level (ACKS p.237). I kind of like the idea of Gill being a puppet of Khromarium’s true ruler(s), though. Let’s make him a 9th-lvl Venturer and assume that there’s someone else at a higher level pulling his strings – maybe the Xathoqquan Orthodoxy?

I’m thinking that Khromarium’s criminal guilds will be split into several factions. A Class II Market supports 750 total members. Let’s break that into one “main” guild with around 375 members (led by a 10th-lvl Thief) and several smaller guilds (the Beggar’s guild, an Assassin’s guild, a few major street gangs, and perhaps small guilds for Spellfilches and Purloiners).

The other communities are small enough that I’m not going to bother detailing them. Port Greely will be described in the upcoming adventure module Mystery at Port Greely, so I’ll wait to see that before defining things further.

That’s all I have for today. Next demographics post will cover Brigand’s Bay.

Hyperborea HR


About K-Slacker

Gamer and referee for online gameblogs.
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7 Responses to Hyperborean Demographics – Khromarium

  1. Tom H. says:

    It seems like an unwanted result that most of the Lug Wasteland ends up civilized?

    Or is most of it not covered by domains? 12,000 families / 18 24-mile hexes is down around 1 family per square mile, so really there are going to be very clumpy spots of civilization with sharp transitions to wilderness?

    • K-Slacker says:

      You’re right; it seems odd.

      In play, I’d probably treat each settlement’s hex (plus the hexes adjacent to Khromarium) as “civilized” with the rest of the Lug Wasteland (and any hexes adjacent to towns) as “borderlands”.

  2. K-Slacker says:

    The Mystery at Port Greely has been released. You can pick up the pdf at:


    It looks like recent events have caused a decline in Greely’s population. It’s down to 1025 residents now (205 families), which reduces it to Market Class VI. Perhaps some former inhabitants have relocated to Khromarium and can provide rumours for curious adventurers? The PC’s actions may be able to reverse this unfortunate demographic decline…

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