27 August, 2015

Darkhive Worldbuilding (Part 6) - Rome wasn't built in a Day


(Warning...this is a big one)

Something I've been seriously considering throughout this project is the size of the setting. The figures I've given so far for shell distances (50km/75km/100km radius) have been vague numbers totally subject to change (as long as the 2:3:4 ratio remains intact for the purposes of gravity calculations). The Darkhive derives it's name from a hexagonal structure, this was intentional to give the whole complex a crystalline/insectoid/inhuman feel.

For the purposes of shape, I'm looking at Goldberg polyhedrons (polyhedra?). The most famous of which is the soccer ball. 
But I'm going for the more rounded versions of these forms...

The Inner Shell (4 faces between hexagonal "points", 150 Hexes)


The Mid Shell (6 faces between hexagonal "points", 350 Hexes)


The Outer Shell (8 faces between hexagonal "points", 480 Hexes)

If each of the hexes is roughly similar in size, then the shells depicted maintain the ratio. The pentagonal "points" contain columns joining the spherical shell levels, to maintain stability between shells, only the finest thread would be needed. I remember Niven describing a similar concept to this in Ringworld, in theory gravity would hold the shells in place around one another, but it would be safer to have some kind of manual backup, and similarly it would be good to have some kind of way to commute between the shells. 

I'm thinking that each of the hexes should be roughly 5km across if I want the whole outer shell radius to be 100km. That means just over a 314km round trip to complete a circumnavigation of the outer shell. But 5km across for a single hex is too big for the claustrophobic vibe I'm aiming for with this setting (so we'll call these large hexes). I've shown in a previous blog entry that a hexagonal geomorph can be nicely divided into tenths. So I could divide a 5km large hex into 500m medium hexes, then subdivide these further into 50m small hexes. 

Using another division method, I can divide the large hexes into smaller cells (using divisions of 21). Using this method, medium hexes end up just under 240m wide (and about 400 of them for each large hex) and small hexes end up just over 11m wide (and about 160000 of them for each large hex). (too many to map quickly). This is what I actually did for construction of a 3D form that might be the basis for map work in this world.

Here is a cutaway rendering of a single hexagonal cell used in the overall construction. Sweeping through this particular cell is a junction for a canal system. Such canals would have been the major form of transportation throughout the hive. If we assume that all parts of the hive are three layers deep, then these canals would be located on the middle layer, they aren't particularly deep (maybe a metre).

(There end up being about 15 million of these small hexagonal chambers)

Placing the roof back onto the structure, and zooming into one of the canals, it becomes possible to see the shape of the background being used for the title illustrations in this series.


Looking back, at the cutaway, there are passageways between many of the hexes, some of these passageways might be intact, some might have collapsed, some might have been fortified and trapped by survivors over the many millennia that they have been stranded here. The central cluster of hexes is another interesting feature to develop as I constructed the hex form. Such an area might be a perfect location for a fortified outpost or trading centre in the hive. It exists on a junction of transport canals, it could probably be fortified, it's a self contained cluster. It was an accidental development, but why waste serendipity?

Surface area calculation give us 31415.927 square kilometres for each of the three layers of the inner shells, 70685.83 square kilometres on each layers for the mid shell, and 125663.6 square kilometres for the outermost shell. If each of the shells is 3 layers deep, calculations give a total surface area of 581194.314 square kilometres. 102101.757 square kilometres of that is on the "topmost" layer of the inner two shells, and thus open space covered by water or "natural" environments, 125663.6 square kilometres exists as the outermost part of the construction, and is uninhabitable due to being in direct exposure of hyperspace/astral energies. That gives us 353428.957 square kilometres of tunnels, passageways and chambers (maybe minus 10% to account for wall space). I'm assuming no-one lives on the outer surface areas due to dangers that will be explored in later posts.

The surface area of the earth is 510,100,000 square kilometres, so the surface area of this construct is less than a tenth of 1% of that, with three quarters of the space as claustrophobic tunnels and chambers.

That brings us to the total population of this setting. There need to be vast unexplored areas in the passageways, dangerous desolate and overgrown regions between scattered enclaves of survivors. As a ratio of population to surface area, we could make this construction roughly as population dense as Earth (assuming a population of 7.5 Billion), that means 14.7 people per square kilometre (that gives us roughly 5,196,000 people). But Earth is considered overcrowded, and in this environment, there is even less capacity to grow plants or farm animals. If the numbers are dropped to 5% of those figures (let's say 260,000 people total), we get closer to the potential for vast areas of unexplored world.

Even that figure is about 3 times the number of people I had originally considered for the setting (at about 70,000). Not a major concern, but it will mean rejigging some of the numbers.

Originally...

Null - ~30,000 (all over)
Khar Tui - weak blood ~8,000, strong blood ~2,000 (mostly in towns)
Riven - weak blood ~8,000, strong blood ~2,000 (mostly in barricade slums and fortified outposts)
Kithling - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the inner shells)
Ichthyan - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the inner shells)
Panaho - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly in one town and settlements surrounding that specific town)
Outsider - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly on the outer shells, typically in specific areas around their incursion site)

Now...

Null - ~60,000 (all over)
Khar Tui - weak blood ~20,000, strong blood ~5,000 (mostly in towns)
Riven - weak blood ~20,000, strong blood ~5,000 (mostly in barricade slums and fortified outposts)
Kithling - weak blood ~6,000, strong blood ~1,500 (mostly on the inner shells)
Ichthyan - weak blood ~6,000, strong blood ~1,500 (mostly on the inner shells)
Panaho - weak blood ~6,000, strong blood ~1,500 (mostly in one town and settlements surrounding that specific town)
Outsider - weak blood ~6,000, strong blood ~1,500 (mostly on the outer shells, typically in specific areas around their incursion site)
And two more rare races...
Xelani - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly in one town and the settlements surrounding that town)
Endoss - weak blood ~4,000, strong blood ~1,000 (mostly in the barricade slums and fortified outposts)

The new figures give us an approximate total of 150,000 people.

Dividing the settlements according to the new numbers...

Towns have roughly 2000 people (1000-3000, spreading over 2-3 adjacent 2.4km hexes), there would be 8 of these. (20,000 total population in these)
Villages have roughly 1000 people (500-1500, spreading over a single hex), there would be 40 of these. (40,000 total population in these)
Hamlets have roughly 400 people (200-500, covering half a hex) there would be about a hundred of these. (40,000 total population in these)
Beyond these are barricade slums (with 50-200 people, covering a cluster of a dozen or so chambers and connecting corridors), there would be a 100-150 of these...and a few hundred fortified outposts (with less than 50 people in each). (50,000 total population in these outer settlements)

The canal junctions mentioned earlier in the post would count as fortified outposts.





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