Haloed Bane

Population


If you're reading this, and you're Human, and a sensible one at that, I reckon you might want to know off the bat how many of us are there. Even if we are legion, you think, surely our government is not so advanced or reckless as to send more than a small fraction of our population to conquer you. Well, I'm sorry to have to burst your bubble, so rather than teasing you I'll just say it right at the top: as of 2011 (FR 8839, when we had our last universal census), there are 177 and a half billion of us. Only Inculae, and only in the first trinity. We have north of 90 billion more Inculae in trinities two to seven. Let's not forget our vassals. We have 4 to 5 billion battle-capable Glapachikos whose loyalty is beyond reproach. They'd more than do for the job, and we wouldn't even have to send a single one of us to put you down.

Incudean population growth

Notice the population explosion from our thirteenth century through our eight century before Flayer Activation. These five centuries are known as the Bright Light era.

Anyway, the point of this entry is to educate you, not intimidate you! What we'll do is run through our demographic history and see how those billions of Inculae came to be.

Incudean Fertility

Inculae become fertile between the ages of 20 and 21, and lose their fertility between the ages of 260 and 261. That's 240 years (Silver years, which are a tad bit longer than Earth's) of reproductive capability. Our birth rate is relatively anemic, however. Copulation very taxing for us both physically and mentally. An Incula who copulates more than twenty times in a single year is considered absurdly promiscuous or an athletic superstar, depending on her circle. There is also the fact that so many of us ascend to the higher trinities before age 260, at which point we become infertile no matter what. Thirdly, our fertility in the first trinity drops rapidly after each successful conception. An Incula who has never conceived has a 4/95 chance of doing so each time she copulates. However, once she has conceived, a second conception only occurs 66 out of 10,697 times. Here is a table with precise numbers:

# of previous conceptions Chance of conception
0 (Fertile) 4/95
1 66/10,697
2 1,566/64,245,619
3+ practically zero

Although scholars for centuries had surmised there was a mathematical pattern to this drop, only the stellar mind of the sage Chilnobion hit upon the notion that the key to an Incula's fertilty lay before she was ever fertile. Inculae prior to age 20 are capable of a ghost conception of sorts (where the body prepares for conception without any embryo being produced). The chances of this "conception" are one in five. Take the 1 and plug it into Chilnobion's formula, 30[1+(3x60)], and you get 4, the numerator in 4/95. For the denominator, 5 times the fifth prime number after five is 95. After that you have to fudge the numbers a bit, as is usual with Chilnobion -Sandalion calls her "our Betty Crocker"- but the important thing to note here is that our population grows very, very slowly, and the majority of our people have one child, no more, no less.

Fits and Starts: A Tale of Growth

Estimates are that the population of the Incudean race 4,047 years before Flayer Activation, scattered and ignorant of itself as it was back then, totalled around 2.35 billion souls. Over the next 2,775 years, the population grew to 11.4 billion. In demographic terms, this era was dominated by Mazieth's Flood, a disease that ravaged our youth, taking one of out every 3 Inculae before the age of sixty. Horrible stuff: the patient first begins by identifying herself with other Inculae in sight, so much so that she will forgo nourishment altogether if she's constantly in the presence of other folk eating, as in her mind she's already full; next, she starts identifying with aliens and beasts; the patient eventually becomes paralyzed, identifying with a rock or a bed. Forcing the patient to close her eyes will drive her mad, as she identifies with darkness. The final stage of the disease, whose onset is frustatingly impossible to forecast accurately, the patient begins to sweat profusely, then hemorraghe, until at some point she literally melts and dies. Thankfully Doctor Selbein discovered a cure in FR -1272, and the news rapidly, since by this point most Incudean communities were traveling through space and meeting each other.

What we get is the most explosive period of growth in our history. Over the next five centuries -the full lifespan of a single individual!- our population ballooned to 106.2 billion. Suddenly Mazieth's Flood seemed almost a blessing in disguise, horrifying as it was. I often wonder how our vassals today would be faring if we had kept up this rate. Many would have gone extinct, no doubt, or been banished to inhospitable planets in the Storms under one excuse or another.

Thankfully, an overpopulation crisis was averted when our smartest began to ascend to the second trinity. As I mentioned before, second graders are infertile, even if they were they occupy a completely different universe than our first graders, so demographically an ascent is strictly equivalent to a death. Our mortality rate effectively zoomed. Within fifty years or so of the first ascents, something like 10% of Inculae were ascending to the second grade by age 60. The average child per mother by age 60 before any ascents had been at 0.67, substantially less than the numbers needed for replacement, and so with the rising number of ascents, the future of the race was in peril. Governments began to take steps. In FR -789, Gorgo implemented a contraceptive ban. Meidin followed 88 years later, Hiuron and the Silver Planet in -634. Increasing wealth and stability in Incudea made these bans more acceptable than expected. An Incula did not -the liberty stands to this day- need to see her child's face ever in her life. If she didn't want to be a mother, all she had to do is give birth and the child would be whisked away. The bans stabilized the situation and have been in place since.

Under these conditions, Incudea's population grew at a manageable pace, reaching 148.4 billion in FR 1934. Alas, in that year,the first of many wars with the Merciless Myriad broke out, and catastrophe after catastrophe took its toll. Throughout the various "peaces" in between the wars, the matter of promoting population growth came up before the Council. Disease, suicide, and contraceptive use were rampant. Certain elements in the central government, collaborating with the Dolens to various degrees, hindered any serious attempt at stemming the tide. Even patriotic types fell into nihilism. The Third Dolentian War ended with an Incudean victory in 3839. The population of Incudea had only grown by 2.7 billion in these two millennia.

Fast forward five thousand years and we arrive at the aforementioned census.

The Higher Trinities

The 177 billion plus first graders are complemented by 92 billion plus in trinities two to seven. Different sapient species in Belklaun have very different ratios of first graders to upper graders (ours is curently 1.92 to 1, give or take. However, the population distribution within the upper grader ranks is actually very similar across different species. The distribution will always approximates a series of Fibonacci numbers, or rather their reciprocals, so that the total upper trinity population is always F1 (1/1 = 1), or the base, and the rest of the trinity populations are reciprocals of other Fibonacci numbers, i.e. fractions of that F1 population. In the case of Inculae and all other species capable of reaching the 7th grade, the Fibonacci numbers (that is, their reciprocals) that appear here are as follows:

  • Total population of upper graders (~92 billion c. 2011) = 1/1
  • 2nd grade = 1/2
  • 3rd grade = 1/3
  • 4th grade = 1/13+1/34+1/89+1/2584+1/17711… etc. (i.e. an infinite number of select Fibonacci reciprocals, always tending to close the gap the other numbers leave; roughly 11.9% of the first trinity population)
  • 5th grade = 1/21
  • 6th grade = 1/1,346,269
  • 7th grade = 1/2,178,309

You would expect from the data above that the 2011 would yield a figure of 68,000-odd sixth graders, and in fact, the actual number is close to our best estimates, even though of course they did not deign participate in the census. These tendencies must always be modified by livelihood differences in various trinities, cultural pressures, etc. In some cultures, mortality is much lower in the upper trinities because these populations have more power and access to health care. That said, it's even more common to see cultures with higher death rates in the upper trinities due to maladaptation to the condensed environments, vulnerability to tougher enemies, etcetera. Incudea is relatively egalitarian and currently lacking major threats, natural or personal, so actual figures are closer to the mathematical models than is the case with most other species.

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