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Old 06-04-2019, 10:40 PM   #11
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Hm. Some interesting things I hadn't considered, though details are in flux anyway, I was mostly just thinking "sometime in living memory there was a demonic invasion with horrific damage and deaths, what is it like now?"

To simplify away the 'and the neighboring countries invade' possible outcome of such a situation, perhaps a large island, and sea travel limited (could just be generally difficult, could be leftover aquatic monsters).
And/or it so happens that many or most of your skilled mariners were lost in the invasion. Seafaring and shipbuilding, even (or esp!) at low TLs, is a skilled trade.

Another possibility would be a society occupying a fertile region surrounded by extensive deserts.

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I would assume deaths not evenly spread over the land, and disproportionately among fighting age men, though no area or group untouched. The effect of essentially wiping out a generation of males would certainly change society, though I'm not sure exactly how.
1. Young men are at a premium, for labor, fighting, and breeding. For at least one generation, you've got more women than there are men to marry them. The effect of this depends on the social customs of the society.

If it's mostly monogamous and holds on to that through the catastrophe, the surviving young, able-bodied men have a wide pick of mates, and even the semi-able-bodied men probably can find a wife easily enough. The rest of the females settle for what they can get or stay single. There'd be a substantial percentage of 'old maids' in the subsequent generation, and society would place a premium on marriage prospects for girls. As others have noted, see post Great War France for an example of a little of this.

Possibly, a former monogamous culture might become at least a bit more polygamous after such an event, but that's by no means guaranteed.

Many families will have lost all of their male offspring. Depending on the culture, this may leave a large population of elderly with no means of support as time passes. It also may mean that quite a few farms, shops, etc. are going to be up for sale, cheap, for lack of heirs over time.

One possible outcome would be that healthy male orphans would be highly desired for adoption because of all the families that lost their sons. This too would leave a mark on the society.

As others have noted, the shortage of labor is likely to mean that wages will rise, maybe by quite a lot. There's a fair chance that the remaining power structure from before will try to stop this by legal actions or other means (that happened after the Black Death) but such efforts are likely to be futile at best.

2. The shortage of labor also means that every healthy male in the military is a young male not working. This would apply pressure for female labor, but at the same time, the population shortage would argue for motherhood as the societal ideal for women.

Social power, officially or not, is likely to move from the former ruling class toward the surviving laborers, at least for at time. There just won't be many other sources of labor to tap into.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:41 PM   #12
Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2
 
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

According to the comic books, it usually takes a week or two to recover completely. But I think that realities that are a bit less status-quo-y might take longer.

Anyway, what would a demonic invasion do to the local religions? Would people be more willing to support a deity after demons ate Little Timmy down the block?

After all, the demons did invade. Was the deity (and/or deities) unable or unwilling to prevent the invasion? If unable, the deity appears weak. If unwilling, the deity seems malicious towards the faithful. And if the Official Story was that it was allowed as "a test for the faithful", that would make the deity seem outright malevolent, if not insane. ("I don't think you love me enough, let's see how you feel after I stick a hive full of killer bees on your head.")

Or would the numbers of the faithful increase after what seems to be a victory against the very real Forces of Darkness? Once the demons are repulsed, someone will take credit, even if all they did was hide during the fighting.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

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Though plague is notable for killing people but mostly leaving infrastructure intact, warfare isn't so selective. The thirty years war seems like the most appropriate model (more modern examples have the problem of looking at consequences on an industrial society, which is more advanced than I want).
The model fits imperfectly, though. The Thirty Years War was a civil war within Christendom, and a secular power struggle between the emperor and various princes, all wrapped up in a nasty bundle. The fact that it was basically a civil war was crucial to its effects.

An important factor in your society will be what caused the invasion, and do people know it? If it was an invasion from outside, that produces a very different psychology than a civil war does.

Did someone summon the demons, intentionally or not? If so, what happened to them, and do people know about it? If a member of some minority group summoned the invaders, by intent or not, hatred might fall on that group, fairly or not. (It was all too common for Jews to be blamed for the Black Death, for ex, even though the Church argued against it and common sense said they were suffering from it too.)

If magic was used to call the invasion in, magic-users may be seen afterward as being about as popular as, well, demonic invasions. Even if it was known to be an accident, people might conclude (possibly wisely) that magic is too dangerous to mess with, and 'insist' that nobody mess with it. They might take that view out of ignorance even if nobody summoned anything in fact.

Was the invasion repelled, or did they leave on their own? That'll make a difference in the collective psychology. Are they still out there? Could they return, or do people fear they might? That'll be a factor too.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

In such societies historically, the nobility were expected to take on the bulk of leadership roles - and during a demonic invasion, would fall at a rate far above average. It seems to me that this would result in a massive power vacuum; this could lead to a new royal family taking over and business continuing as usual, or it could lead the people to experiment with other methods of governance (since the kings failed them, why not try something that doesn't use kings?). I think the most likely alternative would probably be something based more on traders or businessmen than anything we might think of as "democratic" - after all, if your business can recover from the Demon War, maybe you're just the kind of person to head the new council and help the nation recover as a whole!
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:29 AM   #15
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

Hm. Random thoughts:
  • Origin of demons: unknown, though plenty of people are willing to theorize.
  • Appearance of demons shortly followed by appearance of heroes (individuals of exceptional power and competence), and they stopped appearing (and surviving heroes faded) after the demons were driven off. Again, cause unknown but plenty of theories.
  • Small Band of Heroes is the archetypical-ish fighter/healer/mage/thief. All would be considered divine champions (of the gods of war, sun/plants, fire/smithing, language/tricks). Supreme god before war was none of those.
  • Who gave the killing blow is disputed, and those heroes vanished after war.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:04 AM   #16
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

I have a similar situation in my Fantasy Setting - a devastating war between Good and Evil, which depopulated whole regions, followed by a slow and difficult recovery. Isolated pockets and fragments of Evil might still be around (the same way they still dig up bombs from WW2).

I‘m dodging the details on how long all that took with the assumption that people had to focus on survival, not on record keeping. So the actual war happened at least two or three hundred years ago, followed by famine, unrest and localized anarchy. However, that could be off by 50% or more in either direction - no one knows or cares.

The current situation is a Points-of-Light scenario, with civilization on the brink of creating larger nations out of smaller city states again (Enter the players).
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Many families will have lost all of their male offspring. Depending on the culture, this may leave a large population of elderly with no means of support as time passes. It also may mean that quite a few farms, shops, etc. are going to be up for sale, cheap, for lack of heirs over time.

One possible outcome would be that healthy male orphans would be highly desired for adoption because of all the families that lost their sons. This too would leave a mark on the society.
This could be an opportunity for younger sons or sons of families with little to inherit. A woman with no surviving brothers brings inheritance.
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Originally Posted by Mysterious Dark Lord v3.2 View Post
Anyway, what would a demonic invasion do to the local religions? Would people be more willing to support a deity after demons ate Little Timmy down the block?
Good point. The fourteenth century was a non-fun time for Northern Europe (the Great Famine, the Black Death, the Hundred Years War. It was also a period of several major heresies and uprisings. A lot of people lost faith in the systems that were supposed to be protecting them.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

Labor will be scarce but a bit more efficient. If you have half the population you can not farm the marginal land, scavenge cut stone and timber from abandoned buildings, etc.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:42 PM   #19
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

It's too vague for me to add much but another historical inspiration might be the paraguyan war.

Two ideas that might impact the recovery time that come to mind are whether all the invaders were killed/made to flee (some may have deserted or otherwise be left behind and want to start a new life which may fasten recovery) and whether the invaders could have sex/breed with the locals (if there was an occupation, things will be very nasty aftwerwards which will delay recovery).
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Old 06-05-2019, 10:05 PM   #20
Johnny1A.2
 
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Default Re: Recovery time from a demonic invasion

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Originally Posted by Irish Wolf View Post
In such societies historically, the nobility were expected to take on the bulk of leadership roles - and during a demonic invasion, would fall at a rate far above average. It seems to me that this would result in a massive power vacuum; this could lead to a new royal family taking over and business continuing as usual, or it could lead the people to experiment with other methods of governance (since the kings failed them, why not try something that doesn't use kings?). I think the most likely alternative would probably be something based more on traders or businessmen than anything we might think of as "democratic" - after all, if your business can recover from the Demon War, maybe you're just the kind of person to head the new council and help the nation recover as a whole!
Possibly, but historically people tend to try to recreate what's familiar. When Henry VIII died, for ex, his will actually stipulated that instead of a traditional regency, a committee of (IIRC) 16 people was supposed to act in the name of Henry's minor son. It was too alien a concept, the committee quickly transformed into a more-or-less traditional regency.

If the land was a stable hereditary monarchy before, that would probably remain the ideal, but you might very well see multiple families, not all of them previously recognized as noble, vying for control of the crown, you might also see contending 'kings' refusing to recognize each other's claims. Too much o this sort of thing could quickly convert a nascent recovery into a new collapse. You might also see, in the confusion of the aftermath, various people claiming to be the previous ruler's surviving heir...truthfully or not.

If you wanted a major baddie for the setting, one possibility would be that whoever summoned the demons did so precisely to create the sort of confusion that could let him or her (or their proxy) gain the crown afterward. Maybe the invasion was a little more intense than intended, but that sort of thing is a long-standing warning about deals with dark powers anyway.
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