About 300 years ago, my world underwent massive climate change. It suddenly shifted from something we'd consider normal/livable to a climate similar to that of the last glacial maximum. (Side note: I know this isn't realistic, but honestly, I'm handwaving the reasoning behind it. I think it's interesting to explore, so it's canon.) I'm focusing mostly on a culture near the equator -- it's an agrarian society, and it was a large empire before sudden cold, famine, disease, and general societal chaos caused it to fracture. I'm looking for thoughts on how quickly and to what extent a society would be able to 'rebuild' and form a large government. How long would it take for agriculture to be reestablished?
- It's low fantasy, without much magic. Proper 'mages' are very rare, very powerful, and, at least in this culture, considered incarnations of gods.
- The richer families/rulers fared better against initial famine conditions than the poor; I think they'd be the most likely to seize power after the empire's collapse.
- The population has, in general, become aggressively religious. Religious rules are stricter, and they're much quicker to throw out or kill anyone they believe to be bringing the wrath of gods upon them. I think that anyone trying to gain power would leverage this.
- I think the sudden cold conditions would cause migration towards the equator -- anywhere that seems sustainable. Migrants might have brought along plants/animals that are better adapted to cooler climates.
Thanks for reading! This project has been sitting in my head for the better part of a year, so I'd love to get any advice from others :)