The Size of the Tarrasque & How Many People It Could Feed

Officially, I’m leaving the size of Salt in Wound’s Tarrasque somewhat vague* -at least for now- in order to allow GMs to tell different stories about it. But I wanted to take a minute and share some ‘back of the envelope’ calculations regarding the size of the Tarrasque and what sort of population it could conceivably sustain.

Officially, for non Salt in Wounds use the Pathfinder SRD defines a Tarrasque as ‘colossal’ or 64 feet (20 meters) or more. For reference, we’ll just guess that the Tarrasque is as large as the largest earth animal at around 82 feet (30 meters) which is approximately the size of a blue whale.

Using this calculation and comparison to blue whales, we can also get a sense of how big the Tarrasque needs to be in order to sustain (more or less) a city the size of Salt in Wounds. I’ve stated that Salt in Wounds has a population of around 55000. Supposing that the city sustains itself on a purely carnivorous diet, and eats well that means every citizen eats around 2 pounds of meat a day for a total 110000 pounds of meat each and every day.

Would the default Tarrasque be able to provide that if it were bound up and perpetually butchered? Yes, definitely.

Blue whales (the aforementioned animal we’re using for a size comparison) weigh upwards of 420,000 pounds. Even assuming that some of that weight is undesirable for consumption (bones, elimination organs, whatever) and even leaving enough of the body intact so that the harpoons continue to hold it in place, that still leaves 150,000  pounds of meat every harvest vs the 110000 pounds needed to sustain the population. The tarrasque could provide this every day, assuming that it took an entire day to regenerate. Although, it doesn’t take an entire day to regenerate.

The default Pathfinder Tarrasque can regenerate 40 hp a round (or six seconds). HP regeneration probably doesn’t translate directly to ‘meat extraction regrowing’ but given that the default Tarrasque has 525 hp we could assume it can completely regenerate its body every 14 minutes. Or, let’s be more pessimistic; let’s say having ¼ of your body cut out represents truly massive, beyond death type damage which we could translate the Tarrasque being at -525 Hp. In that case, the Tarrasque can regenerate 150000 pounds of meat every 28 minutes. If you had a team working tirelessly, that means for the Pathfinder default Tarrasque you could produce approximately 7,200,000 pounds of meat every day.

Needless to say, Salt in Wounds (whatever the size of its Tarrasque may be) is nowhere near capacity as far as a population it could sustain. Even imagining all kinds of inefficiencies/problems, if we’re even vaguely correct a colossal, regenerating Tarrasque could feed over 3 million people. As such, the city of Salt in Wounds  can easily afford to dump, waste, and export millions of pounds of meat.**

If Salt in Wounds featured the default Pathfinder Tarrasque (which it doesn’t, unless you/your GM wants it to) the biggest challenge facing the God Butchers is not harvesting enough meat, but rather harvesting enough meat fast enough that the wounds they make to extract flesh don’t close in to trap/suffocate them.

*Currently, I envision the Salt in Wounds Tarrasque much bigger than colossal, actually something more like Godzilla size. Now, Godzilla has varied in size over the years, but let’s take an average of around 300 ft (90 meters). If I understand the cube square law well enough to make a guess about weight (which I don’t), we could ballpark the Salt in Wounds Tarrasque as weighing (or at least having as much volume) as twelve blue whales; or 5,040,000 pounds!

**Given the recent disasters, I imagine that it’s sometimes popular for the Aristocracy to blame disasters (like the destruction of the Tail District and the creation of the ‘no mans land’ of the Tail Stones) on the increased demands for meat represented by a swelling population. This is wholly false, the issues/failures have always entirely been due to a push to extract more alchemically valuable glands or other occult tissue.