Ever since Eberron was first published I remember hearing that they had initially made an error on the scale of their maps, scaling everything out by a factor of 10. As a result, Khorvaire would have been the size of France and Germany, rather than a normal sized continent. I believe the idea behind it was that Eberron was supposed to be a tight knit world, with short distances between places, making rapid changes in venue a regular state of affairs. Instead, what they have is a massive world with continents so spaced that it is daunting to travel between them.
Consider that it took Columbus just over a month to travel from the Azores to the Bahamas, a trip previously not undertaken; people didn’t just sail out into the open ocean for weeks at a time. Despite the relative closeness of Xen’drik and Khorvaire, travel time, on a normal sailing vessel, is estimated at about a month’s time between Stormreach and Sharn. The use of Lyrander ships or airships reduces this considerably, of course. All of this considered, the humans of Sarlona did make the ridiculous trip to Khorvaire, which has been described as a trip that would take months. The difference between going between Sharn and Stormreach and going between Sarlona and Khorvaire is that along the path of the former, there are lots of islands that you can stop at along the way, while sailing across the Lhazaar sea is sailing across a trackless ocean. The distance is at least 3000 miles, is comparable to the distance between India and Australia, and would take over two months (according to D&D travel times) without resupply.
From http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD … “This larger, seaworthy ship is 75 to 90 feet long and 20 feet wide and has a crew of 20. It can carry 150 tons of cargo.” … “In normal climates, Medium characters need at least a gallon of fluids and about a pound of decent food per day to avoid starvation. … so that’s about 9 pounds of food and water per person per day, or about 6 tons of food and water for the crew alone for a one way trip between Sarlona and Khorvaire. Each additional passenger adds about a quarter ton. So, on a basis of logistics, it is possible to make the trip with plenty of extra cargo space for colonists and gear, but it strains credulity for someone to make a two month trip across an open ocean with no sense of what they might encounter along the way.
So the idea that the world was intended to be a lot smaller than it ended up being makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, the population densities of the various nations don’t make sense, as they would sit, as I’ve noted before, at very low levels, in the range of single digits per square mile, as opposed to in the tens per square mile, which would be more realistic. Reducing the distances by a factor of ten would reduce the areas by a hundred, so population densities would increase by a factor of a hundred, so Breland’s stated population density of about two per square mile to over two hundred per square mile. That’s about 50% higher than the average population density of the modern world. So increasing the populations by a factor of ten makes more sense than reducing the distances by the same amount. My population increase is about 40 to 60 times, as noted in a previous article.
One factor of ten I have been flirting with is reducing the various time spans by that amount. The last war would have only lasted 10 years, the length of the giant civilization on Zen’drik would have been 4,000 years rather than 40,000, similarly the goblinoid civilization would have lasted 3,000 years rather than 30,000 years. I’ve always felt that after the Mourning, it would be extraordinary for it to have taken two years to end the war … the Mourning is akin to a kind of nuclear bomb, ending a war in quick order out of fear of it happening again. On the other hand, the nation of Galifar would only have been around for a century, rather than a millennium. This could actually work out quite well if, say, Galifar himself instituted the build-up of forces that Jarot did. He would have been incredibly old, in the order of 134 years, but that could be explained by extraordinary lengths that he had taken to magically extend his life. It would also mark that the nation of Galifar was an abnormality rather than the norm, as Khorvaire was usually fractious rather than united. That they call it the ‘five nations’ after a millennium of being one nation seems a bit telling of an implied undercurrent of division. People would consider themselves Galifarians more than they would Brelish or Thranish, as those in Roman England considered themselves Roman more than they did English. A shorter period of time gives more of a sense that each nation was used to being independent, and that they could more directly point to their monarch’s claim to the throne, as they might be either the children of Galifar (Brey for instance), or his grandchildren.
This shortening also gives a better sense that each nation would have been able to produce their own set of Warforged without the various branches of Cannith having to be in contact. In a true total war scenario, Cannith could not have operated in Cyre and yet sold products openly to nations that were at war with Cyre. If the discovery of Warforged occurred before the war, than every nation would have access to them. Alternatively, if the project had been started before the war, each nation would at least have a basis to work on, with some nations getting to the end goal of producing viable Warforged before others. This in turn could explain the prevalence of Warforged in some armies over other armies. It would also increase the sense of newness of the Warforged; they were only first built about three years ago, so people wouldn’t have several decades to integrate the idea of them. For comparison, PCs and Macs have been around for 30 years and we have completely integrated them into our lives.