Mountains, the universe, and everything

From: Joerg Baumgartner (
Date: Mon 22 Nov 1993 - 20:09:35 EET


Steve Gilham in X-RQ-ID: 2383

>Height of Wintertop

>I'd got the impression that the 4000' figure was the *base* of
>Wintertop, i.e. the height of the col of (the real) Dragon Pass.
>Or maybe I was just trying to rationalise the two figures
>together. Certainly Orlanth's Mother deserves to be more
>impressive than the little hills dotting the British Isles.

Yep, this goes hand in hand with the height of 5000 ft for most of Balazar south of the Elf Sea (which must be at approx. 4800 ft).

Mark Sullivan in X-RQ-ID: 2390

>While poring over my recently purchased copy of River of Cradles I noticed
>on the Common Knowledge section of the RoC map -

>:The Block
>:This giant rectilinear block of rock, 500m on a side and 2km tall...

>This would seem not to overshadow earthly mountains, but it still ought to
>be seen from pretty far off.

>If it is two kilometers tall it doesn't compare with Wintertop's 12
>(please say it's a typo) kilometers [from p61 of Genertela Book, GoG]. I
>mean just how high *is* the atmosphere? That there middle air must go up
>pretty damn high or those Shakers are breathing with oxygen tanks.

The Middle Air reaches up to where the Red Moon currently rests - that's how the rivalry between Orlanth and the Red Goddess _really_ started, Castle Blue was just a prelude.

How high is the sky? I'd assume that it has perfect spherical shape (the solars being possessed with symmetry, and there's notthing more symmetric than a sphere) stretching over the earth and sea of Glorantha. At the gates of Dusk and Dawn it has its axis for the north-south movement during the year; these seem to lie on the far side of Sramak's river (which must be circular on the outside, to fit into the sky, and rectangular on the inside, where Gloranthan earth begins).

It would be nice to think of the sky as the upper half of a sphere, and the realms of darkness (i.e. hell, or wonderhome in trollish legends) is the lower half. There must be two concentrical spheres, BTW, because the upper world lies outside the inner sphere, but hardly borders directly on the void (not my idea of a paradise, at least).

(This model would "prove" that the Lunar Rune comprises the wholeness of the (outer) world. Any Irrippi Ontor takers?)

All of the upper sphere is filled with air, since Umath has filled the space between his parents. It must be coldest a bit less than half way between earth and sky, between source and reflection of the heat (sky). (We know that on Glorantha it gets colder the higher one moves up the mountains, but hotter the close one gets to the sky - see southern Pamaltela.)

So the height of Pole Star above earth level must be about half way between the Gates of Dusk and Dawn. The way the Blue Moon travels in one cycle would be twice this radius for the fall, plus Pi times this radius for the climb along the sphere. (The climbing time might be dependent on how close to the Blue Moon Plateau the moon rises - the closer the faster.)

>Now if the Block casts a shadow that blocks the Red Moon's glow it would
>seem that the umbra would lie across the Devil's Marsh. What can we
>deduce, if anything, from this? Maybe Lunar priests are no more likely
>than anyone else to want to visit the Marsh?

This brings me to a heretical (to whom?) idea:

In the description of the Silver Shadow Sultanate/Satrapy it is mentioned that the region basks in the silver shine. Does this mean that tne Red Moon is translucent, and focusses the stars' light onto the crater, after filtering out the red glow it sends out?

Is this light pressure the force htat keeps that ole chunk of rock up?

And how high is the Crater, how high above it is the moon?

-- Joerg Baumgartner

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