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Author Topic: Plateaus: The Taveruun/Otamarluk/Savarastra Border  (Read 10186 times)
Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« on: June 20, 2003, 05:48:43 AM »

Ok, perhaps this is a stupid question, but....

It says that there is a plateau protecting Savarastra from Otamarluk (which doesn't matter, as they are paying Otamarluk tribute anyway); I'm thinking that the Savarastra/Taveruun border will be identical.

So.... I am not sure exactly what a plateau looks like, for one. I've seen mountains, canyons, etc... but it describes a plateau as an area of land where there is a sudden and dramatic altitude change from one side to the other.

So, does Savarastra rise, or fall, from Otamarluk? Fall, I assume, as you are approaching the sea....

But what does a plateau look like? It isn't actually a cliff, is it? More like a very steep hill? Or what? I'm not certain I've seen a plateau border, so, while working on my province, the one that borders Savarastra, for Taveruun, I'm trying to picture what it looks like, and I'm having a bit of trouble.

I even went looking for pics on the internet, to no avail.
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Poenz
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Posts: 18


« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2003, 06:44:40 AM »

Morfedel,

The Tibetan plateau is the one that comes immediately to mind, but I do not believe that there is any dramatically visible feature that you could "see" on a less than global scale--like say, from near earth orbit. Essentially, the rise in elevation occurs over many dozens of miles.  The Tibetan plateau is characterized by broad treeless plains or steppes cut through by river channels, with ever increasing chains of hills and mountains as it approaches the Himalayas.  The majority of the Tibetan plateau lies between 3000-4500m above sea level as I recall--higher than all but a couple of the mountains we have here in the U.S.  Do a Google image search on it if you would like to see some photos.
I'm not familiar enough with the history of the region to say for certain what military advantage the Tibetan plateau provided.  I can say that the men of the region are some of the most rugged individuals in the history of the species.
Another type of plateau would be the mesas of the North American Southwest and the tepuis of Venezuela--but I doubt very seriously that these are what are being described.  
Does any of that help at  all?

~PO
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2003, 07:13:40 AM »

Hard to describe. To overcharacterize the concept of a plateau, imagine the following: A state sized area that's all at 10,000 feet, that drops off at it's edges to 3,000 feet. Mesa is another word that describes a similar phenomenon. And that's Spanish for "table". Sometimes plateaus are called tablelands, or uplands.

Since these are rather large formations (the states of Nevada and Utah, can be said to be on a single plateau), you can't easily say what they "look" like. But often they'll have mountain ranges surrounding them. Leaving the center much higher than what's outside the plateau. Given that we're talking such a large area, the edges will be all sorts of things. Mountains, cliffs or just gradual rises in places. What's generally true, however, is that the terrain on the plateau starts at a higher elevation than the terrain that surrounds the plateau.

Is that helping?

Anyhow, they are often barriers because of the terrain that forms them. That is, the mountains and escarpments that thrust them up are often barriers to travel. I'm pretty certain that Poenz has it right that the plateau in question is supposed to be like the Tibetan plateau, given that it's supposed to be separating the Indialike nation from the Central Asian like nation. As such, you'd have the plateau formed by mountain ranges like the Himalayas. Barriers to travel the likes of which exist nowhere else. Basically, Tibet was considered impassible for most of it's existence, and people simply had to go around it.

The quesiton is where, exactly it lies. Does it extend westward to the border with Taveruun? If it's supposed to be at all like the Tibetan plateau, there's a pass that leads through the various ranges that's very important at that point, actually. This would make the SE Taveruun, very much the equivalent of Persia. That's how I wrote the S portion, refering to the tribes of the region. Basically, I modeled it after the downfall of the Persian empire, with culture devolving to tribes outside the cities. Ilitzi, I modeled after Ormuz. Basically a Persian port from which Europeans embarked for points east.

BTW, going with that interperetation, that makes Taveruun, not only the Balkans, but add Turkey as mentioned before, and add the whole middle east. Making Dardanet definitely Palestine/Judea/Levant/Rhodes/Dardanelles. :-)

Gives you a perspective on the number of cultures that could inhabit such a crossroads region, eh? Basically, in modeling Eurasia/Africa, Wyerth covers a lot of territory with very few countries.

Mike
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2003, 07:19:44 AM »

Heh.

If the barriers were TOO imposing, they would not have to pay tribute to Otamarluk. The Otamarluks would have no chance of getting a credible force through, if it was like Tibet.

I'm going to have to look at some geographical maps of these areas you mentioned to get a clearer picture.
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2003, 07:43:16 AM »

Hm, based on it as described, I see it as a bit less imposing than the tibetan plateau, as Otamarluk is able to force tribute from Savarastra, something that I doubt would happen if it was as imposing a barrier otherwise. So, perhaps it is a bit less imposing, and cut with more passes than would otherwise be the case.

Here is the other question... I'm assuming that Savarastra thats the low lands as its closer to sea, but that doesn't actually have to be the case. If it were the plateau, then decents quickly to the sea....  but I suspect its the former, rather than the latter, that's the case.

I also see, either way, the lands between Taveruun and Savarastra to be cut with imposing ranges of mountains and cliffs, with rugged terrain on the Taveruun side - remember, Savarastra is described as being lush, and as you head south towards Numeria it gets unpleasant. So that can be part of the changes there, as well, with rugged and unpleasantly rocky terrain cut with some rivers running off of them from melting glaciers at the high tips of the mountains.

I also, therefore, see scraggly goats, rugged countryfolk, mountain men, a few lower peaks that may have been conquered, etc.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2003, 10:21:27 AM »

Quote from: Morfedel
Here is the other question... I'm assuming that Savarastra thats the low lands as its closer to sea, but that doesn't actually have to be the case. If it were the plateau, then decents quickly to the sea....  but I suspect its the former, rather than the latter, that's the case.
Actual India is interestingt this way. There's a western escarpment/mountain range that runs almost the entire Western edge of the country (translates to the north and west in Wyerth). On the other side, the higlands taper off very gradually to the eastern coast.

Quote
I also see, either way, the lands between Taveruun and Savarastra to be cut with imposing ranges of mountains and cliffs, with rugged terrain on the Taveruun side - remember, Savarastra is described as being lush, and as you head south towards Numeria it gets unpleasant. So that can be part of the changes there, as well, with rugged and unpleasantly rocky terrain cut with some rivers running off of them from melting glaciers at the high tips of the mountains.
Makes total sense with the above on the Svarastran side. Though, if not really high like the Alps or Tibet, glaciers would be rare, I think, especially this far south. But you could just say that some few peaks are really tall (meaning that they're easy to go around).  

Quote
I also, therefore, see scraggly goats, rugged countryfolk, mountain men, a few lower peaks that may have been conquered, etc.
Well there's the likely huge valley cut by the Galdorian river. So, yeah, Mountains on the Savastran side of the river, and then a more gradual rise to the rocky sort of more "Numerian" terrain on the Taveruun side, leading to the west where it peaks a bit, and then descends into the Cathedral river valley again. I listed this stuff as a plain, but it's your call. Perhaps a mirroring escarpment. Meaning that the whole Southeast provice would be a massive craggy slope down into a valley, and then the peaks on that side form the provincial borders between our two provinces. On my side it would be the gradual slope again down to the Cathedral River (with yet another craggy climb to the west after that, to the mountains of Western Taveruun).

What's your call?

Mike
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Morfedel
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Posts: 345


« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2003, 01:10:58 PM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: Morfedel
Here is the other question... I'm assuming that Savarastra thats the low lands as its closer to sea, but that doesn't actually have to be the case. If it were the plateau, then decents quickly to the sea....  but I suspect its the former, rather than the latter, that's the case.
Actual India is interestingt this way. There's a western escarpment/mountain range that runs almost the entire Western edge of the country (translates to the north and west in Wyerth). On the other side, the higlands taper off very gradually to the eastern coast.

Quote
I also see, either way, the lands between Taveruun and Savarastra to be cut with imposing ranges of mountains and cliffs, with rugged terrain on the Taveruun side - remember, Savarastra is described as being lush, and as you head south towards Numeria it gets unpleasant. So that can be part of the changes there, as well, with rugged and unpleasantly rocky terrain cut with some rivers running off of them from melting glaciers at the high tips of the mountains.
Makes total sense with the above on the Svarastran side. Though, if not really high like the Alps or Tibet, glaciers would be rare, I think, especially this far south. But you could just say that some few peaks are really tall (meaning that they're easy to go around).  


Let's make Savarastra the lowlands. I've always had that in my minds eye, really; I saw Savarastra as this lush, almost paradise-valley kind of setting after reading its description. So, lets do Savarastra as the lowlands.

Lets have, say, two large mountains, large enough for ice caps; enough to allow a couple small rivers to run off on both the Savarastra and Taveruun, but not enough to be a major presence; let "my" southeast border be rocky, rough, and rugged terrain.
Quote

Quote
I also, therefore, see scraggly goats, rugged countryfolk, mountain men, a few lower peaks that may have been conquered, etc.
Well there's the likely huge valley cut by the Galdorian river. So, yeah, Mountains on the Savastran side of the river, and then a more gradual rise to the rocky sort of more "Numerian" terrain on the Taveruun side, leading to the west where it peaks a bit, and then descends into the Cathedral river valley again. I listed this stuff as a plain, but it's your call. Perhaps a mirroring escarpment. Meaning that the whole Southeast provice would be a massive craggy slope down into a valley, and then the peaks on that side form the provincial borders between our two provinces. On my side it would be the gradual slope again down to the Cathedral River (with yet another craggy climb to the west after that, to the mountains of Western Taveruun).
What's your call?

Mike


I like that idea - the SE province being a masive craggy slope down to the valley, etc etc. I think it makes sense. Doesn't mean there can't be some plains, esp on the western side methinks; perhaps it could be fading into just a hint of it by the time its reaching your eastern border to mid section.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2003, 01:54:18 PM »

Cool, sounds good.

Mike
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Gary_Bingham
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Posts: 65


« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2003, 02:59:20 PM »

I haven't given this a lot of thought but here's my take on the protective Plateau of Fissan. If you look at the border between Otamarluk and Svarastra we see a 'Y' shape. I reckon that the Plateau in question is the land between the arms of the Y. This leaves the trunk of the Y as plains or hills similar in elevation on each side of the border and hence passable by large force of men. i.e. troops. The reduces the effective border between the two countries to a stretch of about 200 miles (though a river forms the border for some 75 to 100 miles of that. I would assume that this river is not easily passable due to deep gorges and the like, and the bridges can be guarded) A border of 100 miles is a relative easily defendable proposition. Certainly more attractive than Taveruun's 1000 miles of border.

I prefer this approach to a plateau stretching the length of the border. It just make more sense to me, looking at the map. There is a river that lows across the border and water does not flow uphill. (Without some major sorcery ;) )
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2003, 06:03:15 AM »

Which part of the Y is the trunk, in your perspective? The branch that penetrates Svarastra, or the branch that heads towards Taveruun? I need a perspective before responding.... :)
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Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2003, 06:36:12 AM »

Quote from: Morfedel
Which part of the Y is the trunk, in your perspective? The branch that penetrates Svarastra, or the branch that heads towards Taveruun? I need a perspective before responding.... :)


LOL ... The trunk is the single border connecting with Taveruun. The arms are the other two lines which stretch eastward. Is this more clear?
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2003, 06:49:00 AM »

Yes, I see what you are saying... It does help. I am going to present a slightly modified view - I like what you say, and this does help explain how Otamarluk can threaten Svarastra, but that doesn't mean the rest of the border isn't... well, difficult.

That, and I've already had a view I've transcribed into my head. So, I would say that the arms of the Y you are talking about are of teh virtually impassable variety, and then it bleeds down from there, getting lower and more easily passable the farther west you travel. Still difficult, but not so impassable.

And speaking of that river.... You see its at the foot of the mountain with the Palace of the Seven Djinn, but that doesnt mean it starts there - in fact, it could end there.

See how the river seems to skirt the mountains in that Y? It COULD be from that mountain range, and flowing in both directions, ending at the Mountain of the Djinn, creating a lake.

Or, of course, it could be originating from that same mountain and flowing through. This could create an interesting geography, as it cuts through the falling mountain ranges, creating a canyon cutting through that mountain range as it falls.

Just an idea, anyway. Personally, I liked the idea of the Tarveruun/Svarastra border being a bit mountainous as well, but I could make it canyon-like instead, as the river cuts its way to the Sapphire Sea.

So, lets go that way. How does that sound? The "base" of the Y, as you put it, is still mountainous, but dropping as it heads west more and more... becoming rocky and meeting with a canyon on the SE border of Taveruun before making its way to the Sapphire Bay.
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Gary_Bingham
Member

Posts: 65


« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2003, 07:07:30 AM »

I'm good with that. Good compromise :)

Oh but ... believe me I know a few things about rivers ... rivers flow from high ground to the sea. Period. They don't just stop in the middle of nowhere. And if the river I amseeing were two rivers flowing into a lake well over the millenia that would be a pretty big lake wouldn't it.

Gary
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Morfedel
Member

Posts: 345


« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2003, 07:17:19 AM »

Hm. I didnt consider that. Do ALL rivers flow to the sea?

Yeah, unless its escaping somewhere underground, it WOULD be a big huge river. Then again, there are such things as underground streams, lakes, etc. In fact, Texas has a massive underground water table that they are discussing all the time "The water table has dropped 3 inches..."

But then again, still I can't think of a geographic feature that matches that "possibility", so I concede the point. So, the river flows from the Mountain of the Djinn to the sea, through the mountain ranges cutting a massive canyon. A second canyon exists at the border of Svarastra and Taveruun where the foothills of the mountain ranges bleed into Taveruun and meet the bordering river.

The rocky and mountainous area fades as it heads into the southern taveruun province, as we discussed earlier.

Sounds good to me.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2003, 09:23:27 AM »

River's of course flow downhill. But that doesn't mean that there can't be odd gorges, etc, that cut into the land at odd points. Some rivers do go underground at some points, but it's rare, and doesn't happen often to large rivers (aquifers are mostly fed by filtration, IIRC). In fact, usually the rule with a map this size is that the only rivers that are portrayed are those which are large enough to be navigable. Which almost always flow to sea level.

In fact, that's one complaint I've had with the map of Wyerth. The rivers do some things that just don't happen on this scale. For one, rivers do not split except over the course of deltas or to get around islands where they then flow together again. Basically, rivers come together like branches on a tree, and then only split again once they're at sea level or very close.

So, be careful with rivers and their flows. Fortunately both the Cathedral and the Galadorn seem pretty sane.

That all said, if you want a big river to flow underground, we could set up an exception in which it flows to a giant aquifer cavern; a huge underworld that we could detail later...

Mike
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