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How big is Genertela and Glorantha?

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The Lunar Empire rules somewhere around 410,000 square km, including the Heartlands, West Reaches, and Provinces. That’s about the same size as Iraq or a little larger than the state of California.





When we think about the size of Genertela, remember that it is roughly 5000 km long from west to east and 1700 wide from north to south. It is a little bit bigger than the continguous USA or Australia, and a bit smaller than the entire European subcontinent.


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  • Scotty changed the title to How big is Genertela and Glorantha?

Strictly back of the envelope stuff:

If we say the RQ2 Classic map is 7.25" on a side, then at the declared 1,200 miles/inch, Glorantha is 8,700 miles on a side for a total surface area of 75.69 million square miles. The Earth’s surface area is 196.94 million square miles giving G/E = 0.384. Earth has 2.6 times the surface area of Glorantha.

Major caveats:

  • The Glorantha map is probably not exactly a square of side 7.25".
  • If Glorantha bulges (z axis), its surface area will be bigger than calculated.
  • How much of the surface of Glorantha (or Earth) is useable and by whom?
  • Does the map contain all and only Glorantha? (Are there bits of the lozenge missing? Are some peripheral parts of the map empty of Glorantha?)
  • What do we even mean by the surface area of Glorantha? The surface of the ocean, which seems to be circular? The surface of the block of land floating in the ocean, which has five submerged sides I have not considered at all?° What about the surface area of the sky dome or the whole world-containing sphere? All these make Glorantha to Earth comparisons very apples-to-oranges.

But a bit of fun, right? 😉

° If a rectangular cuboid has surface area of 2(ab + ac + bc), where a, b, and c are the lengths of its edges and the RQ2 map goes exactly to the edges of one face of the cuboid, then we get (in square miles):

  • 2×(8,700×8,700 + 8,700×c + 8700×c) =
    2×(75,690,000 + 17,400×c) =
    151,380,000 + 34,800×c
  • 196.94 million square miles - 151.38 million square miles = 45,560,000 square miles
    45,560,000 ÷ 34,800 = 1,309.195

So the lozenge would have to be about 1,300 miles deep for its (largely submerged) surface area to equal the surface area of the Earth (oceans and all).

Looking at the Gloranthan cosmology drawing on page 10 of the Guide to Glorantha (which is in some kind of perspective and probably not to scale, anyway), lozenge depth ÷ lozenge width looks to be about 5 ÷ 14, or 0.357. Plugging in those totally untrustworthy numbers, we get:

  • a = b = 8,700, c = 0.357×a = 3,100 (rounded down)
  • 2×(8,700×8,700 + 8,700×3,100 + 8,700×3,100) =
    2×(75,690,000 + 26,970,000 + 26,970,000) =

For a total lozenge surface area of 259.26 million square miles, or 1.3 times the surface area of Earth. So Glorantha is big or small to taste.

DOUBTLESS MANY MISTAKES HERE! (Including mixing sources of data.)

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4 hours ago, AndreJarosch said:


This superimposition shows the fallacy of such comparisons with projected maps away from the Equator. Placed that far north, Genertela is a lot smaller than placed further south (e.g. across Mexico) with the map of the USA remaining the same, due to the shortening of the latitudinal circles.

On the other hand, this used to create a lot of wiggle room. Less now with the maps for the Argan Argar Atlas, where a hex is five miles long. (The large diagonal, the side, or the distance between parallel sides of the hex, though?)

But even though surface Glorantha is supposed to be a continuous and mostly flat surface (the height of Top of the World or Kero Fin is just a fraction of a percent of the distance across Genertela), this doesn't necessarily mean that there is the same amount of surface land between pairs of two points a fixed distance apart. The mythical make-up of a place may fold some space in the webbing of Arachne Solara's patchwork world. Major events can fold in or out bits of reality, like most recently between the start and the end of the Syndics' Ban in Fronela where ruins of cities on the Janube appeared or disappeared.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis


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Genertela feels like it would be the size of Eurasia, but is far more like the confinental U.S.

Both the Lunar Empire and Pent are far smaller than at least I would think at first guess. The Lunar Empire is about the size of France, not Persia. Pent definitely isn’t anything like the Eurasian steppe. Kralorela isn’t China-sized, it’s California-sized.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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