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Roko Joko

what are Plateaus like?

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Shadow Plateau, Blue Moon Plateau, Hungry Plateau, Plateau of Statues.

They're surrounded by lowlands, hills at most, with steep sides or cliff sides and a flat top.  The texts don't describe them very specifically but that appears to be the general idea.

Are there any places on Earth that are like that geographically?  Devils Tower doesn't count, too small.

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5 minutes ago, Roko Joko said:

Shadow Plateau, Blue Moon Plateau, Hungry Plateau, Plateau of Statues.

They're surrounded by lowlands, hills at most, with steep sides or cliff sides and a flat top.  The texts don't describe them very specifically but that appears to be the general idea.

Are there any places on Earth that are like that geographically?  Devils Tower doesn't count, too small.

http://nobert-bermosa.blogspot.com/2011/08/most-amazing-and-wonderful-plateaus-in.html?m=1 

I found that on google, I reckon should be a lot more.

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Hmm, OK thanks.  Also I forgot to check this first.  
http://www.glorantha.com/docs/postcards-from-glorantha/
It mentions the places I mentioned twice.

"Sable Plateau
75, Benbulbin [irregular plateau type of thing in Ireland, small]
We are looking here at the northern edge, which is nearly fifty miles wide. That shows that they are almost fifteen miles high (!)"

"Shadow Plateau
230, Mardalsfoss [waterfall in Norway]
Looking north, from the Mirrorsea"

They're just cliffs (Benbulbin is kind of an outcrop) but we can use them for inspiration.

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The prominence of plateaus in Glorantha is one thing that stands out to me. A lot of fantasy mapmakers have quirks, and this is in my opinion, Glorantha's. I'm still not sure if I like them, purely aesthetically as map elements, but hey, that's my personal issue.

I don't really think you find them with such regularity and prominence in the RW, their presence is probably tied to mythic events that cannot be seen as entirely analogous to RW processes. For example, the Hungry Plateau is a former mountain range with the tops chopped off, the Blue Moon Plateau is the remnant of a crashed moon, and the Shadow Plateau may have been raised by Veskarthen/Lodril (or he just put up a palace on the top, I'm not sure what the myth says specifically).

The Tibetan plateau is a result of massive plate tectonics pushing up a mountain ridge and the associated land behind, whereas stuff like the Norwegian western plateaus are much smaller, and the result of glacial erosion (and they are only "plateaus when seen from the western seaside, their eastern descent is much less steep). The other plateaus are also erosion-based, I believe, but mostly with water, not ice, probably mixed in with some volcanic activity, such as a basalt plug staying in place while the actual volcanic mountain around it is eroded away, leaving a steep top over a plain.

What makes the Gloranthan plateaus exception, in my impression, is not only their number, but also their size. Nowhere near the Tibetan, of course, but also too large to be simple plugs or hard stone over a dried sea. They have this inbetweener size that is quite fascinating. Then again, I might be completely off, I'm not a geologist.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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There are several "decapitated mountain" type plateaus in Glorantha, most notably Shadow Plateau and Hungry Plateau. The Plateau of Statues is another such candidate, although possibly in a less martial incident than the other two (it would have been made in the Golden Age, or perhaps even earlier). Capstan Mountain in Jrustela is a plateau created through diligent mostali work, even though it meant to decapitate what remained of Magnetic Mountain.

If Blue Moon Plateau really is a plateau and not some jumble of fallen selenic rock, Valind's glacier would be to blame for polishing the top.

A vulcanologist told me that volcanoes under a glacier may form plateaus rather than high crater peaks under certain conditions. Given the prevalence of Lodril in Dara Happa and a significant ice age there, it might be possible to find some such "co-operations" between Lodril and Valind - more so the further north you go. If the selenic debris falling on Mernita caused lava eruptions, Blue Moon Plateau might be a big case of that.

Dragon Pass sports at least two lesser plateaus - Pegasus Plateau near Quackford, and Larnste's Table. The latter may have been grown to size and shape by the Mountain Maker, but the backstory of Pegasus Plateau's formation is unclear. A decapitated mountain is quite likely here, too.

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I live on the Birmingham Plateau, but it doesn't look like any of those. 

Quite a lot of real world plateaus are just flat bits of high ground, with varying degrees of slope down to the low ground nearby.

I imagine the Plateaus of Glorantha to be similar to the plateaus in the US deserts, but higher and larger. Sheer sided cliffs, broken terrain on top and so on.

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Think western US, particularly Arizona.

Monument Valley is one example:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monumentvalleyviewfromnorth.jpg

The Vermillion cliffs north of the Grand Canyon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vermillion_Cliffs_Arizona_Erik_Voss_IMG_3912.JPG

The Grand Canyon itself is really part of the entire Colorado Plateau, and many plateau features are in evidence there.

Scott's Bluff, Nebraska: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scottsbluff_National_Monument_001.jpg

For something non-US, Masada in Israel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Israel-2013-Aerial_21-Masada.jpg

Or parts of the Massif Central in France such as around the Tarn Gorge: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjw_f6rm9reAhUqja0KHXLKCQkQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.millau-viaduc-tourisme.fr%2Fen%2Fdiscover%2Fmillau-grands-causses-tarn-gorges&psig=AOvVaw2NVD2Dctuf-kGnjLJgBMIR&ust=1542502372681191

 

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20 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Think western US, particularly Arizona.

Monument Valley is one example:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monumentvalleyviewfromnorth.jpg

The Vermillion cliffs north of the Grand Canyon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vermillion_Cliffs_Arizona_Erik_Voss_IMG_3912.JPG

The Grand Canyon itself is really part of the entire Colorado Plateau, and many plateau features are in evidence there.

Scott's Bluff, Nebraska: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scottsbluff_National_Monument_001.jpg

For something non-US, Masada in Israel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Israel-2013-Aerial_21-Masada.jpg

Or parts of the Massif Central in France such as around the Tarn Gorge: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjw_f6rm9reAhUqja0KHXLKCQkQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.millau-viaduc-tourisme.fr%2Fen%2Fdiscover%2Fmillau-grands-causses-tarn-gorges&psig=AOvVaw2NVD2Dctuf-kGnjLJgBMIR&ust=1542502372681191

 

I always thought Masada was similar (in more than one way) to Whitewall.

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8 hours ago, Darius West said:

I get the feeling that in Glorantha we don't so much mean plateaus as tabletop mountains.

When looking at something like the Pegasus Plateau or Larnste's Table, I think that is correct.  

The whole of Heortland or even Prax are likely closer to the high broad plateaus such as the overall Colorado Plateau (after all the Zola Fel Valley in many places is much like the Grand Canyon).

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As I mentioned above, I get the impression that Gloranthan plateaus are too big to just be labeled table mountains, or mesas or what have you. They are significant stretches of land that are suddenly elevated above the rest, yet are not formed by meeting tectonic plates like Tibet or some alpine areas.

It's like they are table mountains on steroids, pardon the silly phrase.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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I think that Gloranthan Plateaus are pretty much the high mesas, tabletop mountains and so on, but on a bigger scale.

9 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It's like they are table mountains on steroids

Exactly.

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

As I mentioned above, I get the impression that Gloranthan plateaus are too big to just be labeled table mountains, or mesas or what have you. They are significant stretches of land that are suddenly elevated above the rest, yet are not formed by meeting tectonic plates like Tibet or some alpine areas.

If you count the collapse of reality and associated cave-ins of entire countries, or massive erosion through high-power currents or even more hostile waves created the cliffs along the southern coastline of eastern Genertela (Heortland, Prax, the Wastes). Much of Glorantha is glued together from disparate shards of reality, and there may be an over-abundance of sharp edges because of that.

 

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Gloranthan geography is a bit like how the ancients imagined far away and famous places, not as they actually were but how they ought to be. Mountains are spires, plains look like someone took a slide rule to them, plateaus and mesas have their own steppes, etc.

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On 11/17/2018 at 1:54 AM, jajagappa said:

Think western US, particularly Arizona.

Monument Valley is one example:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monumentvalleyviewfromnorth.jpg

The Vermillion cliffs north of the Grand Canyon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vermillion_Cliffs_Arizona_Erik_Voss_IMG_3912.JPG

The Grand Canyon itself is really part of the entire Colorado Plateau, and many plateau features are in evidence there.

Scott's Bluff, Nebraska: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Scottsbluff_National_Monument_001.jpg

For something non-US, Masada in Israel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Israel-2013-Aerial_21-Masada.jpg

Or parts of the Massif Central in France such as around the Tarn Gorge: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjw_f6rm9reAhUqja0KHXLKCQkQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.millau-viaduc-tourisme.fr%2Fen%2Fdiscover%2Fmillau-grands-causses-tarn-gorges&psig=AOvVaw2NVD2Dctuf-kGnjLJgBMIR&ust=1542502372681191

 

Yes. If you drive around the US West (particularly the Southwest, but also places like eastern Oregon), you will see an awful lot of plateaus, mesas, and buttes. 

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