Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

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Cthulhudrew
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Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Cthulhudrew »

A post by Thorf in one of his mapping threads got me to thinking about this notion. There are what look like land bridges between several of the continents on the Hollow World map, leading me to believe that the land within at some point under went standard plate tectonic movement. The question is: Does the Spell of Preservation prevent this now? It certainly affects climate and terrain (according to the back of the DM's Guide), and presumably the shifting of land would have an impact on cultures inhabiting it, so it seems to me that it shouldn't be taking place any longer.

On the other hand, such geologic movement is so slow-acting that it might not really be impacted by the SoP, not to mention that the SoP could arguably be taking such activity into account (much in the way it allows for cultural waxing and waning of various elements).

On the other hand, if it is hindered by the SoP, how (if at all) would that impact the rest of the planet? I imagine that continental drift may not have any direct correspondence between the Outer and Hollow world continents (given the distance involved and the questionable role the World Shield plays in plate tectonics), but it nevertheless seems to me that completely halting such activity on one side of things but not the other wouldn't be healthy for the planet's stability.

Then again, I'm not necessarily sure that Mystara actually has any sort of geologic movement at all, so I may be engaging in idle speculation. :lol:
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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Havard »

The outer world has tectonic movement, at least according to the Gold Box which speculates that the "D&D world" (ie Mystara) will one day become similar to Earth.

As to the Hollow World, I think I would prefer not having the SoP prevent such movement per se, but would rather have other countermeasures to prevent such developments from destroying the cultures it preserves. Afterall, Earthquakes, Volcanoes and other natural distasters aren't prevented by the SoP...or are they?

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by cab »

Plate tectonics takes many, many millenia to make an impact. The Spell of Preservation has been in existence for about 6000 years. While the freaky fast land movements in Mystaras past, associated with the big oops of Blackmoor (and the big oops redux) rather complicate that, it is still clear that normal plate tectonics has, thus far, been an irrelevence to the hollow world. Should it still happen? Probably.

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Andaire »

Why would the SoP need to prevent plate tectonics? Unless plate tectonics endangers or alters a culture (by for example sinking an island culture), it should not have much of an effect.
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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by mktriton »

For one things, Ka wouldn't like it at all, seeing huge earthquakes that would cause a huge disaster to the cultures he's trying to preserve, however, tremors should be fine. Volcanos are allowed so long as they don't happen near civilization. Plate Tectonics is near extinct in the hollow world as the world is constantly molded by the immortals, but their secret is no longer a secret to the known world post WotI

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Thorf »

Plate tectonics is so ponderously slow-moving, and so firmly linked to geology, that I really don't think it would pose any problems even for the Sphere of Matter. It's a natural process, and the majestic slowness of the whole thing makes it seem to me to fit quite well into Matter's ideas - even if it is a very gradual change rather than complete lack of change.

As far as volcanoes and earthquakes are concerned, I don't think their effects are widespread enough to cause problems either. Unless they are capable of wiping out entire civilisations (even major catastrophes are allowed within the Spell of Preservation, as long as they don't kill everyone), there's no reason for the Immortals not to allow them to exist as usual.

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Hugin »

Cthulhudrew wrote:Then again, I'm not necessarily sure that Mystara actually has any sort of geologic movement at all, so I may be engaging in idle speculation. :lol:
This has been my position in the past. I'm not sure how Mystara can have plate tectonics when it doesn't have a thin 'crust' that floats on a molten sea.

I like to think of Mystara's magma as Urt's 'blood and system of veins', the Worldshield as her 'heart', and the rock as her 'flesh' or 'muscle'. So instead of having a relatively thin crust and then all magma, we have a thick crust with numerous 'veins' of molten rock winding throughout it, and a layer of magma through the middle region.

Features that would normally be attributed to plate tectonics can be achieved by Urt's slow 'muscle' movement. The mechanism for Urt's entire system is, of course, in the realm of magic, and probably Immortal magic at that, possibly consisting of all five Spheres of Power.

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Gawain_VIII »

Hugin wrote:This has been my position in the past. I'm not sure how Mystara can have plate tectonics when it doesn't have a thin 'crust' that floats on a molten sea.

I like to think of Mystara's magma as Urt's 'blood and system of veins', the Worldshield as her 'heart', and the rock as her 'flesh' or 'muscle'. So instead of having a relatively thin crust and then all magma, we have a thick crust with numerous 'veins' of molten rock winding throughout it, and a layer of magma through the middle region.

Features that would normally be attributed to plate tectonics can be achieved by Urt's slow 'muscle' movement. The mechanism for Urt's entire system is, of course, in the realm of magic, and probably Immortal magic at that, possibly consisting of all five Spheres of Power.
So, an earthquake would be attributed to a cough or hiccough? With a volcanic eruption being sweat or a popped pimple? :lol:

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Re: Plate Tectonics in the Hollow World

Post by Big Mac »

Cthulhudrew wrote:There are what look like land bridges between several of the continents on the Hollow World map, leading me to believe that the land within at some point under went standard plate tectonic movement. The question is: Does the Spell of Preservation prevent this now? It certainly affects climate and terrain (according to the back of the DM's Guide), and presumably the shifting of land would have an impact on cultures inhabiting it, so it seems to me that it shouldn't be taking place any longer.
Is there anything written about volcanoes in the Hollow World sorucebooks?

Are they described as dead? If they all suddenly stopped being active, at the same time as the Spell of Preservation, then you could probably infer that the spell "turned off" all geological activity. But if the volcanoes still work "normally"* then you could probably infer that the Spell of Preservation has no effect on geology.

* = Whatever passes for "normal" in a fantasy universe, that is.
Cthulhudrew wrote:I imagine that continental drift may not have any direct correspondence between the Outer and Hollow world continents (given the distance involved and the questionable role the World Shield plays in plate tectonics), but it nevertheless seems to me that completely halting such activity on one side of things but not the other wouldn't be healthy for the planet's stability.
I'm no Mystara expert, but I thought there was something in between the Known World and the Hollow World. So I would not have expected a Hollow World continent to necessarily drift along following a Known World continent.

I know there is another Hollow Earth model that has seas where the land is, and land where the seas are. Something like that would copy the surface, but I don't think Mystara "needs" to do that.

One thing that might be interesting is land drift across the Polar Openings (Moving some of the Known World inside Mystara to create additional Hollow World lands. If you had a process like that, it would allow you to "expand" Mystara from a smaller planet with a "thicker" crust into a larger planet with a "thinner" crust.
Andaire wrote:Why would the SoP need to prevent plate tectonics? Unless plate tectonics endangers or alters a culture (by for example sinking an island culture), it should not have much of an effect.
Even then, would you actually need to save an island that was sinking naturally, when you could teleport some of the people away to a safe location? (Now if it was sinking due to magical spells being used to attack it, I could see that being an issue, but if people move onto an island that is due to vanish in the next 1,000 years they are standing in the way of a natural process of destruction. :) )
Hugin wrote:
Cthulhudrew wrote:Then again, I'm not necessarily sure that Mystara actually has any sort of geologic movement at all, so I may be engaging in idle speculation. :lol:
This has been my position in the past. I'm not sure how Mystara can have plate tectonics when it doesn't have a thin 'crust' that floats on a molten sea.
Who says it does not have a thin crust that floats on a molten sea? :)
Hugin wrote:I like to think of Mystara's magma as Urt's 'blood and system of veins', the Worldshield as her 'heart', and the rock as her 'flesh' or 'muscle'. So instead of having a relatively thin crust and then all magma, we have a thick crust with numerous 'veins' of molten rock winding throughout it, and a layer of magma through the middle region.
You could go down that route, if you like. But why not let go of our real-world model magma that goes deep into the core of the real-world and go with a thin layer of magma below the surface of the Known World and the Hollow World that is still able to float continents, build them and consume them, the same as in the real-world. :)

Does magma really need to be "deep" in order to work? In real-world science, the answer is probably yes, but in a fantasy world, we should be ale to get it to work, even if it is thinner than the actual continents above it.

The geology might need to be tweaked in order to force up mountains, but isn't there something between two layers of magma in the Mystara cross-section? You just need that to provide some sort of thrust at the right time and you have enough energy to create mountains. :)
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