Ridow question for Jeremy

foulspawner's picture

I wanted to get your interpretation of something that appears on the Ridow entry in the HarnView module. It states that Ridow is completely submerged in 20 fathoms of water. Do you interpret this to mean that the top of the dome is 120 feet below sea level or do you read it to mean that the plane where the dome touches the ocean floor is 120 feet below sea level.

I read it as the latter, but I'm having trouble accepting that the dome is less than 120 feet high. I would have imagined higher based upon the description of the city.

Or opinion is highly valued and any response would be appeciated.

Thank You

Fastred's picture

My interpretation is the former. There are at least 20 fathoms from the surface of the sea to the highest point of the dome over the city. That is how I read "totally submerged in twenty fathoms of water".

I base this on the following statements regarding Ridow:

a) the tunnel to Ridow from the island decends for *two leagues* - that is, 5 miles. This indicates that the city is quite some distance from the island.
b) the city is "one quarter of a league" in diameter, and covered with a dome. A quarter of a league is 1 km or 3,280 feet in diameter.
c) if the dome is 2.5 times as wide as it is tall, then it will be over 1,000 feet high. This fits with the statement that there are "great pointed arches and magnificent towers throughout the city which give an illusion of improbable height".

I hope this helps.



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Niall 1's picture

Sierra Vista/Ft. Huachuca, AZ USA

My take would be that RIDOW is totally underwater and that the depth of the water is 20 fathoms. I have not referenced RIDOW, but a dome 80 feet tall would still be quite large ... and still under 40 feet of water; even a dome 100 feet tall would be beneath the notice of passing ships. Domes seem to be about 2 to 2.5 times as wide as they are tall.


Fastred's picture


The problem with your approach is that if the dome is 100 feet tall, then it would only be up to 250 feet wide... that is far far smaller than the stated diameter ("one quarter of a league").



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Puster's picture

I think a dome does not necessarily mean half a sphere. It could be a flattened sphere or have many columns that bear a lot of smaller domes.

Years ago I drew a map based on the Harndex entry. It is also available with Lythia.com:


My Ridow
I decided that Ridow was a nexus for the Earthmasters (or whomever), a major city that caters also to their spiritual longings and their homes.

To my reading the city contains a lot of towers, and I took the license to assume that each tower represents a world of the earthmasters (probably with a planetarium in the top), while all connections between world by major godstones are represented by either arcades or bridges, making the city not only a vast accumulation of towers and spires, a spiderweb of connections that are often large enough to contain living space and are sometimes too thin to walk upon, but also a map of the space as known (or cared for) by the Earthmasters. One of the complexes in the city represents the Kelestian family. Some buildings near the plaza are out of style and represent living space for other races.

The black dots are the columns that range up to and bear the dome. They are translucent, though overgrown on their lower reaches. The plants growing on them do not reach far into the other flora, though. Most buildings are still free from vegetation, and somehow the dome must have some protection against getting silted.

All of these was naturally just wild speculation on my part, mad up when my rpg-party some almost twenty years ago decided to go hunting for the earthmaster sites. As it happened, the party dissolved in real life before they reached it. Since then Ridow pops up once any five years - unless somebody uses the map or does his own, accompanied with a major article on the subject.

BW: The original map is still somewhere in my shelf, though I cannot find the Freehand-file that contains the domes. A better scan would be no problem, and I am willing to submit work to other versions of it. I would love to see a 3d-rendering of my (or any other) version of Ridow.

Have fun

foulspawner's picture

...with how I imagine Ridow to be based upon the description.

I've been writing up a location module for Ridow and for the longest time have had the dome at '100 high. The dome was not a perfect half-sphere, but instead a 100' foot high cap of a sphere. I did this based upon the "totally submerged in 20 fathoms of water", but this only allowed for structures within to be about 100' tall and only near the center of the city. As I walked around and saw 100' foot structures in daily life this didn't give the feeling of incredible heights regardless of how the structures were shaped.

Jeremy, thanks for your response. Based upon this discussion I'll be rethinking the heights of the dome and likely changing it to be much taller.

blackshoe's picture

If the dome is 1000 feet high, that's 166.67 fathoms. If there's 20 fathoms above the dome, that's 186.67 fathoms from water surface to bottom. Not at all surprising for something that is several leagues from the nearest dry land. Even 287 (or so) fathoms would not be surprising.

You definitely don't want it to be shallow enough that some ship might scrape the dome. Though I do wonder how clear the water is thereabouts. :-)