Something that I’ve often pondered as I’ve worked on my books is how to get across the sense of the scale of different things, in particular the mountains. It’s difficult, and something I have struggled with. Especially for my international audience who has less of a grasp of what feet and inches are. Yes, I think America should convert to Metric, but I grew up with feet, inches, and miles. It makes it interesting. Anyway, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the scale of things.
I grew up in Utah, near the Wellsville Mountains. The mountains are tall and jagged, and are considered one of the steepest mountain ranges in the world for their width. This is in part due to how young the mountain range is. One thing to remember is that the Godsrage Mountains, which Sistina is in the mere outskirts of, is only about 6,000 years old and it was created extremely violently, which means that they’re even more jagged and nasty than what I’m used to. Still, I’m going to try to explain the size of Sistina’s mountain.
I live at an elevation of approximately 4,300 feet (1,300 meters). One of the nearby mountains, Mount Ogden, is 9,579 feet tall (2,920 meters). This is very close to what I imagine Sistina’s mountain as being like, about 1 mile tall (1.6 kilometers). The base of the mountain, where the dungeon entrance is located, is located approximately 2.5 miles (~4 kilometers) from the center of the mountain. Yes, I’m making the mountain roughly circular which isn’t terribly common, but it works for my purposes.
You can probably see why they didn’t decide to go over Sistina’s mountain. What with cliffs and other hazards, it just wasn’t worth it. And realize, while Sistina’s tree is located somewhat beneath the altitude of the dungeon entrance, her domain is mostly a sphere, and encompasses the entire mountain.
Just to give a sense of scale for all of you.