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[OB] Dimensions of Urithiru


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This is brilliant @ccstat. A silly point regarding your diagram - Urithiru isn't symmetrical coz it's against a mountain :ph34r:


The easter side, however, was a sheer, flat edge that made the tower look from a distance as if that side had been sliced off by an enormous Shardblade. What a strange shape.

There's another unreliable WoB



What are the dimensions of Urithirurelative to something like the Sears Tower?


That's a question for Peter and Isaac. They work out the math. It's bigger! More area, but maybe not taller. I'm not sure



Edited by Extesian
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Great post, I'd upvote but I'm out of them.

I personally think they can fit all or a good chunk of Roshar's population into Urithiru. They get in 8 warcamps worth of alethi in (maybe half of Alethkar?) , and they barely make a dent in the space of Urithiru. They also probably have enough farming lands that when added to soulcasters humanity could take refuge there indefinetely. Each floor will probably be very tall, 5m minimun, after all it may be a refuge but its also the center of the KR power, stately, graceful, awe-inspiring, etc. So, refuge/city/fortress/palace all into one.

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@Extesian Is is described as right up against the mountain? I thought it was freestanding but sheltered by the mountains around it. The sheer side faces the origin, so do the tiers merge with the mountains? I hope Kaladin does end up flying Shallan to another peak so we can get a canon image that isn't surrealistic.

And great work @ccstat! +1 when I have some to give again

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@ccstat Thank you for this post! I am fascinated by the Urithiru architecture, and have been thinking about it's design and layout. I have collected all the references to it with the intent to attempt a drawing when I get time. Fortunately, I think we'll have a drawing in Oathbringer. I'm pretty sure I saw it confirmed somewhere recently, perhaps via WOB or WOP on reddit.

I am guessing the tower itself is a natural mountain with a sheer cliff face on the eastern side, sitting within a ring of taller mountains. The mountain has been carved into a semi-circle stepped pyramid shape. I would guess that each floor + ceiling is taller than you suggest, and the base and terraces for each level are wider than your drawing. I imagine it like a giant wedding cake, where each 18-level tier has a wide terrace with gardens. I believe it is much bigger than any man-made structure we have on Earth. If you think of a standard size mountain sitting within a mountain range high enough to be hundreds of feet above the cloud line.... it's pretty darn big.

I also love the descriptions of the stripes and swirls of multi-colored strata on the interior. And the open central shaft with the balcony lifts and gigantic single-paned window. Hopefully we'll also get some drawings of the inside.

I look forward to expanding on your post as we get more chapters released!

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The consensus seems to be that each level+ceiling should be more than 4.5 meters. I've upped it to 5.5, which rounds us out nicely at 1km high.

I agree that the terraces should be wider to accommodate more garden area. For some reason I second-guessed myself on there being gardens on every tier, but that is how it is described. Does 50m per tier sound reasonable? More?

Several of you commented on the shape. As far as symmetry, yes, Urithiru is sheer on the eastern side. If viewed from the north or south, you would only see half of the presented silhouette. The shape I drew should match what you would see if you were looking from the west, which I believe is where the Oathgates are located. I'm not entirely sure how the mountain fits into things, though. Initially I was imagining the city up against the mountain, with more uncarved cliffs abutting it. However, after compiling these quotes it sounds more like the city is alone on top of the peak.

I also think I've severely underestimated the size of the Oathgate platforms. Looking at the Battle of Narak map from WoR and reading the descriptions of the number of soldiers, I'm inclined to revise it up to at least 120m across, probably more. I'm tempted to go as high as 300m, mostly based on the map, but if you have 10 of those platforms arranged in a circle around a field the whole area is between 4 and 6 times larger than that each individual platform, depending on how closely they are spaced. I highly doubt the Oathgate entrance field is 2 km across. I think I will wait for more descriptions/art before I to try to pin that part down.


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This is really impressive, though part of me wishes you had included a banana for scale.  Hard to visualize, harder still to contextualize.

Two questions:

  1. Do your calculations for required thicknesses account for 0.7g surface gravity?  Rock would not need to be as thick on Roshar to provide similar relative strength.
  2. In a similar line of thought, is 5.5m the average, or a set number?  It seems like the upper levels, supporting as they are significantly less weight, would require less material and could be stacked closer together.

Overall, very impressive work!

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3 hours ago, redbishop said:
  1. Do your calculations for required thicknesses account for 0.7g surface gravity?  
  2. In a similar line of thought, is 5.5m the average, or a set number?  

Good questions! The height value is intended as an average, but I think it is probably pretty uniform for the purposes of this discussion. Adolin describes his enormous chamber as being four stories high, which makes me think that within each tier there is some communication between levels (vaulted ceilings, etc.) but the levels themselves are more-or-less consistent.

So, here's the thing about material strength. I'm not an engineer. I spent way too long this afternoon trying to research tunnel strength in stone mines, pillar stress, and engineering constraints of stone. I can share my calculations if you care about the details, but the upshot is that allowing for ideal design (think perfect arches and flying buttresses) and using a very strong stone (like granite), in Roshar's 0.7g gravity the building could be self-supporting for at least 2 km of vertical height, possibly more than double that. So we aren't even close to maxing out the foundation.

The thickness of the floors becomes important for two things. The less  demanding task is supporting the contents of all the rooms and tunnels. That's no big deal with the right design, and the original 4.5m level+ceiling guess would easily cut it. The bigger issue is transferring loads and forces between pillars and walls that aren't precisely aligned between levels. For that, thickness matters, and I would like to go with at least 5m for that. However, this is the part where I don't have a great grasp of the forces involved, so I'm ready for an engineer or stonemason to jump in and correct my guesses with their expert knowledge.

Edited by ccstat
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16 hours ago, heroofpages said:

Now we just need to estimate the volume.

Using the numbers so far, the total volume of the structure is very close to 1/3 of a cubic kilometer. More meaningfully, we can guess at the usable area, comparable to the square footage of a house. If the entirety of Urithiru (on all levels) was open space, we'd have 62 square km (24 square miles). That's almost exactly the land area of Manhattan. Clearly there are walls taking up some portion of that space, so depending on how much of the tower you think is rock vs. usable space, you could guess that our heroes have access to anywhere from 1/5th to 2/3rds of that area.

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  • Argent changed the title to [OB] Dimensions of Urithiru

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