Friday 18 August 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #216: Seeing Far

Four hexes southwest, five northwest of Alakran.

 How far can we see from this empty dry plain? 

On Earth things would be complicated by curvature, and the horizon would be three miles away to someone standing on the plain  (12 miles on a hill, over 100 on a mighty mountain). 

But this is Mittellus, whose surface is flat. Still, we have three things to contend with: atmospheric haze; light extinction, or the tendency of light rays to scatter and blur; and the effect of a rising or falling slope, whether shallow or steep,  to block view of the surface beyond.

All told, with clear air the line of visibility is incredibly long in our five-hex map world, 140 miles or so under good conditions in a dry climate.. Rain, heat haze, and dust are all likely to cut the maximum visibility, but on a sunny day after rain has cleared the air, our observer in this hex can look:

  • East, and see the Scarp and its protrusions that flank Alakran; 
  • South, and run against the green hills that rise five miles away
  • West, and after five miles run into jagged badlands;
  • North, and contend with the lowering of the land parallel to the northern range of the Dhuga, that hides the district of Eryptos from view;
  • Northeast, and see Sutekh's Knee standing like a shepherd over the hills of Dhuga and the Ship Rock. 

All in all, world builders might be better advised to construct their continents on a sphere that modestly hides its secrets from the explorer by curving away just beyond, approximately, the perimeter of a five mile hexagon.

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