38

Prototaxites! Fossil mushrooms are rarities. Mushrooms are the fungal equivalent of flowers - spongy, ephemeral, disposable bodies generated to serve a reproductive need. You could not use mushrooms for wood. The prototaxites were not mushrooms. They were large and substantial; up to 7 meters high. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/long-...


28

Build an elevated surface structure. Many ancient middle eastern civilizations built their houses with doors on top of the buildings to prevent invaders from getting in, but this also helps prevent sand from getting in too. Ideally, the dwarves will build the entrance at the top of a natural hill or ridgeline. This has many benefits including keeping more ...


23

What you need is a shovel. Or more specifically lots of shovels, lots of dwarves with shovels for that matter. What you've described is very similar to an ant's nest and any footage of ants will show you that cleaning out and clearing the entrances is a full time job. Any time the wind blows it blows sand down the hole, then along come the ants and clear ...


21

For the same reason why the British filled in the Braye du Valle in Guernsey in the Channel Islands. its a lot easier to defend Historical Example: the Braye du Valle The Channel Island of Guernsey was two islands seperated by a small channel, which were connected at low tide, however at high tide they were completely separate (Guernsey has a 10m tidal ...


17

Buildings made out of mushrooms already exist, so I would say that the plausibility is very high. The vegetative part of the fungus, called mycelium, can be fashioned into to "bricks" by growing them in brick shaped molds and adding in some corn husks. Using these "bricks" a builder can construct many different types of buildings.


13

Any size would be practical, including a single individual Though we don't call them such, Radioisotope heater units are technically small nuclear reactors, which only give out about a watt of heat. The description that you gave requiring an operator and control rods does imply a larger unit, but there is no reason to believe that this single purpose ...


12

A castle is a lot more than seeing one and copying it. I see cars everyday, but wouldn't be able to make one. I couldn't even make the tools that make a carburetor, and I'm an engineer. Same with castles, there is a whole bunch of technology behind castles ranging from tools, to stone/woodworking, to quarrying and transporting materials, to strategic ...


10

If you have the technology to have swords, you have the technology to have something like a castle. Consider wooden motte-and-bailey castles. They simply take lots and lots of people who haul earth and logs. But imagine the elvish castles have cyclopean walls with large blocks. They were done in ancient times, when the elves had magic were helped by ...


10

Even human villages need maintenance to not be covered by dust. See what happens to abandoned cities: they end buried in relatively short time. So, what your dwarves need is just continuous and constant maintenance service.


9

If the planet is in the process of becoming tidally locked, there will be a period of time where the day-night terminator moves, but slowly enough to make noon and midnight still be deadly. Your city might need to move to follow dawn/dusk. Note that this is an exceedingly unlikely scenario. On cosmic timescales, tidal locking is the blink of an eye. For ...


9

I'll go in a different direction, and I'll offer a picture instead. To live there. Maybe your people ran out of space in the mainland to both farm and live. Maybe the mainland is too volcanic, and a dangerous place to live. Maybe there is a monster there. Maybe having a giant city-bridge just sounded too cool for the rulers to pass. Still, the main gist ...


9

Relevant facts and formulas: Horizon distance on Earth: $d \approx 3.57\sqrt{h}$ Normal visual acuity: 1 minute of arc In order for a circular wall to appear straight, the wall needs to deviate from straight by no more than one minute of arc over the course of the visible section. Since we're dealing with small sections of absurdly huge structures, we can ...


8

It depends on who or what you are defending against. If you are trying to defend against an army in an area where wood is common, I agree that you need a wall walk. However, there are situation where just a reasonably tall wall is useful: You are just trying to keep out the local wildlife. The wall is enough to deter most of them. You only have to ...


8

There are two buildings that I'm aware of that have significant internal weather problems, Nasa's Vehicle Assembly Building and Boeing’s Everett facility. Boeing have resolved this by fitting an air circulation system. Nasa resolved the problem with air conditioning and moisture reduction systems. Since the reducing the size of the building is not an ...


7

Since your system captures magic and sends it to and from temples, it would seem that the way to channel the magical energy would be to send it via magic. Ley lines are hypothetical alignments in the landscape which channel mystical or magical energy. They can often by found by looking for unusual alignments of landmarks (or alignments between unusual ...


7

You don't need to do anything. You really don't. The visuals in LOTR and the Hobbit show some pretty huge underground spaces, sure. If you want to argue that the engineering involved is questionable, and just stonework couldn't support that kind of vaulting, sure, but the idea that what we see in the movies represents a significant hollowing of the entire ...


7

Glass and/or Lava The Dwarves of Zanzibar dig just like any other dwarf to find valuable gems and ores. In addition to this, they have exceptional forging abilities. To compare DoZ with any other dwarf is like looking at night and day. Mountain dwarves are dirty and dank looking. DoZ are bedazzled in shimmering light from the glass weapons and armor ...


6

Whalebone. Those bones are big. They can be found on the ocean floor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_fall Ancient Siberians made huts out of mammoth bones. source And people do make huts out of whalebone found on the beach. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/223280094000002936 Probably there would be a lot more whale bones available to your merpeople ...


5

Basically the same reason Romans went into road building in a big way, efficient communication and movement. Tonga tried to do this a long time ago. The reason was although you could move an army by canoe (they were big canoes), Land travel is much easier especially for large groups of warriors. Unfortunately for the Tongans it wasn't practical due to the ...


5

That would be quite an overfeeding for the lion. The National Zoo in DC has six lions. Together, they eat 500 pounds of beef a week. That pegs a single lion at consuming roughly 83 pounds a week. It definitely wont find the need to consume 615 pounds of human. Another thing to consider is that you are giving them the bare minimum living space. The ...


5

Cegfault took the most obvious material: stone. Let me offer a couple more. Coral Houses could be grown through coral polyp husbandry. Officially, the material is calcium carbonate. Houses of nearly any size could be made through this method, though is would be slow. However, with a bit of engineering, walls, floors, and roofs can be built this way. ...


5

I like the Coral husbandry of JBH and carving out of cave/cliff walls. But I can add one more option. A civilization may advance to a point where they need to use energy sources. Best energy source maybe geothermal vents and underwater volcanoes. this could provide energy for future technological development. Now if your "merfolk" could harness this, they ...


5

Consider Orthanc. From the Two Towers There stood a tower of marvelous shape. It was fashioned by the builders of old, who smoothed the Ring of Isengard, and yet it seemed a thing not made by the craft of Men, but riven from the bones of the earth in the ancient torment of the hills... They came now to the foot of Orthanc. It was black, and ...


5

Oculus. https://www.history.com/news/is-romes-pantheon-a-giant-sundial Here is the Pantheon, oldest domed building in the world. The Romans addressed your issue by leaving the top open: the Oculus. It is pretty sweet, the Oculus. They can use the light to produce some cool effects. Underneath it is just a marble floor so I guess they have to mop up ...


4

The thing about mushrooms is that they grow on decay; on dead wood, plant matter and organic waste. They require either the fuel of other plants, or the symbiosis with them. In the latter case, there would either have to be millennia of cultivation and harmony between the humans and mushrooms, allowing for enough food to be provided to the mushrooms to allow ...


4

Assuming the mer-people can breathe through water, and mirroring Native American style homes, then it would be practical to form homes out of sedimentary rocks at the bottom of the sea. These would likely resemble the homes of cliff dwellers or adobe-style homes. Most rock at the bottom of the sea is sedimentary; this makes it dense and hard. A creature ...


4

The simple answer is that your wall should curve downwards rather than around, and thereby form a Great Circle with the same diameter as the planet/moon it's built on but still appearing perfectly straight. If you build it on the Moon, its diameter would be smaller than if you build it on Earth. You can actually stretch this technique slightly to have your ...


3

Bridges are weather proof-ish, roads, well made roads, are less likely to experience massive loses of cargoes during hurricanes etc... As civilisation becomes more advanced, professionals more specialised, and processing more industrialised, supply certainty becomes more and more important, you not only have to deliver more materials to workshops and ...


3

Marine mammals can stay underwater for 10 mins to 2 hours tops. This is fantastic compared to humans, but not enough to justify an underwater city. Underwater storage units maybe. Your species is a cross between elephant seals and orcas. The former holds the underwater record: 2 hours (though the Curvier beaked whale broke the record in 2014 with 2:17). ...


3

My immediate concern is that your lion will likely get bored. An underground pen where nothing happens except food falls in a few times a week. If he gets too bored he will jump out when the trap door opens and look for some excitement. You could make the pit deep enough that he can't jump out, and then probably the food will die when it hits the floor and ...


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