Section 8: The Sewers

Part of the sewer under Midtown

Location: City of Kokand
Population: Unknown
Primary Function: Sewer
Primary Social Class: N/A

PLACES OF NOTE

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Located in Section 8 (No Map)

Like most large trade cities, Kokand has an extensive and well-maintained sewer system, thanks to the advancements of their technological dwarf allies. Most homes in Kokand have running water and indoor plumbing, including privies that pump in water via hand pumps and drain it away into the city sewers.

The sewers are well designed and sturdily built, with carefully cut stones and arched supports to keep the tunnels from collapsing.

The largest sewer tunnels measure about sixteen feet wide. A channel ten feet wide flows through the middle of the tunnel, with a three-foot ledge on either side that stays dry in theory (in reality, even these walkways are under a foot or two of water after a heavy rain). The channel is ten feet deep. The ceilings in these main tunnels are about eight feet high, except where a sewer grate offers access to the surface, at which point the ceiling is about fifteen feet high. At some intersections, stone bridges about two feet wide arch a couple feet above the level of walkways, enabling one to get from one side to the other while still allowing the water and sewage to flow beneath.

A middle-sized sewer tunnel measures about ten feet wide. Here the central channel is six feet wide and six feet deep, with only two foot wide walkways. The current of the flowing water is sometimes stronger in these tunnels than in larger ones.

The smallest sewer tunnels are merely drainage conduits about two and a half feet in diameter. They typically hold only a trickle of water, except during a heavy rain. These are large enough for a human to crawl through very uncomfortably with some risk of getting stuck. A smaller creature (a halfling, a dire rat, or a ratling) risks no chance of getting stuck.

The sewers come out on the Cliffs of Lost Wishes on the bay, along the steep ravine walls flanking the King’s River, and in the King’s River Gorge. In these exits, a main sewer tunnel protrudes about three feet out of the rock wall and ends in an iron grate, through which the sewage flows.

SEWAGE

More than anything, the sewers in Kokand are used to drain rainwater from the streets, alleys, and buildings. The folk of Kokand dump old cooking water, wash water, and garbage of all sorts into the sewers, including rotten food, spoiled ale, waste from manufactories, dyes from textile mills, alchemical waste, and dead animals. And, of course, the waste from privies and chamber pots all over the city goes into the sewers as well.

The fact that the sewers dump this unholy admixture into the King’s River makes it abun- dantly clear why no one uses the river as a source of drinking water.

LAYOUT OF THE SEWERS

Every section of town has a sewer system beneath it, even the Necropolis. Almost three centuries ago, a forward-thinking commissar planned and built a gridlike sewer system for Kokand that extended from the boundaries of the city (now Oldtown) all the way to the bay. This was a time when the Trade Cities were heavy with gold and a willing work force, and the commissar dreamed that the city would one day fill the entire area, and he was right.

However, Oldtown had a very rough sewer system of its own even before that time. When the new system was created, it used some of the older tunnels and abandoned others. Thus, Oldtown has a secondary set of tunnels beneath it, all smaller and far more poorly constructed than the more modern ones. Most of them go nowhere; they stand full of stagnant water and centuries of compost. Unused tunnels were sealed originally, but the workers didn’t manage to find all the entrances and drains. To this day, some drains still lead from Oldtown buildings down into the old sewer rather than the new. And in places, the existence of the new tunnels has caused the older ones to collapse in on them, creating a mess of rubble, water, and poorly draining muck.

The sewers beneath the Nobles’ Quarter and Rivergate all run into the King’s River Gorge in two different systems independent from that of the rest of the city. From Oldtown, the drainage runs both into the gorge and down through almost vertical channels into the main Kokand sewer lines.

The sewers of every other district form one interconnected system in a basic grid pattern. The main tunnels usually run about four hundred feet apart, with the medium tunnels more or less equidistant between them and the drainage conduits going where they need to go in a more haphazard network. Of course, there are always exceptions.

UNDERGROUND CONNECTIONS

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Kokand history would expect that, when the sewers were built, the workers likely would come upon all sorts of other subterranean passages, from Ghul’s Labyrinth to Dwarvenhearth passages to natural caverns, old crypts, and more. Such an assumption would be correct.

During the creation of the sewers, such areas were normally sealed off and the sewer tunnels detoured around them. The Church did what it could to suppress rumors about the extensiveness of the existing underground systems to discourage people from investigating dangerous areas.

After the sewers were finished, various creatures and people tunneled through sewer channel walls to get to these other areas or to create new subterranean features. Some criminals, for example, built hidden lairs in underground chambers accessed via secret doors off the sewer tunnels.

Ratmen living in the sewers broke into adjacent areas to build their nests. Others just used the sewers as a means to get into otherwise inacces- sible areas. In the last few years, delvers have begun smashing through sewer tunnel walls to find a way into Dwarvenhearth or to explore unknown areas of Ghul’s Labyrinth.

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