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Qetleux

As the queerly shaped clay structure turned, water was pulled from the flooded area below and carried up and away— into the nearby river. Truly a remarkable invention.
— A Rektouzk trader
  The qetleux, or earth spiral, is a mechanical structure which is primarily used to pull water from one lower area, to another above it. It was originally created to combat the flooding of Rektouzk cities— and quickly became used throughout the world for a wide array of purposes.  

Purpose Built

The deep, terraced cities of Rektouzk have, among those typical for any settlement, one major problem to address— flooding. In the early days, this was combated with laborious manual scooping. Many of the denizens of the area would carry buckets, pots, and vases— carrying the water out of harm's way slowly but surely.
 
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  This led to much trouble, especially in deciding who, exactly, should carry the burden whenever rain fell— and none were pleased to carry the yoke. Seeing an opportunity to grow their business— a now unfortunately forgotten merchant created the first qetleux. It was a crude thing, made of hastily cut wood arranged and nailed into an open-topped rounded chute with a fired-mud screw in the center being misshapen and irregular.
  Rotating a frustratingly small hand-crank at the top of the central column would spin it— and whatever the arms of the spiral caught at the bottom, soon enough appeared at the top. Though this was not without a fair amount of spilling. As an early prototype, this was merely a yard in length, and a foot in circumference. Despite the crudeness of the apparatus— it clearly showed a solid, ingenious design at its core.
  Soon after hearing of this, the city's Tichout purchased the design from the merchant— and it was not long until better, larger, and stronger iterations were created and implemented in Rektouzk settlements.  

An Apparatus of Many Uses

Rektouzk's vast trade network has spread the qetleux throughout the known world, where it has been adopted by many for numerous uses.  

Those in Hanviehl have used the invention to build the waterways of their cities— through which canals run like vast webs.

In Zilopnou, the agricultural uses of the qetleux became nigh immediately evident— and it allowed them to expand their fields to much greater extents than ever before.

It is said that within Louh, great vats of potions and brews are mixed together by pulling or extracting liquid with qetleuxs.

It seems almost as if within every land the apparatus has arrived, a new use has been discovered— which begs the question, what can't a qetleux do?
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Standard construction

The central column will be wooden, which is often lighter, and thus easier to turn. The thread is built from an array of woven sticks, which are glued and fastened to the central column. Finally, an earthen plaster is daubed over the wooden surfaces. Some screws are of a metal make, but these are more common in affluent areas— especially within Rektouzk.
  The outer shell is often constructed in a similar manner, wooden planks are bound together with metal hoops or bolsters— depending on the shape of the shell. A wide opening is left on the bottom, so that the thread can collect material.
  Finally, on the top, an opening is left along the bottom of the shell for material to fall from, and a crank is raised off the surface, allowing for operation of the qetleux. Often a small scaffolding will be placed over the top, upon which laborers can operate the apparatus with ease.

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Cover image: by Garrett Lewis (Timepool)

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