Tarcan Aqueduct Building / Landmark in Ulskandar | World Anvil

Tarcan Aqueduct

Towering over the sands of the Sonsuz Desert, the Tarcan Aqueduct spreads like a spider’s web across the Sultanate of Fashaddon, transporting precious water from the Kubra Mountains to the cities and towns of the Sultanate. Without the life-giving cargo the aqueduct provides, almost all of the large settlements in Fashaddon would have to be abandoned as they outgrew the water capacity that their founding oases could provide. Even the capital, Vaháyer would have been stifled in its growth, and would not have been able to develop into the vibrant hub of wealth and knowledge it is today.

Purpose / Function

The Tarcan Aqueduct has one purpose, the provision of water from the plentiful springs in the Kubra Mountains to the rest of the nation. Originally, this water was bound solely for the capital Vaháyer, but since the opening of the initial section, the network has been expanded to encompass other towns and cities across the Sonsuz Desert.


Additions have been made to the original design of the Aqueduct system, first to include watchtowers used by the Tarcan Corps as garrison points, which can access the base, inside and top of the Aqueduct, as well as allowing a point of over watch over the surrounding countryside. Secondly raised walkways were added to the interior of the aqueduct system so that the Tarcan Corps were able to patrol inside the Aqueduct itself without having to wade through and potentially pollute the water. These walkways are constructed in a system very similar to scaffolding so that they do not restrict the flow of water in the system.


The overall structure of the Tarcan Aqueduct system is that of a conjoined series of arches supporting a continuous enclosed chamber through which the water runs. The system has been intricately designed and calculated down to the last inch to ensure that there is a constant, but barely perceptible downward gradient to allow the water to flow down from the mountains to where it is needed. The water flows through an enclosed chamber to minimise the risk of it evaporating under the harsh desert sun, and these chambers are about 8ft wide by 9ft high. On the whole the water level is kept at between 2-3ft, but this will increase drastically if the Kubra Mountains are lucky enough to get rain.


The aqueduct is the brainchild of the brilliant architect, Melis Tarcan after whom it has been named, and the idea came into being following the issuing of a challenge by the then Sultan of Fashaddon, Bozkurt I. The challenge was to find a sustainable source of providing industrial quantities of water, following the realisation that the capital, Vaháyer along with all the other large settlements in Fashaddon would have to fragment into smaller communities as they outgrew the capacity their founding oases were able to provide. Whilst all of her competitors looked to solutions grounded in magic, Melis Tarcan instead drew on her experience as an engineer and drew up the plans for one of the most ambitious architectural projects ever conceived.   The ingenuity of her design, and the fact that it did not rely on forces that the majority of fashaddon’s population would regard as untrustworthy led to Tarcan’s design being given the go-ahead, and construction began on the Tarcan Aqueduct in 238S.E. It took over 30 years to complete the project, which drew in workers from all corners of the Sultanate, but in 270S.E., the main section of the Aqueduct was complete, and the first of Vaháyer’s fountains to be fed from water from the Kubra Mountains, hundreds of miles away was turned on. Since 270S.E., hundreds of other fountains have been constructed and plumbed into the Aqueduct system in Vaháyer, the system has allowed for the creation of a large irrigated agricultural area around the capital and several other towns and cities have been added to the Aqueduct network.   In 300S.E., following a number of carefully targeted attacks by Desert Tribes on the Tarcan Aqueduct network, where attempts were made first to cut off and then poison the supply of water to Vaháyer, the Sultanate introduced a dedicated armed force purely to defend the Aqueduct from attack and see to its maintenance. The Tarcan Corps has watch towers built along the route of all of the systems branches and regularly patrols the top, bottom and inside of the Aqueduct system to ensure that nothing will stop the flow of precious water to Fashaddon’s settlements.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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