|Region||Lands of Purity|
The Great Canal of Thequas was built for both strategic defense of Milthian and to provide an irrigation and transport medium for the dwellers of the region.
The canal starts from the small shallow man made lake within the fortress of Thequas named the Tears of Athena, so named after the loss of the champion Sir Galtrag. It serves multiple roles as a source of the canal, transport and shipping, drinking water, garden park, and defense. It is the life center of Thequas.
The lake itself measures just under a mile across and was formed with man/beast power, a Spade of the Titans, and multiple dig spells. It rests on the plateau overlooking the Scar of Atlas and its run off forms some amazing waterfalls cascading into the great depths. Its actual source of water is unknown, but rumored to be a divine gift in order to sustain the large lawful good population of Thequas. On the westerly shore of the lake lies the Glorious Keep and the start of the canal. Within the lake itself lies the floating battery of Ole' Faithful II, a replica of the original legendary cannon. The massive canon was floated and anchored to the middle of the lake under a design by Himril Girderhead.
The water provides the necessary recoil buffer to allow the mighty canon to fire great distances and not impact the integrity of any structure it rests upon. Even targets off the coasts of Milthian can be reached, 10 miles into the Pearl Sea.
The canal runs through to the city of Milithian at its terminus and empties into the great Pearl Sea. Along the entire 12 mile length the canal has a minimum width of 60 feet and a depth of 30-40 feet. There are 44 locks along its length. The canal water varies in salinity depending on the proximity to the coast, but is largely fresh water supplied from the endless supply from the Tears of Athena. In times of drought the waters are used as irrigation to the surrounding farms. Trade occurs all along the route serving as a vital source of commerce to the nation and the numerous towns and villages at various locks and stopovers. Travel along the canal is slow since full sail is not permitted and frequently mule or horse towing is necessary.
Security along the canal is taken very seriously due to the importance of the trade route, wealth of the goods in travel, and the vulnerability to attack in such a wide expanse. Portions of the canal are walled in with intermittent guard towers keeping watch. The farmland surrounding the canal is reserved by the government as a pension for recently retiring soldiers and officers wishing to return to domestic life after service which adds to the natural security of the immediate region.
Ship traffic, security, and customs along the canal are handled by the Malacost Trade and Customs Authority. This powerful agency is equal in stature within the democratic style governance as any of the armed forces. Currently, the minister of this authority is a lawful good minotaur - Crooked Horn, or simply Horn- so named not for his persona, but for the one massive cock-eyed horn on his head.
The canal is a great source of pride for the people of Malacost, signifying the end of the occupation of the forces of Thasmudyan and is thought of much like a temple or church. Visitors to this region are befuddled when first gazing across the flat plains and seeing 'boats sailing across land'.