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Cool! I was wondering how the Well would look! Dark, old, wide and DEEP :)
D'ni Tiwah, the Great Descent
If Foghorn Leghorn were here, he'd say, "Now listen, I say, LISTEN, son; that there's a big hole!"
Yep... that was pretty much the same reaction I had the first time I found myself on the edge of the Great Descent.
Regaro Tiwah...The Great Shaft.
Time we take up a collection to replenish Heather's bottle of Digital Black Ink...I think she's going to run out in the next few pages or so!
I know the D'ni where great builders, especially in stone, but who thought it was a good idea to have an unenclosed spiral staircase hundreds of feet wide and who knows how many tall? OSHA would have a field day with this kind of shoddy construction.
@jdiwnab: Actually, the Great Descent wasn't made to be a staircase from the Cleft down to D'ni. It was created because the Guild of Miners had to build tunnels to the surface to build a ventilation system. The D'ni people needed fresh, cool air from the surface, and the tunnels that had been Written into the Age had become too small since the population of D'ni had swelled. The sheer size of the shaft was ensure that a lot of air could be pushed down into the cavern. So, the construction isn't shoddy at all. It served its purpose until the Fall of D'ni.
@NT-4000: Maybe I'm remembering wrong from The Book of Ti'anna, but I thought that they where on an expedition to reach the surface for exploration/trading, and it was decided to accelerate the process by bringing in the big machines and digging straight up, rather than slowly sideways.
On the other hand, I was mostly trying to make a joke about OSHA standards applying to D'ni.
I saw this and I was like; Oh my, it looks like a Perfect big dark hole.
@jdiwnab: That may have also been a reason. It was said that Ri'neref, the man who Wrote Earth and founded the city of D'ni, wrote the air shafts a certain way so that the D'ni people would eventually, have to make contact with the surface world. The D'ni didn't necessarily need to make any contact with the Surface, since they could just Write Ages to serve their needs. Er'cana, for example, is a Granary Age and was one of the many Ages Written specifically to feed the D'ni population.
I'm sure some of the Guilds saw the benefits of exploring the surface, though most of the population was happy to remain in the cavern. It was, as we know, a choice that made it easy for the entire population to be wiped out.
Over all, the Great Descent was originally planned for the sake of air circulation...but the staircase definitely gives pause to the idea that the D'ni (Guilds, at least) were looking to see if the surface world had things to offer.