Elias Grosskanal

Despite the fact that it has been an integral part of the civic landscape since before Falkensburg was a single city, the Elias Grosskanal remains one of the most poorly understood landmarks of the area.

To begin with, the Grosskanal is not, as is popularly believed, a product of the frenetic and poorly-organised reign of Prince Elias. While the canal's currently active locks (themselves a marvel of hydraulic engineering) and walls (now mostly absent due to Falkensburg's insatiable appetite for building supplies) were constructed during the reigns of Elias and his predecessor, the Dowager Princess Ludmilla, the original water-course passed through the earliest Black Tunnels, and may predate human settlement of the area entirely.

Similarly, while popular song continues to link the Grosskanal with Scharburg, the two have not met in any useful fashion since 894, when silt rendered the final lock unnavigable. In fact, the continued shortening of the Grosskanal (see below) means that it now ends more than five miles from Scharburg. This is directly responsible for the end of Falkensburg's centipede breeding industry.


The strange phenomenon that continues to cause the Grosskanal to shrink has not, despite all predictions, escaped the notice of Falkensburg's denizens. Several myths have, over the years, developed to explain the fact that the Grosskanal is steadily receding from its ultimate destination.

One currently popular theory is that the Treasure of the Seven Lamps is hidden near the junction of the Grosskanal and the Scharburg stream. The story goes that the Treasure's murderous guardians, knowing that drowning every riverboat crew who came near its hiding place would bring the swift attention of the authorities down on their heads, have decided simply to move the Grosskanal further away.

Another holds that the Grosskanal, while becoming steadily shorter, is also slowly deepening. Much as it galls The Great Ones to admit it, this theory is borne out by asides in Doktor Plasner's study of the crustaceans which thrive in the Grosskanal's black water. Plasner's measurements show the floor of the Grosskanal being several feet lower than the last official soundings.

While Plasner was not moved by his discovery to posit any explanation for the phenomenon, The Great Ones hypothesise that there may be an as-yet-uncatalogued portal near the bottom of the Grosskanal, creating a current that sucks the Grosskanal's substrate to an unknown destination, and ejecting the detritus of that destination towards the Scharburg lock. This hypothesis could easily tested by sending a party to excavate the blockage near the Scharburg lock. However, the possibility that doing so will arouse the ire of the Seven Lamps, bringing their wrath down upon the University, has to date prevented the funding of any such expedition.

- the Eclecticon

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