Chapter 2-49 “Into the Dusk”

Gilgorne takes one last look at the upper city before descending into the slums on his way to Aivarin’s Clay District.  The ridge upon which the city rests faces Eastward so as Sha-er (Daughter of Sha, or what they call their star or sun or whatever) sinks in the west, the lower city and clay district falls into the shadow of the upper city.

* Most construction in the upper city is stone with clay tile for roofing and floors.  The upper city is mostly fireproof and well-maintained.  The lower city is primarily wattle and daub or mud brick.  Wattle and daub.  It’s a building style that’s been in use since before there was civilization.  The most basic is just woven sticks and grass with mud packed on providing a basic screen from the elements and maybe a little insulation.  The more modern form was slatboard walls with plaster.  This was used in the USA until the past few decades when drywall took the over to the joy of construction crews the world over.  I had a brief run-in with slat board construction during my stint helping a local home renovation guy.  I helped demolish the interior of an old house and had to remove all that plaster and after knocking out all the boards had to remove hundreds of nails.  It was grueling and horrid work.  Frankly, I couldn’t imagine having to put all those nails in in the first place.  I have since decided that dry wall is one of the greatest inventions of the modern world.

** Speaking of construction, that little trench on the left side of the road in the second panel is actually a sewer much like what might have existed in an ancient city.  Mohenjo Daro, one of the oldest identified city ruins, featured some sewer structures much like this.  It’s not much different than what was in use up until fairly recently, as well.  I recall hearing about toilets in Paris where people would squat over a hole in the street.  These have since been covered and replaced with more modern plumbing, but that’s essentially what we have here.  That trench is open and a bit wider beneath the road and lined with stone.  Waste water from the upper city (and the inland sea beyond) is constantly fed through.  It’s actually built at the low point in the area so water will drain into it during rains.  Any time anyone wants to use the restroom, they’ll just walk to it, hike up their robe or skirt and squat.  Nobody even gives it a second thought.  Those who live further away would keep a pot in their home and carry it to the trench to empty it. If someone says they’re on the pot, that’s pretty much where it comes from.

*** I have enjoyed my mini-vacation thoroughly.  I’m glad to be back at the story, though.  I never really stopped thinking about it, but it was nice to not feel pressured during my off hours to be working on the comic.  …as much.

 

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