A rush of muddy water roared through as the last barrier between the dry canal bed and the river, The Tentacanal, the Grand Canal of the Canal Contract, was complete. Mud-splattered workers whooped and hollered; for some of them the work of more than a decade all culminated in this moment. The river water filled the massive trench quickly, stopping at the giant metal gate in the water that held back the waterfill that had been coming from the other direction.

A few eager merchant ships, most Belrie with other nationalities mixed in, sat another lock back, all wanting to be the first to cross the canal into Baädaka. As soon as the water settled and equalized, and the canal inspected for debris that could be dangerous, this lock was opened. A light skiff carrying a triumphant merchant darted to the front of the line, the brass musicians aboard playing loudly and with enthusiasm. Obviously, this merchant had brought his own entertainment with him.

Along the canal bank, several small towns have cropped up. Temporary structures made permanent, stops on the supply line that never went away. They are small, but the region is expected to boom as traffic through the Canal increases

One of these, just outside the land held in Spaliopolis, is Waterside. Waterside was a necessary stop while the surveyors figured out how to divert the direction of the canal and made sure there were no tunnels that would be breached and flooded. Some suppliers saw the proximity to Spaliopolis as a gamble and decided to build permanent structures. Candy vendors set up shop and the Myrms readily bought their entire stocks of Lemon Crystals, Orange Crystals, and Honey Crystals, with a back order for more shipments.

A small garrison of Belrie soldiers occupy the town, as there have been discontent in Spaliopolis. They watch the land above the Myrm city nervously, hoping that Waterside does not become a battle front for Spaliopian independance. If they need help, the canal is well guarded. At least in these early days after its opening.

Waterside now boasts a population of 1,500 Belrie and a few others. Though no structure gets over two stories, and the roads are all dust and dirt, the residents hope that it could grow much bigger. A small grotto had been constructed, meaning smaller boats can dock there for extended periods of time, making it a place people could linger if they aren’t particularly eager to get to the other side. There’s a bar called “The Ant’s Mound” where traders going in either direction can give each other the latest tips on what’s selling well on the other side of the world.

Scion Aster Saalamander, the sister of Alwin Augeneye Saalamander, had grown into herself in her years managing the second half of development. Now in her late twenties, she is much more capable than she had been at the beginning of her positioning over the Canal. She has also made fast friends – whether Aster likes it or not – with the canal’s lead Neen engineer, Matimatë, who wraps Aster in a hug and rambles incomprehensibly as the first ships enter the canal. Aster grins, all she had to do was follow what had already been planned, for the most part, there was that incident with that boulder, and the giant snake, but for that, her name would be immortalized alongside her brothers and her fathers in Belrie history, they had created a river. For a people who lived almost entirely along rivers, creating a river was next to deific.

A massive metal slab the height of a ship and the width of a ships mast, wrought and worked over by master craftsmen, was lowered into the water. On it was every name of a person who died working on the canal, there were a few Myrm, a handful of mice, quite a few Belrie, and even a couple Neen, this is their river. This canal is made stronger by their reinforcing spirit and will spent in its entire in its construction.

Like Aster, Löolë of Baädaka has changed drastically during the construction of the canal. Only fourteen when he met Alwin Saalamander at the Meeting of Nations in Rastak – to which he’d been sent only to fail utterly and thereby lose his place as chieftain (spoiler: he didn’t) – he is now older, wiser and slightly better respected by his people (probably).

In Baädaka, plenty of changes have taken place over the years during construction: the plotted course for merchant ships has been cleared of debris and underwater obstacles, and signs have been erected to keep ships safe. Various above-water and/or half-submerged facilities have been constructed for the visitation, lodging, trade, maintenance and other activities of visiting ship personnel, traders and others.

At one end of the passage through Baädaka is the Inspections Facility – where Neen and Ajonti officials work to ensure incoming ships are safe for passage through the sound – and at the other, the Gatehouse – where Neen guards work with others from Belombawl and Myrmidonia to review ship manifests upon entry to and exit from the canal.

It is at this Gatehouse that Löolë waits to see the first ships arrive from Belombawl, surrounded by friends, colleagues, TelEmoter media crews and countless other Neen who managed to talk or bribe their way onto the platform overlooking the canal. While Löolë manages to maintain (most of) his usual collectedness, the Neen around him are ecstatic, and there is plenty of food and drink, and even more cheering and clapping as the first ships appear.

While only a relative few were able to watch the first ships come through, the grand opening ceremonies in Baädaka will be MASSIVE and open to all – look for it on Monday!



  • [Canal Map]r.com(http://imgu/gallery/G1zxVlm) or http://imgur.com/a/j6YgS
  • Approximate Length: 1,675 kilometres (including retrofit of existing waterways)
  • Approximate Construction Time: 20 years
  • Approximate Total Cost: [estimate not available; currencies vary]
  • Co-signing Nations: Baädaka, Belombawl, Ajon, Myrmidonia, nation previously known as Mousedom

REGULATIONS FOR USE (for those intending to enter the canal)

Terms of Use (extracted from construction contract):

  1. No fuel, refuse, byproducts, chemicals or debris of any kind is to be dumped, leaked, thrown, emitted, washed, leeched, precipitated or otherwise left behind in Bäadakan waters or along its shores when using the passage. This includes biological waste and byproducts (including, but not limited to, urine, feces, natural oils, food, soaps) as well as non-native organisms (see Provision 1). This also includes stray current from any electrical equipment that may be on board any vessels.
  2. No open rotors, turbines, blades or other dangerous moving/mechanical parts are to be used by vessels within Baädaka; such parts must have casings/cages or must be reserved for use strictly outside of Baädaka. Use of such propulsion systems is acceptable in the canal, where a separated envelope provides for safe travel by the Neen and/or other aquatic peoples. Vertically-mounted paddle propulsion systems are exempt. Manually-driven propulsion systems, such as oars or peddle-craft, are exempt.
  3. No engines or mechanical parts may exceed noise tolerances as measured by underwater sensory devices. Noise exceptions may be applied for as necessary via Baädakan authority, but will be restricted in frequency and time of travel.
  4. No radar, sonar, electrical impulse or other sensory equipment may be used within Baädaka. Use of such devices will be considered espionage. Persons with innate sensory abilities are exempt from this term; however, such actions may still be questioned by Baädakan authority and/or civilians.
  5. No commercial or mass fishing is to take place within Baädaka, including clamming, use of cages, traps or nets, or otherwise hunting or harvesting of sea creatures or vegetation. Birds and other land fauna/flora are acceptable quarries. Fishing for personal use will be tolerated.
  6. Maximum vessel draft is not to exceed 30 feet. This includes any keel, rotor or other underwater parts, as well as any towed vessels, parts, structures or items. Submerged passenger or cargo vessels must also comply with this term, unless agreed to in advance by Baädakan authority. Personal submersibles are exempt and always welcome, provided they comply with the other terms of this document.
  7. Trade vessels may not stop, careen, moor or drop anchor within Baädaka. Exceptions may be made in advance for trading with the Neen, and a designated pier will be constructed for this purpose. Exceptions may also be made for emergency stops or stopping due to dangerous weather; however, this is not expected to be a frequent occurrence, and Baädaka may impose a fine on stopped vessels, as well as a fee for any aid provided to said vessel, its crew or cargo. Personal vessels are exempt, but must not stop within the designated through-way.
  8. Vessels are to maintain an appropriate traveling and mooring distance from one another in order to maintain a safe buffer area in case of storm or unexpected event.
  9. No inter-vessel combat is to be carried out within, under or upon Baädakan waters. Should a conflict arise that requires resolution by violence, this is to occur outside of Baädakan waters OR aboard a singular vessel. Any such combat should not result in the destruction of the vessel.
  10. No vessels or crafts are to be scuttled, sunk or otherwise discarded in Baädakan waters. This includes the use of Baädakan water for disposal of the dead, whether the vessel and body are burned or not.
  11. Any abandoned or wrecked vessel upon which no crew remains responsive will become the property of the people of Baädaka. Lost contents of the vessel may be applied/bartered for via Baädakan authority. "Crew" is understood to be sentient persons with free will paid to work aboard the vessel; any slaves, living cargo or passengers will not have claim to the vessel or her contents. Crew members not physically present will not have claim to the vessel or her contents. Mechanical constructs or beings otherwise under control of another not present will not have claim to the vessel or her contents. Employers, owners or other stockholders aboard the vessel may apply as crew.
  12. A truthful passenger and cargo manifest must be provided at the Gatehouse regardless of direction of travel. These manifests will be kept private and destroyed daily, unless the contents are a threat to security for either nation. Cargo or payment for cargo sold may be subject to inspection, and fines may be levied for inaccurate declarations and/or for attempts to transport illicit goods. Access to the canal may be denied to particularly heinous or repeat offenders.
  13. Baädaka reserves the right to tax trade ships a small percentage of the value of their carried cargo. Both Baädaka and Belombawl reserve the right to confiscate illicit cargo and/or to detain persons attempting to transport illicit cargo, including, but not limited to, drugs, weapons, criminals, etc.
  14. Both Baädaka and Belombawl will maintain the right to close the passage or to deny entry, should it become apparent that the canal is being used for activities that may harm either party or any of the canal contract co-signers, physically, politically, financially or otherwise (e.g. trafficking of illicit or dangerous goods; passage of vessels or persons intent up on war; passage of criminals or other illegal activity).

Additional Terms of Use (extracted from Baädaka's Provisions):

  1. Vessels [intent upon entering the canal via Baädaka Sound] must pass inspection [at the Inspections Facility] or will not be allowed to travel through Baädaka or to enter the canal. Rejected vessels will have the opportunity to purchase cleaning services that will make them fit for travel through the Baädaka. The proposed facility location is noted on the attached.
  2. [Vessels passing through Bäadaka sound must follow the provided] demarcation for safe passage.

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