An Introduction to Mahid
The majority of the water (and, therefore, settlements) to be found, however, comes from the Wells and the Canals, irreplaceable relics constructed near the end of the Blue Epoch.
Wells are great reinforced shafts driven several thousand feet into the ground, to reach the distant groundwater below. Many of them were once automatically operated, and a few of the greatest ones still are, through sorcery.
Canals are massive artificial canyons, fed by meltwater from the polar regions. In the far north and south, they surge fresh, clean, and quick, but as they move towards the equator the streams split into smaller and smaller channels. Between this diffusing action, and the thousands of thirsty mouths they pass between, no water makes it to the dead Canals of the equatorial regions, save one or two in each hemisphere that, before reaching the desert, dive beneath the earth and tunnel for thousands of miles to feed Zalaggi.
Finally, some of the greatest northern cities will cross the great bands of dry tundra ringing their pole, to mine water on the treacherous ice caps themselves. No success with this strategy has been had in the south, as the ice cap there is simply too high to mine while also breathing.