How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Eberron
Any traveller of Khorvaire will tell you stories of amazing sights; the floating congress of Arcanix and the towers of Sharn are monuments to the mix of engineering and arcane power. But they pale in comparison to the cities of the ancient giant empire. In their heyday, the giants ruled all of Xen’drik, and their gigantic metropolises rose miles over sea level and implemented the most advanced magic known in the world. But when the dragons decided to destroy the giant civilization, most of these cities were reduced to dust. For some reason, though, one remains mostly intact.
Qual’tox was the trading post before entry to the Menechtarun Desert, a relatively modest city in the scope of giant civil engineering. When the dragon assault on the Xen’drik ended, Qual’tox was left abandoned, but no buildings had been destroyed. Why? For the few explorers who have seen this place and survived, the reason was not clear. No ancient skeletons lay in the street, and no signs of a conflict; most signs of daily life remain: furniture, display assemblies in the bazaar, etc. Since that the day, though, the rest has been picked clean. There are no historical records indicating any strange magical happenings in the city, besides the odd failed experiment.
Though the wind coming off the desert erodes the architechtural fixtures and the occasional sandstorm blows down a wall or minor tower, the city remains much as it did eons ago. Most of the city was a trading post, devoted to the store of goods necessary to explore the vast Menechtarun Desert and the treasures brought back. For this, the giants used a simple adobe, but in their proportions. Vast warehouses sit empty, and stables for gigantic steeds are left untended. The jewel of the city, though, was the tower. Its name lost to history, the four mile-high tower served as an observatory and a laboratory.
At the top, above the clouds, sits a telescope array designed to look at the Ring of Siberys, watching for dragonshard showers, but also used by scholars for use in interpretation of the Draconic Prophecy. In times of war, it was used to overlook the surrounding country, and was designed to be used as a reflecting light in times of emergency, warning people miles away of attack. Finally, there are the beginnings of a powerful lens weapon, made to focus solar energy into a sort of laser. The facility is not comparable to any of the observatories in Argonnessen, but it far surpasses anything in Khorvaire.
The proceeding 2000 stories are a labyrinth of labs divided into 700 floors, most inaccessable except by teleportation, creating a sterile environment for certain experiments. The tower was built in the arid climate specifically to escape the humidity and moisture of the jungles.