The Aransway has it’s entrance amongst the Stone Docks on the east side of the city, and for the first third or so of it’s length it is like a canyon cut into the side of the steep city. For most of it’s length, however, it goes underground, and is dimly lit with lanterns on either side. The Aransway canal is wide enough for two very large barges to pass, and barges can either be poled along by workers or pulled by a draft team walking along the stone pathway on either side of the canal.
Once the Aransway reaches the Well, special chains are ready to be attached to the barge, and it is then lifted up to the surface of the city dozens of feet above. This is accomplished through an ancient mechanism, thought to be magical, built by Dwarves long before the Shadow came in the north. The power to turn the great wheels and to lift the chains is supplied by teams of slaves and aurochs working together under the lash.
The Aransway doubles as the exit for significant amounts of rainwater that falls on the upper portions of the city, meaning that it’s sides are riddled with pipes and outlets of various sizes. Obviously, it is possible for people to slip into these when it is not raining, and there are endless rumors of hidden caverns and caches beneath the city.