I’m finishing up work on my Dying Earth story, “The Three Quests of the Wizard Sarnod,” and I have a research question for eye and amphibian experts: if there were a salamander as big as Rhode Island, could people build a city in one of its eyes? How moist would it be? Would there be a kind of mist? Would there be the stratification or layers we find in the atmosphere of Earth (stratosphere, etc.) and different conditions in each? Where in the eye would it be safest to build a city? Could you grow crops there?
The answers to these questions do not affect the writing of this particular scene–I am writing it regardless and will justify it however I need to–but I am interested anyway. In the story, enormous fire salamanders move monolithically through their super-hot underground world. The only place that is moist and protected enough from the heat is inside of or on the surface of the salamanders’ eyes. Thus the poor people condemned to this level must build their cities inside the eye of the salamander.