The Rainy City
It’s the end of the world. It always rains. Rain beats against the walls. It seeps through the shutters. It pours off the mossy backs of the gargoyles. It turns streets into streams and rivers.
Teetering, damp towers lean against rotting townhouses thrown together in the ruins of a once gleaming city. Servants dash through storms on petty errands. Fireplaces sputter weakly, and spellbooks filled with moldy spells rot in spite of the protections lavished on them for their precious contents.
The grand academy of magic used to be here. But that was before the world ended and the rains came. Now the grand academy is mostly under the murky channel that divides Old Town from the Mids, its secrets ruined and lore lost. A few of the highest towers peak out of the still dark waters of the murk, testifying to its presence. Ferrymen use the towers as moorings and wayposts when the rain and fog make navigating the bay treacherous. But the school is a remnant of a past world.
But there is magic here. Wizards hide themselves away in their damp townhouses and cliff top towers, each one jealously guarding the few secrets he still has, scrounging and scheming for more. The richest men live on Embassy Row amidst the peaks, where the rains pour down the stepped streets in waterfalls. The poorest live in the Sump, a low lying slum that is as much a swamp as it is a neighborhood of rotting stilt huts. Alchemists lead the guilds that rule over Old Town. The desperate, striving tradesmen and merchants build their townhouses in rings that cling to the lower slopes of the peaks. Refugees from strange foreign worlds wash up in Vagabond Bay, their worlds passed, the city their final haven.
Rainwater pours off the backs and from the mouths of the gargoyles that decorate the stone towers and keeps. They plot too. Some say said they plot to destroy the city, but wizards sometimes hire them to keep watch over their petty secrets anyway. Most find that rough men are security enough. Violence comes easily to them, and they care little for sorceries. But thieves can make a fortune here, if they are quick and clever. From the lowliest medium to the greatest wizard, the mages hire experts to steal spells and enchanted items from their enemies. And from their friends.
It’s the end of the world. It always rains. Your fate is in the hands of wizards, alchemists, and thieves.
But it doesn’t have to stay that way…