The Sea's Revenge
At a Glance
Mistfall is a marvel of magic and engineering, a gleaming metropolis that spans a deep ravine, cut by the strong current of the river below as it rushes from the far-away mountains toward the far-away sea. The city does not just exist on either side—the ravine is bridged a hundred times over, the crossings of many different sizes and styles creating the effect of webbing, or thick lace. The area they span is broad but also deep, descending down into the ravine, and there are so many bridges that some have staircases, ladders, lifts, or ropes that create vertical paths between them. On either side, entire neighborhoods are cut into the stone cliff faces, creating the lower wards of the city, where magical strength allows the warren of passages through the earth to be cut tall and broad, with fluted pillars and arched ceilings, cleverly designed to carry natural light from the ravine and the surface throughout.
At least, that is how it used to be. Once a jewel in the imperial crown, the collapse of the elven empire and the time that has elapsed since are taking a terrible toll on the city. Although the great centers of magical learning—the library and the university—still exist, their reduced numbers and finances mean they no longer have the strength to maintain the immense, complex system of spells that holds the city together. As the magic fades and unravels, slowly but surely, the city crumbles. Some of the most magnificent bridges have plunged to the river below, taking whole neighborhoods with them. In places where the lower wards built too close to the surface, the ground has become unstable, making sinkholes and cave-ins a regular occurrence. As a result, the only ones who live in the lower wards are those who cannot afford to live anywhere else—what was always a poor neighborhood has become a place of desperation and fear, a breeding ground for crime and disease where the air is thick with dust and light a precious commodity.
Above the surface, Mistfall struggles to maintain an air of dignity while its great buildings and temples fall to ruin. The residents are fewer than before, and many tenements stand empty, inviting monsters who lurk in the shadows and prey on the weak. Even the grandest wards have an air of shabbiness, and the few left with wealth cling to their luxuries as the city rots around them, plotting a return to greatness.