In this far flung part of the world, magic is so strong that even topography can be warped. One such weirdness is the Spherical City Upon Isar. In the middle of a vast flat plain sits a crater that is a perfect half sphere. It lies along the path of the Isar River, but rather than fill it into a lake, the river flows down the side of the crate, across the bottom and back up the other side, emerging to continue on downstream. Such was the power of the magic that created the crater, the very direction of gravity has been locally altered, so that it always points away from the centre of the crater.
The first to try to live here was a small community of wizards. Attracted by the strong magical aura of the place, they wished to research its history and exploit the twisted leylines. There are still many wizard’s towers dotted across the landscape within the crater. With the wizard’s came a few serfs for food and manual labour. The serfs quickly discovered that the soil was exceptionally fertile within the crater, allowing them to grow bountiful crops. As word of this harvest wealth spread, more people joined the settlement and it rapidly grew into a small town. Once the local lord moved his seat to a newly built castle it grew into a full city. The Spherical City Upon Isar’s wealth increased even further as it shipped its produce abroad when the river was proved navigable.
The crater itself is 7 miles across, meaning it is 7 miles deep at its bottom. Where it not for the strange way sunlight is bent in the crater, the bottom would be nearly always dark. As it is, the edges of the crater find themselves only getting the full power of the sun at dawn or sunset and the centre experiences long periods of twilight. At the centre of the bottom of the crater is a small circular hill, around which the Isar River flows. The hill is now completely covered in the fortified castle of the lord which serves as the administrative hub of the city.
The city does not occupy the crater fully, with most of the buildings clustered within 3 miles of the castle. The social layout follows that of the other great cities, with the rich living in prestigious mansions in the city centre or on large estates. The poor live in crowded housing that is mostly downstream of the castle, closer to the docks. The city proper has a curtain wall around it but the primary defence is the wall around the crater’s edge. By taking advantage of the right angle shift is gravity, the walls are peculiar structures of odd angles and weirdly pointing watchtowers. Merely the shape of them has been enough to deter raids from the nearby nomadic tribes.
Image Credit – Green Forest by Luca Biada – CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0