Wisdom Tree City has always existed, nestled on an island where two mighty rivers pour into the ocean. Every hundred years or so the Goddess Weeps, as the natives say. The two rivers swell, merge into one, and overrun the city. After they retreat, they leave behind a thick sand burying everything except the peak of the great magical library, The Wisdom Tree. The citizens return and rebuild. The library grows taller. Probably no one would bother settling here if it weren’t for its position of a great port, a natural magic aura, the library, and the mines.
The Wisdom Tree stands in the middle of the city, its roof so high it seems to scrape the sky. Underground, floor upon floor descends so deep that no one knows where it ends. Side passageways split off from the main tower and meander through the city’s sand-filled ruins like the roots of a tree. The library’s ancient magic prevents any mud from leaking through and keeps the air circulating at the perfect temperature.
Mine tunnels built by prospectors also twist through the ruins. Every miner hopes to find valuable artifacts from forgotten times, but few do. Most arrive in the city poorly equipped and many perish digging through the ruins. In the upper mine tunnels, petty thieves, transients, and the desperate take up residence in the relatively safety. More sinister criminals live in the mid-tunnels, planning heists and waiting to prey on lost miners. Only the bravest dare venture to the deepest levels where unknown monsters lurk in the dark, and the most valuable artifacts wait.
But by far the most popular attraction for common folk is the Aquatic Arena, a giant stadium built in the middle of the bay where teams compete in impressive water battles. No expense is spared. Warriors clash on top of exotic sea monsters captured from the Far Seas. Gnomes command huge whirling machinery, slicing through the choppy waves to tear apart their opponents. Wizards using the latest magical discoveries dart across the arena, easily passing from the sky to under the water, painting the battle with the bursts of spells.
Stats Dungeon World and D&D 5e
Size: One of the largest if not the largest populated settlements in the region. Population is increasing.
Government: Many different types over its long history, but currently an oligarchy, although most of the day-to-day management is performed by the city manager.
Defense: Powerful magical wards and an impressive navy.
Commerce: Rich. Many trades boom in this city, but its bread and butter is fishing, aquatic battles, and the mines. The library attracts magic users from the world over, and while contributing little directly, lends to a bustling inn and restaurant business.
Organizations: Fishermen’s Guild; Magic Users United; Prospectors Union; Battle Workers of the Tree; Thieves’ Congress
Places of Note: The Aquatic Arena; The Wisdom Tree Library; The Mines
- Helga Silvertop, female dwarf, head librarian or, technically, a substitute head librarian as the real head got lost in the stacks years ago.
- Rutherrd Racks, male half-elf, head of the Thieves Congress headquartered in the bowels of the city. A master of disguise, but recognizable by the eagle-shaped birthmark on the nape of his neck.
- Gilly Hoppy: female gnome, the city’s most famous and loved aquatic warrior. Sports a different color hair and outlandish machine for each battle.
- Q. Payne: male human, swindler who makes his living selling overpriced junk to naïve prospectors. His most popular item is magic-artifact-sniffing rats, which are actually just regular rats he pays a penny to street urchins for.