Hildagarde is home to ancient civilizations, modern magic and science, and entrances into the mystic underdark. Centered on the intersection of many leylines, it is prone to the whims of these magic conduits. Due to the constant fluctuations and interactions of the various forces that meet there, it has become known as the City of Disasters.
Why Would Anyone Live There?
If a city is so prone to disaster, why would anyone live there? The answer is three-fold. The first is that there is a tremendous amount of hoodoo in the area. Not just traditional magic, but all sorts of weird things. Mutations of spells, creatures, artifacts; there are things that can be accomplished here that are possible no where else. The second is that due to the concentration of leylines and the interactions between them, they are vulnerable here. If the right people were not present, the wrong people would be free to cause havoc as they wanted. And thirdly, due to the constant presence of civilization over the centuries, there’s a vast and replenishing stockpile of treasure that rises from the depths, inspiring a vast and replenishing stockpile of adventurers.
How do People Live There?
On the outskirts of the city, there’s a wall powered by Ancient Mysterious Magic ™. It mitigates the effects of the disaster calling effects of the leylines. Most people live alongside the wall, with certain exceptions given to crazy people.
There are many of the same organizations that you would find in most cities. Various guilds, historical societies, doomsday cults. For every activity, there’s an organization surrounding it. For every organization, a cult. (More on that later.)
The starting area for adventures. Where adventurers meet, and stock up on basic goods and services. Full of taverns, cutpurses, and slimes in the sewers. Where every session starts.
The ground level of the city serves as a level zero. Encounters here are generally with sentient creatures the party can diplomat with. Basements can serve as a floor 0.5, where players kill giant rats on the way to more interesting places. The underdark is the mystic underdark; space begins to lose meaning, and it’s full of strange portals to other locations, as well as its own connections to strange and wonderful places, for certain definitions of wonderful.
The Recent Past
The most recent Big ‘Un was a giant rock crashing into the center of the city from the sky, punching a hole from the central lake into the underground. This has caused some distress amongst the local community, though there is rumor of its shards being pulled up from the ground, a new power source for the arcane minded.