Into the Breach
Blackwater was a city founded by powerful magic users, as it was discovered that the area of land on which it stood was criss-crossed with an unprecedented number of ley-lines for the middle world and provided a naturally rich aura of arcane energy. In magical circles, Blackwater, although not highly populated, is renowned across the known world as a hub of enlightenment and learning, sporting it’s own academy of the arcane arts, as well as museum of magical artefacts and other wonders of the magic arts. A number of novel magical techniques have been mastered in the city and although the trip to get here from the southern lands is long, those rich or determined enough to make it and manage to gain tutelage with a resident wizard have the potential to become great users themselves.
It went largely unnoticed during it’s founding over a hundred years ago, but a dread wind has carried a black blight off the southern marshes to the city causing disease and death. As more people flocked to the beacon of light that Blackwater represented, more and more people begun to fall ill and die because of this plague and it was not long before the city was inundated with the sick and the wizards of Blackwater begun to fear that the disease, which as yet has no cure would take the city entirely.
In an act of desperation, the wizards used the innately magical energies of the region, combined with all of their powers and rituals to literally lift the inner city off the face of the earth and float it above it’s former home as a way to prevent the spread of infection. The rituals must constantly be renewed and a number of wizards are in permanent positions of maintenance to ensure that Blackwater stays aloft, and that no infection is allowed to pass into it’s limits.
The wizards did not simply abandon the sick, however, as the sickly and their families begun to settle in the area beneath the city, essentially a large slum known as Blackwater Park, the wizards still work on a cure and send aid as they can afford it down to the park. A number of religious institutions have set up centers in Blackwater Park in order to care for the sick, braving infection themselves to serve their deities.
So far, any attempts to seek out the cause of the wind that carries the blight has met with failure.