Following on from my previous question about how to consolidate my fantasy setting with science that was successful (thanks everyone!), things have been progressing well in my world design; and my design document is now filled with alot of nice material from local politics to the histories, cultures and religions of the different races
Anyhow, my main initial setting will be Archon's Landing; the capital of the Duchy of Lieve in Everland. This city is built in the wake of the massive Yggdrasil-type tree, The Damaris. The Damaris Tree will be a centrepiece of the campaign, since the interior of it is mostly hollow and somewhat dungeon like (in an Etrian Odyssey fashion).
Since I wanted this place to be interesting to my players rather than just a generic city to get their next quest and sell their loot; I've already started adding more details than usual to this place (as I have done for other major cities in my games in the past), including NPCs.
So, that brings us to our question: what design, engineering and architectural considerations would be important to a city like this? How would it look?
The following conditions have already considered true:
- The tree's circumference is MASSIVE. Even though this city is the capital of one of the greatest nations of the world, it still covers less surface area than the tree it is built next to. We can assume that the tree's diameter is at least 20 miles.
- It is Oak-like. Branches are not feasible to reach for the purposes of construction, and the interior of the tree is not inhabitable. The city is built purely at its base, in its southern wake (so as to not be obscured from the sun as much as possible). The tree does not apparently drop leaves or acorns or anything, and leaves etc. are not giant sized (the tree is apparently more like several epochs old rather than giant-sized in the true sense).
- The city is built to accomodate the tree as much as possible. It has a high/royal district that is built on top of one of the massive roots of the tree. This section overlooks the central city and the northern ward. There are large stairs on the sides of the root, a road that follows the root to the end, and probably a couple of magic elevators. Despite this, people will drill/mine tunnels through shorter parts of the roots if neccessary (this is the case to access the rather dark Deadside, which is a shanty town on the eastern outskirts; possibly overshadowed by low branches?).
- Yes, magic is a thing. Only a small quantity of people can use it proficiently; but it is recognised as a good thing, and mostly not shunned. It's powers are relatively substantial, involving nanomachines that can re-arrange matter, perform rapid thermodynamic alterations, create barriers of force, and access great stores of knowledge. Most mages will only scratch the surface of these powers though.
- Despite the fact that the tree is gigantic; it is only surrounded by regular forest on one side (the east). Most of the other forest has been cleared and the land near the city is fertile and used in regular agriculture.
- A waterfall drops out of the giant tree and forms a small river (The Corkswash) that passes through the city centre. Around 25 miles out from the city, the Corkswash merges with The River Ever, which is massive (Mississippi level). From there, the River Ever carries on about 30 miles to the sea, where there is the port city of Everafter built around its river delta.
- As a result, fishing and foraging for fruit and berries supplement the agriculture.
- There is a large quarry around 50 miles to the north at the base of Mt. Silkenfoot. The stone type here is undecided at the moment. There are also iron, copper, and titanium (ilmenite) mines within reasonable import distances. Titanium processing is possible and not horribly costly in the setting due to alchemy and magery, though those who understand the arcane process are fairly few (most of the cost comes from their service fees, actually).
- Lieve is part of Everland, a Republican Monachy, which has four Duchies (Lieve, Canaan, Tyria, and Nodis) that work in a loose collaboration most of the time. Grand Duke Narron of Lieve is currently in charge, so Archon's Landing is the capital of the entire country, rather than just the Duchy. There was a fairly recent war between Lieve and Canaan over some petty border issue. It was more of a skirmish in the end with only three major battles, though, and Archon's Landing was mostly unaffected, except in the fact that Grand Duke Narron accepted a political marriage to Princess Sasha of Canaan.
- Population of the city is probably around 700K-1 million. Adventurers and tourists by Wyvern (which can be tamed and ridden) probably account for about 0.3-0.6% of those.
- Tech level is, on average, mid-renaissance. Low-tech firearms are available. Due to magic's influence, alchemy, medicine and metallurgy are surprisingly advanced, however.
I guess my concern is would this be designed like a regular old city? At the moment it is, with wealth-segregated areas, craft district, market zone, shanty area et al. The other part is; I've given the ability for people within a few miles to do agriculture. This IS a pseudo magic tree, and it doesn't appear to grow further, so I'm actually proposing it draws nutrients at a reduced rate (only enough for some basic maintainence). Given its size, its probably feasible that the roots go deep enough to hit the mantle. It also doesn't appear to be vulnerable to fire much. Is this too much handwaving or is it concievable?