Ouranopolis is the largest human settlement in the Anvil Cloudlands. It is composed of a handful of rocky islands, and a large number of artificial rafts, barges and platforms, all connected by a network of tethers, ropes, or magical bridges. The settlement is a large but diffuse community, as many inhabitants must travel long distances by hand-over-hand on the connecting ropes to get anywhere. All the flightless humanoids that inhabit the city carry grappling gear everywhere, in case they should fall. The platforms vary in size, with the largest ones containing community staples such as Tanithar’s Tower and Billow Marketplace. Other platforms contain three or four homes and families, or a single shack with a small garden. Some are lassoed pieces of terrain that form the fields to grow crops, though the settlement relies heavily on sky fishing to produce enough food to feed everyone. Many people in Ouranopolis are capable of a little bit of ritual magic. They don’t have the skill or talent to cast Featherfall or Anchor on the spot like a real wizard, but with a couple hours preparation and some material components can accomplish a similar effect, of course with less efficiency and effectiveness.
The inhabitants of Ouranoupolis are varied. Many are descendents of former adventurers, who sought treasure and fortune, only to have their only wizard capable of returning them safely to the Land below get eaten by a Cloud Drake. The rest of the party eventually settled down and went native. A surprising number of Planar Banishing spells will send humanoids from the Land blow to the Anvil Cloudlands. Whether it is an act of merciful wizards who would rather not outright kill their target or the magic of the universe sending them somewhere vaguely habitable is unknown to the unfortunate town guards, tomb sentinels, and other folk that were just doing their job when a wizard flung them into another dimension because they were in the way. Some people wandered into a portal they didn’t know was one-way and became marooned, eventually finding their way to Ouranoupolis. A significant contingent are descended from the inhabitants of Tanithar’s Tower. Tanithar brought a number of scribes, apprentices, assistants, etc to have a private tower for his arcane studies. One day he went out on a magical journey and simply did not return. The scribes felt abandoned, and none of them were skilled enough in magic to cast a planar portal home to the Dragon Empire or cast the summon food spells that sustained the tiny community. They eventually settled as farmers and craftsmen, working with the strange land and materials of the Cloudlands.
The ropes that connect platforms vary in sophistication. Some are simply tied down in the corners, having some risk of snapping in a shear wind. Others are connected to spring-loaded spools, or are particularly elastic. The connections from Tanithar’s Tower are magical bridges, which extend themselves from a supply of enchanted lumber stacked next to them, adding additional boards as necessary. They slowly pull other platforms back to return to an equilibrium length, putting the excess boards back in the pile of enchanted bridge boards. The core areas of Ouranoupolis have fixed relative locations, but the outer fringes of the city often change what they are connected to frequently. Some barges even slowly travel around the perimeter of the city for trading.
In generations past, there was a schism in town leadership. One faction slowly moved their platforms and barges to one side of the city, forming a sub-community. As the schism worsened, the last of the dissidents were connected only to each other, severing ropes to the rest of the city and pushing off, eventually forming the human city of Longfall.
Some Locations In Ouranopolis include:
Tanithar’s Tower The former wizards tower, now a de-facto town hall, as well as library. It sticks up just high enough to breach the next layer of the world up. It thus is a passageway up in the world.
Billow Marketplace: the largest open air market and trading center in the city, spreading over three closely coupled platforms.
Stretch Cord Ridge: a popular entertainment site, where bungee jumping is often done
Navigator’s Guild: due to the constantly shifting nature of the Anvil Cloudlands, reliable maps are nearly impossible. The Navigators constantly re-explore where things are shifting, providing this information to traders and travelers, for a fee of course.
Starslayers: A militant force that handles threats from elsewhere in the Overworld, especially Living Dungeons