The city of Glibmark was, in its heyday, one of the greatest metropolises on the continent. Like many cities, it suffered badly from urban decay, and so it expanded constantly outward, growing new suburbs for those fleeing the rotting urban core. Despite this, it was hailed as a city rich in culture and art and innovation, full of bistros and street cafes and urbane delights, famed for its poultry dishes and artful omelets.
Then the great plague of '48 swept the city, possibly caused by a tainted omelet. By the end of the summer, seventy percent of the city-dwellers had succumbed, and Glibmark found itself a metropolis without a populace. The city had been built to last--the people, not so much.
The forest moved in. Weeds found cracks in the concrete and pushed them wider. Sacks of chicken feed got damp and sprouted. Saplings grew in gutters. Vines crept up buildings and slowly, the woods swallowed the edges of Glibmark whole.
The survivors of Glibmark began a peculiar slow-motion retreat towards the urban core. As the edges of the city were reclaimed by the voracious woodlands, people moved inwards. They would live in an area as long as possible--years, even decades, maintaining their shops and homes--but eventually the forest would creep in around them. Those so inclined stayed in the woods, clearing saplings and vines from their dwellings and henhouses and watching the city slowly fall away from them. Those who were not so inclined would pick up and move inward, to the more civilized zones closer to the core.
Everyone knew that eventually the forest would devour Glibmark. Surviving a plague of that magnitude makes one inclined to be philsophical about such things. The population of Glibmark felt that they no longer needed so much of their city, and the woods were welcome to it. The roads were kept clear, life went on as normal in the core, but the city was on the retreat.
Travellers to the woods around Glibmark today may notice the lampposts, built long ago by the finest magelectricians, which remain lit, despite roots and vines and upheavals...and of course, the feral chickens.
Fooling around with a very loose rendering of a cityscape--it's pretty slapdash, obviously, but I was in a mood to get the visual meat down, and not much for sweating the fiddly bits. Painting so loose is a struggle for me--I keep wanting to go "Wait, let me just detail this one bit here!"--but it's probably healthy, and I really just wanted the idea slapped out and down and out of my brain.