The city is not structured in any way that can be called sane. It's all old stone and waterways with wooden structures built over and around it like a human's bird nest built on stone trees. The old stone can blunt the power of the weirding, some of it simply so twisted the weirding can no longer touch it. A few old stone towers still stand and in them the Merchant Lords live and dine, their wealth bought at awful cost of life and limb by both their kin and those who work for them. For to trade beyond the city is to brave the weirding in the wild and not even magicians do that alone any longer.
The few magicians that live in the city have their own towers made of glass and dreams,forged from shadows and death. No one enters them for they can call the weirding up and set it upon those who would harm them and all are old, as much wracked by age as by the weirding. Some are not even human at all now and others have become monsters that dwell in places even shadows fear to tread.
Below them are weirdcasters, those sensitive to the shape and motion of the weird but wise enought to not desire being a magician. The more human one is, the more work one gets though the profits are meagre as most are snatched up by Merchant Lords to work for them. It is easy to claim to be one, harder to survive even if you are one. Screw up and you risk behing engulfed in the weirding to become a weirdling, a creature once human that draws the weirder to them: they are often killed upon sight.
They are artisans and traders in the city, but most work in service to the Merchant Lords. The average citizen lives in the absconded parts of the city where the weirding thrives and lives are pretty much struggles to survive. Those whose families succeed are Citizens. Everyone else is a scavenger living on the fringes of the world like boils on the arsehole of humanity, as one wag put it some years ago.
Among the scavengers of the city is Ardyn, young and grim for it who serves as a runner between places and has lasted six wearying months at it with a small hidey-hole to call her own and little else beside. At least one Lord Merchant is after her services with the kind of offer one cannot refuse and a few of her fellow scavengers are determined to claim her for their own, boil her down to the bones and sell her as lucky talismans. As she survived the weirding storm that turned her family into fire-shadows, they are not the first to have tried so but are getting more persistent and luck alone is not the safety one gains from allies.
Chance or something like it collides her life with that of Zel, a boy whose age may be close to her own. The weirding has shattered and scarred him but he, too, is a survivor, and his pain when the weirding comes makes him a weirdcaster of a kind. It's enough for them to survive and begin seeking a way out of their lives, a search that leads them deep under the city in search of answers to questions most are wise enough not to ask.
For this is a world of mysteries and the weirding is but one of those.