An arctic of only (now melting) ice is sort of boring, don’t you think? At least in comparison to the flights of Age of Exploration fancy. Why settle for just ice when you could have a magnetic Black Rock, a swirling whirlpool, and islands of pygmies? Check out this 1595 map:
Gerard Mercator’s (yes, that Mercator) based his maps and his descriptions in a letter to John Dee off older works. He describes a landmass divided into four lands by channeled through which water rushed into the whirlpool surrounding the Pole, and.”descends into the earth just as if one were pouring it through a filter funnel.” This unusual geography supposedly led to the deaths of 4,000 men from the expedition King Arthur had sent to the islands.
At the pole itself, in the center of the maelstrom, was a giant black, a mountain, Rupes Nigra--the Black Precipice. As Mercator writes: “Its circumference is almost 33 French miles, and it is all of magnetic stone. And is as high as the clouds...” It’s magnetism was said draw ships made with iron nails to their doom.
After reading about all of this, I think I know what the North Pole of the City’s world is like...
1 hour ago