Wyrm’s Pass: The Town Underground
Though many purist historians would like to neatly severe the histories of muggles and muggles, it cannot be denied that when it comes to westward expansion there can be very little division. The call of California, of gold, of wide lands and new opportunities called to magical and mundane alike. The trip was only mildly safer for wizards and witches. Flight, of course, was an option, the AWC came down hard on those who made themselves visible to muggles while in midair, and even established a new office, the Department of Trade Regulation and Transportation in in 1852 to police it (the TRT).
Poor magical families, that couldn’t afford reliable brooms or other means of aerial conveyance, took the same roads as their muggle counterparts, and encountered many of the same dangers. After nearly a decade, numerous magical way-stations were established along the westward roads, but few ever grew to the size of a proper town or community. One such location, however, became a thriving center of magic travel, and became one of the wizarding world’s most unique communities.
Wyrm’s Pass became a place where many witches and wizards ended their journeys, located in northern Utah just south of King’s Peak. Unlike many magical settlements, which were generally built adjacent to muggle ones, Wyrm’s existed as an independent stronghold for magical travelers that avoided detection by the simply expedient of remaining underground. Literally.
The founder of the outpost, Johannes Eiffel, had never intended to make it all the way to California, or even really settle down. An explorer and magizoologist, Eiffel was forced to stop his travels after being wounded by a savage wampus, and stumbled upon a series of caves where he took shelter. After exploring their depths and lengths, Eiffel was astounded by their beauty and the breed of magical fungi that illuminated their depths. He eventually found a path that led all the way through the mountains to the other side, and began to market himself as a guide through the caverns. To ensure custom, he also began to spread rumors of the fearsome “Rocky Mountain Wyrm.”
Eiffel’s plan worked…mostly. Some magical families, so fatigued from the hardships of travel, elected to stay in the caverns with him. By 1880, the residents of Wyrm’s pass drew up an official charter and elected a mayor, Hannelore Wisseau. Eiffel was outed from authority when his little fiction about the monstrous wyrm was found out. He vanished into the caverns and has not been seen since.
Wyrm’s Pass remains the only subterranean wizarding community in the known world. Though not a center of travel anymore, it attracts much by way of tourism due to the natural splendor of its many caverns…though some natives, if pressed, will admit that some of that natural splendor took a lot of work to achieve.