Thaumatechnology - in a world where straight magic has an unnerving tendency to get the user killed, either by magical catastrophe or by being lynched by an upset mob, this is a much safer form of magical use… Even if it does occasionally explode.
The city was cursed many years ago. Since then it has not stopped raining. The gutters are inhabited by eels and the doors are on the first floor, coated with pitch. On a bad day, you can see the water level rise above the ground floor windows. Carts have both wheels and bladders filled with air to keep them afloat. And yet everyone is surprisingly dry.