It does pose for an interesting question...
It probably is reasonable to say that Lion's Arch is about as destroyed as a city can be, short of being flooded by a tsunami and the ruins remaining drowned beneath the waves. However, that more extreme example has, of course, happened to Lion's Arch before. In the long run, Lion's Arch is just too valuable a site to remain abandoned indefinitely. The question is one of who will (re)claim it, and under what circumstances.
The obvious, and most likely explanation is that Lion's Arch will simply rebuild off its own back. Yes, there are challenges to be faced - but if there's the will, the extensive trading network that Lion's Arch has created probably gives them the means to overcome them. The Captain's Council might even take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild LA with some actual city planning rather than the haphazard way it was put up in its last incarnation, similar to the Great Fire of London.
If Lion's Arch and the Captain's Council themselves can't or won't rebuild, then Kryta will probably step in. While relations have normalised since, Kryta has probably never forgotten that LA used to be the Krytan capital, and given half an opportunity they'd probably like to reabsorb it either over or under the table. Plus, it's too valuable a site just to be left open. If Lion's Arch is left effectively abandoned, then Kryta could simply move in. Otherwise, if the LA citizens and authorities find they can't rebuild off their own bat while protecting themselves against other threats, Kryta could offer assistance... likely, however, conditional on Kryta receiving at least one seat on the Captain's Council (under the exceptional circumstances, the current Council may accept expansion of the Council in recognition of exceptional contributions). Jennah recognises the value of a cosmopolitan Lion's Arch, so the open door policy to all races would likely remain - however, Lion's Arch could, like Ebonhawke, become a de facto Krytan protectorate, and while everyone wants LA to continue its legitimate business as a multiracial trading hub, Kryta would probably use whatever influence it has to rein in LA's seedier side. Given that a pirate group played a big role in destroying this incarnation of Lion's Arch, then the next incarnation might be quite happy to readopt a hostile outlook towards pirates rather than its previous relatively permissive one.
The third most likely possibility, if everybody else drops the ball, is the centaurs seizing it. The centaurs are fighting Kryta because the centaurs themselves need arable land, after all - a Lion's Arch that remained mostly abandoned would make a tempting target that's softer than Kryta, and which could serve as the centre of a centaur nation that runs along the western edge of the Shiverpeaks from their current homeland north of the Harathi Hinterlands down to Timberline Falls. If the centaur leadership at this time was sane enough to prioritise establishing a homeland over settling old grudges, they could offer a peace with Kryta in exchange for recognising the new centaur nation (including release of prisoners), offer normalised relations to other interested parties such as the orders, and offer to reopen Lion's Arch as a port that's open to all, and I think the rest of Tyria would accept that (maybe begrudgingly, but if the centaurs make a good enough offer in exchange for acceptance, is it worth fighting over?)
I considered the tengu making another land grab, like they seem to have a tendency to do, but I don't think that will happen. Seizing Lion's Arch would put them in de facto control of the entire northern coast of the Sea of Sorrows. That might work if they kept Lion's Arch open as a port to non-tengu, but that would require them to give up at least some of their isolation. Trying to maintain their isolation and block off Lion's Arch along with the former D'Alessio Seaboard and Sanctum Cay would be just too big for the other powers of the world to ignore, and if they provoke too much, they'll probably find that their wall helps them even less when push comes to shove than a certain other wall helped Ascalon.
With all that said... most of these scenarios are going to take time. If they wanted Lion's Arch destroyed for the rest of the game's life - because they wanted to redirect players to congregate in other locations - they could, and in fact that would be more realistic than LA returning entirely to something similar to its former glory within a year or two.
draxynnicMember Since 20 Aug 2009
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