The Lion's Arch of long ago was gone, its only remaining memory consisting of the battlements that survived the great waves from the rising of Orr. When Zhaitan, the undead Elder Dragon, brought long-sunken Orr back to the surface, all lands surrounding the Sea of Sorrows were awash in great waves. Lion's Arch was almost utterly destroyed, and it its place was left a swamp of broken ships, snapped trees, and dead creatures.
Out of that morass, the new Lion's Arch arose over the past hundred years. The town was re-established by pirates and corsairs looking for a safe haven, and salvage crews reclaiming the flotsam and jetsam that had washed ashore. It soon blossomed into a cosmopolitan trading center.
The city showed its recent origin. Some of the newer buildings were stone, but most of the city was of wood. The original structures were built from the remains of wrecked ships tossed up on the beach, and that architecture so defined the city that even new construction was built along the lines of hulls and keels as opposed to walls and roofs.
It was a scratch-built city, a lash-up made permanent, a temporary site that might yet outshine Divinity's Reach or the Black Citadel or even the asuran city of Rata Sum.
The Great Bazaar occupied a low spot surrounded by hills near the center of town. Great posts were driven into the hills, and from those posts were strung rope riggings and lines, the entire web covered by sheets of sailcloth dyed blue.
From above, the patchwork of sails looked like a choppy ocean, and from below the cooler, sheltered market felt like it was cradled at the bottom of a shallow azure sea.
Text excerpts from Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon, by Jeff Grubb and Matt Forbeck