Background for the City of Mahr-Bèl
Mahr-Bèl is not the capital of Sorth it has no official government, even though slavery has been outlawed here over 3 centuries ago, the city is in the grips of the Scorios Capitalists who appointed themselves to govern, the mine workers, mining the wealth of Scorios, in the form of regular and white coal, that fund the cities’ elite are now little more than slaves and are treated as poorly and taxed to the point of starvation.
The head of the Larimar capitalists, Gabbro Sterling, rules the city with an iron fist, and ensures the poor pays their dues, so that the rich can retain their matchless wealth, Gabbro is not above influence, most of which comes in whispers from his wife, the eccentric Coquina Sterling. She is an obsessive compulsive needing, everything to be in its place, neatly tucked away, out of mind out of sight. In her extravagance, Coquina has no desire to see the plight of the coal panners, they are thusly separated from the city centre and hardly any miner dares to enter the confines of the CBD.
Coquina insisted, days before their wedding that all those employed by the city wear uniforms, in black, white and grey only; her distain for colour was evident even then and the fellow urbanites quickly caught on, devoid of any colour Mahr-bèl is now a city of black and white, a quality that penetrated its whole governance, separating its citizens. All for the Order which needs to be at the order of the day, the city is consequently impossibly neat, clean and organized.
White coal is the main source of energy used; it burns hotter, cleaner and longer than its black twin. It is subsequently far more expensive, Doubtlessly Coquinas parvenu had its part to play in this decision, still and all this was a good thing; Mahr-Bèl is a cold wet city with heavy snow in the winter months. The construction of the city is no less cold, filled with tall angular concrete structures, steel beams and black, grey and white marble. All natural soil has been covered in concrete, and at its borders every inch of land is mined. There is little plant life here and all of its food is imported to Mahr-Bèl harbour.
The harbour lies to the east of gilded city centre mansions. The elite needs to travel west through the Hayune stretch, (a gateway through the city slums to protect the privileged from the sight of the poor) to Scorios station from where coal is transported further west, transported north through the midlands, up to the Ar Ramlah desert region (the desert of the scattered assassins), and down to the icy south. North of the harbour and forming a ridge around Mahr-Bèl is the poorest parts of the city and the Periclades, ending in the north with coalers-cove, and the Marbel-cliffs to the south.