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Cobsea is a medium-sized city and one of New Crobuzon's most important trading partners. The city was once part of an ill-fated railway venture by the Transcontinental Railroad Trust that was meant to connect the two cities, but the venture ran into difficulties due to terrain, native opposition, and financing.



Cobsea is run by a city council dominated by mercantile interests, although it lacks the heavy industry of New Crobuzon. Cobsea's government is notoriously unstable and each new government rarely lasts more than a few months.[1]


Cobsea is known for its weavings and its wines. Despite the governmental instability, Cobsea's economy functions fairly well.[1]

Law enforcement[]

Most of Cobsea's law enforcement is provided by gendarmerie, supplemented by bounty hunters. The actual number of gendarmarie is low enough that some members of the Iron Council believed their train could handle whatever Cobsea would send after them. [2]

Events of Iron Council[]

During the events of Iron Council, several of the bounty hunters and gendarmerie units that hunt the stiltspear, and later the Iron Council, come from Cobsea. In the wake of the Collective's uprising, several Crobuzoners also flee to the city-state. [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 February 2007. Dragon Magazine. Bas-Lag Gazetteer, 36
  2. 2.0 2.1 2004. China Mieville. Iron Council

Places and locations of Bas-Lag

Armada · Cobsea · Dreer Samheer · Gengris · Gharcheltist · Gnurr Kett· High Cromlech · Jangsach · Kar Torrer Kingdom · Khadoh · Maru'ahm · Myrshock · Neovadan · New Crobuzon · Salkrikaltor Cray Commonwealth · Shankell · Suroch · Tesh · Troglodopolis · The Brothers · Witchocracy · Yoraketche

Islands and minor territories

Bartoll · Basilisk Channel · Dancing Bird Island · Figh Vadiso · Firewater Straits · Galaggi Veldt · Geshen · Jheshull Islands · Nova Esperium · Qé Banssa · Rin Lor · The Shards


Bered Kai Nev · Fractured Land · Rohagi · Shoteka