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The Firewater Straits, also known as the Sanguine Straits, are a body of water located to the southwest of Rohagi.


The Firewater Straits border several known city-states, including Tesh, Geshen, Maru'ahm, and Shud Zar Myrion Zar Koni, also known as the Witchocracy.

The island-nations of the Straits are nominally independent of the Witchocracy, but are noted as being "oppressed". Geshen is one of the notable islands in the area.


Prior to and during Anno Urbis 1780, the Firewater Straits were too remote for New Crobuzon trade ships to reliably reach, making them infeasible as a trade route to the far side of Rohagi. However, by AU 1806 the straits had become a heavily-trafficked trade route for the merchants and traders of New Crobuzon and other city-states, such as The Brothers, thanks to agreements with the Witchocracy and advances in technology.

Events preceding the Tesh-New Crobuzon War[]

In the years preceding the outbreak of the Tesh-New Crobuzon War, Tesh and its close ally, the Witchocracy, had all but closed down the straits to New Crobuzon ships through sanctioned piracy and high tariffs which made passage uneconomical.

Tesh-New Crobuzon War[]

At the outbreak of the war, Tesh and the Witchocracy caste a potent thalassomach hex that shut the straits down to New Crobuzon Merchant Navy ships. It was not until several years after the start of the war, by 1806, that New Crobuzon thaumaturges managed to break the hex and allow the New Crobuzon navy to move about the coastline.


In the wake of the Tesh-New Crobuzon War, the Firewater Straits become known as the Sanguine Straits, in reference to the fierce and costly battles fought in its waters.


  • The Firewater Straits were first mentioned in The Scar. They featured more prominently in the background of Iron Council.
  • Carrianne is the only named character from the Firewater Straits.

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