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"This dusty city dreamed up in bone and brick, a conspiracy of industry and violence, steeped in history and battened-down power, this badland beyond my ken."
Yagharek's thoughts upon entering New Crobuzon

New Crobuzon is a city-state in Bas-Lag and the primary location for the events of Perdido Street Station as well as a secondary location in Iron Council. The city of New Crobuzon is composed of numerous neighborhoods, species, social groups, and a wide mix of cultures and infrastructure that can vary from block to block.


The original city of Crobuzon was founded around 1,800 years ago as a small village near the coast of the Iron Bay, at the mouth of the Gross Tar river. Crobuzon's prosperity rendered it a favorite target for pirate attacks and, 100 years after its founding, a particularly large raid burnt the city to the ground.

After the burning of their city, Crobuzon's inhabitants migrated to the confluence of the River Tar and River Canker, where they refounded their city and named it New Crobuzon. Despite the renaming, the original dating system that had been used since the founding of the first city, Anno Urbis, was retained.

Pirate Wars (1100–1545)[]

See: Pirate Wars

The Pirate Wars were two rounds of warfare fought between New Crobuzon and several rival maritime city-states, including Suroch. The wars ended in 1545 with the dropping of two Torque bombs and three Colourbombs on Suroch, rendering the city and its surroundings uninhabitable.

Full Years (1352–late-1500s)[]

The Full Years followed New Crobuzon's victory against the island nation of Khadoh in the Battle of the Torpid Coast during the first round of the Pirate Wars. As this period of economic prosperity drew to a close, the New Crobuzon government commissioned the construction of the Grand Easterly in a desperate attempt to prove that its golden age had not yet ended.

The Grand Easterly, which proved to be an ineffectual battleship during the Pirate Wars, was believed to have sunk a few years after its construction.


The events of Perdido Street Station and The Scar occur during this time.


See also: Tesh-New Crobuzon War

The events of Iron Council occur during this time.



The epoch of the New Crobuzon calendar is set at the original founding of Crobuzon, a century before its razing and subsequent reestablishment as New Crobuzon. All years are recorded as "anno urbis", or "city year".


New Crobuzon has a 12 month calendar, although only 11 months have been mentioned. The known months are:

  • Lunuary - Follows New Year's Eve in New Crobuzon and likely corresponds with January
  • Soluary - Follows Lunuary, indicating that it correlates with February, roughly early spring.
  • Swiven - Corresponds to March. Swiven 15th marks a holiday, Badspirit Eve.
  • Chet - Corresponds to April.
  • Melluary - Corresponds to May.
  • Tathis - One of the early months of summer in New Crobuzon. Likely corresponds to June or July.
  • Sinn - Another summer month in New Crobuzon. Likely corresponds to either July or August.
  • Octuary - One of the autumn/late summer months. Likely corresponds to September.
  • Rinden - One of the autumn months that follows Octuary sometime later.
  • Arora - Another autumn month. Follows after Rinden
  • Dust - A likely winter month, Dust seems to follow the month of Arora.

Days of the week[]

New Crobuzon seems to have a seven-day week, although the placement of the days in the week relative to one another and their real-world analogues are difficult to discern. The known days are:

  • Fishday - Might correspond to Thursday.
  • Chainday - Might follow Fishday.
  • Skullday - Follows Chainday.
  • Shunday - Follows after Skullday and likely corresponds to Sunday. The Sisters of Darioch hold religious services on this day.
  • Dustday - Seems to follow Shunday
  • Blueday - Likely a weekday, sometime after Shunday but before Fishday.
  • Dockday - Likely another weekday, sometime after Shunday but before Fishday.


New Crobuzon is ostensibly a parliamentary republic, although it bears a closer resemblance to an oligarchy in practice. Still, elections ensure that every citizen has a voice, no matter how faint.

The New Crobuzon government is based on Strack Island, a fortified island located at the confluence of the River Tar and River Canker.

Office of the Mayor[]

See also: Historical Mayors of New Crobuzon

The mayor is the effective head of state in New Crobuzon, although parliament controls the budget while the home secretary controls the civil service.

The mayor influences foreign and domestic policy through direct control of the city's militia through the Lord Captain of the Militia, along with the powers of arrest, torture, and Remaking. In good times, the mayor and parliament work together in a sort of political symbiosis that enables effective and timely policymaking. In bad times, political schemes and revenge have no bottom threshold, and it is not uncommon for political rivals to be subjected to remaking, blackmail, or imprisonment.

The mayor's cabinet[]

A cabinet of between six to seventeen lords and ministers is appointed by the mayor at the beginning of his or her term. The precise configuration of the cabinet varies from mayor to mayor, but generally includes:

  • The Lord Privy Seal
  • The Minister of Commerce and Industry
  • The Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • The Minister of Justice and the junior minister for Remaking
  • The Lord Captain of the Militia
  • The Minister of State
  • A Minister Without Portfolio.


Parliament generally consists of around 500 members, although the exact number depends on the political climate and timing. Parliament is almost entirely composed of humans, with a few xenians whose elections are elevated by special mechanisms to "ensure reputable representation". Legend holds that parliament was founded on Jabber's orders to rule after his disappearance.

Parliament has a specific wax seal, featuring the "stylized wall, chair, and paraphernalia of office", which is used to seal important documents.

Parties and elections[]

See also: Political parties of New Crobuzon

The parliament is divided into at least a dozen main political parties, although the ruling party is usually the Fat Sun or, more rarely, Finally We Can See. Parliamentarians are elected annually by eligible voters - primarily land owners and those who pay sufficient tax, but also common people who are selected as part of the suffrage lottery, a mechanism intended to "add the voice of the common man to the expertise of the wealthy". In practice, winners of the suffrage lottery often sell their tickets to "vote shapers", who use their vote to promote special interests.

During the Tesh-New Crobuzon War, after the suppression of the Commune rebellion but prior to the war's conclusion, parliament was divided into political camps based on their views of the war. These included the Victorians - hardline hawks who pushed for the prosecution of the war against Tesh at any cost, the Concessionists - the middle-ground party, and the Suitors - pursuers of peace at any cost.


Main article: New Crobuzon Militia

New Crobuzon is the foremost military power in Bas-Lag, second to none. Its primary armed forces are the New Crobuzon Militia, who function as army, navy, marines, and secret police as needed. The power of the militia is supplemented with special war Constructs and a formidable surveillance apparatus. Procurators, as commissioned intelligence officers, may be considered a part of the military.

Merchant Navy[]

The New Crobuzon Merchant Navy is one of the most capable navies in Bas-Lag, able to project power thousands of miles from New Crobuzon if needed. The navy is largely composed of steam-driven armored warships. Dreadnoughts like the NCS Morning Walker are some of the largest ships in the fleet.


One of the most defining features of New Crobuzon is the large wealth disparity between classes and neighborhoods. Many buildings, especially in the poorer neighborhoods, are dilapidated. Squatters are not uncommon, and the lack of a functioning welfare system and benevolent government leaves thousands of people struggling to make ends meet. This problem is particularly prevalent amongst the Xenians within the city: the garuda have occupied a ruined neighbourhood on the edge of the city, with many of them living in disused skyscrapers which were originally built to house wealthy new homeowners.

Street urchins can often be seen roaming the streets of New Crobuzon and many children scavenge scrap and salvage to sell. Prostitution is rife amongst the lower-strata within the city.

Several affluent areas exist within New Crobuzon, occasionally butting up against the poorer areas. Entirely different neighbourhoods can be adjacent: one neighborhood may host thriving businesses and commerce whilst the other is dirty, lawless and infested with crime.


Main article: Currency (New Crobuzon)

New Crobuzon has several different forms of currency, including "stivers", "shekels", "guineas", and "nobles", in addition to gold and other articles of trade. The exact value of some of these denominations relative to others is unclear.


New Crobuzon is home to numerous sapient species. Humans are the majority race within the city, followed by the Cactacae, Khepri, Vodyanoi, and Garuda.


New Crobuzon has an estimated population of 3,510,000. This is broken down into around 73% human, 10% vodyanoi, 8% khepri, 3% wyrmen, 2% cactacae, 2% remade, and 2% other, including hotchi, Stiltspear, and garuda.

Major xenian races[]


The Cactacae community in New Crobuzon is based around and within a massive, dilapidated, greenhouse-like structure called The Glasshouse. They are allowed to exist as a nominally independent community within the city, and entry to the Glasshouse is forbidden to non-cactacae, even militia.


The bulk of the Garuda population live in Spatters. There, many Garuda live within old skyscrapers that allow them to fly from the extreme heights offered by the buildings. The Garuda have been ostracised by the other races within New Crobuzon, as they hail from the distant Cymek and are therefore perceived as outsiders. The Garuda's unique traditions and customs may also have generated wariness among New Crobuzon's population.


The Vodyanoi compose a minority of New Crobuzon's population, but are disproportionately represented in marine industries due to their amphibian physiology and ability to manipulate water. The Vodyanoi play a vital role in maintaining the city's economy and the export of fish. They also the operate machinery along the riverbanks, enabling vehicles to transport important materials around the city.


Many Kephri make a living by selling their vibrant artwork, and whole communities of their species have established themselves in various neighborhoods throughout New Crobuzon; trendy cafes, thriving businesses and a bustling nightlife have been forged within these popular neighbourhoods. Despite their off-putting appearance and attendant communication barriers, the kephri have integrated into New Crobuzon more effectively than other races.

Boroughs and districts[]

New Crobuzon Map

A map of New Crobuzon.

See also: List of Bridges in New Crobuzon

Wealthy districts[]

The wealthy districts boast good security under the watchful eye of the Militia. All of the wealthy districts are clustered around the center and northeast of New Crobuzon. In addition to the less-notable Mog Hill and Mafaton districts, the wealthy areas include:

  • Chnum - The district is home to merchants and factory owners, as well as the large mansions they inhabit. It is well-guarded and generally a dull but pleasant place.
  • The Crow - A fashionable commercial and shopping district that is spread out around Perdido Street Station. It has three main shopping streets.
  • Flag Hill - A hill district that has seen recently expanded luxury housing. The district is divided into old money at the top and the nouveau riche who live in the more contemporary-style houses around the bottom.
  • Ludmead - Home to some of New Crobuzon's old money as well as the city's most prestigious university, the aptly-named New Crobuzon University.
  • Pelorus Fields - A wealthy area featuring "enclaves like prosperous villages", populated largely by clerks and office workers. Pelorus Fields features gardens, churches to Jabber, as well as shoe markets and tea dens.
  • Salacus Fields - One of the city's most fashionable districts, inhabited by artists, poets, and crowded with tea-houses and bars.

Poorer districts[]

The poorer districts, as well as ghettoes and slums, are notorious for their poor construction, haphazard street planning, and open sewers that flow through the areas.

  • Bonetown - Named after the ribs that arch over the district. It is regarded as a shabby place where nothing good lives, and for good reason. The crime lord Motley has his base of operations here.
  • Dog Fenn - A place of markets that sell stolen goods. The district is distinguished from the other poor areas by the presence of the last station on the skyrail line, Dog Fenn Station.
  • Howl Barrow - A small slum known for its homosexual, transvestite, and theatre community.
  • The Ribs - The shards of an ancient, long-dead behemoth that once roamed Rohagi. The Ribs are something of a tourist attraction.
  • Sheck - Well-known for its anti-Xenian unrest and consequently home to its own militia tower. Numerous antigovernment figures, union organizers, journalists, and others live here.
  • Spit Hearth - Similar in culture to Shek, Spit Hearth houses temples and fringe religious orders, as well as numerous small shops and stone houses. The district is also home to the subterranean punishment factories that lie beneath where the borough meets the River Tar.
  • Skulkford - A poor area built over the older layers of New Crobuzon, known for its sweatshops and workers' pubs. The subterranean layers of the district are home to so-called "undergangs" who are reputed to no longer be fully human.
  • Spatters - A pure shantytown build from refuse and castoffs at the edge of the Rudewood. Spatters is, bar none, the poorest district in New Crobuzon. It is largely inhabited by garuda and home to a minor gang lord, Savage Peter.

Special and xenian districts[]

Most of the city's Xenian population is concentrated in a handful of special, often self-governing and self-policing, districts. These areas are, officially or unofficially, off-limits to the New Crobuzon Militia:

  • Brock Marsh - Also called the Scientific Quarter, this district is home to numerous laboratories, and various businesses have sprung up to support this cottage alchemical industry.
  • The Glasshouse
  • Kinken

Industrial districts and rails[]

Other notable locations[]

  • Grand Calibre Bridge - An expansive, broken swing bridge that spans the River Gross Tar at its widest point. The Grand Calibre Bridge was built was large cannon intended to protect New Crobuzon, but engineering and design failures resulted in the middle of the bridge collapsing.

Industry and technology[]

The technology of New Crobuzon is best described as steampunk. The science of punch-card computing is understood, and prior to 1805, Constructs were in common use. Airships and aerostats are common, and the city's militia use pepperpot revolvers, Gatling guns, and submersibles.

Carriages are the main form of transportation around New Crobuzon, although boats do traverse the main rivers that run through the city. Militia and the wealthier population are able to use dirigibles and the city's skyrail system, which connects at seven towers located around the city.

At one point, the city had a functioning weather-control tower, the cloudtower, manned by Thaumaturges. The cloudtower enabled New Crobuzon to fend off a Torque storm. Several centuries after its construction, the tower inexplicably ceased functioning and its full utility has never been restored. Presently, the cloudtower serves as a weather station for predicting the weather.

New Crobuzon is at the forefront of the science of remaking, practiced by the city's capable bio-thaumaturges. Used as a form of punishment against criminals, so-called Remade, which may be human, xenian, or animal, are used as slave labor, soldiers, and transportation. During the Tesh-New Crobuzon War, the city's militia were known to use remade whale-based submarines, referred to as ictineos, to move behind enemy lines.


See also: Drugs in Bas-Lag

Criminal activity is rife in New Crobuzon: drug-trading, extortion, rape and violence are just some of the cruel acts which have become part-and-parcel of everyday life in many areas of the city. The most common crimes are petty acts of theft and vandalism that result from the large wealth disparity. The militia presence is nearly nonexistent on the streets of poorer neighborhoods.


Sentences are handed down by Magisters, who hide their faces and operate under pseudonyms during court sessions. Oftentimes, the punishment for any significant crime is remaking.


The wealth disparity and borderline dictatorial rule by the Mayor and Parliament have caused several underground opposition groups to spring up. In Anno Urbis 1779, the largest of these was the underground newspaper, the Runagate Rampant.

By AU 1807, the Runagate Rampant has been largely overshadowed by the genesis of additional, more extreme groups such as Toro's Gang. Other groups, such as the Flexible Puppeteers, named in honor of late Runagate Rampant editor Benjamin Flex, and the Nuevists pursue other means of dissent.

External links[]

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