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The Witchocracy, officially Shud Zar Myrion Zar Koni, is also referred to as Hive of the Jet Sorrow and the City of Ratjinn. It is a city-state on the continent of Shoteka near the Firewater Straits. The Witchocracy also controls some territory in the straits themselves, such as Geshen, which are noted on the official map of Bas-Lag as being "oppressed".

Culture and Politics[]

The Witchocracy is ruled by a sorcerer-witch hierarchy, hence the country's common moniker. Nothing more specific about the government has been revealed.

It is likely that that Witchocracy has cultural similarities with Tesh, which has also been referred to as "a city ruled by witches".

Bounty hunters[]

A few bounty hunters from the Witchocracy have traveled deep into Rohagi for bounties at the behest of the Transcontinental Railroad Trust. At least one Witchocracy hunter, pursuing Stiltspear, was known to make bouquets of severed stiltspear hands outside of her tent.


The Witchocracy and its neighbor, Tesh, are known for their heavy use of strange thaumaturgies. The Witchocracy's thaumaturges are able to cast thalassomach hexes that close off parts of entire oceans to enemy vessels; these hexes were famously employed during the Tesh-New Crobuzon War to deny the New Crobuzon Navy access to the Firewater Straits, although they were broken several years after the start of the conflict.

The Witchocracy is also home to the eponymous witches, possibly distinct from thaumaturges. At least some witches are able to conjure so-called "dreamdevils" to attack enemies by "sleeping a hunt-sleep".


Tesh-New Crobuzon War[]

The Witchocracy was allied with Tesh during the Tesh-New Crobuzon War. After Tesh's surrender following the failure of their city-killer ritual, the Witchocracy continues to control the Firewater Straits and levies tariffs on trade vessels passing through.


  • The Witchocracy is first mentioned in The Scar. It plays a somewhat larger role in Iron Council, which also describes a witch from the city-state.

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