Arcanum 1780: A New World
There is no city in the post-Gomorrah world like Philadelphia. There are other cities which are larger – Edo, Mexico City, Beijing to name but three – but no city is as cosmopolitan or industrialized. As London was once called “Old Smokey” and regarded as the world center of innovation, so Philadelphia is often called the “New Smokey” and regarded as London’s replacement.
The population of Philadelphia in 1780 is around 105,000 making it the largest city in the nation after four decades of unprecedented building and public works programs. The city is ringed and dotted with coke plants, iron and steel foundries, textile mills and factories of all kinds. Raw materials flow in constantly by sky-barge, ship and cart and finished goods from ships to shoes flow out again by the same methods.
The constant effluvium from so many chimneys shrouds the city in an almost perpetual cloud of smoke, which has already stained the buildings. When the frequent fogs roll in from the river, the smoke mixes with it to form smogs that are only cleared by weather mages when they grow too thick and noxious.
The smoke and smog shrouded streets make a perfect background for the many intrigues and plots of the capitol from petty thievery to the grand espionage of nations and machinations of the nobility. It’s street are packed with a diverse set of citizens, from the various nations of old Britain, native Indian tribes, orphans of French and Spanish origin and so many more, all speaking their own languages as well as English.
If you’re tired of New Smokey, you’re tired of life.