Southwatch is not just a city divided into different districts and suburbs—it is also divided by how high up you live in the city. The more money, power, or prestige you have, the higher you live in the city. The old adage that crap rolls downhill is literally true in Southwatch.
The highest and most exclusive level of the city is the Aerie, where the airships of the wealthy and aristocratic families hover like jewels in terraformed paths and gardens. Here, the power players of Southwatch are constantly jockeying for position. Just as it's true that the higher you are in Southwatch, the wealthier you are, so is it true that the closer you are to the center of the airships tethered in the Aerie, the closer you are to the center of power. In the precise center is the huge airship of the house of Amberville, the hereditary rulers of the city. Close by are other powerful nobles, as well as the immense golden dome of the Caelimane Temple, which makes its headquarters in Southwatch.
The Heights lies below the Aerie, and it contains much of the bureaucracy of the city. The most upscale businesses, dining options, and entertainment can be found here. Four of the six universities are also located in this level of the city.
The Dark Cloud lies between The Heights and Midtown. See the Dark Cloud page for more information.
Midtown lies just below the Dark Cloud. Its lower levels are generally open to the sky, but the upper levels are encased by thick glass for safety and to protect against the cloud lowering. Midtown is full of upscale restaurants, stores, and general businesses. Because of its height, it is connected by skywalks going from building to building.
The Streets are where the majority of the stores, bars, and general shops are located. This is where the average person works and lives, either in separate houses or on the lower levels of city towers.
The Underground contains much of the heavy industry in town. The primary housing areas here could generously be called slums, and most are houses that have been cut up into multi-family dwellings. Skylights are the only source of natural light, allowing what little sunlight actually filters through the Dark Cloud to creep into the Underground in spots.
The Steamworks lies at the center of the city and houses most of Southwatch’s heavy industry. Giant steam generators located here provide most of the power for the city.
Downtown is the old part of the city and is filled with ornate buildings and art deco designs. This is one of only two districts that reach all the way to the Aerie. They are proud of this fact, and it is reflected in the high monthly rents that abound.
The Docks district is devoted to warehouses, piers, and the business of on-loading and off-loading people and cargo off of surface ships, so there are very few housing areas here. The Imperial Coast Guard also maintains a small base in the Docks.
Bakerstown is a fairly fashionable district. The South Beach area is organized into parks, amusement areas, and a boardwalk. It is known as the place for artists to hang out on the weekends to paint ocean scenes as well as outdoor portraits. People living here like the character of their older buildings and are resistant to upward expansion.
University Heights, as its name suggests, is known for its dedication to academics. Four of Southwatch’s six colleges are located in this district, so most of the businesses are oriented toward servicing the universities or the student population in general.
Webster Groves is primarily a residential district. People living here tend to be blue-collar workers, and businesses are typically limited to groceries, general notions, and clothing stores. There’s not a lot of haute couture in Webster Groves, and they’re perfectly fine with that.
Camden Town is the financial district of Southwatch. Even though Downtown is still the heart of the city, many of the banks and major industries have offices here, taking advantage of the lower rents.
Riverside is a fairly new district that has been experiencing a population boom. It is primarily a residential area for middle- and lower-class families who work in the Downtown area but can’t afford Downtown prices.
Bricktown is, to be polite, the slums of Southwatch. 90% of the inhabitants of Bricktown either work on the docks or in the industries located in the Underground. It is not a place you want to visit, and going into the Bricktown Underground is considered downright suicidal for anyone who’s not already a native there.
White Cliffs is the only other district to reach all the way to the Aerie. It is the newest addition to Southwatch, and it is also the only district that has no connectivity to the Underground, or at least, no official connectivity. White Cliffs was started as an artists’ colony and is home to the Royal Arts Academy.