The metropolis of Tol is a warren of winding tunnels and greatopen halls, nestled in a network of caverns in the Machine God’s flesh. A hundred thousand souls inhabit Tol, labouring each day to keep its great machines running, tapping the hundreds upon hundreds conduits of raw oil that run through the metal that the city is housed in, funneling them into a great reservoir outside the city, purifying the content and sending it pouring back out into the Great Maker’s steel veins. In return for their faithful service, the people of Tol reap their god’s bounty – they mine the metals their city is housed among and transform it, through craft and hard work, into the many and different kinds of tools and components that are needed throughout Claslat.
Some neighbourhoods are built in enormous halls, hundreds of yards high, with the ceiling irregularily illuminated by electrical cables flashing up there, and the floor broken up by bottomless chasms and enormous, grinding cogwheels. Barracks of iron and steel, each twenty floors high or more, are built there, with row after row of soot-dirty windows peering out over the crowds pouring forth between them. Factories are clustered along the walls, gigantic structures of concrete bound in black jade that emit a constant rumble of machinery, their chimneys belching smoke and flame. The air is hot, thick and filled with fumes that rise up from the underground. Electrical lights shine from the walls, spreading a bright and piercing illumination that is still ultimately unequal to chasing away the gloom from the dark alleys and corners.
Tunnels connect the halls, a maze of grating-clad paths, stairways, catwalks, dark alcoves, and naked machinery rumbling where parts of the walls have been stripped away for their much-needed metal. A lively trade prospers along the sides of these pathways, with merchants setting up shop in oilcloth tents along the sides, accosting passerbys with offers of food, decorations, talismans, music, protection, sex… all theirs for a small sum in Claslat’s currency, the almighty Glot.
There are dark corners of the city where even the Regulators walk only in large groups, abandoned warehouses, condemned tunnels, wrecked factories. The lights burn low in those places, and the machine-organs of the Great Maker run with hisses and spits of leaking conduits, showering the tunnels with sparks and drops of scorching fluid. Here the Lumpen dwell, eking out a meagre living by whatever means remain to them. No one goes there unless they are out on a dark errand. No one returns from there unless they are strong and cunning.
Intermetropolis tram lines run through Tol, traversing dark tunnels of their own that bind together the four main halls of the city. Members of the Tripartite may ride the trains at their convenience, and members of the Populat when going to and from distant workplaces. The Tripartite portions of the trains are pleasant spaces with well-stuffed leather chairs, and discreet Harvesters offering snacks and refreshments to anyone who wants them. The Populat parts are sparse, with standing space only, and often dirty and in worse repair.