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Originally a sanct influenced deeply by Finnish culture, Pohjankaupunki is perhaps the city that's changed its character the most over the years. Pohjankaupunki consists of two cities - one on the surface and one of the seafloor (somewhat frivolously called "uptown" and "downtown" by the locals). For a long time the city on the surface, engineered using common Straylightian knowledge, was the larger of the two. The city on the seafloor, merely a torpedo base ran by the government at first, stayed as merely a research station experimenting on sediment mining for dozens of years.

All of this changed as the downtown station actually managed to serve its purpose: It was found that mining the sediment on the seabed was, with the right technology, actually a lucrative enterprise. Downtown quickly ballooned to house several dozen thousand citizens working in the mines and in every function of the city that the mining operations required. Uptown, at the same time, changed its character completely as it turned more into a station for handling shipping between downtown and the rest of the world than an honest, independent sanct of its own.

During the sediment rush, Pohjankaupunki's originally impressively large bureaucracies found themselves overworked, and the welfare system quickly ran out of money to handle all of the new immigrants. The response the city took was quite Straylightian: The bureaucracies were not made larger but their duties were scaled back. Their most important job is simply to ensure that Downtown is built according to stringent safety regulations that ensure that failure of one city compartment will not cause the entire city to be flooded and dozens of thousands of people to drown. The health and welfare system, on the other hand, has become very weak.

The descent of municipal welfare and the fact that the city is under very real constant physical pressure has made Pohjankaupunki one of the less pleasant places in Straylight to live. The rich capitalists who cashed in on the proceeds from the mines have prospered at the cost of the bitter underclass. Violence and robberies in the homes and corridors are common. The local aesthetics tend to go for the unadorned and, for some reason, rusty and wet - as if people somehow found the idea that the sea might come crashing down on them more comfortable than the thought of trying to ignore it.

Pohjankaupunki is under COSAC leadership.