New Ark City is the only surviving (non-hidden) arcology from before the Apocalypse. In the centuries since the end of the Time of Troubles, the city has outgrown the original confines of the arcology, which now forms the base of the towers that stretch into the sky. The towers are clustered into five groups, imaginatively called North Spire, East Spire, South Spire, the Broken Spire, and the Tower of Ark. The spires are further subdivided into regions, each of which amounts to a town in its own right, such as Zep (the Zepplin docks), Witchtown (the bohemian magical crafts area), or Poisonville (the sewage and chemical/industrial factory area). Monorails connect the spires high above the roof of the arcology, and the air teams with countless magical small craft and people with their own means of flight. Generally speaking, the higher off the ground, the higher status of the area. There are slums outside the base of the arcology called the Middens, where the cast-off of the city subsist on its cast-offs, and outlaws hide. Once the arcology carefully recycled everything, but now much is thrown away as not being worth the energy it would take to break it down for re-use.
New Ark City is ultimately run by Gax, the Giant Thaumaturgic Brain of the arcology. Unfortunately the added size of the city, as well as violations of the original parameters of the arcology, have overtaxed Gax and its decisions are often slow in coming or seem capricious. While most of the city’s systems are run and kept in working order by Gax, the day to day political decisions have devolved upon the Council of Technocrats–a corrupt hereditary aristocracy. Each titled Technocrat has charge of one of the city’s infrastructure systems, e.g. Palliser, Duke of the Department of Water; Laerminel, the Earl of Traffic, etc. Because of their longevity, most of the highest ranked Technocrats are Elves, with a smattering of Dwarves.
Because the city has outgrown the arcology, it is no longer self-sufficient. Although the hydroponic gardens and magical reactors are still producing, much of the city’s food is now imported from surrounding farmlands. Trade goods circulate to and from the city, on Zeppelins, by water, or on caravans traveling along Thunder Road, the high-speed mag(ic)lev line that spans the Sea of Grass.
New Ark City is home to millions, of widely mixed races, both pre-Apocalyptic (Elves, Dwarves, Humans) and post (Cyborcs, Pigsies, Galts, Starchildren, Seronids, etc.)
Magic is ridiculously common in New Ark City; much of it wouldn’t even remain standing without it. Most technomagical devices in the city, including most weapons (save those powered by the user with an Arcane Background) and vehicles, are powered by broadcast power; that is, they get their energy from the magic beamed throughout the city from the Tower of Ark. Outside the city, starting with parts of the Middens, broadcast power is unavailable and most devices no longer work. Adventurers who intend to operate beyond the confines of the city will usually equip themselves with muscle-powered weapons such as swords and bows. Gadgets with self-contained power can be created, but it’s a hobbyist skill (much like black powder guns are today, or clothing that meets hard-core re-enactors standards for correctness of materials); commercially available items use broadcast power because it’s cheaper and makes them lighter. You can either custom order items that can work outside the city or build them yourself using the relevant Skill. Note that none of this applies to characters powers that are covered by their Arcane Backgrounds; the power for those comes from their Power Points, however defined by their trappings.
Adventurer is a recognized, if not completely respectable, profession in New Ark City, much like bounty hunting in our society. In fact adventurers often are bounty hunters. Generally adventurers are freelancers, getting their assignments from small-time Adventure Agencies. Some of the more prestigious adventuring firms like Winchester Orichalcum employ a handful of full time licensed agents, others, like The Sleepless have a nearly-faceless interchangable army of operatives ready to investigate or lend a strong arm where necessary. PCs will begin as freelancers, though they might harbor ambitions of forming an adventuring company of their own. Licenses are not required for the basic level of adventuring, but no person of refinement or wealth would dream of hiring an unlicensed adventurer directly–unless plausible deniability was required.