The Aetheral Port of Gewic, and its dark twin, the slums beneath the city are the dumping ground of failed inventions, toxic waste and magical disasters. You didn't live long in the Slums of Gewic without being tough and cruel.
Some areas have a lingering connection to the primal forces of the world's birth. the Shadow Society and the Dark Circle both use these places for powerful magic. This is one of the two types of places where Changelings might be born (RPG concept)