Existing in the contested Medial B cube, with Voxelia, Free Faces League, and Manifold Conservation Society territory all nearby and aerial routes to the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy easily accessible, the mountain community of Intercostia is a wartime haven for foreign intrigue and illicit trade.
Native Intercostians are almost universally Voxelian in ethnic origin, though fully 20% of the population is transient in nature (i.e. foreign traders, agents, and tourists) and is highly heterogeneous in ethnic makeup. Most native Intercostians adhere to the Unexpector faith, with the cults of Zevtwill and Lyvianne being most popular.
While the mayor of Intercostia is, in theory, elected democratically, the only candidates allowed to run are carefully vetted to serve the interests of the oligarchs, with any competition being discredited or quietly 'dissuaded' from running.
The altitude, terrain, and partially subterranean nature of Intercostia makes the hamlet difficult to bombard from the air or to take by ground assault. Even saturation bombardment would not completely destroy the community, as the several underground bunkers in Intercostia could harbor resistance for years at a time. Intercostia would, however, be somewhat vulnerable to blockades.
Industry & Trade
The official exports of Intercostia are granite, excavated from the mountains during the course of construction, and, to a lesser degree, finished luxury goods. Surrounding farmlands are subject to varying production levels, as the military conflict between Voxelia and the Free faces League means that political boundaries in the region are always in flux and collateral damage can occur at any time. Despite the relatively dangerous nature of the Medial B cube, much of Intercostia's economic activity comes from the tourism industry. The 'real' economic powerhouse of Intercostia lies in the black market. Intercostia, despite it's historical ties to Voxelia, respects the laws and foreign policy of that nation very weakly; there is a local saying that, "to the Intercostian oligarchs, the only real crimes are making a scene and getting caught." The community functionally serves as neutral territory for anyone with money, goods, or information to trade, regardless of national origin. Drugs, slaves, stolen resources, and weapons are common commerce items in the many basement "stockhouses" that make up the unseemly underbelly of Intercostian society. Many wealthy local families having at least one indentured servant under their control, and agents from all over the Manifold gather in local cafes to exchange nuggets of intelligence.
Guilds and Factions
The Intercostian oligarchs, as they are informally known, are the true ruling class of Intercostia. The oligarchs are the patriarchs of the most wealthy families in Intercostia, having risen to their positions of power through a combination of smart business acumen and ruthless political posturing. The only faction that stands openly in contrast with the oligarchs is the Navigator's Guild, as the Guild, while having no real interests in the internal politics of Intercostia, could cripple the town's economy with the stroke of a pen by diverting trade routes.
Because the valleys between The Ribs are relatively steep, many Intercostian structures are carved into the adjacent mountainsides or otherwise use the terrain as at least one wall, with bricks hewn from native stone plastered together to form structural elements. This architectural practice makes Intercostian buildings remarkably sturdy and well-insulated. The Medial B cube layer is bright and warm; with Intercostia lying well below the snowline, most residential and commercial rooftops feature 'victory gardens' to optimize the town's food supply, making these structures difficult to tell apart from the surrounding terrain when viewed from the air.
Intercostia is a small community nestled amongst The Ribs, a region of the Medial B3/Medial B6 cube edge mountain range famed for its finger-like extensions reminiscent of a set of ribs joined by a sternum. The major thoroughfares and boroughs of Intercostia are, as the name implies, located in the high valleys between the "ribs," with a series of highway tunnels and bunker networks cutting through the "sternum" to connect the boroughs.