Tarred Skies is a world similar to our own, set in the aesthetic and time period of the 1920s-1950s.
The core of Tarred Skies is a contrast between the affluent ruling corporate nobility in juxtaposition to the hardship of the common person. Where the nobility wage war with each other, the common folk spend their lives grasping for the luxury they see behind cloistered walls.
Tarred Skies focuses on a country sized super city called Langhyrst, and the darkness that lies just beyond the next corner in the shadow behind the next wall. Is it really safer behind the cold walls of Langhyrst, are the hungry Skethic and Huskworms easier to deal with than your kin in the apartment plotting your demise for your pocket watch.
A generation ago a new drug hit the market, Ethylphenidate, it was quickly picked up by production companies as a cure all and performance enhancer, and has brand names, flavours and styles. With the drug, also came the advent of magical phenomina all over the city, what was once the product of miracles, foul war machines or ancient ritual became the latest fad. The phenomina is know known as the Verve, for it's connection between vitality and energy, and it is now heavily regulated to maintain peace and order within Langhyrst, but it is an ever growing problem within the underground and outside of the city walls, where explosions of Verve events have smothered the area in toxic metaphysical growth known as Verve Marrow.
Ethylphenidate is a by-product of refining the product of Ethylfora, the fuel that keeps Langhyrst's industrial and utilitarian belly alive, and so it is a solution that is always in reach of the determined and resourceful.