(from the back cover)
To the east of the Commonwealth of Arcadia lies a realm of shifting sands and shifting alliances. The skies above the Badlands are a battlefield between the Pilots' Guild and bands of airship pirates. Ironskeep tacit, or perhaps actual, support of air piracy has led to a coal embargo imposed on them by the Pilots' Guild. Industry and railways desperate for coal have turned to the black market for coal.
Harpers Ferry is the heart of the black market for everything. It is a notorious frontier town known for corruption and vice. Criminal gangs operate with impunity as they support river piracy, addiction, gambling, and even an illegal slave market. Yet, the town is also the destination for the rich as they attend safaris or indulge in vices away from the public eye of New Arcadia. For the right price, anything can be bought in Harpers Ferry, especially the politicians.