- ...History lasts day to day in the city, and it keeps its secrets close.-Garrett
The City (aka The Eternal City) is the primary setting of the Thief series.
The city has been built layer upon layer over the centuries. Quarters built over older quarters down into the roots of history. Places like the House of Blossoms are built in the ruins and remains of the vanished quarters from the time when the Keepers still existed in the city. The many layers of the The Hidden City is located under the Old Cathedral. Each City built on the bones of the last. There are at least six or seven layers of previous Cities total. The Pit below the Cathedral was dug out to reach down into the layers below.
The City is apparently built on two main areas of land one half on what is known as 'the island', and the other half known as the mainland. The Great River flows inbetween, though there are several other rivers flowing through the city above and below ground. Few understand why anyone would want to live on the island. Raker's Ditch is said to have the prettiest girls on the island.
Most of the City's new architecture is the work of Eastwick built on top of the older Cities (and has been built since about NRy830 during the age of industry).
- South Quarter
- Old Quarter
- Old Town
- Wayside Docks
- The Hidden City (TEMP)
- The City in the Reboot has more of a Charles Dickens-esque Victorian or Edwardian feel to it (mid-1800s to early 1900s) (compared to the more medieval/renaissance & mechanist art deco influence of the old). The technology is less fantastical for its period (but looks like what the city in the old might look like through three or four hundred years of progress).
- There are electric fans (c. 1920-1930's in style), electric lights, and other technology one would expect from the industrial revolution going on just before and during the 20th century.
- Many people wear top hats and bowlers. General Victorian era men's wear and women's wear. Whereas in the old series men and women tended to wear general medieval to renaissance style clothing.
- The mechanical security cameras look like 1890s box cameras.
- The Baron's government is decidedly 20th century fascist in styling with lots of red and black.
- Guards however still lean towards the medieval. With the elite guards wearing something closer to the Puritan Solomon Kane. There are no firearms to be found.
- Buildings lean to a mix of late 1800s to 1930s wooden/plaster/brick architecture with the mix of old medieval stone fortresses here or there (but many of these look like they were foundations of an older city which the newer wooden city is built on top of).
- Opium and opium byproducts are a big thing, much like they were shortly before the turn of the twentieth century.
- In the Reboot universe, the City is set after 842 of the NRy calendar, it exists in a time of new industrial revolution, certain elements of the old games appear to exist as part of the history of this City.
- The BRy dating system appears to be a reference to Baron Bresling's reign.
- The Hammerites/Mechanists, Keepers, and Pagans represent old religions that were outlawed three times (but not consecutively), and are no longer practiced at least openly for several generations. Trickster was also worshiped in the distant past.
- The marsh-dwellers appear to be a nod to the Pagans.
- Mechanical Hammer appears to be a reference to both Hammerites and Mechanists.
- The war with Blackbrook (from Thief 2) occurred in the distant past.
- The Shalebridge fire (possibly a reference to the Shalebridge Cradle orphanage/asylum fire occurred a couple of generations ago, although this timeline appears to place events of original series much further back into Bresling dynasty)
- There were old plagues in the distant past (perhaps references to the undead plague mentioned in the old series).
- The clock tower appears to be built on the location of the old clock tower destroyed in Thief 3 (newspapers suggest that there have been many problems trying to rebuild it for many many years, some think the site is haunted or cursed), scaffolding still surrounds portions of the tower.
- The Watch are the new City Watch set up by the current Baron, and its said they are not like the old City Watch (a nod to the watch from the old games).
- The Crippled Burrick was moved from its Original Site (near Shalebridge) after the fires in 662 of the NRy calendar. This is a nod to the Crippled Burrick Pub's location in the original series.
- Moira Asylum appears to be in the location of the Moira Mansion in Thief: Deadly Shadows named after the widow Edwina Moira.
- The Forgotten Ruins appear to be the same Keeper Library and Compound as in Thief:Deadly Shadows just after several centuries of abandonment (only upper portions of the library are used by the The House of Blossoms). The rest of the city is built on top of it layer by layer over the centuries. Oddly enough the new Garrett finds aspects of the long dead Ancient religion to be 'strangely familiar' (implying reincarnation or genetic memory?). Or simply noting he has seen the same designs in The Old Chapel in Mourninside.