The city and the Spire are divided a layer of solid adamantium called "The Wall." Heavy gateways through the Wall enable carefully controlled passage between the two parts of the hive.
Hive City is divided between six manufacturing empires known as Houses. Each House exists in its own part of the hive and governs its own affairs quite separately from the other Houses. The "Hivers," as the population is called, live in dark, cramped and polluted conditions, never seeing the sun from the day they are born to the day they die. The air they breathe is recycled from above and grows ever more bitter and poisonous as it filters downwards. Even the water is distilled from the discharge of the upper hive and their food is factory produced chemical nutrient, algae-based or spun from corpse starch. Conditions are crowded and insanitary, and, as the hive deepens, the darker and the less habitable the environment becomes.