[Excerpt from a book on Dunwall city districts]
For more than two decades, a small number of slaughterhouses sat along the Wrenhaven, out away from the finer quarters of Dunwall due to the blood, rats and stench associated with processing meat. Independent whaling ships brought in the occasional leviathan and barges delivered herds of blood oxen. An individual slaughterhouse might fold due to mismanagement, but the number stayed roughly the same, producing the meat, leather, and grease byproducts needed across the capital city.
Only when the Rosebury [sic - see below] processing treatment was discovered did the whaling trade begin to rise in prominence, driven by the many new uses for the much more volatile refined whale oil, including military and security uses. Early into Empress Jessamine Kaldwin's brief reign, the well-known inventor and natural philosopher Anton Sokolov introduced a series of devices that would begin to see deployment across Dunwall, directed by the Royal Spymaster, Hiram Burrows.
With this lucrative turn of events, the number of slaughterhouses quadrupled, and the demand for fresh whales increased proportionately. Many districts immediately adjacent to what was suddenly known as Slaughterhouse Row began to change as families moved away to avoid the industrial fumes and offal runoff produced by the processing plants. Crime grew overnight, forcing the City Watch to redouble its efforts against Dunwall's gangs.