Sharn: City of Towers

“I told you, they were a changeling! It is not my fault that-” Ah welcome back! Mind your step getting off the lightning rail, bit of a step down onto the platform. There we are. Yes Sharn, the illustrious City of Towers! The largest metropolis on the continent of Khorvaire in the beautiful kingdom of Breland. You know, the King of Breland, old Boranel, he used to adventure in this city when he was young. That was decades ago of course, during the Last War. Yeah take in the sights, the city is built on a series of plateaus, so it’s just hundreds of towers nestled together, with bridges connecting them, bigger than any thoroughfares in most cities. Some of those bridges even have shops along the sides!

Sharn has been a major city for longer than humans have been on Khorvaire. Ignore the propaganda, the old goblin empire of Dhakaan had a great city of Ja’Sharaat. Some of the deepest foundations still bear the marks of goblinoid craftsmen, at the height of their crafts, there may yet be a vault or two down there full of goblin treasures from ages past. The city couldn’t easily expand outward once it occupied the entirety of the plateaus, so people just built upwards. It’s one of, if not the, biggest ports in the world, so plenty of people are eager to make it big here. People kept building up and up, and with a bit of help from the ambient magic in the area, some of the towers reached a mile high! Yeah, don’t hurt your neck trying to see the tops, we’ll grab a sky-coach up to one of the middle districts and grab lunch.

You see, the city is split up both vertically and horizontally. Horizontally each of the plateaus serves to cluster different types of towers. You’ve got Central, Menthis, Northedge, Dura, Cliffside and Tavick’s Landing. Central is the nicest of the lot, while Dura is the worst. Beyond those you’ve got some special cases, specifically the Cogs and Skyway, a real duality. Skyway is up there, a district of mansions floating on a massive cloud above even the tallest towers. In the other direction, the Cogs are down under the foundations of all the Towers, they’re the industrial heart of Sharn. Just don’t wander there alone at night, it’s not safe, even for adventurers. 

The city is also stratified vertically. As my old mentor said, “grime flows downhill.” Well, technically he said… Actually, never mind, that’s close enough. Point is, the higher up you are, the nicer things will be. The roads will be better lit, the guards will be more alert and the food will be tastier. Even the top of Dura is a collection of decent residential towers, even if you are careful to lock your doors at night.

Sharn is an absolute hub for adventures. Even staying in the city there are plenty of chances for intrigues among the major powers that be, or delving into the ancient ruins that lie deeper than the cogs. Going further afield, you can often get aboard a ship headed to practically anywhere on the continent, or even the mysterious jungle continent of Xen’Drik, the land of fallen empires. You can also catch a seat on the Lightning Rail or aboard an elemental airship if you fancy adventurers inland.

Like I mentioned last time, it’s a great place to find a patron. The university regularly needed adventurous sorts to guard archaeological expeditions and all the Dragonmarked houses have enclaves here. You don’t know about the houses? Well, I’ll talk more about them another time. But the important thing to know is that they’re the absolute masters of mercantile commerce on the continent. My friend, Merrix, is one of the heads of House Cannith and leads a third of the House from his workshop here in Sharn. Here, I’ll introduce you, I’m sure he’ll have a job for you all. In the meanwhile, let me tell you about a funny thing that happened to a friend of mine…