Knives in the Dark
Politics of Sharn
POWER AND POLITICS
Editors Note: I may divide this page up at a later time, its a real block-o’-text as is
Sharn, the largest metropolis in Khorvaire, serves as a center for trade. commerce, and political intrigue. The dragonmarked houses consider themselves to be sovereign entities, and as such they prefer to avoid interacting with the crown whenever possible; as a result the houses conduct considerably more of their business in Sharn than in the royal capitals of the Five Nations.
THE GOVERNMENT OF SHARN
Bureaucracy mires Sharn’s political landscape. In addition to the massive amount of work involved in maintaining the city itself, Sharn also administers Brelish law to the surrounding region. collecting taxes and revenues on behalf of King Boranel. The city is filled with ministers, beadles, bailiffs, and minor functionaries of all shapes and sizes. This section focuses on the pinnacle of Sharn’s government; the people at the top, who have the power to set things in motion; to help, or to harm.
THE CITY COUNCIL
Many make the mistake of assuming that the Lord Mayor of Sharn holds the greatest power within the city. In fact. the City Council appoints the Lord Mayor, and the commanders of the Sharn Watch report to the Council.
The Council of Sharn is comprised of l7 councilors: one from each of the wards of the city, with Cliffside merged into Dura and a single councilor representing both Ashblack and Blackbones. The precise method by which a councilor is appointed varies from ward to ward. In theory, it is a diplomatic selection made by the leaders of the ward, but what it takes to he a “leader” varies considerably. In some wards. anyone with a certain amount of income or property can participate in ward councils and elections. In others, ward elections are entirely in the hands of trade guilds, noble families. or other power groups. While in theory each councilor has an equal voice, in practice the influence of a councilor is derived from his backers. The local merchants of Lower Menthis support Savia Potellas, and she knows better than to openly oppose Caskar Halavik. who has the backing of the Boromar Clan. If she stirs up too much trouble, she might wind up at the bottom of the Dagger River. However, she finds other ways to deal with Caskar and pursue her own goals—including hiring adventurers to upset his plans. Likewise, while each councilor is supposed to represent the interests of his or her ward. a councilor usually puts his backers first, his personal district second, and his ward third. Thus, the three councilors with ties to the Boromar Clan usually vote as a unit.
The City Council commands a variety of powers. The Council establishes the laws of the city, although if they wish to pass a law that completely contradicts the Code of Galifar or the traditions of Brelish Law, the crown or parliament might have something to say about it. Laws may vary per ward, allowing a councilor to shift the traditions of the city to benefit his backers. The Council also determines how to use the resources of Sharn, from taxes to the power of the Sharn Watch. Finally, the Council appoints the high officers of the city, including the Lord Mayor. The councilors do not appoint the city’s representatives to the Breland Parliament; following the democratic traditions of the nation, the three legislators are elected by popular vote, with every legitimate resident of Sharn having the right to participate. However, the Council manages and administers the election, and councilors can usually exercise a considerable amount of influence over the voters in their districts, whether through charisma or graft.
All major political appointments in Sharn occur on 9 Rhaan, Boldrei’s Feast. Members of the Breland Parliament serve two-year terms, city councilors serve for three years, and the Lord Mayor’s performance is usually reviewed every four years. There are no term limits, and quite often an election passes with no changes whatsoever.
Members of the Council
Each member of the Council has his or her own agenda and supporters. which may determine whether one makes a better patron or opponent for a party of adventurers. The seventeen councilors of Sharn currently in power include:
Upper Central: Javan Tomollan, a shrewd man and a tough bargainer, earned his fortune representing House Lyrandar, although he has since parted ways with the house. He is a fair man and believes that hard work and dedication to a task should be rewarded. However, his greatest concern is protecting the interests of the people of Upper Central: the problems of the poor of Lower Dura hold little interest for him.
Middle Central: Sorik Sensos is a clever man and a brilliant orator, and he is one of the oldest and most influential voices on the Council. However, he is influenced by his need for gold. and his supporters are aggravated by the growing economic gap between Middle and Upper Central. His frustration is compounded by the rising success of Javan Tomollan.
Lower Central: Sava Kharisa, one of the most outspoken members of the council, espouses a wide range of radical philosophies and political views. She honestly does the best she can to help all of the people of Sharn, instead of trying to advance her political career or protect her personal supporters. This has earned her many enemies on the Council, and if she’s not careful the Boromar Clan could try to have her removed from office—permanently.
Upper Menthis: Born and bred in Sharn, Thurik Davandi is as cunning and deceptive as any Zilargo gnome. He gained his seat on the Council through a clever combination of flattery and blackmail, and he has a hold over many of the more powerful merchants of Menthis. He has strong ties with the Boromar Clan and the Zilargo Embassy, and often uses his influence to help these allies, but he is always looking for ways to increase his own power (often at the expense of his associates).
Middle Menthis: Caskar Halavik was born in the Talenta Plains. When he first came to Sharn, he worked as an enforcer for the Boromar Clan. Hewas also a remarkably skilled clawfoot racer, and in time he became a celebrity in Little Plains. Saiden Boromar helped him transform his fame into political cachet, eventually earning him a seat on the Council. Caskar enjoys the prestige of his position, but he prefers to leave political maneuvering on behalf of the Boromars to Ilyra Boromar and Bestan ir’Tonn.
Lower Menthis: Savia Potellas owns a brothel in Firelight, and the conservative members of the Council were outraged by her appointment. She is extremely sharp at business, but she is currently caught in a bind. She has grown tired of paying tribute to the Boromar Clan and the Tyrants in order to run her business, but she is afraid to openly move against the powerful crime lords.
Upper Northedge: Maza Thadian is one of the oldest, richest, and most respected elves in the city. She owns the Oaks, one of the finest restaurants in Sharn. Maza is stubborn and set in her ways, and she constantly fights to maintain the status quo and uphold tradition; however, she does tend to put the concerns of the wealthy before those of the poor, especially the goblins and other dregs of the lower wards. While she has the highest regard for the law, she is in no way naive; she is capable of surprising subterfuge in the best interests of Sharn.
Middle Northedge: A former advocate, Doran Cantar is an honest and devout man dedicated to making a difference for the people of Northedge. He obtained his position largely through charisma and dedication, and the support of the priests of High Hope. He has a deep and abiding faith in the goddess Boldrei, and attributes all of his successes to the good will of the goddess. However, his honesty is often a hindrance in Council intrigues.
Lower Northedge: Born in North Market, Shassa Tarr is a political animal, She comes from a long line of merchants, and is an expert negotiator. While she is not as devious as Thurik Davandi. she has been successfully able to juggle alliances with all of the major factions within the council. Shassa herself owes her allegiance both to the merchant lords of Lower Northedge and to Sharn’s shifter community, and she does what she can to help both of these groups.
Upper Tavick’s Landing: This ward has always had an isolationist attitude, in many ways considering itself to be a separate city within Sharn. Bestan ir’Tonn has represented this community for the last 30 years. A wealthy barrister from one of the Sixty, he has strong connections to the Boromar Clans. He is a respected man who has always looked out for the interests of the wealthy of Tavick’s Landing, as well as for the Boromars.
Middle Tavick’s Landing: This ward is a center for trade and commerce. catering to adventurers. commoners. and merchants bringing cargoes in on the Orien lightning rail or by trade caravan. Dalaina Ironhand is a plain-spoken woman who represents the merchants of the district. She is a hard-nosed negotiator with no sense of humor and no interest in anything beyond the bottom line. She always drives for the best bargain for her people-whatever form that bargain may take—but she has no taste for underhanded intrigue. As a result. she opposes the schemes of the “Boromar Block”—Bestan ir’Tonn, Caskar Havalik. Thurik Davandi, and Ilyra Boromar-whenever possible.
Lower Tavickls Landing: Economic forces also drive the wants and needs of Lower Tavick’s Landing. Kilk has the support of the Tyrants, but has also won the loyalty of the other merchant lords of the district. While Kilk looks out for the mercantile interests of his ward, he also monitors and manipulates events across the city. Only Thurik Davandi can match Kilk for intrigues and scheming, and Kilk has a web of informants and spies across the city. He has done his best to make himself useful to the King’s Citadel and the Guardians of the Gate. and as a result he has developed powerful allies within both organizations.
Upper Dura; Borian Haldorak owes his position to the powerful bankers and merchants of Highhold. He is disarmingly cheerful and often plays up his age. telling elaborate stories about the great deeds of his youth. But beneath this facade, he is a sharp and ruthless negotiator.
Middle Dura: Hruit is a mysterious figure on the Council, keeping his own counsel and advancing his own agenda. A druid with a particular affinity for owls, he once rode a giant owl to represent the Bazaar of Dura in the Race of Eight Winds. Hruit’s primary responsibility is to the merchants of the Bazaar, protecting their interests from the Boromar councilors and the councilors who represent the other market wards.
Lower Dura: Bestan i1"Tonn, Thurik Davandi. and Caskar Havalik all have ties to the Boromar Clan. But Ilyra Boromar is the Borornar Clans personal representative on the Council. She reports directly to Saidan Boromar, and she has the authority to make executive decisions on behalf of the clan. Her allegiance is obvious, but the other council members generally politely overlook it; the Boromars are one of the Sixty families of Sharn, and she does have the skills, credentials. and lineage to compete with any of the other councilors. Of all of the members of the council, Ilyra is the most ruthless and dangerous. The Boromar Clan prefers to avoid violence, but councilors who oppose Ilyra have disappeared in the past.
Thurik Davandi, Bestan ir’Tonn, and Caskar Havalik are llyra’s allies, although Thurik and Bestan have been known to pursue there own agendas behind llyra’s back. Her greatest enemies on the council are Borian Haldorak, Sava Kharisa, Kilk, and Hruit; these four are either unconcerned with the danger represented by the Boromar Clan or feel that their supporters are powerful enough to protect them from retribution.
Skyway: Another member of the Sharn Sixty, Evix ir’Marasha owns the Celestial Vista in Skyway, along with a host of other valuable properties. She is one of the most eloquent members of the Council, and she takes a great interest in Sharn’s role in the greater politics of Breland. She is part of the cabal who believe that the monarchy should be abolished when King Boranel dies, and she is a close friend of Hass ir‘Tain. Evix also believes that Sharn should be recognized as an independent province, a view shared by Sava Kharisa. However, first and foremost she represents the people of Skyway and the interests of these wealthiest citizens ofsharn. Because ofthis, she usually sides with Javan Tomollan, Maza Thade ian, and Bestan ir’Tonn in Council debates.
The Cogs: Nolan Toranak represents the industrial powers behind Ashblack and Blackbones. The nobles and merchant princes of Skyway and the Upper—City own many of the foundries and forges in the Cogs, and Nolan usually aligns himself with one of the more eloquent councilors. The one issue that he does feel strongly about is the status of the warforged. His children were killed by warforged during the Last War, and he has never forgiven House Cannith or the warforged as a whole. If Nolan had his way, all warforged would be melted down or banished. As it is, he tries to find ways to bypass the stipulations of the Treaty of Thronehold, so warforged can be treated as property. There are a few groups of people in Sharn who share Nolan’s fear and hatred of the warforged, and he often channels funds to these organizations. He might hire adventurers to take action against House Cannith or the prominent warforged of Blackbones; or if there is a warforged among the party, Nolan could use his power to try to discredit the adventurers and drive them from the city.
THE LORD MAYOR
While the City Council holds the true power in Sharn, the Lord Mayor is still a force to be reckoned with. The Lord Mayor represents the interests of Sharn in any direct contact with the Brelish Crown, including interaction with the Kingls Citadel. He also appoints the lesser officers of the city and over- sees all issues of daily administration. He has the power to establish trade agreements with foreign governments, to pardon criminals, and to order arrests and even executions. His worship Cathan ir’Demell has been Lord Mayor of Sharn for twenty years, and he enjoys the luxuries and privileges of his position. He is unlikely to take any actions that would anger Javan Tomollan or Bestan ir’Tonn, his strongest supporters in the council, and he usually consults with these two before making any major decisions.
THE KING’S CITADEL
The City Council and the Lord Mayor represent the interests of Sharn; they are not direct servants of the king. The King’s Citadel looks after the interests of the crown. and can assert jurisdiction over any criminal matter or issue concerning espionage or national security.
THE SIXTY FAMILIES OF SHARN
Twenty-five of the twenty—seven noble families of Breland have strong ties and interests in Sharn, along with all of the dragonmarked houses. But the majority of the wealth of the city lies in the hands of the gentry: merchants and landowners who have built their fortunes through centuries of hard work and clever investment. There are hundreds of powerful families in the City ofTowers, but a few stand out from the rest. These are known as the Sixty.
Sharn was built with the gold of the ir’Tain family, and today the ir’Tains are the most powerful and influential family in the city. Once each month, they hold a grand party for the aristocracy-The Tain Gala. When the ir’Tains were building their new manor on Skyway, Lady Shala told the architects to make the banquet hall large enough to seat sixty families and their servants. The Sixty of Sharn are those with standing invitations to the Tain Galaf-the clear sign of success. It should be noted that other people may attend the gala, as it is uncommon for all sixty families to bring all of their family members and servants, and the hall was designed to hold entertainers as well as guests. But a single invitation. while prestigious, is entirely different from being invited to join the Sixty.
All of the noble families and the dragonmarked families are members of the Sixty; this means that any Sharn resident with the ir’ or d‘ prefix on his last name could be found at the Tain Gala. other members are generally identified as such in their descriptions. A standing invitation can always be revoked to make room for a more deserving candidate; one of the greatest fears of Councilor Sorik Senso is that his family will be displaced to make room for Councilor Javan Tomollan.
THE DRAGONMARKED HOUSES
While all of the dragonmarked houses have some presence in Sharn, four of the houses are particularly important in the city: House Cannith, House Deneith, House Kundarak, and House Sivis.
Following the destruction of Cyre, House Cannith split into three factions. The southern faction is led by Merrix d’Cannith , who makes his home in Sharn. House Cannith has always had a strong presence in the city. Cannith engineers and architects helped rebuild the city. and it was Cannith artificers who developed the flying buttress that allows for the construction of the enormous towers. During the war, the Cannith enclave in Sharn was one of the main production centers for the magic weapons and potions that Breland purchased from the house. including the majority of Breland’s warforged soldiers.
Today, House Cannith provides a wide variety of services within Sharn. House Cannith alchemists produce the bulk of the magic potions found in the city, and most lst-level potions carry a Cannith seal. Cannith engineers and masons help with the continued development of Sharn, and just as importantly they help to repair and maintain the existing towers and suspended streets and roads. Cannith artificers maintain the spells powering the great foundries in the Cogs. Both of these duties are handled by Cannith heirs, but also by teams of skilled laborers trained and employed by the house.
The Cannith enclave in Dragon Towers is used for diplomatic relations, but most of the important work is done in the Forgehold, the industrial complex in the Ashblack district of the Upper Cogs. Smaller Cannith enclaves are scattered about the city, primarily alchemical workshops and outposts for the Tinkers Guild.
Prominent NPCs: Merrix dlcannith leads the Sharn household and the southern branch of House Cannith. Merrix has little interest in reuniting the house; he doesn’t care for either of his younger cousins, and he intends to keep the southern house on the same paths of research and production that it was on before the destruction of Cyre. Merrix does have two interests: the warforged and the Mournland. Merrix’s grandfather developed the first warforged, and Merrix has been secretly continuing this work, maintaining the creation forge in the depths of Sharn and trying to produce new and improved warforged designs. He is fascinated by stories of strange constructs and artifacts found in Xen’drik, and has speculated that his grandfather and the other artificers who created the first warforged may have been using secrets recovered from the lost continent. He is also concerned about the fate of the warforged in this new time of peace, and has been trying to help the living constructs adapt. Merrixls second area of interest is the Mournland, and he regularly hires adventurers to explore the blasted realm or to recover lost Cannith artifacts.
Another important member of the Sharn Cannith household is Tarya dlcannith. During the war, Tarya helped to streamline the production of healing potions and alchemist’s fire, both of which were in high demand. Currently, she is concerned and intrigued by dragon’s blood. She is trying to identify the source of the elixir, the secret of its composition, and what possible side effects might be hidden in the brew.
Finally, Sharn is home to five members of the Darkwood Watch. House Cannith’s elite wand—wielding soldiers. The squad leader is Menya dlcannith. The Darkwood Watch is usually assigned to protect the Cannith Forgehold, and they are only used for extremely important tasks. As they are clearly recognizable as members of House Cannith, wand adepts are rarely used for covert operations.
On the surface, House Deneith plays the same role in Sharn as it does in most of the major cities of Khorvaire—it provides soldiers and bodyguards to anyone with gold. In addition to the nearly two hundred members of the Deneith bloodline who reside in Sharn. the house employs a host of mercenary warriors.
The Blademark of Sharn includes 500 soldiers—4-9 heirs of Deneith and a host of Brelish conscripts. Many of these warriors fought in the Last War; today they serve as private security for the wealthiest citizens ofsharn. Many of the lords and merchants of the Upper—City employ the services of Deneith mercenaries; they have a particularly strong presence in Upper Tavick’s Landing, where they have equal authority with the Sharn Watch. Most of the remaining heirs of Deneith serve in the Defender’s Guild, and there are nine Sentinel Marshals in residence.
Prominent NPCs: The enclave includes nine Sentinel Marshals. The most accomplished of these are Lalia d’Deneith and Tasra d’Deneith, identical twin sisters who both bear the Lesser Mark of Sentinel. Lalia specializes in tracking fugitives through the wilderness, while Tasra knows the seedy areas of Sharn like the back of her hand. The two sisters have a cruel sense of humor. and enjoy toying with their quarry during a hunt.
Sharn is one of the greatest centers of trade and commerce in Khorvaire, and it is small wonder that the House of Warding would have a strong presence in the city. For the most part, Kundarak’s only interest in Sharn is business. Aside from the vast amount of gold that flows through the Kundarak Bank each day, the house owns magically secured warehouses and sells magic and mundane locks, alarms, and traps to the many wealthy and powerful inhabitants of the city.
But while Kundarak tends to be a passive house, there are things that can stir it to action——notably, the loss of wealth. During the Last War, Breland took out vast loans from the Kundarak Bank to pay for the war effort. King Boranel has been coming up short on his payments, and the Kundarak elders are displeased.
Prominent NPCs: Daphane d’Kundarak is the leader of the Sharn Kundarak enclave. She is one of the more respected members of the house, and is in many ways more influential than Ilde d’Kundarak, the regional director ofwroat. Daphane is a fair woman, but she never forgets a slight, never forgives a broken promise, and has a strong appetite for vengeance.
In addition to locksmiths, vaultkeepers, and other professionals, the Sharn enclave includes 60 members of the elite Silver Guard, who protect the vaults and warehouses. These soldiers are exceptionally skilled. There is also a small team of mages who specialize in the creation of magic traps.
House Sivis conducts a great deal of business in Sharn. As a center for international trade, communication is vitally important in Sharn, and there are over a dozen Sivis message stations in the city. House Kundarak is just one of the groups that employs Sivis scribes and accountants. Sivis mediators and barristers are in high demand in the courts of Sharn. And with the proximity of Xen’drik. there is always a call for skilled translators. The house performs all of these functions, and quite well. It maintains its policy of absolute neutrality with all forces in the city, including the Zilargo embassy. However, there are traditions to be upheld, and as a result House Sivis still fights its one ancient enemy: House Sivis. The gnomes are engaged in constant battles of wits and intrigues. It is a delicate balancing act. The gnomes fight for power and position within the house, and humiliating a rival is the best way to gain advancement—demonstrating wit and cleverness while revealing the victim’s vulnerability. However, the schemer has to make sure that his actions do not sully the reputation of the house. Causing a Sivis barrister to lose his case may very well embarrass him-but it is also a black mark on Sivis as a whole. It is a tricky and delicate battlefield, and one that is difficult for outsiders to understand.
While Sharn is not the capital of Breland, it is one of the largest cities on Khorvaire and a center of commerce and education. Most of the nations of Eberron have established embassies or consulates in Sharn to protect their interests and to resolve diplomatic and trade disputes. There are a number of exceptions. of course. Darguun, the Shadow Marches, and the Eldeen Reaches do not have official representatives in Sharn. Other nations have different levels of representation, as described below. Unless otherwise mentioned, all consulates are located in Ambassador Towers in Middle Central.
Unfortunately, consuls tend to be very busy individuals, and they rarely have the time or inclination to address the problems of individual citizens. Arranging to see a consul requires a diplomatic tongue, and may require bribery as well. Even if this succeeds, it may still take some time for the meeting to take place, and there may be nothing that the consul can do to help. Unless a petitioner is an important person—a high—level aristocrat, for example—the consulate won’t take any risks to provided aid.
Aerenal lumber—densewood, bronzewood, darkwood, and the other products of the great jungles—is an important commodity. Lady Taelira (LN female elf aristocrat 9) is the consul of Aerenal, and has held this post for over 300 years. Taelira has little interest in the wars or conflicts of the younger races, and she is unlikely to take an interest in anything that adventurers bring to her attention; if there’s a problem, her inclination is to wait a year and see if it’s still an issue. Trade agreements are an exception to this rule. and Taelira is a vicious negotiator when it comes to protecting the economic interests of the elves.
During the Last War, the battles between Aundair and Breland left deep scars on both lands. But while fierce, these conflicts were brief, and by the close of the war the two nations were strong allies. Today. Alais and Helais ir’Lantar, sons of one of the noble families of Aundair, serve the interests of their nation in Sharn. Alais and Helais are identical twin brothers, and both are remarkably handsome and urbane; they are quite popular at galas and other social events. While both brothers are officially ambassadors, each performs different duties. Alais ir’Lantar deals with the administrative duties, while Helais handles the deeper diplomacy and intrigue.
While Cyre now exists only as an idea, a few years ago it was a powerful nation. and Cyran embassies still exist in the great courts of Khorvaire. Many nations have expelled the Cyran ambassadors—what use is an ambassador without a country? However, Breland has taken in a large number of Cyran refugees, and has even allowed the creation of the city of New Cyre on its northwestern border. As a result, Sharn has allowed the embassy of Cyre to remain open.
The primary function of the Cyran embassy is to coordinate refugee activities and provide a point of contact for New Cyre. The few surviving Cyran nobles realize the precariousness of their situation. They have lost the wealth and resources of their nation, along with the hulk of their military power. New Cyre only exists because of the generosity of King Boranel—and if the Cyrans have nothing to offer or are perceived as a threat, that generosity could eventually fade. The embassy staff spends much of its time among the refugees in Lower Tavickls Landing, recording the identities and skills of Cyran refugees and trying to find positions for them within the city.
Refugees and people with strong family ties to Cyre are placed under a lot of pressure to help restore the old kingdom, or at least to help it continue to exist as a ghost. Refugees are expected to donate 20% of their income to the embassy toward the recreation of Cyre. This includes adventurers, although the ambassador has no way to measure the income of an adventurer or real power to punish him, save by laying shame on his family. Cyran adventurers are frequently asked to perform services on behalf of New Cyre. This typically involves recovering treasures from the Mournland, searching for clues about the origin of the Day of Mourning, or assisting other powerful people with whom the Cyrans are trying to curry favor.
However, there are those among the surviving nobles who feel that their proud nation should not exist as a memory or as a gift from Breland. They plan to seize new land, whether from Breland, Darguun, Valenar or some other nation entirely. This would require powerful magic artifacts—perhaps ancient weapons hidden in Xen’drik—or dangerous dealings with shadowy powers.
The Cyran ambassador to Sharn is Lord Jairan ir’Dain. Jairan still plays the role of the proud noble, attending social functions in his fine clothes, but he lost his fortune on the Day of Mourning and his glamerweave doublets are becoming increasingly threadbare. Jairan is an optimist, and he believes that somehow if he keeps doing his job Cyre will be restored—that New Cyre can peacefully grow, and perhaps reclaim the blasted Mournland.
Lhesh Haruuc of Darguun is a warrior first and a diplomat second, and under his rule Darguun has not established any embassies in Khorvaire. Most diplomatic contacts with the court of Darguun are carried out through House Deneith. which maintains close ties with Lhesh Haruuc to negotiate the services of mercenary troops.
Should a party feel the need to speak directly with inhabitants of Darguun, they should go to Malleon’s Gate in Lower Dura. A hobgoblin troop known as the Ja’khor (Blackbloods) is using the Bloodstone Inn as a base of operations. The war leader, Margaash, is not a merchant, and he generally relies on House Deneith to negotiate contracts on his behalf. However, for the right price he may be willing to provide information or even a goblin guide to help a party traveling to Darguun. Margaash only respects strength; fighters get better results than wizards.
In addition to the Blackbloods, there are a number of expatriate Darguuls in Lower Dura and the Dura Cogs. The Mhaaca are a small family of bugbears who sell their services as heavy laborers. A few of the Mhaaca have broken off from the main family and joined the Cog gangs: Rhashlrnhaac has established his own gang of goblins, while Kharmhaac has joined the Red Jackals. much to the frustration of their father Dhurmhaac.
The monstrous nation of Droaam did not participate in the Treaty of Thronehold, and the Brelish crown does not recognize the power or authority of the hags that rule there. In recent years, House Tharashk has developed strong ties to Droaam, and the House of Finding serves as an intermediary for most dealings with the Crag.
Many of the monstrous inhabitants of the city are either working for House Tharashk or Daask, but there are monstrous citizens who have settled in Sharn to pursue other opportunities. These include ogres and gnolls in the Cogs, and a few more exotic creatures in the upper levels. Some of these creatures are petty criminals, while others find honest work as laborers. While they have no official ties to Daask, most recognize it’s authority-or at least are so afraid of it that they obey her commands if called upon.
The embassy of Karrnath is a brooding fortress in the midst of Ambassador Towers. The Karrns are always prepared for the worst, and the embassy is designed to endure a siege. The interior of the embassy is filled with glyphs of warding. alarms, and arcane seals-one wrong step can prove deadly. The embassy contains its own garrison of elite soldiers commanded by Kanarr Talan, all prepared to die in the service of Karrnath. Riots, thieves, spies-the Karrns are ready to deal with them all.
THE LHAZAAR PRINCIPALITIES
Each of the Lhazaar princes has his own agenda, and each prince has a personal representative at the embassy in Sharn. These ambassadors spend most of their time in trade negotiations and denying rumors of Lhazaar piracy. The Lhazaar embassy is unstable at best, and the ambassadors come and go as they please; it is impossible to predict who will be in residence in the embassy at any given time. To make matters worse, the ambassadors frequently engage in feuds and vendettas on behalf of their lords. The embassy itself is neutral territory, but beyond its walls anything can happen.
THE MROR HOLDS
The Mror Holds are a loose confederation of clans, each with its own mercantile interests. Each of the holds has a representative at the Mror consulate. who negotiates on behalf of his clan. These consuls are devoted to their work, and compared to the Lhazaar ambassadors there is little conflict among the dwarves. The dwarf consuls rarely have any use for adventurers. and it would be extremely unusual for a party to be called to the consulate.
After a thousand years of silence and secrecy. the Inspired have finally emerged from the shadows of Sarlona. Riedra itself remains a mystery; visitors are not welcome in the land of the Inspired. But the ambassadors of Riedra can be found in all of the courts of Khorvaire. They are charming and urbane, generous with gifts and eager to help the nations of Khorvaire recover from the physical and psychological damage of the Last War. Most are happy to receive the assistance of the Riedrans. But there are some who wonder about the true motives of the Inspired-some who suspect that the lords of the silent empire are preparing to expand their dominion.
Ambassador Jorasesh spends most of his time in negotiations, discussing trade, the reconstruction of Khorvaire, and the exploration ofXen’drik. However, he is a philosopher and historian, and when he is not at the embassy or attending a gala event, he often visits Morgrave University. Jorasesh is slowly developing a following at the University; he is brilliant and charismatic, and students and sages alike are intrigued by the handsome Inspired lord.
Most of the members of the embassy staff are humans from Riedra. Chosen for their complete loyalty to the Inspired, these people rarely speak to outsiders; many do not even understand the Common tongue.
Most of the citizens of the Kingdom of New Galifar—also known as Q’barra—consider the people of the western lands to be corrupt warmongers. Q_’barra participated in the Treaty of Thronehold, but it has little interest in trade with Breland; the Q’barrans primarily deal with the Mror Holds, the Lhazaar Princes, and the Inspired lords ofRiedra. As a result, Q’barra does not maintain an official embassy or consulate in Sharn. Unofficially, Q’barra’s interests are represented by Joseth ir’Kalain. Joseth is a clever negotiator and shrewd judge of human nature, but he is an honorable man who believes in the ideals of the old kingdom. While he lives modestly, Joseth owns a dragonshard mine in Q’barra, and can draw considerable funds from the Kundarak Bank. The first Q’barrans fled east to escape the Last War, and many family heirlooms, information, or other treasures were lost during this exodus.
THE TALENTA PLANE
The people of the Talenta Plains have little interest in political machinations. Stories say that they draw straws to see who has to serve as an ambassador, but these rumors are false; In truth, they fight duels, with the losers being sent to the courts of the western nations. Ambassador R’tannan attends diplomatic meetings and trade negotiations, but he is far more interested in gambling, especially on the many races that occur in the city.
The lords of Thrane still hold Queen Wroann responsible for the Last War, and relations between the two countries have never been warm—though this general distaste pales in comparison to the hatred the people of Thrane have for the Karrns.
Lady Anador ir’Laisha monitors events in the city on behalf of her nation, but rarely becomes actively involved in local affairs. She is devoted to the Silver Flame and attends services at the Cathedral of the Cleansing Flame.
The elves of the Valaes Tairn are warriors with a thirst for glory. They are never happier than when battling against overwhelming odds, honoring the spirits of their ancestors with spirit and song. While the High King signed the Treaty of Thronehold, the elves have not abided by its restrictions, and have continued to raid from Darguun to Karrnath. Someone has to appease the lords of the western kingdoms, to convince kings and princes that the actions of the elves pose no threat. This is the work of Daera Sorandal, a warrior who fights her battles with words. One of the finest diplomats in Khorvaire, Daera dances through the courts of the land singing a new song wherever she goes. In Breland, she emphasizes how the elves are weakening and distracting the dangerous hobgoblins of Darguun. In Thrane, she claims that the Valaes Tairn cannot sit by while the Karrn continue their evil ways. In Karrnath, she dismisses the attacks as the work of criminals and outlaws. She has a different story for every lord she visits-and so far, she has kept the nations from banding together against the elves.
There is no Valenar embassy in Sharn. An embassy would be a prison, and Daera Sorandal prefers to remain in constant motion. fighting a new battle every day. In Sharn, the Valenar are represented by Caerlyn’s Blade. a mercenary troop based in the Bazaar of Middle Dura. When Daera comes to the city, she generally stays with these warriors. If adventurers need to do business with the Valaes Tairn, they should begin by speaking with Caerlyn Tyrell, the commander of the Blade. If he can’t help them, he may at least know where Daera can be found. Of course, he needs a reason to help them. Caerlyn will shed blood in exchange for gold, but his friendship cannot be bought-it must be earned. A character who defeats Caerlyn in a duel or a race, or even someone who challenges him and loses the contest, is more likely to receive help than someone who tries to buy information from him.
The Zilargo embassy was built long before the Last War, to facilitate trade between Zilargo and Galifar. Zilargo remained one of Brelandls closest allies throughout the Last War, and that alliance is still strong today. Zil artificers and engineers produce many of their wares in the great factories of Breland, and the Brelish refineries sell much of their ore to Zilargo. Most of the time, the gnomes pay for these services with gold, jewels, or ships. But the gnomes are also masters of intrigue, and throughout the war the intelligence gathered by Zil spies was invaluable to the Brelish war effort.
Today, Khorvaire is at peace. But the Trust intends to be prepared for the next war long before it occurs. The embassy of Zilargo is a labyrinth of intrigue; almost everyone who works in the embassy has a secret secondary role, from the ambassador to the lowliest servant. A few of the more notable members of the embassy staff are described below, but it is always possible that there are other gnomes who are equally skilled-or even more skilled—hidden among the embassy staff. With the gnomes of Zilargo. nothing can truly be trusted.
Tasho Mol Doras, the ambassador of Zilargo, is a brilliant diplomat and ruthless negotiator. He is always looking for a way to get an edge over his political and mercantile opponents, and quickly seizes upon any sign weakness and exploits it. He is a skilled actor and can feign a wide range of emotions, but when the interests of his nation or family are at stake, he acts without mercy.