Knives in the Dark
A long wall rings the Central Plateau at its lowest level, interrupted by towers along its entire length. Inside the wall, structures rise higher and higher toward the tallest towers near the middle, creating a great artificial mountain at the heart of the city. Mostly populated by the upper and middle classes, the Central Plateau houses the seat of the city’s government. its wealthiest citizens, and its ﬁnest businesses. Embassies from other nations, important representatives of the dragonmarked houses, and banks are found here as well.
Menthis Plateau serves as the entertainment hub of the city, and is home to Morgrave University and a variegated quilt of different races. Certainly the most trendy of Sharn’s quarters, Menthis is a popeular tourist destination. No walls surround Menthis, though its tallest towers are spread along its outer rim. The enormous dome of Morgrave University, ringed by ﬁve tall, slender towers. stands near the center of the plateau.
Northedge, the most residential of Sharn’s quarters, contains everything from tower top penthouses in the heights to tightly packed apartments on the lower levels. Aside from a marketplace district near the bottom of the towers. Northedge is a quiet neighborhood with little commerce and little Crime.
Dura, the largest quarter in Sharn, covers the great expanse of the western plateau from the cliffs overlooking the Dagger River to the crevasse of the Western Cog. It is also the poorest. excepting The Cogs, with even its topmost levels solidly middle class. Dura mixes various businesses and housing, never approaching a true residential district but holding a number of apartments, tenements, and (near the bottom) slums. The lower levels of Dura include a large population of immigrants from Darguun and Droaam, forming a neighborhood of goblinoids and other monstrous residents.
Cliffside is a neighborhood perched precariously on the side of the cliffs above the Dagger River and Sharn’s waterfront. It includes the waterfront businesses far below Dura, as well as towers built up from the cliff face and a shantytown of caves dug into the sides of the southern cliffs overlooking the Hilt. The businesses of Cliffside are either directly related to shipping or cater to boat crews, adventurers, and other transients.
Tavick’s Landing, at the eastern edge of the city, is in some ways defined by being the terminus of the Orien lightning rail line and trade road. The lower levels cater to travelers and traders entering Sharn by rail, and include an entire city district that has been converted to provide housing for refugees from the Last War. The middle and upper levels are broader in their purposes, including a variety of trades, services, and residential districts.
Skyway is magically suspended above the city on gigantic disks of force, like Tensers ﬂoating disks taken to a fantastic extreme. These disks are among the many magic items and effects in the city that work only because of the presence of the manifest zone linked to Syrania. Not a cloud palace but an actual extension of the city, Skyway includes some of Sharn’s ﬁnest inns and restaurants, exotic and upscale trades. and a number of mansions belonging to the very richest citizens.
The Depths is the generic name for every-thing that lies beneath the city’s main plateau, excepting Cliffside and The Cogs far below. The upper levels give way to active and inactive sewers, some of which have their own inhabitants, as well as the mostly forgotten ruins of earlier settlements built long before the towers started to rise. Far below and accessed by well maintained tunnels and shafts, The Cogs sit at the very base of Sharn and serve as an actively populated center ofindustry. In fact, the roots of modern Sharn’s towers lie underground in some places, buried by the passing of centuries.
The Cogs are the churning heart of the city, full of forges and foundries powered by steaming geysers, molten lava, and bound fire elementals. Extending far below the foundations of Sharn’s towers and built along the banks ofthe great chasms that divide the city, the Cogs incorporate elements of ancient ruins and natural caverns.