Knives in the Dark
Sharn Visitors Guide
Editors Note: I may divide this page up at a later time, its a real block-o’-text as is
The sheer size of the city, the maze of bridges among the towers, and the bewildering array of goods and services available can quickly overwhelm first~time visitors to Sharn. Adventurers usually come to the city with a specific purpose in mind, to get one thing done. Whether it is to sell a magic item or spend an enjoyable evening (and a good portion of the loot from their last adventure) out on the town, adventurers in a hurry need to know where to go to get what they need, or they could spend a lot of time wandering the maze that is the City of Towers.
Whether characters are interested in viewing scholarly exhibits of the latest ﬁnds from Xen’drik or selling the items they ﬁnd there themselves, Upper Menthis is the neighborhood to visit. Morgrave University’s Dezina Museum of Antiquities houses the ﬁnest collection of Xen’drik artifacts in the world. The uppermost level ofThurias Tower near the museum (in the Seventh Tower district) is sometimes called “Little Xenidrik,” thanks to the six competing dealers in antiquities that share that tower space.
Characters bringing large amounts of valuable treasure from their latest adventure can ﬁnd the banking services they need in the Upper Central ward. House Kundarak operates the largest bank in the city. the Kundarak Bank of Sharn, located at the top of Kundarak Tower (in the Korranath district). The districts of Korranath and Korran-Thiven feature nine other banks. as well as a number of moneychangers, lenders, and providers oi‘ other ﬁnancial services.
Characters interested in carrying on trade can visit any of Sharn’s marketplace districts: Tradefair in Middle Central, North Market in Lower Northedge, the Bazaar in Middle Dura, or Tavick’s Market in Middle Tavickis Landing. Merchants must purchase a permit granting them permission to set up a booth or other presence in the marketplace.
|Marketplace (Ward)||Permit Cost|
|The Bazaar (Middle Dura)||3 cp|
|North Market (Lower Northedge)||3 cp|
|Tavick’s Market (Middle Taviclcs Landing)||1 sp|
|Tradefair Market (Middle Central)||1 gp|
Merchants interested in buying goods in bulk for transport and sale in another city will likely ﬁnd what they need in one of the city’s warehouse districts: Cogsgate in Lower Tavickis Landing, White Tower. Precarious, or the Stores in Lower Dura. Each of these districts serves as a repository for goods coming into Sharn from river or Orien trade road or light- ning rail, and also offers warehouse rentals for local merchants collecting goods to ship.
Setting up Shop
Characters might wish to purchase a business or other space in the city. A poor shop (for trades or services) costs 2d4Xl00 gp. including rough shelves, a sales counter. and a back room for storage. An average shop costs 2d4X1,000 gp, including polished wood ﬂoors. handsome shelves, a picture window. and glass cases. An upscale shop costs 4d8Xl,OO0 gp and has marble floors, locked display cases, leather chairs. and various other luxuries.
Sharn is a center for international trade, and communication is the lifeblood ofcommerce—not to mention being an important commodity in its own right.
The Speaker’s Guild of House Sivis specializes in swift communication. The most economical form of communication is the speaking stone. House Sivis has established message stations in most of the major cities and towns of Khorvaire, and for 5 gp you can send a l—page message to any of these stations. If you are sending a message to a large city, you can pay an additional l5 sp to have your message delivered to a speciﬁc address in the city; otherwise the recipient must come to the message stae tion to pick up the message.
Sharn contains a number of message stations, as merchants and tradesfolk often use them to send messageswithin the city. Message stations can be found in the following districts:
Central Plateau; Ambassador Towers, Boldreils Hearth, Dragon Towers, Korranath, Korran- Thiven, Highest Towers, Sword Point.
Dura: Clifftop, Daggere watch, Precarious, Redstone. Highhold. the Bazaar.
Mentliis Plateau: Denliyas. University District, Warden Towers.
Northedge: Oak Towers, Holdfast, North Market
Sigiwcg: Azure, Brilliant.
Tavick’s Landing: Copper Arch, Deathsgate, Terminus. Twelve Pillars, Wroann’s Gate.
The largest message station is located in Dragon Towers, attached to the House Sivis enclave. This is the only place where a message can be sent via sending, though this service is often unavailable. Qnly two gnomes in the enclave bear the Greater Mark ofscrihing, and even with dragonxliard reservoirs the power can only he used a few times each day.
lfa character is in a desperate hurry, he can try to get a House Sivis heir to use whispering wind to relay a message to the nearest message station. Each heir has a three word identifying code that must be included in the message so the station can track payment, so the whispering wind message is limited to twenty—two words. This service usually costs 50 gp, on top of the cost of using the message station.
Courier services provided by House Orien have stations in Azure. Dragon Towers, and Kore ranath. The cost to deliver a message or small package varies by the talents of the courier, and thus the speed at which the message is delivered.
A courier with the dimension leap ability can often speed up delivery by teleporting across bridges and between levels. Overland flight and dimension door allow far faster delivery. And at the top ofthe line, teleportation costs l0 gp per mile ofdelivery, with a minimum charge 300 gp.
House Orien also maintains a mail service that runs through all major cities and towns connected by the lightning rail. It costs l cp per mile to send a message through the mail. Howe ever, mail sent in this manner is held at the Orien enclave. lfthe customer wants a message or parcel to be delivered to a specific address. he must add the usual courier costs to the price ofthe mail transport.
Over the last few years. a new force has arisen to chal- lenge House Orien’s monopoly over the courier trade. House Vadalis has built up a small but highly effective group of gargoyle couriers. Currently. it costs 5 gp to have a gargoyle deliver a letter or small package within Sharn, with an additional charge of 1 gp per mile outside the city. However, there are only eighteen gargoyles in service. compared to eighty Orien couriers. The gargoyles roost in the Vadalis outpost in the Bazaar of Middle Dura, as well as on towers throughout the city.
|House Sivis: message station||5gp/page|
|Including courier service||+15 sp|
|House Sivis: wispering wind||50gp|
|House Sivis: sending||250gp|
|House Orien: unmarked courier||5cp|
|House Orien; Least marked courier||1gp|
|House Orien= Lesser marked courier||25gp + 1gp/mile|
|House Orieni teleport||10gp/mile (300gp minimum)|
|House Orien: mail service||1 cp/mile|
|House Vadalis: gargoyle courier||5gp +1gp/mile|
Few people enjoy being alone in an unfamiliar city. Sharn offers a number ofopportunities to ﬁnd come panionship, from paying for company to attending social clubs, guilds, and other places to meet people with similar interests.
Sharnis several red light districts sell sex and companionship on the cheap, catering primarily to sailors, merchants, tourists, and other transients or outsiders. Sharn’s Welcome, in Cliffside, caters to waterfront customers but is crime—ridden and dangerous. Dragoneyes, in Lower Tavick’s Landing, is slightly more reputable. Firelight, in the lower part of the entertainment hub of Menthis Plateau, has a reputation as an acceptable location for an all—around good time.
Subtler and far classier, a handful of escort services sell Companionship at much higher rates in Middle Centralls embassy district, Ambassador Towers. Though they target wealthy diplomats who need educated, intelligent companions for public functions as well as private encounters, these services have customers in all of the wealthier neighborhoods of the city and attract well off adventurers, merchants, and others with more discerning tastes in companionship.
Companionship of a less carnal nature can be found as well. Adventurers might well ﬁnd adventuring companions in Clifftop (in Upper Dura) or Deathsgate (in Middle Tavick’s Landing), two city districts that particularly cater to the adventuring crowd. Each features a guild of adventurers named after the district, and the two guilds have an ongoing rivalry that swings between friendly and violent. True to its name, the Deathsgate Guild tends to attract more violent, freewheeling adventurers, while the Clifftop Guild generally attracts people with more of a moral compass. Both guilds provide a ﬁne source of adventuring companions and cohorts, and refer their members to other services and hirelings as well.
Dining clubs provide a popular form of social circle, particularly in upper~class neighborhoods. A large number of such clubs ﬂourish in Upper and Middle Central, Upper Menthis, Upper Tavick’s Landing, Upper Dura, and Skyway. (Any district with upscale Food listed among its buildings probably includes at least one dining club.) Dining clubs are open to members only, offering a Fine dining expee rience among an intimate circle of social peers.
Finally, characters can always ﬁnd others who share their speciﬁc interests. Social groups based on racial, ethnic, or national origin exist in almost every neighborhood, trade and craft guilds offer social contact for their members, the dragonmarked houses offer extensive networking opportunities, and Morgrave University hosts academic societies with a wide variety of interests and specialties.
|Evening in a bordello|
|Sharn’s Welcome||5 cp|
|Escort service (one evening)||25 sp|
|Adventurer’s guild membership (per year)|
|Dining club membership (per year, average cost, meals not included)|
|Upper Central||20 gp|
|Middle Central||12 gp|
|Upper Menthis||15 gp|
|Upper-Tavick’s Landing||10 gp|
|Upper Dura||8 gp|
The reach of the law begins to fade as one travels down the levels of many of Sharn’s towers, and in some areas of the lower levels it is almost nonexistent. it is a well-known fact that the City Watch is thoroughly corrupt, and the problem is nowhere more visible than in the Cogs and Lower Dura. Characters who come to the city in order to fence stolen goods, hire a burglar or an assassin, or engage in other criminal pursuits can usually Find what they need in these wards, though criminal activity occurs everywhere.
Most illegal activities in Sharn occur under the supervision of one of four criminal guilds or gangs, which also have ﬁngers in legal but shady activities such as gambling and prostitution. The House Tarkanan criminal “family” has structured itself in mockery of the dragonmarked houses. Though mostly human, it includes members of all races. Its headquarters are in Dragon Towers in Middle Central. The Tyrants is an organization of changelings concentrated in the Dragoneyes district of Lower Tavick’s Landing. Its leaders are said to be doppelgangers. The Boromar clan, a predominantly halfling organization, is strongest in Little Plains in Middle Menthis. but very influential in Lower Menthis and Lower Dura as well especially in the Hostelhome district. Though its leadership is almost entirely halﬂings with connections to House Ghallanda. members of all races work for the Boromars, knowingly or unwittingly. Finally, a gang called Daask, which includes a great number of monsters, has gained a strong foothold in the criminal underworld of the Cogs. Coblinoids, ogres, minotaurs, harpies, and a large number of humans work for this organization, which is rumored to have ties to Droaam.
ln addition to illegal activities. characters might find themselves turning to these guilds For such purposes as borrowing large sums of money to pay off a debt (particularly a gambling debt incurred in a casino with ties to the guilds), to ﬁnd certain kinds of information not readily accessible elsewhere (such as secrets of prominent personages), to have spells cast that might arouse suspicion (such as having a nightmare spell cast on an enemy, or a curse removed that was acquired in the commission of a crime), or for help in hiding (see Hiding, page 21).
CRIME DOESN’T PAY?
|Criminal Purpose||Typical Cost|
|Fence stolen goods||l5% of item value|
|Burglary||20% of stolen goods value*|
|Assassination||300 gp per level of target*|
|Purchase forged documents|
|Identiﬁcation papers||10 gp|
|Letter of marque||25 gp|
|Traveling papers||5 gp|
|Loans||up to 20% interest per week|
|Information||1 gp X Gather Information DC|
|Spellcasting, no questions asked||125% normal cost|
- Costs increase by as much as 5 times for extraordinarily difficult missions; not all missions will be accepted.
ln Sharn, the saying goes. even the poor eat like kings, and good food is usually readily available. With the exception of purely residential districts, nearly every district in Sharn includes some number of dining establishments, usually at least one in a given tower. Nearly a thousand restaurants in all, not counting street vendors and inns that also serve food, offer an almost endless variety of dining options to natives and visitors alike. Among these many locations, Sharn offers a few unique dining experiences.
Striking views enhance a meal, and for that purpose no restaurant can compete with the dozen or so establishments in Skyway. Ofthose, perhaps the best known is the Celestial Vista Restaurant, a tourist attraction. In-the—know locals celebrate special occasions at the Cloud Dragon or the Azure Gateway, both of which have views as stunning as the Celestial Vista’s, food no less impressive, and generally smaller crowds. All three restaurants in Skyway serve all of their food puriﬁed by House Ghallanda.
A very different, but no less striking, view can be had at the Lava Pit, an up—and~coming restaurant in—of all places~Tavick’s Cogs, in the heart of one of the city’s industrial districts. True to its name, the Lava Pit overlooks a gigantic forge powered by molten rock, suffusing the place with lurid red light. The restaurant began as little more than a hole in the wall with an interesting location, serving a variety of barbecued meats in a Shadow Marches style. its popularity has grown tremendously, allowing the restaurant to improve its facility and expand its menu (though spicy Marches barbecue remains its specialty), making it by far the most upscale establishment of any kind in the Cogs.
For variety of cuisine, no region of the city can match the Menthis Plateau, with its diverse population. Culinary purists argue that the only place to sample halfling cuisine is in Little Plains, and like- wise for the other racial neighborhoods in Menthis, but most people agree that the University district in Upper Menthis is the best place to sample the wide variety of cuisines Sharn has to offer. Halfling specialties, gnome delights, elf cuisine, Karre Nathi fare, and even exotic Riedran food are all available in the University district. University students and faculty are fond of dining at the Commons, a large open-air plaza near the top of one of the Morgrave University towers where food vendors bring carts and wagons daily to serve up a smorgasbord of ethnic offerings.
Of course, sometimes the need for quality overshadows spectacular views and culinary variety. A few of the generally acknowledged best restaurants in Sharn include Sannid’s in the Platinum Heights district of Upper Central, known for its extensive wine collection; Galdin’s Garden in the Seventh Tower district of Upper Menthis, surrounded by a towertop garden featuring roses and orchids; The Oaks in the Shae Lias district of Upper Northedge. serving elf and Brelish cuisine in an elaborate open-air pavilion surrounded lay oak trees; and Olladra’s Arms in the Hopels Peak district of Upper Dura, notable for its banquet—style seating and generous portions.
Finally, as in many cities across Khorvaire, House Ghallanda offers heroes feast in the city as often as demand allows. Ghallanda does not have a major presence in the city. Unlike in some eastern cities where such feasts occur weekly, in Sharn they usually occur no more than once a month, in rotating locations; in the House enclave in Dragon Towers (in Middle Cenetral), in the huge Ghallancla Hall Inn in the Under-look district of Middle Dura, and in the open—air market in Little Plains (in Middle Menthis).
See also the discussion of dining clubs under Companionship. on page l4.
|Dinner Quality (Example)||Cost per Person|
|Outstanding (Celestial Vista)||75 sp|
|Includes ﬁne wine|
|Excellent (Sannid’s)||40 sp|
|Includes good wine|
|Good (Besimirls Folly)||35 cp|
|Includes common wine or ale|
|Common (The Commons)||19 tp|
|Poor (street vendor)||12 tp|
|Includes watered ale|
A Friend at the Bar
Dozens of inns and taverns dot Sharn’s landscape. some of these vary only in name. Others offer unique services or have unusual clientele, and these are highlighted in the descriptions of each district.
Traditionally, many adventurers retire to the tavern between adventures. and a tavern is a time honored place to meet with an employer. When a person becomes a regular at a tavern, he makes friends and gets to know the locals. People talk over drinks, and he gets to know how people react to different situations. As a result, he gets a +2 circumstance bonus on all Gather Information or Knowledge (local) checks made in the same ward as the tavern, and he gets a +3 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks made involving other characters who are also regulars at the pub.
Choice of tavern also affects the way that the characters are perceived and the type of work they are offered. A group that drinks on Lower Dura gets a chance at a lot of quick and dirty deals; it’s a good place to meet a pickpocket, but the Aundairian ambassador won’t be dropping by. On the other hand, Dragon Towers makes an excellent choice for characters who want to get involved in the intrigues between the dragonmarked houses.
Educational opportunities abound in Sharn, though not to the extent that they do in Korranberg. with its prestigious university and library. Morgrave University is a second-rate university, apparently as interested in selling antiquities from Xen’drik as in studying them. Nevertheless, some prominent scholars sit on the faculty of Morgrave University, and it is an excellent resource for characters seeking educational opportunities. Interested individuals can find tutors to train them in scholarly fields (ex. Knowledge skills, Decipher Script, and Speak Language) at Morgrave. In a less formal context, a patron from Morgrave might be able to serve as a trainer for ﬁeld-useful skills (such as Disable Device, Search, Survival, and Use Magic Device).
Formal schooling in the remains of the Five Nations is considered a right and a necessary part of every child’s training. Children are encouraged to attend public schools from the age of 6 to the age of l0, though attendance isn’t mandatory.
From the age of ll, the most common form of educational instruction in Sharn, as elsewhere, is apprenticeship. The best way to learn Craft and Profession skills is to practice them under the supervision of a mentor, and the guilds of Sharn monitor this formal process. The guildhalls in Dragon Towers are the headquarters of these guilds (some of which have connections to the dragonmarked houses, many more of which do not). and that neighborhood is thus the best place to discover such opportunities. Typically, a guildhall takes the name and contact information of a prospective apprentice, and then polls its members to ﬁnd a master willing to take on a new apprentice. The master then contacts the apprentice directly.
Some practitioners of other skills (including stealthy or criminal skills such as Hide, Move Silently, Forgery, and the like) take on apprentices in a similar manner, though it is often more difﬁcult to locate such a master. The criminal organizations certainly offer such training opportunities, but are not easy to contact unless one already has an in with the organization.
In general, apprenticeship takes place from the age of ll to 15 or so, generally before the start of a character’s adventuring career. It is possible for a player character to keep in contact with former mentors and to draw on them as a resource, at the DM’s discretion.
Much like education, ﬁnding employment often depends on connections to one of Sharn‘s trade guilds. Characters seeking to exercise their Craft or Profession skills can either strike out on their own, or seek employment through the guilds. The latter option generally offers better prospects, particularly in the long term. Characters seeking other kinds of employment, particularly of a more adventurous kind. might ﬁnd leads at one of the adventurers’ guilds in Clifftop (in Upper Dura) or Deathsgate (in Middle Tavick’s Landing), at Morgrave University (in Upper Menthis), or the Wayﬁnder Foundation (in Upper Central). Another strong possibility is work for the Sham Inquisitive, the city’s local chronicle. Haftak ir’Clarn, the chroniclels publisher, freequently hires adventurers to bring him exciting stories. His residence and offices are in the University District of Upper Menthis.
Whether a character seeks nothing more than a fun evening on the town or wants to witness a great per- formance by a renowned artist, Sharn offers abundant entertainment on a nightly basis. The hub of the entertainment industry in Sharn is Menthis Plateau, and from the towertops down to the Cogs this quarter is a bustle ofactivity from sundown to sunup.
The Torchﬁre district in Lower Menthis occupies the bottom ofthe entertainment ladder in Menthis, but remains a ﬁne place to enjoy inexpensive entertainment. The Ten Torches Theater gives this district its name, and it has become something of an institution in Lower Menthis. Its offerings focus on the bawdy, with a strong dose of music and comedy, all presented in a crowded, smoky atmosphere. The low price of admission and the raucous entertainment of the shows combine to pack its seats every night.
Gailan’s, a restaurant in Torchﬁre, enjoys a reputation for bringing the best up-and—coming talent to its stage musicians, actors, and other performers who often go on to play more prominent venues in the higher levels of Menthis. The food is good but the entertainment—offered in the round-is the reason for going. The proprietor has claimed for years that he is looking for new cooks and planning to build up an impressive wine cellar, but such improvements remain for the indeterminate future.
Across the plateau, in the tavern district of Downstairs, a new theater offers the Ten Torches its ﬁrst dose of local competition in ages. Called the Diamond Theater, it features a large stage and spacious seating—at least compared to the Ten Torches. Perhaps more important, it claims a serious young playwright as its artist—in-residence, who lends an air of sophistication to the theater with her dramatic, sometimes tragic works. The plays of Luca Syara attract attention even in Upper Central, and a popular Menthis pastime is speculating on what upper—level theater will snatch her up when her contract with the Diamond expires.
As with most things, offerings in Middle Menthis are a step above those in the lower levels, ﬁguratively as well as literally. Middle Menthis’s theater district, called Smoky Towers, offers an ironic comment on the Torchﬁre district immediately below it. Performers who get their first big break at Gailan’s move on to any of several similar venues in Smoky Towers—dinner theaters such as Third Tier, the Starfire Dragon, or Mizano Rupals; recital halls such as Thovanic Hall or the Atrium; and the ornate Classic Theater.
The theater scene in Smoky Towers labors under some controversy. The Classic Theater, the only major theater in the district, is devoutly committed to performing only the classics of dramatic repertoire, perhaps motivated by fear of being too closely associated with the likes of the Ten Torches. Its extremely traditional productions include no plays written since the start of the Last War. Many people appreciate this stance, looking to the ancient heritage of Galifar for strength and comfort in the wake of the Last War. Others seek more contemporary fare, including Luca Syarais plays (several of which wrestle very seriously with issues derived from the war), in other districts.
The entertainment offerings in Upper Menthis are concentrated in the University District’ and are in a class by themselves. The finest musical performances in the city occur in Kavarrah Concert Hall and in the Sharn Opera House.
Four major theaters operate in Upper Menthis: the Art Temple (known for cutting edge, avante garde plays), the Grand Stage (presenting a mixture of classic repertoire and modern works in classical style), the Stargazer Theater (an open-air towertop stage with an extensive summer season of classics), and the Khavish Theater (aimed at a more main-stream audience, incorporating more music, more risqué elements, and more comedy without sinking to the depths of the Ten Torches‘ burlesque). With the exception of the Khavish. located in the gnome neighborhood of Deniiyas, these are all within a stone’s throw of Morgrave University.
THE COST OF A GOOD TIME
|Ten Torches (one ticket)||6 cp|
|Gailan’s (dinner and a show)||32 cp|
|Diamond Theater (one ticket)||9 cp|
|Dinner theater (dinner and a show)||45 cp|
|Recital hall (one ticket)||19 cp|
|Classic Theater (one ticket)||30 cp|
|Kavarrah Concert Ha11 (one ticket)||24 sp|
|Sharn Opera House (one ticket)||22 sp|
|Theater ticket (excellent seat)||17 sp|
|Theater ticket (good seat)||ll sp|
|Theater ticket (balcony seat)||8 sp|
Exotic services include any service that is not common-place in a Brelish city such as Sharn. For example. it is traditional for halﬂing warriors from the Talenta Plains to recline in couches while servants rub scented oil into their hair, but a Talentan warrior cannot easily ﬁnd a place in most Brelish towns that caters to that particular custom. ln Sharn, however, he or she need only visit the Little Plains district in Middle Menthis and ﬁnd the Rider’s Rest to feel right at home.
Sharn’s racial and ethnic neighborhoods are the best locations to find these sorts of exotic services. These neighborhoods include Little Plains in Middle Menthis, Denliyas (a gnome neighborhood) in Upper Menthis. Holdfast in Middle Northedge and Highhold in Upper Dura (two dwarf neighborhoods), Shae Lias (an elf neighborhood) in Upper Northedge, and Overlook, which includes an enclave of Kalashtar as well as humans from Adar. Significant populations of Lhazaar, Karrnathi, and Cyran immigrants make Middle Menthis a particularly diverse ward, a large contingent of Karrns live in Graywall in Middle Tavicks Landing, and a small Elven minority inhabits Skysedge Park in Upper Central.
Pricing Exotic Services: As a rule of thumb, assume that an exotic service costs about the same as a meal (see Dining Prices, above). A service offered in a luxurious setting in an exclusive neighborhood (such as Skyway) compares to an outstanding meal at the Celestial Vista (75 sp). A service of fine quality offered in a quality establishment in an upper-class neighborhood compares to an excellent meal (40 sp). A good~quality service in an ordinary establishment in a middle—class neighborhood is equivalent to a good meal (35 cp), and so on.
A city as large as Sharn offers plenty of places to hide (see Hiding, page 21). Consequently, it also supports a sizable number of inquisitives who specialize in finding people who might prefer not to be found, or just people who don’t know someone might be looking for them. There is no single district where inquisitives tend to set up shop; any given district can only support so many. Middle-class districts of a certain ﬂavor are the most likely areas to ﬁnd an inquisitive—places such as Underlook in Middle Dura, Deathsgate in Middle Tavick’s Landing, and Warden Towers in Middle Menthis. The best inquisitives—particularly when it comes to ﬁnding what’s lost—are those associated with the Finders’ Guild of House Tharashk. Four Tharashk inquisitives with the lesser Mark of Finding head agencies in different parts of the city: Kurt Karr’Aashta’s Investigations in Deathsgate, Information Acquisition in Underlook, Thuranne Velderan’s Investigative Services in Warden Towers, and Globe information Agency in Dragon Towers. The dragons marked heads of these agencies generally work only on the most important or difficult cases, but their staffs are among the best inquisitives in the business.
Do—it—yourself types who don’t want to (or can’t) pay an inquisitive have other alternatives, ranging from amateur sleuthing to powerful magic. Gather Information might work to ﬁnd a speciﬁc individual. However, it is usually only possible to learn the whereabouts of a person within a single district—asking around Highest Towers trying to ﬁnd someone hiding in Precarious is doomed to failure. If the person sought is located in the same district as the person seeking, a successful check against DC 20 to 30 (depending on how noticeable the character is, how carefully he is hiding, and similar factors) can at least narrow down the hiding person’s location. Naturally, spells such as locate creature and know location are the most effective means of finding people.
Hiring an Inquisitive
An inquisitive’s rates vary from person to person. ln general, they range from l0 sp to 20 sp per day, plus expenses. (This is comparable to the results of a Profession check.) For exceptionally difficult or dangerous cases, inquisitives usually increase their rates by as much as l00% and insist on receiving an advance for several days’ work.
An inquisitive who brings magical resources to bear in the course ofa case charges typical rates for spellcasting:
|Discern location||1,200 gp|
|Locate creature||280 gp|
|Locate object||60 gp|
GATEWAY TO XEN’DRlK
Many adventurers come to Sharn solely to get someplace else, using the city as a launching point for an expedition to the ancient ruins and trackless jungles of Xen’drik. Morgrave University and the Wayﬁnder Foundation both send teams to Xen’drik on a regular basis, and Sharn hosts a thriving antiquities market that provides demand for items recovered from Xen’drik by both official and amateur expeditions.
The Cliffside ward is a good place to find ship captains experienced in the passage to Xen’drik, who have contacts with the sahuagin of Shargoifs Teeth and can secure safe passage through those straits. The journey from Sharn to Stormreach is about l,500 miles and takes a little over a month by sailing ship. The usual cost of passage is about 300 gp. It is sometimes possible to hire an elemental galleon for the journey, which takes only three or four days but costs 3,000 gp. A House Lyrandar sailing ship (without elemental power) can make the trip in ll days and costs about l,500 gp. Airships do not normally make the trip from Sharn to Xen’drik.
Stormreach, a rough—and-tumble frontier community where giants often trade in the marketplace, is an essential stopover for most expeditions before proceeding farther into the wilds of Xen’drik.
If a group of adventurers manages to secure employment on an expedition to Xen’drik, they can expect the following terms:
’ The organizer of the expedition secures letters of marque for the characters.
’ The organizer usually arranges for transportation to Xen’drik. though this is not always true.
’ The organizer provides rations and mundane equipment. usually consisting of anything in the “Adventuring Gear” category of goods from Table 7-8 in the Pltyeris Hanzilwolt.
- The organizer has the right to claim any treasures that the adventurers recover on their expedition, presumably for research purposes or for display in the Dezina Museum. The adventurers may keep or sell any items the organizer does not claim, and the organizer typically offers a guarantee of a minimum amount of gold. This amount is typically ten times the average treasure value for an encounter of the party’s average level, divided by the number of characters in the party.
For example, a group of six 3rd-level characters would receive a guarantee of l .500 gp each, since the average treasure value for a 3rd—level encounter is 900 gp (900 X 10 + 6 = 1,500).
- Sometimes an expedition organizer accompanies the characters on the expedition, while other organizers prefer to remain in the relative safety of Sharn. When the organizer accompanies the expedition, it is assumed that the adventurers give highest priority to protecting the organizer’s life.
As the gateway to Xen’drik, Sharn has a number of residents who sell their services to adventurers and prospectors planning expeditions to that mysterious continent. As with investigators, House Tharashk dominates this ﬁeld, making use of their magical dragonmark abilities (know direction and ﬁnd the path) as well as their extensive, if more mundane, skills and experiences. The House’s grand hall in Dragon Towers is its most prominent public face. but better deals and sometimes better guides can be found in their enclave in Clifftop (in Upper Dura).
Sometimes visitors to Sharn need guides within the city itself. City guides are easy to find: they usually cluster around arriving Orien lightning rail coaches. airships, and river vessels. hoping to solicit business from newly arrived visitors. These guides-often very young individuals—are inexpensive and tend to highlight the great tourist attractions of the city, which is sufficient for many visitors’ purposes.
City guides of a different caliber can be found in Ambassador Towers. Most of the escort services in this district emphasize companions who are knowledgeable about the city and its attractions as well as being enjoyable company in other ways.
HIRING A GUIDE
|House Tharashk guide to Xen’drik|
|Unmarked||1 gp per day|
|Dragonmarked (least mark)||3 gp per day|
|City guide. ordinary||1 sp per day|
|City guide, escort||25 sp per day|
House Jorasco operates houses of healing throughout the city. though they are concentrated in middle class neighborhoods (any district that includes average services might include a Jorasco house of healing). The headquarters in Sharn is in Dragon Towers (in Middle Central), and characters in need of a heal spell or similar magic need to find their way to the main enclave rather than to one of the smaller houses elsewhere in the city.
The clerics of Khorvaire are not merchants. Adepts devoted to Boldrei often work with House Jorasco, but adventurers who go into a church and treat the priest like a common merchant or healer will be thrown out; divine magic is a gift of the gods, not a commodity such as arcane magic. In particular, raise dead is rarely used on Khorvaire, and it is highly unusual to ﬁnd a cleric or adept who has the spell prepared. Followers of the Silver Flame believe that warriors who die in holy service join the Flame after death, while the Valenar elves believe their dead join with the spirits of their ancestors. Even among the followers of the Sovereign Host, using raise dead is viewed as a challenge to the will and wisdom of the gods. This does not mean that there is no hope for heroes who fall in battle-but it is not just a matter of tossing 5,450 gp at the local priest.
Only a few people in the city can raise the dead, so ﬁnding one of them is the first step. The Dragonmark of Healing can only help the living, but the Great Healing Hall in Dragon Towers employs two adepts, both priests of Boldrei. capable of casting Raise Dead. Other people capable of casting the spell-including Archierophant Ythana Morr (Silver Flame), High Priest Phthaso Mogan (Sovereign Host). Mayne Jhaelian of Shae Lias (Undying Court), and Lan Hazal (Blood of Vol)-rarely have the time or desire to deal with the needs of adventurers.
After ﬁnding a capable spellcaster. it is necessary to persuade the character to help. The spellcaster must have a helpful attitude, and must hear an excellent explanation of why the victim must be returned to the world of the living. Even if the priest agrees to cast the spell, gold alone is not sufficient payment. The spellcaster usually demands that the raised character pay for his life by performing a special service on behalf of the god.
There are no priests in Sharn who can cast Regeneration or Resurrection. Access to this magic would entail a trip to Flamekeep in Thrane or a holy site of similar importance, and would undoubtedly require a great quest on the part of the beneﬁciary.
One of the beneﬁts of a large city is the anonymity it affords to those who live in it. It is much easier to lose oneself in Sharn than in a tiny farming village in rural Aundair, to lie low, avoid attention, or otherwise escape pursuit of any kind. Naturally. the best place to hide in the city is where searchers are least likely to look. Sometimes this means unobtrusively taking up residence in Lower Dura or the Cogs; sometimes it means pretending to be a noble and living the high life in Upper Central.
A booming business can’t be carved out of hiding; it’s mostly just something people do, or try to do. However, certain ofthe criminal elements in the city do occasionally accept payment in exchange for helping people create new identities. Naturally, the changelings of the Tyrants, the criminal gang concentrated in the Dragoneyes district of Lower Tavickis Landing, excel at this practice. For a (quite large) sum of money, they employ magically enhanced surgical techniques to permanently alter a client’s appearance, provide forged identiﬁcation papers and other documents that might he needed to establish a new identity (a university diploma or professional certiﬁcation, for example), and use their own agents to create at least a temporary cast of supporting characters in the drama, as needed. The cost for this unusual service varies depending on the new identity to be created. but ranges from 500 gp (for a relatively simple new identity) to 5,000 gp or more (for an elaborate new life).
Adventurers seeking hired help in Sharn, on either a short-term or a long—term basis. should at least begin in the adventurersi quarters of Clifftop (in Upper Dura) and Deathsgate (in Middle Tavick’s Landing). All of the hireling services shown on Table 4~l in the Dungeon Master’s Guide are available (at the given price) in those two districts, and hirelings in those districts are accustomed to working with adventurers. Professional services are clustered in Sharn into two districts in Upper Tavick’s Landing as well as the Dava Gate district of Middle Central.
Barristers (often called advocates or councilors) are among the hirelings commonly employed by adventurers, and barristers specializing in adventurers concerns keep shop in Clifftop and Deathsgate. From property disputes and charges of plundering (for bringing artifacts from Xenlclrik without a letter of marque, for example) to robbery charges and wrongful death suits, these barristers are experienced with the variety of problems encountered by adventurers in the city. Rates may increase significantly for particularly difficult or high—profile cases.
The most expensive and high-powered barristers in Sharn—many of them connected to House Sivis-have offices in Dava Gate (in Middle Central), near the edge of the Dragon Towers district. They work closely with most of the dragonmarked families, embassy personnel in Ambassador Towers, and the ﬁnanciers of Upper Central.
MAGIC ITEMS, BUYING OR SELLING
Sharn boasts some dozen magic item dealers of various specialties, located in various areas throughout the city. The adventurers quarters in Upper Dura (Clifftop) and Middle Tavick’s Landing (Deathsgate) are fine places for lower—Level adventurers to acquire and sell magic items. The options are limited for high-level characters. however, because of the gold piece limit in those districts (35,000 gp in Deathsgate and 40,000 gp in Clifftop). other options include a few dealers in the Seventh Tower district in Upper Menthis (limit 70,000 gp), one exclusive shop in the Platinum Heights district of Upper Central (limit 100,000 gp), and of course several dealers in the magic district of Middle Menthis, Everbright (limit l00,000 gp). Dealers in Everbright are far more willing to buy used or salvaged items than those in Platinum Heights and Seventh Tower, which cater to wealthy but not necessarily adventurous collectors. A feature unique to Platinum Heights, however, is a magic item auction house, Aurora Gallery.
The Sharn Inquisitive, the city’s local chronicle, is the best source of local news. The Inquisitive appears weekly on Sul and is distributed via city mail. Its publisher, Haftak ir’Clarn, is a distant cousin of Lord Ruken ir’Clarn, a member ofBreland’s parliae ment who often expresses viewpoints and opinions in opposition to King Boranel. Haftakls position on his cousinls radical politics aside, you can ﬁnd critics who claim that the Inquisitive goes out of its way to support or attack the Brelish crown.
Readers generally turn to the Inquisitive for local news (which some say reads more like idle gossip) and the opinion pages, which regularly feature heated debates on important city issues. For news from beyond Sharn, most educated citizens rely on the Korranlaerg Chronicle.
Keeping up with the News
A subscription to the Sharn Inquisitive costs 3 gp per year. Though the publication is not normally available for sale by single issues, it is usually easy to find a discarded copy a few days after publication.
Characters who come to Sharn from the surrounding region to pay their annual taxes owed to the king can do so in any of four locations. There are tariff ofﬁces in Cogsgate (in Lower Tavick’s Landing), Grayflood (in Cliffside), Precarious (in Lower Dura), and Warden Towers (in Middle Menthis). These offices collect tariffs and duties on trade as well as other annual taxes.
Sharn doesn’t draw pilgrims the way that Flamekeep draws followers of the Silver Flame, but the city contains a few attractions for those ofpious inclination. Three sites sacred to the Sovereign Host exist in the city: the Pool of Onatar’s Tears in Khyheris Gate (in the Plateau Cogs), the Great Hall of Aureon in the University District (in Upper Menthis), and the Korranath in the district that bears its name (in Upper Central).
The Shrine of Fathen the Martyr in North Market (in Lower Northedge), attracts those devoted to the Silver Flame. During the church’s crusade against lycanthropes in B32 YK, Fathen was torn to pieces by wererats in the middle of North Market; the shrine rests on that site.
Kalashtar and human followers of the Path of Light from across Khorvaire often visit Sharn to see Enlightened Havakhad, a powerful monk who lives in a small shrine in Overlook (in Upper Dura). Believed to have oracular powers, the Enlightened One’s tremendous wisdom grants him deep insight that helps those seeking guidance.
PLACES TO LIVE
For a city of over 200,000 inhabitants, Sharn has plenty of housing. From apartments in its business districts to townhomes and estates in quieter residential neighborhoods, Sharn has places to live to match most tastes and every budget. Northedge has a reputation as the most residential of Sharn’s quarters, and its topmost levels (including the districts of Oak Towers, Crystal Bridge, and the elf neighborhood of Shae Lias) include some of the finest townhomes in the city. Middle Northedge has quiet townhomes that are less expensive than those in the upper districts, and Oakbridge contains some of the nicest middle-class housing in Sharn. Even the apartment districts in Lower Northedge are more pleasant than their lower-class status would indicate, maintaining something of a small—town feel within the bustle of the city.
For those who prefer to live closer to the heart of the city, Mithral Tower (in Upper Central) features spectacular townhomes, and Platinate (in Upper Menthis) housing rates as only slightly less grand. Housing in the Highwater district (in Upper Dura) comes in as very affordable, while Ocean View (in Upper Tavick’s Landing) provides the most desirable and exclusive housing on the east side.
COST OF LIVING
|Upscale residence (rent)||2d8X10gp gp/month|
|Average residence (rent)||1d4X10 gp/month|
|Poor residence (rent)||ld4 gp/month|
|Upscale residence (buy)||2d8X2,500 gp|
|Average residence (buy)||1d4X1,500 gp|
|Poor residence (buy)||1d14X100 gp|
PLACES TO STAY
For those planning shorter stays in Sharn, the city offers abundant inns, hostels, and boarding houses. No less than five inn districts provide lodging in all areas of the city, all concentrated in the lower levels. Hostelhome in Lower Dura, High Walls and Dancing Shadows in Lower Tavickls Landing, Boldrei’s Hearth in Lower Central, and Underlook in Middle Dura together offer over six hundred inns and hostels to travelers and other visitors. That said, almost every business district in the Sharn has some type of inn, and upscale districts such as Platinum Heights and Highest Towers (in Upper Central), Seventh Tower (in Upper Menthis), and Skyway feature the best lodging in the city.
House Ghallanda offers a secure shelter, a lodging option popular among adventurers. The dragonmark heirs of the house establish these shelters in North Market (in Lower Northedge) or The Bazaar (in Middle Dura) whenever demand requires. These shelters cost 280 gp, or 35 gp per person if the maximum of eight people share a shelter. Adventurers should note that city law prohibits erecting a Leomund’s secure shelter within l mile of Sharn without a permit, and House Ghallanda holds the exclusive permit.
Characters without money to pay for lodging can find shelter in one of the many almshouses located in the city’s poorer districts (primarily slums and tenement districts in Lower Dura and the Cogs). Though lodging here is free, such places are notoriously dangerous.
Sharn’s Morgrave University, while not the most respectable institution of higher learning in Khorvaire, has an extensive library with deﬁnitive collections in certain ﬁelds, particularly arcana, dungeoneering, geography, and history. Characters seeking knowledge in any field should be able to ﬁnd resources in the library to assist their search. The university is an excellent resource for hiring sages on a short or long—term basis. Even sages with no connection to the university tend to cluster around it, establishing their homes and businesses in the University, Den’iyas, or Ivy Towers districts of Upper Menthis.
Another important resource for certain kinds of research is the City Archive in the Highest Towers district of Upper Central. The Archive contains exhaustive historical records of Sharn; birth, death, and marriage records; and copies of legal documents such as identiﬁcation papers and letters of marque issued in the city. Access to these records is more limited than access to the Morgrave library, however.
Characters pursuing more hands-on research might find what they seek in the Depths, where sewers and tunnels snake through the ruins of two ancient cities. Similarly, the crypts of the necropolis might he a source of relevant historical information.
As with magic item dealers, spellcasters—for-hire offer their services throughout the city. Spellcasters experienced with providing for the needs ofadventurers can be found in abundance in Clifftop and Deathsgate. These spellcasters usually have spells prepared that are useful to adventurers, including remove curse, remove disease, break enchantment, divination, and similar spells.
Magewrights and adepts of all levels can be found throughout Sharn. but there are only a handful of other spellcasters of 9th level or above, and these powerful individuals rarely sell their services for gold.
The table below summarizes spellcasting costs depending on the class of the spellcaster and the minimum level required for a character ofthat class to cast a spell of the desired level. There are no resident NPCs in Sharia who can cast spells of 7th level or higher, and the few who can cast 6th level spells, such as Archierophant Ythana Morr, are unlikely to exchange their services for gold, dealing instead in favors and services. As a general rule, characters can only purchase spells of 5th level or below. Finding higher-level spells should be part of a quest or adventure.
|Level||Cleric, Druid, Wizard||Sorcerer||Artiﬁcer, Bard||Adept, Magewtight||Paladin, Ranger|
House Kundarakis role in the ﬁnancial world takes a back seat to its role in providing security for waree houses, businesses, and private locations who can afford their services. Foremost among the secure storage facilities they provide in the city are the Vaults that occupy the lower levels of the Kundarak Bank of Sharn in Upper Central’s Korranath district. The Vaults, designed primarily to store small items of great value, feature unparalleled security. House Kundarak also guarantees the security of a number of warehouses in Lower Dura and Lower Tavick’s Landing, which are convenient to the major trade routes through the city.
New visitors ﬁnd that getting around Sharn provides almost as much entertainment as the many sights and wonders the city has to offer. Skycoaches—resembling small boats that range from rowboate sized skycars to longshipescale tour coaches—dart through the air of the city, transporting people from place to place. Skycoaches can be found at the Orien lightning rail station in Cogsgate (in Lower Tavickis Landing), at the waterfront in Cliffside, and at the airship docks in Highest Towers (in Upper Central). Skycoaches can also be summoned from larger balconies on towers throughout the city.
Other ways to get around include soarsleds. flying disks that ﬂit rapidly through the air, and glidewings brought to the city by Talenta halflings living in Little Plains (in Middle Menthis). A few citizens ride more exotic flying mounts. ranging from griffons and hippogriffs to giant eagles and owls, but these are hard to stable in most areas of the city. (Skyway is the only ward with ample accommodations for large flying mounts.)
Of course, not all travel in Sharn involves flying through the air. Magic lifts move people vertically from the Cogs to the Upper—City. Muleedrawn wagons carry loads along the suspended roads and skybridges that crisscross the city. Horses move among the towers, either carrying riders or pulling carriages, and many people walk from place to place whenever possible.
Skycoaches charge a standard rate of l sp per mile through the city. Thus, it is possible to get from Lower Tavick’s Landing to Upper Dura for about 6 sp.
Most of the year. Sharn is weather varies from hot and humid to hot and rainy, with brief periods of warm and dry conditions. It doesn’t rain constantly in the City of Towers, but it certainly rains more often than not, and few days pass that boast no precipitation at all.
Rain aside, Skyway and the Upper—City enjoy more pleasant weather, and a cool breeze blows across these levels most of the time. The Middle-City and below feel the brunt of the hot. humid conditions that regularly visit the region.
Temples can be found in every quarter of Sharn. though not in every district. This abundance of temples, dedicated to every deity. guarantees the citizens of the city a place of worship close to their homes. Most of these temples are little more than small shrines dedicated to a single deity, but the four temple districts of the city all contain great houses of worship dedicated to the Sovereign Host (as a pantheon) and the Silver Flame. Shae Lias (in Upper Northedge) contains a number of shrines to the Undying Court.