The Road To The Crimson Throne
The City of Korvosa
The city of Korvosa wears its Chelaxian heritage proudly on every building, tower, and rooftop. As the oldest human settlement in Varisia (a claim frequently challenged by Kaer Maga), Korvosa considers itself the founding seat of civilization in an otherwise lawless region. Thanks to it and the spread of its people, Varisia has become a relatively safe place to live.
Korvosa sits at the end of Conqueror’s Bay, where the Jeggare River meets the sea. The city fills the spit of land formed by two sharp turns in the river, covers Endrin Isle (which splits the river at its mouth), and spreads to a few outlying areas on the far shore of the Jeggare. It stands on two hills: Garrison Hill on Endrin Isle and Citadel Hill on the mainland. The Narrows of Saint Alika separates Endrin Isle from the shore.
The city is divided into seven districts, many of which are further subdivided into Wards.
East Shore: The only district beyond the channel of the Jeggare River, East Shore is home to a handful of noble houses closely tied to the military of the city, as well as the struggling Theumanexus College. Eastshore has no wards to subdivide it.
Gray: Unlike all other districts in Korvosa, Gray’s residents generally keep to themselves and are well behaved. Of course, most of Gray’s residents are dead. The only living creatures who reside in Gray belong to the church of Pharasma and live within the temple. The separate Wards of Gray District are more to define the type of burial plot available for the dead. Potter’s Ward in the southeast portion of Gray District are where the poor are buried, many in mass graves. Everyman Ward is for the Middle Class and lower upper class, though no noble houses are buried here. It dominates the majority of Gray District. Gold Ward is reserved for nobility as well as the Commandant of Sable Company and The Korvosan Guard’s Field Marshal. Sepulcher ward is reserved for those of religious background. Priests, Oracles, Paladins and the like are interred here.
Heights: Standing atop Citadel Hill, the Heights District has a commanding view of the rest of the city, which its residents look down on—both figuratively and literally. Nearly all of Korvosa’s power players reside in the Heights, including the monarchy. The Heights district is divided into the following wards:
- Citadel Crest- by far he wealthiest of the wards within the city. Rent(per month)- House: 300/Apt: 50-200/Studio: 18-70. It is noteworthy to mention that Citadel crest has no Inns, by charter there can only be Bed and Breakfast’s, of which there are 3- Upslope House, The Frisky Unicorn, and Tenna’s. Noteworthy Buildings are The Great Tower (Housing Sable Company and The Hippogriff Riding Marines) and The Temple to Asmodeus.
- Cliffside- The ward where the most lesser nobles and wealthy merchants reside. Rent(per month)- House: 140/Apt: 25-100/Studio: 8-35. The extremely expensive Crested Falcon restaurant is located here. Other noteworthy buildings, sites are Gatefoot, Kendall Amphitheater and a section of The Pillar Wall. Also home to The Marbledome; locale of Korvosa’s Opera Company. Finally The Temple to Saranrae is bordering Citadel Crest in this ward.
- University- On the Northeastern and eastern slope, this ward is home to museums and students hang outs. Rent(per month)- House: 120/Apt: 25-60/Studio: 8-20. The Jittery Quill (Coffee House/alehouse) and The Wise Dragon Inn are located here, as well as The University of Korvosa. Where Acadamae is for Arcane Studies, UoK is for more mundane learnings. Established and ran by House Jeggare, all are afforded the opportunity here to better themselves.
Midland: When most people think of Korvosa, they think of the cosmopolitan and friendly district of Midland. As the home district of the Korvosan Guard, Midland has the smallest number of gangs and gang battles in the city—although the thieves’ guild does a brisk trade in the district thanks to the disproportionately high number of merchants, shops, and other commercial and financial concerns. Four Wards make up the district:
- High Bridge- This ward is primarily made up of fisher folk and those that make their living from the river and the families of both the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company Marines. Rent(per month)- Apt: 7-26/Studio: 3-8/Tenement Flat: 4-13. Most noteworthy is this is the ward that has Citadel Volshyenek on its edge. Eodred’s Square, one of the most used meeting places for those looking to gather islocated in the heart of this ward. The Creaky hammock is it’s best known Tavern and Inn.
- Pillar Hill- The Most demographically diverse ward found in the city. Rent(per month)- Apt: 15-35/Studio: 5-12. Every Race and walk of life can be found in the southern reaches of Midland.
- Slope- This primarily Mercantile region of Korvosa has The Gold market and Eodred’s Walk, both good sources of shopping and trading. Rent(per month)- House: 100/Apt: 15-60/Studio: 5-20.
- West Dock- an area rife with criminal activity, The Dock area has a a large number of warehouses and relies on the shipping trade for it’s work. Rent(per month)- Apt: 6-18/Studio: 2-6/Tenement Flat: 3-9. The only Inn of note is Bailer’s Retreat. Within sight of The Citadel, it is a locale frequented by The Guard.
North Point: The first section of the mainland settled by the descendants of the city’s Chelish founders was Mainshore, at the northwestern tip of mainland Korvosa. That ward houses many of the city’s oldest non-noble families. The greater district of North Point covers the entire northern end of the city and holds Korvosa’s seat of municipal power(City Hall), the city’s courthouse (Longacre Building), and the Bank of Abadar. North Point includes the following wards-
- Five Corners- This relatively crowded residential ward houses many of the cities politicians and their underlings. Rent(per month)- Apt: 15-30/Studio: 5-10. The most distinguishable feature is Jeggare Circle, in it’s far northern corner. Jeggare Circle is a meeting place of many roads and is almost always occupied by those who are trying to gain an audience for whatever cause they are behind.
- Mainshore- The location of the First Chelish encampment off Endrin Island was here. portions of the old wall can still be seen along its edges. Rent(per month)- House: 100/Apt: 30-50/Studio: 10-18/Tenement Flat: 15-25. Three battles took place in Mainshore and the numerous plaques, statues and memorials are testimony to the memories of the citizens. The Laughing Wave Inn is the wards only Inn, and The infamous Dock Trade is an open market that is frequented by ne’er-do-wells. Also The Shrine to Shelyn can be found here.
- Northgate- Usually the first view of Korvosa for visitors as they cross over the Long River Bridge into the city proper. Rent(per month)- House: 60/Apt: 16-45/Studio: 6-15. Many of Korvosa’s non-noble elites and old money families reside here. The Home to City Hall, The Longacre Building (Hall of Justice), and The Bank of Abadar; Northgate is the nerve center of the city. Two Noteworthy Inns are located here- Whitecaps and The Three Rings Tavern.
- Ridgefield- Looking across the Straits of Alika at Old Korvosa, Ridgefield has succumbed to poverty itself. With few exceptions (The Posh and Turtle noted), Ridgefield is rich in economic diversity and is a picture ofthe decline found in the city. Rent(per month)- Apt: 6-45/Studio: 2-15/Tenement Flat: 3-23. The Posh and Turtle is a well heeled establishment in the shadows of The Great Tower, at the end of The Avenue of Arms (road lined with the upraised ‘sculptures’? of human arms protruding from the ground), that has a great view of the cliffs and Conquerors Bay. The unique shaft running down to the Lair of The Giant Sea Turtle’s Lair beneath the Inn allows the sounds of the surf to resonate within its walls.
Old Korvosa: As its name implies, Old Korvosa is old. It covers all of Endrin Isle, most of which is covered by Garrison Hill. Atop Garrison Hill stands the stone wall of Fort Korvosa, while the imposing blackmarble Palace Arkona dominates the northwest corner of the island.
- Bridgefront- Running the width of Endrin Island, this ward has a number of homemade bridges crossing over to the mainland. Rent(per month)- Apt: 1-3/Studio: .4-1/Tenement Flat: .5-1.5 When they ran out of room to build homes, they went up and so Bridgefront (as pictured above) is a ramshackle collection of makeshift lean-tos and structures. Bridgefront only runs inland 3 blocks, but those three blocks house 80% of the poor of the City The only Building of note is The Aging and nearly abandoned Temple of Aroden.
- Fort Korvosa- Dominated by The Palace Arkona, home to the wealthy House of Arkona, is also the location of The Endrin Military Academy. Rent(per month)- None. Old City Hall is here, and is reputed to be one of the places used by The Cerulean Guild (Korvosa’s Thieves Guild) to run their enterprise. Also located here is The Orsini Academy, noted for teaching swordsmanship.
- Garrison Hill- Crammed into the a narrow confines between Fort Korvosa and Bridgefront, Garrison Hill looks like a maze of tiers running from the Straits upwards towards the walls of Fort Kovosa. Rent(per month)- Apt: 8-16/Studio: 2-4/Tenement Flat: 4-8. The most noted building in Garrison Hill is the huge foundry called The Ironworks. Dwarven Smiths from Janderhoff work to keep the city in weapons, tools and armor.
- Old Dock- The Eastern end of Endrin Island is a poverty sticken den of iniquity. Rent(per month)- Apt: 2-9/Studio: 1.5-3/Tenement Flat: 1-4. Another Dwarven Smithy, called Copper Beater Hall is located here, and is the almost the only legal enterprise located in Old Dock. Two Inns Jegarres Jug (called Jeggy’s Jug) and The Sticky Mermaid are located here…but by and large the most noted place in Old Dock is Eel’s End, where the self proclaimed Crimelord of Korvosa, Devargo Barvasi aka The King of Spiders, makes his home at the end of a dock where 5 vessels are tied off; each providing for a different vice.
South Shore: The newest district, South Shore became a part of Korvosa only a quarter-century ago. Rent(per month)- House: 60/Apt: 10-40. It contains the Pantheon of Many, a massive temple dedicated to most of Avistan’s most popular deities. South Shore’s population consists mainly of the city’s nouveau riche hoping to escape the cramped conditions found elsewhere in the city. Also found here is the newly acquired Green Market, an open market built where a Shoanti Shamen who preached peace was stuck down.
In addition to the Wards and sub-districts, there are several places that are not part of the Ward system.
The Acadamae: Although it stands within Citadel Crest District of The Heights, The Acadamae does not fall under the wards jurisdiction. The Acadamae is an Arcane University of far reaching reputation. The Current Headmaster is Toff Ornelos of House Ornelos, a somewhat meek and timidly Wizard for all of his vast power. He is reputed to be an Archmage, which is noteworthy even for his timidity. The Acadamae has sub colleges for each of the schools of Magic, even the generally outlawed Necromancy. However, Conjuration seems to be the school that the university is known for more than any others.
Castle Korvosa & The Grand Mastaba: Also in Citadel Crest is a Huge Pyramid of Black Marble that sits atop one of the hills that Korvosa occupies. This pyramid is considered a holy site for the Shoanti, and in the early years Wars for fought because of Cheliax trying to occupy the land here. Called The Grand Mastaba by The Shoanti, though it predates their civilization by thousands of years, this flat topped Pyramid with smooth exterior faces is noticeable from any vantage point in the city. Early Chelish explorers damaged the southern corner and now it is a mass of rubble. A Ramp has been built up the South West Face to were the imposing Castle Korvosa rests atop the Grand Mastaba. It is here that King Eodred II and his child bride Ileosa reside and govern over Korvosa. Rumors abound surrounding what can be found in the depths of the Grand Mastaba. Castle Korvosa was made of the same Black Marble, so Aesthetically it almost looks like they are part and parcel of the same structure, though skilled engineers and masons know this is not the case.
High atop Castle Korvosa is a Clock Tower and the impressive Seawatch Tower. The Castle and its protection falls to The Korvosan Guard.
The Great Tower Standing 270 feet tall, This tower sits on the northwest corner of New Korvosa, overlooking Conquerors Bay. The Tower’s Massive Granite Walls, faced with an inch of Black marble and an intervening sheet of lead afford a great degreeof protection and privacy for Sable Company and their Hippogriff’s
Citadel Volshyenek sits on the waters edge of where The Jeggare River enters Conquerors Bay on The Eastern side of Korvosa. Home to The Korvosan Guard.
Finally There are two enclaves on the Eastern Shore out of the city walls.
Trails End, North of Northbridge, which is an enclave made up of primarily Shoanti, and a handful of Kellid Barbarians, and Ulfen Northmen.
Thieves Camp Just outside the northgate of East Shore which is a Varisian Enclave. There is a shrine to Desna in Thieves Camp.