Sharn (Metropolis): Conventional (town council), Nonstandard (dragonmarked houses), Nonstandard (the Citadel), Nonstandard (criminal guilds); AL Neutral; 100,000gp limit; Assets 1,125,720,000gp; Population 211,850; Integrated (33% human, 17% dwarf, 9% Halfling, 9% goblinoid, 8% gnome, 7% elf, 5% half-elf, 4% shifter, 3% changeling, 2% orc and half-orc, 1% warforged, 1% kalashtar, 1% other races).
There has been a major settlement on the Hilt of the Dagger River since before recorded history. The current metropolis, Sharn, has existed since the formation of the original Five Nations, about seven hundred years after humans rose to prominence on the continent. For more than two millennia, the towers of Sharn have grown, rising thousands of feet into the sky. This vertical expansion has given the metropolis its title: The City of Towers.
Sharn is known by many names, including The City of Towers, The City of Knives, The City of Lost Souls, The City of a Thousand Eyes, The Gateway to Xen’drik, and The Gateway to Perdition.
Sharn is the largest city on the continent of Khorvaire and one of the defining locations of the nation of Breland, looms atop an inhospitable outcropping of rock near the mouth of the Dagger River. The city sits within a manifest zone linked to Syrania, the Azure Sky. This manifest zone enhances magic related to flying and levitation, which makes many of Sharn’s magical wonders possible. The vast majority of the magic items used within the city to facilitate flight only function because of the manifest zone, and work less well or not at all beyond its boundaries. The City of Towers rises high into the cloud-filled sky, growing upward within the limited space available on a plateau bounded on the west and south by the Dagger River and its eastern tributary, the Hilt. To the north and east, steep cliffs define the city’s boundaries, while deep chasms formed by volcanic action cut the plateau into five distinct regions: Dura on the west, Tavick’s Landing on the east, Northedge to the north, and the Central Plateau and Menthis Plateau in the center. Along the Dagger River at the western edge of the city, the neighborhood of Cliffside is built upon and into the steep riverside cliffs. Above the highest towers, the neighborhood of Skyway floats over the city. The city also extends underground, into sewers and long-forgotten ruins, and deeper to the furnaces and foundries of the Cogs.
Getting Where You’re Going
Travel in Sharn can be unpredictable. Residents joke that it takes about an hour to get anywhere, whether it’s just down three levels in the same tower or all the way across town. Of course, skycoaches reduce the time dramatically compared to walking from place to place, and characters who really know their way around (as well as characters who are willing to ask for directions frequently along the way) can get to their destinations more quickly than newcomers who refuse to display their ignorance. If it becomes important to know how long it takes to get from one place to another, use the following rules of thumb:
Destination in same district 3d6 minutes
Destination in same ward 6d6 minutes
Destination in adjacent ward 3d6 × 5 minutes
Destination farther than adjacent ward 6d6 × 5 minutes
Destination in same district 1d6 minutes
Destination in same ward 2d6 minutes
Destination in adjacent ward 1d6 × 5 minutes
Destination farther than adjacent ward 2d6 × 5 minutes
A party can reduce this time by one-half if one character makes a successful DC 15 Knowledge (local) or Gather Information check.