Korvosa Map & Information.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
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 Teller of tales
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Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:23
Korvosa Map & Information

District Information
  • The Acadamae - Highly prestigious and esteemed magical academy, it only teaches specialist wizards and has such a high importance on Conjuration that it is forbidden as a barred school. Access is restricted to only students and faculty.
  • Castle Korvosa - a high-walled citadel built on top of a giant flat cyclopean sandstone pyramid. Human-sized stairs have been cut into it to rise up to the black marble keep perched at the top. Due to erratic building and expansions over the years, the citadel is very asymetrical with seemingly random towers and walls running around.
  • East Shore - the only district on the other side of the Jeggare River, it houses a few noble houses closely tied to the military and a few other notable buildings. East Shore houses the smallest orphanage in Korvosa.

    -Theumanexus College - a magical academy for teaching generalist wizards (and specialists who fail the strict entrance exams of the Acadamae.

    -Leftover's - the only inn for East Shore, has 12 two-person rooms and run by retired soldier Portenus Gaskelinni.

    -Horse Shop - sells horses and other pack animals at very competitive prices (90% list value).

    -Shoreline Drinkhall - most popular tavern in East Shore. Mostly visited by off-duty garrison guards that swarm the place three times a day after shift changes. Also frequented by many dock workers and occasional members of East Shore nobles during the day. At night Shoanti and Varisians from Thief Camp fill the place and tend to end up in brawls with each other and the off-duty guards.
  • Gray - graveyard district. Divided into mass graves in the Potter's Ward (1cp for mass grave and name engraved on wall), Everyman Ward (2sp for a mausoleum internment), Gold Ward (1,500gp or more for giant tombs and personal mausoleums) and Sepulcher Ward (for religious leaders, paladins, and clerics).

    -Grand Cathedral of Pharasma - large building/fortification that acts as church Pharasma as well as stronghold to resist semi-frequent eruptions of undead.

    -Great Tomb of Leadership - largest crypt in Gold Ward that houses a vault for burying military leaders and the most decorated soldiers. Guarded at all times by two marines and two soldiers, usually highly decorated soldiers.
  • The Heights - Nearly all of Korvosa's power players reside in the heights and it is by far the most expensive district. (Can add +20,000 - 80,000gp in influence costs to build in district)

    Citadel Crest - wealthiest ward with more then a dozen noble families and twice as many powerful merchants living within. Violent crimes are very rare however property crimes tend to happen quite often due to the high concentration of wealth in such a small area. This district has no inns, instead powerful visitors can stay at one of three noble-owned B&Bs in the area.

    -Great Tower - one of the tallest structures  in the region standing 270' high and a 100' diameter base tightening to a 40' diameter roof. It has 19 floors divided for different uses and an extensive Vault system beneath it. It houses the Sable Company armory, a branch of the military academy, barracks for 200 Sable Company marines, and aeries for most of the city's domesticated hippogriffs. During the Queen's reign, after she disbanded the Sable Company she started deconstructing the Great Tower, harvesting the stones to use in building giant statues to glorify her reign.

    -Upslope House - middle price range but the largest B&B in Citadel Crest (nearly an inn) that can accomodate 22 people in its 10 rooms.

    -Frisky Unicorn - least expensive B&B in Citadel Crest. Contains a tower that would allow an opportunity to see Conquerer's Bay and most of the city but houses a nest of capricious and semi-tame pseudodragons. Although sometimes pests involving food and guests' shiny objects, they also drive away imps from the nearby Acadamae and thus are tolerated.

    -Temple of Asmodeus - Star-shaped temple that was consecrated with the blood of 13 virgins (9 were later brought back alive in response to protests and riots from the rest of the city).From the air it looks like a red five-sided star (the holy symbol of Asmodeus).

    -Gilded Orrery - Arcane shop specializing in items and texts that support Conjuration. Because of the Acadamae, it does such high volume business in conjuration spell components and items that they frequently bear discounts of up to 25% off list price.

    -Tenna's - smallest and priciest B&B in Citadel Crest, it has the most luxuries available including scented baths, manicures, lavish meals etc. Stands across from the House Ornelos manor.

    -Lavender - one of the better-known and noted perfume boutiques in Korvosa, stands amid a row of tightly packed shops just off of Summoning Street. Owned by an opportunistic Chelaxian woman named Vendra Loaggri, the perfumery has always had a reputation for avant garde creations and brazen promotions. Infamous memories of the “Free Imp with Every Purchase” stunt still linger among residents of the Heights.

    Cliffside - lesser nobles and not-quite-as-wealthy merchants live here. Most of the ward's wealth crams itself against the Northern section and along the cliff that gives the ward its name. Two Sable Company watchhouses on the cliffs and frequent patrols from the guard make it a safe ward.

    -Kendall Amphitheater - built into a sinkhole caused by an ankheg infestation, it has a very complicated support structure designed by dwarven engineers. Usually hosts open-air performance but also occasional non-violent physical competitions.

    - Plaza of Scions - directly northwest of the ampitheater are statues of the Scions of Puris, the adventuring party that defeated the ankheg infestation.

    -Crested Falcon - one of the most expensive (and easily the most over-priced) restaurants, it caters to the whims of the city's elite. The menu changes daily based upon what the kitchen has in stock. Prices are not listed (it is considered the ultimate social faux pas) and upon receiving the bill, those who cannot pay are magically compelled to work off their debt.

    -Temple of Sarenrae- turreted temple built of white marble dedicated to healing. Has endless crowds swarming around it hoping for blessings and healing treatments.

    -The Overlook - tavern teetering on the edge of the cliffs. The owner, Asa Memrich, offers a drink called the This'n'That which is made up with whatever disgusting thing the bartender has at hand along with copious amounts of alcohol. If a patron can finish it, however, they drink for free for the rest of the night. Although ordered several times per week, Asa only has to give away free drinks a couple times a month.

    -Marbledome - Opera house. Owned by House Jeggare but managed by tyrannical Touran Palastus. Recently it produces mediocre opera that bleeds gold. Jeggare considers a performance that just breaks even a tremendous success and performers are poorly paid, treated worse, and the house has high turnover as performers quickly lose passion for their art or leave for Magnimar or Sandpoint.

    University - center for mundane learning. Houses the University of Korvosa and a number of smaller schools and cultural centers. Tends to be very calm and safe with only petty crimes and misdemeanors.

    -University of Korvosa - consists of five major buildings and three satellite buildings, it contains a massive amount of classrooms and offices devoted to mundane academic studies.

    -Jeggare Museum - built by House Jeggare, houses hundreds to thousands of artifacts pulled from ruins and Shoanti camps across Varisia, as well as a few selection of more exotic items. Has a wing devoted to Golarion's natural history. Current curator is Mercival Jeggare.

    -Jittery Quill - low-key establishment serves ale and coffee in support of nearby University students. Open 24 hours a day, closing for 12 hours on Oathday.

    -Wise Dragon Inn - filled with prospective students to the University who fill it in spring and summer, activity drops sharply during the school year. During peak times rent goes up by a full 1gp and at down times is 5sp under price. Attached restaurant serves no alcohol but does have sitting rooms available. Harbors a handful of imps that were former familiars of now dead students/faculty.
  • Midland - Cosmopolitan and generally friendly district. Home to both the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company and so has the fewest gangs and highest number of merchant shops and banks (and thus the thieves guild does frequent 'business' in this district). There are three middle-sized orphanages in hte Midland, one each in High Bridge, PIllar HIll, and Slope.

    Citadel Volshyenek - HQ of the Korsovan guard. Doesn't belong to a ward.

    High Bridge - mostly residences for fishermen, longshoremen, and families of the guards and marines.

    -Creaky Hammock - nautical themed inn that serves ships' crews in port for a few days. Attached tavern is loud day and night. Has large common rooms full of hammocks and four small rooms. Often exceeds capacity and sailors sleep on the floor where the innkeeper, Destin Smish, dutifully turns them on their side to keep them from choking on their own vomit.

    -Eodred's Square - a plaza at the end of the ward, it serves as a popular landmark for locals and visitors to use to set up meetings or orient themselves in the ward.

    Pillar Hill - economically and demographically diverse. Wealthy merchants live in the north beneath the shadow of Castle Korvosa and hard-working laborers and longshoremen live along the Pillar Wall to the south. Contains all types of humans, neighborhoods for all other civilized races (elves, dwarves, haflings, gnomes, half-orcs, half-elves) as well as tieflings. Finally a few creatures typically viewed as 'monsters' have residences in this district.

    -Bookmaker - largest bookstore in Korvosa. A gentleman's agreement with the Gilded Orrery prevent too much overlap in items and titles. Owned and operated by Costa Serimus.

    -Gold Market - largest market and main attraction of Midland. People from all over the city descend daily on the stands, stalls, and tents that form the backbone of the open-air market.

    -Eodred's Walk - 14 shops form a semicircle offer permanent goods and services to the otherwise transient nature of the Gold Market. They are three-story shops with the upper floors overhanging the ground to create a continuous covered pavilion. The shops are:
    • Aram's Crown - cramped tavern selling watered down ale and weak wine
    • Basha's - small bookstore and map shop (with occasional magical text or scroll for sale).
    • Doom and Gloom - old Varisian woman sells Harrow readings for 5cp
    • Galloping Ghost - sells tack & barding for variety of animals, including hippogriffs. The owner, Patch, crafts all the equipment used by the city's Sable Company hippogriff mounts.
    • Gemshare Jewelers - buys & sells variety of gems and precious stones
    • Hedge Wizardy - sells crafting and magical supplies. Run by Phaeton Skoda, a dropout of Theumanexus College, students of both Theumanexus and the Acadamae are forbidden to do business here.
    • High Bridge Haberdashery - clothing catering towards growing middle class of merchants and skilled laborers, as well as some rugged adventuring clothing for adventurers.
    • Kep's - fishmonger that sells daily catch. Has a taxidermy sahaugin holding a trident in the back corner.
    • Fair-Fished Baitshop - run by a frustratingly attractive yet anonymous and androgynous Varisian, the shop sells bait, fishing tackle, crabbing traps, clamming shovels and other gear specialized for fishermen. The owner's true gender and name are the ward's most talked about mysteries.
    • Pinking Shears - barbershop. Run by a squint-eyed half-orc named Ol' Hooktooth who is always dressed stylishly but rarely talks. Only takes new customers if introduced to him by an existing patron.
    • Slicing Dicers - weaponshop that sells exlusively bladed weapons of the mundane, exotic, and magical varieties.
    • Smoked Foods - foodshop specializing in smoked foods. Narrow shop that is almost always crowded.
    • Time Stop - clockshop run by the gnome Goupie Capabopple. Every watch and clock are set exactly to the same time, thanks to the help of his daughters, Min and Sec who visit him once a week to help wind every clock.
    • Trapper's Hole - owned by retired Sable Company marine Jope Chantsmo, it sells hunting equipment and specializes in archery equipment of mundane, exotic, and magical varieties. Owner hates crossbows and doesn't carry any and won't serve anyone with one.

    Slope - sitting on the eastern slope of Citadel Hill, it contains numerous libraries, museums, and other places of culture. The ward houses tthe third highest concentration of educated people, behind only the University and Acadamae districts.

    -Pestico's Dolls and Figurines - run by a doddering but gentle old man, Vadid Pestico has lived and worked his entire life crafting exquisite dolls for the city's children. When his wife died and he was without children he created six lifelike ball-jointed dolls that imbued with the spark of life. His so-called Daughters serve in his shop. One of his daughters has recently gone missing.

    West Dock -  Rugged ward contains no residences, instead devoted to warehouses, fish processing facilities, and the remains of a block devoted solely to meatpacking. Prevailing winds push the meaty stink southeast into Citadel Volshyenek and most of High Bridge. Unwelcome mobs of stubborn druids frequent the area preaching the evils of civilization.

    -Bailer's Retreat - rough tavern frequented by recently released prisoners from nearby Citadel Volshyenek as well as a large number of off-duty guards.

  • North Point - where the Chelish city founders first settled, this district is home to the oldest non-noble families in Korsova and many can trace their lineage back to the original settlers.

    Five Corners - This relatively crowded residential ward houses many of the city’s politicians and their underlings. The ward’s most distinguishing characteristic is Jeggare Circle, in the far northern corner. City historians frequently debate the origin of the ward’s name, with the two most popular schools of thought arguing that it relates to the number of other wards touching it or to the number of sides the ward has.

    -Sanctuary of Shelyn - The smallest of the independent temples in the city, the sanctuary of Shelyn ranks among Korvosa’s most beautiful buildings. This square building engulfs a small interior courtyard decorated with statuary, murals, and beautiful f lowering plants. Although crowded with artwork and plants of natural beauty, the sanctuary looks full but never cluttered.

    -Three Rings Tavern - This quiet tavern belongs to retired adventurer and former Pathfinder Theandra Darklight. Theandra earned enough coin as an adventurer to buy a decrepit tavern in Five Corners and fix up. A lithe beauty in her adventurous youth and starving childhood, Theandra took to the settled life with great gusto, and today she appears somewhere closer to matronly. A few years ago, Theandra lost a few fingers when a bar brawl turned ugly, which led her to hire the half-Shoanti barbarian Tauk Par as a bouncer. Theandra likes to keep her bar low-keyed and quiet, serving as much coffee and tea as mead and wine. Tauk Par watches over the place like a hawk, eyeing regulars and newcomers alike with the same barely concealed dislike. In addition to its extensive variety of beverages, Three Rings also gathers a regular breakfast clientele with its Varisian sweetbreads and Gebbite cream-filled pastries.

    Mainshore - The first Chelish encampment on the mainland was in modern-day Mainshore. Three battles took place here between the Chelish settlers and Shoanti to establish control of the land. Following the third battle, the garrison erected a wood palisade, which a stone wall later replaced (sections of which still stand and mark the boundaries of the ward). The city’s truly old money still resides in Mainshore, although many buildings not belonging to these wealthy non-noble families show their age. Mainshore also houses the largest orphanage in Korvosa.

    -Laughing Wave Inn - The Laughing Wave is the oldest surviving inn on the mainland, being the only structure not razed by the Shoanti when they drove back the Chelish settlers during the Second Battle of Mainshore, in 4439. In many ways, the Laughing Wave shows its age, from its rounded steps to its sagging balconies. It remains a favorite destination of visitors, however, thanks to its long history and the legends surrounding the Barbarian Princess, the ghost of a Shoanti woman said to appear three nights a year.

    -The Dock Trade - This market of questionable legality operates in New Dock. Many of the goods sold within it appear freshly delivered, although most have some amount of minor damage to them. The Hellknights have for years attempted to link the wares sold in the Dock Trade with cargo reported missing from ship manifests. Their constant vigil has prevented the Dock Trade from growing much, and it remains the smallest of Korvosa’s open markets. In addition to the vigilant Hellknights, another group occasionally disrupts business in the market. A family of tame pseudodragons lives in the rafters of one of the Dock Trade’s converted warehouses. For the most part, the pseudodragons ignore the activity that occurs below them, hunting rats and other small but hated vermin. Every so often, though, a particularly succulent smell or shiny object attracts the interest of one or more of the small dragons. Once one notices, it inevitably draws the attention of its comrades, and the entire colony swoops down into the teeming human masses. While the pseudodragons never mean harm, their sudden appearance disrupts transactions and sometimes sends people into a panic. When this occurs, the Dock Trade’s guards arrive and drive off the diminutive dragons, who sullenly leave for several weeks (usually until the Dock Trade’s rat problem becomes so great its owners find the pseudodragons and beg them to return).

    -City Hall - This large building, once the seat of governmental power in the city (prior to the creation of the monarchy), still houses the various ministries and the myriad offices of the growing bureaucracy. Built in the New White style of architecture (characterized by thick pillars, whitewashed facades, and rectangular windows), city hall shines as a beacon of pre-infernal Chelaxian tastes quite contrary to structures built since. Within the great foyer, across from the main entry doors, hangs a massive 8-foot-by-13-foot painting. This painting, by famed artist Endrik Archerus, shows Field Marshal Korvosa meeting Sergeant Endrin atop the ruined earthworks of Fort Korvosa (and is rife with historical inaccuracies). Known as Breaking the Siege, it is by far the most famous painting in or of Korvosa.

    -Whitecaps - One of the oldest surviving inns on the mainland, Whitecaps is more than a century past its prime. It looks old, it smells old, and it even feels old once inside it. Despite its age and wear, though, Whitecaps remains a popular destination for visitors to the city. Whitecaps’s popularity comes not from any quality or service it provides, but rather for its reputation for being both clean and cheap. And secure. Thanks to high quality locks and thick doors, patrons of Whitecaps have reported only seven burglaries in its two-and-a-half centuries of existence.

    -Bank of Abadar - More than just a temple to the god of cities, the Bank of Abadar also serves as the city’s main bank. The temple serves every banking need, such as security boxes, saving and investment accounts, loans, and even writs of credit. Beneath the temple, in well-guarded lead-lined chambers, the rumored Golden Vaults of Abadar house the Korvosan Mint. The mint creates all the coins issued by the city and also helps to regulate the city’s economy by buying back or releasing gold in an effort to counter inflation or recession. Archbanker Darb Tuttle and the clerics of Abadar work closely with the ministers of City Hall, the arbiters of the Longacre Building, and the Field Marshal of the Guard.

    -Longacre Building - The last stop for the city’s most violent criminals, the imposing Longacre Building, also known as Arbiter’s Hall, houses the feared arbiters of Korvosa. Despite their frightful reputation, the arbiters only have the worst criminals executed. Violent crimes and crimes against the city of Korvosa or the state of Cheliax alone warrant the death penalty. Criminals sentenced to death are executed within the Longacre Building or in the Deathhead Vault beneath it. Executions within the building are carried out by hanging (always the humane neck-snapping method, never through slow strangulation) while messier beheadings (by razor-sharp axe) occur in the Vault below. Clerics of Abadar and Pharasma regularly patrol the building, as those executed here do not always remain completely dead. Next to the necropolis of Gray District, more undead come from Longacre Building than anywhere in the city. Rumors persist that prisoners occasionally turn up missing from their cells under the building. While many people insist those who go missing simply escape, more ominous voices (particularly among those who work in the building) insist that something comes up from below to drag off the criminals. Stranger still, on rare occasions those who had disappeared just as suddenly reappear, usually years later and with only vague and nightmarish memories of the intervening time.

    Northgate - Many visitors from the rest of Varisia first enter Korvosa in Northgate, as it is to this ward that the Longriver Bridge connects. Many of Korvosa’s non-noble elites and old-money families live in Northgate, although such moneyed folk slowly relocate onto the slopes and summit of Citadel Hill.

    Ridgefield - This ward once overlooked the Merciless Cliffs to the south, before the formation of Citadel Crest. Despite losing any connection to the ridge, the ward kept its name. Today, Ridgefield faces the poorest and most crowded ward in the city, and it too is plagued with poverty. Regardless of the poverty that hounds it from across the strait, Ridgefield enjoys frequent but stilted economic growth and areas close to Citadel Crest and University are among the nicest in North Point. Ridgefield is, by far, the most economically diverse ward in the city.

    -Posh and Turtle - Situated at the west end of the famed but mysterious Avenue of Arms, the Posh and Turtle remains the finest inn and tavern in all of Korvosa. Upon entering the establishment, it is difficult not to notice the glass flooring overlooking a wide but shallow sea cave. Within the cave lives a 20' long sea turtle named Old Tom, who grew too large to escape through the narrow opening back out to the ocean. Narrow grates between the 5' square floor panes act as frames and allow patrons and the waitstaff to drop food to Old Tom. Thick iron bars form a latticework of protection a couple feet beneath the glass, preventing Old Tom from smashing his way through the floor. Three times per day, Thaviun Rigulus, the inn’s wizardly owner, magically cleans both Old Tom and the area of his sea cave directly below the inn to reduce the smell. Thaviun claims Posh and Turtle is the best inn north of Cheliax, an assertion that has created an unfriendly rivalry with the Goldlager in Magnimar. Rumors abound that the Goldlager’s owner, Brewmaster Rogehres Tarlo, has recently contacted the belligerent druids who prowl Korvosa’s docks. Indeed, the generally vocal but lazy druids have recently begun protesting in front of the Posh and Turtle, agitating for Old Tom’s release. On multiple occasions, the Korvosan Guard has had to forcefully remove the druids, who promise retribution against Thaviun.

    -Avenue of Arms - This bizarre landmark of the city extends from just east of the Great Tower along the riverfront to Burnt Bridge Boulevard. All along the wide thoroughfare rise silent and unsettling sentinels that predate the Chelish settlers who came here three centuries ago. These sentinels, exactly 127 human-looking stone arms, reach up from the rocky soil along the road at an even distance. No two arms look the same. Some stick up straight, while others bend at the elbow; roughly a third
    of them hold a variety of rusting weapons, while almost another third hold stone representations of weapons; about a quarter of them look feminine, with the rest appearing masculine; and together they comprise more than a dozen kinds of stone. Despite variations, all of them have a few things in common: they face the same direction, with their elbows bending away from shore to point toward the road; they all look like the arms of human adults; none of them are damaged or look weathered at all; and they are evenly spaced at exactly 2'3.5" apart.
  • Old Korvosa - the poorest and most overcrowded district in Korvosa, this area was recently ravaged by a plague and the recently deposed Queen quarantined the entire district leading to massive anarchy and death. The district, while still overcrowded, has become a disease-ridden tome even after the quarantine dropped and many buildings are full of rotting dead and worse.

    Bridgefront - pressed together in a just three blocks inland, every available space has been turned into makeshift slums. In just those three blocks houses 10% of the city and nearly 80% of the poor and destitute.

    Fort Korvosa - a moldering citadel that with crumbling walls that houses the only noble family in Old Korvosa: House Arkona.
    -Palace Arkona - with an exterior of black marble and with carvings of three-headed elephants, peacocks with savers, and tigers with carven eyes gaze from the wall and over the gardens beyond. The massive manor houses Old Korvosa's de facto ruling family, the inscrutable but feared House Arkona. The bizarre architectural embellishments come from distant Vudra, whose imports made house Arkona the power it is today. A massive black-marble and wrought-iron wall surrounds the property and is guarded day and night by human (and otherwise) patrols to eject the poor and trespassers.

    -Old City Hall - nicknamed the Charcoal Palace for its dark-brick exterior, it was the tallest building in Varisia for more then 50 years however it has since been overshadowed by buildings in Magnimar, as well as the giant towers of Castle Korvosa. It hasn't been the real city hall in over 200 years and now serves as the center for Old Korvosa's black market, thanks to generous bribes to the guards that look the other way.

    -Orsini Academy - A famed sword school in the heart of the old city center, its large ornate oak doors have knockers carved into them in the shape of an imp and pseudodragon locked in mortal combat. The sound of steel on steel issues forth all hours of daylight and deep into the night as men and women, mostly scions of noble houses, practice the elegant skill of fencing. Vencarlo Orsini rarely teaches anymore and most classes are lead by his senior student Dengaro.

    -Endrin Military Academy - this whitewashed building serves as barracks for Fort Korvosa's small garrison of guards and Sable Company trainees, as well as classrooms and sparring rings. Within the walls, foul-mouthed drill sergeants teach new recruits how to be Sable Company marines as well as also training junior officers of the Korvosan Guard to act as liasons between the guard and the marines.

    Garrison Hill - crammed in the narrow confines between the towering walls of Fort Korvosa and the towering slums of Bridgefront, Garrison Hill rises up on the eastrn slope of its namesake. The streets widen out of the cramped alleys of Bridgefront. Residents struggles against the oozing spread of destitution from surrounding wards.

    -The Travelling Man - This small tavern’s main claim to fame is its proximity to one of the otyugh plugs used by the city to feed its otyugh allies. People flock to the Travelling Man every Oathday, when a small contingent of Korvosan Guards winch open the plug and throw in relatively fresh meat and produce. The attraction isn’t the
    feeding, it’s the chance that a otyugh decides to rampage and burst out of the plug, which happens once or twice a year. As a result, the front wall of the Travelling Man is exceedingly thick, as are its barred windows.

    -Hessim, Newby, and Sage Paint Manufactory - This curious place is a twisted and sagging shopfront that displays hundreds of tiny jars and pots, brushes, canvases,
    and easels. Even from the street, the building smells of
    turpentine, linseed, and oil. For the past 108 years, the manufactory of Hessim, Newby,
    and Sage has made the rich pigments of Old Korvosa into paint, a fact the trio of smiling, ingratiating elderly owners is proud of. The three men are incredibly short and wear thick optics to see. Although soft-spoken, the old men are both nervy and strangely defiant. From the simplest flake white at 1sp a pot to the most dazzling Newby Violet at 40gp a jar, the pigments of Hessim, Newby, and Sage are unsurpassed for brilliance, realism, and permanence.

    -The Ironworks - One of the largest buildings in Old Korvosa, and indeed the city, the Ironworks takes in pig iron from Janderhoff and recycled slag bought for almost nothing and, in turn, spits out wrought iron works in a wide range of quality. More a factory and less a smithy, the Ironworks focuses on simple and functional wrought-iron goods, emphasizing quantity over quality. This allows the city’s few blacksmiths to remain in business, as they can focus on high-quality goods or customized jobs.

    -Racker's Alley - Racker’s Alley, with its strange shape and shadowy corners, has long been a site of illicit exchanges, quiet murders, and criminal business near the eastern edge of North Point. Shunned by the locals and constantly hidden from sunlight by looming buildings and the nearby wall, the alley makes a great place for clandestine operations.

    Old Dock - if not for the festering poverty of Bridgefront, the Old Dock ward would be considered the most run-down and destitute. Whereas the people of Bridgefront live honest if poverty-stricken lives, Old Dock is where the less-than-legal go. Rough-and-tumble Old Dock accounts for half the city's violent crimes despite heavy patrols by the guard.

    -Reffclaw Run Market - fresh seafood is brought into this market every morning, as well as other wares that fishing boats have caught in their nets or found in the bellies of larger sharks and fish.

    -Sticky Mermaid - a fixture of the Old Docks for two centuries, the Sticky Mermaid is the roughest bar in Korvosa and frequently has bar fights to the death. It serves a particularly potent spirit called fishjack that is garnished with fermented eggs of river salmon. Every few months the Guard get tired of breaking up fights and hauling out the dead and shut the bar down for a couple of weeks. After the tavern's owner appeals to the Church of Abadar and pays a hefty fee, it reopens. This cycle has been repeating for decades.

    -Jeggare's Jug - One of many small pubs that fill the Old Dock and the first drinking establishment built in Korovsa, Jeggy's Jug (as it's frequently called) survived the Great Fire mostly unscathed.

    -Copper-Beater Hall - Copper bars from Janderhoof and Baslwief get dropped off in large bins outside. inside, ear-plugged smiths spend their days at wide anvils beating the copper bars into sheets, rods, plates, and other simple forms used in construction or later refined by craftsmen into tools and decorations. The hammering din outside the building is nearly deafening.

    -Eel's End - a clot of five ships permanently moored at the end of Old Dock. The whole area is under the rule of a man named Devargo Barvasi, known to many as the King of Spiders for his strange empathy with the long-legged creatures. The ships that comprise Eel's End are as follows:
    • Goldenhawk - now a flophouse for drunkards and derelicts. Managed by a lisping gnome named Tuggins.
    • Twin Tigers - a raucous gambling hall. Managed by twin red veiled brothers, Anpugit and Rajeek.
    • House of Clouds - a brothel. Managed by a half-elf madam named Halvara.
    • Dragon's Breath - a drug den. Managed by a skinny, short man named Bezzeraty.
    • Eel's End - the largest of the five, this decommissioned warship serves as Devargo's base of operations.

    -Exemplary Execrables - Refurnished with gaudy gold-colored paint and massive glass “gems,” this former temple of Aroden has found a new life as the home of a perverse and detestable theater of all things foul, gore-slicked, and unnaturally pornographic. The theater’s owner, a repugnant sore-covered human named Pilts
    Swastel, employs the city’s “best and brightest” performers of unmentionable acts.
    Numerous acts rotate through the theater, with any particular performer putting on a show four or five nights a week. The theater’s acts include gore-filled plays with faux
    tortures, false murders, fake rapes, and other fabrications meant to horrify and sicken the audience. By far the most popular act, though, is the so-called “death play,” in which a masked performer gruesomely “murders” a volunteer from the audience for all the rest to enjoy. Some spectators and officials wonder how many of the acts use stage effects and chicanery and how many might actually perform what they purport to only represent. Volunteers sometimes turn up missing after a performance, and the theater has a high turnover rate for young and pretty assistants. Due to these and other complaints, the Sable Company has attempted on multiple occasions to infiltrate and investigate the theater, and the Korvosan Guard has called upon Hellknights to prematurely end shows more than once. Nearly as controversial as the theater, Exemplary
    Execrables also offers an attached museum (with a separate admission fee, of course). The museum offers exhibits such as “Two-Dozen-and-Three Severed Heads,” “Unwanted Fetuses,” and “Instruments of Torture and Murder.” This last exhibit, the most popular of them all, features a working guillotine from Galt, complete with an attached chalkboard counting the number of fingers lost to overcurious patrons (the current count stands at 37). All other instruments and devices in the exhibit have been disabled or blunted to hinder inquisitive fools from maiming themselves or others.

    -Temple of Aroden - Old and crumbling, the temple of Aroden has lost almost all of its former splendor. A pitiful trio of clerics attempts to maintain the building as best they can, holding services every Sunday for a constantly shrinking number of curious observers and older holders-on. Twice the city has threatened to raze the building and raise a new temple to a different god, but each time the trio was able to muster enough support from citizens to spare the building.

  • South Shore - The newest district officially added to the city, South Shore became a part of Korvosa in 4684, when Queen Domina set the first foundation stone for the Pantheon of Many. South Shore’s population consists mainly of the city’s nouveau riche hoping to escape the cramped conditions elsewhere in the city. No wards divide South Shore. A small enclave built specifically as an embassy for Mierani elves stands in the ward.

    -Orkatto’s Feathers and Fur - Collectors and wealthy nobles of South Gate acquire exotic pets or oddities to add to their menageries from Orkatto’s. It is filled with caged wonders, from rainbow-plumed songbirds and snowdust badgers to emerald-back nightbelly boas and even the odd dream spider (for Orkatto’s more shady clientele). The elderly halfling served a lord in Magnimar as his master of the hunt in younger days, but the country squire saved his coppers well and retired to Korvosa to set up his shop.

    -Green Market - This small, fully enclosed market specializes in food, clothing, and commodities the residents of the city need to survive, but it also provides jewelry and other luxuries for the nobles of the city. Merchants here are expressly forbidden from selling weapons, armor, or magic. The Green Market closed its doors nearly a decade ago when the previous owner died unexpectedly at a relatively young age. Four years ago, a young woman named Zeeva Foxglove bought and refurbished the building, reopening the market three years ago to thunderous applause. Since its reopening, Green Market has proven profitable and popular beyond many observers’ expectations.

    -Bard’s End - Standing just a block from Kendall Amphitheater, Korvosa’s largest inn provides a place to stay for those who have traveled long and far. Visiting actors of varying fame frequent the Bard’s End, as do musicians, performers, and actual bards. A relatively small stage dominates the inn’s common room, and a night never goes by without some kind of performance being held. Traveling bards hoping to make a gold sail or two often pass through Bard’s End on their way into or out of Varisia. The inn can comfortably house three dozen people in its 14 rooms, although it frequently holds more than twice that number.

    -Jade Circle - This green-painted, domed building glitters like a giant emerald in the sun. Banners of Korvosa’s oldest noble houses wave on poles jutting from the second floor open-air balcony. Behind its lacquered latticework doors is a cacophony of scents and delicate delights, from the teahouse’s famed porcelains to its exotic fare. The Jade Circle is the swankiest site in South Shore. By day, young noblewomen accompany their mothers here for a spot of the most exotic fragrant teas from Osirion and even the distant sandalwood shores of Tian Xia. By night, young bravos bolster their spirits with mulled wines as they share a rousing tale of the silver market’s ups and downs, or discuss the merits of various fighting styles (rapier and dagger is currently en vogue).

    -Pantheon of Many - Completed in 4706 and built in anticipation of Korvosa’s tercentennial, the Pantheon of Many holds within its massive octagonal white-marbled walls shrines to 17 different deities. Of the twenty main deities of Golarion, only Gorum, Lamasthu, and Rovagug do not have shrines within the pantheon. The pantheon respects all of the deities it serves—even the evil and chaos-loving ones—so all 17 spaces are equally sized. Clerics of the represented deities tend to their shrines, performing rites (those that do not violate Korvosan law, anyway) under the watch of a pair of impartial observers. No sacrifices of creatures, intelligent or not, is allowed within the pantheon.

    -Carowyn Manor - A stately, gabled manor along Shoreline Way built for the minor noble house Carowyn, Carowyn Manor serves as the in-town home of Olauren and Ausio Carowyn. Built for entertaining, the estate includes the manor house itself, a smaller servants’ residence, and a meticulously manicured garden—complete with gazebo and pond full of Ember Lake charigs (tiny salamanders that glow in the dark). An outbreak of Blood Veil here destroyed almost the entire noble family and left the manicured grounds a diseased graveyard.
  • The Shingles
    The Shingles came into being only a few decades ago, when urban renewal projects on Endrin Isle pushed Old Korvosa’s poorest people into Bridgefront. As people flooded into the area, they quickly ran out of room. Taking a cue from Kaer Maga, they built upward, with lean-tos and shacks creating impromptu third stories on many of the ward’s buildings. These temporary third stories gave way to more permanent additions, which in turn received tents and shacks atop them. Over time, this progression of haphazard permanency gave rise to a ramshackle wall of residences reaching as high as five f loors in some places.
    These cramped and irregular roof lines gave homes to some of the city’s poorest and most desperate people. The children of these impoverished people grew up on the roofs
    of Bridgefront and thought little of traversing the ward by moving above it. Over time, they learned that other sections of the city with equally dense roof lines could also provide hidden and convenient paths. At first, these young daredevils only used the roofs as highways and called running along the rooftops “shingle dashing.” As the
    practice became more common and different underworld elements saw potential in its use, permanent and semi-permanent waypoints, structures, and safehouses appeared on roofs throughout the most crowded parts of the city. Eventually, these rooftop communities became known collectively as the Shingles.
    No accurate map of the Shingles exists, as almost by definition the neighborhood is in a constant state of flux. Generalizations, of course, can provide a basic overview of
    the Shingles’ features within a ward, but exact directions to a particular residence or shop defy description. The Shingles do not exist as a continuous layer that blankets
    the roofs of the city. Rather, large swaths of Korvosa remain free of the phenomenon, with areas under the Shingles being large islands surrounded by clear roofs. Humans don’t live alone on the roofs of their fair city. Instead, an assortment of nasty surprises await unwary fools traversing the Shingles. Everything from imps and stirges to shingle spiders and chokers hunt above the city, ready at any moment to snatch inattentive prey. Parents in the parts of the city under Shingles frequently threaten unruly children with visits “from the chokers that live on the roof.” Much truth exists in this threat, however, as chokers sometimes snatch up their prey from top-floor balconies or by reaching down into chimneys.

    Bridgefront - As the origination point of the Shingles, the rooftop communities in this ward are the oldest, least transient, and most dangerous. Bridgefront’s Shingles hides the city’s highest concentration of chokers and stirges, but it also holds a small clutch-family of pseudodragons. The rickety structures that comprise the Shingles are built upon one or more layers of other unstable assemblages. As a result, the layout of the place constantly changes, as one area collapses or shifts, stealing away some routes while creating new ones.

    Cliffside and Pillar Hill - Despite the relative affluence of these wards, sections of them contain continuous rows of buildings pushed up against one another. With no space between the walls of these buildings, adventurous youths of these wards used their rooftops to move about unseen. This innocent emulation of Old Korvosa’s Shingles eventually gave rise to the adoption of the roofs by the same kinds of people who use them elsewhere in the city. Thus, over time, the Shingles spread into more affluent neighborhoods, where private security guards and even Korvosan Guard sentries remain semi-vigilant against unwanted rooftop excursions.

    Garrison Hill - The Shingles of Garrison Hill connect with those of Bridgefront, but, because of the decreased building density and relatively steep slope, the Shingles of this ward are far less extensive. As a result of the hill’s grade, though, the Shingles here have a unique vertical quality missing from other wards. Many of the highways across Garrison Hill’s rooftops involve ramps, ladders, and stairs.

    High Bridge and West Dock - This section of Shingles has a nautical look to it. Gangplanks, massive nets, canvas covers, and toppled ships’ masts act as connectors, highways, roofs, and floors of the jury-rigged amalgamation. These jumbled and swaying constructions provide hundreds of hiding spaces for various creeping things. In addition to the normal chokers and stirges a high number of shingle spiders live above the roofs of West Dock.

    Old Dock - Almost an extension of the Shingles from Bridgefront, the rooftop byways and shanties of Old Dock drop off quickly near the warehouses along the waterfront. Nearer the center of the island, though, the Shingles of Old Dock are almost as congested as those of Bridgefront. The first deaths attributed to chokers occurred in the Shingles of Old Dock, although in the decades since most of the choker population has migrated down to Bridgefront. Sequestered among the detritus that makes up Old Dock’s Shingles, a collection of imps who escaped the control of the Acadamae occasionally causes mayhem in and around the ward. These independent imps constantly seek out a powerful devil to serve, but they refuse to ever again work with mortals.

    Twitcher’s - High above the streets of Korvosa, most patrons and would-be patrons alike consider Twitcher’s a part of the Shingles. In fact, it is likely the only permanent location in the transient rooftop world. The bartender, a red-haired man named Ramthos, mixes the karale much stronger than most of his competitors. Some dark whispers suggest that Ramthos works in league with the predators of the Shingles, intoxicating his guests to make them easier prey.
  • The Vaults
    Most cities have sewers. Some can even claim dungeons and deep caverns beneath them. No city, though, has a complex system of subterranean tunnels quite like the Vaults of Korvosa. Modern Korvosa stands atop the remains of at least two other civilizations and integrates both of them in its design. As a result, the origins of the Vaults of Korvosa can be divided into several categories.

    Burial Mounds - The Shoanti who lived in Korvosa prior to its Chelaxian colonization dug squared ditches into the earth to bury their kings, warriors, and other elites. Over these trenches they placed stone slabs found near the shale cliffs along the bayfront. They then covered these slabs with low mounds of earth, leaving only the narrowest of openings to allow for the later internment of additional people of importance. Dozens of these mound trenches cover Garrison Hill and scores more cover Citadel Hill and the lowlands surrounding Korvosa. When the Chelish colonists began exploring the area on which they founded their city, they quickly discovered the hollow nature of these burial mounds. As the settlers expanded their city, they slowly connected many of these trenches, paying their dwarven allies to dig tunnels between them all. Without any regard to the dead Shoanti buried there, the Korvosans then made these tunnels into sewers.  Today, the sewers under much of mainland Korvosa make little sense, making random turns and possessing numerous festering dead ends, thanks to the haphazard layout of the Shoanti burial mounds.

    Natural Caves - Most of the Vaults of Korvosa are formed from natural geological forces of erosion or volcanic activity. These irregular caverns and caves delve deep beneath the surface of the earth, sometimes well beneath the water table. Other tunnels seem to connect to larger subterranean complexes, from which horrible creatures occasionally emerge. Thanks to the proximity to Conqueror’s Bay, many of the natural tunnels under Korvosa are sea caves, some of which occasionally collapse in on themselves to form sinkholes. Along the Merciless Cliffs and the western cliffs of Garrison Hill, these sea caves sometime bring down whole sections of the hill, forming deep but narrow cysts in the side of the stone. The most famous of these cysts drops beneath Palace Arkona.

    Worked Tunnels - A few worked tunnels of unknown craftsmanship have been discovered at the extreme south end of Korvosa. Of these, two simply go on for several hundred feet before they suddenly end at collapsed roofs or ancient sinkholes. One opens into a small collection of chambers under the modern Pantheon of Many.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:59, Mon 02 July 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 6 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:26
Government & Organizations
Government Organizations
  • Arbiters - More than judges, the arbiters also have legislative oversight. Any declaration the king makes must first face review from the arbiters, who vote on its legality both in regards to the Korvosa City Charter and the latest known laws of Cheliax. By charter amendment, seven arbiters must examine a monarchial decree and five of them must accept it in order for it to become law. If the arbiters review and reject a decree, one of those who voted against it must advise the king on what he can do to make the decree more acceptable to Korvosan and Chelaxian law. The main task of arbiters, however, is to try criminal cases and settle civil disputes. Depending on the gravity of the crime, as many as nine arbiters might try a single case (they always try cases in odd-numbered groups to eliminate stalemates). For most crimes and for all civil disputes, though, a single arbiter oversees the proceedings. His judgment carries the authority of the city’s leader, although a convicted criminal may appeal the punishment handed down (but not the verdict) to the king. Most people don’t know they have this right, and thus it is rarely invoked. At most, the king must review a half-dozen cases a month. Now that there is no king, however, it is unknown and untested as to how appeals will be handled.
  • Magistrates - While under the monarchy the magistrates and their bureaucratic underlings struggled to justify their existences to the city’s first
    king, the beloved Eodred I. Except for a few key roles, most of the magistrates ended up just being bureaucrats for bureaucracy's sake however with the effective end of the city's monarch line the magistrates are suddenly finding their once cushy jobs are stressful hells as the city turns to them to actually do their jobs. There are currently 23 magistrates but only a few are of note to the rest of the city is the Magistrate of Commerce (responsible for tax collection, union breaking, and regulating city fees), Magistrate of Expenditures (responsible for spending collected taxes on maintenance and payments to city works and military), and the Magistrate of Regulation (responsible for maintaining fixed weights and measures for currency and trade).
  • Monarch of Korvosa -  At the top of the political power dynamic sits the city’s monarch, currently King Eodred II, son of Queen Domina the Great. King Eodred enjoys expanded monarchial power wrested from the nobles and ministers by his powerful and popular mother. He controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, but he still only barely retains power. Unlike the slave girls in his harem who serve him without complaint, the city of Korvosa is a fickle and demanding mistress.

    King Eodred’s declarations from atop the Crimson Throne become law almost by default, although the arbiters retain the ability to counter any foolish whim of his that violates the city’s charter (and its 247 amendments) or Chelaxian law. By convention, the commandant of the Sable Company offered his group’s loyalty to the rightful ruler of the city when Eodred took the throne. Unlike the field marshal of the Korvosan Guard, however, Commandant Marcus Endrin does not report directly to King Eodred, but rather to the seneschal of Castle Korvosa, Neolandus Kalepopolis. King Eodred did place Korvosan Guard’s leader, Field Marshal Cressida Kroft, in power, as the city’s charter dictates he must, and he expects (and receives) full cooperation from Field Marshal Kroft in return. In times of need, the king can trust the Lictor of the Order of the Nail to send troops into the city—just so long as the city has gold with which to pay.

    Other groups within the city cannot openly defy the king, although, when their individual members unite, they can cause the monarchy headaches. One member of each of the five Great Houses sits on the Peerage Review, an advisory council the monarch cannot dismiss but need not heed. Politics and wisdom dictate, however, that King Eodred II at least listen to the arguments presented by the review, as its members do have the power to contradict a ruler’s orders to the Korvosan Guard. Because the king cannot regulate every aspect of the city, nor would he want to, a set of magistrates (to whom the title of lord magistrate once belonged) divides responsibilities within the city.

    It was by invitation of the seneschal that Korvosa’s first monarch, King Eodred I, took up residence in the castle, and up until Queen Domina’s reign the seneschal retained the right to evict the monarch from the castle. The beloved queen, however, influenced the passage of one of the last charter amendments, granting the monarch permanent residence within the castle as long as he bears the family name of Arabasti. A clause in the amendment allows for a monarch’s eviction (which only removes him from the castle, not from power), but doing so requires a unanimous vote from all five representatives of the Great Houses, the seneschal, and one arbiter chosen at random.

    Sitting upon the Crimson Throne does bring with it a considerable drawback. The Curse of the Crimson Throne manifests itself in two forms. First, no monarch of the city has died of natural causes—all perished at the hands of another, whether subtly or quite overtly. Second, no monarch has yet produced an heir while ruling. Queen Domina is the only parent among the city’s monarchs, and she brought her adult son with her from Cheliax when she came to Korvosa.
  • Seneschal of Castle Korvosa - Before it became the home of Korvosa’s monarchs, Castle Korvosa provided a home for the city’s garrison. An early charter amendment gave the castle’s seneschal complete control over the entirety of the pyramid “and all structures built on it and all tunnels discovered or dug within it.” Later, when the headquarters of the Sable Company moved into the castle, a new amendment made the seneschal the liaison between the city’s leader and the company’s commandant. The seneschal can veto the nomination of any applicant to the post of Sable Company commandant. People in Korvosa consider the castle’s seneschal as the second most powerful individual in the city, behind only the monarch. When a seneschal dies or retires, the field marshal of the Korvosan Guard chooses his replacement from among the leadership of the Sable Company. Typically, the company’s commandant becomes the new seneschal, although a promising junior officer occasionally leapfrogs into the limited but powerful position.

Military Organizations
  • Korvosan Guard - The Korvosan Guard serves the city of Korvosa first, the city’s leader second, and the church of Abadar third. It works closely with the monarch and high priest of Abadar to maintain order in the city, acting most often as a police force, but turning into a military operation whenever the city is threatened by external forces. Descended from the regular army troops brought to Endrin Isle by Field Marshal Korvosa, the Korvosan Guard possesses a long and proud history of serving the city and its leaders. Supported and augmented by the church of Abadar, the Guard counts among its officers paladins and priests of the city god. The Guard works closely with both the Order of the Nail and Sable Company, coordinating efforts among all three and relying on the Hellknights to muster Acadamae wizards when necessary in order to protect the city from every imaginable threat. Field Marshal Cressida Kroft leads the nearly 700 soldiers of the Korvosan Guard, almost all of whom are human of Chelaxian descent. All other civilized races have representatives in the guard, as do Shoanti and Varisians. Despite an ever increasing integration of non-Chelaxians into its ranks, the Korvosan Guard remains steadfastly tied to its Chelaxian traditions. Only full-blooded Chelaxian humans can become generals or the field marshal, while only those with at least half-Chelaxian blood (including half-elves) can achieve a rank higher than captain.
  • :Order of the Nail - Some 15 miles south of Korvosa stands Citadel Vraid, the black-iron fortress of the Hellknight Order of the Nail. From its grim fastness, this autonomous legion of law-bringers seeks to enforce its own harsh vision of order upon Varisia, meting out law with blade and iron-shod boot. Unconcerned with the petty trivialities of morality, Hellknights are fanatics of law, adhering only to their harsh, Cheliax-born vision of order and their own unyielding vision of honor. To this end, the black-robed signifiers of the nail often call upon the aid of extraplanar embodiments of law, particularly the fierce, cold will of Hell’s legions that best embodies their philosophy. Like most Hellknights, those of the Order of the Nail believe themselves to be above morality, caring only for the establishment of righteous order at all costs. One of the original seven orders of Hellknights, the Order of the Nail is among the farthest removed from their home in Cheliax, having been coaxed to Varisia in 4682 by Korvosa’s Queen Domina. Strong martial traditions, strength, force, and intimidation are the primary virtues of the order, well represented by their distinctive horned helms and demon-maw breastplates (each member of the Order of the Nail’s armor being unique, but bearing these features). The order is currently commanded by Lictor Severs “Boneclaw” DiVri, with Mistress of Blades Maidrayne Vox presiding over its martial forces and Paravicar Acillmar directing the order’s signifiers. Members of the Order of the Nail are found in greater numbers in Korvosa than in any other settlement in Varisia. The Korvosan Guard bristles at the occasional unrequested aid of the harsh-minded knights, but it begrudgingly accepts their results and acknowledges their effectiveness. The city’s government has little interaction with the knights except for occasionally employing contingents on a case-by-case military basis, much like common mercenaries, and welcomes their contributions in subjugating the wilds surrounding the city’s holdings. Many in the government hold a deep grudge against the Order for not submitting to Korvosan rule after their resettlement. This sentiment is shared by the people, who fear, despise, and misunderstand the knights, sometimes referred to as “Domina’s Devils”, but none dare speak openly against them, fearing the carte blanche with which they enforce the laws of Cheliax.
  • Sable Company - First by tradition, and later by an addendum to the city’s charter, the Sable Company does not answer to the leader of Korvosa, regardless of the leader’s title. Instead, the commandant of the Sable Company reports directly to the Seneschal of Castle Korvosa who, as also decreed by charter amendment, cannot have less
    than three generations of separation between common ancestors with the city’s leader. With each new leader, the commandant pledges the company’s loyalty. The Sable Company works closely with the Korvosan Guard and relies on its ties with that group to coordinate efforts with the Hellknights and Acadamae (neither of which the Sable
    Company gets along with). Shipboard raids and airborne threats fall under the jurisdiction of the black-clad Sable Company, and its members offer aerial and amphibious support to Korvosan Guard operations. The Sable Company is a little more integrated than the Korvosan Guard, allowing any human member to rise as high as general of the company and any other member to gain the rank of major. To date, all leaders have been pureblood Chelaxians from noble families, but in theory any general can receive the promotion to Commandant.

Noble Families
  • House Arabasti - Arbust Arabasti won the cutthroat competition against his hated competitor Chadris Porphyria to claim the leadership of Korvosa. Arbust had come to Cheliax during the Apostate Rebellion, where he hoped to increase the coffers (and thus the chances of victory) of House Thrune. Himself related to Abrogail I via marriage, Arbust counted on his loyalty and cunning to finally win a noble title for his family. Unfortunately for Arbust, Cheliax’s chaos created several dilemmas in Korvosa, and the large profit he hoped to make there collapsed around him. Desperate to recoup some of his losses, Arbust remained in Korvosa and quickly insinuated himself into its politics.

    Arbusts’s beloved son, Eodred I, so impressed the people and nobility that, when an anonymous plant in a city gathering first called him king, the crowd quickly followed suit. After much discussion, the noble houses finally agreed that granting a royal title to the leader of Korvosa would make the monarch (and thus the city) seem more impressive in the eyes of Cheliax and House Thrune. The city’s charter very carefully spells out that its own monarch is subservient to the ruler of Cheliax, and that Korvosa merely tends to the lands of Varisia on behalf of Cheliax. To date, the Thrice Damned House of Thrune has never once acknowledged the monarch of Korvosa as anyone other than the mayor of a small colony in the wilderness.

    King Eodred’s spoiled and hated adolescent nephew, Cardraith, adopted the throne from his uncle (the first monarch and thus first sufferer of the Crimson Throne’s curse) in 4657. His short reign, marked by bizarre proclamations that punished everyone from accomplished soldiers to beautiful women, ended in 4661, when young Cardraith died of a mysterious fit. With his death, it seemed, the Arabasti dynasty in Korvosa came to an end.

    Korvosa’s first and only Porphyrian monarch’s rule was cut short, however, by the unexpected arrival of an heir to the Arabasti line: Domina Arabasti. A distant relative of the family’s Chelaxian line who had learned of her “royal” lineage and a worshipper of the devil Malacoda, Domina sailed into Conqueror’s Bay at the head of a small fleet of black-sailed Chelaxian frigates.

    Queen Domina’s rule saw improved relations with Cheliax, as the brutally efficient queen had lived much of her life in the devilworshiping empire. Trade increased several hundred fold as her family’s connections led numerous Egorian-based companies to establish colonial branches in Korvosa. She used this influx of wealth to fund a massive building spree throughout the city, giving rise to the Great Tower, the refurbished temple of Asmodeus, Citadel Vraid, Domina’s Wall, and the foundation of the Pantheon of Many. Korvosa looks back on her reign as a golden age and considers her its most successful monarch.

    Like his mother before him, King Eodred II enjoys spending the city’s wealth, but he tends to use its treasury to fund his personal decadent lifestyle rather than build
    anything lasting. Eodred II adopted a city with drained coffers but spectacular architectural projects. In his first three years as king, Eodred slowed the completion of several projects and halted others, allowing the city’s finances to recover and provide for his bizarre and frequently unwholesome indulgences. King Eodred surrounds himself with girls and women of every race, but never expressed a desire to marry and, despite frequent trysts within his sizeable harem, never fathered a child. As he grew old, he became suddenly desperate for an heir and visited his enslaved beauties with ever greater frequency. Still, his harem bore him no heir. Into this climate of despair and fear came cruel but seductive Ileosa, who convinced the king to put aside his harem (temporarily) and take her as his wife.

    In the last year, as he has watched his beautiful young wife drain the city’s treasury at an alarming rate, King Eodred II chartered Sir Gyrad Tolgrith to open a landbound trade route into neighboring Nirmathas. The king hopes to eventually extend the route all the way to Cheliax, giving merchants an alternative to paying the excessive docking fees of the harbors and delivering gold directly into Korvosa’s depleting treasury.
  • House Arkona - Although an old family that predates even the founding of the empire, by 4458 House Arkona had sunk into poverty and faced the very real threat of extinction. In desperation, Lord Garath Arkona of Korvosa took out a loan from House Jeggare and purchased a lightly armed caravel he named Reprieve. Garath hired the smallest crew he could and, in the late spring, the Reprieve set sail for distant and exotic Vudra. When it returned its hold was full of the riches that overnight restored their status and power. For the past two centuries, House Arkona has only increased its wealth and influence in the city. Apparently based on the tradition long ago established by Lord Garath and his brother, the house always answers to two leaders:
    The Lord Arkona (never a Lady Arkona) continues in some capacity to maintain the reputation for cruelty and coldness earned by Garath so long ago, while a close relative of the current lord acts as his right-hand man (or woman) and is the face of the family at gatherings of nobles. Nothing occurs in the back alleys or stinking vaults of Old Korvosa without House Arkona knowing about it. It is a poorly kept secret that the family controls or has influence over every major (and most minor) criminal enterprise in the city, from watered-down mead to murder. The current lord of the house, Glorio Arkona, attempts at every opportunity to lift up the poor and provide them with enough sustenance to survive. To that end, he has leveled several buildings the family owns, including a tavern and a brothel, to make room for massive low-rent tenement apartments. These actions have made Glorio the most popular nobleman among the city’s many poor and destitute and has caused no end of anxiousness and worry
    from his family members.
  • House Bromathan - Lord Valdur Bromathan IV loyally serves the temple of Sarenrae as a minor priest. He breaks the chain of House Bromathan lords serving in the Korvosan Guard, a tradition going back to before his family joined the nobility in 4457. This split with tradition has put him at odds with the rest of the house, many of whom serve in the guard or the Sable Company. Valdur, however, received the blessing of his father when he declared his intent to enter the clergy as a youth. As it always has, House Bromathan remains a relatively minor noble family. Its fortunes tend to stay relatively stable, neither rising nor falling any great amount. The house remains ever loyal to House Endrin, just as its first lord, Nivek Bromathan, was loyal beyond measure to Waydon Endrin.
  • House Endrin - It took more than a quarter century for the empire to recognize the great accomplishments and service of Waydon Endrin. The emperor granted the family a noble title in 4456, making his son Lucien the first Lord Endrin. House Endrin has produced more Commandants of the Sable Guard (12 of 30) and Field Marshals of the Korvosan Guard (8 of 18) than any other house. Since the founding of Korvosa, it has also gone through the most lords and ladies, all of whom served in the military and more than half of whom died in combat or from injuries sustained therein. To this day, thanks to Brieanna Endrin’s marriage to Montlarion Jeggare’s grandnephew, the two families remain close. Despite its small size and relatively recent entitlement, House Endrin controls considerable inf luence in the city due to its strong alliances with other founding and military houses.
  • House Jeggare - Descended from a nephew of the famous philanthropist whose name appears in many places around Korvosa, this branch of the Jeggare family attempts to carry on the generous reputation attached to its name. House Jeggare controls the second-largest share of dock space in Korvosa, allowing the family to bring in ridiculous amounts of gold in its brisk trade. The church of Abadar estimates that nearly a quarter of the city’s privately held assets are controlled by the Jeggare family, making it a powerful and influential noble house, as well as the wealthiest.
    Although almost every other major noble house has opposed House Jeggare at one point or another in the last two centuries, they also all rely on it for loans and support when aiming their machinations at other targets. House Jeggare survives the sometimes cutthroat politics of Korvosa by keeping a line of credit open for other noble families, and by acting as the chief financial backer of both the Korvosan Guard and the Sable Company.
  • House Leroung - Even before Jessa Leroung founded the University of Korvosa, the ancient and esteemed House Leroung served Cheliax as teachers, instructors, professors, scholars, and sages. To this day, House Leroung maintains extensive libraries in the three largest cities of Cheliax and controls both the University of Egorian in Cheliax and Almas University in Andoran (where the family’s noble standing is no longer recognized but its contributions to academia are). The family’s fortunes and powers have fluctuated little since its founding, and, although many of the younger nobles of the family gladly wade into the dirty politics of court life, the lord or lady of House Leroung rarely bothers with such things. Indeed, lovely Lady Eliasia Leroung, current headmistress of the University of Korvosa, is considered an ally by most other noble houses, including those at odds with one another.
  • House Ornelos - Not just one of the most politically powerful noble houses in Korvosa, House Ornelos also controls the Acadamae. More lord magistrates came from this family than from all other houses combined. Ornelos scions are scattered among all the city’s most powerful institutions. In Korvosa, it took little time for Lord Volshyenek Ornelos to establish himself as a major power player. He bought a magnificent manor house on the mainland (long since demolished) and was instrumental in the defense of the mainland holdings during the Third Battle of Mainshore. Lord Ornelos led a contingent of Korvosan Guard spellcasters during the final assault that broke through the Shoanti defenses to conclude the Siege of the Grand Mastaba. Shortly thereafter, he founded the Acadamae on Citadel Hill. After the founding of the Acadamae, House Ornelos gained even greater control over the affairs of the city, placing the first (of many) scions in the office of lord magistrate. The brutal slaughter of Remsev Ornelos, orchestrated by House Viamio in 4491, considerably weakened the family’s influence, although it did gain the house a great deal of sympathy among other nobles. When the Cousins’ War broke out, Lord Volshyenek personally led attacks against House Viamio, slaughtering with merciless abandon those who served that family. With the conclusion of the war and the expulsion of traitorous separatists, the power of House Ornelos swiftly surpassed even the level it enjoyed prior to Remsev’s murder. House Ornelos has resisted converting to devil worship, the Acadamae’s infernal shift notwithstanding, but it remains loyal to both Korvosa and Cheliax.
  • House Zenderholm - Lord Lacertus Zenderholm brought his family to Korvosa at the tail-end of the great influx of Chelish immigrants. He took advantage of the generous offers put forth by House Viamio, despite his long-standing hatred of Lord Amycus Viamio. When the Cousins’ War broke out, Lord Zenderholm was among the first to declare his loyalty to Cheliax. He personally headed his own private army in support of the Korvosan Guard, which led to his death in the last weeks of the conflict. His daughter, Lady Mulsanne Zenderholm, then took control of the house and leveraged her father’s loyalty and bravery into political power within the town. Only 30 years after its arrival within Korvosa, House Zenderholm displaced House Fordyce as a Great House, making it the first of that title to not also be a Dock Family. Today, House Zenderholm members serve the city as arbiters, magistrates, lawyers, and diplomats.

Criminal Organizations
  • Cerulean Society (Thieves Guild) - By charter amendment, Korvosa does not allow merchants, laborers, or tradesmen to form guilds, but it does allow for a thieves’ guild. This causes legitimate workers no end of frustration and anger. Many of the poorer noble houses bristle at the blatant extortion engineered by the Cerulean Society, Korvosa’s only thieves’ guild. The Cerulean Society runs a fairly typical protection racket with excruciatingly smug satisfaction, as Guildmaster Boule provides his Cerulean Society with actual blue uniforms to wear when they come to collect, giving the guild the look of authority. The price a “client” pays for the Cerulean Society’s “service” varies, depending not on wealth but on a complicated formula known only to the guildmaster. The Cerulean Society offers its protective service to every noble house, as well as to wealthy merchants, the temple of Abadar, and others who cross it. When a potential client fails to pay, it goes on a list provided to the gangs of cat burglars and second-story men legitimized by the guild, who then have permission to act on that information as they see fit. Those who cannot or do not pay open themselves to theft and muggings. Failure to pay does not automatically guarantee thefts, however, as doing so would make it too easy for the Korvosan Guard to capture the guild’s allies. The guild works together with legitimate gangs to ensure they don’t overwork an area or cause too much suffering to any particular non-client. The threat of theft and robbery at knife-point is enough to make most potential clients pay up, so the guild is careful to not always extend the offer of this service to every potential target. In addition to blatant extortion, the Cerulean Society also generates income by regulating the other gangs in the city. Twice per year, the Cerulean Society sends members and trusted agents throughout the city, again wearing its distinctive blue uniform, collecting dues from other gangs. A gang that pays its dues to the thieves’ guild gains a level of legitimacy that allows the guild to tap the gang’s members for the purpose of showing why the Cerulean Society’s protection is a valuable service. Those gangs that can’t or won’t pay the dues don’t last long. The swift eradication of such gangs by the thieves’ guild strikes fear in all who witness or hear about such events, further ensuring that gangs pay up. Cerulean Society members do actually perform illicit of their own, although for the most part they leave thieving to the other gangs. The thieves’ guild operates several secret gambling dens within the city, whose whereabouts remain carefully concealed and change at random times. These gambling dens pop up suddenly and disappear even more quickly, so the Cerulean Society must use a large stable of information dealers and rumormongers to swiftly spread the word of their locations before they move on. The Cerulean Society maintains a monopoly on smuggling into and out of the city, which ties in well with its extensive drug empire. In addition to drugs, the society also oversees the importation of weapons, necromantic and demonic goods, and unusual creatures. It exports homegrown pesh, slaves, and infernal goods. Of course, because it so tightly controls the smuggling trade, anything illicit that comes into or goes out of the city passes through one of its warehouses, barges, or ships. Those who try to bypass the Cerulean Society in a smuggling operation can expect to go jigsaw shark fishing—as the bait. For reasons unclear to outsiders, the thieves’ guild only operates on the mainland and in East Shore. It never seeks out protection clients in Old Korvosa and only sends members there to collect dues from gangs in the district. Rumors abound that House Arkona supports the Cerulean Society in some way, but no investigation has ever found a connection. Any link between the two remains a carefully guarded secret.
  • Catsdew Lofties - This all-female cat burglar gang specializes in traveling across the Shingles of Korvosa, slipping into homes through chimneys, third-story balconies, and attic windows. The Lofties have perhaps the most cosmopolitan of all memberships, accepting into the ranks any female of any race able to prove herself in a test of acrobatics, coordination, and loyalty. The Lofties take pride in their stealth and only carry weapons to protect themselves from the predators who lurk in the Shingles. To date, not a single job performed by the Catsdew Lofties has required a
    Lofty to attack anyone.
  • Dusters - Taking its name from the distinctive overcoats worn by its members, the Dusters gang specializes in armed robbery, kidnappings, and harassing innocents. A spineless and dimwitted Shoanti bully named Kynndors Thok acts as the leader of this ham-fisted gang. The entire underworld community knows that the Dusters’ true leadership lies with Kynndor’s Varisian girlfriend, who goes by the singular name of Marlessa. Rumors whisper that Marlessa has ties to the Sczarni and uses the Dusters as goons whenever one of the dons requires.
  • Rat’s Teat Boys - As much a shadowy rumor as a truly known gang, the Rat’s Teat Boys supposedly consists exclusively of wererats. This group apparently works its trade under the streets of Old Korvosa, although circumstantial evidence of its handiworks occasionally appears on the mainland. Every so often, the rumors say, the boys go on a “recruitment drive.” During these frightening times people suddenly disappear throughout the district, thought to be claimed by the Rat Teat’s Boys and made into foul lycanthropes. That people frequently disappear in the district even during the best of times doesn’t quell the near-panic these rumored enlistment periods engender.
  • Sczarni - Organized Sczarni gangs frequently prowl the streets and sewers of Korvosa. They form, fight briefly against the Cerulean Society, and then melt again into the Varisian population. The Cerulean Society and other gangs in the city struggle against these Sczarni uprisings, but they cannot afford genocidal sweeps of Varisians (or even known Sczarni) among them, as so many of their own members (and leaders) hail from that large and influential family. Rumors state that the Sczarnis want to take down House Arkona, but the Varisians hold so little power in the city that such an occurrence seems impossible.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:09, Tue 05 June 2018.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 7 posts
 Teller of tales
 Lord of lies
Fri 15 Apr 2016
at 00:28
Important People
NOTE: TBD, missing King and Queen...

Picture (if available)NameGenderRaceDescription
Eodred Arbasti IIMaleHuman'Beloved' King of Korvosa
Ileosa ArbastiFemaleHumanNewly married Queen of Korvosa
Neolandus KalepopolisMaleHumanSenseschal of Castle Korvosa
Cressida KroftFemaleHumanField Marshal of Korvosan Guard
Marcus Thalassinus EndrinMaleHumanHigh Commandant of the Sable Company
Garrick TannMaleHumanMagistrate of Commerce
Syl GarMaleHumanMagistrate of Expenditures
Mercer CucuteniMaleHumanMagistrate of Tourism
Lolia PerenneFemaleHumanMagistrate of Regulations
Zenobia ZenderholmFemaleHumanArbiter, nicknamed the Hanging Judge
Severs DiVriMaleHumanLictor of the Order of the Nail
Maidrayne VoxFemaleHumanMistress of Blades of the Order of the Nail
Glorio AroknaMaleHumanLord of House Arkona
Valdur Bromathan IVMaleHumanLord of House Bromathan
Eliasia LeroungFemaleHumanLady of House Leroung
Darb TuttleMaleHumanArchbanker of Abadar
Ornher ReebsMaleHumanHigh Priest of Asmodeus
Keppira  d'BearFemaleHumanHigh Bishop of Pharasma
Toff OrnelosMaleHumanHeadmaster of the Acadamae
Tempest GeezlebottleMaleGnomeHeadmaster of Theumanexus
Vencarlo OrisiniMaleHumanOwner of Orisini Academy
BouleMaleHumanGuildmaster of Cerulean Society
Devargo BarvasiMaleHuman'King of Spiders', runs Eel's End
BlackjackMaleHumanHero of the Downtrodden, a vigilante for 200 years

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:04, Fri 15 Apr 2016.