Previews11/14/2004


Previews for November and Beyond
See What's "In the Works"



What Brings You to Sharn?

First-time visitors to Sharn are quickly overwhelmed by the sheer size of the city, the maze of bridges among the towers, and the bewildering array of goods and services available. Adventurers often can't afford to stay long enough to learn the lay of the land. They come to the city with a specific purpose in mind, and just need to get one thing done, whether it's sell a magic item or spend an enjoyable evening (and a good portion of the loot from their last adventure) out on the town. Adventurers in a hurry need to know where to go to get what they need, so they can get on with their adventuring.

Antiquities: Whether characters are interested in viewing scholarly exhibits of the latest finds from Xen'drik or selling the items they find there themselves, Upper Menthis is the neighborhood to visit. Morgrave University's Dezina Museum of Antiquities is the finest collection of Xen'drik artifacts in the world. The uppermost level of Thurias Tower near the museum (in the Seventh Tower district) is sometimes called "Little Xen'drik," thanks to the six competing dealers in antiquities that share that tower space.

Banking: Characters bringing large amounts of valuable treasure from their latest adventure (or from Little Xen'drik) will find the banking services they need in the Upper Central ward. House Kundarak operates the largest bank in the city, the Kundarak Bank of Sharn, located at the top of the tower that bears its name, Kundarak Tower (in the Korranath district). The districts of Korranath and Korran-Thiven hold nine more banks in addition to the Kundarak bank, as well as a number of moneychangers, lenders, and providers of other financial services.

Commerce (General): Characters interested in carrying on trade can visit any of Sharn's marketplace districts: Tradefair in Middle Central, North Market in Lower Northedge, the Bazaar in Middle Dura, or Tavick's Market in Middle Tavick's Landing. Each open-air market in these districts has a permit office where merchants must purchase a permit granting them permission to set up a booth or other presence in the marketplace. The price of these permits varies by district, between 3 cp in the Bazaar and 1 gp in Tradefair.

Merchants interested in buying goods in bulk in order to transport them to another city for sale will likely find what they need in one of the city's warehouse districts: Cogsedge in Lower Tavick's Landing, White Tower, Precarious, or the Stores in Lower Dura. Each of these districts is a repository for goods coming into Sharn from river or Orien coach trade, and also offers warehouse rentals for local merchants collecting goods to ship out.

Criminal Purposes: The reach of the law begins to fade in even the middle levels of many of Sharn's towers, and in some areas of the lower levels and (particularly) the Cogs it is almost nonexistent. It is a well-known fact that the city guard is thoroughly corrupt, and the problem is nowhere more visible than in the Cogs and Lower Dura. Characters who come to the city in order to fence stolen goods, hire a burglar or an assassin, or engage in other criminal pursuits can usually find what they need in these wards, though criminal activity, as in any city, occurs everywhere.

Most illegal activities in Sharn occur under the supervision of one of four criminal "guilds" or gangs, which also have fingers in legal but shady activities such as gambling and prostitution. House Tarkanan is a criminal "family" structured in mockery of the dragonmarked houses. Though mostly human, it includes members of all races. Its headquarters are in Dragon Towers in Middle Central. The Tyrants is an organization of changelings concentrated in the Dragoneyes district of Lower Tavick's Landing. Its leaders are said to be doppelgangers. The Boromar Clan is a predominantly halfling organization, strongest in Little Plains in Middle Menthis, but very influential in Lower Menthis and Lower Dura as well -- especially in the Hostelhome district. Though its leadership is almost entirely halflings (with connections in House Ghallanda), members of all races work for the Boromars, knowingly or unwittingly. Finally, a gang called Daask, which includes a great number of monsters, has gained a strong foothold in the criminal underworld of the Cogs in recent years. Goblinoids, ogres, minotaurs, harpies, and of course a large number of humans work for this organization, which is rumored to have ties to Droaam.

In addition to illegal activities, characters might find themselves turning to these guilds for such purposes as borrowing large sums of money to pay off a debt (particularly a gambling debt incurred in a casino with ties to the guilds), to find certain kinds of information not readily accessible elsewhere (such as secrets of prominent personages), to have spells cast that might arouse suspicion (such as having a nightmare spell cast on an enemy, or a curse removed that was acquired in the commission of a crime), or for help in hiding.

Dining: As in any large city, food is readily available in Sharn. With the exception of purely residential districts, nearly every district type found in Sharn includes some number of eating establishments, usually at least one in a given tower. Nearly a thousand restaurants in all, not counting street vendors, inns that also serve food, and so on, offer a nearly endless variety of dining options to natives and visitors alike. Most of these are unexceptional, but Sharn offers a few unique dining experiences.

Striking views enhance a meal, and for that purpose no restaurant can compete with the dozen or so establishments in Skyway. Of those, perhaps the best-known is the Celestial Vista Restaurant, which has achieved status as a tourist attraction. It is usually quite busy as a result, and "in-the-know" locals celebrate special occasions at the Cloud Dragon or the Azure Gateway, both of which have views as stunning as the Celestial Vista's, food no less impressive, and generally smaller crowds. All three restaurants in Skyway serve all of their food purified by halfling members of House Ghallanda.

A very different, but no less striking, view can be had at the Lava Pit, an up-and-coming restaurant in -- of all places -- Tavick's Cogs, in the heart of one of the city's industrial districts. True to its name, the Lava Pit overlooks a gigantic forge powered by molten rock, suffusing the place with lurid red light. The restaurant began as little more than a hole in the wall with an interesting location, serving a variety of barbecued meats in a Shadow Marches style. Its popularity has grown tremendously, allowing the restaurant to improve its facility and expand its menu (though spicy Marches barbecue is still its specialty), making it by far the most upscale establishment of any kind in the Cogs.

For variety of cuisine, no region of the city can match the Menthis Plateau, whose population is the most diverse in Sharn. Culinary purists argue that the only place to sample halfling cuisine is in Little Plains, and likewise for the other racial neighborhoods in Menthis, but most people agree that the University district in Upper Menthis is the best place to sample the wide variety of cuisines Sharn has to offer. Halfling specialties, gnome delights, elf cuisine, Karrn'ish fare, and even exotic Riedran food are all available in the University district. University students and faculty are fond of dining at the Commons, a large open-air plaza near the top of one of the Morgrave University towers where food vendors bring carts and wagons daily to serve up a smorgasbord of ethnic offerings.

Of course, many times the important thing is not the view and not the variety of offerings available, simply the quality of the food being served. A few of the generally-acknowledged best restaurants in Sharn include Sannid's in the Platinum Heights district of Upper Central, known for its extensive wine collection; Galdin's Garden in the Seventh Tower district of Upper Menthis, surrounded by a tower-top garden featuring roses and orchids; The Oaks in the Shae Lias district of Upper Northedge, serving elf and Brelish cuisine in an elaborate open-air pavilion surrounded by living oak trees; and Olladra's Arms in the Hope's Peak district of Upper Dura, notable for its banquet-style seating and generous portions.

Sometimes the best food is found in less well-known places, however. A few "hidden treasures" of dining in Sharn are Kavv's in the Clifftop district of Upper Dura, Besimir's Folly in the Tavick's Market district of Middle Tavick's Landing, and Four Sails in the Downstairs district of Lower Menthis. All three of these are known for excellent food cooked in a homey environment and served in prodigal quantities. The menu and character of each one are different, but they all offer excellent dining experiences.

Finally, as in many cities across Khorvaire, House Ghallanda offers heroes' feasts in the city as often as demand allows. Ghallanda does not have a major presence in the city, unlike in some eastern cities where such feasts are weekly occasions. In Sharn, they usually occur no more than once a month, in rotating locations: in the House enclave in Dragon Towers (in Middle Central), in the huge Ghallanda Hall inn in the Underlook district of Middle Dura, and in the open-air market in Little Plains (in Middle Menthis).

Education: Educational opportunities abound in Sharn, though not to the extent of a city like Korranberg with its prestigious university and library. Morgrave University (as described in the Eberron Campaign Setting) is a second-rate university, apparently as interested in selling antiquities from Xen'drik as in studying them. Nevertheless, some prominent scholars sit on the faculty of Morgrave University, and it is an excellent resource for characters seeking educational opportunities. If your campaign uses the rules for training to learn skills and feats (from Chapter 6 of the Dungeon Master's Guide), characters can find tutors to train them in Knowledge skills, Decipher Script, and Speak Language at Morgrave. In a less formal context, a patron from Morgrave might be able to serve as a trainer for field-useful skills such as Disable Device, Search, Survival, and Use Magic Device.

The most common form of educational instruction in Sharn, as elsewhere, is apprenticeship. The best way to learn Craft and Profession skills is to practice them under the supervision of a mentor, and the guilds of Sharn monitor this formal process. The guild halls in Dragon Towers are the headquarters of these guilds (some of which have connections to the dragonmarked houses, many more of which do not), and that neighborhood is thus the best place to discover such opportunities. Typically, a guild hall takes the name and contact information of a prospective apprentice, then polls its members to find a master willing to take on a new apprentice. The master then contacts the apprentice directly.

Some practitioners of other skills (including stealthy or criminal skills such as Hide, Move Silently, Forgery, and the like) take on apprentices in a similar manner, though it is often more difficult to locate such a master. The criminal organizations discussed under Criminal Purposes, above, certainly offer such training opportunities, but are not easy to contact unless one already has an in with the organization.

In general, apprenticeship (like extended formal education) takes place at a young age, generally before the start of a character's adventuring career. It is possible for a player character to keep in contact with former mentors and continue to draw on them as a resource, at the DM's discretion.

Employment: Much like education, finding employment often depends on connections to one of Sharn's trade guilds. Characters seeking to exercise their Craft or Profession skills can either strike out on their own, or seek employment through the guilds. The latter option generally offers better prospects, particularly in the long term. Characters seeking other kinds of employment, particularly of a more adventurous kind, might find leads at one of the adventurers' guilds in Clifftop (in Upper Dura) or Deathsgate (in Middle Tavick's Landing), at Morgrave University (in Upper Menthis), or the Wayfinder Foundation (in Upper Central). Another strong possibility is work for the Sharn Inquisitive, the city's local chronicle. Haftak ir'Clarn, the chronicle's publisher, frequently hires adventurers to bring him exciting stories. His residence and offices are in the University District of Upper Menthis.

Entertainment: Whether a character seeks nothing more than a fun evening on the town or wants to witness a great performance by a renowned artist, Sharn offers abundant entertainment on a nightly basis. The hub of the entertainment industry in Sharn is Menthis Plateau, and from the towertops down even to the Cogs this quarter is a bustle of activity from sundown to nearly sunup.

The Torchfire district in Lower Menthis is the bottom of the entertainment ladder in Menthis, but still a fine place to enjoy inexpensive entertainment. The Ten Torches Theater gave this district its name, and is something of an institution in Lower Menthis. Its offerings focus on the bawdy, with a strong dose of music and comedy, all presented in a crowded, smoky atmosphere. The low price of admission and the raucous entertainment of the shows combine to pack its seats every night.

Gailan's is a restaurant in Torchfire with a reputation for bringing the best up-and-coming talent to its stage -- musicians, actors, and other performers who often go on to play more prominent venues in the higher levels of Menthis. The food is good but the entertainment -- offered in the round -- is the reason for going. The proprietor has claimed for years that he is looking for new cooks and planning to build up an impressive wine cellar, but change remains off in the indeterminate future.

Across the plateau, in the tavern district of Downstairs, a new theater is offering the Ten Torches its first dose of local competition. Called the Diamond Theater, its stage is large and its seating spacious (at least compared to the Ten Torches). Perhaps more important, it claims a serious young playwright as its artist-in-residence, who lends an air of sophistication to the theater with her dramatic, even tragic plays. The plays of Luca Syara are attracting attention even in Upper Central, and a popular Menthis pastime is speculating on what upper-level theater will snatch her up when her contract with the Diamond expires.

As with most things, offerings in Middle Menthis are a step above those in the lower levels, figuratively as well as literally. Middle Menthis's theater district is called Smoky Towers, something of an ironic comment on the Torchfire district immediately below it. Performers who get their first big break at Gailan's move on to any of several similar venues in Smoky Towers: dinner theaters such as Third Tier, the Starfire Dragon, or Mizano Rupa's, recital halls such as Thovanic Hall or the Atrium, and the ornate Classic Theater.

The theater scene in Smoky Towers is the subject of some controversy. The Classic Theater is the only major theater in the district, and it is devoutly committed to performing only the classics of dramatic repertoire, perhaps motivated by fear of being too closely associated with the likes of the Ten Torches. Its productions are extremely traditional, and they include no plays written since the start of the Last War. Many people appreciate this stance, looking to the ancient heritage of Galifar for strength and comfort in the wake of the Last War. Others seek out more contemporary fare, including Luca Syara's plays (several of which wrestle very seriously with issues derived from the war), in other districts.

The entertainment offerings in Upper Menthis are concentrated in the University District, and are in a class by themselves. The finest musical performances in the city are presented in Kavarrah Concert Hall, near Morgrave University but not officially affiliated with it, and in the Sharn Opera House.

Four major theaters operate in Upper Menthis: the Art Temple (known for cutting-edge, avant-garde plays), the Grand Stage (presenting a mixture of classic repertoire and modern works in classical style), the Stargazer Theater (an open-air towertop stage with an extensive summer season of classics), and the Khavish Theater (aimed at a more mainstream audience, incorporating more music, more risqué elements, and more comedy without sinking to the depths of the Ten Torches' burlesque). With the exception of the Khavish, located in the gnome neighborhood of Den'iyas, these are all within a stone's throw of Morgrave University.

Exotic Services: Something of a catch-all category, this includes any service that is not commonplace in a Brelish city such as Sharn. For example, it is traditional for halfling warriors from the Talenta Plains to recline in couches while serving women rub scented oil into their hair, but a Talentan warrior cannot easily find a place in most Brelish towns that caters to that particular custom. In Sharn, however, he need only visit the Little Plains district in Middle Menthis and find the Rider's Rest, and he'll feel right at home.

Sharn's racial and ethnic neighborhoods are the best locations to find these sorts of exotic services. These neighborhoods include Little Plains in Middle Menthis, Den'iyas (a gnome neighborhood) in Upper Menthis, two dwarf neighborhoods -- Holdfast in Middle Northedge and Highhold in Upper Dura, Shae Lias (an elf neighborhood) in Upper Northedge, and Overlook, which includes an enclave of kalashtar as well as humans from Adar. Significant populations of Lhazaar, Karrn'ish, and Cyrean immigrants make Middle Menthis a particularly diverse ward, a large contingent of Karrns live in Graywalls in Middle Tavick's Landing, and a small Eldeen minority inhabits Skysedge Park in Upper Central.

Find Someone: A city as large as Sharn is an easy place in which to hide (see Hide, below). For better or worse, it also supports a sizable number of inquisitives who specialize in finding people who might prefer not to be found, or just people who don't know someone might be looking for them. There is no single district where inquisitives all tend to set up shop; any given district can support only so many. Middle-class districts of a certain flavor are the most likely areas to find an inquisitive -- places such as Underlook in Middle Dura, Deathsgate in Middle Tavick's Landing, and Warden Towers in Middle Menthis. The best inquisitives -- particularly when it comes to finding what's lost -- are those associated with the Finders' Guild of House Tharashk. Four Tharashk inquisitives with the lesser Mark of Finding head agencies in different parts of the city: Kurt Karr'Aashta's Investigations in Deathsgate, Information Acquisition in Underlook, Thuranne Velderan's Investigative Services in Warden Towers, and Globe Information Agency in Dragon Towers. The dragonmarked heads of these agencies generally work only on the most important or difficult cases, but their staffs are among the best inquisitives in the business.

Do-it-yourself types who don't want to (or can't) pay an inquisitive have other alternatives, ranging from amateur sleuthing to powerful magic. Gather Information might work to find a specific individual. However, it is usually only possible to learn the whereabouts of a person within a single district -- asking around Highest Towers trying to find someone hiding in Precarious is doomed to failure. If the person sought is located in the same district as the person seeking, a successful check against DC 20 to 30 (depending on how noticeable the character is, how carefully he is hiding, and similar factors) can at least narrow down the hiding person's location. Naturally, spells such as locate creature and know location are the most effective means of finding people.

Guides: As the gateway to Xen'drik, Sharn has a number of residents who sell their services to adventurers and prospectors planning expeditions to that mysterious continent. As with investigators, House Tharashk dominates this field, making use of their magical dragonmark abilities (know direction and even find the path) as well as their extensive, if more mundane, skill and experience. The House's grand hall in Dragon Towers is its most prominent public face, but better deals and sometimes better guides can be found in their enclave in Clifftop (in Upper Dura).

Sometimes visitors to Sharn need guides within the city itself. City guides are easy to find: they usually cluster around arriving Orien coaches, airships, and river vessels, hoping to solicit business from newly-arrived visitors. These guides -- often very young individuals -- are inexpensive and tend to highlight the great tourist attractions of the city (see Sightseeing, below), which is sufficient for many visitors' purposes. City guides of a different caliber can be found in Ambassador Towers: most of the escort services in that district emphasize escorts who are knowledgeable about the city and its attractions as well as being enjoyable companions in other ways.

Healing: House Jorasco operates houses of healing throughout the city, though they are concentrated in middle-class neighborhoods (any district that includes average services might include a Jorasco house of healing). Their headquarters is in Dragon Towers (in Middle Central), and characters in need of a heal spell or similar magic need to find their way there rather than to one of the smaller houses elsewhere in the city. Prices for House Jorasco healing services are provided in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

The clerics of Khorvaire are not merchants. Adepts devoted to Boldrei often work with House Jorasco, but adventurers who go into a church and treat the priest like a common merchant will be thrown out; divine magic is a gift of the gods, not a commodity like arcane magic. In particular, raise dead is rarely used on Khorvaire, and it is highly unusual to find a cleric or adept who has the spell prepared. Warriors who die in the service of the Silver Flame are thought to join the Flame after death, while the Valenar elves join with the spirits of their ancestors. Even in the Sovereign Host, using raise dead is viewed as a challenge to the will and wisdom of the gods. This does not mean that there is no hope for heroes who fall in battle -- but it is not just a matter of tossing 5,450 gp at the local priest.

Only a few people in the city are capable of raising the dead, so finding one is the first step. The Dragonmark of Healing can only help the living, but the Great Healing Hall in Dragon Towers employs two adepts capable of casting raise dead, both priests of Boldrei. This is the best path to take, as the other people capable of casting the spell -- including archeirophant Ythana Morr (Silver Flame), High Priest Pthaso Mogan (Sovereign Host), Mayne Jhaelian of Shae Lias (Undying Court) and Lan Hazal (Blood of Vol) -- rarely have the time to deal with the needs of adventurers.

After finding a spellcaster capable of casting the spell, it is necessary to persuade the character to help. The spellcaster must have a Helpful attitude, and must hear an excellent explanation of why the victim must be returned to the world of the living. Even if the priest agrees to cast the spell, gold alone is not sufficient payment. The spellcaster usually demands that the raised character pay for his life by performing a special service on behalf of the god.

There are no priests in Sharn who can cast regeneration or resurrection. This would require a trip to Flamekeep in Thrane or a holy site of similar importance, and would undoubtedly require a great quest on the part of the beneficiary.

Hide: One of the benefits of a large city is the anonymity it affords to those who live in it. It is much easier to lose oneself in Sharn than in a tiny farming village in rural Aundair -- to lie low, avoid attention, or escape pursuit of any kind. Naturally, the best place to hide in the city is where searchers are least likely to look. Sometimes this means lying low in Lower Dura or the Cogs; sometimes it means pretending to be a noble and living it up in Upper Central.

Hiding is not exactly a booming business in Sharn, it's mostly just something people do, or try to do. However, certain of the criminal elements in the city do occasionally accept payment in exchange for helping people create a new identity. Naturally, the experts in this field are the changelings of the Tyrants, the criminal gang concentrated in the Dragoneyes district of Lower Tavick's Landing. For a (quite large) sum of money, they employ magically-enhanced surgical techniques to permanently alter a client's appearance, provide forged identification papers and other documents that might be needed to establish a new identity (a university diploma or professional certification, for example), and use their own agents to create at least a temporary cast of supporting characters in the drama, as needed. The cost for this unusual service varies depending on the new identity to be created, but ranges from 500 gp (for a relatively simple new identity) to 5,000 gp or more (for an elaborate new life).

Hire Help: Adventurers seeking hired help in Sharn, on either a short-term or a long-term basis, should at least begin in the adventurers' quarters of Clifftop (in Upper Dura) and Deathsgate (in Middle Tavick's Landing). All of the hireling services shown on Table 4-1: Prices for Hireling Services in the Dungeon Master's Guide are available (at the listed price) in those two districts, and hirelings in those districts are accustomed to working with adventurers.

For hirelings not shown on the table in the DMG, see Buildings and Businesses for guidelines about finding specific kinds of services in the city. Professional services are clustered in Sharn into two districts in Upper Tavick's Landing as well as the Dava Gate district of Middle Central.

Legal Aid: Barristers are among the hirelings commonly employed by adventurers, and barristers specializing in adventurers' concerns are easily found in Clifftop and Deathsgate. From property disputes and charges of plundering (for bringing artifacts from Xen'drik without a letter of marque) to robbery charges and wrongful death suits, these barristers are experienced with the variety of problems encountered by adventurers in the city. Rates may increase significantly for particularly difficult or high-profile cases.

The most expensive and high-powered barristers in Sharn -- many of them connected to House Sivis -- have offices in Dava Gate (in Middle Central), near the edge of the Dragon Towers district. They work closely with most of the dragonmarked families, embassy personnel in Ambassador Towers, and the financiers of Upper Central.

Magic Items, Buy or Sell: Sharn boasts some dozen magic item dealers of various specialties, located in various areas throughout the city. The adventurer's quarters in Upper Dura (Clifftop) and Middle Tavick's Landing (Deathsgate) are fine places for lower-level adventurers to acquire and sell magic items. The options are limited for high-level characters, however, because of the gold piece limit in those districts (35,000 gp in Deathsgate and 40,000 gp in Clifftop). Other options include a few dealers in the Seventh Tower district in Upper Menthis (limit 70,000 gp), one exclusive shop in the Platinum Heights district of Upper Central (limit 100,000 gp), and of course several dealers in the magic district of Middle Menthis, Everbright (limit 100,000 gp). Dealers in Everbright are far more willing to buy used or salvaged items than those in Platinum Heights and Seventh Tower, which cater to wealthy but not necessarily adventurous collectors. A feature unique to Platinum Heights, however, is a magic item auction house, Aurora Gallery.

News: The Sharn Inquisitive, the city's local chronicle, is the best source of local news. The Inquisitive is produced weekly on Sul and distributed in the city mail. Its publisher is Haftak ir'Clarn -- a distant cousin of Lord Duken ir'Clarn, a member of Breland's parliament and an opponent of the monarchy. Haftak's position on his cousin's radical politics are unclear. Some have accused the Inquisitive of promoting Lord Duken's agenda, while others see the editorial slant of the chronicle in the opposite light.

While the Sharn Inquisitive is fairly popular, most of its subscribers read it for local news -- which often reads more like local gossip -- and the opinion pages, which regularly feature heated debates on important local issues. For news from beyond Sharn, most educated citizens rely on the Korranberg Chronicle.

Paying Taxes: Characters who come to Sharn from the surrounding region to pay their annual taxes owed to the king can do so in any of four locations. There are tariff offices in Cogsedge (in Lower Tavick's Landing), in Grayflood (in Cliffside), in Precarious (in Lower Dura), and in Warden Towers (in Middle Menthis). These offices collect tariffs and duties on trade as well as annual production taxes.

Pilgrimage Destinations: Sharn is not a major destination for pilgrims the way that Flamekeep draws devotees of the Silver Flame, but it is not entirely without its attractions to those of pious inclination. Three sites sacred to the Sovereign Host exist in the city: the Pool of Onatar's Tears in Khyber's Gate (in the Plateau Cogs), the Great Hall of Aureon in the University District (in Upper Menthis), and the Korranath in the district that bears its name (in Upper Central).

The church of the Silver Flame has a sacred site in the city as well: the Shrine of Fathen the Martyr in North Market (in Lower Northedge). During the church's crusade against lycanthropes, Fathen was torn to pieces by wererats in the middle of North Market, and the shrine is built on that site.

Kalashtar and human followers of the Path of Light who live anywhere in Khorvaire are often drawn to Sharn to visit Enlightened Havakhad, a powerful monk who lives in a small shrine in Overlook (in Upper Dura). The Enlightened One is said to have oracular powers, and it is certain that his tremendous wisdom grants him deep insight that is often helpful to those seeking guidance on the paths of their lives.

Places to Live: A city of over 200,000 inhabitants has plenty of housing, both in its business districts and in quieter residential neighborhoods. Northedge is known as the most residential of Sharn's quarters, and its topmost levels (including the districts of Oak Towers, Crystal Bridge, and the elf neighborhood of Shae Lias) include some of the finest homes in the city. Middle Northedge has quiet homes that are less expensive than those in the upper districts, and the Oakbridge district is probably the nicest middle-class housing district in Sharn. Even the apartment districts in Lower Northedge are more pleasant than their lower-class status would indicate, maintaining something of a small-town feel outside of the bustle of the city.

For those who prefer housing closer to the activities and services Sharn has to offer, Mithral Tower (in Upper Central) is a neighborhood of spectacular homes in the heart of the city, and Platinate (in Upper Menthis) is only slightly less grand. The best housing in Dura, while remaining quite affordable, is in the Highwater district (in Upper Dura). Ocean View (in Upper Tavick's Landing) is the most desirable housing on the east side, and very exclusive.

Places to Stay: For those planning shorter-term stays in Sharn, the city offers abundant inns, hostels, and boarding houses. No less than five inn districts provide lodging in all areas of the city, though they are concentrated in the lower levels. Hostelhome in Lower Dura, High Walls and Dancing Shadows in Lower Tavick's Landing, Boldrei's Hearth in Lower Central, and Underlook in Middle Dura together offer over six hundred inns and hostels to travelers and those making Sharn a short-term home. That said, almost every business district in the city has some businesses of this type, and the best lodging is found in upscale districts such as Platinum Heights and Highest Towers (in Upper Central), Seventh Tower (in Upper Menthis), and Skyway.

Another lodging option popular among adventurers is a House Ghallanda secure shelter. The dragonmark heirs of the House establish these shelters in North Market (in Lower Northedge) or The Bazaar (in Middle Dura) whenever demand allows. As described in the Eberron Campaign Setting, these shelters cost a total of 280 gp, or 35 gp per person if the maximum of eight people share a shelter. As an aside, adventurers should note that city law prohibits erecting a Leomund's secure shelter within one mile of Sharn without a permit, and House Ghallanda is the exclusive holder of permits to do so.

Characters without money to pay for lodging can find shelter in one of the many almshouses located in the city's poorer districts (primarily slums and tenement districts in Lower Dura and the Cogs). Though lodging is free, such places are notoriously dangerous.

Research: Sharn's Morgrave University, while it is not the most respectable institution of higher learning in Khorvaire, has an extensive library with definitive collections in certain fields, particularly arcana, dungeoneering, geography, and history. Characters seeking knowledge in any field should be able to find resources in the library to assist their search. The University is also an excellent place to hire sages on a short- or long-term basis. Even sages with no formal connection to the University tend to cluster around it, establishing their homes and businesses in the University, Den'iyas, or Ivy Towers districts of Upper Menthis.

Another important resource for certain kinds of research is the City Archive in the Highest Towers district of Upper Central. The Archive contains exhaustive historical records of Sharn, birth, death, and marriage records, and even copies of legal documents such as identification papers and letters of marque issued in the city. Access to these records is more limited than access to the Morgrave library, however.

Characters pursuing more hands-on research might find what they seek in the ruined undercity of Sharn, down in the Cogs where forges, sewers, and tunnels snake through the ruins of two ancient cities. Similarly, the crypts of the necropolis might be a source of relevant historical information.

Sightseeing: Sharn's lofty towers are one of the wonders of the world, and alone draw tourists from the leisured classes of all Khorvaire to visit the city. Once a trip to see the towers is on the agenda, however, visitors quickly learn that there are more sights to see in Sharn -- a plethora of attractions and wonders to dazzle the most jaded traveler.

First, while the towers of the Central Plateau in particular may be high, they are not as high as Skyway. No visit to the city is complete without looking down on its mile-high towers from above. A favorite site in Skyway for the city overlook is Cloudpool Park in the Azure district, which features a large "pool" of crystal-clear ice allowing a spectacular view of the city below. On the Central Plateau itself, the observation deck atop the council hall in Highest Towers is the most popular site for panoramic views of the city. Sunset Park in the Overlook district of Upper Dura offers spectacular sunset views (as its name suggests), and Kavalla Park in the Ocean View district of Upper Tavick's Landing provides a similar southward view.

Sharn offers an abundance of other wonders, great and small, to delight sightseers. The Iron Guardian is a 100-foot-tall iron statue crafted centuries ago by the artisans of House Cannith, now standing at the entrance to Skysedge Park in Upper Central. The Great Hall of Aureon in Upper Menthis' University district draws admirers of architectural marvels as well as religious pilgrims. The Dezina Museum of Antiquities in the same district is also a grand attraction to those of a historical bent. The temple district of Middle Central, Sovereign Towers, is well-known for its temples to the Sovereign Host, arranged in a ring around a great tower. These temples are a fine example of late-period Sharn architecture and include superb statuary and religious art. The Brelish Museum of Fine Art, located in Ambassador Towers (in Middle Central) contains some world-famous paintings, statues, and antiquities (though its collection in the last category is dwarfed by the Dezina Museum's).

Many guide agencies offer sightseeing tours of the city.

Spellcasting: As with magic item dealers, for-hire spellcasters offer their services throughout the city. Spellcasters experienced with the needs of adventurers can be found in abundance in Clifftop and Deathsgate, the adventurers' districts in Upper Dura and Middle Tavick's Landing, respectively. These spellcasters are the most likely to have spells prepared that are useful to adventurers, including spells such as remove curse, remove disease, break enchantment, divination, and similar spells. Magewrights and adepts of all levels can be found throughout Sharn, but there are only a handful of other spellcasters of 9th level or above, and these powerful individuals rarely sell their services for gold.

Storage: House Kundarak's role in the financial world is actually secondary to its role providing security for warehouses and other businesses. Thanks to its presence in Sharn, there are abundant secure storage facilities in the city. Foremost among these are the Vaults, actually the lower levels of the Kundarak Bank of Sharn in Upper Central's Korranath district. The Vaults are primarily intended for storage of small items of great value, and their security is unparalleled. House Kundarak guarantees the security of a number of warehouses in Lower Dura and Lower Tavick's Landing, which are convenient to the major trade routes through the city.

Transportation: Getting around Sharn is part of its appeal to new visitors. Skycoaches -- resembling small boats, from rowboat-sized skycars to longship-scale tour coaches -- dart through the air of the city, transporting citizens and visitors from place to place. Skycoaches of all sizes are always present at the Orien coach station in Cogsedge (in Lower Tavick's Landing), at the waterfront in Cliffside, and at the airship port in Highest Towers (in Upper Central). Skycoaches can also be summoned from larger balconies on towers throughout the city.

Aside from skycoaches, residents of the city use various means to get around. These include soarsleds, flying metal disks that flit rapidly through the air, and the glidewings brought to the city by some Talenta halflings living in Little Plains (in Middle Menthis). A few citizens ride more exotic flying mounts as well, ranging from griffons and hippogriffs to giant eagles and owls, but these are hard to stable in most areas of the city. (Skyway is the only ward where accommodations for large flying mounts even approach commonplace.)

Of course, not all travel in Sharn involves flying through the air. Mule-drawn wagons carry loads along the roadways and bridges of the city, and horses carry riders among the towers as well.

Worship: There are temples in every quarter of Sharn, though not quite every district. This abundance of temples, dedicated to every deity, guarantees the citizens of the city a place of worship close to their homes. Most of these temples are little more than small shrines dedicated to a single deity, but the four temple districts of the city all contain great temples to the Sovereign Host (as a pantheon) and the Silver Flame. Shae Lias (in Upper Northedge) contains a number of shrines to the Undying Court.

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