Sharn: The Last City
Dura, the largest quarter in Sharn, covers the great expanse of the western plateau from the gliffs overlooking the Dagger River to the crevasse of the Western Cog. It is also the poorest, excepting the Cogs, with even its topmost levels solidly middle class. Dura mixes various businesses and housing, never approaching a true residental distric but holding a number of apartments, tenements, and (near the bottom) slums. The lower levels of Dura include a large population of immigrants from Darguun and Droaam, forming a neighborhood of goblinoids and other monstrous residents.
Dura, one of the oldest quarters of Sharn, rises from the ruins of Shaarat and the Old Sharn that fell at the end of the War of the Mark. But as Sharn has grown over the centuries since that terrible conflict, Dura has been left behind. Today, many consider it a blight on the city, riddled as it is with poverty and crime. Dura is home to the majority of the lower classes of Sharn, and Lower Dura is generally considered to be little better than the Cogs. Nonetheless, Dura is the gateway to the Dagger River. Cargo and the food Sharn needs to survive passes from Cliffside up through Dura, and most of the warehouses districts are located in the lower ward. The Bazaar of Dura is a source all manner of unusual goods, including a wide range of illegal merchandise. Dura may be dangerous and dirty, but it is certainly a gateway to adventure.
The Race of Eight Winds has a major impact on the culture of this quarter. Residents born and raised in Dura are likely to be quite passionate about the race, and outsiders who settle in one of the districts of Dura would be wise to smile and nod when the subject comes up. As the time of the race draws near, Callestan and Hareth’s Folly become a hotbed of arguments and brawls.
Physically and economically, Upper Dura has little in common with the slums and tenements that lie below it. The upper towers were erected over the past few centuries, and the stonework reflects the prosperity of Breland and the city. If the ward is not as fancy or prestigious as Central Plateau or Northedge, at least the streets are clean and in good repair. However, while many of the people of Upper Dura are successful merchants or crafters, there is a seedy edge to the ward. Beggars can be found throughout the ward, flaunting their afflictions and misfortunes in hopes of earning pity and coppers. Dreamlily dens and other forms of high-class crime can be found in the shadows. The people are comfortable with strangers and others of questionable character- so adventurers are made welcome.
The stones of this old district have been worn smooth by the passage of time. There is a definite scent of danger in the air. The Sharn Watch patrols this ward, and these guards are always ready for trouble-though the crime lorfs often use bribes to ensure that the Watch is nowhere to be seen when certain activites take place. Nonetheless, Middle Dura is certainly safer than the ward that lies below. The Bazaar, the largest market in the city, can be found here, and the taverns and inns of Dura are a common destination for folk who don’t have many coins to rub together.
Once the heart of Sharn, Lower Dura has slowly decayed as the rest of the city moved higher into the sky. Now it is a dark and dangerous place. Precarious and the Stores play important roles in the economy of the city, but the other districts have largely been left to fester and rot. Today, Lower Dura is home to the miserable poor. The Sharn Watch rarely risks patrolling Lower Dura, and the ward has become a center for criminal activites. The inhabitants of the ward may be shielded by gang allegiances, ties to one of the major criminal organizations , or the simple fact of having nothing to steal, but adventurers had best tread lightly when venturing here. Street violence occurs on a regular basis, amateur and professional curpurses abound, and the Sharn Watch won’t do much to help. A drawn blade of an intimidating demeanor keep most of the rabble away- of course, the more dangerous criminals may see this as challenge and a promise of worthy loot.
In general, Lower Dura is a wretched place, and the city council does little to change that. Everburning Torches light most of the district, as opposed to Everbright Lanterns, and in the worst neighborhoods many of the torches have been shattered or stolen. The ward shows its age, with cracked and worn streets, walls covered with mildew and graffiti, and other signs of wear and tear. Once Lower Dura was Sharn, and it included a garrison, manors for the city lords, a great temple, and other important buildings. Over the course of time these structures have been forgotten or repurposed. Lower Dura is full of shadows of a glorious past that can barely be seen beneath the grime of the present.
- Upper: Clifftop, Daggerwatch, Highhold, Highwater, Hope’s Peak, Overlook, Redstone
- Middle: The Bazaar, Broken Arch, Hareth’s Folly, Rattlestone, Stormhold, Tumbledown, Underlook
- Lower: Callestan, Fallen, Gate of Gold, Malleon’s Gate, Oldkeep, Precarious, The Stores