Sharn: The Last City
In the last twenty years, Sharn has been changed by disaster that has befallen Khorvaire. But what is most striking, is what has not changed. If you visit the upper wards of Sharn, it would be very hard to tell that anything has changed. The people who live here have wealth and power, and have used both to isolate themselves from the world outside. It is only the everpresent misty gray fog of the Mournland that servers to remind people of the danger looming over the city, and if you live on the Skyway you are high enough up to see above the clouds.
The most significant change that has occured in Sharn, is the arrival of almost two million refugees. Many still live in terrible conditions in camps beyond the city walls, hoping to gain entrance. Others work long hours in the factories and workshops of the city, which have grown dramatically in the last decades. Sharn is both a refugee camp, and the most important center of manufacturing in all of Khorvaire.
Refugees do not have full status as citizens of Sharn. They can only access and live in the city if they have valid work permits. Otherwise they are forced to live in squalid camps outside the walls, where there is little food, and the danger of the Mournland is very real. Even if refugees gain access to the city, they are still kept away from the upper wards and the skyway. Where House Deneith maintain guardposts keeping the refugees from interrupting the lives of the wealthy and powerful. With the poor wages offered to refugees, most are forced to live in the worst districts of the lower wards, where overpopulation, exploitation and crime is common. Refugees who cannot find work, or lose their work permits often escape into the depths rather than be forced to leave the city.
Sharn was always an important manufacturing town. Its wealth was built on the good produced in its workshops, and the vast forges of the Cogs. With the fall of Khorvaire, Sharn has become the only place left where mass production can take place, and is of essential importance for the Dragonmarked houses and for New Breland. Chimneys have become a common sight in the city, and pollution has become a more significant problem, especially in the lower and middle wards.
The two primary exports of Sharn are warforged, who are sold to Breland, and zeppelins. The new airships of House Lyrandar, slower than the old airships but able to carry more cargo. They ferry resources from mines in the Greywall Mountains and the Howling Peaks to Sharn. House Lyrandar’s airships are now also the only form of transport left that is able to cross Khorvaire.