Sharn: City of Towers
Have you ever wondered where you should go to get a bite to eat when you’re wandering in the Cogs? Or where to go to watch a game of Hrazhak? Maybe you need to send a message and you’re looking for the best deal on a messenger service in Sharn? You can find the answers to these questions and much more in Sharn: City of Towers by Keith Baker and James Wyatt. Some of you might remember me mentioning that I bought some used Dungeons and Dragons from previous editions a while back, and I’ve been reading them over, and today I paid a visit to Eberron. Sharn is the largest city on Khorvaire and it is certainly one of the most breathtaking of any world. It is a city of towers that rise ever higher and higher reaching above the clouds and deep underground. A city where elegantly dressed nobles can take in an evening at the opera while the goblinoids and minotaurs toil in underground forges. Intrigue, corruption, history, flying ships powered by bound elementals, airborne castles, monster filled sewers, and barbeque can all be yours to enjoy if you’re willing to risk setting foot in the city. The book goes into detail describing the history, layout, and people that make Sharn so unique. I cannot stress enough what an invaluable resource this is, and it’s a highly entertaining piece of work too. So hitch a ride on a skycoach and fly over to your friendly local gaming store to see if they have a copy of this on hand.
The Race of Eight Winds
The Race of Eight Winds commemorates a test of skill that was once held to choose aerial cavalry in ages past, now it is one of the most popular sporting events in Sharn. Riders take the skies racing over rooftops, balconies, bridges, and deadly drops to seize the glory of victory and the gold awarded to the winner once every year. Winged horses, giant eagles, great owls, and other flying beasts are just a few of the mounts that compete with one another. As if an airborne race through the city and threat of crashing and falling to your death weren’t exciting enough the competitors are all armed with crossbows, and they’re allowed to shoot at one another to try and disable the other racers. They only have a dozen quarrels so managing to kill another racer isn’t a common event but the threat is still there. This is easily one of my favorite things about Sharn and something I would eagerly use in a campaign.
Kundarak Bank of Sharn
Operated by the dwarven dragonmarked House Kundarak the Kundarak Bank of Sharn is the largest most important bank in the entire city. When I picture the upper levels of the back I can’t help but imagine Gringotts, but in place of goblins there are stout dwarves going about their work. The lower levels of the bank are called The Vaults, and are used as storage space for items of great value with the highest degree of security imaginable. What is the greatest security imaginable? Details are highly guarded for obvious reasons but I have some thoughts. I’d imagine traps of every description riddling every corridor, and there is an entire cadre of known as the Silver Guard who act as a private security force for the bank. If the threat of highly skilled heavily armed guards weren’t enough to dissuade you the small army of magical locksmiths and vault attendants employed by the bank might help. Dwarves are so well known for the knowledge of stonework I wouldn’t be surprised if the lower levels were a labyrinth as well, making it all to easy for any would be thieves to lose their way. Don’t worry though, apparently dragons are pretty rare in Eberron so you probably won’t bump into one while you’re there.
The Lava Pit
If I was going to eat anywhere in Sharn it would be at the Lava Pit without a doubt. It’s a restaurant located in Tavick’s Cogs that overlooks a gigantic forge and is bathed in the fiery red light of the molten rock. It began as a humble establishment offering a variety of barbequed meat and an interesting view, but over time its popularity has transformed it into the most upscale establishment of any type in the Cogs. I love the idea of people forgoing the lofty towers and slumming it down in the underbelly of Sharn, and honestly who doesn’t love barbeque?