Sunday, September 30, 2012
The academic (and devilish) center of Korvosa, the Academae is the campus of this reputable magic school, which is large enough to gain district status in itself. Although it stands within Citadel Crest, the Acadamae does not belong to the ward. Faculty and students of the college live within its imposing walls and outsiders may enter only when they come with a purpose, such as delivering food or performing maintenance, or during the Breaching Festival.
The centre piece of Korvosa and home of its royal family the castle towers over the rest of the city as it is built atop the remains of a Thassilon Pyramid. The centerpiece of the city, Castle Korvosa towers over every other building. Two pieces comprise Castle Korvosa: the Grand Mastaba and the high-walled citadel itself. Together, Castle Korvosa rises high above Citadel Hill. Only the king, his immediate family, the seneschal of the castle, and his family may live in Castle Korvosa. Either man can invite long-term guests (such as the king’s small harem), but the other can evict these guests at any time (except during times of war).
The only district beyond the Jeggare River East Shore is home to many of the nobles families involved with Korvosa’s military as well as the struggling Theumanexus College. East Shore has no wards to subdivide it.
The Gray district serves as Korvosa’s graveyard and is where all its dead are interred; the only living inhabitants are the priests of Pharasma who tend it.
Standing atop Citadel Hill, the Heights District has a commanding view of the rest of the city, which its residents look down on—both figuratively and literally. Nearly all of Korvosa’s power players reside in the Heights, including the queen herself. The Heights District holds three wards: Citadel Crest, Cliffside, and University.
When most people think of Korvosa, they think of the cosmopolitan and friendly district of Midland. Situated on the leeward side of Citadel Hill, Midland stretches from the end of Enderin’s Wall south to Gray District and the Pillar Wall. It rises from sea level to climb the eastern slope of Citadel Hill, where it ends just below the summit line. Midland encompasses the wards of High Bridge, Pillar Hill, Slope, and West Dock. As the home district of both the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company, Midland has the fewest gangs and gang battles in the city. Despite that, the thieves’ guild does a brisk trade in the district thanks to the disproportionately high number of merchants, banks, and other commercial and financial concerns.
North Point, at the northwestern tip of mainland Korvosa, was the first section of the mainland settled by the descendants of the city’s Chelish founders. The district houses many of the city’s oldest non-noble families.
North Point covers the entire northern end of the city and includes the wards Five Corners, Mainshore, Northgate, and Ridgefield. Korvosa’s seat of municipal power stands in North Point, as does the city’s courthouse and the Bank of Abadar.
The poorest, most overcrowded area of Korvosa; the living conditions in Old Korvosa are far worse than in the rest of the city. As its name implies, Old Korvosa is old. It covers all of Endrin Isle, which rises from sea level along the southern shore on the Narrows of Saint Alika to a 200-foot-high escarpment on the seaward north side. At the foot of Garrison Hill, as this steep incline is called, sits the beehive-like hovel of Bridgefront. Old Dock stands on the relatively f lat eastern protrusion of the island. Atop Garrison Hill stands the stone wall of Fort Korvosa, completed in 4438. The imposing black-marble Palace Arkona dominates Old Korvosa, while the remains of the original wooden palisade slowly rot nearthe gate into the ward.
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.
Two other unofficial districts exist within Korovosa, their boundaries not conforming to any design by the city’s planners.
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 f looded 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 floors 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.
The vaults run beneath all of Korvosa and are far more than just sewers as they incorporate the remains of two other settlements previously located here.
This timeline touches on some of the most important events in Korvosan history.
c. 2500–4406: Sklar-Quah tribe of Shoanti inhabit the floodplains along the Jeggare River, where they defend the pyramid known to them as Mashka-saht-puyuhoke.
4404: Halleck IV, Emperor of Cheliax, charges Field Marshal Korvosa with the founding of a colony in the untamed (and unexploited) frontier region known as Varisia. Korvosa’s long-time rival in the King’s Navy, Admiral Mercatio Kiameleu, petitions for and receives a similar charter.
4405: The two rivals clash over funding. The field marshal moves his army into the northern border region of the empire and begins assembling civilian volunteers.
4406: Field Marshal Korvosa leads his army through Bloodsworn Vale into Varisia. Strong Shoanti resistance slows the campaign, forcing the Chelaxians to bivouac throughout winter at the foot of the Mindspin Mountains.
4407: Field Marshal Korvosa breaks the siege on Endrin Isle. Waydon Endrin becomes commander of garrison. Kiameleu establishes a settlement on a wide indefensible beach at the mouth of Conqueror’s Bay.
4408: Alika Epakena born. Admiral Kiameleu returns to Cheliax and attempts to have Palin court-martialled, but Korvosa and Endrin intervene on her behalf. Emperor Halleck IV demotes Kiameleu and gives his command to his first mate, Veldraine.
4409: First fully laden galleon returns to Cheliax loaded with Varisian goods. Waydon Endrin forms Sable Company with surviving marines to launch strikes against massed Shoanti.
4410: Field Marshal Korvosa dies. Montlarion Jeggare named second lord magistrate. Settlement of Kiameleu attacked and razed by Shoanti with no survivors. Captain Veldraine chastises Kiameleu for its poor placement, then founds village of Veldraine at a natural harbor nearby.
4413–4429: Sable Company harries Shoanti on mainland.
4415: Waydon Endrin retires. Keyra Palin named fort commander.
4416: Battle of Veldraine establishes the village as a subjugated holding of Korvosa.
4417: Montlarion Jeggare dies. Waydon Endrin named third lord magistrate.
4419: Keyra Palin destroys Shoanti boat launch at mouth of Falcon’s River. Temporary defenses are built to guard the harbor Called Palin’s Cove.
4420: Veldraine and Fort Korvosa begin regular supply convoys to Palin’s Cove.
4421: Keyra Palin gives birth to twins, Lucian and Brieanna Endrin.
4423: Delegates from Janderhoff arrive in Korvosa for first time.
4429: The Great Fire. Lord magistrate Endrin, Alika Epakena, Keyra Palin, and nearly a quarter of the town’s population perish, including nearly the entire garrison.
4432: Work begins on stone keep on site of former Fort Korvosa.
4435: First Battle of Mainshore retains tentative foothold on mainland coast.
4438: Stone keep completed. First appearance of marsh giants near Palin’s Cove.
4439: Second Battle of Mainshore. Foothold on mainland coast lost to Shoanti raiders.
4442: First wall built on mainland. Third Battle of Mainshore results in sound loss for Shoanti, who withdraw en masse to the Grand Mastaba.
4442–4446: Shoanti launch raids against the mainland buildings from their pyramid stronghold.
4445: First bridge built connecting Endrin Isle to mainland.
4446–4449: Siege of the Grand Mastaba.
4452: Laccius Brawm becomes Korvosa’s first serial killer with three murders.
4456: Emperor Fane II of Cheliax grants the Endrin family noble standing, creating House Endrin.
4457: Laccius Brawm caught and admits to eight victims. He is publicly tortured and executed.
4458: House Arkona sends Reprieve to nation of Vudra.
4461: Reprieve returns laden with exotic wares and spices.
4462: Shoanti resume organized attacks on Chelish holdings.
4464: Main walls of Castle Korvosa completed.
4472: Treaty of Crystalrock signed between Janderhoff and Korvosa.
4473: Lord Volshyenek Ornelos founds the Acadamae.
4485: Naval garrison known as Palin’s Cove becomes official settlement.
4488: Shoanti driven from Citadel Hill. Lady Jessa Leroung founds the University of Korvosa.
4489: Lord Magistrate Remsev Ornelos moves Korvosa seat of power onto mainland. Mainland docks burned in protest.
4491–4503: Influx of Chelish immigrants. In-fighting among new and established noble houses.
4502–4503: Cousins’ War. First appearance of Blackjack.
4504: “Fort” dropped from town name.
4505: Great Storm of ’05 levels three buildings, sinks a dozen ships and boats, and knocks down five docks.
4507: Korvosa celebrates its centennial.
4511: Exploration of areas beyond coast begin in earnest.
4514: Lady-Magistrate Dess Leroung imports otyughs from Cheliax. Installation of first otyugh plug in Old Korvosa.
4516: Schwed Harse follows Sarwin River to its source and names it after his daughter.
4532: Korvosan merchants establish trade relations with dwarves of Janderhoff. Shipments of black marble begin.
4536: Sarwin Harse founds village of Harse.
4537: First otyugh rampage in Old Korvosa. Three otyughs and nine humans killed.
4541: Major wind storm knocks trees into the city’s buildings. Ordinance to remove all trees in city approved.
4563: Jayden Baslwief founds village of Baslwief. Korvosa’s last public torture (of a serial rapist whose name was later expunged from the record). Public executions continue.
4569: Jorsh Melfesh founds village of Melfesh. Red dragon Glarataxus terrorizes Baslwief for several months before suddenly disappearing.
4571: Glarataxus returns to torment Palin’s Cove for almost half a year before leaving.
4574: Jhenni Biston clears out tunnels and founds village of Biston. Troglodytes native to the tunnels appear in Melfesh several months later and cause havoc until a band of adventurers eradicates them.
4592: Jeggare River floods and causes damage among lowland buildings. No reported injuries or deaths.
4606: Aroden dies. Lord Arbust’s rule begins.
4607: Bicentennial celebrations in Korvosa cancelled. Several powerful devils appear in city and kill Lord Volshyenek Ornelos.
4608: Thousands leave Korvosa for Magnimar.
4611: Major earthquake causes widespread damage, hundreds of injuries, and dozens of deaths in Janderhoff. Engineers and clerics from Korvosa and its holdings flock to the dwarven stronghold to render aid.
4617: Village of Sirathu claimed by Korvosa.
4620: Largest-ever otyugh rampage. More than a dozen otyughs escape Old Korvosa’s Vaults and kill 23 residents before Korvosan Guard can kill them.
4624: Arbust Arabasti dies. Lord Eodred’s rule begins.
4644: Lord Eodred crowned King Eodred of Korvosa. Blood Summer, as reefclaw population explodes and eight of the city’s residents fall victim to the pests.
4657: Death of King Eodred. King Cardraith’s reign begins.
4658: Village of Biston attempts to break free of Korvosan rule. Separatists killed. Martial law established.
4661: Death of King Cardraith. King Chadris’s reign begins. The return of the red dragon Glarataxus to Palin’s Cove and Baslwief. King Chadris hires adventurers to end the threat. All groups fail in their task.
4663: Ill-advised siege of Kaer Maga results in 117 Korvosan Guard deaths. King Chadris blamed.
4667: Death of King Chadris. Queen Domina’s reign begins. Queen reverses anti-tree ordinance and orders fast-growing trees planted.
4668: Dissatisfied citizens found Abken commune.
4674: Glarataxus makes most recent appearance, attacking Palin’s Cove, Veldraine, and Korvosa over a period of three weeks before again disappearing over Conqueror’s Bay.
4680: Moderate earthquake cracks walls and buildings, but causes only a few injuries and no deaths.
4686: Death of Queen Domina. King Eodred II’s reign begins.
4690: Martial law in Biston lifted. Key-Lock Killer, the city’s newest serial killer, murders first three victims.
4697: Key-Lock Killer’s most productive year: nine victims attributed to him.
4707: Korvosa celebrates 300 years.
4708: Current year.