Sunday, September 30, 2012
Districts of Korvosa
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.