Curse of the Crimson Throne
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Population: 18,486 (90% human, 4% dwarf, 2% elf, 2% halfling, 1% half-elf, 1% other races)
From acrobatic sky-borne battles between imps and house drakes to filth-covered otyughs bursting up from the sewers below, Korvosa offers numerous excitements both common and uncommon. Undead prowl the famed Vaults beneath Korvosa’s walled necropolis, all manner of vermin roam the rooftop city-within-a-city of the Shingles, and treacherous thieves and thugs patrol the slums of Bridgefront and Old Dock. Yet among all this danger and excitement the city thrives as a cultural and economic powerhouse—relatively speaking—with opportunities for any visitor, regardless of morals and guiding principles.
At its height, before the death of Aroden and the departure of the separatists who founded Magnimar, Korvosa topped 23,000 inhabitants. It lost nearly 10,000 because of the resulting chaos of the time, but in the last century it regained half that many. As a result of its rapid contraction and slow re-expansion, many of the affluent sections of Korvosa remain underpopulated. With increasing trade and abundance of area into which it can expand, Korvosa could comfortably fill out to a true metropolis.
Korvosa sits at the end of Conqueror’s Bay, where the Jeggare River spills into the sea. The city fills the spit of land formed by two sharp turns in the Jeggare River and Endrin Isle (which splits the river at its mouth), with a few outlying areas on the far shore of the Jeggare. It stands on two hills: Garrison Hill on Endrin Isle and Citadel Hill on the mainland. The Narrows of Saint Alika separates Endrin Isle from the shore. Off the coast of the southern end of Citadel Hill rises Jeggare Isle, a small rock that juts from the sea and provides a foundation for Palin’s Lighthouse.
Five landmarks give Korvosa a distinctive skyline. Three of these landmarks exist on a truly colossal scale and have survived for millennia. Castle Korvosa stands atop a massive pyramid that rises to a flattened top. The Pillar Wall stretches across most of the southern end of Citadel Hill, a 100-foot-tall remainder of what once must have been a magnificent barrier. Just beyond the western terminus of the Pillar Wall stands the Gatefoot, which obviously originally belonged to a part of the wall and that likely served as part of a gateway of some kind. The other two landmarks, while impressive, do not come close to the size or grandeur of the ruins. Standing at the northernmost point of the Merciless Cliffs, the Great Tower reaches 270 feet in the air and serves several military roles for the city. Directly south of it stands the equally impressive Hall of Summoning, the center of operations for the Acadamae.
Besides its impressive landmarks, Korvosa’s other famed man-made features include its impressive walls (ruined and otherwise), its beautiful bridges, and its famed Vaults. These it points to with pride, but not all of its distinctive features attract the attention of potential visitors and residents. Chief among the shameful features is the rooftop area of the city known as the Shingles, which serves as both a highway for bandits and a refuge for monsters, thieves, and other undesirables.