Curse of the Crimson Throne
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 flooded 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. Eventually, these rooftop communities became known collectively as the Shingles.
No accurate map of the Shingles exists, as almost by definition the neighborhood is in a constant state of flux. Generalizations, of course, can provide a basic overview of the Shingles’ features within a ward, but exact directions to a particular residence or shop defy description. The Shingles do not exist as a continuous layer that blankets the roofs of the city. Rather, large swaths of Korvosa remain free of the phenomenon, with areas under the Shingles being large islands surrounded by clear roofs.