Rise of the Runelords
LN Large city
Corruption +2; Crime +0; Economy +4; Law +5; Lore +4; Society +0
Qualities: academic, holy site, magically attuned, prosperous, strategic location
Government: Overlord (monarch)
Population: 18,486 (16,637 humans, 739 dwarves, 371 elves,
369 halflings, 184 half-elves, 186 other)
Swordmistress Sabina Merrin (female human fighter)
Headmaster Toff Ornelos (male human aristocrat/wizard)
Field Marshall Cressida Kroft (female human aristocrat/fighter)
Base Value 12,800 gp; Purchase Limit 85,000 gp;
Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 2d4
Originally a rugged frontier outpost for the Chelish Empire, Korvosa has since grown into an international trading hub and academic hotspot. It is strategically located off the coast of Conqueror’s Bay at the estuary of the Jeggare River, and the inhabitants of this bustling port consider it Varisia’s most influential city. Despite being burdened with a draconian legal system, beset by corruption, and crawling with danger, Korvosa nonetheless continues to draw fortune-seekers and starry-eyed adepts in droves.
At first blush, Korvosa seems the ideal cosmopolitan trading hub. Merchants of all kinds deftly exchange metalwork, seafood, illicit drugs, raw resources, and imports from the cosmopolitan south. Top-notch academies, both magical and mundane, draw sharp minds to the city. Scores of dedicated Chelish soldiers seek to further their training with the hippogriff-mounted Sable Company marines or intimidating Hellknights of the Order of the Nail. However, just under the hustle and bustle the city teems with danger and decay. Stringent anti-union laws prevent laborers from organizing, otyughs wallow in poorly drained sewers, the magical academies are preoccupied with devil summoning, and undead besiege the cemeteries. Vile denizens inhabit the city’s dilapidated rooftops, and violent crime renders some districts largely impassable. The vast majority of Korvosans eke out livings as dockworkers, strikebreakers, shopkeepers, servants, and petty thieves. Despite all the trade, widespread poverty afflicts several of the city’s districts, and many of Korvosa’s underclass won’t hesitate to take advantage of an unsuspecting out-of-towner.
The distinct architecture of the city is predominated by the famous Acadamae, which teaches all schools of magic, though it places particular emphasis on conjuration. This leads many to suspect that the devil-summoning practices of its founders continue to this day. They find it difficult to verify these suspicions, however, as the Acadamae keeps entirely secluded. It allows public access only during the Breaching, a festival in which contestants attempt to win a prize by bypassing the spells that fortify the Hall of Wards.