Sharn is a city in the country of Breland. It sits on the Dagger River, atop a cliff called the Hilt. Sharn is not the capital of Breland, but it is one of the oldest cities in Khorvaire still standing, and is also the most populous city in Khorvaire, if not the entire world. Called the City of Towers, Sharn’s unique construction has pointed all development upwards, a feat only made possible due to the city sitting in a manifest zone of the astral dominion Syrania, the Azure Sky—a manifest zone that makes flight magic and other gravity-defying magic work that much better.
Sharn is divided in two ways. The first is vertically, where the city is clumped into several neighborhoods. The second way is horizontally, where even within the same neighborhood, as one changes elevation, so too changes the quality of life—the lower you go, the poorer things become.
Districts are referred to both by the neighborhood and the strata, so you would say Lower Dura, Middle Menthis, or Upper Central.
The Central Plateau is the heart of Sharn. The upper district houses Sharn’s political bastions, with the middle district holding embassies and dragonmarked house enclaves. The lowest district is nicer than most lower districts, with it being populated largely by inns and taverns.
Dura is the oldest part of Sharn, built atop the ruins of the ancient cities that have come and gone where Sharn has stood. Even the upper reaches of Dura are worse than some lower areas, and few go there if they can afford not to. Dura is where a majority of Sharn’s poor live, with the lowest areas being as bad as the Cogs. Still, Dura is on the western side of Sharn and most of the port business goes through here.
Menthis is best known as an entertainment hub, with the predictable stratification of the quality of that entertainment changing depending on your elevation. The upper reaches house some of Khorvaire’s best opera houses and even Morgrave University. The lower reaches have Firelight and Torchlight, offering some of the more bawdy styles of entertainment.
Northedge is largely made of all residential areas, with everything from penthouses at the top to cheap flats at the bottom. Even though the usual stratification occurs, even in the lowest areas, Northedge has little crime, due to a stronger presence of the Watch.
Rather than having stratification, Skyway is, like the Cogs and the Depths, a district all its own. But unlike the other two, Skyway is one of the best places in the city due to it literally hovering over the rest of Sharn, above the clouds, a feat only possible due to the manifest zone. Skyway contains the wealthiest residential areas and shops, and has the strongest security of all of Sharn.
Anything underneath Sharn’s main plateau is referred to as the Depths, and it is about as bad as one might expect. Largely comprised of sewer tunnels, there are also far more ancient passageways from Sharn’s history hidden down here. Though never meant for inhabitants, there nevertheless are people down here, largely demihuman gangs that search for forgotten treasure… or at least a hapless victim.
Down below even the Depths are the Cogs, a place most would rather not think about. It is the industrial center of Sharn, though few people work here if they have a choice. At the heart of the Cogs lies a lake of magma which is used to power the district’s industry. However, the oppressive heat and the grinding labor make it unattractive for many, and yet many do not have a choice. Criminals and fugitives hide in the Cogs, and you simply never know what to expect down here… especially since it sits so close to Khyber.