Heroes with no Homeland
Sharn is the largest city in the kingdom of Breland and indeed, the continent of Khorvaire. It is a melting pot of all races, with the human population being the largest but still only a third of Sharn’s some 212,000 citizens.
A vertical city, Sharn is linked with the plane of Syrania, granting enhanced power to flight and levitation magic, a feature that the city’s residents have used to build towers that rise higher into the sky than any other place on Khorvaire and possibly the world of Eberron. Due to the myriad of cultures that live and have lived in Sharn, examples of architecture from all over Khorvaire can be found. Most of Sharn’s wealthiest inhabitants live in the upper regions of the city, enjoying the freshest air and least claustrophobic views.
Sharn has a long and rich history starting with its foundation in ancient times by hobgoblin warlords. It was called Ja’shaarat (“Bright Blade”) and even then it was one of the greatest cities of the Dhakaani empire. In contrast to modern Sharn’s soaring towers, Ja’shaarat was built mostly underground with only its tallest buildings inevitably becoming the foundation of Sharn.
When the Dhakaani empire was devastated by the daelkyr, the city was ruined and never recovered. Goblin tribes who took refuge in the city’s bowels renamed it Duur’shaarat (“Blade of Sorrows”).
Years later, when a wave of human explorers flooded the coasts of Khorvaire, Malleon the Reaver discovered the fallen city. He enslaved the remaining goblin tribes and renamed the city Shaarat. In time, Shaarat grew into a wealthy and powerful city only to once again be destroyed when Malleon’s descendants refused to bow down to Breggor, the man who would become the first king of the nation of Breland.
After a long siege, Breggor’s wizards finally rained destruction down on the city. Breggor renamed the city Sharn. During the next 800 years the towers of Sharn rose and the city flourished. When all of Khorvaire was changed with the War of the Mark, Sharn was once again ruined and abandoned for 500 years. When Galifar I became king of the Five Nations he ordered the rebuilding of Sharn. With the funding of noble houses and the help of House Cannith and Dwarven architects from the Mror Holds, Sharn’s great towers were returned to their former splendor.
Although part of the nation of Breland, Sharn is a society in its own right. People and cultures of nearly every imaginable sort are brought together there. They talk, they do business, they travel together, they pass one another on the street, and the result is a true melting pot, perhaps the only one in all the Five Nations. Members of monstrous or disfavored races who
aren’t welcomed in Sham’s towers can find a place in the shadows deep beneath the lofty spires and floating towers that give the City of Towers its title.
Sharn isn’t just the cultural center of Khorvaire, it’s also the economic one-at least as far as its citizens are concerned. “If it can be bought, it can be bought here” is a common saying among the city’s markets. Goods and services are available in Sharn from across the continent and even occasionally from across the seas. It’s an open secret that not all these goods and services are legal, despite the best efforts of the Sharn Watch.
Travel across Sharn, and between its various levels, occurs using massive lifts and, for the wealthy, skycoaches held aloft by magic or pulled by beasts such as hippogriffs. Order is maintained, as much as possible, by the Watch, and the city is ruled by a city council, the Lord Mayor, and a vast governmental bureaucracy.
People of Sharn
Humans form the greater part of Sham’s population, but every other major race of Khorvaire can be found in Sharn, and even the rarer peoples constitute a sizable number of the city’s residents.
That same variety appears in the religious practices of Sham’s citizenry. Although the Sovereign
Host and the Silver Flame have the most followers here, the Blood of Vol, the Dark Six, and even more obscure faiths—such as the various druidic beliefs and the Path of Light—appear with regularity. Cults of the Dragon Below exist in Sharn as well, but even here, they must maintain secrecy.