On the Shoulders of Giants
Clifftop (Adventurer's Quarter)
District Type: Adventurer’s quarter
Buildings: Shrines (Silver Flame, The Sovereign Host, Dol Dorn, Dol Arrah, Olladra), average lodging (25), poor lodging (45), average food (20), poor food (60), upscale trade (1), average trades (25), poor trades (60), average services (20), poor services (60), average residences (20), poor residences (80)
First Impression: The towers of this district are drab gray granite, but the crowds that fill the streets are quite colourful. People of all races and cultures can be seen. An Aundairian wizard compares notes with a kalashtar monk in the shade of a tavern, while across the street a Lhazaar privateer and a Valenar elf compare blades. Clifftop is a fairly dingy district—but it attracts an interesting crowd.
Social Class: Lower class
This district attracts those willing to devote sword, spells, or skills to risky but profitable endeavors.
Anyone looking for a discreet bodyguard, a mercenary soldier, or a guide to the wilds of Xen’drik can find what they need in Clifftop. Adventurers looking for a patron may find one here.
Clifftop is a curious blend of wealth and poverty. Most of the businesses in the district are serviceable, but not exceptional, providing for the needs of the adventurer who rarely has more than a few pieces of gold in his purse. It also provides services for the lucky explorer or privateer who has returned home with gold to spare, with commercial spellcasters, shops selling used wands and old mageworked weapons, and other exotic goods readily available. While similar in many ways to the Deathsgate district, Clifftop has a better and generally well-deserved reputation.
The district provides a number of services adventurers may find useful. A wide variety of hirelings can be found here, and all of them are used to putting up with the odd demands of adventurers. Likewise, as adventurers have a way of getting into trouble with the law, there are a considerable number of barristers and advocates in the district.
The pawnshops of Clifftop offer 45% of value for almost any sorts of goods, except those that are obviously stolen; fences that deal in stolen goods must be found in the lower levels of Dura.
The Augury: This shop, located in the section of Clifftop known as the mystic market, features a circle of magewrights who possess the ability to cast divinatory spells, including augury, clairaudience/clairvoyance, detect magic, detect scrying, divination, identify, locate creature, locate object, and scrying.
The master magewright of The Augury is a 334- year-old elf named Kestia (N female elf magewright 18). A child of House Phiarlan, Kestia was expelled from the house after she developed an aberrant dragonmark. However, her mystical powers exceed even the wizards of the Esoteric Order of Aureon. She can contact other plane and imbue with spell ability, allowing her to sell the power to cast a particular spell (albeit once). Her other talents include permanency, sending, and false vision; she occasionally sells permanent alarms, and she herself has permanent arcane sight and tongues.
As it sells sending, locate, and alarm spells, The Augury cuts into the profits of a number of the dragonmarked houses, notably Tharashk, Sivis, and Kundarak. Some believe that Kestia uses blackmail to protect herself from the retribution of the houses, while others say that she appeases the houses with a share of her profits. She has refused to join the Esoteric Order of Aureon or the Guild of Starlight and Shadows, preferring to remain independent.
Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild: This district has long served as a crossroads for adventurers and soldiers of fortune. One hundred and fifty years ago, a dwarf named Shekkal Korranor established a guild for explorers and wanderers—a place where those with adventurous spirits could find good company and support. Shekkal died in the Last War, but the Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild remains. Members tend to be 2nd- to 5th-level characters with good alignments, most of whom have spent some time in Xen’drik.
There is a strong rivalry between the members of the Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild and Deathsgate Explorer’s Club, and characters that join Clifftop may have to deal with Deathsgate hooligans—either in Sharn or while adventuring in the wilds.
The Dragon’s Hoard: The Dragon’s Hoard sells a wide assortment of wondrous items. Members of the Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild receive a 5% discount off the normal market price for items purchased here.
The Drunken Dragon: A bizarre assortment of odds and ends cover the walls of the Drunken Dragon tavern, including the trophies of a hundred expeditions to Xen’drik, the Demon Wastes, and other strange lands. Among the oldest pubs in Upper Dura, the Drunken Dragon is a long-time favorite of explorers, adventurers, and privateers. Slow service and poor food aside, the Drunken Dragon has one of the widest selections of exotic alcoholic beverages in Sharn. From Mror ale and Lhazaar mead to the orcish hrak of the Shadow Marches and fermented honey-milk brewed by the shifters of the Eldeen Reaches, if it’s strong and strange it can be found at the Drunken Dragon.
The Dragon has become one of the main places to hire adventurers; if a party has no specific agenda and simply hopes to find work, it could do worse than to have a few drinks at the Drunken Dragon. The Dragon is a tavern as opposed to an inn, but it does have two private rooms that parties can use when discussing secret business or important deals.
The Drunken Dragon is owned by Hascal d’Ghallanda (NG male halfling rogue 3/expert 6), a cheerful middle-aged halfling. Hascal began his life as an explorer, but gave up the trade after losing his lower left leg and his right eye in a particularly disastrous trip to Xen’drik, and returned to pick up the family business. He has an assortment of beautifully carved artificial limbs and colorful eye patches that correspond to his flamboyant outfits. Hascal is an extremely knowledgeable and talented fellow who, given an opportunity, can spend hours talking about his adventures.
Hasca l possesses the Least Mark of Hospitality and has the power to cast refuge; while he generally saves this for personal protection, for enough gold he could be convinced to cast it on behalf of a group of favored customers. Though he no longer actively adventures, Hascal remains a member of the Clifftop Adventurers’ Guild. Members of the guild get a +1 circumstance bonus on all Knowledge (local) and Gather Information checks made in the Drunken Dragon.
The Esoteric Order of Aureon: The larger of Sharn’s wizard circles, the Esoteric Order of Aureon has its headquarters in Clifftop. The Order’s tower is built of white marble, and glamers have been woven into the stone that cause the tower to shimmer and glow so that it seems as if it has been crafted of solid light.
Not all members of the Order sell their services, but if a party seeks an arcane spellcaster in Clifftop, this is the place to visit. Generally, spells of up to 3rd level can be obtained at standard prices, and 4th-level spells may be available. However, the wizards of the Order may not have the spell a party seeks prepared; in such cases, a client must wait 24 hours to complete their purchase.
House Sivis: In addition to the local message station, House Sivis maintains an enclave in Clifftop devoted to the Speaker’s Guild. This enclave specializes in two things: the translation of texts and other materials recovered from Xen’drik, and legal services for adventurers in trouble. Josilian Kan d’Tarlian (N male gnome bard 3/expert 3) works out of this offic, and is widely considered to be one of the best barristers in Sharn—though at a base price of 25 gp/day (and possibly more, depending on the nature of the case), he is certainly one of the most expensive.
House Tharashk: The House of Finding has a great interest in Xen’drik and the mineral wealth that can be found there, as well as an interest in the other dark lands of Eberron—Q’barra, the Demon Wastes, Khyber, and the Mournland. The Tharashk enclave in Clifftop is primarily concerned with exploration and prospecting. The house sells the services of guides, and many of its members have firsthand experience in Xen’drik and Khyber.
In addition to the powers of their dragonmarks, these guides can provide invaluable information about the threats lurking in these regions. When the house plans expeditions to Xen’drik, these are usually arranged at the Clifftop enclave. Due to the rivalry with Tharashk and Deneith, the house often recruits adventurers to protect an expedition instead of hiring Deneith mercenaries.
Kavv’s: This little restaurant is one of the wellkept secrets of Sharn, and without a recommendation a character only knows about it if he can make a DC 20 Knowledge (local) check. The Kavv family emigrated from the city of Stormreach in Xen’drik, and the food is an intriguing blend of Khorvairian styles, using Xen’drik spices and vegetables most people have never encountered. Kavv’s is a small, intimate establishment, and despite the extremely high quality of the food, a typical meal averages 30 cp. Saza and Taji Kavv (NG male and female humans, both commoner 4) still have many friends and relatives in Stormreach, and if the party befriends the Kavvs these contacts could prove to be useful during trips to Xen’drik.
Kurala’s House of Healing: Explorers tend to need healing more than merchants and crafters, and Kurala d’Jorasco (NG female halfl ing adept 9) does a brisk business in Clifftop. In addition to possessing the Least Mark of Healing (lesser restoration), she is an adept of Boldrei and can perform magical healing for her clients, including remove curse and remove disease. While she runs her own business, Kurala is a respected member of House Jorasco and is often called in to help the healers in Dragon Towers. Kurala’s House includes three lesser healers—two 3rd-level adepts and a 4th-level expert with the Least Mark of Healing (cure light wounds)—and Kurala’s husband Janasar (N male halfling expert 4), who specializes in the care and treatment of animals.
The Mystic Market: The white tower of the Esoteric Order of Aureon is surrounded by a host of lesser magic businesses. Most true wizards work with the Esoteric Order or the Guild of Starlight and Shadow, and the Mystic Market consists mainly of magewrights and adepts. Businesses in the market include: The Mithral Blade, a smithy that produces steel and mithral weapons and armor with up to a +2 enhancement bonus; Wise Wood, a shop that buys and sells wands and staves; The Moonlit Loom, which sells magic clothing; The Dragon’s Hoard, which sells a wide assortment of minor wondrous items and does a brisk business in feather fall talismans; and two different potion merchants, Boldrei’s Tears and Good Spirits. These shops all operate within the 40,000 gp limit of the ward, though the Dragon’s Hoard has a 20,000 gp limit on its goods.
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