With Fairhaven already almost done, I’m looking forward to the next metropolis in my Cities of Khorvaire series. Located on the Karrn River, Korth has been a major trade settlement since humans settled Khorvaire… Before, even, if you count the goblin settlements that set up nearby although there was no major site there in the Age of Monsters. This makes it a thoroughly human place, unlike many of the cities in the Five Nations and beyond, which makes sense since it’s a centerpiece of the Galifarian legacy in Eberron.
The City of Kings has a long legacy of powerful rulers and military conquests. For many in the Five Nations, Korth is synonymous with armies and generals, even more so than Rekkenmark. “Officers come from Rekkenmark but wars come from Korth,” as the saying goes and that heritage has shaped the city. Crownhome, the seat of the Kings of Karrnath and the source of many of those wars, sits above the city like a crown in itself. Half fortress and half palace, it sits high on King’s Hill along the southern wall of the city making it the first thing that people see when approaching the city overland.
To the east of Crownhome is the wealthy ward of Holycrown, so named because it is in the direction of the massive Cathedral of the Sovereign Host. Many nobles have townhouses here to be close to power and protected from the violence of the Last War. Further east is the Highcourt Ward, a part of the city that used to be filled with nobles but now is dominated by wealthy merchants and other rich people without the right bloodline. Displaced nobles moved over the course of the last century from Highcourt to Holycrown, but their legacy remains in their former ward.
In the other direction from the fortress-palace, Rivercrown is the traditional home of wealthy industrialists and the upper middle class but it is increasingly being populated by foreigners. Central, towards the Karrn River, is firmly the home of the middle class and is the beating heart of the city’s life. The nearby Community Ward is more residential and up a steep set of cliffs from there is the mercantile district of the Commerce Ward. These four wards hold the bulk of the city’s business and cultural centers, and the majority of the population of Korth.
The largest ward in the city, though, is the massive Temple Ward surrounding what was for some time the broken shell of Korth’s famous cathedral. It was heavily damaged during the Last War and reconstructed since the Treaty of Thronehold, but its history and presence in the city has drawn in other centers of worship, most notably from the Blood of Vol. Opposite the city from the temple is the Low District Ward which, confusingly for outsiders, mostly sits above the city on a cliff. The “low” part refers to the populace rather than the altitude, though there is a lower section along the river. At the very tip lie goblin warrens dug into the cliffs which are a notorious source of crime.
Railside sits on the other side of King’s Bay, unsurprisingly gathered around the lightning rail station. It includes some camps outside the city as well and is a part of the city in rapid flux as the traditionally industrial section of the city changes into… well no one is quite sure. Change is something that Korth abhors and the tensions in Railside are rising.