Curse of the Crimson Throne
Korvosa, the Jewel of Varisia, has long sparkled on Varisia's southern shore. Established 300 years ago by Cheliax at the height of that empire's expansion, the city now commands its own destiny. A line of Korvosan kings and queens emerged to rule the city, establishing an infamous seat power – the Crimson Throne. Rulers have sat upon the Crimson Throne for more than a century, and the city has flourished. Yet the monarchy always seems on the brink of disaster. The Crimson Throne is not a prize to be won – it is a curse. No monarch of Korvosa has died of old age, and none produce an heir while ruling. Even though King Eodred II controls Korvosa more fully than any previous monarch, that control remains tenuous, and many secretly count the days until their latest king falls to what they call the Curse of the Crimson Throne.
The city is a bastion of order amongst the harsh and untamed wilds. Korvosa sits at the end of Conqueror's Bay, where the Jeggare River spills into the sea. The city fills the spit of land formed by two sharp turns in the Jeggare River and Endrin Isle, with a few outlying areas on the far shore of the river. It stands on two hills, Garrison Hill on Endrin Isle and Citadel Hill on the mainland. The Narrows of Saint Alika separate Endrin Isle from the shore.
Five landmarks give Korvosa a distinct skyline. The black-marbled Castle Korvosa stands on a massive pyramid that rises to a flattened top. The Pillar Wall stretches across most of the southern end of Citadel Hill, an ancient monument to what must have been a magnificent barrier. At the western terminus of the Pillar Wall stands the Gatefoot, the only remnant of an ancient statue that must have once been a gate. The Great Tower stands 270 feet tall at the northern most point of the Merciless Cliffs, and serves several military roles for the city. Directly south of the Great Tower, the impressive Hall of Summoning marks the center of operations for the Academae, an esteemed wizard's school.