Sharn Special Events

Festivals and Diversions

As one of the largest cities on the continent, Sharn hosts some of the grandest celebrations and spectacles in Khorvaire. Many people travel from across Breland to join in Olladra’s Feast or to pay their respects to the fallen on the Day of Ashes, and the Race of Eight Winds draws tourists from across Khorvaire.
In an ongoing campaign set in Sharn, festivals can serve a variety of different purposes. Religious holidays and events commemorating the Last War help to immerse the characters in the setting. Sporting events provide characters with an opportunity to make a little extra gold or to lose their chain shirts. A special event may provide an excellent starting point for an adventure.
The following holidays demonstrate a few of the most important or colorful events. Each deity has at least one holy day, and each race and nation has a host of traditions and festivals. Some of these events are unique to Sharn, while others are celebrated across Breland or Khorvaire.

HOLY DAYS

While these are primarily religious holidays, many of the holy days of the Sovereign Host have become engrained into secular life, and affect the timing of government appointments, apprenticeship terms, and other things.
*Sun’s Blessing (15 Therendor): The 15th day of Therendor, the festival of Dol Arrah, the Sovereign of Honor and Light, is a day of peace, a time for enemies to set aside their differences and commune. This tradition continued throughout the Last War, when most armies kept the peace on Sun’s Blessing. However, in 916 YK the armies of Thrane conducted a great assault on the Brelish city of Starilaskur on Sun’s Blessing, and many Brelish curse Thrane on this holiday.
Most of Sharn observes Sun’s Blessing, and a grand celebration takes place at the Pavilion of the Host in Sovereign Towers. It is one of the safest days to wander the city, and a time when rivals often try to resolve their conflicts peacefully. However, the followers of the Mockery and the Shadow may go out of their way to cause pain and suffering as an affront to the sun goddess.
Aureon’s Crown (26 Dravago): The Five Nations observe the festival of Aureon. It is a celebration of knowledge, when the elders of the community share their wisdom with the young at evening feasts. Throughout the day, priests of Aureon gather at the Great Hall of Aureon in the University District in Upper Menthis, providing sermons and lectures on a host of topics, from history to philosophy and the nature of the gods.
Like many of the holy days of the Sovereign Host, Aureon’s Crown has become a secular holiday that does not require any particular religious devotion. Aureon’s Crown is the traditional time for students to graduate or advance, and this is true even at the monastic schools of the Silver Flame.
Brightblade (12 Nymm): Brightblade, the holy day of Dol Dorn, the Sovereign Lord of Strength and Steel, sees festivals occur in all of the temple districts of the city. Prizefi ghts, wrestling matches, archery contests, and jousts occur throughout the day, culminating in a contest of champions at the Cornerstone arena in Middle Tavicks Landing. The champions receive generous prizes, and a fortune can be made gambling on the contests.
Occasionally, even more fantastic conflicts have been staged on Brightblade—full-scale battles held on the training grounds of Daggerwatch, free-for-all melees with hundreds of contestants, and similar spectacles.
The Hunt (4 Barrakas): The 4th day of Barrakas is dedicated to the Sovereign Balinor. While followers of Balinor are taught to live in harmony with nature, 4 Barrakas celebrates his role as Lord of Horn and Hunt, the hunter who protects his people from marauding predators. Both rural communities and in greatest cities of Khorvaire observe the Hunt. In Sharn (and many other metropolises), the priests of Balinor arrange to have a dangerous beast transported to the city. The City Watch cordons off an area of the Lower-City, and on 4 Barrakas the beast is released into the Depths. Anyone who wishes can participate in the Hunt by making a donation of 5 gp. Hunters receive the blessing of Balinor, and enter the Depths to track down the beast. Whoever returns with its head receives a prize of 500 gp, fame throughout the city, and the blessing of Balinor.
While the quarry of the Hunt is generally referred to as “the beast,” over the years the Hunt has taken different forms. Sometimes multiple creatures participate, and the victor is the hunter who gathers the most skins. During the Last War, rumors persist that a city in Karrnath used prisoners of war as the quarry in the Hunt.
Fathen’s Fall (25 Barrakas): Fathen’s Fall honors the memory of one of the heroes of the Silver Crusade, the great purge of lycanthropes that occurred over 150 years ago. Fathen exposed scores of lycanthropes in Sharn, but on 25 Barrakas a pack of wererats tore him limb from limb on the streets of North Market. In observance of this event, the faithful gather at the Shrine of Fathen the Martyr (in the North Market district of Lower Northedge) to listen to a sermon given by the priest of High Hope; followers traditionally donate 1 silver piece in memory of the crusade.
Shifters in general have an ambiguous feeling toward this holiday. While they have ancestral ties to lycanthropes, many shifters actively participated in the Silver Crusade. Some shifters are comfortable with their ancestors’ participation in the Crusade, while others view it as a dark mark on their heritage. As a result, tensions run high within Sharn’s shifter communities and between shifters and the faithful of the Church of the Silver Flame on Fathen’s Fall.
Boldrei’s Feast (9 Rhaan): Boldrei’s Feast is a time for the community to come together and strengthen its ties. House Ghallanda and local merchants donate goods and services for a great feast that is held at the Pavilion of the Host. Traditionally, the wealthiest members of a district throw grand parties, competing with one another and seeking to improve social standing through these astonishing and extravagant displays.
In addition to these celebrations, Boldrei’s Feast is the traditional day for elections and government appointments, as Boldrei oversees the forces that hold a community together.
The Ascension (1 Sypheros): The Church of the Silver Flame was born from the sacrifice of Tira Miron, who gave her life to serve as the Voice of the Silver Flame. On 1 Sypheros, members of the church gather to reaffirm their faith and to give thanks to Tira for her holy gift. Over the course of the day, followers of the Flame attend a blessing ceremony; the grandest ceremony occurs at the Cathedral of the Cleansing Flame (in the Sovereign Towers district of Middle Central), but the faithful pray at all of the city’s temples. In addition to attending the ceremony and sermon, the faithful seek ways to contribute to their community on Ascension Day.
Wildnight (18–19 Sypheros): The Fury, the Sovereign of Passion and Madness, the mistress of unbridled emotion, reaches the height of her power during the month of Sypheros. When the sun sets on Wildnight, emotions run high, and people find it difficult to restrain their natural impulses. The shy and the superstitious usually stay indoors on Wildnight and avoid public places. But many see the night as an excuse to cast aside their inhibitions. The streets fill with raucous revelry. From the depths of the Cogs to the highest towers of Central Plateau, wild celebrations last well into the night. But for all the joy and revelry, it is a dangerous time. Riots, brawls, and crimes of passion are all too common.
Long Shadows (26–28 Vult): When the Sovereign Lord Aureon created the first arcane spells, he brought a source of darkness into the world—a sentient force of pure magic that stole his shadow to serve as its vessel. According to myth, the Shadow lurks in the dark spaces of the world, spreading dread and despair, spawning foul monsters and granting power to those who use magic for corruption or evil purposes. Regardless of the truth of these tales, there are three days in Vult when dark magic dominates—the three nights of Long Shadows.
For most people, this is a time to stay indoors and huddle around a fire. For the minions of darkness, it is a time to rise up and leave the shadows, preying on the weak and foolish who ignore the legends. In Sharn, the primary worshipers of the dark deity are the monsters of Droaam. Human followers of the Shadow are usually wizards and sorcerers, and it is possible that a mage would need to complete a particular arcane experiment—such as the construction of an eldritch machine—during Long Shadows.

SECULAR FESTIVALS

The Last War has had a tremendous impact on the psyche of the people of Khorvaire. Most of the events described in this section are memorials commemorating particular events of the war. Many more festivals take place that are not described in this section. Galifar’s Throne (5 Nymm), for example, celebrates the foundation of the kingdom of Galifar, but today only Q’barra openly commemorates the event.
The Tain Gala (first Far of each month): Balls, galas, and feasts occur throughout the year, as ambassadors, nobles, and dragonmarked heirs wine and dine their relatives and associates. However, the Tain Gala has become an institution in Sharn. The ir’Tains, one of the oldest and most powerful families in Sharn, owns many towers and their wealth rivals that of the Kundarak clan. The guest list of the Tain Gala defines the social order of the city. The families with permanent invitations to the Gala, the Sixty, are the royalty of Sharn.
In addition to these aristocrats and wealthy gentry, Lady Celyria ir’Tain does her best to invite a few unusual celebrities to entertain her guests—artists, poets, and sometimes adventurers. Aside from fantastic food and drink, such guests receive generous gifts and a temporary increase in status; for the next month, the attitude of any member of the Sixty is increased by one category when dealing with the celebrity. An adventurer known to be a friend of Lady ir’Tain often receives invitations to other events or other forms of special consideration.
Crystalfall (9 Olarune): While Sharn was never besieged during the Last War, sabotage was a constant threat. The most devastating event of the war occurred on 9 Olarune 918 YK. A team of abjurers destroyed the enchantments supporting the Glass Tower, one of the city’s oldest floating citadels. Over the last few decades, a tradition has built up around this day. Crafters carve ice sculptures, creating beautiful miniature towers, and then hurl them into the Dagger River. Some see this as morbid, but for most of the participants, it is a way to remember what was lost—creating something beautiful and unforgettable, and then watching as it is destroyed. While carvings occur throughout the city, the largest and most prestigious gathering of sculptors occurs in Sunset Park in Ocean View (in Upper Tavick’s Landing). A few of the city councilors judge the sculptures, and the winner receives a purse of 150 gp.
The Day of Mourning (20 Olarune): The Last War was a time of horrors. With every passing decade, deeper scars were carved into the surface of Khorvaire. But through a century of war, nothing had prepared the people of the Five Nations for the events of 20 Ollarune 994 YK—the day when the nation of Cyre was destroyed, leaving the Mournland in its wake. The nature and cause of the cataclysm remains a mystery, but on 20 Olarune those who survived the fall of Cyre gather to remember their lost kingdom. Some tell stories of the dead, while others teach the history of the nation to the young or perform traditional Cyran songs and dances. Others remember only the war, cursing the other nations for refusing to accept Mishann’s claim to the throne of Galifar.
The Race of Eight Winds (23 Lharvion): Dura, one of the oldest and poorest quarters of Sharn, contains inhabitants swept in from all corners of Khorvaire. They may not have gold, but the people of Dura have the Race of Eight Winds. According to the commonly accepted—if somewhat unlikely—legend, King Galifar II was fascinated by the use of aerial scouts and cavalry. It’s said that he used Sharn as a proving ground to test the merits of different flying beasts, granting land and gold to exceptional cavaliers. Over the centuries, this activity evolved into an exotic competition involving different sorts of magical and fantastic beasts.
The Race of Eight Winds is primarily a test of speed and skill through a course that weaves around and through the spires of the city. While the beasts may use any natural weapons that they possess, the riders may not use spells, psionic powers, dragonmarks, magic devices, or alchemical items. Anyone who breaks these rules is immediately disqualified and probably torn apart by an angry mob. The only weapon a rider can use is a sporting crossbow, equivalent to a light crossbow but with an 60-foot range increment and moves 1d3/1d4 squares back on hit. Competitors may carry a dozen quarrels, allowing the rider to hinder the progress of another racer but making quick kills unlikely.
The Race of Eight Winds brings spectators, tourists, and gamblers from across Khorvaire, and it also presents a host of opportunities for adventurers. The victorious rider receives a 500 gp purse at the end of the race, as well as a grant of land elsewhere in Breland, donated by one of Sharn’s noble families.

Drakes AC 15
Thronehold (11 Aryth): On 11 Aryth 996 YK, the signing of the Treaty of Thronehold formally ended the Last War, bringing a century of bloodshed to a close. As might have been expected, the day has become an important holiday celebrated throughout the Five Nations. It is a new holiday, celebrated for only the second time this year. The Lord Mayor of Sharn intends to hold one of the most extravagant celebrations ever seen, and tourists and celebrants are likely to attend from across Khorvaire.

SPORTING EVENTS

As a metropolis catering to people of all cultures, Sharn hosts all kinds of sports and athletic events. The Race of Eight Winds only occurs once every year. Other events occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Shifters hold informal hrazhak competitions every night in Lower Northedge. The ogres of the Cogs are fond of tugs-of-war, arm wrestling, and similar simple tests of strength. People wishing to bet on sports can usually find a gambler willing to set odds in Firelight, Callestan, Cornerstone, or Hareths Folly. Three exotic sports practiced in the city are described below.
Hrazhak: Two teams of seven shifters play hrazhak, a rough, full-contact sport. Each team carries a wooden idol. To score, a team must steal its opponent’s idol and place both idols in its goal. Obstacles such as trees, streams, and piles of rubble play a major role on a hrazhak field, requiring the competitors to make full use of their inhuman jumping and climbing abilities. Idols can be thrown or carried, and there are no limits on contact between participants, although only natural weapons are allowed. There is no required structure to a hrazhak team, but most include two runners, climbers, and renders. Renders and biters can inflict serious injuries on their opponents, and a low-level druid or adept is usually on hand to provide healing; however, any competitor who receives healing is removed from play for the remainder of the match. Competitors are not allowed to use magic or psionic abilities.
The only formal hrazhak arena in Sharn is located in Cornerstone, where it is a spectator sport and a source of gambling. However, shifters have created ramshackle hrazhak fields in the slums and warehouse districts of the city, and shifter youths often play impromptu games in the parks.

Skyblades: Common jousting is popular enough throughout Breland. In Sharn, the sport has taken to the air. In a formal skyblade match, the goal is to knock the rider from his saddle—attacks against the mounts are forbidden, along with use of magic or psionics.
Formal matches take place in one of Sharn’s two aerial arenas, located in Cornerstone and Hareth’s Folly. However, informal matches occur throughout Lower and Middle Dura, Tavick’s Landing, and Menthis Plateau. An informal match may be drawn out across an entire district, with competitors weaving between towers and around bridges. Rules for an informal match are set before the start, establishing whether magic can be used and mounts can be targeted. Skyblade jousters typically ride hippogriffs and carry blunted lances that deal nonlethal damage.

Six Stones: Six Stones, a Droaam tradition brought to Sharn by immigrants, involves seven competitors who each pay a base stake. The seven are then sealed in a large chamber with a cockatrice. The match ends when six of the competitors have been turned to stone, at which point the survivor receives the majority of the stakes (with a share being set aside for the organizers). A medusa handler monitors the competition to ensure that rules are followed.
Contestants carry no arms or armor, and no magic or psionics may be used. Additionally, no one may attack the cockatrice. The challenge lies in defeating the other contestants or luring them into the path of the cockatrice. The battleground varies. It may be completely barren or chocked with rubble and cover; there may be light, or it may be pitch black.
Six Stones matches are run by the monstrous organization known as Daask. The sport is highly illegal, but the matches are confined to the Dura Cogs and well hidden from the eyes of the Watch. Six Stones usually only occurs once every few months. Sometimes participants voluntarily enter the arena, but most are debtors who have been offered a chance to clear their loans. Daask takes bets on the outcome, and usually earns a tidy sum.
Currently Daask has four cockatrices in Sharn (5 HD, 5 HD, 6 HD, and 8 HD), all of which were carefully trained in Droaam. A medusa named Karyale (NE female medusa expert 2) handles the cockatrices.

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