The Government Of Sharn

Bureaucracy mires Sharn’s political landscape. In addition to the massive amount of work involved in maintaining the city itself, Sharn also administers Brelish law to the surrounding region, collecting taxes and revenues on behalf of King Boranel.

The city is filled with ministers, beadles, bailiffs, and minor functionaries of all shapes and sizes. However, it is unlikely that a player character is going to become intimately involved in the repaving of roads or the system of agricultural tariffs collected by the ministers of Sharn. As a result, this section focuses on the pinnacle of Sharn’s government: the people at the top, who have the power to set adventures in motion.


The Council of Sharn

The Council of Sharn is made up of a councilor from nearly each ward in the city, with a few exceptions, totalling 17 councilors. The council establishes laws, determines how to use resources (taxes), and also appoints high officers of the city.

Representatives


The Council of Sharn

Many make the mistake of assuming that the Lord Mayor of Sharn holds the greatest power within the city. In fact, the City Council appoints the Lord Mayor, and the commanders of the Sharn Watch report to the Council.
The Council of Sharn is comprised of 17 councilors:
One from each of the wards of the city, with Cliffside merged into Dura and a single councilor representing both Ashblack and Blackbones.

The precise method by which a councilor is appointedvaries from ward to ward. In theory, it is a diplomatic selection made by the leaders of the ward, but what it takes to be a “leader” varies considerably. In some wards, anyone with a certain amount of income or property can participate in ward councils and elections. In others, ward elections are entirely in
the hands of trade guilds, noble families, or other power groups. While in theory each councilor has an equal voice, in practice the influence of a councilor is derived from his backers. The local merchants of Lower Menthis support Savia Potellas, and she knows better than to openly oppose Caskar Halavik, who has the backing of the Boromar Clan. If she stirs up too much trouble, she might wind up at the bottom of the Dagger River. However, she fi nds other ways to deal
with Caskar and pursue her own goals—including hiring adventurers to upset his plans. Likewise, while each councilor is supposed to represent the interests of his or her ward, a councilor usually puts his backers first, his personal district second, and his ward third. Thus, the three councilors with ties to the Boromar Clan usually vote as a unit.

The City Council commands a variety of powers.

The Council establishes the laws of the city, although if they wish to pass a law that completely contradicts the Code of Galifar or the traditions of Brelish Law, the crown or parliament might have something to say about it. Laws may vary per ward, allowing a councilor to shift the traditions of the city to benefit his backers.

The Council also determines how to use the resources of Sharn, from taxes to the power of the Sharn Watch.

Finally, the Council appoints the high officers of the city, including the Lord Mayor. The councilors do not appoint the city’s representatives to the Breland Parliament; following the democratic traditions of the nation, the three legislators are elected by popular vote, with every legitimate resident of Sharn having the right to participate. However, the Council manages and administers the election, and councilors can usually exercise a considerable amount of influence over the voters in their districts, whether through charisma or graft.

All major political appointments in Sharn occur on 9 Rhaan, Boldrei’s Feast. Members of the Breland Parliament serve two-year terms, city councilors serve for three years, and the Lord Mayor’s performance is usually reviewed every four years. There are no term limits, and quite often an election passes with no changes whatsoever.

Each member of the Council has his or her own agenda and supporters, which may determine whether one makes a better patron or opponent for a party of adventurers. The seventeen councilors of Sharn currently in power include:

Upper Central: Javan Tomollan] (LN male human expert 8), a shrewd man and a tough bargainer, earned his fortune representing House Lyrandar, although he has since parted ways with the house. He is a fair man and believes that hard work and dedication to a task should be rewarded. However, his greatest concern is protecting the interests of the people of Upper Central: the problems of the poor of Lower Dura hold little interest for him.

Middle Central: Sorik Sensos (LN male half-elf expert 11) is a clever man and a brilliant orator, and he is one of the oldest and most infl uential voices on the Council. However, he is influenced by his need for gold, and his supporters are aggravated by the growing economic gap between Middle and Upper Central. His frustration is compounded by the
rising success of Javan Tomollan, and every month he becomes increasingly obsessed with Tomollan. Sorik is determined to humiliate Javan and to bring down his fortunes, but he needs to be careful.

Lower Central: Sava Kharisa (NG female human expert 7/wizard 3), one of the most out spoken members of the council, espouses a wide range of radical philosophies and political views. She honestly does the best she can to help all of the people of Sharn, instead of trying to advance her political career or protect her personal supporters. This has earned er
many enemies on the Council, and if she’s not careful the Boromar Clan could try to have her removed from office—permanently. Due to her radical views, connections, and desire to fi ght corruption, Sava makes an excellent choice as a patron for adventurers.

Upper Menthis: Born and bred in Sharn, Thurik Davandi (LN male gnome expert 4/magewright 4) is as cunning and deceptive as any Zilargo gnome. He gained his seat on the Council through a clever combination of fl attery and blackmail, and he has a hold over many of the more powerful merchants of Menthis. He has strong ties with the Boromar Clan and the Zilargo Embassy, and often uses his influence to help these allies. But he is always looking for ways to increase his own power at the expense of his associates, and he may lure adventurers into his web of conspiracy and deception.

Middle Menthis: Caskar Halavik (N male halfling barbarian 2/expert 4) was born in the Talenta Plains. When he fi rst came to Sharn, he worked as an enforcer for the Boromar Clan. He was also a remarkably skilled clawfoot racer, and in time he became a celebrity in Little Plains. Saiden Boromar helped him transform his fame into political cachet, eventually
earning him a seat on the Council. Caskar enjoys the prestige of his position, but he prefers to leave political maneuvering on behalf of the Boromars to Ilyra Boromar and Bestan ir’Tonn.

Lower Menthis: Savia Potellas (NE female human expert 2/bard 1) owns a brothel in Firelight, and the conservative members of the Council were outraged by her appointment. She is extremely sharp at business, but she is currently caught in a bind. She has grown tired of paying tribute to the Boromar Clan and the Tyrants in order to run her business, but she is afraid to openly move against the powerful crime lords. Despite her amoral nature, she could become a valuable
ally for adventurers that oppose the Boromars.

Upper Northedge: Maza Thadian (LN female elf commoner 17) is one of the oldest, richest, and most respected elves in the city. She owns the Oaks, one of the fi nest restaurants in Sharn. Maza is stubborn and set in her ways, and she constantly fi ghts to maintain the status quo and uphold tradition; however, she does tend to put the concerns of the wealthy before those of the poor, especially the goblins and other dregs of the lower wards. While she has the highest regard for the law, she is in no way naïve; she is capable of surprising subterfuge in the best interests of Sharn.

Middle Northedge: A former advocate, Doran Cantar (NG male human expert 4/adept 1) is an honest and devout man dedicated to making a difference for the people of Northedge. He obtained his position largely through charisma and dedication,and the support of the priests of High Hope. He has a deep and abiding faith in the goddess Boldrei,
and attributes all of his successes to the good will of the goddess. However, his honesty is often a hindrance in Council intrigues.

Lower Northedge: Born in North Market, Shassa Tarr (N female shifter expert 5) is a political animal. She comes from a long line of merchants, and is an expert negotiator. While she is not as devious as Thurik Davandi, she has been successfully able to juggle alliances with all of the major factions within the council. Shassa herself owes her allegiance both to the merchant lords of Lower Northedge and to Sharn’s shifter community, and she does what shecan to help both of these groups.

Upper Tavick’s Landing: This ward has always had an isolationist attitude, in many ways considering itself to be a separate city within Sharn. Bestan ir’Tonn (LE male halfl ing aristocrat 3/telepath 9) has represented this community for the last 30 years. A wealthy barrister from one of the Sixty (see page 112), he has strong connections to the Boromar Clans. He is a respected man who has always looked out for the interests of the wealthy of Tavick’s Landing, as well as for the Boromars.

However, he has a secret: he is an agent of the Dreaming Dark. Fifteen years ago, the Inspired dominator Tirashana infected him with a mind seed, and today he is one of three Inspired moles. While appearing to promote the agendas of his supporters, he has actually been stirring up dissent and discord.

Middle Tavick’s Landing: This ward is a center for trade and commerce, catering to adventurers, commoners, and merchants bringing cargoes in on the Orien lightning rail or by trade caravan. Dalaina Ironhand (LN female dwarf
expert 5) is a plain-spoken woman who represents the merchants of the district. She is a hard-nosed negotiator with no sense of humor and no interest in anything beyond the bottom line. She always drives for the best bargain for her people—whatever form that bargain may take—but she has no taste for underhanded intrigue. As a result, she opposes
the schemes of the “Boromar Block”—Bestan ir’Tonn, Caskar Havalik, Thurik Davandi, and Ilyra Boromar—whenever possible.

Lower Tavick’s Landing: Economic forces also drive the wants and needs of Lower Tavick’s Landing. Kilk has the support of the Tyrants, but has also won the loyalty of the other merchant lords of the district. On the surface, it appears that Kilk looks out for the mercantile interests of his ward, but he also monitors and manipulates events across the city. Only Thurik Davandi can match Kilk for intrigues and scheming, and Kilk has a web of informants and spies across the city. He has done his best to make himself useful to the King’s Citadel and the Guardians of the Gate, and as a result he has developed powerful allies within both organizations. Kilk is an invention of the Tyrants. There is one changeling who plays the role more often than others, but at any time Kilk could be any one of the Tyrants—even Ek himself. Through Kilk , the Tyrants have a second way to affect the city, and a more respectable façade for dealing with groups such as the King’s Citadel.

Upper Dura: Borian Haldorak (LE male dwarf aristocrat 6) owes his position to the powerful bankers and merchants of Highhold. He is also a member of the Gold Concord of the Aurum, and serves the interests of this conspiracy. He is disarmingly cheerful and often plays up his age, telling elaborate stories about the great deeds of his youth. But beneath this façade, he is a sharp and ruthless negotiator. Most interactions between the Aurum and the Boromar
Clan are resolved by Borian and Ilyra.

Middle Dura: Hruit is a mysterious figure on the Council, keeping his own counsel and advancing his own agenda. A druid with a particular affi nity for owls, he once rode a giant owl to represent the Bazaar of Dura in the Race of Eight Winds. Hruit’s primary responsibility is to the merchants of the Bazaar, protecting their interests from the Boromar
councilors and the councilors who represent the other market wards.

Lower Dura: Bestan ir’Tonn, Thurik Davandi, and Caskar Havalik all have ties to the Boromar Clan. But Ilyra Boromar (NE female halfl ing rogue 3/expert 3) is the Boromar Clan’s personal representative on the Council. She reports directly to
Saidan Boromar, and she has the authority to make executive decisions on behalf of the clan. Her allegiance is obvious, but the other council members generally politely overlook it; the Boromars are one of the Sixty families of Sharn, and she does have the skills, credentials, and lineage to compete with any of the other councilors. Of all of the members of the council, Ilyra is the most ruthless and dangerous. The Boromar Clan prefers to avoid violence, but councilors who oppose Ilyra have disappeared in the past. However, the recent war with Daask has shaken her grip on the council. The Boromar Clan is no longer seen as an infallible, omnipotent force—and so far the majority councilors have refused to devote city resources
to battling the Droaamites setting up shop in Sharn. Most are quite pleased with the turn of events, and are waiting for the Boromars to be weakened further before they take any action. Thurik Davandi, Bestan ir’Tonn, and Caskar Havalik are Ilyra’s allies, although Thurik and Bestan have been known to pursue there own agendas behind Ilyra’s back. Her greatest enemies on the council are Borian Haldorak, Sava Kharisa, Kilk, and Hruit; these four are either unconcerned with the danger represented by the Boromar Clan or feel that their supporters are powerful enough to protect them from retribution.

Skyway: Another member of the Sharn Sixty, Evix ir’Marasha (LN female human aristocrat 2/ bard 4) owns the Celestial Vista in Skyway, along with a host of other valuable properties. She is one of the most eloquent members of the Council, and she takes a great interest in Sharn’s role in the greater politics of Breland. She is part of the cabalwho believe that the monarchy should be abolished when King Boranel dies, and she is a close friend of Hass ir’Tain. Evix also believes that Sharn should be recognized as an independent province, a view shared by Sava Kharisa. However, fi rst and foremost
she represents the people of Skyway and the interests of these wealthiest citizens of Sharn. Because of this, she usually sides with Javan Tomollan, Maza Thadian, and Bestan ir’Tonn in Council debates.

The Cogs: Nolan Toranak (LE male dwarf commoner 7) represents the industrial powers behind Ashblack and Blackbones. The nobles and merchant princes of Skyway and the Upper-City own many of the foundries and forges in the Cogs, and Nolan usually aligns himself with one of the more eloquent councilors. The one issue that he does feel strongly about is the status of the warforged. His children were killed by warforged during the Last War, and he has never forgiven House Cannith or the warforged as a whole. If Nolan had his way, all warforged would be melted down or banished. As it is, he tries to find ways to bypass the stipulations of the Treaty of Thronehold, so warforged can be treated as property. There are a few groups of people in Sharn who share Nolan’s fear and hatred of the warforged, and he often channels
funds to these organizations. He might hire adventurers to take action against House Cannith or the prominent warforged of Blackbones; or if there is a warforged among the party, Nolan could use his power to try to discredit the adventurers and drive them from the city.

THE LORD MAYOR

While the City Council holds the true power in Sharn, the Lord Mayor is still a force to be reckoned
with. The Lord Mayor represents the interests of Sharn in any direct contact with the Brelish Crown, including interaction with the King’s Citadel. He also appoints the lesser officers of the city and oversees all issues of daily administration. He has the power to establish trade agreements with foreign governments, to pardon criminals, and to order
arrests and even executions. His worship [[[Cathan ir’Demell]] has been Lord Mayor of Sharn for twenty years, and he enjoys the luxuries and privileges of his position. He is unlikely to take any actions that would anger Javan Tomollan or Bestan ir’Tonn, his strongest supporters in the council, and he usually consults with these two before making any major decisions.

THE KING’S CITADEL

The City Council and the Lord Mayor represent the interests of Sharn; they are not direct servants of the king. The King’s Citadel looks after the interests of the crown, and can assert jurisdiction over any criminal matter or issue concerning espionage ornational security.

THE SIXTY FAMILIES OF SHARN

Twenty-five of the twenty-seven noble families of Breland have strong ties and interests in Sharn, along with all of the dragonmarked houses. But the majority of the wealth of the city lies in the hands of the gentry: merchants and landowners who have built their fortunes through centuries of hard work and clever investment. There are hundreds of powerful families in the City of Towers, but a few stand out from the rest. These are known as the Sixty. Sharn was built with the gold of the ir’Tain family, and today the ir’Tains are the most powerful and influential family in the city. Once each month, they hold a grand party for the aristocracy—The Tain Gala. When the ir’Tains were building their new manor on Skyway, Lady Shala told the architects to make the banquet hall large enough to seat sixty families and their servants. The Sixty of Sharn are those with standing invitations to the Tain Gala—the clear sign of success. It should be noted that other
people may attend the gala, as it is uncommon for all sixty families to bring all of their family members and servants, and the hall was designed to hold entertainers as well as guests. But a single invitation, while prestigious, is entirely different from being invited to join the Sixty. While many members of the Aurum are also members of the Sixty, the two organizations are quite different. The Aurum is a highly organized conspiracy that carries out carefully orchestrated plans to provide its members with greater power and wealth. The Sixty is more of a social club—a visible manifestation of the most powerful families in Sharn. Members of the Sixty discuss politics and business at the Tain Galas, and these iscussions can have an impact on adventurers, Sharn, or even Breland. But the Sixty almost never act as a concerted unit, and many members are actually bitter rivals beyond the walls of the Tain Manor. All of the noble families and the dragonmarked families are members of the Sixty; this means that any Sharn resident with the ir’ or d’ prefi x on his last name could be found at the Tain Gala. Other members are generally identified as such in their descriptions. A standing invitation can always be revoked to make room for a more deserving candidate; one of the greatest fears of Councilor Sorik Senso is that his family will be displaced to make room for Councilor Javan Tomollan.

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