Knowledge Ward

The center of learning and research in Fairhaven, the Knowledge Ward is a quiet section of the city but hardly a boring one. Positioned between the docks of the Whiteroof Ward and the transportation hub in Rordan's Gate, the Knowledge Ward is a crossroads for much more than ideas. Travellers, spies, merchants, informants, and adventurers all have reason to find themselves in the Knowledge Ward and the residents are no strangers to bizarre incidents and shocking discoveries. To many, within Fairhaven and without, the ward is associated with the University of Wynarn which is its symbol and namesake. The university's treasures attract many different elements and a large number have taken up living in the surrounding neighborhoods, extending the university's influence through a fair portion of the city for better or worse.
Population: 7,300
Social Class: Middle to Upper Class
Character: Staid and intelligent, with shops and businesses catering to the knowledgeable and wealthy.
Districts: Average residential (4), magic district, shops district, university, wealthy residential (2).
Businesses: Booksellers, parchment shops, crafters, spellcasters, magic item merchants.
Key Personalities: Barek Khum (Valkiron), Gelirk the Skald (Valkiron), Jesmond Fireaxe (Valkiron), Lotha ir'Hytra (University of Wynarn), Professor Ash'tek (University of Wynarn), Verard ir'Houspein (Luminous).
Watch Detail: See Sovereign Ward.

knowledge-ward.jpg

Copein Heights

District Type: Shops
First Impression: This friendly shopping district has outdoor stalls and small shops, dominated by the large Summer Plaza with its Sun Temple and giant granite sundial.

Mostly filled with greengrocers, clothiers, and smiths, Copein Heights would deserve little mention but for the golden Summer Plaza at its heart. The honey-colored sandstone of the paving stones here always seem warm and filled with light, making the district an especially popular destination on overcast days. Two large features stand at opposite ends of the oval plaza, though the paving stones were placed long after both were built.
Copein Sundial: The Copein sundial predates the district and even Fairhaven, an orcish construction from the Age of Monsters. The sundial consists of a massive blade of grey rock a dozen feet tall with thirteen large grey stones placed around it in a ring. When human settlers arrived at Fairhaven, this was a mysterious artifact that was avoided out of superstition. Eventually the stigma passed, but the residents of the Knowledge Ward decided against moving it out of a mixture of pride and lingering doubts about ancient curses. The artifact is called a sundial just out of convenience; no one is actually sure why it was built. A traditional sundial should only have markings on the northern side, since shadows always point to the north in Aundair, and the mysterious number thirteen does not seem to correspond to any astronomical occurrence. Speculation about everything from orcish conceptions of magical theory to foretelling planar conjunctions has been put forth but even archeological experts are only guessing.
Sun Temple of Dol Arrah: Across the plaza from the sundial, some same out of a sense of religious competition, sits the impressive Sun Temple of Dol Arrah. Built around fifteen hundred years ago, it hardly compares to the ornate temples of the Sovereign Ward but the large, circular windows and carefully arranged clusters of prisms which fill the interior with shimmering motes of light still draw many crowds. During the Last War, it became popular for dragonhawk cavalry officers to hold their vigil in this temple before their knighting to pray in the presence of the sundial and light for guidance and a bright future. Many found the location near the Copein sundial distastefully pagan, but others found it refreshingly Aundairian.

King's Hunt

District Type: Average Residential
First Impression: Despite the urbane trappings and well-dressed residents, there is something animal and wild about this neighborhood.

In past centuries, around the time of Galifar's conquest of the Five Nations, the Knowledge Ward was the edge of the city and the forest was not far beyond. Hunting was a popular sport for both the monarchs and nobles of that time and King's Hunt was the launching point for countless excursions into the wilds to the north and west. Today, the district is distinctly urban but statues of beasts and hunting-themed inns and taverns remind visitors of the area's past.
King's Stables: The large stone stable house once contained the dozens of riding horses that would take the royal retinue on its hunts, but today it is split between military and commercial interests. The crown still owns the building, but no more riding horses dwell there. One side is the stable for the Aundarian cavalry in Fairhaven, serving as a location to keep soldiers on long patrol throughout the countryside. The other side of the King's Stables is licensed out to the Handler's Guild of House Vadalis who keeps animals for sale and training. Both of these groups see a lot of change in the population of animals they keep here so at any time the King's Stables may be overflowing with beasts and riders or empty but for idling grooms and officious quartermasters.
Relgarre Manse: Once the steward's house for King's Hunt, this noble house is by far the best-appointed building in the district. The noble House Relgarre is an understated half-elven house of great antiquity which has owned the house since before Galifar's reign, and inside they have many relics from those bygone eras. Paintings, tapestries, jewelry and more are safely hidden in the house, but the most precious possessions are in five crypts in the cellars. These crypts hold the bodies of five house progenitors, eladrin from thousands of years ago, and they are not dead. For reasons lost to time, these five fell victim to a curse which put them into a deep slumber where they have resided for many ages, relying on the caretaking of their descendants. Despite their condition, the eladrin nobles can still communicate through dreams to those within the manse and lead their house after a fashion. It has been thousands of years since any of the five could open their eyes, but they still have an urgency in their dreamy messages, as if something is fast approaching and they are running out of time despite their long existences.

Luminous

District Type: Magic District
First Impression: Colorful shops full of stranges sounds, sights and smells line the road with serious, scholarly owners.

The neighborhood of Luminous is one of Fairhaven's two magic districts, alongside Brighthall in Pine Hill, and it is by far the more prestigious one. Though the shops in the district are independently owned, there is a sort of scholarly community among the merchants where seniority is held in high regard. The majority of the spellcasters and enchanters in Luminous are affiliated with the Arcane Congress, the University of Wynarn, or both and look down somewhat on the local arcane orders, even those few order members who live and work in Luminous. They compete and try to outsell each other but regular meetings and parties provide the arcanists of the neighborhood to share theories, spells, and techniques to better their practice, usually in return for other lore.
Circle of Song: The staid arcanists of Luminous are much-divided about the bard collective known as the Circle of Song. Found throughout Khorvaire, the Circle is a mixed group and bards who have established themselves in Lumnious run the gamut from slapstick and bawdy to serious historians. Several bards have bookshops in the neighborhood where they sell rare histories in books and just as often from memory. Other bards are formal scholars of song-magic and serve as infrequent professors at the university or consult with their fellow arcanists at the neighborhood meetings. These bards are accepted by the community but their more mercurial fellows, bards who sing in taverns or wander the world as travelling minstrels and rogues, are often viewed as a bad element in Luminous. Many of the more formal arcanists would like to avoid such blatant classism, but the tavern-bards do little to improve their image as serious spellcasters and many actually enjoy the divide between bard and scholar.
Regent's Hall: More formally known as the Crown Regent Hall of Residence, this structure was built by the accomplished wizardess and royal regent Marlex ir'Wynarn who ruled Aundair from 923 - 940 YK until the ascension of the young Prince Aarot ir'Wynarn. Whether for the political appearance of deference or out of a desire to be closer to her beloved scholarly community at the university, Marlex built this large palace to serve as her official residence during her regency. Though she was most often in Fairhold to take care of matters of state and slept there as often as her "official" residence, the palace is a magnificent piece of architecture and much-beloved by the residents of Luminous. Though Aundair has never had a crown regent since Lady Marlex, the palace remains in royal hands and ocassionally serves as a long-term residence for First Warlords, Ministers of Magic, and other royal relatives who wish to be a little more removed from the palace. Currently it is empty, but royal guards still patrol it.
Secrets of the Mind: A graduate of the University of Wynarn, Verard ir'Houspein is a long-standing and respected member of the arcane community in Lumnious. He had a practice for a number of years selling his services as a diviner and magical healer, before closing his shop unexpectedly. Verard left town for close to five years and when he returned he was a much-changed man. His journeys to Q'barra and the Lazhaar Principalities exposed him to many new ways of the thinking and the psionic techniques of distant Sarlona which he has wholeheartedly pursued ever since. At first, the other residents of Luminous were a bit standoffish and didn't know what to think about their returned neighbor but gradually they learned that Verard's keen researching intellect was unchanged despite the shifts in his personality. His insights on arcane and psionic studies, each informed by the others, are a much sought-after treasure in Luminous and beyond. Visitors continue to flock to the Verard's new shop, called Secrets of the Mind, despite the man's sometimes eccentric nature and his occasional rants and fugue states.

Scrivener's Tower

District Type: Wealthy Residential
First Impression: Beautiful town houses and apartments with a carefree atmosphere.

The posh apartments of Scrivener's Tower are occupied by well-off professors and wealthy students. It is close to the university campus but the real-estate is highly-priced and very prestigious. Despite the wealth of the neighborhood, Scrivener's Tower is relatively quiet and its residents like it that way. Those associated with the University of Wynarn pay a lot to live in this part of the city and do not take kindly to disturbances. Unless they are visiting someone in Scrivener's Tower or working as household staff, non-residents have only two real reasons to visit the district.
Herald's Hall: This small, unassuming building holds the genealogical records for Aundairian noble families from the centuries before the Kingdom of Galifar to the present day. It is a well-known place for noble scions to visit to find their legacy, particularly those making a bid for high office who need to prove their pedigree, as well as those families pursuing inheritances from distant, extinct family lines. What is less well known is that many have bribed the staff here to falsify records to give them claims to noble titles and lands left by officers killed in the Last War.
Scrivener's Tower: The Tower itself is a tall building once the home of a dean of the university which is now a record building for many semi-public records in Fairhaven. Legal claims, military service records, royal decrees, and other items are all housed within the tower where Aundairian citizens can view them with a permit from the city government. No classified documents are located in the tower, but the contents are deemed important enough to provide at least some screening. Rumor has it, however, that the Royal Eyes maintain a secret subsection of the Scrivener's Tower where they keep the actual classified documents.

Sweetbriar

District Type: Average Residence
First Impression: Quiet streets with unusually large, multistoried buildings and flowers hanging out of most windows.

Sweetbriar is a quiet neighborhood full of many graduates of the School of Magic Arts in the University of Wynarn and current students of the university. It has long been a pleasant place to live, but it has recently come to the attention of the rest of the city for the magewright communes that have grown up there. It started out as one large building built by the university during the 940s, called the City Garden Campus. The structure, built around a large central courtyard with several tiers, was an experiment in growing large amounts of produce in urban gardens. A large group of magewrights and adepts moved in and experimented with growing plants using magic. The results after a few years were extraordinary and since that time four more communes have been built.
Each building is said to be able to produce enough food in a month to feed a tenth of the entire city’s population, no small advantage if Fairhaven were ever besieged. This boast was never put to the test in the Last War, and Queen Aurala continues to guard the City Garden project after the Treaty of Thronehold and the Royal Eyes have successfully defended it against at least one attempt to infiltrate the campuses since 994 YK. There are rumors among the druids as well that artificers working with the City Garden staff have managed to replicate some plant grafts, but these rumors have been unsubstantiated so far.
See Also: Plant grafts can be found in Magic of Eberron pages 134 to 136.

Thelanaise

District Type: Wealthy Residential
First Impressions: Airy and obviously wealthy with an exotic cast to the streets and buildings.

Like Scrivener's Tower, many of the residents of Thelanaise are professors and students at the University of Wynarn who have enough money for nicer accommodations. Not as much of the population in Thelanaise consists of academics, however, and a large part of the district is home to well-off merchants or minor noble families who would rather avoid the stuffy neighborhoods of Nealford. Centuries ago, Thelanaise was an elven neighborhood, one of the first permanent urban homes for elves when they began to leave Aerenal. Over time, the elves left the growing human and dwarven population in the ward and relocated to the more fashionable Torenni in the Sovereign Ward. A distinctly elven flair still remains and many residents consider themselves "enthusiasts" of elven culture, something the remaining elven residents give a cool reception.

University of Wynarn

District Type: University District
First Impressions: The feeling of potential and philosophy fill this space like a perfume, mixing with the open collionades and tall windows to create a feeling of idyllic learning.

The University of Wynarn claims the title of the oldest institute of learning in Khorvaire, easily outdoing other Five Nations colleges such as Morgrave University in Sharn and
Sembaal University in Flamekeep. The university was founded by none other than Governor-Prince Aundair ir'Wynarn, the son of King Galifar I given authority over the nation that would become Aundair. Some other nations take issue with this claim, of course, since the Korranberg's univeristy and Rekkenmark Academy were founded earlier, but these institutes have been closed for periods during their lifetimes whereas the University of Wynarn has stayed open even through the Last War.
The university itself is made up of six different buildings, housing dormitories, classrooms, and faculty housing, and the student body is extremely diverse. During the Last War, attendance steadily dropped and by the end of the conflict the university was persuaded to relax its admission standards and accept applicants form across the Five Nations and even beyond. Today, nobles and commoners, humans and goblinoids, shifters and eladrin all walk the lawns of the university and sit in the classrooms. Many professors and Fairhaven residents are dissatisfied with the change in the student body but others are overjoyed by the diverse opinions and discussions that can now be heard. This clash of ideologies led to a series of protests in the 980s and 990s which shut down portions of the Knowledge Wards when crowds of students and sympathizers on both sides took to the streets. Debate continues, but the university chancellors have made it clear that they are not going to change the standards back and that the current population will be the face of the University of Wynarn for some time. That includes the protests as well which have become a regular thing and now are held for a variety of issues from archeological rights of orcish tribes to support by the university for unpopular national policies. Residents in the Knowledge Ward are only half-joking when they recommend planning on an extra hour going anywhere near the university or that "crowds" are a new type of storm localized to this part of Fairhaven.
Aundair Library: This well-respected library has the ground floor of an entire university building and is open to anyone with the recommendation of a university faculty member. The library is the best in Khorvaire for many subjects but foremost are arcane history and theory and orcish prehistory. The library publishes an annual pamphlet known as the Arcane Testimony which circulates throughout Khorvaire and is eagerly awaited by many arcanists and researchers. The pamphlet reviews that year's advancements of magical practice and theory and its records stretch back for nearly three centuries. Under the direction of the university's Arcane Studies Chair (see below) the library faculty's opinions and positions, reflected in Arcane Testimony, have been diverging from those of the Arcane Congress in Arcanix to the south. While not "radical" by any means, the articles in Arcane Testimony over the past decades have taken distinctly populist and progressive tones, no doubt in response to what has been happening at the university itself. While individuals at the University of Wynarn and at Arcanix have had fallings out, the institutions themselves have changed their relationship only a little because of the pamphlet. Nevertheless, the Twelve in Korth have reportedly taken advantage of the situation to ingratiate itself towards the university at the expense of its institutional rival.
Drekaal Museum of Cultural History: Founded a century and a half ago, this museum has some of the finest collections of artifacts from the Age of Monsters in all of Khorvaire, in addition to historical items of great value from the founding of the Five Nations and the establishment of Galifar. Everything from tools to tablets to massive statues recovered from orcish sites can be found in the museums halls and archives, as well as the earliest examples of Gatekeeper parchments known, which it co-curates with the Aundair Museum on the other side of the university grounds. Needless to say, many orcish tribes and activist groups (including sympathetic non-orcs) decry keeping these artifacts from groups which see themselves as their rightful heirs. Many of the items are on display for the public, but hundreds more are in the vaults below the museum and inaccessible for orcish tribal leaders in the Starpeaks and Eldeen Reaches even if they were willing to go through the official channels. So far, the Kech Motrai has not been willing to help liberate orcish items but there have been Dakhaani artifacts missing which the group may be responsible for.
Lotha ir'Hytra: This halfling wizardess is the current holder of the Chair of Arcane Studies at Wynarn and the one steering the Arcane Testimony and the department itself away from Arcanix. She is outspoken in public but cool and intense to those she doesn't know well. Despite her reputation for inflexible attitudes, Lady ir'Hytra is seen as a strong proponent of education for commoners and the increased presence of magical resources to the public. In reality, the Arcane Studies chairwoman is primarily interested in increased funding for arcane research into military and spy options but she is a firm believer in widespread involvement of many minds towards a single project. Lotha ir'Hytra is strongly allied with the First Warlord Adal and part of her mission at the unversity is to popularize his policies and recruit promising candidates for his plan to increase Aundair's power through magical weaponry.
Professor Var Ash'tek: In the field of archeological research, Var Ash'tek is sometimes unusual and sometimes outright marginalized for his unusual theories and approaches. Despite this, he is one of the most well-known members of the Archeology Department at the University of Wynarn and has enough noble connections to fund major expeditions that bring many to talk to him whether they like to or not. This would be very surprising if not for the fact that Professor Ash'tek is a well-dressed and dapper, almost foppish, half-orc who was born on the border of the Eldeen Reaches but who has taken to life in Fairhaven like a dragonhawk to the wind. Most of the theories that the professor develops end up forgotten as he loses commitment for them himself but enough have that Ash'tek continues to gain promising students and make connections with similarly open-minded scholars from Sharn to Newthrone. His opinion that orcs should give up their tribal traditions (which, he insists, are corrupted by long centuries of upheaval anyways) does little to ingratiate him to the tribal activist groups either and so he remains a man apart.

Valkiron

District Type: Average Residential
First Impression: There are a lot of dwarves in the street, but the neighborhood seems more like a dwarven reproduction of a typical Fairhaven district rather than their own space.

In another city, Valkiron would be a dwarven neighborhood where Mrorian traditions and customs held sway. Instead, Fairhaven is too far from the eastern centers of dwarven population and not enough of a draw for the mercantile race, unlike Sharn or Stormreach, to attract them in large numbers. Still, there are close to a thousand dwarves living in the city and almost a third of them live in Valkiron. While this means other races still outnumber dwarves two to one in the neighborhood, it is the highest concentration of this race in the city and dwarves make up the largest single group in Valkiron community and culture. The neighborhood is named after the Valkiron family who immigrated to Fairhaven a thousand years ago as part of the first wave of integration after Galifar's conquest and created the Valkiron Foundry which still stands today. The Valkirons are a large family, though this is because of their tradition of adopting promising wards to build the business as much as proliferation. Not all of the family is made up of merchants, however, and Valkirons can be found in the upper echelons of Aundair's military, serving the Arcane Congress in Arcanix, and in the halls of past academic chairs at the University of Wynarn.
Besides the Valkirons, there are many prominent dwarven leaders in the community. Barek Khum is a master magewright who develops armors, boots, and belts that are works of art as much as functional magic items. The Thranish knight of the Silver Flame Jesmond Fireaxe received a chilly reception when he arrived in Valkiron a few years ago but his help in battling an infestation by Saverne wererats helped ingratiate him into the community. And of course Gelirk the Skald, a dwarven bard of some skill, makes regular rounds of the inns and taverns in Valkiron telling epic Mrorian legends in both Common and Dwarven and makes a good living doing so as well.

Fairhaven: City of Lights
City Districts Besalle's WardChequers WardEastway WardFive DomesGrangehall WardKnowledge WardMarble HallsNealford WardPine HillRordan's GateSovereign WardWhiteroof Ward

FairholdBrickenhall
A Visitor's Guide to Fairhaven What Brings You to Fairhaven?Population and DemographicsHistory of the CityFestivals and Diversions
Life in Fairhaven Districts and WardsCity ArchitectureGetting Where You're Going
Power and Politics The Government of FairhavenForeign PowersDragonmarked Houses
Guilds and Organizations City GuildsAdventurers GuildsArcane OrdersThe Circle of SongCult of the Dragon AboveKech MotraiMercenary ServicesOrganized Crime

Leave Comments Below

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License