Chapter Two: Life in Fairhaven

Districts and Wards

The smallest division in Fairhaven is a district. These neighborhoods are even smaller than the massive areas of Sharn with populations ranging from 700 to 900, much smaller than other large Khorvairian cities. The city of Fairhaven is a fairly compact place and people tend to think of their neighborhood as generally what they can see from their front door. Though city officials have formally delineated borders for districts, in practice they tend to bleed into each other where no obvious physical features can be used to make the distinction between neighboring districts.
This is not so with the next largest unit of wards, which all have very obvious borders and characters. To visitors, the wards can sometimes feel like smaller cities within the larger body of Fairhaven, and residents sometimes treat them as such. Most of these wards, in fact, developed from separate communities which grew together as Fairhaven’s population increased. Each ward contains a number of varied districts (usually about eight) but they all have similar economic levels and inhabitants within their borders.
Wards are the largest official category recognized in Fairhaven (except garrison jurisdictions, but these have little effect on the average citizen’s life). Though they are not drawn along socioeconomic lines, these distinctions are generally aligned with ward boundaries anyways. The central wards are the richest, the western and northern wards strongly middle-classed, and the east poor slums. These labels mean that some residents of Fairhaven strongly identify themselves with the section of the city they are from while others try to hide their ties to avoid being judged.

City Architecture

Fairhaven buildings make wide use of magical decorations, especially in the richer sections of the city. Even in the poor districts, however, city officials pride themselves on providing reliable lighting via everbright lanterns maintained by the Royal Magewrights. This guild is employed by the city to maintain the many magical aspects of the city including telekinetic lifts in the dockyards and the animated murals found in some sections of the central city. Despite these exotically magic aspects of the city, Fairhaven is a normal city for the most part with its own collection of characteristic features. A few of the more common sights which visitors can expect to see are listed below.


As a major depot for goods being shipped both to and from the western reaches of the Five Nations, Fairhaven’s gates play a major role in the city’s geography. The city originally had three gates: Eastway, Southway, and Northway. Today, only the Eastway Gate is the only original portal out of the city, and after the fall of Thaliost to the armies of Thrane trade is not as frequent as before along that highway. Southway Gate now leads into the Grangehall Ward and is known as the Old Gate, while a new Southway Gate leads out of the Grangehall Ward by the markets of Denarre’s Court. The Northway Gate has also been left behind by the expanding city, renamed Olladra’s Gate, and was replaced by a new Northway Gate less than two centuries ago. Two gates built around the same time have reduced traffic through even the newer Northway Gate. Chalice Gate opens from the Chalice Center onto the wide platform of the Fairhaven lightning rail station. Just to the south, the impressive Rordan’s Gate leads to the west, opening onto a road that leads travelers past both the crackling lightning rail line and the intriguing Feast Sojourn.


While most streets in Fairhaven are small, allowing two carts to pass abreast and not much else, several large roads cross the city. These boulevards, sometimes named locally as avenues, are very wide, enough for several carts to pass with space in between for riders or pedestrians. They were constructed to facilitate trade amongst the different wards as well as into and out of the city itself. The longest and most commonly used boulevard in Fairhaven is the Boulevard of Fairhold which surrounds the great castle itself in a large square that interstects the three great garrison towers (Vaucote, Northcall, and Dorncall) as well as the University of Wynarn campus. Other large boulevards lead from the castle to the city’s large gates or are constructed in relation to the Boulevard of Fairhold. Visitors to the city are encouraged to travel mostly along these broad roadways; the smaller streets of Fairhaven can take up to twice as long to traverse.

The River

While it is only visible at street level from the Whiteroof Ward, the Aundair River has a large influence on the geography and culture of Fairhaven. Because the river is a major avenue for trade many businesses depend on it, even if the merchants who own them only rarely go to the riverfront. Fairhaven also lies on the broad floodplain of the Aundair River so most of the city is very flat, sloping up only slightly to the northwest. The scarp outside of Rordan’s Gate, along which the lightning rail line runs, marks the first real break in topography as one moves away from the river itself, with a few notable exceptions such as Fairhold and Pine Hill.

Getting Where You’re Going

Whether traveling to Fairhaven, leaving the city, or simply trying to navigate the streets, visitors to Fairhaven have a lot of options. Like any city in the Five Nations, Fairhaven is strongly tied to other Galifaran cities through the physical bonds of travel and trade. Citizens continue to consider safe travel a right, especially after the armistice at Thronehold, and visitors can generally expect to leave when they wish. The comfort and speed of travel, however, depends on how much one is willing to spend.

Getting Around Fairhaven

When it becomes important to know how long it takes a party of adventurers to get from one place to another, use the rules of thumb to the right. Aerial travel is not very common in Fairhaven, but if available it takes about as long as a coach.

Foot Travel Coach Travel
Mode of Travel and Destination Time Mode of Travel and Destination Time
Destination in same district 2d6 minutes Destination in same district 1d4 minutes
Destination in same ward 5d6 minutes Destination in same ward 2d6 minutes
Destionation in adjacent ward 2d6 X 5 minutes Destination in adjacent ward 1d4 x 5 minutes
Destination farther than adjacent ward 5d6 x 5 minutes Destination farther than adjacent ward 2d6 x 5 minutes

Travel by Airship

Four standard airship routes leave Fairhaven daily for other Khorvairian cities. The Wroat-Sharn line is the most traveled followed closely by the Korth-Krona Peak line which has picked up in volume since the end of the Last War. The airship route to Flamekeep ends at that city requiring travelers to transfer ships there to continue on, though the departure time is usually synchronized with connections to Taer Valaestas or Trolanport. The last airship route is a twice-daily express to Stormhome which allows Lyrandar officials to easily travel back and forth from the island city to Fairhaven. The Stormhome route is so convenient in fact that many Lyrandar elders have recently bought homes in Nealford and coaches between there and Rordan's Gate with the Lyrandar seal are increasingly common on the roads of the city.

Airship Travel
Destination Travel Time Fare
Flamekeep 18 hours 360 gp
Korth 29 hours 580 gp
Krona Peak 92 hours 1,840 gp
Sharn 100 hours 2,000 gp
Stormhome 32 hours 640 gp
Taer Valaestas 100 hours 2,000 gp
Trolanport 88 hours 1,750 gp
Wroat 78 hours 1,560 gp

Travel by Rail

The lightning rail terminus in Fairhaven is located in Rordan's Gate and sees regular lightning rails traveling north and south through Aundair. Lightning rails heading north travel to Thaliost while those traveling south arrive at Passage then Wroat then Sharn. There is no direct line into southern Thrane yet, which many suspect is the result of pressure from Queen Aurala. Typical travel times and prices are given below for Fairhaven Station and can be used to estimate times traveling either to or from the station.

Destination Travel Time Fare
Passage 12 hours First class 180 gp; standard class 72 gp; steerage class 11 sp.
Sharn 76 hours First class 1,150 gp; standard class 460 gp; steerage class 69 sp.
Thaliost 30 hours First class 450 gp; standard class 180 gp; steerage class 27 sp.
Wroat 61 hours First class 922 gp; standard class 639 gp; steerage class 55 sp.

Travel by River

The Aundair River has always been the lifeblood of Fairhaven. The rich farmlands of central Aundair ship their goods along this river to the rest of Khorvaire and imported goods typically arrive the same way. The waterfront in the Whiteroof Ward is a busy place and river traffic, which dropped in volume during the war, recovered almost overnight after the signing of Thronehold. Today, the ships traveling along the Aundair River are so numerous that one might think the war was just a dream.

Ships leaving Fairhaven by the river typically stop at Thaliost (1,570 miles), Rekkenmark (1,625 miles), or Flamekeep (1,750 miles), depending on allegiance or cargo, before continuing on to other ports. Two Lyrandar elemental galleons, the Lystra and the Taesis, make the 20-hour voyage to Stormhome and back once a week each to transport goods for the House of the Storm and they sometimes take passengers. All other typical vessels on the river route are standard sailing vessels, however.

City Districts

As in Sharn: City of Towers, the following description of Fairhaven is built using the web enhancement, “Building a City”, for the D&D Third Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide with a few changes. The population figures for each of the districts was doubled to reflect Fairhaven’s size, and DMs should consider this in how they think about the neighborhoods. Also included here are a few new district types: the industrial type, introduced in Sharn: City of Towers, and the shifter neighborhood in the Grangehall Ward which is equivalent to a goblinoid ghetto with the obvious change in race.

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

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

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