The Shattered Star
Magnimar boasts a population of over 16,000 inhabitants, with the great majority of those being humans. In turn, most of these humans are ethnic Chelaxians and Varisians, and while Shoanti and Sczarni maintain a large presence in the city, they are essentially marginalized and considered troublemakers. Halflings make up the next largest demographic, followed by elves and dwarves. The remainder of the population consists of gnomes and half-breed races.
The city is split in two by a massive cliff face, separating the city into two major districts. The one atop the cliff is called the Summit and the one below that meets with Varisian Gulf is called the Shore. The slums of Magnimar, known as the Shadow since that district sees little sun during the day, lies below the Irespan, a colossal and ancient bridge ruined ages ago. In terms of the trade and purchase of magic items, Magnimar has a base value of 12,800 and a purchase limit of 75,000 gp.
Built in the shadow of megaliths, Magnimar endlessly endeavors to surpass the overwhelming scale and grandeur of the ancient wonders that litter the Varisian landscape. A place of great opportunity, social stress, and cold beauty, the city exudes the air of a southern metropolis, seeking to rise above its ignoble beginnings as a refuge for Korvosan outcasts to become a beacon of culture and freedom in an unforgiving land. Yet its towering monuments, elegant gardens, ostentatious architecture, and elaborate sculptures form but a cracked mask over a struggling government and a desperate people in need of heroes.
Magnimar’s founders were adventurers, and the spirit of the adventurer and explorer keeps the heart and soul of Magnimar alive. It should thus come as no surprise that the monuments the city is so well known for often have ties to adventuring themes. In addition, many of the major works have been magically empowered over the years. The source of these enhancements are hotly debated—some assume they were created by now-dead or anonymous spellcasters as a gift to the city, while others suspect these magical effects instead represent a legacy of ancient Thassilonian wizardry lingering in the region’s stones. In truth, these effects are manifestations of the mysterious patrons of the Seacleft region, the ancient empyreal lords so beloved and venerated over the past several thousand years by Varisia’s native people. These lords have welcomed the land’s newest settlers, though their welcome is subtle.
With many of the monuments, boons are granted to those who perform minor acts of worship and respect to Magnimar, its monuments, and the empyreal lords who watch over the city. Any non-evil intelligent creature who performs a specific act before one of these magically charged monuments and makes a successful skill check awakens the monument’s magic, and, in return, gains a small bonus of some sort with a duration of 24 hours. A single person can never have more than one monument-granted bonus in effect at any one time; attempts to gain a second bonus before the first wears off automatically fail. In addition, a person can only attempt to benefit from a monument bonus a number of times per week equal to her Charisma modifier (minimum of once per week)—the city of Magnimar responds most often to those who carry themselves with greater poise and personality, after all.
The Irespan is the largest and most impressive monument in all of Magnimar and overshadows the city’s poorest district known as the Shadow. The Irespan is actually the remains of an enormous bridge that stretches into the Varisian Gulf, standing over three hundred feet above the sea and over a hundred feet wide. It is, like most of the monuments that dot the Varisian landscape, a remanant of ancient Thassilon. Nearly ten thousand years before the founding of Magnimar, the Irespan served as the main travel route through the mountainous realm of Bakrakhan. In fact, the Irespan used to stretch as far as Xin-Bakrakhan, the strange monument now known as Hollow Mountain. When the cataclysm that heralded the end of the Thassilonian empire struck, most of the Irespan collapsed. Now all that remains are the end of the Irespan in Magnimar and a few crumbling stretches that speckle the entrance to the Varisian Gulf.