Curse of the Crimson Throne
Korvosa does not—much to its constant chagrin—reign supreme within Varisia or even its immediate vicinity. While its long-standing feud with Magnimar is a matter of record, Korvosa shares control of its own hinterlands with the following three power centers.
Citadel Vraid: Built at Korvosa’s expense for the Hellknight Order of the Nail, this impressive structure stands atop a narrow table within the southern arm of the Mindspin Mountains. The Hellknights of Citadel Vraid are allied with Korvosa and frequently act as shock troops when the Korvosan Guard feels outmatched or doesn’t want to risk its own soldiers.
Janderhoff: The dwarves of the Sky Citadel of Janderhoff have lived in the region since they emerged here during their Quest for Sky, yet have never expanded significantly beyond Janderhoff’s walls. Most of the stone and metal used by Korvosa comes from Janderhoff, and in return the dwarves depend heavily on Korvosa for luxury goods, exotic foods, and other nonessentials. Janderhoff can survive without Korvosa’s support, although in less comfort.
Kaer Maga: When the people of Korvosa began to explore the region around them, they eventually came across the walled-in city of Kaer Maga, along the edge of the Storval Plateau. The respective leaders of each city instantly took a dislike to one another, but in the past several decades since the Treaty of Sirathu, the two cities have existed in an increasingly cooperative state of peace, with (mostly illicit) trade growing between them with each passing year.
Cinderlands: By far the least hospitable landscape in Varisia, the Cinderlands have been written off as worthless by most of the region’s residents—fit only for the crazed Shoanti barbarians displaced over the centuries by immigration from Cheliax. Yet such views are shortsighted, for within the Cinderlands’ borders lurks a surprising display of life and geologic diversity. These badlands are rugged, inhospitable terrain formed by long periods of drought and heavy wind erosion. Odd rock formations, canyons, gullies, and hoodoos fill the landscape, separated by twisting valleys and crags. Deep gorges create natural wind tunnels; the sound of the wind howling through them can carry for miles. Many of the rock formations have alternating tiers of sandstone and ash rock, creating a stark, contrasting ambience of red and black layers. The wind’s effect is everywhere—the geological formations are smooth and curving, mimicking the sand dunes of a desert. Large areas are solid rock, but other areas have stretches of leached soil and silt. Short, weedy scrub grows in patches throughout the badlands, interspersed with succulent plants.