Curse of the Crimson Throne
Founded a century ago by Korvosan dissidents, Magnimar has flourished into the second-largest city in Varisia. Located in the southwest coast of the region where the Yondabakari River empties into the Varisian Gulf, Magnimar is ideally positioned as a trade center for both north-south sea commerce as well as merchant expeditions up river. Unfortunately, the city’s immediate surroundings are the mostly inhospitable Mushfens, which hamper its expansion opportunities.
Magnimar itself is defined by two colossal landmarks: the Irespan, an enormous, shattered bridge of Thassilonian design, and a massive three hundred foot cliff called the Seacleft that divides the city in half. These features divide the city into three major areas: the Summit atop the cliff, the Shore below, and the Shadows beneath the Irespan. These districts are also segregated by class, with the wealthiest dwelling on the Summit while the poorest languish in the shadows and the working class reside in the Shore.
Founded by ex-Korvosans disgusted by that city’s turn towards monarchy and continued adherence to the Thrune-dominated Cheliax, Magnimar was established as a republic with a separation of powers between the Lord-Mayor and the Council of Ushers. However, in the hundred years since then intrigue and corruption have taken hold in city politics, where bribery and blackmail are now the order of the day.
This has not stopped Magnimar from continuing to grow its sphere of influence through a series of healthy and growing settlements along the coastline and into the interior. Magnimar has also worked aggressively to promote trade, encouraging the formation of merchant guilds and inviting craftsmen and experts from across Varisia to set up shop in its bustling markets. This easygoing attitude also makes the city by far the most welcome Chelish settlement for Varisians, though a degree of segregation still persists.
Magnimar is also presently locked in something of a cold war with Korvosa, whose leaders still view the upstarts as traitors seeking to usurp Korvosa’s status as Varisia’s leading city. In an attempt to stifle Magnimar’s growing trade empire, Korvosa has imposed a series of heavy tariffs and sanctions, with mixed results.