Physically and economically, Upper Dura has little in common with the slums and tenements that lie below it. The upper towers were erected over the past few centuries, and the stonework reflects the prosperity of Breland and the city. If the ward is not as fancy or prestigious as Central Plateau or Northedge, at least the streets are clean and in good repair. However, while many of the people of Upper Dura are successful merchants or crafters, there is a seedy edge to the ward. Beggars can be found throughout the ward, flaunting their afflictions and misfortunes in hopes of earning pity and coppers. Dreamlily dens and other forms of high-class crime can be found in the shadows. The people are comfortable with strangers and others of questionable character—so adventurers are made welcome.
The stones in this old district have been worn smooth by the passage of time. There is a definite scent of danger in the air. The Sharn Watch patrols this ward, and these guards are always ready for trouble—though the crime lords often use bribes to ensure that the Watch is nowhere to be seen when certain activities take place. Nonetheless, Middle Dura is certainly safer than the ward that lies below. The Bazaar, the largest market in the city, can be found here, and the taverns and inns of Dura are a common destination for folk who don’t have many coins to rub together.
Once the heart of Sharn, Lower Dura has slowly decayed as the rest of the city moved higher into the sky. Now it is a dark and dangerous place. Precarious and the Stores play important roles in the economy of the city, but the other districts have largely been left to fester and rot. Today, Lower Dura is home to the miserable poor. The Sharn Watch rarely risks patrolling Lower Dura, and the ward has become a center for criminal activities. The inhabitants of the ward may be shielded by gang allegiances, ties to one of the major criminal organizations, or the simple fact of having nothing to steal, but adventurers had best tread lightly and keep weapons near at hand when venturing here. Street violence occurs on a regular basis, amateur and professional cutpurses abound, and the Sharn Watch won’t do much to help. A drawn blade and a successful DC 15 Intimidate check made when entering the district keep most of the rabble away—of course, the more dangerous criminals may see this as challenge and a promise of worthy loot.
In general, Lower Dura is a wretched place, and the city council does little to change that. Everburning torches light most of the district, as opposed to everbright lanterns, and in the worst neighborhoods many of the torches have been shattered or stolen. The ward shows its age, with cracked and worn streets, walls covered with mildew and graffiti, and other signs of neglect and wear and tear. Once Lower Dura was Sharn, and it included a garrison, manors for the city lords, a great temple, and other important buildings. Over the course of time these structures have been forgotten or re-purposed. Lower Dura is full of the shadows of a glorious past that can barely be seen beneath the grime of the present.