On 13 Neth, 4429 AR, a small group of Shoanti warriors paddled their pitch-filled canoes onto Endrin Isle at the mouth of the Jeggare River. With surprise as their ally, they were able to set the wooden palisades of Fort Korvosa on fire. The conflagration, which later became known as the Great Fire, quickly spread to include much of the fledgling settlement, as well as a number of ships at the docks. Before it could be extinguished, the fire killed almost all of the Sable Company marines, most of the Fort's garrison, many of its most prominent citizens, as well as nearly one-quarter of Fort Korvosa's civilian population.
Toll of Death & Destruction
The Great Fire was devastating to the small colony, which was less than 25 years old at the time. The military was particularly hard hit: only two Sable Company marines survived, along with barely a company of soldiers of the Korvosan Guard, although many of them died fighting off the Shoanti and not in the fire itself. The Great Fire also took the town's first lord magistrate, Waydon Endrin, along with his parter, Captain Keyra Palin. It also wiped out half of the settlement's civilian buildings, along with the wooden palisades of Fort Korvosa, the docks, and a number of ships moored there, including Captain Palin's ship, the Merciless.
Prophecy and Aftermath
The Pharasmin seer, Alika Epakena, foresaw not only the fire, but also her own death in it. She warned Fort Korvosa's leadership, but sadly she was unable to prevent the tragedy, and died heroically trying to help others escape. Word of her premonitions was sent to the Chelish crown, who responded by sending a flotilla of warships. Even though they arrived a week after the Great Fire, their presence kept the Shoanti from capitalizing on their victory and wiping out the colony completely.