As a dominant point on Korvosa's skyline, the Great Tower rivals some of the ancient buildings of the city for height. This modern tower is used by the Sable Company as a military base and training centre for hippogriff riders.1
Rising from the northerly end of Aerie Street and Baker Street in the Heights District of Korvosa and standing next door to the Posh and Turtle inn, is the Great Tower, one of the tallest structures of the city of Korvosa. The Great Tower is 270 feet high, containing 19 floors and surmounting a large area in the Vaults. Two types of entrances exist to the tower: a main entrance on the third floor approached from a bridge, and hippogriff entrances on the uppermost three floors. The tower is imposingly and solidly built, as Alkenstar technology was used to build an internal steel and black iron skeleton running the whole length of the tower. The team of engineers and the architect from Alkenstar were a vast cost to the project. At its base, the Great Tower measures 100 feet in diameter, with walls 12 feet thick. The walls at the base are built upon the Alkenstar cylinder cage: they are reinforced with thick granite, then a sheet of lead, and finally, faced with black marble. From the base upwards, the walls gradually become more thin; at the tower's top, they measure just a few inches thick.1
The Great Tower was commissioned in 4684 AR by Queen Domina of Korvosa, and finished four years later in 4688 AR. Domina's ambition for the glory of the tower was huge, and so was the money needed to build it. She wanted the tower to rival both the legacy of the ancient Thassilonians and the Acadamae. Queen Domina's death and the ascension to the throne of King Eodred II brought a cooler head to the building project and Eodred decreed the tower should be finished some fifty feet short of Domina's original plan.1
More recently, Queen Ileosa Arabasti ordered the structure torn down and the stone reused in the construction of four grand statues in her own likeness. These statues were never fully completed and were promptly destroyed after the Queen's death, but the memory of exhausted workers, laboring under the whips of oppressive Gray Maiden taskmasters, still lingers.2
- The ground floor contains the Sable Company's main armoury, containing many magical arms and armour, or so the rumours say.
- The next five floors house classrooms and training areas for hippogriff riding, supervised by a wing of the Endrin Military Academy.
- Above the Academy's floors are barracks housing about two-thirds (ca. 200) of the marines of the Sable Company.
- The top three floors and the roof are hippogriff aeries.1