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Location Ranke western coast
Status Free City
Government Town Council with veto held by the local Prince
Population around 18,000 (Sanctuary City),
50,000 in the surrounding countryside (within 30 miles, Sanctuary's effective zone of influence)

–Reichspiel, Arabiq
–Destinian, Five-Sisters-Trade, Lunar, Ellenic, Bret, Dwarven, Orkish


20% (very high)

Sanctuary is a free city on the north west coast of the Duchy of Ranke.

It is nominally run by Prince Kadakithis, younger brother of the Duke of Ranke. In practice, it is run via webs of intrigue. Principle influences on town policy include the leading merchant families, the priests of leading cults, the palace guard (Hellhounds), and leading underworld figures. These people are also the most common sources of justice, authority, and money. See Sanctuary Notables for the better-known figures.

Sanctuary has a population of around 18,000. Unusually, almost a tenth of the population are elves, most of whom are permanent residents with little association with the Elven Isles or Alfheim. There are also trace populations of dwarves and orcs.

See Sanctuary People with Reputations for those who a skilled investigator could find out a little on.

The city has a number of districts with their own distinct cultural flavour. More is detailed in Sanctuary Districts. These include the Maze and the Sewers.

Gossip is both a trade and a lifestyle for a large portion of the population, some of the current gossip is detailed in Sanctuary Rumours.


Sanctuary is famed for slavery, but this forms a comparatively small proportion of their trade. More can be researched by Merchants under Sanctuary Trade.

Law & Order

Sanctuary has more law enforcers and less laws than most cities. Many of the gangs have been made officially responsible for interpreting and enforcing peace in their areas. The Avenue of Temples enforces its own justice on crimes committed against priests or in their area. The Hellhounds ride roughshod over any major outbreaks of crime. Noble justice is dispensed by the Prince Governor Kadakithis. More details on Sanctuary Law are available.

Religion and Magic

Sanctuary has more Gods and Magic inside its walls than most large countries. More details on Religion and Magic are available.


The port of Saint Uriel was the southern-most port of the Old Western Kingdom, on the sheltered side of the peninsula that would become part of Northern Ranke, around 600 years ago. It was expanded from an imperial outpost to manage the improvement of trade with the Five Sisters, the Lunar Empire, and other empires to the south and east. It was during this time when the extensive sewers were laid and a forward-thinking street plan was instituted, the echoes of which can still be seen in the old city. For a time it was seen as the southern-most point of civilised world, but after the loss of the last Western King, the port became isolated and fell into disrepair, and St. Uri became regarded as a backwater for nearly 200 years. In the last hundred years, Sanctuary has become a den of thieves and a base for pirates and criminal merchants living off the new-found wealth of the baronies and their trade. More details on History here.

Thieves World

Thieves World Map

The city Sanctuary was devised by Robert Asprin, and developed over a dozen anthologies in a shared-world process by many well-known authors. The Sanctuary city found in Alusia differs from the books, not only in geography, and history, but also in that the series of events cumulating in god wars and the destruction of magic in Sanctuary did not occur. Most of the characters in the series can be found in our Sanctuary, along with a few others, but they may not behave quite as a dedicated reader may expect.

The Thieves World RPG supplement published in the early 80s by Chaosium Inc. has been used as a basis by many of the GMs who have run games in Sanctuary, although modified to fit into our campaign. The original boxed set is out of print, but some of the GMs have a copy and if you want to run a game in Sanctuary you might like to ask around and see if you can borrow a copy. The map from this set is here:

Other Maps

GMs: Click here for the Sanctuary Map as at Winter 806WK.
700kb, 2500x1800. Map drawn by Beauvau.

GMs: Click here for the GM Sanctuary Map as at Winter 806WK.
1.5Mb, 3000x2000. Map drawn by Braun and Hogenberg.

GMs: Click here for a summary of most of the Sanctuary pages as at Spring 806WK.