Shelves: personal-library , fantasy , forgotten-realms Wonderful collaboration between Ed Greenwood and Elaine Cunningham. This has been in my personal library for years and I go back to it from time to time and read through some of my favorite parts. Jan 30, Stuart Schneider rated it really liked it What I liked a lot about this book is it attempts to tell the story of Waterdeep through both the viewpoint of the common working man and that of a lesser noble. I have always thought that as great and as mysterious the city of Waterdeep is always referenced in many of the other FR novels, we never hear about the guts of Waterdeep. This book envelops it.
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Merritt , William Shakespeare , and others. Some time between and sources vary , Greenwood tried his hand at writing too, penning the first story of the Realms.
Within a year he drawn a map showing these places, truly turning the stories into a world. And thus the Realms was born". Geographically, the city is included in a region called the Heartlands of the Realms, even though it lies miles north of the western Heartland town of Daggerford , along the Sword Coast. The roads to Waterdeep are described as well paved and well patrolled. The city serves as a trading hub, tying together the mineral-rich lands to the north, the merchant kingdoms of Amn and Calimshan to the south, the kingdoms of the Inner Sea to the east, and the sea kingdoms and traders to the west.
Waterdeep is named for its outstanding natural deepwater harbor, which has made the city a commercial crossroads. The city sprawls northward from the sea, spreading along the flanks of Mount Waterdeep , a solitary mountain. Waterdeep is indicated to have been a citadel of a fantasy race called the dwarves, and the entire length and great depth of the mountain is riddled with passages and tunnels, most of which are still occupied by deadly creatures whose presence in the mountain pre-dates the founding of the city itself.
For gaming purposes, Waterdeep is an attractive location for adventurers because it has a large adventuring site, the Undermountain , located near temples and other health recovery areas. Despite its size, the inhabitants of Waterdeep are described as largely benevolent and ethically good-natured people.
This is due to the efforts of a group called the Masked Lords, the patrols of the Waterdeep City Watch, and the close proximity of Skullport , which draws those prone to unlawful or unethical behavior towards it and away from Waterdeep.
The first mention of a Waterdeep not as a city, but as a collection of warlords occurs around DR. The city was truly established as a growing concern by DR, the year Ahghairon became the first Lord of Waterdeep, and the date from which Northreckoning is counted.
As tribes of humanoids advanced on Waterdeep, more human tribes converged on the settlement, swelling its size and number of defenders, and after savage battles, Waterdeep emerged as a free city ruled by War Lords. The mighty mage Ahghairon then overthrew the last of the War Lords and established a government based on wisdom instead of armed might, and he ruled the city with a group of masked Lords who were secretly selected to govern.
The guildmasters seized control of the city soon afterward, ushering in a period of unrest and bitter conflict known as the Guildwars. The Guildwars ended only when the two surviving guildmasters brought in their own period of misrule. It was only in DR that the present system of government or lack thereof was instituted.
This was the year that the Magisters[ clarification needed ] were established and the secret Lords of Waterdeep were firmly reestablished. Since that time, the city has continued to grow and prosper. Humankind and other races come from parts of the Realms to engage in business in the Waterdeep, now known as the City of Splendors. Over the years these successful merchants set up guilds and themselves become nobility, supporting the secretive Lords of Waterdeep who police the city fairly, by means of the well-trained city guard soldiers , city watch police , and over 20 black-robed magistrates.
As a result, Waterdeep is now described as a place tolerant of different races, religions, and lifestyles. This in turn has encouraged commerce, and Waterdeep has grown into a huge, eclectic city. Government[ edit ] Waterdeep is ruled by a council whose membership is largely secret. These hidden Lords of Waterdeep maintain their identities behind magical masks; while they rule in public, none know the true identities of most of them.
It is a known fact[ citation needed ] that Piergeiron the Paladinson, Warden of Waterdeep and Commander of the Watch, whose golden-spired palace dominates the center of the city, is a member of the Lords. He is the Unmasked Lord in some references, the Open Lord , and wears no mask over either his face or his heart. The archmage Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun was also of the Lords, and perhaps chief among them, exceeding even Piergeiron. Though the names of the courtesan Larissa and Texter the Paladin have been connected with the Lords, evidence exists to both prove or disprove claims that they are Lords.
Beyond these listed conjecture swings widely as to who is a Lord and who is not. On such occasions there are always at least four Lords present, but sometimes six or seven are seen, and rarely as many as nine.
Piergeiron chairs the Court and asks all questions, for the Lords speak through him. In chambers the Lords all appear similarly masked and robed, their robes formless and black, with black capes, and their masks completely covering the head and face.
He has had his face covering separated from his helm, and lets those who appear before the Court see his face. Skullport[ edit ] Skullport is a city that lies more than a mile beneath Waterdeep.
Skullport is a lawless place of slave traders, pirates, and demi-humans , where illithids , drow , beholders and other less savory creatures traffic with merchants and buccaneers from the surface. This settlement was detailed in the supplement Skullport, written by Joseph C. Undermountain is a vast labyrinth of caverns in the Underdark under the area of Waterdeep. It was created by Ed Greenwood in The Mad Mage built his original tower upon the land that would become Waterdeep by an unknown and powerful source of magic.
This source was a knot in the Weave of Magic inadvertently created by an ancient elven civilization that sought to transcend reality. Halaster has died countless times, but he always returns before long. It is said that Undermountain cannot exist without Halaster, and his return is necessary to keep the dungeon from being utterly destroyed".
He connected it to many parts of the Realms and the multiverse with a host of portals. As he descended into madness, he dug deeper, and his halls expanded. His apprentices, some bearing similar broken minds, added levels of their own.
And others even founded a city, Skullport, which serves as not only a link to the Underdark but also the seedier side of Waterdeep. Without Halaster, Undermountain unravels, its portals going crazy and sending monsters into the city above. It creates problems for the rest of the world. So if Castle Greyhawk was a trap for the gods, then one could see Undermountain as a containment system for a mad archmage … and the terrors of the dungeon itself.
Guide to Waterdeep
It has grown rich through trade and by attracting some of the most successful adventurers of history, 1 Geography Approximately three miles from north to south and one mile from west to east, Waterdeep is securted by the Sea of Swords to the west and south and by the Trollwall to the North and East. Crossing the City from North to South takes just over an hour on foot on a major road, and approximately twice that if travelling the back streets. Colonized and extended by many historical figures, in particular Halaster Blackcloak the Mad Mage. The dangers of Undermountain appear to have been largely contained in the depths, and many adventurers have made their fortunes daring its horrors, but many more have never returned.
The City of Splendors
Knight of the Blue Moon: For those more interested in honest work, there are several factions that could act as patrons, including the mysterous Lords of Waterdeep, masked individuals who are unknown, as well as different noble families. Web Enhancement: City of Splendors: Waterdeep — Environs of Waterdeep Thursday, 6th January,waterdep An extensive appendix gives information on new equipment, magic items, psionic powers, poisons, spells, and more. There are a ton of new ideas and ideas for adventures within the city, which are always good. Views Read Edit View history. Errors The following errors occurred with your submission. Another five level PrC with medium bab, medium hit dice d8spellcasting at every level, good Fort and Will Saves, and special abilities. Informatio The first in-depth look at Waterdeep, the shining jewel of the Forgotten Realms setting, in many years.