City of Splendors
Waterdeep, known the world over as ‘The City of Splendors,’ is a center of commerce where representatives of every race, creed, and nation come to trade, spread rumors, and make their fortunes. Nobles and mercenaries deal in information and power, rubbing elbows with adventurers and thieves.
WATERDEEP REGIONAL BENEFIT
You know one additional language of your choice, you add Diplomacy to your class skill list, and you gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy checks.
The Jewel of the North is a crossroads city hungry for coin and tolerant of outsiders. Long ago, the Lords of Waterdeep turned away from thoughts of empire and built a commercial powerhouse that dominates trade in western Faerûn. The city is famed for the legendary dungeon known as Undermountain that lies beneath its streets, holding all manner of monsters and treasure.
The City of Splendors has numerous wards, neighborhoods, and notable landmarks.
Castle Ward: This ward lies in the heart of the city, wrapping around the eastern slopes of Mount Waterdeep. It is home to the city’s administrative buildings, including Blackstaff Tower, Castle Waterdeep, and the Lords’ Palace.
City of the Dead: The city’s graveyard sits along the eastern edge of Trades Ward, midway between North and South Wards. The place is used as a park during the day, and the gates are locked at night in case the dead rest uneasy.
Dock Ward: This ward winds along the shore of Deepwater Harbor on the city’s southern edge. The
bustling district is legendary for its brawls, taverns, and fell magic.
Field Ward: This crowded, newly built ward lies between the North Trollwall and the outer city wall, anchored by Northgate. The noisy, lively area is home to poor and middle-class outlanders, including elves, dwarves, and half-bloods, descendants of the refugees who sought safety from the Spellplague in Waterdeep’s embrace.
Mountainside: Waterdeep’s wealthy merchants (including many dwarves) are slowly building new
streets and homes on the northern and northeastern slopes of Mount Waterdeep, creating the neighborhood of Mountainside above the streets of Castle Ward.
The Mistshore: The violent, mostly lawless northern shore of the former Naval Harbor is a rotting scuttling-yard for abandoned ships.
North Ward: This quiet, wealthy ward lies in the northeast corner of the city, overlooking the
Sea Ward: The city’s most affluent ward is home to the towers of powerful wizards, sprawling temples, and the great manses of rich nobles.
Sewers: Waterdeep has an extensive sewer system that underlies the entire plateau. Kept in good repair by the Cellarers’ & Plumbers’ Guild, the sewers form a clandestine highway system for those who need to move about the city in secret. The lower sewers and upper reaches of Undermountain have become Waterdeep’s newest neighborhood, home to penniless adventurers who survive by making hasty forays into the city above or the dungeon below in search of wealth. The residents of this area, sometimes referred to as Downshadow, often operate outside the law.
South Ward: Southeastern Waterdeep is poor and humble, but it bustles with caravans and the
activity they generate. Notable landmarks include Caravan Court and Waymoot, where merchants
muster their caravans and recruit adventurers who are willing to ride along as hired guards.
Trades Ward: Home to much of the city’s mercantile activity, this busy trade hub lies between Castle Ward and the City of the Dead. Notable landmarks include the Court of the White Bull, Caravan Court, and Virgin’s Square, where the services of adventurers and mercenaries for hire are sought.
Undercliff: This sprawling, relatively lawless neighborhood grows out from the base of Waterdeep’s eastern cliff, unprotected by the city’s sheltering walls. It is home to most new arrivals in the City of Splendors.
The Warrens: This subterranean neighborhood lies beneath the northern half of Dock Ward and
much of Castle Ward. Home to half lings, gnomes, and some dwarves, the Warrens is the site of busy craftwork and small gangs of roving pickpockets and cat burglars.
People of Waterdeep
The inhabitants of Waterdeep are generally cosmopolitan, tolerant, and open-minded. Drawn from all manner of cultures and races, Waterdhavians are united in their hopes of bettering their lot in life. They love to gossip and spread rumors, with information rivaling coin as the chief currency of the city. Waterdhavians are generally distrustful of Amnians and “northern barbarians” and fear only hordes of orcs and trolls. The citizens buy, sell, and make all
kinds of goods and services. Waterdeep is known for its guilds and noble families, but both groups have seen their share of setbacks in recent years.
The City of Splendors is a magnet for adventurers, who are drawn from across Faerûn by the siren song of Undermountain, known to bards as Halaster’s Call. Likewise, native-born Waterdhavians of all sorts embrace the adventuring life in hopes of making their fortunes.
Impoverished Noble: The standing of many of Waterdeep’s noble houses has fallen far over the last century. Their numbers were ravaged by the Spellplague, and their distant holdings lost. More than one bright young blade has eschewed the life of a dandy of meager purse in hopes of rebuilding the family fortune.
Roleplaying Tips: You are justly proud of your family history and determined to reverse its current decline. You walk through the halls of rich manses and crumbling ruins with equal aplomb, projecting confidence and entitlement despite your empty purse.
Up-and-Coming Immigrant: Over the past century, Waterdeep has welcomed immigrants from
across Faerûn. These new arrivals or their immediate descendants have quickly embraced the cosmopolitan City of Splendors and now seek to propel themselves into the upper reaches of society through hard work and calculated risks.
Roleplaying Tips: You are open, friendly, and resolute. You relish new situations and meeting new people. You are confident in your abilities and sure that you can improve your fortunes through hard work, dedication, and a bit of chance-taking.
Constructed by Halaster the Mad Mage, the great dungeon of Undermountain survives thanks to ancient wards and the lingering magic of its builder. In the century since Halaster’s death, Undermountain has grown even more wild, drawing in all manner of monsters and outlaws, many of them scarred by the lingering effects of the Spellplague. It is said that the bowels of Undermountain contain an active pocket of Spellplague that continues to populate the upper halls with a stream of creatures heretofore unknown.