Waterdeep Locales

Castle Ward



This large paved courtyard adjoining the Palace paddocks and stables is the staging area for any mounted contingent of the guard before they head out of the city for outlying patrols. It has also become an impromptu concert area for practicing bards, who prefer it to their chilly quarters at New Olamn (C72).


The largest open space in the city is an open marketplace surrounded by stone buildings (many moneylenders and pawnshops among them) that enclose the maze of temporary stalls and carts that appear here day and night. The Market is the best place to haggle for the lowest prices on almost any trade good imaginable, though there's no guarantee of finding anything.


The mountain on which the city is built is a bald, rough crag with a peak some 1,500 feet above sea level. A lookout tower and griffon-steed eyrie sit atop this mountain. On its seaward flanks are emplaced eleven gigantic triple-catapults for hurling loads of rock and burning material out to sea against attacking ships. Several sea caves pierce the base of its western flank, connecting it to Undermountain and various points under the city by tunnels of great antiquity (once used for smuggling). The City Guard now watches these sea caves, allowing the Lords to use them for secretive operations. The South Seacave is connected by a set of hoists down into the mountain to the River Sargauth and Skullport.


In the immediate aftermath of Myrkul's defeat and the ascension of Midnight and Cyric, many Waterdhavians heard the voice of Ao over Mount Waterdeep. Within a month, a marble temple known as the "Temple of the Overgod" was built upon the ruins of Trader's Way (the site of Myrkul's death) with the enthusiastic support of Waterdeep's guilds and noble houses. Many worshipers flocked to the temple, including many nobles intent on following what seemed the latest fashion. Yet, after six months, the temple's flock was reduced by both mortal and divine disinterest. Soon, the temple was empty save for a few sporadic services. In the Year of the Serpent (1359 DR), the Lords of Waterdeep annexed the temple building and put it to use as a public hall, available for rent by nobles and wealthy merchants for parties, balls, weddings, and other events. Now carved into the frieze is "The Cynosure," a name both apt and ironic given the existence of the plane of the same name and the purpose it serves as the meeting place for the gods.

The ground on which the Cynosure was built falls within Myrkul's Ruins, so named for the brown murk that settled on the area after Myrkul's disintegration during the Time of Troubles. Although the Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors cleaned up much of the fall-out of the destruction of the Lord of Bones, Myrkul's Ruins remain the site of a seemingly permanent planar breach, linking Faerûn to the Fugue Plane. The minor planar breach has allowed the Fugue Plane's impeded magic trait (all spells are impeded; Spellcraft DC 20 + level to cast) to leech into this area. As word of this phenomenon has spread, many powerful spellcasters have chosen to hold negotiations in the, as it is seen as relatively "neutral ground" by those skilled in the Art.


In just a few short years, New Olamn has become a prominent center of education and bardcraft in Waterdeep and up and down the Sword Coast. It can be reached by means of the Cliffride, a steep, treacherous gravel track that runs along the western edge of Mount Waterdeep's northern spur and is constantly exposed to the sea winds and spray of the ocean below. A more pleasant path passes through Mount Melody Walk, a continual flame-lit tunnel dug through Mount.Waterdeep's northern spur and staffed by a four-person contingent of the Guard at all times. (See New Olamn Bard College.)


Built in the Year of the Smoky Moon (1287 DR), the white marble Palace of Waterdeep, now commonly known as Piergeiron's Palace, still stands as a shining symbol of the Lords' Rule, unblemished by corruption. The Palace is the main office location for many city officials, the majority of which are dedicated to the administration of city services, such as the Watch, the Guard, city clerks, and the Loyal Order of Street Laborers. The Lords' Court meets in a large chamber on the second floor, just up the grand staircase from the echoing, open entry hall.

There are also embassies here from many other countries and cities, although such embassies need not be located in the Palace. The most elaborate embassy in the Palace is the Silverymoon Embassy, with a portal to Alustriel's Court.

Piergeiron's lodgings occupy the two northern towers of the northern wing of the Palace. Also in the northern wing are various guest quarters for visiting dignitaries without a separate embassy in the city. Secret tunnels run from Piergeiron's chambers to all the private meeting places of the Lords, including Blackstaff Tower (C6).


Waterdeep's great fortress is a thick-walled stronghold that broods over Castle Ward from the flanks of Mount Waterdeep. Pennants and banners are often hung and flown from its battlements to signal the arrival of diplomats or the commencement of ceremonies. The great height of the castle walls makes such signs readily visible in the southern half of the city. The castle's walls average sixty feet thick, with rooms and passages tunneled out of their great bulk.

The castle can house approximately three thousand Medium-size creatures in comfort, and three times that number if every corner is used for accommodation and storage. The normal garrison is fourteen hundred city guards. Dungeon levels beneath the city hold ninety cells in total, each capable of holding up to six prisoners. By edict of the Lords, the castle's larder must contain an emergency food supply large enough to feed fifty thousand people for a tenday. The castle courtyard is used for training members of the Guard and the Watch. The main stables, containing seventy or so fully trained and equipped warhorses, are located in the ground-level interior of the castle's south wall.

Signal beacons, horns, and mighty catapults capable of commanding the entire harbor of Waterdeep as far as Deepwater Isle and the Torchtowers are kept ready on the battlements. A garrison unit of at least thirty armed soldiers of the Guard always stands watch. The castle gates and all stations of the walls are always guarded, and just within the gates is a duty guardroom where a strike squad of twenty crossbowmen and two wizards can reinforce the guards at the gate in seconds, and anywhere else in or under the castle in minutes.

Castle Waterdeep is linked to extensive dungeons beneath the castle and in the mountain to the west, used as armories, food-stores, and to hold Waterdeep's secrets. Beneath the castle's dungeons lies the Citadel of the Bloody Hand, now a dangerous, festering sore on the castle's integrity.


Lands of Faerûn

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