Dungeons of WaterdeepDungeons of Waterdeep
Although many young Waterdhavians believe one must brave the wilds of the Savage Frontier or the depths of Undermountain when seeking monster-infested ruins, in truth plenty of dangerous locales can be found much closer to home. The City of Splendors contains quite a few dungeons, including the Citadel of the Bloody Hand, the Dungeon of the Crypt, the sewers that run beneath the entire city, the aquatic chasm known as Umberlee's Cache, and the granddaddy of them all, the playground of the Mad Mage Halaster, the vast Undermountain. In addition, a wide variety of smaller sites might challenge the intrepid explorer, including dark, haunted alleys, various crypts in the City of the Dead, the treasure vaults of Waterdeep's merchant elite, and the towers of city-dwelling wizards.
Born in the Year of Great Riches (920 DR), Ahghairon of Waterdeep arrived in Silverymoon in the Year of the Red Rain (927 DR), yearning to learn magic. He was taken in and taught by numerous tutors. In the Year of Sudden Sorrows (941 DR), Ahghairon single-handedly destroyed a pair of young green dragons intent on attacking Silverymoon. Soon thereafter, Ahghairon left the city to learn more about Toril, but little is known of his-travels. He had returned to Waterdeep and built his tower by the Year of the Blazing Call (947 DR), for that is where Magister Taline Telgara, "The Flame of the North", found him after receiving visions from Mystra. By the Year of the Rings Royal (952 DR), Ahghairon was the official advisor to the War Lords of Waterdeep, and his history is thereafter wholly intertwined with that of the City of Splendors.
Ahghairon's Tower (C79) rises as a slim stone pinnacle with few windows and a conical roof four stories above the street. It is always quiet, never visibly changed hy the passage of years nor disturbed by passersby. No one is thought to have entered it since Ahghairon's death, thanks to a series of wards erected through the cooperative effort of Ahghairon's apprentices (a mythal created with epic spellcasting), although in truth Lhoril Delhiirnyn stole the dragonstaff of Ahghairon before the wards were laid.
The tower is enclosed in a permanent forcecage (caster level 23), with a gap of 10 feet between the cage and the tower proper. If successfully disintegrated or otherwise destroyed, the forcecage reforms 10 minutes later. Within the forcecage, the tower is enclosed in an invisible prismatic sphere, within the prismatic sphere is a time stop field, within the time stop field is a spell turning field, and within that ward is variant of the alarm spell that sounds a loud, audible alarm in Piergeiron's Palace (CIS), Blackstaff Tower (C6), and Herald's Holdfast (far to the north; see Silver Marches). If the alarm is triggered, a walking statue is teleported from Mount Waterdeep to the tower and set to attack the intruder. Some have speculated that it might be possible to bypass the wards with secret tokens of recognition or pass-phrases, but if such things exist, no one has admitted knowledge of them.
The contents of Ahghairon's Tower are largely unknown, although certain legendary items, such as Ahghairon's great cloak, are said to lie within. Iron and stone golems, as well as lurking spell traps, are also said to guard the wizard's treasures.
In the Year of the Blue Flame (1327 DR), a mad, reclusive mage named Keilier Twistbeard (CE male Chondathan wizard 20/planeshifter 4) constructed the Blue Alley as a way to afford himself endless amusement. Although Keilier now wanders other planes, he still returns periodically to watch visitors encounter the alley's perils, making bets with old friends like Maaril on the victims' probability of success. The Blue Alley is a deathtrap, filled with cruel traps and illusions, and its only real treasure is the sword Magebane.
Whenever PCs boast of their adventures in Waterdeep's shops and taverns, invariably the proprietor or one of the regulars will inquire, "Ah, have ye tried the Blue Alley yet, then?" Nearly all Waterdhavians have heard of the Blue Alley and know that it lies in Sea Ward. Residents of that ward usually know that its entrance opens on Ivory Street. Anyone who goes looking on Ivory Street can find the Blue Alley with a DC 10 Search check. The alley's blue paving stones glow faintly underfoot, leading to a T-shaped intersection adorned with a carved stone image of a man's face twisted in fear.
Catacombs of Yintros
The Tower of Yintros was once one of Waterdeep's preeminent schools of wizardry, standing beyond the walls at the northern end of the plateau where the Heroes' Garden ($70) stands today. Built by the archmage Yintros in the Year of Spreading Spring (1038 DR), it passed to his apprentice, Ulthorn, in the Year of the Lord's Dilemma (1066 DR). Ulthorn dwelt in the Tower of Yintros for over two centuries, educating generation after generation of Waterdhavian wizards.
In the Year of Thunder (1306 DR), Ulthorn died in a sorcerous duel with a vastly more powerful foe, the Archmage Ahrabose. In defeat, he slew his enemy by bringing the Tower of Yintros down upon them both with a great shout. Many of Ulthorn's young apprentices and prestidigitators of Waterdeep searched the wreckage of the tower that night, seeking items of power and written spells. The blasted corpse of Ulthorn was found with his shattered staff and emerald sigil ring, but many other treasures, including the Spellbook of Daimos, were never found. In the wake of the tower's destruction, the Lords of Waterdeep purchased the land on which it stood from Ulthorn's apprentice and heir, the wizard Rendergallis. The ruins of the tower were cleared and the land was transformed into a public park, known today as Heroes' Garden.
Unknown to all but a few, part of the Tower of Yintros still exists. The catacombs beneath the tower, used for spell research and magical experimentation, still exist, sealed from prying eyes by wards set in place by the Watchful Order. One entrance to the catacombs lies beneath the statue of Lhestyn, which can be pushed aside with a DC 24 Strength check if one first speaks the password, "Ulthorn." The other entrance lies in the sewers, through a secret door halfway down passage SF5. This secret door requires the same passphrase to bypass its wards. The existence of the catacombs and the passphrase needed to bypass the wards are recorded in the Diaries of Rendergallis, of which several copies exist in various libraries around the city. A handful of adventurers have explored the Catacombs of Yintros over the years, but reports as to what they have found vary widely. From these contradictory accounts, sage Ilighast Chamnabbar has deduced that a powerful summoning ooze must lie within, but that is just a guess.
Citadel of the Bloody Hand
The shield dwarves of Clan Melairkyn built the subterranean citadel of Melairgate in the early days of their settlement in the eastern spur of Mount Waterdeep. The citadel served as the primary entrance into Melairbode and as a trading station for the Stout Folk to meet with the Fair Folk of Aelinthaldaar. After the elves abandoned their capital, the shield dwarves buried the doors to the citadel and turned it into a warren thick with traps, guardians, secret passages, and peepholes reachable only from below.
During the reign of Ulbaerag, the inhabitants of Bloodhand Hold rediscovered the dwarf citadel and claimed it for their own. They sealed the passage leading down to the depths of Undermountain, and transformed the subterranean fortress into a defensive redoubt to which they could withdraw if necessary. The citadel saw infrequent use over the years when the settlement was threatened, but it was otherwise ignored. Knowledge of its existence was lost in the Year of the Splendid Stag (734 DR) when Raulbaera Bloodhand led her followers inland and the village of Bloodhand Hold all but died.
In the Year of the Black Wind (1262 DR), a contingent of Waterdeep's small Thieves' Guild (now the Shadow Thieves) found the citadel while exploring a stairway leading up from the first level of Undermountain (now known as the Falling Stair because of the spectacular collapse it undergoes whenever anyone approaches before it reverts to its unblocked state). Word of this discovery was passed back to the guildmaster, known professionally as the Bloody Hand, who cheekily decided to make the citadel his stronghold, despite the fact that it lay directly under Castle Waterdeep.
After securing the citadel from the roving monsters set loose by Halaster, the guild renamed it the Citadel of the Bloody Hand, and constructed two links to the city sewers, a secret passage into the castle above (through which they could send spies to observe goings-on), and an escape route exiting on the western face of Mount Waterdeep, just above the ocean. The Shadow Thieves operated from this fortified base for over three decades before being driven from the citadel in the Year of the Pointed Bone (1298 DR) after Lhestyn Silmaeril infiltrated the guild and revealed the existence of the Citadel of the Bloody Hand to the Watch.
After the Shadow Thieves were driven from the city, the Lords of Waterdeep garrisoned the citadel and sealed the passage leading down the Falling Stair. The two passages to the sewers were left intact, garrisoned by the Guard and employed by high-ranking occupants of Castle Waterdeep when they needed a discreet exit. The seaward section of the Citadel was given over to the Harpers, who transformed it into the fortified refuge known as Harpers' Hold, and knowledge of its existence is now the exclusive province of Those Who Harp and a handful of the Lords of Waterdeep.
In the Year of the Gauntlet (1369 DR), during Halaster's Higharvestide, a horde of goblins, ores, and ogres rushed up the Falling Stair and broke into the citadel. Although the Guard contingent prevailed, what seemed at first to be an easy victory has proven anything but such. In the wake of the goblinoid horde came a flood of living spells. These lingering remnants of Halaster's spells have somehow taken on sentience and refused to dissipate. As their numbers have continued to grow, the Guard has been forced to abandon the Citadel, sealing off the passage into Castle Waterdeep. Harpers' Hold is still accessible to Those Who Harp, but many leading Harpers are growing concerned that this refuge might soon have to be abandoned as well. Although the Guard refuses to allow adventurers into the Citadel of the Bloody Hand to investigate, several groups have done so by making the perilous trek through Undermountain and then up the Falling Stair. Those explorers who have returned and spoken of their experience have vanished soon thereafter, possibly abducted by agents of the Shadow Thieves seeking word of their lost redoubt.
Cliff Watch Ruins
The Cliffwatch Inn was once a rambling old inn, recognizable for its exterior galleries. Although the place was shabby and well worn, its cheerful proprietor Felstan Spindriver (CG male Illuskan human commoner 4) more than made up for its flaws. Felstan was well known for helping folks in need of a place to hide, for directing adventurers or visitors to odd sites, and for chatting about rumors, treasure tales, and events around the city. The inn's cellars were rumored to contain secret passages down to smugglers' storage cellars, and from thence to the city sewers and Undermountain.
In the Year of the Shield (1367 DR), the inn was engulfed in multiple magical explosions that sent gouts of flame far into the air overhead. Since that night, the area has been surrounded by a high wooden fence and kept under constant observation by Guard and Watch patrols. The owner has not been seen since the destruction of his property, and he is believed dead. Offers to purchase the land have been repeatedly denied by the Lords, leading most to suspect that something dangerous still lurks within the ruins.
Crypt of Chauntea
Long before the spires of the Open Lord's Palace graced the skies of Waterdeep, the site was home to an abbey of monks and clerics of Chauntea. The Abbey of Chauntea was one of the city's oldest buildings, built in the Year of Waving Wheat (574 DR) during the era of Bloodhand Hold. The abbey fell in fire and ruin during the Second Troll War and was never rebuilt.
Piergeiron's Palace (C75) is still haunted by the spirits of Chauntean monks who died in the conflagration, and no less than seven such hauntings have been observed. The most famous haunting is known as the Monks of the Three Candles, a ghostly procession that approaches the guardpost of the South Tower 2 hours before every dawn and marches up a long-vanished stair toward their old fields on the mountain's slopes.
Less well known is the Ghost of the Bathing Monk. He appears on the slopes above the palace on nights after a strong rain that fills a small hollow with a natural bathing pool. The spirit appears to notice some far-off danger and rushes down the mountain, dripping water as he goes, before vanishing into the ground just outside the palace walls. No one has ever dug into the ground where the spirit vanishes, but if someone did (and managed to avoid the notice of the Palace guards), she would discover a small stone staircase leading into the mountain and the long-forgotten undercroft of the abbey. From the undercroft, one can then reach the cellars used for storing seeds and the abbey's hidden treasury.
All knowledge of the catacombs was lost in the abbey's destruction, and the construction of Piergeiron's Palace atop the ruins obscured any chance that they would be discovered. The undercroft is haunted by a dozen or more huecuvas, once monks of Chauntea who hid in the abbey's crypts rather than battle the trolls. The wrath of the Earthmother has also transformed the vast store of seeds within into a wide variety of undead plant monsters.
Dungeon of the Crypt
Located beneath the northern end of the City of the Dead and the southern end of North Ward, the Dungeon of the Crypt was constructed at the behest of Artor Morlin, a powerful and cunning vampire, during the Second Troll War. Legendary in the South as an enemy of all things Calishite, the mercenary lord moved north to Waterdeep after the construction of Castle Daggerford over the ruins of his old castle in the Year of the Advancing Wind (947 DR) and found the burgeoning city to his liking.
The Dungeon of the Crypt can be reached from the city most easily by means of the Deepwinter Vault (CD10). As more than a few ne'er-do-wells have discovered, the wards on the crypt lapsed long ago, as the last of the Deepwinters died during the reign of the Guildmasters. In the center of the crypt, a huge coffin containing the crumbling corpse of some forgotten Deepwinter patriarch can be rotated sideways to reveal a steeply descending stair. After several landings (each furnished with a guardroom with firing-ports), this broad, steep staircase descends well over a hundred feet into.a complex of rooms that looks like a defensible warehouse. A long tunnel leads off from this network of rooms to connect (by means of a secret door) with the first level of Undermountain. Privy-chutes and a partially collapsed descending tunnel also connect with caverns near Skullport. A narrow passage to a secret door connects with a secondary sewer passage (SF71). Tunnels that once ascended to some cellars in North Ward were filled in long ago, but they could be opened once again with some work.
At the northern end of the Dungeon of the Crypt, far from the areas reached by the Deepwinter Vault, is a chain of quite palatial rooms, the last of which is an ornate bedchamber connected to a large hall with a fireplace. This area was once the lair of Artor Morlin, before he was driven from his home by the Company of Crazed Venturers. Artor's escape route led up the chimney through the thick common wall of some North Ward businesses and exited among the chimney-tops there. In the years since he was forced to abandon this lair, Artor has installed a succession of servitor vampires herein (never letting any live long enough to challenge him) to decoy any would-be vampire slayers from his own trail. The current occupant is Fhang (CE male doppelganger vampire rogue 9), a member of the Unseen who secretly serves Artor, unknown even to Hlaavin. Fhang is under instruction from Hlaavin to maintain a safe house for members of the Unseen, and under instruction from the vampire lord to keep up Artor's guise while in the Dungeon, on the off chance a member of the Company of Crazed Venturers might come seeking the long-vanished vampire of the Dungeon of the Crypt.
The Fireplace Level
The Fireplace Level, so dubbed by the Company of Crazed Venturers, lies beneath the southern end of North Ward, just north of the City of the Dead. Built by an early member of the Gost family, the Fireplace Level once served as the source of that family's fortunes and a place to stash their ill-gotten gains. Although the complex is mentioned in private diaries still held by the Gost family, the current members of the clan have yet to discover how to reach the complex, and they aren't even sure if it ever existed. (In his current guise as the aging seneschal of the Gost family's private militia, Artor Morlin keeps watch to ensure that the Gosts never find their old stronghold.)
Although the Company of Crazed Venturers first entered from the rear of the complex through the fireplace they found in the Dungeon of the Crypt, the primary entrance to the Fireplace Level is through a secret staircase in the basement of the Gost Villa (N57) unknown to anyone other than Artor Morlin. The dungeon-side face of the door is warded with the gigantic, obviously spell-shaped floating face of Khelben, who bellows: "Turn back, whoever you are! Trespass in this area is prohibited!" (Khelben had nothing to do with this spell. It is simply a ruse left by a long-dead member of the Gost clan to deter interlopers from below from entering the family villa.) Other spell-wards also guard the place, some of them quite deadly to those who do not possess the Gost family crest.
A railless stone staircase leads down from the Gost villa basement to a room filled with inky, opaque water; additional steps lead down to its unseen depths. At the time the Company of Crazed Venturers explored this place, a trio of banelar inhabited the waters, but Artor has since replaced them with vampiric spawn created from merfolk he kidnapped from the harbor. The Company never discovered that the stairs leading down into the pool connected with the vampire's reserve crypt, or that Artor Morlin has continued to lair therein. Artor, of course, has another escape route - a portal connecting his lair with the dungeons of old Morlin Castle (which now lie beneath Castle Daggerford).
The Fireplace Level continues through a pair of rusting, iron double doors to a subterranean complex comprising a dozen or more storage chambers and beast cages. The Gosts were early backers of the Shadow Thieves, and over the years they accumulated a warehouse full of treasures plundered from Waterdhavian tombs and guilds. Many of those treasures were stashed in the Fireplace Level, and the Gosts left many traps and guardians to secure their ill-gotten gains. Long-dead ghosts of the Gundwynd family, who were imprisoned in the dungeon over a century ago, also haunt the Fireplace Level. A member of the Gost clan left the Gundwynds to starve in one of the beast cages so he could seize their possessions. Although a distant member of the Gundwynd clan eventually restored the family fortunes, the Gundwynds harbor lingering suspicion to this day that the Gosts had a hand in nearly destroying the Gundwynd family and fortunes.
A portal once led from the Fireplace Level to the Worm-writhings, a warren of twisting tunnels north and west of ruined Blingdenstone beneath the Lurkwood, and from there to a series of dangerous destinations across Faerûn, allowing the Gost clan to import all manner of beasts from the Savage Frontier directly into Waterdeep. The Gost family was forced to abandon the complex in the Year of the Catacombs (1308 DR) when a purple worm came through the portal and triggered a temporal stasis trap. Years later, after the Company of Crazed Venturers discovered the place and turned the purple worm into solid silver, Laeral disposed of the worm's corpse, investigated the portal network, and then sealed the portal "for the safety of the city." Of course, enterprising adventurers could always attempt to unseal the portal.
The Fireplace Level has two other known exits. A staircase still leads up from the Fireplace Level to connect with the midden of the Grinning Lion (N56). Only its proprietor, Unger Farshal knows of the passage, and he has installed a secret door 20 feet down the stair that leads into sewer passage SF31. The other exit is a small fissure that opened up when the purple worm arrived and now connects with the sooty shaft leading out of Artor Morlin's old fireplace. Artor discovered the Fireplace Level after the fissure opened up and subsequently used his charms to ensure that the Gosts were fearful enough of the Gundwynd ghosts and the magically frozen purple worm to abandon the place and the treasures within. Unger uses both back exits during his regular runs to and from Skullport, passing down the stair, through part of the Fireplace Level, down into the Dungeon of the Crypt, and from there down to Skullport. To date, Unger has yet to explore much of the Fireplace Level, for the ghosts haunting the place have scared him off. Artor is aware of Unger's movements, but for now allows him to proceed unmolested.
Maldiglas Turntower "the Magnificent" reigned as Mystra's Magister from 1318 to 1322 DR. During his reign, Maldiglas created a number of magical refuges for arcane spellcasters to use in times of injury or sickness. One such refuge lies in a cavern deep inside Mount Waterdeep. The cave is approximately 40 feet in diameter and accessible only through two-way portals (two of which are located in each ward). From inside the cavern, one can see out the mouths of the fourteen portals that open into its walls and leave simply by stepping through those archways. An observer from the other sides of the portals cannot see in, and one can enter only by whispering the name of Maldiglas while stepping on the correct stone.
The existence of Maldiglas's Refuge is kept as secret as possible by the Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors, concealed beneath a cloak of wild, exaggerated tavern tales told only when someone asks about the cave or claims to know something of it. Apprentices using scrying globes in Blackstaff Tower monitor use of the Waterdeep refuge. Khelben and Laeral have promised the Watchful Order and the Lords of the city that they will only intervene in visits to the refuge if one being attacks another within. They have made no promises, however, about not magically tracing or spying on users of the refuges, after such beings depart. The Watchful Order has secretly decided that anyone using the refuge more than twice in any month will be interviewed by senior mages of the Order as to their doings, aims, and current foes to uncover any possible perils to the Order, the city, or "the prosperity of ongoing trade in the North." The order is not above temporarily substituting false stones for the real ones to prevent specific portals from operating - particularly when Waterdeep is at war or there is suspicion of immediate covert magecraft hostile to the city.
The known, automatic powers of the refuge (really a mythal created with epic spellcasting) include the following spells cast upon anyone entering the refuge: break enchantment, endure elements, and heal. A single individual can receive the spells no more than once per day, and the refuge can cast the spells five times per day. The portals leading to the refuge are as follows:
Castle Ward: 1st - Small, permanently chained-off (with chains anyone can step over or roll or crawl under) "mud sinkholes" between the Watching Tower (C68) and the Palace Stables (C17). 2nd—At the southwestern end of Fetlock Court (past the horse-trough).
City of the Dead: 1st - The stone that begins under the right heel of Ahghairon's Statue. 2nd - The "waterdrip wash" stones set under a downspout on the western side of the Mariners' Rest.
Dock Ward: 1st - The fish-shaped stone halfway down Odd Street, near its northern edge. 2nd - The moon-shaped stone set into the mouth of Aline's Way, were it meets Keel Alley.
North Ward: 1st - On the west side of the rain barrel that stands against the north wall of the Grinning Lion tavern (N56), just off Golden Serpent street. 2nd - Inside a cubicle behind an open doorway in the southeastern wall of Farwatch Tower. The cubicle is a tiny, tall bare room whose walls are several feet thick, and it is regularly checked by the Watch, beggars seeking shelter, conspirators, and lovers. The Watch has spread a story about the door being always open because they cannot keep it locked no matter how hard they try. Truthfully, the cubicle is a haunted sentry post.
Sea Ward: 1st - A footstone marking the burial site of a long-dead Open Lord's faithful guard dog, Rivuryn, which is set into the turf just south of a small stand of trees that lies inside the city wall immediately south of Seaseyes Tower ($71). Sometimes a portable wooden bench hides the footstone. 2nd - A stone half-hidden under a downspout, on the seaward side of the Fanebar, at the southernmost corner where a narrow passage leads through Kulzar's Alley.
Southern Ward: 1st - The stones just outside the back (south) door of the Midnight Sun tavern (S9), where garbage is usually piled. 2nd - The round stone set into the street between Athal's Stables (S27) and the city wall guard tower that faces it.
Trades Ward: 1st - The huge, cracked, paving stone set into the eastern end of Ironpost Street, on its southern edge (right against the wall of the corner building). 2nd - On the rooftop of the Gray Serpent Inn (T43), just at the head of the back stairway on the outside wall of the building.
Since the first trade-meets occurred on the shores of Waterdeep Harbor in -1088 DR, mariners have paid homage to Umberlee, the Bitch Queen, by dropping coins into the deepest reaches of the harbor in thanks for safe ports and safe passage in the coming year. Over time, this tithing attracted the attention of a small religious community of merfolk dedicated to appeasing Umberlee's wrath and safeguarding her offerings.
In the Year of Three Seas' Rage (-334 DR), merfolk clerics of Umberlee from Tharqualnaar used magic to open the floor at the harbor's deepest point in the lee of Deepwater Isle, revealing deeper caverns beneath. Almost immediately, fierce currents pulled down all of the tithed coins that littered the harbor floor into the great, unplumbed depths below.
In the years that followed, those who used the harbor continued to make tithes to the Bitch Queen, although the exact ceremony varied slowly over time. The modern form of this ceremony is known as the Fair Seas Festival, which comes at the end of Fleets-wake (see page 15). Of course, the vast wealth known to lie in the depths of Waterdeep Harbor has proven to be an irresistible lure for treasure hunters. Merfolk wardens turn back most would-be explorers of Umberlee's Cache, but every once in a while a band of foolhardy adventurers makes it into the lightless depths.
All the caverns of Umberlee's Cache are considered to be under the effects of a permanent unhallow spell placed here by the Bitch Queen herself. The upper caverns of Umberlee's Cache are haunted by sea wraiths, a self-propagating form of aquatic undead that continue to add to their number by transforming most interlopers into undead of a similar nature. Luckily, the light of the Deepwater Beacon (H7) keeps the sea wraiths from escaping into the harbor. The middle caverns of Umberlee's cache are guarded by a wide variety of fiendish aquatic monsters, including dire sharks, reekmurks, squids, and giant octopi. In the lightless depths swim fiendish titans of the deep (krakens, leviathans, legendary sharks) and various aquatic demons (myrmyxicuses, skulyvns, and wastriliths).
Violent, sudden currents that appear without warning and last for varying durations plague the lightless waters of Umberlee's Cache. All such currents tug at least slightly downward, inexorably drawing the treasures dropped into Umberlee's Cache toward a cavern called the Bitch Queen's Maw. For 24 hours each year, on the last day of Ches, a complete planar breach leading to Umberlee's domain in the Blood Sea of Fury's Heart opens in the center of the Maw, giving the cavern the planar traits of alterable morphic, strongly evil-aligned, and mild faith (as defined in the Dungeon Master's Guide and Player's Guide to Faerûn). A dozen or more tribute gatherers (advanced 24 HD half-fiendish giant octopi) emerge through the breach to gather up all the treasures that have reached the Maw and bring them into the Blood Sea. Although legends speak of a merfolk shaman who witnessed this event in centuries past, most sages believe such knowledge comes from dream visions sent by the Bitch Queen to her most faithful adherents.
Vault of Stars
Waterdeep's first major temple to Selûne was located on the site that is today Moonstar Alley, which curls around the walled villa of the noble family for which it is named. Originally known as the High House of Stars, popular wisdom holds that it was burned to the ground in the Year of the Tomb (1182 DR) by raiding worshipers of Bane who crept up from below and breached the temple's cellars. The interlopers slaughtered most of the residents before the alarm was raised, and by the time the Watch arrived, the temple was a towering inferno of flames that seemed impervious to magic. Selûne's faithful are believed to have never set foot on the desecrated ground again, building their present temple a block to the west. Local rumor suggests that the cellars of the burnt temple still hold magic and wealth, buried under burned rubble, and that they can be reached by stairs and shafts now hidden under the paving stones of this alleyway.
In truth, Lord Vanrak Moonstar and his fellow Shaaran worshipers destroyed the High House of Stars before retreating into the Underdark. However, the undercroft of the High House of Stars, the building now known as the Vault of Stars, survived the conflagration and is still in the hands of the Moonmaiden's followers. Lady Alathene Moonstar, now an archlich, has continued her unending war with Vanrak and his followers and uses the undercroft only to pursue her research and investigations. Adventurers who learn of the Vault of Stars might be tempted to explore it, at least until they determine they've walked uninvited into the lair of a lich with a fantastic memory, a sharp wit, and a hunger for new stories of Waterdeep. If they cause any damage before realizing they've invaded the workplace of "one of the good people," they might find themselves paying their debts not in coin but in service to the Moonmaiden's cause.
Irritym Wonderstar was a powerful Waterdhavian wizard with close ties to the church of Gond and the Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors. One of his many accomplishments was to graft the still-moving arm of a metal construct to the arm of Baelam "the Bold," an infamous thief of the Sword Coast who lost his left hand in a trap. In gratitude and admiration, Baelam gave up his thieving ways and explored his newfound interest in the Art.
In the Year of the Behir (1342 DR), Irritym was slain by thieves seeking to plunder his house of magic. Enraged, Baelam hunted down and slew his tutor's murderers and then spent the next several months learning what he could of his master's Art, trading lesser items and tomes to those who would teach him in exchange for training. The more powerful items and tomes he hid away somewhere beneath the city's streets.
In the decade that followed, Baelam roamed the cities of the Sword Coast, slaying thieves and taking their stolen wealth to further finance his training. In the process, he made many enemies, including the sorcerer Garthagul of Calimport and the infamous thief Ssilban "The Silent" of Theymarsh. During this period, Baelam returned frequently to the City of Splendors, claiming Irritym's house as his own.
In the Year of the Crown (1351 DR), a group of thieves gathered secretly in Waterdeep to attack and slay Baelam and seize Irritym's remaining treasure. Baelam slew them all for their troubles and then quit Waterdeep to roam Faerûn, after giving the last of his master's magic to Khelben Arunsun.
Little more was heard of the late Irritym or Baelam in the years that followed until the Year of Wild Magic (1372 DR). Beginning around Greengrass of that year, rumors spread through the City of Splendors that Garthagul of Calimport, while excavating the earthen floor of a Dock Ward warehouse, had discovered a heretofore unknown cache of Irritym Wonderstar's constructs - a veritable army of steel warriors standing row upon row and bearing Irritym's distinctive exploding star-shaped sigil. On the heels of such rumors came whispers that there was no such cache, and that Garthagul himself had started such tales in a bid to draw Baelam back to Waterdeep. Within days of the rumor's widespread dissemination, Garthagul had vanished and sightings of Baelam were reported in nearly every tavern in the city.
Nothing more might have come of the incident if not for the discovery of a unique form of golem hidden in the cargo of a Calishite trading vessel bound for Garthagul's hometown shortly thereafter. The Lords quickly confiscated the golem, hiding it away in the depths of Castle Waterdeep "for further study," but the story spread quickly and served to validate the existence of the Wonderstar Garrison in the popular imagination. Whether or not such the Wonderstar Garrison exists still remains a mystery, but many continue to look for Wonderstar's "army of constructs."
Lands of Faerûn