More of Waterdeep and Lands of Intrigue!
By Rand Sharpsword
Rand Sharpsword, collector of bits of travel and geographical information, brings you further details about the Waterdeep and Lands of Intrigue areas. Rand provides these to supplement the information found in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
Lake Weng: This small lake sports many small villages on its shore, although it is best known for its three old temple-cities to Lathander, Mystra, and Shar, abandoned hundreds of years ago when the theocratic settlers vanished without a trace after an unseasonable blizzard. Minsor Vale, the fourth theocratic city, is still inhabited by Selûnite worshipers.
Shilmista: Also known as the Forest of Shadows, the elven king here has declared that no more trees or elves of this forest will die, and slays any who try. Only one small tribe of elves remains, and they prefer to stay in small, hard-to-find camps rather than in larger settlements. They have established a tenuous contact with the rulers of Tethyr that may ease their paranoia.
Saradush (Metropolis, 23,450): This fortified city produces agricultural and dairy products. Unusual in that there are no large temples, the devout in Saradush prefer to worship in small shrines within their own homes. It is becoming an important waystation for trade to and from the Lake of Steam. With its proximity to several kinds of terrain, it is also a haven for adventurers.
Mount Waterdeep: Seven hundred feet tall, this imposing peak shelters the city from the worst of the sea's winds. Lookouts and griffin riders stationed on Mount Waterdeep watch over the city, flying constant patrols against aerial attack and providing reports to the headquarters farther down the mountain at Castle Waterdeep.
Waterdeep Harbor: The harbor that gives Waterdeep its name is also wide and well sheltered, and it is capable of docking up to 50 large ships at the same time. Merfolk living within the harbor cooperate with members of the City Guard keeping watch from towers on Deepwater Isle.
Field of Triumph: Waterdeep's arena is noted for magical pyrotechnics and spectacular staged bouts. Deaths happen, but most contests are not meant to be fatal. Healing is available for those who choose to receive it, and the combatants are professionals or volunteers, not slaves.
Plinth: Located in Trades Ward, this set of sacred rocks is kept as a place of worship and meditation for all faiths. Many long-dead deities hear from their worshipers only at the feet of the Plinth. For the record, the Monks of the Old Order eschew worship at the Plinth, preferring to leave their departed god alone, if in fact they ever had a god.
The giant stones of the Plinth are always festooned with flowers and other offerings. Anyone wishing for a sense of the diversity of Faerûn need spend only an hour near the Plinth. Guards from the City Watch usually stand by as well, but not for their edification: They break up theological discussions that turn violent.
Plots and Rumors
Forays: Lycanthropes from the Snakewood have begun making forays into nearby settlements, stealing food, jewelry, and children. The clerics of Eldath in that forest have been unavailable for help in the situation. Followers of Malar are suspected to be behind these activities.
Sneak Attacks: The town of Ithal Pass is the newest line of defense against evil in Tethyr, for the cult of Xvim (now Bane) took over the town of Kzelter two years ago under the leadership of Teldorn Darkhope. The two towns have been fortifying ever since, with occasional small skirmishes achieving little. General Paulus has been recruiting adventurers (especially spellcasters) to execute sneak attacks on the Banite town.
Games with Gods: An all-out battle threatens to erupt when a street jester makes an enormous production of making a Banite pilgrimage to the Plinth to worship a "dearly loved but sadly departed megalomaniac tyrant deity." The PCs can decide if they want to encourage the joke, piece together the jester's true aims, or hang back to see if any worshipers of Bane rise to the bait.
New Laws on Magic: A wizard selling minor Thayan magic items (faerie fire stones, one-use feather fall belts, and so on) refuses to join the Watchful Order of Magists and Protectors despite their rules, prohibitions, and attempts to levy fines. When the City Watch comes to arrest the wizard, they are routed by a well-prepared group of Red Wizards who happen to be nearby. In the chaos that follows, the wizard petitions Khelben (as an independent wizard) and Piergeiron (as the Open Lord) for the right to found a new guild in the city -- one for vendors who merely sell magic wares rather than cast spells. Is this a cunning Thayan plot or just an honest man who has discovered something bigger than he is?