Campaign of the Month: April 2011
Corruption +2; Crime +4; Economy +7; Law +3; Lore +3; Society +8
Qualities Academic, Holy Site, Magially Attuned, Prosperous, Strategic Location, Tourist Attraction,
Danger +10; Disadvantages
Government Council The Masked Lords
Population 133,000 (Humans 64%, Dwarves 10%, Elves 10%, Halflings 5%, Half Elves 5%, Gnomes 3%, Half Orc 2%, Other 1%)
Base Value 28,800 gp; Purchase Limit 170,00 gp; Spellcasting Epic
Minor Items all available; Medium Items 4d4; Major Items 3d4
Waterdeep a city-state and a port located along the western coast of the Faerûn sub-continent. Known as the City of Splendors, Waterdeep is one of the largest and busiest cities—and one of the most important political powers—on the continent. The population is primarily human, although other races dwell therein. The city government consists of a cryptocracy of (mostly) anonymous individuals known as the Masked Lords of Waterdeep.
Waterdeep is named for its outstanding natural deepwater harbor, which has made the city a commercial crossroads. The population of the city is listed as approximately 130,000, with more than one million Waterdhavians making their home within the city’s territorial area. The city sprawls northward from the sea, spreading along the flanks of Mount Waterdeep, a solitary mountain. Mt. 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 away those prone to unlawful or unethical behavior. Skullport is located directly below Waterdeep in the Upper Underdark—a region of extensive caverns and tunnels beneath Faerûn.
Unlawful Flight Intrusion is considered a minor offense of the Second Plaint (Crimes Against the City). It generally is punished by a 300 gp fine and an edict against the offender by a Magister (Waterdahvian judges). The Edict usually is simply a charge not to fly over the city again. Any intrusion over the city is considered a violation whether the offender is flying an on a Hippogriff or an Ogre Mammoth. This punishment is only a guideline, in the past the extreme punishments spread by the Calishite rumormongers have been inflicted upon constant, repeat offenders. Note that any other crimes committed while flying over the city (assault, arson, destruction of property, ect) are subject to their own, usually severe, penalties in addition to those imposed for violating the cities airspace.
The legal edicts against flying over the city cause most spelljammers to either land out at sea and then sail in conventionally, or land in one of the fields outside of the city and carting any cargo in. Docking in the harbor entails the standard 5 gp docking fee, regardless of the ships size. This fee allows the ship to stay up to 14 days, and includes fresh water, ballast if needed, and the right to dump garbage. Landing outside the city tends to be more expensive. Most farmers, faced with the destruction of their fields will demand twice what they might have made by selling the crops. If ‘jammers balk at this they will be faced with charges of destruction of private property, and most likely end up paying anyway. A few enterprising merchants (and one noble family-see below) have purchased fields for the express purpose of landing spelljammers. These landing fields typically charge 5-10 gp per day, and will rent carts (1-3gp per day) to allow the ’jammers to transport their cargo into the city. The ’jammers are responsible for the 1 gp fee Waterdeep charges each wagon or cart that leaves the city (and their ship is forfeit if they don’t return the cart or pay its cost in full).
As befits the “City of Splendors” of Toril, Waterdeep now has a large and active merchant fleet. Most of the spelljammers flying the arms of Waterdeep (Guard vessels fly both the arms of Waterdeep and the arms of the Lords of Waterdeep) are independent adventuring and trading vessels, ships that call Waterdeep their home port. Their numbers are varied and changing, an accurate count might be found in Castle Waterdeep, but many of the ships in that register were destroyed without witnesses. Below are the more politically important fleets, the ships controlled by the Noble families that have remained involved in spelljamming.