Rascals of Elturel
Cradled in a crook of the Chionthar and often swaddled in mist, Baldur’s Gate clings tight to the granite bluffs that channel the river. Trade nursed, the city grew from pirates’ port to farmers’ fort to the bustling urban center it is today.
Generations have worn smooth the cobbles of its narrow streets, and tens of thousands have lived their entire lives in the long shadows of its walls. The city’s stone has soaked in the blood of acclaimed heroes and terrible villains. Alongside and atop such stains, nobles and commoners, rich and poor, have lazed and sweat, ruled and bled, as they’ve played out the stories of their lives – making Baldur’s Gate a place of history and a home to legends.
Baldur’s Gate began its life as a hidden harbor where traders would meet with pirates and “ghost lighters,” folk along the Sword Coast who used lights to lure fogbound ships toward shore, where they would run aground and have their goods scavenged. After bit ting their targets, plunderers would journey leagues upriver to the future site of Baldur’s Gate, at a turn of the Chionthar that gave good harbor and relatively easy access to the Trade Way, and then sell their booty to traders without fear of meeting the goods’ original owners.
In time, industrious traders and herders decided that the excellent, albeit illicit, commerce outweighed the bluffs’ poor soil, and they put down roots. Due in part to its frequent mists and surely its residents’ reputations, the settlement became known as Gray Harbor – a name Baldurians still use for the bay today. The city gained its current name centuries ago when the great explorer Balduran returned from his
journey to the other side of Evermeet, the homeland ofthe elves, where he searched for the fabled isles ofAnchorome. He spread around wild stories of his adventures as well as huge amounts of wealth, some of which he spent to have a wall constructed around his oft-raided hometown. Balduran left again for Anchorome and never returned.
Balduran’s gate-dotted wall encircled the homes at the top of the bluffbut left the harbor arid the climb up the bluffs unprotected. This design allowed residents to tax goods coming to market. Balduran’s colleagues, sea captains to whom the harbor was home, angrily insisted the gate by which southern trade and the harbor traffic
entered the city was “Baldur’s Gate,” and they refused to pay. They fought, overthrew the enriched traders and herders, and seized control of the city.
The four oldest captains, their days at sea drawing to a close, turned over their ships to younger sailors, who in turn supported the captains’ installation as the fledgling city’s rulers. The aging skippers jokingly called themselves “dukes,” hut the title proved
useful in intercity negotiations. Following Amn’s founding, trade boomed in the Gate’s
relaxed climate, and the city grew. It burst its original hounds, consuming Gray Harbor as it grew up and down the bluffs. The Upper and Lower cities’ fates were so entwined the dukes ruled the Lower City couldn’t be left exposed to raiders. Thus, Baldur’s Gate erected two new wall segments along the bluffs that attached to the Old Wall, which was improved, and also kissed the River Chionthar twice, on the city’s western and eastern sides.
Today, Baldur’s Gate still refuses to he constrained. People and businesses blocked from residing within the walls huddle against them or sprawl along outlying roads. What once was two communities now feels like three: the privileged Upper City, the hardworking Lower City and the lawless Outer City.
HEAD OF THE GUILD – Unofficial Leaders
Districts of Baldur’s Gate
Places of Note
Baldur’s Mouth – Local New Rag
Danthelon’s Dancing Axe – Good’s shop at Wyrm’s Crossing
Sorcerous Sundries – Magical goods and supplies
Elfsong Tavern – Tavern in Lower City
The Low Lantern – Gambling Hall on the docks
High Hall – City hall, home of the government, Parliment, and the Council
High House of Wonders and Hall of Wonders – Temple/School of Gond
Seatower of Balduran – Home of the Flaming Fist in the city and prison
Watch Citadel – Home of the The Watch, the upper city guard.
Wyrm’s Rock – Home of the Flaming Fist outside the city
The Splurging Sturgeon – Fine restaurant in Lower City
Three Old Kegs – Fine inn in Upper City
The Undercellar – Wide network of tunnels in the underground and sewers.
Ramazith’s Tower – Strange pagoda-like tower in Upper City