Dawn of the Old Gods: Tyranny of Dragons
Population: Over 20,000 (40,000)
Deities: Tymora, Umberlee, Helm, Lathander, Bahamut
Baldur’s Gate is a wealthy port metropolis with over 20,000 inhabitants (although that almost doubles in the summer months and festivals). The city is an important merchant city on the Sword Coast. Its strong Watch and the presence of the powerful Flaming Fist mercenary company maintain order within the city.
The city’s unique shape, curved around its harbor, gives it the appearance of a crescent moon. The docks and shipping facilities are among the most efficient along the coast and the city relies heavily on the ships that dock there. A large open marketplace, called The Wide, dominates the northeast portion of the walled city, and other large structures include The High Hall, seat of the city government, the High House of Wonders, a large temple to Gond, and the Seatower of Balduran, a small fortress in the center of the harbor. To keep vermin from spreading too much into the city proper, cats are bred and encouraged to roam the city.
The strictly policed, orderly Upper City is home to the privileged patriar class. The patriars are the oldest families is Baldur’s Gate and make up the city’s nobility. Living alongside
them in more humble, but nevertheless beautiful and well maintained, houses is an upper class of families that boast proud histories as stewards of the patriars (tailors, jewelers,
head butlers, master chefs, lead gardeners, and the like) and as members of the Watch, a civil police force independent of the Flaming Fist that protects the Upper City.
The crescent-shaped Lower City rings the harbor and gains elevation up from the river until it meets the walls of the Upper City. Its narrow, cobbled streets give way
to flights of stone steps in particularly steep locations. Laborers and crafters of all sorts, including sailors, salthands, shopkeepers, bakers, and finehand artisans,
whose work doesn’t require noisy forges or noisome vats or ingredients, toil and dwell in the Lower City’s labyrinth of small, often subdivided buildings.
A sprawl of paddocks, dirt streets, shanties, and semipermanent buildings outside the walls, the Outer City accommodates everything the Upper and Lower cities don’t. It houses the dirtiest and smelliest trades. Horses, oxen, mules, and other beasts of burden and livestock aren’t allowed inside the city’s walls, so they are stabled, loaded and unloaded, or butchered here. Long ago, the Council of Four decided not to pay the Flaming Fist to police the Outer City, so the only law here is what common custom and the Guild—the city’s syndicate of thieves, thugs, racketeers, loan sharks, and assassins—impose.
The Trade Way
An ancient path of travel, the Trade Way runs north from Baldur’s Gate to Waterdeep. Nearest Baldur’s Gate, the road is mostly gravel, but some
crumbling, granite-paved segments remain from ancient attempts at empire building. Farther afield, the Trade Way becomes a dirt track that the area’s frequent, light rains often reduce to sludge. The old road vanishes in the Fields of the Dead, separating into various trails taken by traders and travelers depending on the season and reports of bandits. When travelers come within sight of Dragonspear Castle, it resumes a more regular course.