Castle Ward of Waterdeep
In terms of both geography and power, Castle Ward is the city's center. Most, if not all, of the city's administrative buildings are within the ward boundaries, from the lofty spires of Piergeiron's Palace to the low-slung crenelations of the guard smithy. While money and social standing are the prevalent benchmarks of might in the City of Splendors, Waterdeep's true power and what keeps it running are the Lords and Magisters here. If you like the taste of power and authority mixed with the usual commerce of the city, Castle Ward is the place to go.
The city guard maintains a strong presence in Castle Ward due to the concentration of city officials and areas of importance in need of heavier security. Even so, the watch maintains much of the order, especially around the Market, the Palace, and the Castle Ward docks. Like the guard, the watch makes a show of force in Castle. Ward, traveling in larger patrols of six and brandishing short swords in addition to their normal rods and clubs.
The ward boundaries are the southern side of Julthoon Street over to Shield Street and down to Trader's Way on the north, meeting up with the High Road and Snail Street for the eastern perimeter. Lackpurse Lane, Belnimbra's Street, Gut Alley, and Shesstra's Street combine in an uneven boundary to the south, whereas the mountain and the coastline form the western edges of the ward. While Castle Ward covers the most territory, Mount Waterdeep makes up a lot of empty land and the ward is effectively little larger than Sea or North Ward.
It is hard to pin down a "typical" architectural detail for Castle Ward, as there are so many different structures here that dominate the skyline. The city buildings, temples, and wizards towers are impressive stone structures, with the Palace and Castle in leagues of their own. Folk who quest for power but lack the funds to rise above the merchant class often dwell in the environs north of Waterdeep Way, their homes either well-kept row houses of three to four stories or individual homes of one or two stories. In either case, structures tend to be timber and wattle-and-daub with stone foundations nestled among the shops. The southern leg of the ward is primarily made up of barracks and warehouses attached to the castle and to various wealthier merchants and noble houses. The only discernible difference between Castle Ward's docks and Dock Ward are the heavier watch patrols.
In terms of roads and byways, Castle Ward is by far the easiest ward to traverse due to the paving on many of its larger, primary roads. Even with heavy cart traffic on the roads, it is possible to travel from the Field of Triumph to Castle Waterdeep in the same time it takes to cover one-third of Dock Ward's docks. The paving is primarily for access by dignitaries and officials of the city and other foreign powers (and use during holidays for parades).
Watch of Castle Ward
Wardsman: Alta Botanuduth (Castle Waterdeep)
- Dretch Lane Watchpost: Rorden: Neolo Ilchalver • 3 patrols
- Duir's Watchpost: Rorden: Parus Obyrdar • 3 patrols
- Elsambul's Watchpost: Rorden: Annalyn Suonilan • 4 patrols
- Elvarren's Watchpost: Rorden: Pertus Thumbireer • 4 patrols
- Keltara's Watchpost: Rorden: Raulfur Khenshyn • 3 patrols
- Market Watchpost: Rorden: Rialter Obyrdar • 4 patrols
- Mulgomir's Watchpost: Rorden: Bridonna Mengschar • 3 patrols
- Delzimmer House: Private Dwarven residence often used by members of the dwarven Delzimmer family of Citadel Adbar.
- Mirt's Mansion: The most famous landmark around Castle Ward's docks, this stronghold is home to one of Waterdeep's richest ex-adventurers, recently returned to Waterdeep after long being thought dead. Mirt the Moneylender is widely considered the only known of the Masked Lords.
- The Leone House: The miniature castle originally established by Leone of the Company of Crazed Venturers, with a magical fence that unleashes lightning on trespassers. The Leone House has been passed from adventuring company to adventuring company over the decades since Leone's death, with ownership reverting to an unknown keeper who sees that it remains in the hands of adventurers only.
- Rusella Varandal (Herald): Rusella's home and main offices as Falconfree are in the tallhouse along Waterdeep Way, just north of Castle Waterdeep in the Court of Gems neighborhood. The three-story tallhouse is an elegant building with several meeting salons on the ground floor, offices and archives on the second, and Rusella's modest living spaces on the third.
- Blackstaff Tower: The imposing dark stone tower with no apparent entrances or windows that is the home of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun, archmage of Waterdeep and suspected Lord, and his apprentices.
- Syndra's Tower: Former sanctum of Syndra Wands, the tower has been a property of House Wands for generations. It is currently the residence of a member of the Wands clan with a great degree of magical power, who prefers to remain away from the family's villa.
- Fair Winds: Rental Villa
- Oldwolf House: Rental House
- Sablehearth: Rental Townhouse
- Aurora's Waterdeep Way Shop: Shop (Curios & Exotica). xxx
- Aurora's Whole Realms Coster Offices: Coster Headquarters. A large building featuring a street-facing showroom with offices above it, and ample storage in the back part of the building on both floors as well as a practically cavernous cellars, these offices are the heart of the empire that is Aurora's Emporium. The back ground floor also features a printing facility for the broadsheets the Emporium prints. Many folk in the Castle Ward enjoy spending an hour or so browing through the most fascinating wonders on display in the showroom. The offices are located in the Manyspells neighborhood of the Castle Ward, near the Tower of the Watchful Order, which is no accident: Aurora's Emporium frequently has need of mages to do certain work for them, and they pay well for it. The offices are also the location of Aurora's Academy, a Watchful Order-run school for wizardry.
- Crommor's Warehouse: Warehouse. A warehouse owned by House Crommor, with crates of brazengoods.
- The Curious Past: Shop (Historical Curios & Books) • (3c). A long-standing shop focused on historical relics and books of history.
- Danimar Fine Wines: Shop (Wine) • (3c - 4c). The Danimar family was once the oldest holders of licenses by House Melshimber to sell its wines in the city of Waterdeep. With the plunge of Melshimber fortunes in the Wailing Years, however, several of the other vintner houses attempted to poach the Danimar family's loyalty. The canny merchants maneuvered well, and end up holding licenses to sell the vintages of several of the Houses. Today, they are an incredible wine-shop, with a small tasting counter and bottle room for Amcathra, Rosznar, and Sandhor wines. With the Melshimber re-entry into the wine trade of late, the Danimars have offered the House excellent terms for selling their goods once more, but the Melshimbers have snubbed them.
- Eilean's Maztican Delights: Shop (Maztican Food) • (3c). The resurgence of a family business that folded during the Wailing Years, the family of the original Eilean Makaro still owned the property. With trade to and from Maztica opening back up in the past generation, they have re-established their premiere foodshop filled with chocolate, preserved tomatoes and peppers, and all manner of delights from Maztica.
- Foolscap & Quills: Shop (Stationer) • (3c). Owned by Master Ilvaro Dunaer of the Stationers' Guild, Foolscap and Quills is an excellent resource for all manner of fine paper and parchments, quills, and inks. Master Dunaer's specialty is bound books, and he carries an excellent selection of tomes already bound with empty pages.
- Halambar Lute & Harps: Shop (Stringed Musical Instruments) • (4c) The premiere place to find any stringed instrument of the Realms (expect to pay dearly for quality). It is also host to a magical harp that sings by itself and is rumored to have connections to the Harpers in some capacity.
- Halls of Hilmer: Shop (Armor) • (4c). The work of Master Hilmer was, in his day, unmatched. Today, the craft-descendants (that is, those who apprenticed to him in his craft, rather than blood relations) continue to run the shop, notable for its front of polished plate armor. Several masters use the space, all of them inheritors to the unique smithing craft of old Master Hilmer, and continuing to pass it down today. All armor sold here is premade, but crafted in such a way to allow for a single day's customization, even with the heaviest of armors.
- Hilmer Warehouse: Warehouse (Halls of Hilmer). The warehouse for the Halls of HIlmer, where the raw materials for the work in the smithy is delivered and stored until needed. It is said that a trio of magical, animated swords act as guards for the establishment, which is a rich target for burglars thanks to the profusion of rare metals and precious alloys kept here.
- Melshimber Offices: Sage Consultation • (4c). xxx
- Mother Tamra's House of Graces: School (Grace, Etiquette, Comportment) • (5c) A "finishing school" that caters to young ladies of ambitious families, being taught how to wash and groom themselves, how to develop a fashion sense and how to keep a wardrobe looking fresh (including washing and sewing for repairs), etiquette and carriage (how to walk, sit, hold one's hands, etc), how to write polite messages, how to politely and with dignity encourage or discourage social entreaties, dancing and the right things to say in difficult situations.
- The Market: The largest open area of the city that plays host to hundreds of stalls and camped vendors able to sell nearly anything in the Realms, and many thieves to relieve one of same.
- Nureene's Marvelous Masks: Shop (Masks) • (3c). A mask shop still owned by Nureene's great-grandson, where masks of all sorts can be both purchased off of shelves, and specially commissioned.
- Old Temple Lot Warehouse: Warehouse • (1c). xxx
- Rebeleigh's Elegant Headware: Shop (Hats) • (2c) A habidasher that has seen better days, most of what is in here is second-hand goods, and the original pieces are somewhat shabby, sad to say.
- Velstrode the Venturer's: Shop (Adventuring Goods) • (3c) Though a bit spendier than most caravans and mercenary companies are usually willing to entertain, Velstrode's is a good place to get high quality goods for adventuring companies and individual sellswords looking to make an impression.
- The Jade Jug: Inn (5c•5a). Waterdeep's plushest inn with luxury in every detail, and well worth the expensive price.
- The Pampered Traveler: Inn (4c•4a)
- The Yawning Portal: Inn (3c•4p•3a) A well-known inn and tavern whose main feature is a massive well on the ground floor of the tavern, some 40 feet across, that descends 140 feet into the first level of Undermountain. There is a rope hoist that can be used to lower or raise those foolhardy enough to venture into Undermountain, at a cost of 1 gp per person.
- The Crow's Nest: Tavern (3c•2p) A modest but comfortable tavern; a favorite among the clerks, bureaucrats, and visitors of nearby Castle Waterdeep.
- The Dragon's Head: Tavern (3c•3p) A comfortable, unimpressive local ale-house that is a favorite of the average Waterdhavian locals, well-loved for its cheap ale and heavily spiced coast chowder.
- The Elfstone: Tavern (4c•4p). An old earthy tavern, with live trees in the walls and the bar, that caters to elves and half-elves, and is a rare source of such delicacies as elverquisst, guldathen nectar and maerlathen blue wine.
- The Flagon Dragon: Tavern (2c•3p) A modest neighborhood pub renowned for its zzar (Waterdhavian mulled wine) and talyths (a palm-sized cracker with a thin slice of sausage on top, and a mixture of cheese, herbs, mashed root vegetables and other ingredients whose recipe is a house secret)
- Gralkyn's Tankard: Tavern (3c•2p). A true oddity, the Tankard is a tavern built in the very lap of the Great Drunkard, one of the Walking Statues.
- The Mighty Manticore: Tavern (2c•3p). An older friendly tavern with ample ale and light evening fare at affordable prices that attracts a loyal clientele of merchants at the close of day.
- The Quaffing Quaggoth: Tavern (3c•4p). A dwarf-owned tavern and a growing favorite among the city's sailors, merchants and young nobles. The tavern is well-known for the house specialty: a thick-brewed stout mixed with an unknown liquor that is called the Quaggoth for its rumored ability to cure every hair on a quaggoth and then some.
- Sailor's Own: Tavern (3c•2p) A crowded, dark, and dirty sailor's dive bar.
- The Singing Sword: Tavern (4c•4p)
- The Sleepy Sylph: Tavern (4c•3p) A popular tavern for visitors to Waterdeep, featuring driftglobe lights and scantily clad waitstaff dressed as fairies.
- Blushing Nymph: Festhall (3c•3p) An upscale brothel known for its exotic pleasures.
- The Crawling Spider: Tavern, Nightclub (4c•3p) A tavern for subterraneans that pine for their homes (as well as regulars who like the thrilling atmosphere), decorated as if underground with serving folk dressed as drow elves. Well known for its subterranean dancing floor, and the many small "caverns" that lead off of it whose dark recesses are best left alone by the curious.
- Genmura's Stage: Festhall (2c•1p) A bawdy burlesque palace with two floors of small, cheap, stinking rooms above its taphall, Genmura's sees plenty of seedy sorts, criminals, dock hands, and sailors just come a'shore.
- Lightsinger Theater: Theater (3c) A festhall that specializes in small plays and the hosting of traveling troupes (burlesque and otherwise).
- Mother Salinka's House of Pleasure: Festhall (3c) A shabby, low-coin festhall.
- Mother Tathlorn's House of Pleasure & Healing: Spa (4c) A surprisingly upscale spa that features relaxation luxuries for all discerning tastes, Mother Tathlorn (the name has evolved over the years into a title for the proprietress) is widely considered a bureaucrat's best friend, providing a discreet, comfortable, and relaxing environment for the political figures of the city large and small to enjoy themselves, unwind, and chat with one another in private.
- Silavene's: Casino (4c) A casino with on-staff soft trader escorts to help woo Lady Luck or celebrate her smile. Regular guards watch the interior and front door, but the odd-ly armor plated back doors are known to become helmed horrors when folk attempt to pick or breach them!
- The Smiling Siren: Festhall (4c•3p). A festhall beloved for the statue of the siren over the door, whose skirts occasionally billow in the seabreeze, and the lushly decorated fantasyland on the ground floor within, half sylvan paradise, and half beach-side wonderland. The dwarf-matron Sanchel runs the establishment with artistry and practicality.
- The Font of Knowledge: Temple to Oghma. Founded in 1368 DR, with expansive patronage by House Estelmer, the Font of Knowledge houses the largest library in Waterdeep, and most of the North (save Silverymoon), an archive which is open to the public (with the gentle guidance of the temple's clergy-sages). The church has strong ties to Houses Estelmer and Majarra, as well as to the Scriveners, Scribes, & Clerks Guild.
- The Halls of Justice: Temple to Tyr. A busy place popular with many magistrates, Watch, Guard, and city bureaucrats, the Halls of Justice are a towering edifice divided among several groups: the temple tradition of the Halls, the Holy Order of the Knights of Samular, and the Order of the Even-Handed. While they are divided on specific tenets and traditions, they are a unified front in the accomplishment of Tyr's principles.
- The House of Two Hands: Monastery to Tyr. A monastery whose fighter-monks seek to uphold goodness and order in the world, leading half of them to be away from the monastery at any given time, doing good works.
- The Pantheon Temple of the Seldarine: Temple to the Seldarine (Elven Gods). When elven clergy of the Seldarine approached the Masked Lords to ask for permission to establish a Pantheon temple to their gods, it was considered a coup for relations between Waterdeep and the elven peoples. Waterdeep has always had an extensive elven population, and is indeed the site where the Grey Ships of Evermeet come at Midsummer to carry away those elves who tire of Faerûn and seek to return to elven lands. When that permission was quickly given, the elves asked for an allotment of property right in the middle of a busy and crowded Castle Ward neighborhood, shocking the Lords. Even when pressed, the elves would not explain their choice; so without further ado, the grant was given. The Pantheon Temple is a tall, dour structure of gleaming white stone flecked with silver, but has within it a garden and long walking galleries between the shrines to the elven deities.
- The Spires of Morning: Temple to Lathander. A walled garden compound with eight beautiful gilded towers that reflect Lathander's dawn.
- Unicorn Hall: Temple to Lurue. A courtyard behind an outer wall, with a variety of outbuildings around the green swathe.
- Ahghairon's Tower: The slim stone tower of the original First Lord of the city that is surrounded by invisible magical barriers that suspend the skeletal remains of a wizard that tried to get into the tower.
- Bell Tower: A simple bell tower used to signal fires, attacks and calls for assembly at the Palace. (15 Guard at all times)
- Castle Waterdeep: Castle for the Masked Lords of Waterdeep and the Magistrates' Courts.
- Guard Barracks: City Guard Barracks
- Guard Smithy: Smithy for City Guard
- Palace Storage: Warehouses for Piergeiron's Palace
- Palace Stables: Stables for Piergeiron's Palace
- Palace Paddocks: Paddocks for Piergeiron's Palace
- The Open Lord's Palace: The center of Waterdeep's government with various courts, embassies and city offices therein, as well as the living chambers of the Open Lord Laeral.
- Peaktop Aerie: Headquarters for griffon mounts of City Guard
- Watching Towers: Sentry Towers
- The God Catcher: Walking Statue. A statue with a floating globe above its upstretched hand, caught in the middle of moving toward the Market. It has been hollowed out and apartments carved from its torso and arms, with the owner, a reclusive aarakocra wizardess living in the orb. One leg has sunk into the earth, and provides access to the sewers. There is construction over its knee and leg, and climbing up its torso.
- The Great Drunkard: Walking Statue. A statue of an inebriated human male, passed out, with an axe beside him. A tavern, Galkyn's Tankard, has been built in its very lap.
- The Sahuagin Humbled: Walking Statue. A statue of a crouched, fearful-looking sahuagin.
- The Griffin: A griffin reclining near the old griffin aerie. It reclines on the ground, paws forward, head raised regally.
- The Hawkman: Depiction of an aarakocra, crouching, wings spread, as though preparing to leap skyward.
- The House of Gems: Jewellers Guild
- The Map House: Surveyors', Map and Chart-Makers Guild
- Fellowship Hall: Fellowship of Innkeepers. The headquarters of the Fellowship of Innkeepers that operates as a member-only inn one night a tenday.
- The Master Baker's Hall: Bakers' Guild
- Tower of the Order: Watchful Order of Magists & Protectors. A three-story stone tower surrounded by a fence of sparkling green lights that coalesce into Azuth's and Mystra's symbols, with the hand of Azuth over the tower door rumored to watch the tower and fire magic at any intruders.
- Guildhall of the Order: Solemn Order of Recognized Furriers & Woolmen
- Pewterers Guildhall: Pewterers & Casters Guild
- House of Fine Carvers: Fine Carvers Guild. The slate-roofed wooden base of the Fine Carvers Guild, easily found on the High Road with its frieze of carved animals and people, including Ahghairon and other First Lords.
- The Market Hall: Farmers and Grocers Guild
Alleys & Courts
- Buckle Alley, once the heart of the Shadow Thieves Guild territory, city guardsmen were once warned to buckle on their blades before entering it. Today, it is largely pacified and safe to traverse, although those with grudges against the Watch sometimes use it to display inflammatory graffiti and even uniformed effigies tormented in various creative ways.
- Cat Alley, a.k.a. Cats Alley, this narrow twisting, turning passage was frequented years ago by a masked, rapier-wielding man of wealth who scared young women and cut away their garments but was never arrested. This is more a bit of local legend than anything else these days, although illegal duels sometimes take place here, with both duelists showing up in masks to avoid being identified.
- Elsambuls Lane, named for a long-dead priest of Mask and now one of the few areas with graffiti on its walls (they say Elsambul himself still leaves enigmatic messages and clues to hidden treasures on the walls!), it attracts many folk beyond simple curiosity seekers. Elsambul's Lane has become a favorite spot for hard-coin lasses and jacks to ply their trade, each of them wearing a black kerchief said to invoke Elsambul's favor and protection as they work the dark byway.
- Jesters Court, a courtyard that has also been a performance stage for jugglers and comics as well as a meeting place for eloping lovers.
- Sevenlamps Cut, named for seven fancy magical lamps placed here long ago by Ahghairon himself, this safe alley has long been the place to hire spellcasters (apprentice wizards and poor underpriests) for quick healing, curse removals, or some magical firepower for your latest excursion into Undermountain. "A Sevenlamps priest/mage" has become Waterdhavian slang for any spellcaster whose loyalty can be bought for so long as the coin lasts.
- Turnback Court, a lamplit, shallow alley at the end of Selduth Street that is used as a rallying point for Watch and Guard patrols both day and night.