1354 DR History of Waterdeep

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The Gem of the North
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The Melairbode & the Deepwater Plateau

-1288 DR

  • A shield dwarf named Melair discovers a vein of precious mithral beneath Mount Waterdeep. King Melair I, as he comes to be known, sends word to his kindred, and those who answer his call become Clan Melairkyn. The Melairkyn are traders, artisans, and explorers, strongly protective of their home, which they name the Underhalls of Melairbode.

-1088 DR

  • Annual trade begins between southern merchants and barbaric local tribes on the future site of Waterdeep.

Year of Fervent Glances (-677 DR)

  • Drow from the city of Karsoluthiyl (located beneath the Trackless Sea, west of the mouth of the River Chionthar) begin their first incursions against the Stout Folk of Melairbode.

Year of Purloined Power (34 DR)

  • Drow overwhelm the Melairkyn dwarves of Undermountain, and King Melair IV is slain. The dwarves retreat to lower, less important levels of the Underhalls.

Year of the Thundering Horde (52 DR)

  • Permanent farms established in the area of Waterdeep by locally settling human tribes.

Year of Scattered Stars (168 DR)

  • A wizard of unknown ancestry calling himself Halaster Blackcloak builds a tower and fortified ramparts in the middle of the Deepwater Plateau, to the north and west of the burgeoning farms along the harbor shore in Waterdeep. He begins exploration of the Underhalls of the Melairkyn and claims the delvings for himself.

Year of Spoiled Splendors (211 DR)

  • Clan Melairkyn, forced to retreat to successively lower and less important levels of the Underhalls by the drow, finally vanishes. The drow name their new holdings Kyorlamshin and claim most of fallen Melairbode as their demesne.

Year of the Sundered Sails (307 DR)

  • The apprentices to Halaster, known as the Seven, leave Halaster’s Hold hoping to establish their own holdings in the subterranean depths. The tower and surface holding fall into decay and ruin, and the tribes of Blackcloak Hold, as the settlement had come to be known, quickly learn to avoid the “cursed” enclosure.

Year of the Half Moon (390 DR)

  • Followers of Selûne begin worshiping the Moonmaiden on the slopes of Mount Waterdeep.

Year of the Blighted Vine (482 DR)

  • A Tethyrian warlord named Ulbaerag Bloodhand conquers the ever-feuding tribes of Blackcloak Hold. Within a generation, Ulbaerag unites the tribes as one. The settlement becomes known as Bloodhand Hold.

Year of the Ecstatic Priest (493 DR)

  • The drow, forced into the lowest levels of the Underhalls, finally abandon the former dwarf home of Melairbode entirely.

Year of the Gleaming Gates (644 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Sunstaff

Nimoar's Hold

Year of the Curse (882 DR)

  • A great human warrior known as Nimoar the Reaver gathers an armed host and leads them in search of a new home. They come upon Bloodhand Hold and decide to seize it for their own, quickly vanquishing the Bloodhand tribe. The settlement is named Nimoar’s Hold.

Year of Fell Pearls (887 DR)

  • Southern pirates attack Nimoar’s Hold in force, but the Reaver’s followers beat them back three times in a row.

Year of the Shining Shield (889 DR)

  • The Tethyrian Bull Elk tribe attacks Nimoar’s Hold and sets it afire. The Reaver’s followers drive off the barbarian raiders and rebuild the hold before the first winter snow.

Year of Great Riches (DR 920)

  • Ahghairon is born on Midsummer's Night, and many legends report Mystra's symbol glowing brightly among the stars of the North.

Year of Fireslaughter (DR 932)

  • First Trollwar: Gangs of trolls begin attacking Nimoar’s Hold with increasing regularity. In response, the aging Nimoar leads his forces northward against the Everlasting Ones in what becomes known as the First Trollwar, burning uncounted square miles of land bare in the process.

The Founding of Waterdeep

Year of the Sky Raiders (936 DR)

  • Town of Waterdeep: In the aftermath of the Orcfastings War, Nimoar dies of old age, and the mantle of “War Lord” passes to Gharl, his most accomplished general. Nimoar’s Hold grows and prospers, and the fledgling community becomes known among ship captains as the town of Waterdeep.

Year of the Cold Claws (940 DR)

  • Second Trollwar: Beginning with Amphail the Just, who reigned for a year, six warriors claim the mantle of War Lord of Waterdeep during the next twelve years, only to fall in never-ending battle as the defenders of Waterdeep battle gangs of trolls throughout the Dessarin River valley.

Year of the Circling Vulture (942 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Talmost

Year of the Forbidden Tome (948 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Roaringhorn

Year of the Rings Royal (952 DR)

  • End of the Second Trollwar: This year marks the end of the Second Trollwar as the Everlasting Ones are pushed back from the walls of Waterdeep. The human realms and holdings of the North unite under the leadership of Aeroth, War Captain and champion of Silverymoon; Ahghairon of Waterdeep; and Samular Caradoon of Tyr and clear the Evermoors of trolls. The wizard Renwick Caradoon, brother of Samular, dies in the final battles and is transformed into an archlich. Ahghairon is recognized as the premier mage of the Savage North, becoming the official advisor to the War Lord of Waterdeep.
  • Houses Ennobled: Belabranta

Year of the Deadly Duo (963 DR)

  • Construction of Castle Waterdeep begins around the site of Nimoar's Hold on the eastern spur of Mount Waterdeep, just north of the city walls.

Year of the Emptied Lair (973 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: House Sunstaff becomes House Wands

Year of the Haunting Harpy (974 DR)

  • Castle Waterdeep is completed at High Harvesttide. Laroun, Waterdeep’s first female War Lord, takes up residence therein. The city walls expand (now abutting the wall around Halaster's Hold for defense) and the worn log palisades are replaced with new, high stone walls.

Year of Bright Nights (985 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Moonstar

Year of Much Iron (998 DR)

  • War Lord Laroun establishes a naval guard to protect the city and its trading partners. Construction begins on fortifying the harbor and Deepwatch Isle. A temple and monastery to Lathander breaks ground far to the north of the city (at the present-day site of the Spires of Morning).

Year of the Bold Barbarian (1007 DR)

  • Waterdeep’s city walls expand, absorbing the ruins of Halaster’s Hold (the walls running along the lines of what are now the northern borders of Dock and Southern Wards). Ahghairon builds his tower out beyond the city’s walls and places magical barriers around the ruins of Halaster’s tower, preventing many dangers from escaping into the city.

Year of Three Signs (1010 DR)

  • Laborers finish the extensive harbor fortifications at Midsummer, and the Free City of Waterdeep is officially established, with Laroun as its "Warlord" (ruler).

Year of Lathander's Light (1024 DR)

  • Uruth Ukrypt unleashes the Broken Bone orc horde, which emerges from the Sword Mountains bent on destroying Waterdeep. The attacks of the dragon Lhammaruntosz, also known as the Claws of the Coast, substantially weaken the horde, allowing the armies of Waterdeep to prevail.

Year of Crimson Magics (1026 DR)

  • Laroun, Warlord of Waterdeep, dies when orcs besiege the city. Ahghairon creates the magical axe Azureedge. After the siege is broken, her successor Raurlor destroys the Black Claw orc horde at Stump Bog, shattering the strength of Uruth Ukrypt and sending it into its final decline.

Year of Warlords (1030 DR)

  • Raurlor begins to increase Waterdeep’s standing army and navy to a size not seen since the fall of Phalorm. Over the next two years, he turns the city into a garrison and military encampment, "to protect Waterdeep from her many, jealous enemies." He brooks no dissent from the populace.

The Era of Ahghairon

Year of the Nightmaidens (1032 DR)

  • Raurlor proclaims the Empire of the North, but Ahghairon defies him, transforming his Warlord’s Blade into a viper that poisons its wielder. Raurlor dies at the mage’s feet, and Ahghairon becomes the first Lord of Waterdeep. Ahghairon determines that henceforth wisdom and not armed might will rule in the city, and the Lords of Waterdeep are formed.
  • Ahghairon restructures Raurlor's armies into the Guard (a military to defend the city from external threats) and the Watch (to keep its peace internally), bringing order and an end to military domination to Waterdeep.

Year of Falling Stars (1035 DR)

  • The city grows under Ahghairon’s and the Lords’ rule, the walls expanding again (to the current areas of Waterdeep Way and River Street) to handle the increased population. The System of Wards comes into being, initially creating Castle Ward, Trades Ward, Temple (later Southern) Ward, and Dock Ward.

Year of the Immortals (1037 DR)

  • Otherplanar creatures spill out of Undermountain into the city but are turned back by Ahghairon and Kherris, a masked Lord wielding Azuredge. Ahghairon refortifies the magical and physical defenses around the ruins.

Year of the Stranger (1064 DR)

  • The city walls of Waterdeep swell (running along the current locations of Selduth Street and the Coffinmarch) to handle increasing numbers of people. A low wall abutting the city walls surrounds the eastern cemetery of the city.
  • Waterdeep's population surpasses 50,000 this year.

Year of Lion's Roars (1071 DR)

  • Noted adventurer Ranressa Shiard returns to the slopes of Mount Waterdeep on dragonback, astride a copper wyrm named Galadaeros, prompting Ahghairon to create wards deterring dragons from raiding the city.

Year of the Defiant Salute (1076 DR)

  • Waterdeep is attacked by the Tethyrian Black Boar tribe of the Dessarin, led by Nalethra of the Winged Spear. After being repelled from the city’s walls, the princess and her bodyguard slay thrice their number of Waterdhavian fighters before they fall.

Year of the Gleaming Crown (1097 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Gauntyl

Year of the Maelstrom (1101 DR)

  • The Spires of the Morning, the abbey and temple to Lathander, becomes part of Waterdeep as the walls expand to accommodate more settlers. (The perimeter approximates the current paths of Trader's Way and Andamaar's Street.) The plateau north of the city is all irrigated farmland.

Year of the Consuming Glory (1103 DR

  • Houses Ennobled: Zun

Year of the Dark Dawn (1104 DR)

  • Noted explorer Lord Vanrak Moonstar returns to Waterdeep from a disastrous expedition to the Black Jungles in Chult.

Year of the Perilous Storm (1112 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Ulbrinter

Year of the Empty Scabbard (1116 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Agundar

Year of Shining Waves (1138)

  • Houses Ennobled: Sultlue

Year of the Sword's Oath (1142 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Amcathra

Year of the Persuasive Trees (1149 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Tchazzam

Year of the Scourge (1150 DR)

  • Waterdeep is hit hard by the plague throughout the Sword Coast, the situation made worse by attacks by trolls and orc tribes.
  • Khelben “Blackstaff” Arunsun the Elder arrives in Waterdeep and builds Arunsun (later Blackstaff) Tower.

Year of the Molten Man (1151 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Ruldegost

Year of Blood Tusk Charge (1158 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Bladesemmer

Year of the Parchment Heretical (1167 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Eltorchul

Year of the Moonlight Tapestry (1170 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Hunabar

Year of the Secret Rider (1178 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Piiradost

Year of the Stalking Satyr (1179 DR)

  • As a precursor to the Harpstar Wars, malaugrym attack Arunsun Tower but are defeated and banished by Khelben, Elminster, and an assortment of Waterdeep mages, including Hamiklar Wands, the father of Maskar.

Year of the Tomb (1182 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Nandar

Year of the Arcane Guise (1187 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Thunderstaff

Year of the Poisoned Quill (1190 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Melshimber

Year of the Sundered Shields (1197 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Gost (splits from Ruldegost)

Year of Seven Trinkets (1205 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Emveolstone

Year of Starlight (1215 DR)

  • The House of Wonder, a temple dedicated to Mystra, is established in Waterdeep.

Year of the Toppled Tree (1220 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Brossfeather

Year of the Horn (1222 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Crommor

Year of the Long Watch (1230 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Dezlentyr

Year of Many Monsters (1233 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Artemel

Year of the Black Horde (1235 DR)

  • The Black Horde: Waterdeep is besieged for nine months by the largest orc horde in recorded history. The city is spared when Ahghairon and his generals introduce griffons as flying steeds for the army, allowing them past the orcs to gain food and aid outside the walls.
  • Houses Ennobled: Tesper

Year of Burning Steel (1246 DR)

  • Kerrigan the wizard, a hidden Lord of Waterdeep, attempts to usurp Ahghairon’s position and set himself up as sole ruler of Waterdeep by killing the other Lords and Ahghairon. After the deaths of three Lords, Ahghairon slays Kerrigan in Southern Ward (at the site of the future Adventurers’ Quarter).

Year of the Cockatrice (1248 DR)

  • Known as the Year of Bounty in Waterdeep, a record harvest and mercantile explosion causes a dramatic increase in population. Due to the expanded trade, the merchants form guilds, and a recognized merchant gentry emerges in the city.
  • Houses Ennobled: Ammakyl, Anteos, Brokengulf, Cassalanter, Cragsmere, Durinbold, Eagleshield, Hiilgauntlet, Hothemer, Husteem, Ilitul, Ilvastarr, Ilzimmer, Irlingstar, Jardeth, Jhansczil, Kothont, Lathkule, Marrek, Majarra, Margaster, Massalan, Raventree, Thann, Thongolir

Year of the Bold Knight (1249 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Tarm

Year of the Riven Skull (1250 DR)

  • Noble villas begin dotting the plateau north of Waterdeep.
  • Ahghairon and other mages of Waterdeep alter the ancient cemetery of the city, eliminating individual graves and creating the tombs of the City of the Dead.

Year of the Wandering Winds (1251 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Gundwynd, Stormweather, Wavesilver

Year of the Empty Goblet (1252 DR)

  • After two years of growing skirmishes with undead, the Lords of Waterdeep establish walls around the City of the Dead, and her still-current curfews.
  • Houses Ennobled: Rosznar

Year of Silent Steel (1254 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Urmbrusk

Year of the Raging Flame (1255 DR)

  • Growth in trade and population forces the walls of Waterdeep to move northward again (to the current paths of Sulmoor and Julthoon Streets).
  • Marune the Masked helps found the Shadow Thieves, a minor thieves' guild.

The Usurpation of the Guilds

Year of the Dusty Throne (1256 DR)

  • Ahghairon dies, and the Guildmasters begin seizing power in Waterdeep. The Council of Guildmasters grows to govern the city.
  • Khelben the Elder disappears from the city, though his tower remains occupied by his apprentices.

Year of the Wilted Flowers (1258 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Kormallis

Year of the Vigilant Fist (1259 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Silmerhelve

Year of the Broken Blade (1260 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Gralhund

Year of the Black Wind (1262 DR)

  • Second Guild War: Also known as the Misrule of Lords-Magister in city histories. Six years of self-interested squabbling among Waterdeep’s Guildmasters erupt into bloodshed. All but two of the city’s Guildmasters die in the next few months. The two surviving Guildmasters agree to rule together as Lords Magister, although their continued bickering prevents any effective governance of the city.
  • The Shadow Thieves, previously a minor band of thieves openly tolerated as a recognized guild, grow in strength and influence throughout Waterdeep and establish their base of operations (the Citadel of the Bloody Hand, inside Mount Waterdeep).

Year of Flowers (1265 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Manthar

Year of the Groaning Cart (1267 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Thorp

The Rule of the Masked Lords

Year of the Wagon (1273 DR)

  • The Lords’ Rule revives with Baeron and Shilarn Silmaeril, two long hidden Lords of Waterdeep, who slay the Lords Magister. Baeron becomes Open Lord of Waterdeep. The houses of Zoar and Gildeggh are outcast.
  • The black-robed Magisters are appointed to keep justice and, by the month of Uktar, the Shadow Thieves' ventures are deterred and they, as a group, are outlawed.
  • Waterdeep's population reaches 100,000 by year's end.
  • Houses Ennobled: Assumbar, Snome

Year of the Crumbling Keep (1276 DR)

  • Shilarn, a Lord and Baeron’s wife, gives birth to a daughter, Lhestyn.
  • The Lords allow Waterdeep'’s perimeter to expand out to the borders they hold to the current day. North and Sea Wards are added and ward boundaries are adjusted and established as they remain today.
  • The Lords increase their numbers beyond Ahghairon’s self-imposed limits, and establish sixteen Lords of Waterdeep.
  • Houses Ennobled: Hawkwinter

Year of the Many Mists (1282 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Eirontalar

Year of the Smoky Moon (1287 DR)

  • Construction begins on the white marble Palace of Waterdeep, commonly known today as Piergeiron’s Palace.

Year of the Hooded Falcon (1291 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Nesher

Year of the Wandering Waves (1292 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Helmfast

Year of the Talking Skull (1293 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Estelmer

Year of the Ormserpent (1295 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Phylund

Year of the Pointed Bone (1298 DR)

  • Lhestyn, the “Masked Lady,” infiltrates the outlawed Shadow Thieves in Waterdeep and exposes their continuing activities. This act precipitates a bloody tenday of fighting between the guild and the City Watch that culminates in the death or flight of the guild’s members.

Year of the Starfall (1300 DR)

  • Lhestyn weds Zelphar Arunsun, a powerful mage from Neverwinter and the youngest son of Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun the Elder.

Tear of the Trumpet (1301 DR)

  • A mercenary army sponsored by merchant interests in Waterdeep and Neverwinter rides against orc-ridden Illusk.

Year of the Broken Helm (1302 DR)

  • Khelben “Ravenscloak” Arunsun the Younger is born to Lhestyn and Zelphar Arunsun in Waterdeep.
  • In Waterdeep, the practice of exiling criminals to the depths of Undermountain begins.
  • Two noted adventurers from Waterdeep, Durnan and Mirt the Merciless, emerge from Undermountain bearing great wealth.

Year of Thunder (1306 DR)

  • Durnan establishes the Yawning Portal over the ruins of Halaster's Hold, controlling the access to the dungeons beneath the city.

Year of the Catacombs (1308 DR)

  • Lord Baeron dies of fever, and his wife Shilarn immolates herself on his funeral pyre. Their daughter Lhestyn, a Hidden Lord herself, becomes Open Lord of Waterdeep.
  • Construction on the Palace of Waterdeep is completed by early winter.

Year of the Sunset Winds (1309 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Lanngolyn

Year of Storms (1310 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Phull, Zulpair

Year of the Fist (1311 DR)

  • Zelphar Arunsun is crushed to death by a sorcerous hand of force. The perpetrator remains unknown to the Lords to this day.
  • Lhestyn names Piergeiron, a paladin and officer of the city guard, a Lord and her eventual successor as Open Lord of the city.

Year of the Shadowtop (1314 DR)

  • Lhestyn passes away, and Piergeiron Paladinson becomes Open Lord of Waterdeep.

Year of Spilled Blood (1315 DR)

  • Armies from Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate clear out Dragonspear Castle and establish an armed temple of Tempus, the Hold of Battle Lions.

Year of Wandering Wyrm (1317 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: Adarbrent

Recent History

Year of Lurking Death (1322 DR)

  • Khelben the Younger makes his first public appearance since his father's death; he is 19. Inheriting his grandfather's tower, he also takes the name "Blackstaff" for himself, appearing with that noted magical staff in-hand when he does so. He renames Arunsun Tower to Blackstaff Tower.

Year of the Great Harvests (1325 DR)

  • The Lords’ Alliance is established in Waterdeep, with membership coming from most of the cities and settlements of the Sword Coast North. It is founded to oppose the mercantile aggression of Amn and to benefit from increasing trade flowing from the North into the Heartlands.

Year of the Sword and Stars (1332 DR)

  • Houses Ennobled: House Marrek becomes House Maerklos

Year of the Saddle (1345 DR)

  • Religious strife breaks out in Waterdeep between the church of Shar and the churches of Lathander, Selûne, and Tempus.
  • The wife and children of Ultas Maernos, Patriarch of House Maernos, die due to plague while visiting Amn. He becomes a recluse.

Year of the Bridle (1349 DR)

  • Naneatha Suaril, High Priestess of Selune, works to bring Ultas Maernos out of his seclusion. He becomes a devout and generous patron to the city's many temples.

Year of the Crown (1351 DR)

  • In early winter, the Knights of the Sword Coast are founded and set out toward adventure.