Trades Ward of Waterdeep
With no distinct look to separate it from surrounding wards, Trades Ward is somewhat lost in terms of neighborhood identity. On the other hand, though it lacks in neighborhood "feel," its sense of community in commerce occupies nearly every building and person within the entire ward. Many of Waterdeep's middle class and merchant class live and work here.
The busiest of wards due to all the constant commercial work within its boundaries, Trades Ward is active day and night, requiring excessive streetlights (many merchants say that Trades Ward at night is beautiful, "when her streets are filled with the stars of Waukeen"). The Guild of Chandlers and Lamplighters keeps a triple shift here at all times of the night, its streets filled with the bobbing lanterns of young lamplighters; the only more frequent sights in Trades Ward at night are the large and frequent watch patrols. While cursing, shoving, and minor street tussles are typical behavior within this business district, the worst criminal offenses are theft, vandalism, and destruction of private property - the watch patrols are more often needed to protect thieves from angry merchants than to stop robberies!
The ward boundaries are defined by the city walls and the City of the Dead on the east, and Andamaar's Street to the High Road on the north. The High Road and Snail Street border it on the west until Shesstra's Street cuts east to the Way of the Dragon where it links with the northern boundary of Southern Ward. Due to its central nature and rambling boundaries, it is hard to traverse the city without passing through this ward at some point.
Trades Ward's architecture is not any different from those wards it abuts. Therefore, depending on one's place in the ward, one can expect old stone and timber row houses and tenements, stone-walled villas converted to restaurants and vaults, or the high wattle-and-daub buildings that run three- and four-stories high above the High Road. The streets are always congested with carters, messengers, and customers. The cobblestone and corduroy streets are well worn from the heavy foot traffic, but the streets can only be swept at night when traffic is reduced to manageable flows. Still, debris and refuse are not a problem; often what one person casts away is claimed by another to sell (within reason, as certain things such as ale, ink, or spoiled food cannot be reclaimed).
Watch of Trades Ward
Wardsman: Justaline Szeltune (Castle Waterdeep • 5th Floor)
- Spindle St. Watchpost: Rorden: Tiblyr Kethevvin • x patrols
- Virgin's Square Watchpost: Rorden: Kassathra Ghaultron • x patrols
- White Bull Watchpost: Rorden: Huthlal Seawind • x patrols
- Mhairs Tower: Formerly the home of Mhair Szeltune, one of the finest Lady Guildmasters of the Watchful Order, the tower is now the residence of a descendant of hers, Trades Ward Watch Wardsman Justaline Szeltune.
- Huulfor Manor: Rental Villa
- Blackstone House: Rental Home
- Quill Hall: Rooming House. Rooming House that rents exclusively to sages and writers, owned by House Melshimber. The top floor is dedicated solely to those under active patronage from the House.
- Alderblade's Fine Carvings: Carpenter & Woodcarver (3c). xxx
- Aurora's Tusk Street Shop: xxx
- Bristlehands Brightgems: Lapidary & Jeweler (3c). xxx
- The Busy Hammer: Blacksmith (2c). xxx
- Carvers Tombwrights: Tombs and Headstones (2c). A family of craftsmen with generations of experience in the creation and upkeep of the tombs and mausoleums of the City of the Dead. A small courtyard dominated by a tall towered house, with several workshops around the rest of the place. Known for the oddness of the Carver family and the sheer number of black and white cats around the courtyard and buildings.
- Diamond Dreams: Fashion Design House (5c). (House Talmost)
- The Dragon's Breath: Alchemist (4c). xxx
- Mofandar's Fine Imports: Store (General Goods) (4c). An overpriced shop filled with rare imports from across (and under, some say) the Realms, with a major side business in authentic costuming for nobles' parties. The shop has changed hands several times over the many years of its existence.
- The Perfect Stitch: Seamstress (2c). xxx
- Rejviikson Mortuary: Mortuary (3c). A run-of-the-mill morticians' business, run by the Rejviikson family. They both sell coffins and prepare corpses for burial.
- Riautars Weaponry: Shop (Weapons) (4c). An excellent source of secondhand weapons and "the best bows & arrows in the North". Easily found by looking for a low building with a petrified harpy on the roof.
- The Riven Shield: Shop (Shields) (3c). Shop famous in the Sword Coast region for affordable second-hand weaponry and, more crucial to its notoriety, various magical or historical weapons and armor. Rumors abound of who actually owns the shop these days, with suggestions ranging from one of the Masked Lords to one of the noble Houses to a shadowy smuggling organization!
- Saerns Fine Swords: Shop (Weapons) (4c). A miniature castle and an expensive place to shop for a sword, but the Tethyrian craftsmanship in all the swords is beyond compare. The shop's fortifications have made it an acceptable emergency guard post for the Watch in the past, such that when its old owner Saern sought to sell it, a group of smiths for the Watch pooled their coin to buy it for themselves, splitting the profit among them. It is still owned by their families today, though they all keep the old owner's name to the place.
- Thentavvas Boots: Store (Shoes) (4c). A tiny out-of-the-way shop more easily spotted by the smell of tanned leather than its decorative pegasi. The prices here are steep and the wait for boots and slippers is long, but the beautiful work holds up for years. It has been owned by the Thentavvas family for quite a few generations, although they left Waterdeep for two generations or so during the Wailing Years, renting the place out. They returned in the 1470s, restoring its name and operations.
- Three Winds Teahouse: Teahouse (3c). Located right in the Aumardinn neighborhood where a great many Shou have settled in Waterdeep, Three Winds is a delightful teahouse that specializes in the teas and tea traditions of Shou Lung. It is a favorite place by the locals to use for business meetings.
- The Dusken Glade Inn: Inn (3c•4a). A large inn known for its music and the fact that it is largely the heart of Twilight Vaeteru in the Trades Ward.
- The Gentle Rest: Inn (3c•2a) A five-story structure with a nice central location and good views, the Gentle Rest used to be a bit more upscale than it is today. A handful of the in-room tubs no longer hold water properly, and some of the rooms are simply out of order and never seem to be in any better condition.
- Inn of the Dripping Dagger: Inn (3c•4p•4a). A battle-scarred and bloodied door hiding an amiable, comfortable place for hire-swords to stay and be hired from.
- The Unicorns Horn: Inn (5c•4a). A decadent and costly inn to stay at (its Imperial Suite on the sixth floor has an impressive view, but not one worth 40 gp per night). Its saving grace is its strategic placement to the High Road.
- Gondalim's Inn: Inn (3c•5a). An established inn of many comforts, with single rooms or suites available at affordable prices.
Taverns & Eateries
- Bowels of the Earth: Tavern (Dive) (4c•2p). An ill-lit rough-and-tumble tavern that caters to mercenaries looking for employment or a good brawl.
- The Sleeping Dragon's Den: Tavern (3c•2p). A local's pub.
- The Underdark: Tavern (Dive) (2c•2p). An old, rare cellar tavern with low ceilings (5' clearance) that once catered primarily to the dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and odd goblins in Waterdeep. Today, however, it is almost entirely goblinoids, kobolds, and the occasional orc (those who can tolerate being crouched over constantly). It is a rough place, with a reputation as a meeting spot for rough sorts.
- The Golden Horn: Gambling House (3c). Once a crimson den of vice with a sinister reputation, the Golden Horn is now a well-regarded gambling establishment. Though no longer as upscale as it once was, it attracts a great deal of those merchants and visitors to Waterdeep, catering to them and offering a night of glamor and shining coin. Its owner are a married couple: Linchaser, a cleric of Tymora and his wife, Dame Wynda, who is a paladin of Waukeen. The two take great pride in the honesty of their games.
- The Saucy Satyr: Private Club (4c•3c•4a). One of the new private membership clubs that have taken Waterdeep by storm, the Saucy Satyr has a lascivious reputation in the broadsheets and gossip circles. They take delight in their sensual, sylvan themes.
- Monastery of the Sun Soul: Monastery to Amaunator, Lathander, Selûne.
- River Gate: City Gate
- The Citadel of the Arrow: Fellowship of Bowyers & Fletchers
- Costumers Hall: Order of Master Taylors, Glovers & Mercers. Little more than an overstocked shop of costumes and props, with meeting rooms in the upper floors.
- House of Song: Council of Musicians, Instrument-Makers & Choristers.
- Office of the League: League of Basketmakers & Wickerworkers
- House of Cleanliness: Launderers's Guild
- The Old Guildhall: Cellarers and Plumbers Guild
- The Zoarstar: Scriveners, Scribes & Clerks Guild. An ever-busy site which enjoys a constant crowd outside its windows looking in at displayed maps and charts, including a constantly-displayed map of Waterdeep, including a helpful red glass-headed pin to mark where the Zoarstar is in the city.
- House of Textiles: Most Excellent Order of Weavers & Dyers
- The Guild Paddock: Stablemasters' & Farriers' Guild
- Cobblers & Corvisers: Cobblers' & Corvisers' Guild
- House of Light: Chandlers' & Lamplighters Guild. A constantly bright row house, complete with a huge four-foot candle out front that is lit at night. It is one of the brightest spots in the ward at night is easily found by the smell of lemony-scented wax.
- Stationers Hall: Stationers' Guild
- Wheel Hall: Wheelwrights' Guild
Notable Alleys & Courtyards
- The Court of the White Bull, an open plaza of packed dirt and straw where livestock can be bought and sold and where merchants sell fresh goods direct from the caravans. Before the Spellplague, the Court was a spot of wild magic, but that seems to have gone away. Many of the local still superstitiously avoid the use of it, and frown on those who do so here. The Court is also frequently occupied by small knots of gang-members from the Auld Hornies.
- Virgins Square, a cobblestone courtyard where mercenaries of all types gather to await hire (and many other citizens linger to watch the boastful warriors and the constant traffic on the main roads).
- Blackhorn Alley, known and named for Alsible Blackhorn the cobbler, now the haunt of a number of large, brown rats.
- Brindul Alley, lair of the Hand That Sings, a magical phantasm of a hand with a mouth in its palm, which snatches valuables from the unwary while singing ancient Sword Coast ballads.
- Chelors Alley, used often by the Watch and nighttime passersby. Named for a merchant of old who hung effusive lanterns out over the alley, a tradition continued by those whose shops front the alley.
- Dark Alley, one of the most dangerous alleys of Trades Ward, its gloomy depthsshadowy even at highsun make it a favorite lurking place for cutpurses and thugs.
- Lathins Cut, named after the former landowner who had his house destroyed upon his death to provide this short passage from the Plinth to the High Road.
- Mhaers Alley, a street with a great collection of shops on all sides along its length.
- Quill Alley, the thoroughfare for the primary neighborhood of clerks, scribes, and cartographers. Thought to be haunted by the shrieking shade of a mage who tied in the Blue Fire at the onset of the Wailing Years.
- Spendthrift Alley, a street with an ever present supply of vendors in a local street bazaar that goes on all day and all night (come here if youre looking for minor items, trinkets, or quick snacks, but mind your purse!).
- Theln Lane, an echoing chamber framed by tall buildings with balconies from which hard-coin girls call to customers.
- Tsarnen Alley, a once-favorite place for thieves and cutthroats that was defended by Tsarnen the ranger quite vigorously (some say his shade still watches and keeps the alley safe, while others offer that the spirits of slain thieves haunt its environs)
- Urcandle Alley, the alley to visit if in need of spare parts or repairs on your wagon or cart, and also a meeting place for agents of the Wheelwrights Guild and the Wagonmakers and Coach Builders Guilds.