Alleys of Waterdeep

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The Gem of the North
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Castle Ward

  • 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.
  • Elsambul’s 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.

Sea Ward

  • Gondwatch Lane, the scorched cobbles lane at the southern entrance to the House of Inspired Hands where many Gondsmen’s inventions are tested.
  • Kulzar’s Alley, a short alley close to Heroes’ Walk that allegedly hides both the buried treasure of Kulzar and many treasure-hunters eager to find it.
  • Pharra’s Alley, named for the first Temple Magistress of the House of Wonder but infamous for the Circle of Skulls that spew either helpful news or deadly spells.
  • Prayer Alley, a short run parallel to Phastal Street that is the location of a vanishing mages’ shop.
  • Rook Alley, an alley with access to a variety of strange passages into tombs and other tunnel systems. The Watch maintains a strong presence here at most times of day, and all through the night.
  • Wagonslide Alley, a loose-stone paved alleyway that causes as many to trip over its cobbles as wagons used to slip on water or sea-rime (rumor has it thieves hide invisible weapons and secret messages under the stones).

North Ward

  • Manycats Alley: The home of many cats that feed on the scraps from the surrounding butcher shops, and also known for carved stone heads that line its walls (some say they speak portents of evil to passersby).
  • Watch Alley: A rallying point for the Watch patrols of the ward where single, severed, bare human feet are occasionally found at odd times. Notably, this is a mark of punishment used by the old Shadow Thieves' Guild of Waterdeep.

Trades Ward

  • 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.
  • Virgin’s 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.
  • Chelor’s 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 depths—shadowy even at highsun— make it a favorite lurking place for cutpurses and thugs.
  • Lathin’s 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.
  • Mhaer’s 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 you’re 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.

South Ward

  • Blacklock Alley, named after a long-suffering obelisk placed at its center that, the locals believe, brings good luck and heals the pure of heart;
  • Caravan Court, an open, packed-dirt courtyard and general assembling area for caravans that is always noisy with both draft animals and whip-happy drovers (and a ready supply of elderly spectators);
  • Mouse Alley, considered a sacred spot by those who worship Mystra, where Ahghairon pursued and caught the goddess while she was disguised as a mouse.
  • Ilisar’s Alley, once known as Grave Alley for the itinerant poor buried there, and now rumored to hold dangerous undead spirits and the hidden wealth of a local tailor whose name now adorns the alley;
  • Rednose Alley, an alley lined by empty warehouses that plays host to young drifters and thieves eager to rob passersby (out of need or boredom) and dole out the bloody noses which give the alley its name
  • Ruid’s Stroll, the short avenue from Caravan Court to the Trollwall Tower that, while often safe due to constant guard and watch traffic, is haunted by the hooded ghost of the mage Ruid, whose touch causes deathly chills to those he meets on foggy nights.

Dock Ward

  • Fishgut Court: A cobblestone court off Sail and Dock Streets where many strange happenings occur during nights of the full moon. Many know that Selûne herself hid in a mortal form in the tavern nearby, and her blessings continue to touch the courtyard.
  • Smuggler's Dock: The most isolated corner of the ward and also its safest, under the watchful eyes of Mirt's Mansion and the Watching Tower, used often for lovers' rendezvous.
  • Black Well Court: The small back-alley home to a polluted, monster-infested well that is sealed by order of the Lords, though it is occasionally broken into – or out of – and creatures haunt the shadows here before they are dealt with and the well re-sealed.
  • Manysteps Alley: A narrow alley that is the habitat of soothsayers, fortune tellers and thieves galore.
  • Melinter's Court: A dark courtyard often thick with the pipe smoke of curbside philosophers and corner sages (and sometimes the plotting of wizards).
  • Philosophers' Court: Also known by natives as "the Foolsquare", a daily (and often nightly) meeting place for intellectuals, old sages and drunken nobles alike found arguing over topics "too esoteric for a common mind".
  • Round Again Alley: An alley that doubles back on itself and provides a testing ground for many apprentices' illusions.
  • Three Thrown Daggers Alley: An alley that suffers from a magical curse that causes three random blades to fly from nowhere to attack passersby in the alley.

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