It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
Waterdeep is one of the largest and busiest cities—and one of the most important political powers—on the continent. The population is primarily human, although other races dwell therein. It gets its name from its useful natural deep water harbour. The city serves as a trading hub, tying together the mineral-rich lands to the north, the merchant kingdoms of Amn and Calimshan to the south, the kingdoms of the Inner Sea to the east, and the sea kingdoms and traders to the west.
The roads to Waterdeep are described as well paved and well patrolled. A rider from Red Larch can reach Waterdeep in seven days, three if the rider changes horses often and dares to ride at night. Some merchants have described Waterdeep as “the best supply centre in the world,” with the largest collection of superb craft workers, experts, useful contacts, and potential hirelings to be found anywhere. Others warn that it represents a huge army of potential enemies for those who aren’t careful – and everyone agrees that its busy streets are full of spies.
Waterdhavian noble families and guilds hold influence up and down the Sword Coast, but within the city itself, true power lies with the masked and secret Lords of Waterdeep – individuals who convene secretly and whose identities are mostly unknown. The public face of this ruling body is the Open Lord of Waterdeep. The current Open Lord, Laeral Silverhand, has held the position for only a few months, and many of the city’s nobles and guildmasters are vying for her attention and conspiring to wrest power away from her office, while taking advantage of the transition to dispose of unwanted rivals. This kind of political chaos is “business as usual” for most city residents.
People who want or need rare items, sage advice, or other services found only in large cities could do worse than visit Waterdeep, the City of Splendours.