South Ward of Waterdeep
Southern Ward, known as South Ward to all natives, is the first ward seen by most visitors who enter the city through the South Gate or the River Gate with the caravans. As much of its business caters to the caravan trade, it is sometimes called Caravan City with its plentiful forges, smithies, stables, warehouses, and sheds (with coaches and carts for hire). Many common and poorer folk dwell in South Ward, though the caravan trade allows for some local merchants to attain near-noble status (at least in monetary terms). It is often dusty and grimy from the traffic from overland trade, but this area and its people are mostly friendly and industrious, catering to every need of visitors and merchant-traders. Tourists and visitors rarely idle around to look into wagons and warehouses (unless it is their business to do so), but the presence of guards (both privately hired and those in the watch) is obvious and lends much to the feeling of security about the trade goods and the businesses herein.
One of the smallest wards in the city, South Ward had probably the least to do with the internal politics (both social and monetary) of the city beyond the overland trades. South Ward is, for the most part, the ordinary or commoners' side of Waterdeep. The main streets within the ward are the Way of the Dragon and the High Road. The Way of the Dragon forms the southern and western boundaries of South Ward, and the Troll Wall is the eastern boundary. The northern boundary consists of a mix of streets and alleys: Telshambra's Street, a little bit of the High Road, Sahtyra's Lane, Caravan Court (all of which is deemed to be in South Ward), and Belzer's Walk.
- Wretched: Folk bunking down in alleyways, beneath eaves, and in filthy crawlspaces are most common in the South Ward than anywhere else in Waterdeep save the Fields Ward. Those living in this fashion are common in Squalid neighborhoods, and can be found occasionally in Poor ones.
- Squalid: Two neighborhoods - Dancing Court and Manycuts - dwell in squalor. They are primarily made up of run-down buildings inhabited by folk too poor to seek better shelter elsewhere. Decrepitude is the order of the day, with buildings falling apart and badly in need of repair (or demolishing). The few businesses are informal affairs, catering to the meager coin their neighbors have to live on, and often quite well defended by hired bullyboys. These are genuinely mean streets, with criminals and other unsavory folk hiding here because the Watch tends to rarely venture into them save in well-armed clusters, and even then only by day. The streets are filthy, strewn with debris, and sewers function badly or not at all.
- Poor: Quite a few neighborhoods in the South Ward are places of discernible poverty, notably Anchoret, Caravan Court, Coachlamp, Fishwife Alley, Slopstreet, Stonevault, and Stopoxen. Flophouses, run-down boarding houses and multiple family dwellings are common here, and the businesses tend to be low in cost and quality – guild seals are extremely rare in such neighborhoods. Still, the folk here are poor but honest, and used to lives of hard labor and low pay, striving for better. The streets are badly maintained, and often cluttered or unswept, but there is no sewage in gutters as in some more squalid neighborhoods.
- Modest: Over half of the South Ward lives a sort of average lifestyle, thanks almost entirely to the money that the many merchant caravans flowing into the city year 'round bring into its gates. The Adventurer's Quarter, Aurfel, Everbellows, Hiddenhale, the Rattle, Tsembrar's Bend, Tulmaster, Waymoot, and the Wheellanes all live what many folk think of when they think of city living: over half the buildings are small shops or businesses, with residential spaces above them for proprietors (and sometimes extra living space rented out to others). Smaller residential buildings are single family dwellings, while larger such buildings tend to be boarding houses or multi-family dwellings. Streets are maintained and cleaned, although the burden that the thousands of caravans coming in and out of the city put on the major thoroughfares can be overwhelming sometimes.
South Ward's primary buildings tend to be tall, old stone, mud brick, and timber warehouses. Crowded among them are three- or four-story tenements, nearly all with shops at street level. Trees and even bushes are few, being detriments to the constant traffic; the ever-present dust and mud that accompany caravans are plentiful, but the buildings and foot traffic areas are kept clean. Everywhere in South Ward the rumble of cart wheels can be heard, just as the wastes of the draft animals are the predominant odor on the breeze. The many stables are often just covered pens, though some are sheltered by multifloored buildings over them (like inns or warehouses).
Watch of South Ward
Wardsman: Hlurr Harerlsyr (Castle Waterdeep • 5th Floor)
- Caravan Court Watchpost: Rorden: Gwenna Timthrevar • 3 patrols
- Central Dragon Watchpost: Rorden: Arndith Dewnter • 6 patrols
- Waymoot Watchpost: Rorden: Harn Chendar • 6 patrols
- Phaulkonmere Villa: Noble villa. A villa owned jointly by the Phaulkon family of Cormyr and House Tarm. It is rarely used, save for out of town visitors from the Phaulkons or other guests of the Tarms.
- Kolat Towers: A ruined structure made up of two towers and a connected outbuilding, surrounded by a wall and a thin wall of force. No one has heard from the Kolat Brothers – a pair of wizards – in many decades now, and most assume them to be dead.
- Cathalishaera's Rooming House: Rooming House
- Dark Maiden Hall: Rooming House entirely rented by the clergy and congregation of the Promenade-in-Exile, a band of Eilistraee's faithful seeking to build lives and a temple in Waterdeep.
- Madame Garah's Boarding House: Row House
- Temple of Good Cheer: Row House
- Aurora's South High Road Shop: xxx
- Berendarr's World of Words: Shop (Books) (3c). A bookshop well in excess of a century old, owned by Master Berendarr, a shield dwarf, who is now in his dotage. Its massive shelves are tall, and many are packed with books not out in the public in fifty years or more. It has no system of cataloguing, so shopping here is a little more like treasure-hunting.
- Brant's General Goods & Gear: General Goods (2c)
- Brian the Swordmaster's Smithy: Smithy (3c). Famed for its well-crafted (though high-priced) swords and armor. There is a tradition of it being held by retired adventuring fighters, who pass it down to their own apprentices in the fighting arts when they retire or die. It retains the name of its first owner out of honor to that worthy.
- The Daily Trumpet Building: Printer (Broadsheets) (2c). In operation for well over a hundred years, the Daily Trumpet has a large host of writers and investigators, all with a single purpose: to find out the most interesting information, as word-fodder for their many clients.
- Dragoneye Hall: Dragoneye Dealing Coster Caravanserai. The Dragoneye maintains a large caravanserai in the South Ward, the Dragoneye Hall. Operated like an inn, the Hall is exclusively for the use of Dragoneye caravans and the merchants who operate them. Though the Dragoneye coster maintains a permanent force of guards, they are always looking for more: those who are interested are invited to hire on as an extra guard during a caravan run, and to present themselves to the Dragoneye's guard-house in Iraebor after they have done at least one trip. No one gets in the door without a written recommendation from a caravan-master, but the pay is more than worth it, ultimately. As a result, the forecourt of the Dragoneye Hall in Waterdeep is a place where lots of sellswords congregate, looking to impress the caravan-masters who may be looking for one or two extra blades for a trip into harrowing territory.
- The Garrulous Grocer: Shop (Grocer) (4c). Closed due to damage sustained during the Wailing Years, the Garrulous Grocer was a favorite of Open Lord Laeral's from the last time she lived in Waterdeep, and made it a point to help re-open it once she returned. Now everyone knows the Palace sends its cooks to shop here for choice ingredients, and many in the city have started doing likewise. The place can sometimes seem more like a cautious melee, full of shoppers eyeing one another warily, and looking to pounce on coveted spices or goods before their neighbors can. The prices are precious (although the Palace pays a pittance, out of gratitude).
- Hemmerem's Stables: Stables (3c). A stables run by the fourth Hemmerem to own the place, these stables not only care for horse, but they also rent them out. The owners claim that they have the easy means of finding and retrieving their horses, although they decline to mention what that method might be.
- Hlakken Stables: Stables (2c). A run-of-the-mill stables, mostly intended for the use of caravan horses, without any of the frills or specialty treatment that more expensive animals (or wealthier owners) tend to expect of precious mounts.
- The Medusa's Glare: Sculptor's Shop (3c). This shop has changed hands many times over the years. Today it is a place that provides carved goods on commission, with the sculptors working on projects that interest them between commissions. Their works find their way into that tier of homes who desperately wish to emulate the wealthy and fine, but don't quite have the shine of coin to do it.
- The Old Monster Shop: Shop (Monster Curios) (4c). A place where monsters of all shapes, sizes and most states of being (no undead) can be procured. A favorite spot for those new to Waterdeep to visit, hoping to find a suitably strange keepsake to take home with them.
- Orms Highbench: Trading Company. The headquarters of the moderately-successful Orms Highbench trading company. They tend to manage short runs between Waterdeep and Neverwinter, and their years of greatest success were under the Open Lord Dagult. Some claim they maintain back-room deals with Dagult to this day.
- Pelauvirs Counter: Shop (General Goods) (3c). A general store with moderately-priced essentials and sundries in stock at all times.
- Prestars Furniture: Furniture shop (3c). Once the sales floor of a woodworker, Prestars is now a place where a variety of craftsmen consign their works to sell in the shop, run by the Prestars family. As such, a wide variety of offerings can be found here, and all at inexpensive prices. Many of the craftsmen who get noticed here go on to establish their own shops.
- Redbridle Stables: Stables (4c). A fine stables owned by the Redbridle family out of Amphail, these stables not only provide excellent quality of care, but they are also a place from which to purchase Redbridle mounts during certain times of the year.
- Sull's Butchery: Butcher
- Sword Coast Traders' Bank: Service (Banking). In addition to serving as a normal bank, providing loans and wealth-keeping services, this holding of House Anteos is also capable of taking in coin in one of its three locations (Waterdeep, Baldur's Gate, and Daggerford), and communicating those numbers to any of its other branches magically, almost instantaneously. Rather than risking transporting coin on caravan or shipping routes, merchants moving between one of these three sites may simply place coin in their keeping in one spot, and come by to withdraw it from another (for a modest fee).
- Telvar's Tipples: Wine Shop (3c). A wine shop noted for being open all hours of the night.
- Verseene's Bakery: Bakery (1c)
- Waukeen's Wares: Shop (2c). A Waukeenar general shop run by the Vault of Glory (the local temple to Waukeen).
- The Waymoot Academy: Wizard Academy. Run almost entirely by charitable donations (half of which is provided by the Watchful Order itself), the Waymoot Academy in the South Ward takes in youths from disadvantaged backgrounds before street crime and manual labor can destroy any potential they have for the Art, training them in its use. In operation for almost twenty years now, there are a number of adventuring magicians who got their start at spellcasting here, and still contribute coin to it to this day. Per its name, the Waymoot Academy is located in the Waymoot neighborhood of the South Ward. While the academy is in a large building with plenty of room, cruel young mages in the other academies sometimes call them "stablemages," as the building was once a large stable business.
- House of Good Spirits: Vintners' Distillers' & Brewers Guild, Inn, Tavern (2c•5p•2a). A brewery, winery and inn noted for its wide variety of liquors and strong drink from across the Realms. Its specialty is Waterdhavian zzar, and it serves as the guildhouse for the Vintners' Guild as well.
- The Beer Golem: Tavern
- House of Dust: Tavern (1c•1p)
- The Red Gauntlet: Tavern (2c•3p) Mercenary and caravan guard tavern.
- The Sword's Rest: Tavern (3c•4p). A tavern for strong drink, strong arms and thick skulls (for when that burly fighter cracks a mug over your head - which is often!).
- Tymora's Blessing: Tavern. A seedy dive frequented by caravan drovers and noted for all-too-frequent brawls.
- The Jade Dancer: Festhall (4c•4p) A festhall well worth the high price for its entertaining dancer-escorts and excellent drinks.
- Helm's Hall: Orphanage (Helm). This historic stone building was constructed nearly two centuries ago to care for the orphans and widows of deceased adventurers. Helm’s Hall is supported financially by a number of temples, noble houses, and retired adventurers, while priests of Helm tend to the day to day management and administration of services. Many of the children ten and older are either apprenticed or working with the Lamplighters Guild at night, and they receive training during the day so that they will be able to ply a trade before leaving Helm’s Hall at age 15.
- Vault of Glory: Temple to Waukeen. A large temple not quite fifty years old, one of Open Lord Dagult Neverember's first acts as Open Lord was to call for the founding of a Waukeenar temple, to honor the goddess in hopes that her favor might return Waterdeep to prosperity and safety. Lord Dagult arranged a competition between the noble Houses and the Guilds to pay for the temple, resulting in the erection of a truly opulent fane to her glory.
- South Gate: City Gate
- East Torch Tower: Sentry Tower
- Watchpost: Local Watch Post
- The Stone House: Carpenters', Roofers' & Plasterers' Guild. An easily spotted eyesore, thanks to the garish styles and materials used in its construction.
- House of Good Spirits: Vintners' Distillers' & Brewers Guild. A brewery, winery and inn noted for its wide variety of liquors and strong drink from across the Realms. Its specialty is Waterdhavian zzar, and it serves as the guildhouse for the Vintners' Guild as well.
- Coach & Wagon Hall: Wagonmakers' & Coach Builders' Guild
- Saddlers Hall: Saddlers' & Harness-Makers' Guild
- Builders' Hall: Guild of Stonecutters & Masons. A lavishly crafted and tended stone building with a row of statues around the front.
- The Road House: Fellowship of Carters & Coachmen
- Metalmasters Hall: Most Careful Order of Skilled Smiths & Metalforgers. A gray granite blockhouse with a smoky forge dominating one entire end of the building.
Notable Alleys & Courtyards
- 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.
- Ilisars 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
- Ruids 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.