Waterdeep, also known as the City of Splendors or the Crown of the North,6 was the most important and influential city in the North and perhaps in all Faerûn.7 For this reason it was considered part of the Western Heartlands of the Realms, even though it lay 150 miles north of Daggerford on the shores of the Sword Coast. The city sat "slightly above the 45 degree north latitude line on Toril."8 The road to Waterdeep was well paved and well patrolled. The city was the hub of trading from 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. Waterdeep's authority extended between thirty to forty miles from its walls.7The surrounding region had a population density of over 200 people per square mile.[citation needed]

Waterdeep was named for its outstanding natural deep-water harbor, and the city that grew up at this site became the commercial crossroads of the northern Realms. More than 100,000 people made their home in Waterdeep. The city sprawled northward from the sea, spreading along the flanks of Mount Waterdeep, which used to be home to the Melairkyn, a mithral-mining dwarven clan,9 and the entire length and great depth of the mountain was riddled with passages and tunnels, most of which were occupied by deadly creatures whose presence in the mountain predated the founding of the city itself. The halls of Undermountain located beneath the city were a popular target for adventurers,7 who enjoyed the close vicinity of the city's main taverns and temples where aid could be purchased through donations.[citation needed]

After the Spellplague, it lost its title as Faerûn's most important and influential city to Baldur's Gate. Baldur's Gate grew not only larger than Waterdeep in population but also doubled its area.[citation needed]

Waterdeep was ruled by a council whose membership was largely secret. These hidden Lords of Waterdeep maintained their identities behind magical masks, called Helms, and while they ruled in public, none knew the true identities of most of them. The subject of who the Lords were became a common topic of noble conversation, and some considered it a game to discover the Lords' identities, a game made more confusing by the fact the Lords themselves set their own rumors afloat.[

Since 1035 DR,23 Waterdeep was roughly divided into wards. The wards originally all had guards and walls in the manner of Procampur and other ancient cities, but the press of progress toppled or bored through most of the walls.24 Only the walls and guards around the City of the Dead were maintained. The wards of Waterdeep were:


Castle Ward

This central ward encompassed Mount Waterdeep and much of the government of the city. Here was located Castle Waterdeep, the place of government, as well as the Palace of Waterdeep (also known as Piergeiron's Palace), Lord Piergeiron's private residence,7 and Blackstaff Tower, the residence of the Archmage of Waterdeep.25 This ward was also a common place for retired adventurers such as Mirt the Moneylender to make their homes.26

City of the Dead

This park-like area was surrounded by high walls. Before the Spellplague, it was often visited during the day by wanderers and the odd picnicker; at night, the gates of the City of the Dead were closed, for it was Waterdeep's graveyard.[citation needed] However, after the Spellplague, it fell into disrepair.27 The more important personages had their own personal graves or family shrines, while others were confined to larger crypts. The reason for the guards was not to protect the graves, but rather to protect the city from the occasional restless undead creature that did not appreciate its accommodations.[citation needed]

Dock Ward

As one might assume, the Dock Ward was situated hard on the Great Harbor of Waterdeep and held the docks, shipbuilding yards, and warehouses for the sea trade.28 The harbor was inhabited by merfolk who kept the peace within their own aquatic city.29


Actually the uppermost level of Undermountain, Downshadow was the new "undercity" developed in the 15th century DR.1

Field Ward

Field Ward was the ward between North Trollwall and new city walls. It was home to many demihumans.1


Not strictly a ward, Mistshore was the ruined naval harbor. The area was home to outcasts and criminals who lived along the shoreline or on wrecked ships half-sunk in the harbor.1


Mountainside was developed on the north and northeastern slopes of Mount Waterdeep after the Second Pestilars as rich nobles and those of rising fortunes fled to cleaner air.301

North Ward

Tucked in the northeastern portion of the city,31 North Ward was the home of the nobility and their villas. The moneyed classes made their homes here, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the lower classes by the docks and in Southern Ward.7

Sea Ward

The wealthiest of the wards, Sea Ward contained many of the temples of Waterdeep, along with a good helping of the newer noble families and retired adventurers who could afford the odd villa or two. The Field of Triumph, Waterdeep's arena, was located here.724

South Ward

Officially known as the Southern Ward (but only nonnatives referred to it as such), the South Ward was a place of caravan masters and traders, for it was close to the South Gate, the opening to the Trade.7

Trades Ward

Waterdeep's commercial section.7


The latest ward (in 1479 DR) formed at the base of the eastern cliffs. It was connected to the rest of the city through subterranean tunnels.