Lords of Waterdeep: Waterdeep is ruled by a council whose membership is largely secret. These hidden Lords of Waterdeep maintain their identities behind magical masks, called helms and while they rule in public, none know the true identities of most of them.3 The subject of who the Lords are is a common topic of noble conversation, and some consider it a game to discover whom the Lords are, a game made more confusing by the fact the Lords themselves set their own rumors afloat.
City Guard VS The Watch: The City Guard serves as Waterdeep’s soldiery and its members staff garrisons, road patrols, and watchposts, and serve as bodyguards and gate guards. The Watch is the local police force3 and in addition to capturing criminals, its members settle petty disputes, give directions, summon medical and priestly aid, generally performing duties that promote the idea that Waterdeep is a city open to all who know how to behave themselves.
MAGISTERS “The Black Robes”:
Waterdhavian justice is dispatched by the Magisters, who direct the common courts of the city. These Black Robes, as they are often called, are empowered to pass sentence.12 They are always accompanied by six members of the guard. Any individuals found guilty may appeal to the Lord’s Court, ruled over by the masked Lords of Waterdeep, where serious cases are usually heard.12 Individuals bringing frivolous cases to the Lord’s Court usually face stiffer fines than if they accepted a magister’s ruling
GREY HANDS: The Gray Hands are a group of adventurers whose duty it is to defend the city of Waterdeep from immense dangers. The elite band is small in number but still quite capable of felling the most dangerous of foes. While they answer directly to the Lords of Waterdeep, they are only called upon in the most dire of situations as the collateral damage from the Gray Hands’ excursions can become quite extensive
RED SCARVES or SASHES: The Red Sashes are a vigilante group that is based, as well as operates, in Waterdeep.1 The individual cells of the Sashes, one for each ward of the city,2 each answer to an authority only known as “The One”. Not an impulsive or excessively violent group,1 the Red Sashes aim to arrest the guilty and let free the innocent, typically when the City Watch fails in these aims.
Thieves’ guilds in Waterdeep:
The last official thieves’ guild in Waterdeep was destroyed in 1300 DR, and while there have been many claimants to that position and title over the years, there have been no groups of sufficient power to challenge the Lords of Waterdeep. Since the Lords are secret, no criminal knows if a trusted partner is truly on his or her side or not.
This is not to say that there are no thieves or crime in the streets of Waterdeep. Rather, crime here is random and dispersed, with no one leader or organization to command it. The most recent attempt was made by a crime lord named Xanathar, a beholder with a well developed secret network in his service. This network was savaged and Xanathar defeated through the actions of bold adventuring companies at the command of Lord Piergeiron. Whether a new crime lord comes to the fore remains to be seen.
HARPERS: The Harpers are a semi-secret organization dedicated to promoting good, preserving history (including art and music of old) and maintaining a balance between civilization and nature by keeping kingdoms small and the destruction of plant life to a minimum
Castle Ward: This central ward encompasses Mount Waterdeep and much of the government of the city. Here is 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.5 This ward is also a common place for retired adventurers such as Mirt the Moneylender to make their homes.
City of the Dead
This park-like area is surrounded by high walls. It is often visited during the day by wanderers and the odd picnicker. At night, the gates of the City of the Dead are closed, for it is Waterdeep’s graveyard. The more important personages have their own personal graves or family shrines, while others are confined to larger crypts. The reason for the guards is not to protect the graves, but rather to protect the city from the occasional restless undead creature that does not appreciate its accommodations.
As one might assume, the Dock Ward is situated hard on the Great Harbor of Waterdeep and holds the docks, shipbuilding yards and warehouses for the sea trade.27 The harbor is inhabited by mermen who keep the peace within their own aquatic city.28
Not strictly a ward, Mistshore is the derelict old naval harbor. The area is home to outcasts and criminals who live along the shoreline or on wrecked ships half-sunk in the harbor.29
Tucked in the northeastern portion of the city30, North Ward is the land of the nobility and their villas. The moneyed classes make their homes here, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the lower classes by the docks and in Southern Ward.5
The wealthiest of the wards, Sea Ward contains many of the temples of Waterdeep, along with a good helping of the newer noble families and retired adventurers who can afford the odd villa or two. The Field of Triumph, Waterdeep’s arena, is located here.525
Officially known as the Southern Ward, but only nonnatives refer to it as such, is a place of caravan masters and traders, for it is close to the South Gate, the opening to the Trade.5
Waterdeep’s commercial section.