Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Demographics: Humans (57%), Dwarves (11%), Elves (8%), Halflings (7%), Half-elves (6%), Gnomes (4%), Half-orcs (4%), Others (3%)
Religion : Gond, Tymora, Umberlee, Helm, Lathander
Government : Oligarchy Constitutional Monarchy
Ruler: Grand Duke Portyr
This sprawling city depends on the trade passing through its ports and gates to support a population far too big for its own good. The only criterion for citizenship is a couple of silver pieces. Humans dominate the city, though eladrin, elves, dwarves, and other
civilized humanoids have settled here. Baldur’s Gate is a city anyone can visit, and strangers met in far-off places might originally hail from here.
Though census figures are impossible to rely on, the city’s population is believed to have long ago surpassed even Waterdeep’s. How the metropolis manages to support itself is unclear—somehow, it just does. Those who pay attention to such things
in Faerûn refer to the phenomenon as “the Baldur’s Gate Miracle.”
Baldur’s Gate is a prosperous city where just about anything can happen, and often does. It contains an active and organized thieves’ guild, powerful merchants with questionable ethics, and influential cults and secret societies both malignant and benign. All
the power groups maintain a precarious balance under the authority of the Flaming Fists, a former mercenary group that serves as the city’s police force,
law enforcement, and protector.
HistoryIn ancient times, the seafaring human hero Balduran returned from Anchrome with great wealth. Balduran used this wealth to build a wall at the end of the Chionthar river. Balduran later vanished, never to return. After Balduran vanished, local farmers took control of the wall and begin to tax sailors arriving. The sailors overthew the ruthless farmers and the four eldest took control, calling themselves “dukes.”
Eventually, the city came to be called Baldur’s Gate and was led by the Council of Four, the Four Grand Dukes of the City. The inner portions of the city were divided into Bloomridge, where the wealthy lived, and the Twin Songs, the homes of the sailors and the clerics. The city became the most powerful force in the Western Heartlands and joined the Lords’ Alliance. The city was only be recorded to be called upon by the Alliance once, in 1235 DR when the Black Horde attempted to invade. They sent their top military general, Eldrith the Betrayer to drive them off. While she experienced victory at first, she would eventually betray Baldur’s Gate and be killed, but later resurrected, in the Marsh of Chelimber by Baldurian forces.
In the year 1384 DR, the Grand Duke Valarken, along with General Ikhal, attempted to usurp the leadership of Baldur’s Gate. The failure of his attack would lead to the dissolution of the Baldurian Police and the Council of Four. In its place, the Flaming Fists and the Baldurian Parliament came to rule. In the following year, the realms would experience the Spellplague, a situation which would double Baldur’s Gate’s population and area.
Baldur’s Gate was able to adapt to the change and experienced relative peace until the year 1437 DR when the elfsong would return to the Elfsong Tavern with an undead crisis, as well as a tensing of relations with Elturgard and the stealing of a Tome of Cyric. All of these crises were considered minor when General Ikhal returned with a lycanthrope army far greater than the army of Baldur’s Gate. The Flaming Fists resolved the conflict. Following the death of Grand Duke Portyr, famed adventurer Abdel Adrian was elected the new Grand Duke.
As of 1479 DR, Baldur’s Gate not only became Faerûn’s most powerful and important city, but it also once again become stable. At this time it was no longer bothered by Valarken and Amn. It maintained a positive relationship with the nation of Elturgard and the other regions in the Western Heartlands. However, the expansion proved to turn the city on it’s heels, threatening to send it into civil war.
GovernmentRuled by Grand Duke Portyr at the behest of the Baldurian Parliament, Baldur’s Gate underwent a major revision after an attempted coup by former Grand Duke Velarken. Now, the Baldurian Parliament elects the Dukes. Baldur’s Gate was once ruled by four grand dukes, the Council of Four. Shortly before the Spellplague, the rulers included Duke Eltan, the then leader of the Flaming Fists, Belt, a powerful warrior and divine spellcaster, Liia Jannath, a mage and Entar Silvershield, the richest man in Baldur’s Gate at the time, but also a strong warrior in his own right. The Council was also part of the Lords’ Alliance, which included Waterdeep and Silverymoon, among others.
EconomyBaldur’s Gate was the greatest center of trade along the entire Sword Coast, having out-competed both Waterdeep and Amn as of 1479 DR.
In 1368 DR, stone was usually imported from Mirabar via Luskan for use in construction, having been magically transported. This was an expensive process. By 1479 DR, with Luskan in disarray and with no functional port, along with the destruction caused by the Spellplague across the lands, it was unclear if this trade still occurred.
Baldur’s Gate contained a very effective thieves’ guild, as well as a powerful and honest mercantile guild, the Merchant’s League. Additionally, the Knights of the Shield and the Knights of the Unicorn were both active in the city. Various thieves guilds have risen and fallen in Baldur’s Gate including Xantam’s Guild and the Hands of Glory. Since the fall of both, new thieves’ guild arose.
HarborBaldur’s Gate has a large and busy harbor that opens up into the River Chionthar. The harbormaster resides in a small shack. The harbor is closed after sunset, after which no ships may tie up. Latecomers must wait out in the river until sunrise.