|Titles||City of Splendors|
Crown of the North
|Region||Sword Coast North|
132,661 in city limits
|Demographics||64% humans, 10% dwarves, 10% elves, 5% halflings, 5% half-elves, 3% gnomes, 2% half-orcs, 1% other|
|Government||Council (The Lords of Waterdeep)|
Waterdeep is the major cosmopolitan power of Faerûn. It benefits from an excellent harbor, wise rule, a tolerant spirit, and a powerful magical tradition that generally produces stronger good wizards than evil wizards. Waterdeep contains at least one of nearly everything, but it's not a melting pot—instead, it's like a gem grinder, smoothing individuals' rough edges so that their talents shine brighter.
The city's nickname, the City of Splendors, is never said sarcastically. People know that Waterdeep is a marvel and that life is better, or at least more bizarre, there. If Waterdhavians have one notable fault, it's a tendency to think that there is nothing new under the sun, and they treat the entire sum of human and nonhuman experience as their potential cultural heritage. This fault is not always a bad thing.
Life and Society
The City of Splendors is undeniably a place where things happen, an important center of trade and change. Waterdhavians merely accept this as a fact and never think on why or how it became so. The astute see that Waterdeep is a city of wealth where the rich gather to trade, and in trading with others generate wealth with a swiftness unknown in backcountry Faerûn. The coines are the fire under the cauldron.
The cauldron itself, and the spoons that stir it, are the local powers locked in an endless struggle for supremacy, striving against each other in ways large and small. These are the guilds, nobles, trading costers, mercenary bands, city authorities, criminal organizations, individual citizens seeking daily sustenance, and newcomers seeking fortunes.
Some folk find life in Waterdeep to be a wine they can't stop drinking. Powers of all sorts, from cults and trade cabals to wizards' organizations and foreign rulers, find it expedient to have spies and even assassins active in Waterdeep at all times. Although the City of Splendors has plenty of room for anyone with coin to spend, it is also the place where every private moment may be seen or overheard by someone else. Many Waterdhavians rent secret rooms or establish false identities to avoid their enemies' ears.