Bard's Rumours

Waterdeep Locations
Written by Ed Greenwood, Creator of the Forgotten Realms campaign

1. River Street: Where is/was the river this street is named after? If its' not named after a river, what _is_ it named for?

Named for Glastabus Eaernrivver, a local adventurer, now deceased, whose crumbling old house stood where the Gate now stands. (Yes, Eaernrivver was corrupted into 'River.') The house fell into the sea some hundred and eighty or more years ago (maybe longer; memories are faulty), aided by the explosions of a spell-duel.

2. River Gate: See above. Also, why the heck is there a gate here? It leads off a cliff! Which brings up the area between the city wall and the cliff: how come the Lords don't let anyone build there (re: overcrowding)? It can't be for defense - I would think a wall at the top of a cliff would be smarter than letting your enemies take the high ground and then assault the wall.

Of old (before present prosperity and villas on the seaward side (often used for important VIPs/troublemakers; most are rental properties), the area the Gate leads to was a pirate-and enemy-fleet-repelling battery of ballistae, mangonels, trebuchets, and the like (magic and griffon-riders have largely replaced these, today). The Walking Statues were also stored here from time to time. Hence the Gate. For the origin of its name, see River Street.

3. Arun's Alley: Dock Ward, p.298. This wouldn't happen to be named after a certain archmage of the city (or his father), would it? I would have passed right by this one, except for the revelations in C:EotE.

Named for 'the Arun' (proper name: Arunjun Thoulae), a famous local baker (of savory, meat- and fish-filled pastries) who flourished in Waterdeep some two centuries ago. He fed the poor, and threw frequent (and extravagant) street parties, paying for them with the revenues from the festhalls and caravan companies he (secretly) owned.

4. Slut Street:

Yes, there is a "Slut Street" in Waterdeep. Yes, I put it there. And no, the word 'slut' had no sexual connotation to British and Canadian folks until the last 15 years or so (creeping American influence). It meant "a slovenly woman" or, in earlier times, "a working drudge." So this was where the poor serving wenches dwelt, shopped, and could be hired - not a Prostitutes' Row.

Now, whether or not modern American prudery should be applied to a medieval-ish fantasy setting is another matter entirely. To all of you on the list who from time to time condemned Storm Silverhand or any of the rest of the Seven as ahem, 'morally loose,' I ask you to sit down somewhere quiet, and think through the implications of living for hundreds of years (outliving childhood friends and acquaintances), in some cases undergoing slavery (no doubt with a sexual side), and being fun-loving or spirited or curious to boot. What roads might you travel down, in such situations? And by the way, the TEMPTATION OF ELMINSTER does deal with the situation of outliving others, but the Temptation El faces probably isn't the one you're all assuming it is *g*.

By Ed Greenwood

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