The City of Splendors is a rich tapestry of cosmopolitan fantasy life. Protected by magical statues and powerful secret lords, there’s a lot for an adventurer to do when not pursuing the half-million gold piece hoard at the center of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist.
The City of Waterdeep has a lot to offer an adventurer looking to make a name for themselves. Or one trying to hide out from the public eye. Whether pursuing one of the four main villains of Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, or just looking for a friendly inn to rest from the road, there’s something for everyone in the Crown of the North. We here at BoLS Travel are pleased to present you with things to do and see in Waterdeep.
See Life In A Guilded Age
The Guilds of Waterdeep take themselves, their traditions, and, more importantly, their laws very seriously. And given that there are more than forty different guilds in the city, with at least one guild touching on nearly every profession, there’s nary a Waterdhavian who doesn’t belong to at least one of the city’s many guilds. Visitors and newly minted citizens of this fair city will want to be aware of Guild Laws, which can carry with them some rather severe punishments.
- A member of the Baker’s Guild who sells read baked in the wrong shape will be drenched with water and coated in his own flour.
- Heckling a member of the Jester’s Guild will result in the offending party being jeered at in public by no less than four guild members for a period of four days.
- Any ship that unloads its cargo without due observance or aid by the Guild of Waterman shall have its cargo seized or thrown into the harbor.
Particularly canny adventurers can bribe local solicitors to find examples of Guild Law being carried out on miscreants, which is a popular pastime for locals. As they say, no one gawps quite like a Waterdhavian.
Visit the Walking Statues
Eight behemoths stand guard over the city of Waterdeep. Sculpted of stone, these statues were only relatively recently acknowledged by the populace at large when they all seemed to activate. Suddenly where one Walking Statue had been, there were eight, all of them seemingly enraged by the Spellplague, which fortunately has run its course by now. Visitors can see eight statues all in all, now that none are hidden on the Ethereal Plane, waiting for the city to be endangered. The eight statues are:
- The God Catcher
- The Griffon
- The Sahuagin Humbled
- The Great Drunkard
- The Lady Dreaming
- The Honorable Knight
- The Hawk Man
- The Swordmaiden
Each has their own storied history which you can learn if you ask any local for advice. The Great Drunkard, for instance, is a statue that tried to go on a rampage along with the rest of the suddenly corporeal and angry statues, but instead fell backwards onto a building where it remains stuck to this day. But, the people of Waterdeep, ever practical, have managed to capitalize even on this. Now there is a massive two story alehouse where once there was a collapsed titanic beast, giving the impression that this Statue drank away its problems.
Compete in the Day of Wonders
Waterdeep is home to many holidays, feasts, and celebrations. From celebrations of divinities, to more tradition-bound celebrations like those honoring the founders of Waterdeep, there’s almost always something to be excited about in the streets of the city. A particularly interesting day can be found on Marpenoth 3, the Day of Wonders.
On this day, which venerates Gond the All-Simth, creativity and inventiveness are on display. Tinkerers, inventors, and bored shopkeepers whose business is slow enough to provide time for idle thoughts and harebrained schemes alike gather together to showcase their imaginative inventions. Visitors can find a range of devices on display, everything from new cabinet hinges that open on their own, to massive mechanical constructs that roll about, serving the whims of their capricious creators. But, as every Waterdhavian knows, you’ll come for the inventions, but stay for the inventions-gone-awry. There’s not a single year that goes by without a spectacular disruption of the ceremony caused by a malfunctioning or poorly thought out invention, often necessitating the intervention of the city’s Griffon Cavalry.
Join one of the city’s Many Factions
Waterdeep loves its organizations of like-minded individuals. Just as there are Guilds for loyal and humble citizens, so too are there factions of adventurers who seek to advance a given cause in Waterdeep. Adventurers would do well to seek out one or more of these, for their patronage can offer resources, including protection, that might otherwise be hard to come by. There are seven different factions waiting within Waterdeep’s walls.
- Bregan D’aerthe
- Emerald Enclave
- Force Grey
- Lord’s Alliance
- Order of the Gauntlet
Each of these factions will have a task for busy adventurers looking to prove themselves. Whether it’s protecting the Dungsweepers as they carry out their important duty, or breaking up an inter-faction brawl, there’s excitement to be found wherever you look.
Enjoy a refreshing beverage in the Yawning Portal
The Yawning Portal is truly a tavern like no other in the universe. Situated atop a yawning portal that opens into one of the most infamous dungeons in all of Faerun, Undermountain, the establishment is home to weary (and not so weary) travelers from across whole other planes of existence from us. They’ve all gathered here to take in the sights, sounds, and to share stories about their glory days, when they were adventurers long ago. Whether being served up by none other than Durnan…
…or watching as the occasional monster comes shambling up out of the entrance to Undermountain, only to be dealt with by the myriad occupants.
As you can see, Waterdeep has a lot to offer adventurers from all over. So just pause, on occasion, and look at the world around you. You might be surprised at what you do (and don’t) find!