Tears of Heaven
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 civilised humanoids have settled here. Baldur’s Gate is a city anyone can visit and strangers from far off places are common sights.
Through census figures are impossible to rely on, the city’s population is believed to have long ago surpassed even that of Waterdeep. How the metropolis manages to support itself is unclear – somehow, it just does. Those who pay attention to such things in Faerun refer to the phenomenon as “the Baldur’s Gate Miracle”.
Key Figures and Groups
Grand Duke Portyr – a fair man well liked (though not quite loved) by the citizens, Portyr is easily manipulated by power blocs inside and outside the parliament. His inability to side wholly with anyone on anything keeps the city stable, however.
Nine-Fingers – the head of the thieves’ guild. Nine-Fingers Keene is one of the most powerful inhabitants of Baldur’s Gate. She has a candidate of her own in mind to succeed Portyr.
High Priest Faenor – a servant of Oghma, Faenor presides over the High House of Wonders, a temple once exclusively devoted to Gond. Faenor sees himself as the true stabilizing force of Baldur’s Gate, and his rhetoric stops just short of calling for the institution of an Oghmanyte theocracy.
The Flaming Fists – a former mercenary group that serves as the city’s police force, law enforcement and protector. Sometimes critized for their overzealous nature in punishment of even minor transgressions, the Flaming Fists are still regarded by the majority of the populace as a positive presence in the city.
Thieve’s Guild – a long standing member of the Baldur’s Gate community, there is virtually no goings on within the city that escapes the notice of the Thieve’s Guild and definitely no clandestine transaction that they do not get a cut of. Lead by the infamous “Nine-Fingers” Keene, the Thieve’s Guild wields enormous influence within both the city legitimate and underworld activities.
Grand Families – not so much an organisation as a loose affiliation of merchant princes and their extended families. Tracing bloodlines back to almost the founding of Baldur’s Gate, some even claim ancestry from Balduran himself. Primarily located within the exclusive neighbourhood of Bloomridge, the grand families spend as much time attempting to sabotage the investments of their rivals as they do expanding their own ventures.
Barrington and Hale – a sizeable law firm located in the Bloomridge with a reputation for professionalism and discretion. Many of the grand families use Barrington and Hale to handle their affairs.