A Spellplagued Land
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.
The heart of Baldur’s Gate lies within the old, high walls, but the city has spread across the River Chionthar and for miles in every direction. Built quickly and by the hands of refugees, the architecture is a hodgepodge of styles from all across Toril. Streets meander in a maze visitors find impossible to navigate. Despite these impediments, districts and neighborhoods have emerged, providing local color and character that only the natives can pick out from among the architectural morass.
Bloomridge, through feats of engineering and magic, is contained on and within the old walls of Baldur’s Gate. The neighborhood extends down the side of the wall in swoops of stairs, galleries, and hanging gardens. It swarms with well-dressed buyers and discreet sellers. Architecturally pleasing shops are built in and around flower-filled arcades and open-air cafes.
The wealthy and celebrated seek to buy one of the rarely available houses in Bloomridge, or failing that, to rent one of the small but expensive apartments built over popular shops and cafes.
Twin Songs is one of many temple districts in the city, and a small one at that. Because the city’s population is so diverse, this area hosts temples to powers with wildly different goals. Even shrines to evil gods persist unchallenged by the Flaming Fists. Though local chapels and temples can be found in the tenement districts, Twin Songs is wholly devoted to the divine. Here one can easily find temples willing to perform healing rituals for the appropriate price.