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The Wide was a district in the Upper City of Baldur's Gate that served as a vast open-air marketplace and plaza. It was a place where Baldurians and outsiders alike could gather together to gossip, trade, debate politics and discuss issues of the day, or otherwise conduct their business within the city. Its reputation as a market and public forum was well-known across Faerûn, as far away as the nation of Thay.[1]

Management of the Wide was left to its Bailiff, a thankless job that was bestowed upon any individual capable enough and willing to coordinate the needs of the marketplace. They had establish which market stalls could be placed in which location, consider how competing patriar families interacted with one another, settle disputes and keep record of each and every partition of sanctioned market space within the Wide.[1]

DescriptionEdit

The main attraction of the Wide were the vast number of temporary stalls and booths that were operated by merchants, artists, artisans, fortune-tellers, hedge wizards, sages—or whomever had a service or good to sell within Baldur's Gate. A great variety of commodities were offered within, from textiles and spices from the Shining South to locally-made tools or silk from foreign lands. These stalls often featured brightly-hued awnings that caught the eye, and their purveyors offered prices that were lower than anywhere else it the city.[1]

Tables were set up between the stalls, upon which folks could sit and take a brief reprieve from the bustle of the crowds.[1]

The typically musky smell that permeated the Gate was masked by the scent of spices, tobacco and roasted meats that were prepared nearby.[1]

ActivitiesEdit

Before dawn, the Bailiff and their assistants met at the Beloved Ranger to discuss which vendors were allowed what space in the Wide and set about marking their respective "real estate" with chalk outlines. Stalls had to be requested the previous day, and reservations were confirmed by night-time doorstop delivery. The entire decision-making process for which vendor received which place in the Wide was a complex algorithm dependent on their history in the city, what goods and services they sold compared to their neighbors, their draw with the crowds and whether or not they had commit any previous infractions. While bribes of gold typically had to be turned down, donating extra goods for "routine inspection" often lent someone to receive preferential placement in the Wide.[1]

At first light, many servants and liveries lined up outside the Wide to await arrival of the merchants. Just after the stalls were set up, the finest and freshest goods were purchased for wealthy enough to afford such diligent help.[2] During the day, the market was absolutely packed, with shoppers and visitors standing shoulder-to-shoulder.[1] Most business was conducted during the mid-day hours.[3]

To manage deliveries through the crowds, the young and strong couriers wore tall poles strapped to their torsos, at the top of which was attached the load they were tasked with delivery. These "pole-carters" were offered significant protection from thieves while in the market and carried their goods in a traditional fashion when they entered into the narrow streets of the surrounding city.[1] Bulk goods that could not be transported in this manner were often sold on supposition and delivered later on by other means.[4]

Just before desk, as the last of the merchants' goods were transported to their destinations, the Watch began to clear the wide of bystanders.[3] As the entire Upper City had a strictly-enforced curfew, the Wide was generally devoid of activity during the night-time hours.[5]

Notable LocationsEdit

Businesses
Landmarks
Temples

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Video Games

NotesEdit

  1. Although it is not referred to as "the Wide" in-game, the depiction of the marketplace was consistent with the area described in later sourcebooks.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  2. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  5. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  6. Dungeon Master's screen included in Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). Murder in Baldur's Gate. Edited by Dawn J. Geluso. (Wizards of the Coast), p. DMS. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  7. BioWare (December 1998). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate. Black Isle Studios.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  9. Jim Zub (October 2014). “Legends of Baldur's Gate 1”. Legends of Baldur's Gate #1 (IDW Publishing).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Campaign Guide”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
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