The City of the Dead was a large cemetery and ward in Waterdeep. Most of the city's dead were buried here.[1] By day it was used as a park and picnic area. At night it was off-limits to the public, but was still used by many for more nefarious activities.[2]


When Waterdeep was much smaller a cemetery was established on the end of the plateau overlooking the plains east of the city. A low wall was built around the cemetery in 1064 DR first establishing its boundaries north and east of the Trades Ward and south of the North Ward. Since that time higher walls were built and gates into the City of the Dead were established which were only opened to the public during the daylight hours.[3]

Space soon became hard to come by in the cemetery itself. Many of those who could not afford to be buried there found themselves interred in an area known as Grave Alley (later called Ilisar’s Alley). There coffins were placed vertically below the cobblestones. This led to issues of the undead rising from the streets themselves and the practice was soon abandoned.[4]

In order to alleviate the overcrowding, in 1250 DR, Ahghairon and other mages of Waterdeep began to establish portals from tombs and mausoleums to uninhabited demiplanes of various types where the dead were laid to rest. Most notable among these wizards, except for Ahghairon himself, was the portal and teleportation specialist, Anacaster. Two of his more well known portals led from The House of the Homeless and Merchants’ Rest.[2]

Most noble houses, reportedly less than half, did not keep family tombs in the City of the Dead. They instead had crypts below their villas or were buried in family estates outside of Waterdeep.[3]

The cemetery suffered extensive damage during the Spellplague.[5]

Notable LocationsEdit


Andamarr Gate
One of the public gates.[6]
Coffinsmarch Gate
One of the public gates.[7]
Dead End Gate
The hidden, private gate the Carver family uses to enter in order to conduct burials or perform maintenance on the tombs.[1]
Mhalsyymber Gate
One of the public gates.[8]

Crypts, plots, tombs, vaultsEdit

Deepwinter Vault
A tomb near the north end of the City of dead. It once housed the noble Deepwinter family, but was also the entry into the Dungeon of the Crypt.[9][10][11]
A dedicated burial space for members of the different guilds of Waterdeep. Part of the site was made up of a glade which would be dug up from time-to-time to make up space for new dead, while older, forgotten bones were moved elsewhere. Many guildmasters would buy themselves and their families statue-guarded vaults within the forehalls of Guildbones.[12]
The Hall of Heroes
A tomb with a trophy hall for fallen warriors. A portal led to an area of rolling grassy fields with row upon row of buried dead.[10][3]
The Hall of Sages
A tomb reserved for sages.[2][3]
The House of the Homeless
A mausoleum with a portal to a seemingly endless crypt.[2][3]
Lords' Respite
A tomb reserved for those Lords of Waterdeep who chose to be interred here.[2][3]
Markarl Tomb
A tomb near the north end[13]
Mariner's Rest
A tomb for those who drowned at sea or sea captains. It contained a portal to the shores of a placid lake.[3]
Merchants' Rest
Also known as "the Coinscoffer", was a tomb with a portal leading to a lightly wooded area with burial plaques set into the ground. One could have gotten interred here by prepaying for the honor.[2]
Narfuth crypt
A crypt near the north end.[14]
Roads' End
A tomb for travelers who died within Waterdeep.[2][3]
Sultlue Vault
Secretly held a slumbering noble yuan-ti sorcerer.[10]
Vesham Tomb
A tomb near the north end.[13]

Other locationsEdit

Ahghairon's Statue
A marble monument to the first Open Lord.[2][3]
Dead End House
Not technically in the City of the Dead, but not really a part of another Ward. Home of the Carver family - a family of coffin-builders, stone carvers & performers of other tasks related to the funeral & burial process.[15]
Thief's Knot
A hedge maze constructed to honor a long-dead thieves guildmaster.[1]
The Warriors' Monument
A sixty-foot tall sculpture and fountain depicting a battle between men and humanoids along with a griffon rider fighting a skeletal ally of Myrkul[16][3]

Known BurialsEdit


  • Saying that someone was "in the City" was a slang phrase used by Waterdhavians to mean that person was dead.[17]
  • The City of the Dead was the only area of Waterdeep where the establishment of places to worship were forbidden. This was established by the Lords to ensure that no religion could claim areas as sacred and thus charge large fees to be buried there.[18]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 078695129X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  4. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 165. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Steven E. Schend (September 2008). Blackstaff Tower. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 107–8. ISBN 0-7869-4913-9.
  6. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 133. ISBN 078695129X.
  7. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 1. ISBN 078695129X.
  8. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 173. ISBN 078695129X.
  9. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 078695129X.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  11. Eric L. Boyd (October 2005). “Vampires of Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Crypt”. Dungeon #127 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 62–89.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood and Elaine Cunningham (May 2006). The City of Splendors: A Waterdeep Novel. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 19. ISBN 0-7869-4004-2.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 078695129X.
  14. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 078695129X.
  15. Rosemary Jones (June 2009). City of the Dead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2. ISBN 078695129X.
  16. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 179. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  17. Elaine Cunningham (April 2000). Elfshadow. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 0-7869-1660-5.
  18. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Who's Who in Waterdeep”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.


Wards of Waterdeep
Castle WardCity of the DeadDock WardNorth WardSea WardSouthern WardTrades Ward
Other Areas
Deepwater HarborField WardSkullportUndercliff