Deepwater Harbor, also known as Waterdeep Harbor, was a natural basin of the Sea of Swords off the Sword Coast North that gave the city of Waterdeep its name.[1][2]

Description[edit | edit source]

Thanks to continuous efforts by the Guild of Watermen and its merfolk population, the cold waters of Deepwater Harbor were exceptionally clean.[1][2]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Deepwater Harbor was enclosed by Deepwater Isle to the south and Stormhaven Island to the west. It was divided into two parts: the Great Harbor, where all trade and general seafaring traffic took place, and the Naval Harbor, which was restricted for the City Navy.[2][3] The harbor was considered part of the Dock Ward of Waterdeep.[4]

The rocky bottom of the harbor was covered with a thin layer of mud that became thicker towards the south. The sea floor sloped down southward and rose in the eastern and western directions, forming a lopsided bowl shape.[1]

Geographical Features[edit | edit source]

From the west, Deepwater Isle provided a natural protection from harsh weather.[4] South of the island, a formation of sharp rocks known as the Sea Stacks provided another natural barrier against the approach of ships.[2] Northeast of Deepwater Isle, the sea floor sloped abruptly into a great depth in the area known as Umberlee's Cache.[1]

Trade[edit | edit source]

Groups of locathah and merfolk visited the communities at Deepwater Harbor regularly to trade.[1][2]

Defenses[edit | edit source]

Surface access to Deepwater Harbor from the Sea of Swords was controlled by mariners of the City Guard, who operated walls and retractable chain nets that could block the harbor if necessary. Underwater access both from the sea and from the city's sewer exits was patrolled by a group of hired merfolk from the village in Deepwater Isle, whose watches regularly covered up to 0.25 miles (400 meters) off the western shore of Deepwater Isle and up to 0.5 miles (800 meters) north of Stormhaven Island. They were considered members of the Guard, but employed their own weapons and tactics independently. Unauthorized lizardfolk and sahuagin coming into the harbor were attacked on sight.[1]

In exchange for protection and cleanup of the harbor, the Lords of Waterdeep paid the merfolk generously in the form of food, medical supplies, and trade bars. The merfolk could also be hired for the recovery of sunken vessels or cargo and other services.[1]

Under the Waterdhavian Code Legal, illegal entry into Deepwater Harbor was punishable by banishment from the city for one year, as well as a fine of 500 gp.[5]

History[edit | edit source]

Regular meetings at Deepwater Harbor began in −1088 DR, as southern and northern human tribes gathered there annually to trade. The first permanent settlements dated back to −980 DR in what would later become the city of Waterdeep.[6]

In the Year of Sea Monsters, −458 DR, the village of Tharqualnaar was founded by merfolk settlers.[7]

The harbor fortifications were built between 998 DR and 1010 DR, culminating with the official establishment of the city of Waterdeep on Midsummer of that year.[8]

In Alturiak of the Year of the Shield, 1367 DR, a small group of aquatic elf refugees settled with the merfolk in Deepwater Harbor. The survivors were fleeing from a group of underwater predators driven into a frenzy.[1][9] Although the reasons for the attacks were unknown at the time, the attackers were the vanguard of an army put together by Iakhovas and the incident was a prelude to a full0scale assault and attempted invasion of the city in 1369 DR, in what would become known as the Deepwater War.[7]

Notable Locations[edit | edit source]

  • Boatscrape Cove, a beach where ships were cleaned of barnacles and other incrustations.[2]
  • Deepwater Beach, a popular site for mermaids to flirt with members of the City Guard.[2]
  • Deepwater Beacon, an underwater lighthouse that stood at the edge of Umberlee's Cache, giving off magical light that served as a guide for the merfolk patrols as well as ships navigating the harbor at night. The lighthouse building also served as storage and armory, as a guard post for the treasure in the trench below, and as a tether point for the giant sea horses that were employed as mounts by the merfolk patrols.[1][2]
  • The Queenspire, a temple to Umberlee built on an outcropping that extended south of the South Gate.[10]
  • Tharqualnaar, a merfolk village in a cave complex under Deepwater Isle.[7]
  • T'Quession, a sea elf village founded by the refugees that fled from the Army of Iakhovas.[7]
  • Umberlee's Cache, a system of caverns in the deepest part of the sea floor that was the destination of all treasure dropped into the harbor as tribute to Umberlee.[11]

Inhabitants[edit | edit source]

The small colonies of merfolk and sea elves from Tharqualnaar and T'Quession provided volunteers to patrol and clean Deepwater Harbor. The merfolk used nets to catch debris coming from the sewer exits and transported them to the deep ocean. They also kept a garden near a hotspot by a rift on the sea floor, where they grew various species of underwater plants for food and fertilizer.[1]

Around the Year of Three Ships Sailing, 1492 DR,[note 1] the young bronze dragon Zelifarn moved into an underwater cave in the harbor. He started putting together his hoard by scouring nearby shipwrecks for treasure.[12]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, but Christopher Perkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1492 DR. Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1492 DR for events related to this sourcebook and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (which is referenced on pages 5 and 98 of Dragon Heist).

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 58–59. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 107–108. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  3. Map by Jason Engle included in Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  5. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 78. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  6. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  8. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  9. Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
  10. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  11. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 119–120. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  12. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36, 145. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.

Connections[edit | edit source]

Wards of Waterdeep
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