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The Gem District of Athkatla was a quarter in the center of the city, on the north bank of the Alandor River.[2] It was home to the city's wealthiest merchant families, whose ostentatious taste for jewels, gold and other status symbols were displayed in proud competition with one another. The district seemed to have no landmarks that stood out as every building glittered with such over-the-top opulence, they clashed in a display of utter tastelessness.[1]

SocietyEdit

Only common couriers or servants walked the streets of the gem district. Merchants traveling about the city would be carried by jewel-encrusted palanquins or ride ornately-decorated, gilded coaches led by elaborately adorned steeds and protected by a cadre of highly regimented, and council-regulated, personal guards. These protectors were known to carry long polearms equipped with wands of paralyzation attached at their ends.[1]

Guests were tolerated, though not particularly welcome, and tourists or mere onlookers who traveled within the gem district were firmly turned away. Those determined enough to enjoy the decadent splendor of the city's richest district could occasionally find a way to go undetected, with some clever thinking or a convincing disguise.[3]

DescriptionEdit

Despite its proximity to the River District of Athkatla, there was next to no crime within this section of the city. It was even rumored the sewers beneath the district were patrolled by a group of apparitions and wraiths, called the Ghost Patrol,[1] who rebuffed undesirables and could be tracked by their eerie moans.[3]

The streets were kept immaculately clean, as even the droppings of pack animals would be cleaned up in a few moments. During the night the streets were illuminated by glowspells, floating clouds of radiance that drifted throughout the city quarter.[1]

HistoryEdit

One trend in the mid-14th century was the use of increasingly large animals as status symbols by the city's merchant families - to the point where elephants became a common sighting within the streets of the gem district.[1]

Notable locationsEdit

There were no general stores, or grocers within the gem district as any essential goods were delivered from merchants in other regions of the city. There were also no rental buildings and very few establishments for visitors to dine and enjoy a drink.[3]

Landmarks
  • Dancing Dolphins House: This "open mansion", owned by Albaerlus Gudelmar, was often used to host Athkaltan "shieldrings", or gatherings of wealthy merchant families[4]
  • Flamethrower Fountain: This common meeting place in the west section of the district was frequented by perfume peddlers[5]
  • Shadowgates House: A private club that catered exclusively to wealthy and noble-born Athkatlan women[5]
Residences
Shops

The gem district had a fair number of jewelry shops:


It had few stores that carried less-than-exquisite goods:

Taverns
  • Adamantine Mug: This surprisingly reasonable tavern served a club of sorts for the district's merchants, offering discreet and superb service[16]
Temples

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  2. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  4. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 34. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  6. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 23. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  8. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  9. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 31. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  11. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  12. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  14. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  15. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  16. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 33. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
  17. Ed Greenwood (2000). Volo's Guide to Baldur's Gate II. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 0-7869-1626-5.
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