Players' Guide: The Wards of Waterdeep

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Players' Guide: The Wards of Waterdeep

Postby Jiriki » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:19 am

The Wards of Waterdeep

Waterdeep as a city is split up for a reason, this being security. Each area can by a command be shut down and isolated, governed within a moment’s notice. Each area is specifically held with its own importance. Each Ward has its own name, and each ward holds its own secrets and mysteries.

Predominantly Waterdeep’s wealthiest ward, this ward is located on the north west of the city. To the south of the northern west gated entrance to the city and filled with a great many upper class buildings, its main feature however is the Sea’s Edge Beach that starts just south of West Gate. Formerly mud-flats, this area, carefully covered with sand, and now a beach-front for the summer whilst during the lower season months, walks of solitude are not exactly unheard of along this stretch during the quiet times of the season. Containing a considerable amount of the upper class buildings of the city, its affluence is note worthy in the extreme. Great multi storied buildings that shine and gleam in the sun shine, with the sloped roofs that feature considerably in this city to withstand the terrible storms that have been known to lash along the coast throughout the year, it contains more Noble Villa’s than anything else though, and carefully interspersed within theses gilded lilies, sit temples of many stories, named and listed in location here.

    • The Shrines of Nature - Two storey – Just off Bliss Street (Temples to Mielikki and Silvanus)
    • The Temple of Beauty - Three Storey – Along Stag hunters way (Temple to Sune )
    • The Tower of Luck - Two buildings, two and three storeys retrospectively – On the main street, Street of the Singing Dolphin (Temple to Tymora)
    • House of Wonder - Five Storey – Off Delzarin Street (Temple to Mystra)
    • The House of Inspired Hands - Three storey - Just off Shark Street (Temple to Gond)
    • House of the Moon - Four Storey – Off Diamond Street (Temple to Selune)
    • The House of Heroes - Three Storey – Jelzar’s Stride (Temple to Tempus)

Some of these building’s, are fabulously tall, with slender sloping roofs ending in tiled runnels that send gushes of water down into the pipes that drape gently in ornate fashions around and along a net work of systems before finally ending in the sewers and storm drains. Look closer and you can see the fabulous fishes, birds and other animals and creatures ornately fashioned to end the pipes.

Pretty much every building in that list is immensely grand, looking truly like someone with a considerable amount of money and power has taken the time to make these buildings look fabulous scattering spires along the skyline with a generous hand. They are regularly maintained by the clerics that work there, painting them and cleaning them from top to bottom, inside and out. The other grandiose looking buildings are villa’s belonging to the Noble Elite and well off merchants and noble houses of Waterdeep. All of elite in residence in this ward are listed below.

    • Emveolstone
    • Hillgauntlet
    • Gauntyl
    • Brokengulf
    • Raventree
    • Rosznar
    • Jhansczil
    • Melshimber
    • Ilitul
    • Wavesilver
    • Eltorchul
    • Nesher
    • Gundwynd
    • Artemel
    • Ammakyl
    • Silmerhelve
    • Ruledgost
    • Husteem
    • Zulpair
    • Eirontalar
    • Tesper ‘Tespergates’
    • Irilingstar
    • Manthar
    • Ilzhimmer
    • Tchazzam
    • Urmbrusk
    • Assumbar
    • Cassalanter
    • Thongolir
    • Eagleshield
    • Dezlentyr
    • Belabranta
    • Bladesemmer
    • Moonstar

Cut into blocks of buildings and inter-spaced with various different roads, the main of which is named;

The street of the singing dolphin, running from north to south right down the middle of the Sea Ward, this is the main road that peoples travelling to and from the North West will enter the city. If you were to enter through Troll fort, the main building that stands in the immense stone wall that surrounds this section of the city; it twists and hooks until you reach, ‘The Troll Tower’ or as its true name is, the North Tower. Looking toward the centre of the city at this point, you pass through Sea Ward and to your east would be North Ward. To the south is Castle Ward, while further down again to the south sits Deepwater Harbour, the main land is along the coast a little and joins into Dock Ward, which then becomes South Ward, and up between the north end of South Ward and the City of the Dead sits Trades Ward. Finally, further up the city sits the southern most point of North Ward. The entirety of the whole city is surrounded by a large and strong wall. At times only broken by towers with guards, at other times roads lead off with watch towered gates. Within the Sea Ward section many buildings and taverns, inns, wizard’s domiciles, businesses and even an asylum can be found. There are a few private houses also and gambling houses, along with City Buildings that can be found here. But again, the majority of the noble’s have villas in this area of the city.

In stark contrast, North ward is the home to many middle class households and some of the lesser nobles of the city. Shutting down at dusk, it holds only one land mark of note, Cliff watch. However, some in quiet corners might be caught whispering behind their hands of illicit goods being occasionally traded or even maybe stored in this nice local well to do neighbourhood. It is the home of the Grinning Lion, that bastion of good food, good wine and better company. The only thing of note that might be found in the slightest intriguing here would happen to be Cliff watch ruins. An inn that mysteriously got destroyed in an explosion possibly caused by magic that sent huge spouting gouts of flame launching into the air, the ruins themselves have been closed off with a patrol of watchmen and fence. This land is not for sale.

In the heart of Waterdeep and wrapped around the base of Mount Waterdeep, this ward is where the majority of the city’s administrative buildings and state buildings sit. The most famous sightseeing landmarks are here. Ahgairon’s Tower, Blackstaff Tower, Castle Waterdeep, Piergeiron’s Palace, the Market and Mirt’s Mansion.

Fetlock Court sits here. A large courtyard adjoining the Palace paddocks and stable yard, this is the area that any mounted contingent of the guards prepares before heading out for any outlying patrols. It has also become a strange impromptu performance area for bards who seem to prefer the acoustics to their cold quarters at New Olamn which is found nicely away down the Cliffride. A steep, treacherous track made of gravel that runs along Mount Waterdeep’s northern spur and is constantly left to the elements. There is another path; Mount Melody Walk has a continuous flame-lit tunnel dug through the northern spur of Mount Waterdeep. It’s staffed constantly though by a four-person contingent of the Guard.

The Cynosure is another part of this immense city, another part of the Castle ward. Immediately after the ascension of Midnight and Cyric to their godhood’s. Many Waterdhavians heard the voice of the over god, Ao over mount Waterdeep. Within a month, a marble temple known as ‘The Temple of the Over-god’ was built upon the ruins of Traders way. (This was the site of Myrkul’s death) with the enthusiastic support of the guilds and nobles of the city. Many worshippers flock to this temple, nobles included, who mostly seem to be intent on remaining among the fashionable elite. However, within the passing of six months the flock was emptied down to mortal and divine disinterest. Soon, save for a few occasionally sporadic services, the Lords of Waterdeep eventually annexed the temple and have since put it to good use a public hall, rentable for a nominal fee, to wealthy merchants and nobles for the use of Weddings, Parties, Balls and other social events. Renamed and thus the title being added to the carved frieze is the ironic name of ‘The Cynosure’. Ironic as this is also the name of the plane used by the gods for a meeting place. Only three real temples remain in this ward. The Spires of the Morning – Lathander (On Julthoon Street), The Font of Knowledge - Oghma and The Halls of Justice - Tyr (Found just to the West of the Market) and the Pantheon Temple of the Seldarine (Just of Warriors way). The rest of the buildings in the Ward are private houses, Taverns, Inns, Warehouses, Embassies (Including the Entrance to the Thayan Embassy just north of the market).

In the eastern half of the city containing the western and southern walls of the City of the Dead sit the Trades Ward. Pretty much it’s only commerce here, no sense of community, but it’s still remarkably busy day and night. The landmarks of Trades Ward include, Court of the White Bull name for the albino calf born there. The calf’s owner eventually built a Tavern and named it the While Bull. The tavern thrived right up until it was destroyed in a spell battle that ripped a hole that turned into an out of control planar breach to the Astral Plane. The god of mages Azuth repaired the breach but occasionally this area become prone to wild magic. No one has dared ever since to build on the location making it a good place for market and caravan owners so they can peddle their goods from wagons. It also holds within its boundaries The Plinth and Virgin’s Square. An immense row of shops and businesses straddle both sides of long roads that run directly north to south.

Exactly as it sounds like, this is where the dead stay. Be they walking dead or sleeping heroes of the past, they all end up here. Citizens visit this place to lounge on the grass and enjoy the peace and quiet during the day. However at night, is secured shut for a reason. This doesn’t however seem to stop those willing to risk the darkness and the dangers of the damned to hold a meeting here.


Named for the many wandering adventurers that die in the city, this simple tomb holds their remains and items (after all debts are paid). However, the rumours of gold and riches within, makes it a target to thieves and rogues alike.


This is one of the many vast mausoleums in the City of the Dead. A row of low steps lead up to a set of high metal gates. Inside, an echoing empty hall is ended only by an opaque energy filled arch which leads to an apparently endless labyrinth of caverns underground. The city of Waterdeep pays well for the lamplighters to illuminate the caverns that are only reachable with this means of entry. All the homeless poor who have no other place to lie, they are cremated to save space and if their names are known, the name is carved into the rock above their interred ashes.


This place is also known within the city as the ‘Coinscoffin’. Reserved only for those that can pay in advance (This means prior to death) for the honour of resting here. Another opaque filled doorway sits at the end of another gently lit hallway. The doorway leads to a lightly lit wooded area, inset plaques lay on the ground to mark the resting places of the Merchants within.


An immensely impressive stone sculpture in the circle of three men and two women all of which are caught in the throes of battle with Trolls, Goblinoids, Orcs, Barbarians and other monsters. All of which are falling backward around them. Recently (after the time of troubles) the statue was magically changed to include a Griffon Rider, flying above the other warriors, impaling a minion of Myrkul with his spear.


A small black marble tomb is the only resting place of the Lords wishing to be buried in state. Statues of the Open Lords Ahghairon (to the north), Baeron (east) and Lhestyn (south). No statue faces to the west but however there is a door made apparently of some smoky material, possibly the same as the lords’ helms but no one can be sure as none can get see or enter the tomb contained within those boundaries. To public knowledge, only one Lord has ever been buried here within the past three decades. All the Lords within are buried with full regalia, but the identities of the Lords within are all unknown.


A tomb reserved for the Sages, of which eighty are interred, it’s a small musty and dusty tomb. The rumour that many of the sages’ rarest books and tomes of power were buried with the owners cremated remains still can be heard by certain dealers.


The official warrior’s tomb of Waterdeep, this tomb is held for fighters and all those who fall in battle. Blue marble vaulted ceilings enclose a trophy hall with many items of the fallen, including the Sword hilt of Raurlor among other items. Broken blades, helms, broken arrows and other things rest here on low set marbled shelves while at the far end, another opaque doorway leads to pleasantly rolling fields on an ‘empty’ plane. Here, row upon row of swords stand in silence, buried into the grassy earth for a few inches.


The long forgotten and neglected tomb of the Deepwinter family is this. Enter at your own risk. The door is rusted shut and the hinges protest robustly if any try to enter. Cobwebs hang from the weather worn stone work.


A heavily warded tomb that holds the slumbering and highly dangerous Sylsinssath Sultlue of House Eselemas. He settled in Waterdeep over a century ago after being driven from his former home by a family rival. Various members of House Sultlue make visits to the tomb to attend his needs, while a small band of Tainted Ones dwell within the tomb itself.


A marbled and upturned hull like structure with carved ropes run along the sides of this beautifully calm tomb. Small keepsake items that are left in memory of those lost to the sea in acts of bravery or times of war adorn the steps while names roll down the walls in columns surrounded by sea creatures and more rope work.

Mostly full of taverns, warehouses and guildhalls this place is rough. Sailors mill about looking for rides out of the city. While sneaky people move about in the shadows looking for a ‘man about a dog’.

~ The Warrens ~

Hidden below the heart of the Dock Ward lies a lesser-known neighbourhood. Only reachable through narrowly winding tunnels that lead off into dark alleys. The Warrens are centuries old, from time to time a higher floor is added to a building or a walkway adds to cramped living space while it also connects houses. Sometimes it even connects houses across the street! Part of the streets have in time been completely buried and lost to the sun. Rebuilding over the years also shore up the lowest floors again, permanently concealed now from the light. This has slowly over time resulted in the forgotten layer that becomes known as the Warrens. It is home to many of Waterdeep’s small folk like Gnomes, Halflings and even the occasional Dwarf which has taken up residence in the narrow darkness. Stout Halfling warriors guard the entrances, keeping the Warrens free from Humans. Other accessible hidden places like the Monster pit, a subterranean gladiatorial ring long forgotten, expect by the Dock Ward gangs that use the place for clandestine meetings, and to settle rival differences. There are even shops that hold souvenirs and items from Undermountain.

Formerly known as Temple Ward, the Southern Ward sits in the south-eastern corner of the city. Bounded by Trades Wards in the north and the Dock Ward in the west. Caravan City is a homely, friendly, busy, but poor area of Waterdeep. Landmarks such as Caravan Court and Waymoor. It is Caravan Court that has given it the nickname Caravan City. Most if not all Caravans leaving or entering through the Southern Gate meet or split up in Caravan court. It’s normally busy all times of the day or night with bawling beast waiting to be driven as they pull wagons, or swearing drovers wielding their cracking whips through the air like knives.
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Re: Players' Guide: The Wards of Waterdeep

Postby Jiriki » Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:21 am

Mount Waterdeep

First Appearances
This mountain is a bald, rough crag, topped by a lookout tower and griffon-steed Aerie; on its seaweed flanks are emplaced eleven gigantic triple-catapults for hurling loads of rock and burning material out to sea against attacking ships. It is pierced by several sea caves, connected by tunnels of great antiquity whose creator is unknown, and formerly used for smuggling, but now controlled (and guarded) by the city guard, and used by the Lords in secretive operations. The South Sea cave, in particular, leads down to Skullport. It is rumored that it was on this mountain that Lord Ao appeared and raised Cyric and Midnight to Godhood at the end of the Time of Troubles.

Peaktop Aerie
The road way up to this Aerie is hard work, the mountain itself being the predominant feature of the local area. The wagon wheels have depressed two deep channels for those on foot, and the years of use have worn away the original road in all except the centre of the pathway and to the sides. There’s hardly any scrub or grass up here, and the higher you go, the harder the walk seems to get. But then, with another turn on the road the pathway seems less steep the top seems much closer suddenly. Until finally there before you is a large open space. As the road smaller moves on past and up onto the ridges where the first of the eleven immense triple-catapults can be seen.

Cut into the side of the cliff face are a large pair of imposing burnished and highly polished doors, almost like a fortress and the work is obviously Dwarven. Even to the untrained eye the cut and hue of the rock around the nearly invisible join is unmistakably one of a master craftsmen. If the work of the doors into the cliff face is impossibly beautiful, then the work upon the wood itself is a perfect match. Griffons and their riders soaring through the skies, sending dragons fleeing before them in the background while in the foreground more griffons and their riders rampage furiously upon their foes, obviously fighting and hurling lances and lightening, while others again hurl fireballs into the camps of their enemies.

In another scene, a group of riders collect and carry a wounded rider, while others mourn the passing of his Griffon. The other Griffons on the ground their bowing their heads in a savage grief that is too beautiful for words.

Two sentries stand in the gold and black armor of Waterdeep. Their breastplates trimmed with fur for comfort in the cold winds that blow at this height all year round. Legs clad with leather and black and grey wolf fur also helps to keep the legs warm while a heavy looking helm finishes the look. Armed with a long sword and shield these are evidently guards that know how to handle themselves and are not easily swayed. Within the main doors of the Aerie itself a smaller human sized door can be just about made out. Again the workmanship of the door is perfect so perfect that the join is almost impossible to distinguish with the other work that surrounds it. When opened, the resounding “boom, boom” that can be heard within 60’, is deep and bass in it’s resonance that it almost churns your stomach.

The door opens.

Inside, the doorway opens out to show almost a small village hewn into the rock itself here. Proudly bearing the tunics of the Griffon order, but without the badge of office, the servants that work behind the scenes to help make things work they do not hang their heads with the pain and ache of servitude. More like they are working towards a greater good and know it, but either way, they eagerly go about their duties. An informal bow of the head to each rider as they pass or are encountered, is accepted with a likewise nod in return, however, within the ranks of the Riders, each rank has it’s own specific salute and each encounter within the rank is always correctly put into use. To do otherwise would be considered an insult. These riders are not only connected through their chosen and almost vocational roles in some cases, but they are also imbued with a heavy sense of honor, respect and family. Within a few feet of the doors it becomes pretty evident that space here is never wasted and it is at a premium. The large crater like bowl that takes up the centre of the space here is usually full of training riders working with either weapons, mounts or both. Others are re-working their weapons in the forge, or re-working and repairing their mount’s saddles in the leatherworking area. But to the left of the bowl large caves are cut into the rock each with its own rocky perch for the Griffon to Sun themselves on.

A pathway leads carefully around the left of the bowl and into the cliff wall which is informally known as “Hunkers Ridge”, and avoids the main work of the training riders but then steps carved into the wall of the rock leads up into the tunnels that lay behind the scenes. At a regular spacing along the smooth carved walls are thick wooden doors. The tunnel runs a far way along the bowl edge and in the walls of the ridge itself. Occasionally an air flume lets light into the tunnel which is predominantly lit by torches that are replaced often. But the light flumes also allow the observer a good view of the bowl itself.

Each room that comes under the heading of “Room and Board” is lavishly decorated with genuine stone. A bed, a desk with a chair and a chest is in the smallish 20x 30 foot room, and in a small recess in the wall above the desk and chair sits a lantern. A curtained off area that blows with a draft is just the other side of the bed. Pull it back and this is where the Griffon roosts. A large and comfortable bed is in one side, and considering each beast grows up to 8 ft long, with a wing span of 25ft in total, the chamber is massively sized. The entrance way is set with a balcony almost for the Griffon to be able to comfortable lounge in the sun if it wants to when not on duty. This means that each rider and Griffon can enhance the bond created during training. Seclusion after all being seclusion this also means that the rider must be prepared mentally when joining the Cavalry.

The other side of the bowl is where the infirmary for both Griffon and Rider is kept. Also just along are the food hall (mess), rest room and where the patrols receive their orders for their flight. Lord Moedt also lives in a relative squalor here. (Considering the other Lords in the city) None of the gold and silver trimmings, he dresses well, but his quarters are only decorated with more scenes of Griffons in flight. Tapestries and a role call list of the present and past riders and mounts of the city’s cavalry.

Hunkers Ridge
Up a long repeating flight of steps, and to finally a heavy wooden door opens out to the air and the sky. A savage cross wind hits you quickly if you’re not tied to a rail to the side of the door while lines permanently attached are right beside it. Once connected, and stepping out onto the pathway, the walker easily finds himself into and at the mercy of the winds and moving along the rail requires both hands to pull along. Speaking in this environment is impossible so communication is reduced to shouting into the wind that churns and threatens to lift you off your feet after this short walk, a small natural hollow can be sat in, a stone cut step almost which provides a decent seat and a good vantage point. 'Hunkering down’ at Hunkers Ridge is a regular past time for a few of the riders when not in flight.

It is thus named after one of the original Riders, Lorton Hunker who loved to go up there. One of the most popular stories goes that when the city was under attack and the Griffons rode out, his Griffon was too badly injured to fly. She had been hurt recently in a battle before and so he went up to the ridge. He proceeded to remain there, taking stock of the aerial combat, counting each kill, counting each flight in and out, and tallying up the dead. He is now a hero to most young riders, and a good inspiration to all.

This is the point that most of the Griffons use to come in low when coming into land and take off. The winds up there are perfect for the initial ‘leap and swoop’ technique that the Griffons love. Even when there’s hardly a wind down in the city, up there on Hunkers there’s always a wind.

Castle Ward
A friendly face looks at you, a badge of the guard upon this breast. “Good morn, friend. You look a bit lost. I am Laran Regista, Aumarr of the Guard. If you would like I can show you a few of the more unique locations of the city.”

He smiles as he leads you through the Castle Ward. “Now, I know I may sound biased but I believe that the Castle Ward is the true heart of the city. Let me explain. It is true there is quite a separation in wealth throughout the city, but in this Ward, you will see the widest variety. Most of the nobles stay to the northern Wards, and the poorer populace tends towards the southern Wards. However both come to this Ward for the variety of shops and entertainment.”

He points at the mountain dominating the western side of the Ward. “Mount Waterdeep. It’s how the city got its name. There are many interesting things up there, if you don’t mind a hike. The Griffon Calvary’s Eyrie is up there, as well as along the western side is the cliff Gull Leap, which not only provides a spectacular view, but also is home to the Walking Statues. They are extremely large statues, crafted by the Blackstaff himself. They are animated and have come to protect the city on a few occasions.”

He then points closer to the most eastern part of the mountain slope. “There lies Castle Waterdeep. It is mostly used as the main headquarters of the Guard, but can also be used as a safe haven for a great many of the city’s citizens should a true calamity occur. But it is a rare thing indeed to see it used as such a safe haven.”

Laran then walks with you closer to the mountain, pointing at a grand keep with a large number of towers, with a cliff of the mountain behind it. “Piergeiron’s Palace, although truly it is a city structure that is what is has been known by the past years. It is true that the Open Lord does make his home there, but there are also many city duties that take place there, such as the Lords’ Court and many of the strictly city administration services. There are a large number of embassies from other lands that reside there, one of the most notable being the Thayan Embassy.”

He turns back to the rest of the city, leading you through the streets. “Let’s see. Ah, here is an interesting little place. Elfstone Tavern. It is quite a site to see. Inside they have used magic of some sort to grow living trees inside. They even open the roof up during the warmer days to allow in sunlight. Truly makes the elves and other woodland people feel at home. But if the Forest isn’t your thing, there is also the Crawling Spider. That tavern is designed with the feel of being underground. Many dwarves and half-orcs find it relaxing. Even with the servants there being dressed up in mock drow costumes.”

“If you are looking for a place to stay for the night though, and have quite a bit of money to afford it, then I suggest the Jade Jug. It is likely the most expensive inn in the city, but also the most luxurious. They do not pamper the guest as much as others. They lack the grand design and flair of others, but they truly care about their guests and go above and beyond to help them.”

“And here is a most ‘curious’ little shop. The Curious Past, it is run by a woman named Bronwyn Caradoon. I suppose it is not a shop proper, but rather she is a treasure hunter. She sells those items she finds, but also takes commissions if you are looking for a particular item of interest. She is renowned for never cutting out on a deal. Not to mention she is always up for a good talk, if you have a topic that’s interesting enough.”

He smirks as you arrive at a large area, full of different stalls and tents. “No need to explain this one really. This is the open air market. If you can’t find what you are looking for here, then you likely never will. Keep in mind that most people ask for high prices, because they also expect most people to be able to haggle. Just watch out for the occasional pick-pocket too. Too many close crowds for us to keep vigilance at all times.”

He turns and points towards the western end of the market. “Over yonder is the Cynosure. Another unique place to the city. During the end of the Time of Troubles, it was the site were Myrkul died, and then later on was a temple to the Overgod. But lack of interest turned it into a city building before long. There is tell that the taint of Myrkul’s death affected the area so as that magic is harder to complete there. Made it quite a nice place to meet mages to make deals and ensure that their spells did not sway it one way or the other.”

Laran turns back to you. “That is a good number of the more interesting places. There are plenty more though, ranging from the Spires of Morning to the Tower of Order, including quite a few wizard towers such as Ahghairon’s and even the Blackstaff’s Tower. But I must be getting back to the barracks to prepare for a patrol. I suggest just walking around and looking, as that is when you truly find the most interesting little places. But again, welcome to the Castle Ward, the Heart of Waterdeep.”

{The following is a listing of the major and minor temples and shrines that can be easily found in Waterdeep, along with the related deity. Other deities may have smaller or less accessible shrines known only to those that do some searching.

Castle Ward Temples

Major Temples
~Font of Knowledge - Oghma
~The Halls of Justice - Tyr
~Spires of the Morning - Lathandar

Minor Temples
~Pantheon Temple of the Seldarine - Elven Pantheon
~The Plinth - open to any faith

~House of Two Hands - Order of the Even Handed (Tyr)
~Monastery of the Sun - Order of the Sun (Lathander, Selune, Sune)

Deepwater Harbor Temples

Major Temple
~The Queenspire - Umberlee

North Ward Temples

Minor Temple
~Hospice of St. Laupsenn - Ilmater

Sea Ward Temples

Major Temples
~The House of Inspired Hands - Gond
~The House of the Moon - Selune
~The House of Wonder - Mystra
~Tower of Luck - Tymora

Minor Temples
~The House of Heroes - Tempus
~Shrines of Nature - Mielikki and Silvanus
~Temple of Beauty - Sune }

Part I of this series listed the actual temples and shrines to be found in and around Waterdeep, strictly in terms of location. The following discusses the benefits clergy enjoy for joining them full-time, with more of a focus on mechanics.

General Benefits
So what exactly are the benefits to joining the clergy at a particular church or shrine?

Joining the clergy of your faith full-time is not all benefits, of course. To gain any sort of benefit, you enter into an obligation with your church to serve for at least 30 hours of every tenday, performing duties that can range from maintaining the grounds to performing services, advising worshipers, administrative duties, etc. The opportunity to serve in such a capacity is usually limited to the traditional divine classes (cleric, druid, paladin, and favored soul), though others may be qualified at DM discretion (some rangers or monks, for example). There is some flexibility in this service allowed for the sake of traveling/adventuring, particularly if participating in said adventure or travel serves the interests of your deity (ask your DM at the beginning of your adventure).

In return for your service, you receive a stipend of 5g/level/month. Further, the gods reward their most dedicated servants for their service with additional knowledge, luck, and protection—each month, a character that serves at a shrine or temple gains the ability to use one of the bonuses described below (listed on the character sheet as a "Token of Devotion," though it is not actually a physical object). This bonus may be used only once each month, need not be chosen in advance, and a character does not accumulate unused bonuses. This bonus is a supernatural ability, triggered as an immediate action. If you are in need of an atonement for violating the tenets of your faith, you lose access to this bonus.

Tokens of Devotion
These little bonuses represent your deity personally intervening on your behalf in such cases, a reward for your continued devotion and service. The bonuses that a god can provide in this manner are as follows:

~Divine Scorn: +1 sacred bonus to the DC of the Will save forced by any one turn/rebuke undead attempt.
~Divine Insight: Make any one untrained skill check as if you had one-half rank in that skill (allowing you to use a trained-only skill untrained, or ignore the limit on an untrained Knowledge check).
~Divine Intervention: +1 sacred bonus to any one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check. This bonus may be used after a roll is made, potentially reversing a just-failed check or saving throw (even if the character rolled a Natural 1!).
~Divine Vitality: 1 hit point of healing (as per cure minor, but only on you). This ability cannot be used to save you from death if you reach -10 hp. It can, however, be used while unconscious in order to stabilize yourself.
~These bonuses may seem small, but even the tiniest bonus can make all the difference when you’re knocked to negative hit points, just barely miss the save against that fireball, or even just need to use a given skill because no one else in your party can. To gain any benefits, however, the DMs must be aware of your service beforehand (that is, if you serve a temple or shrine in this capacity, make sure it's on your sheet, and make sure your Token of Devotion is updated at the beginning of every month!). ~If your service and Token are not noted on your sheet, you're out of luck, and the onus is on the player to track down a DM for this.

Specific benefits and services of the various temples are still under construction.
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