Dungeons & Dragons
Hard against the harbor lies the Lower City, where stone, slate-roofed houses stand (sometimes unsteadily), and the folk who have long performed the real work of the city reside. Baldur’s Gate depends on trade, and that trade flows in and out of the Gray Harbor. The hands that load and unload ships, that tally cargo and haul goods, that repair keels and mend sails, all live here. The damp clings heavily in this portion of the city—some say it’s held in by the Old Wall—and lamps (lit and filled by citizens, not the city) pierce the fog. Most locals are wise enough to carry lanterns or lamps, and visitors that have not learned to do so can usually hire a young Baldurian to guide them through the streets.
The Lower City was long ago walled in to benefit from the protection of the city, but the divide between the two wards is as stark as it has ever been. The Flaming Fist is responsible for keeping order in the Lower City, and do so with brutal efficiency, deterring most from engaging in bold, public acts of theft, vandalism, or violence.
Where merchants in other cities might hope to one day join the nobility, in Baldur’s Gate the best one can hope for is to become an absurdly wealthy and influential merchant. Becoming a patriar is out of the question. Still, the wealthiest Baldurians live as much like the patriars as they can, buying up adjacent properties in the hopes of demolishing them in order to build large homes to echo the manors of the Upper City. The Bloomridge district has a number of such homes, and some of the patriars grumble that these merchants are growing too comfortable with their new status.