Dungeons & Dragons
The Upper City of Baldur’s Gate is the enclosed haven of the city’s nobility—the patriars. Sitting atop their hill, the patriars look down on the rest of Baldur’s Gate in every real sense, wielding their wealth and influence to push the Council of Four to protect their lifestyle. Though at one time a wealthy merchant or powerful adventurer might hope to advance to the ranks of the patriars, there is no longer room, physically or otherwise, for the class of the Upper City to grow. Now, only those born into the patriar families inhabit the manors of this oldest part of Baldur’s Gate. The poorest among these go so far as to sell furnishings and decorations from inside their homes in order to keep up appearances with their fellow patriars. Most would say that the lives of patriars are marked by luxury and decadence, and for a great many of them, this is likely true. However, some families do make an honest attempt at improving the city, and nearly every family has at least one member who engages in major commerce—no matter one’s heritage, everyone must have coin in order to eat. There is but one nonhuman family among the patriars, the dwarven Shattershields, who have been in Baldur’s Gate for long enough that they are just as accomplished as their human peers at looking down on the rest of the citizenry.
A number of gates divide the Upper City from the Lower City, but the one to note is the famous Baldur’s Gate, from which the city takes its name. Trade passes only through this gate, and is taxed by the city—despite the fact that it was just such taxes that led to the city’s being overthrown by its first dukes and the Lower City enclosed by its ring wall. The other gates exist solely for the convenience of the patriars and their retinues. Any who aren’t in the presence of a patriar, wearing a _patriar_’s livery, or bearing a letter of proof of employment by a patriar must use Baldur’s Gate to pass between the Upper Cities and Lower Cities. Bear this in mind when trying to sneak from one part of the city to the next.