Civilization in the Heartlands – A History of Baldur’s Gate – Forgotten Realms Lore

Civilization in the Heartlands – A History of Baldur’s Gate – Forgotten Realms Lore


At the halfway point between Waterdeep and Amn, we find the port city of Baldur’s Gate It curves like a great hand or crescent moon around its harbor and provides a haven for travelers and merchants along the Sword Coast But how did this city come to be? What great struggles did it go through? Today we shall learn more about the history of Baldur’s Gate The city is located 20 miles up the river Chionthar Its walls serve as a port for most traders coming from Amn, or Waterdeep a shining beacon of civilization along the trade way The city also boasts a fascinating history and has been the setting for many impactful events of the realms It was founded when an explorer named Balduran came back from a voyage from Anchromoe where he had found great riches He commanded that his wealth was spent on building fortifications around the harbor so that his ships had better docking Balduran set sail before the construction of these walls could be started and the responsibility was left in the hands of the farmers surrounding the town They chose to ignore Balduran’s command and built a large wall around their farms so that they could tax travelers going up and down the Sword Coast for their own gain This soon grew to be a profitable enterprise and what was once farmers now turned into wealthy landowners Even though the walls did not encompass the wharfs the “lords” now started charging a tax on the captains who saw Balduron as a friend and colleague I’m unsure if it was the pure arrogance of the farmers or that the captains managed to keep the fact that they were armed and trained secret But, unsurprisingly a violent uproar started when the captain’s came demanding coin The rebellion was swift and bloody and soon the city had gained some new Lords along with its name, Baldur’s Gate The captains of the revolt decided that the town should be ruled by four dukes with one of them serving as a tiebreaker, the Grand Duke Baldur’s Gate prospered after this soon growing out of the walls and into the harbor New walls were built and finally Balduron’s wish was fulfilled With the rise of this new city, new organizations started to form Some of them good, like the merchants league, a brotherhood of merchants dedicated to exploration and honest dealings The Knights of the Shield, an organization composed of nobles from Baldur’s Gate, their aims: Protect the city from harm The mercenary company, the Flaming Fist, also organized in Baldur’s Gate It is one of the strongest and most organized militia in the realms They serve as the local law enforcement as well as the secret police for the four dukes Less good organizations were also attracted to Baldur’s Gate The Shadow Thieves of Amn have a strong foothold in the city and Xanathar’s Thieves’ Guild can also be found without much hassle In modern day these organizations are known by the name “The Guild” but they are still made up of the same riff raff as before Baldur’s Gate is divided into three major areas: the upper, the lower and the outer city The upper city is located within the original walls and here we can find wealthy merchants and the nobility Attacks is employed to keep out the unsavory types in this part of the city, ironic, since a revolt against taxes was the reason Baldur’s Gate prospered The Lower City is the harbor area, and where most of the lifeblood of Baldur’s Gate flows The Flaming Fist patrol the streets but any traveler should arm themselves, just in case The outer city is filled with the lower classes and unfortunately sees almost no assistance from the central city While not as lawless as Skullport, you cannot count on a guard protecting you in this area Baldur’s Gate has seen many problems over the ages Bhaal has used the city many times in his attempts to resurrect and during his latest attempt, he succeeded, causing the deaths of thousands This telling might have painted a scary picture of what Baldur’s Gate is but this might be because history tends to lean towards the bloody and deadly The Crescent Moon City is a place you should not fear to visit its walls will protect all who follow the law and it is by far the most racially open city that I can recall Volo claims it rivals Waterdeep in greatness, and who am I to disagree with the great Geddarm Well, actually I have a few more bones to pick with him But more on that, next time…

26 thoughts on “Civilization in the Heartlands – A History of Baldur’s Gate – Forgotten Realms Lore

  1. Two key details appear to have been omitted from this video:

    1# It is correct that the city changed its name during the rebellion from "Grey Harbour" to "Baldur's Gate"
    But the video doesn't quite state why:
    The reason for the name-change was that when the captains began having taxes pushed on them for entering the city,
    they refused aggressively, stating that the gate from which the nobility was getting their taxes was "Baldur's gate" and that Balduran wouldn't have wanted to enforce such policies at his wall and gate.
    In time, as the rebellion continued, people throughout the rest of Faerûn hearing about the troubles in (then) "Grey Harbour" from the sailors, came to consider news about the city the same as news about the gate and wall.
    As a result, the town, wall and gate literally became synonymous to the rest of Faerûn, and as a result,
    the name "Baldur's Gate" stuck.

    2# As stated in the video, after the rebellion, four "Dukes" came to power in Baldur's Gate.
    However, these people weren't truly dukes at all, and still aren't at present; instead the "Dukes" of Baldur's Gate
    are democratically elected officials (until recently, always from among the Upper City) who afterwards rule for life,
    or until they step down for whatever reason (people familiar with the politics of Icewind Dale would recognise this as the same form of government used there through their "Town Speakers," the only difference being that one town only has one speaker).
    An additional detail to the situation regarding the "Dukes" is the matter of the title they hold;
    The dukes of Baldur's Gate are called this simply because of the rebelling sailors took the titles after their victory to
    emphasise themselves as the new nobility of Baldur's Gate, however, they found that such titles held quite a lot of influence
    in other communities of Faerûn (even though they weren't truly what their titles would indicate) and therefore kept hold of it,
    making it tradition.

    Trivia: Since so much of Baldur's Gate's history is related to the power of the nobility, a fun detail worth mentioning
    is that the nobility within Baldur's Gate (not the Dukes, but the true nobility) aren't called nobles, but instead go by the
    term "Patriar" or "Patriars," the title is however nothing but that, and doesn't indicate anything different from any other
    nobleman, just that a particular noble is from Baldur's Gate.

  2. Love you vids! A tip is to pickup something to protect your mic (a pop filter), even a sock can help reduce the excess noises you're picking up from your mouth and those sharp S's 🙂

  3. My friend, you've just got a new subscriber, WHAT AN AMAZING JOB you've done!

    I'll try to thumbs up all your videos, and I'll try to show this channel to all my friends here in Brazil.

    Peace!!

  4. Well, it is important to mention that there was one bhaalspawn who entered every house in the city and stole everything…

  5. Dude this is a great video but in terms of your narration PLEASE either re-record it so it’s a little more easy to listen to or just get someone else to do it :/ sorry buddy!! Otherwise, great job!!

  6. BEST BG PARTS

    Player Character STAT altering using Tomes, Books, Grmiores, etc…and importing your Player Character from the End of one pass/game and import not just the primary Character and be able to IMPORT 5x others along with the original.

    Seekers were a construct monsters in this one section and these would regenerate as long as the zone was not exitted. There is a Mephit zone 5uat sends out mephisto as long as the summoning nodes were not killed/slain.

    So STAT altered and MAX LEVEL Player Characters created en masse to max levels.

    Magic Gear duplicated by multiple passes thru the quests….and a really low power Deck of Many Things in BG 2…….

    2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and DRAGONS RULES and all the REST DROOL!!

  7. Great video that echoes the next release of the next D&D5e supplement
    A video on the mercenary group the "Flaming Fist" would be necessary to complete this one.

    Could you talk about the Amn region? I find this one a little developed.
    Otherwise, there are still plenty of beautiful quotes like NeverWinter to talk about :op

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