The Kingshand ward is a well-kept part of the city,
owing to the influence of those who live and work there.
Kingshand stays fairly dry, being sheltered from wind
and rain off the Pellurian by the rest of the bluff, as well
as benefitting from storm drains that filter water into
Weirhold. This ward fulfills the same duties now as it
always has—it is where the administrative dirty work of
running the city is done, as well as the location of the
second-largest orc garrison in the city. The high legate’s
minions relish their ability to lord power over the citizens’
token representatives, who meanwhile do their best
to keep their heads down and help the people of their
wards as best they can. It is a place of allegiances and
conferences, where even those with the authority of the
Shadow can be outmaneuvered by clever representatives
of the people.
Those who live in Kingshand work in the government
or serve those who do. Most of the legates and
Shadow officials live in large homes, each of which is
kept up by dozens of halfling slaves. Citizens of Baden’s
Bluff that assist in the task of running the city also live
here, but are not allowed to occupy the area’s homes,
even those left empty for decades. Instead, they live in
well-appointed apartments that are nonetheless painful
places to live, overlooking and abutting the orc garrison
and exposing their residents to the constantly horrific
smells and sounds created by those vicious soldiers.
The main house of government in Baden’s Bluff is
a triangular structure with three wings and a courtyard
whose gardens boast flowers from all around the coasts
of the Sea of Pelluria.
One wing of the house is given over to the leaders
of the citizenry. It is heavily guarded, and those within
deal with the most mundane aspects of keeping the city
running—work orders, maintenance, and disputes
between citizens. The legates allow the citizens to handle
their own disputes most of the time, which gives the
impression that they still govern themselves to a small
extent. Of course, the mere threat of a dispute being
Temple of Izrador“sent up to the Crown” ends many complaints even
when the resolution is not to the liking of either party.
Orc guards are plentiful here, and one loyalist human
agent is assigned for every three citizen workers to
watch for and report suspicious activities.
The second wing houses the legate representatives,
nominally in charge of crime and punishment.
They constantly exert their authority to crack down on
resistance within the city as well as to improve their personal
positions in the eyes of their masters in the Crown.
Serving as bureaucrats in the hellhole of Baden’s Bluff
makes most of these legates petty and defensive, always
involved in a power struggle of some kind to validate
their lowly positions.
The third wing was largely devoted to records and
taxation before the legates took over, and this has not
changed much in the intervening years. There is still a
library full of records, although all of the non-religious
books have been destroyed, and taxes are accounted for
here. Since animals cannot enter this section of the city,
an auxiliary taxation house has been established in
Weirhold, where citizens can bring their tribute and
have it accounted for before it is slaughtered.
Hidden in a cramped chamber accessed through a
secret door found behind the stacks in the records wing
lies one of Baden’s Bluff’s greatest treasures—a cache
of magic items and written lore that has survived intact
since the days of the Last War, hidden within a box of
special material called mirrorglass. The rare substance is
only found in the aftermath of a black mirror’s destruction,
and is probably the result of the intense heat of the
accompanying explosion applied to dirt, sand, or
masonry. More important that how it is created are its
properties: the material appears to block astiraxes’ ability
to sniff out magic. The Badens know that this cache
is here, but have yet to risk the attempt to retrieve it.
This could be the most important cache hidden in the
city, as it is rumored to hold a map and accounts of several
of the earliest caches and safehouses established by
the Badens as the Third Age came to a close.