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The City

The City of Grimspear; spelljammer port, vacation resort, City of Wonder, home to hundreds of the finest inns and taverns, exquisite entertainment, and unique attractions, playing host only to those adventurous or wealthy enough to get there.


The island is about 125 miles off the Sword Coast, and sits directly between Mintarn and Baldur's Gate. Unlike normal islands, this one floats about 1000' off of the surface of the water! (just like in the picture) The island is roughly 2 miles wide, 3 miles long, and 2 miles tall. On the top surface of the island is a magical spring called the Everflow. The Everflow empties its waters into Lake Grimspear, a large basin on the top surface of the island. From there, the waters overflow off the edges of the island in the form of magnificent waterfalls.

Buried within the island are miles and miles of tunnels and caverns. Arendur's Cavern is by far the largest, opening a space roughly 1 1/4 miles wide, 2 miles long, and 1 1/2 miles tall. Within this cavern is a lake known as the Glitterpool. At the center of Arendur's Cavern is a gigantic 1/2 mile diameter rock column which connects the floor and ceiling. This column is known as The Spike.

The city is divided into three wards; the Old Town, the Hanging City, and the Hollow City. The Old Town ward rests on the top surface of the island, surrounding Lake Grimspear. The Hanging City ward is the part of the city built into the rocky edges of the floating island. The Hollow City ward covers interior of the island, including Arendur's Cavern.

For peculiar reasons, the island is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. No one knows for sure, but it might possibly be a side effect of dimensional magics. Many visiting mages have discovered that the island is highly unstable both magically and dimensionally. It is not known wether this is the cause or the result of the randomly occuring interplanar portals and vortices which dot the island.

Getting There

The most common way of getting to Grimspear is by boat, second is by spelljamming, and third is via trans-dimensional portal. Any attempts to teleport onto the island by spell, psionic, or similar means will automatically fail. The Archmage Vincent has wished that no one (not even Elminister) be able to teleport onto or anywhere in the island without his expressed permission. The Archmage rarely grants his permission to anyone. So far he has granted permission to only the Lords of Grimspear, the Blackstaff of Waterdeep, and the Mad Druid Basa.

Although sea travel is a common way of travel to Grimspear, there are no places in or near the city for a sea vessel to dock. When visiting sea vessels arrive at the island, they simply anchor themselves somewhere close by or underneath the island. Sea vessels anchoring within a 2 mile radius of the island are charged an anchoring fee of 1cp per 2' in keel length per day. Underneath the island are 8 anchored ships and 2 large anchored barges. From any one of these ships, a visitor may ride a rope harness up to the island. 20 rowboats and 3 small barges are available to transport visitors from their ships to one of these anchored ships. The harnesses are attached to sturdy cranes on the Hanging City. Each crane will support 2-3 harnesses. The average harness can hold up to 5 human sized passengers plus several large chests. The 'economy' harnesses can hold up to twice as much but provide uncomfortable rides. The 'luxury' harnesses provide comfortable rides in lavish 'carriages', but hold far less than the other harnesses. Harness rides cost 1sp per person/large chest, 1cp on the large economy harnesses and 1gp on the luxury harnesses. The harness cranes are operated by pairs or groups of strong individuals, usually giants. For extremely important guests of the Lords, or for large cargo packages, two large barges provide access to magical disks, which speedily float up to one ton of cargo up to the island. Each of these barges has five disks available. Cargo transport via disk is 1cp per pound. People may ride only if they are important invited guests, or if they can afford 20pp per person.

Visiting spelljamming vessels have the option of landing on the water or docking on the Float Docks. These docks extend from the Hanging City and are built especially for flying ships. Flying catamarans will guide spelljamming vessels to available dock spaces. Any ship docked may leave its helm unmanned and the ship will continue to float in place! This is a special magical feature built into the Float Docks. The docks are said to harness the same magical energies, which float the island, and use them to keep any docked ships floating in mid air. This will only work if the ship is fitted with a magical spelljamming helm of any kind. A docking fee of 1cp per every 2' in keel length per day is charged to all flying ships docked on the Float Docks.

Deep within the city's caverns, a number interplanar portals and vortices are known to exist. The most popular portal opens into The Liquor Dragon tavern. Its other end shifts from the Outlands to Sigil on a weekly basis. The key to this gate is a thrown copper piece. The number of portals and vortices is estimated to be between 10 and 50. Several are rumored to open into the lower planes, one is even rumored to be an escape portal from the Demiplane of Dread. Most of the portals have yet to be mapped and even more are yet to be discovered.

Getting Around

Horses aren't very common on the floating isle. In the Old Town, the two most popular ways of getting around are walking or riding what the natives call a vegecarraige. Vegecarraiges are rikshaws and palanquins carried by teams of specially trained vegepygmies. Finding one is never a problem as there always seems to be an empty one waiting wherever you go. Rides cost anywhere from 1cp to 1gp per person or cargo, depending on the quality of the vegecarraige. The nice thing about the cost is that it's always one flat rate for one round trip. No matter how far you want to go, the moldmen will take you there and back for a nice flat fee.

In the Hanging City, getting around is bit more complicated. The narrow bridges and catwalks just can't handle the traffic of vegecarraiges so they're just not allowed onto the ward. A surprising number Hanging City inhabitants belong to races gifted with the ability to fly, so getting around isn't too difficult for them. Most other people are forced to walk, but some of them are wealthy enough to own flying steeds. There are flying carraige services on the Hanging City, however they aren't as cheap or as numerous as the vegecarraiges. They come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Some are carried by flying people like aarackocras or kenku, some are carried by hippogriffs, and others are powered by magic. Rides in flying carraiges are always pricy, costing anywhere from 1sp to 1pp and it usually isn't a flat rate.

Getting around in the Hollow City is just like getting around in the Old Town. You can walk or you can ride a vegecarraige. But when it comes to getting to the Hollow City, there's a third option; The Slides. The Slides are a complex system of smooth water carved tunnels which connect most of the major caverns. Water still flows through these tunnels (from the Everflow) and people can ride these "water slides" from the Old Town, into Lake Glitterpool in Arendur's Cavern, and onward to deeper caverns. The smaller slides cost 1cp to use. The larger slides actually transport boat-loads of people. The boats range in size from 2 person to 12 person and the cost to ride is 3cp. The slides are carefully monitored by the vegepygmies (who also carry the slides back up) and special watch patrols.


Not many in the Realms know the true story of the City of Wonders. Some speculate that it's a left over Netherese enclave. Some think it just magically appeared out of nowhere. For everyone wondering, here it is: the answers to how a city literally appeared out of nowhere and grew to impossible grandeur in virtually no time at all.

1358 DR The Year of Shadows

  • Five adventurers; Grimspear, Zaknafein, Vincent, Edge, and Tyrin escape from the Demiplane of Dread and return home to the Realms just as the Time of Troubles is coming to an end.
  • The 5 have a chance encounter with the infamous Deck of Many Things. Through amazing coincidence, each of the 5 draws the Throne. As a result, 5 keeps magically appear in an area 18 miles south of Waterdeep, right along the mouth of the River Dessarin, just west of Zundbridge. This area is home to a small community of halfling farmers and an even smaller community of human fishermen.
  • Each keep turns out to be a perfect match for each of the 5 adventurers. Tyrin's is a underground dwarven fortress, Edge's is an underwater keep of oriental stylings, Vincent's is a forboding tower, Zaknafein's is a temple to Isis, and Grimspear's is a lavish inn.
  • Shortly after the 5 settle down, several neogi slave ships threaten the 2 nearby communities. The 5 adventurers drive away the neogi and free 3 ship-fulls of slaves, one ship being full of kender. With no where else to go, the ex-slaves join the nearby communities. The 2 communities view the 5 adventurers as their saviours and begin to look upon them for protection. Before long, the 2 communities begin looking towards the 5 adventurers for leadership.

1359 DR The Year of the Serpent

  • The 5 keeps and the 2 communities become collectively known as "Grimspear Town", named after the most charismatic of the 5 adventurers.
  • For his own amusment, the bard Grimspear initiates construction of a great colliseum. Construction attracts new settlers to Grimspear Town.

1360 DR The Year of the Turret

  • "Grimspear Colliseum" is completed in record time thanks to powerful magic. It is a grand achievement in architecture, artistry, and engineering. Word of it spreads quickly throughout the Sword Coast.
  • Grimspear Colliseum begins attracting a massive influx of tourists. Grimspear decides to expand his inn, remodeling it into the famous Ecstasy Inn. The Ecstasy Inn becomes yet another grand achievement in architecture and artistry, attracting even more tourists.
  • The 5 founders of Grimspear Town become known collectively as the "Lords of Grimspear." The Lords of Grimspear begin forging relations with the Lords of Waterdeep.

1361 DR The Year of Maidens

  • The town economy flourishes and the population grows.
  • Grimspear Town becomes the target of an invasion by a small army of extra-planar creatures calling themselves the Raithspahn. The Invasion is repelled, but not without serious casualties and major damage to the Inn and Colliseum.
  • Grimspear decides to raise a town militia for protection against similar incidents in the future.

1362 DR The Year of the Helm

  • Basa Thunder, the Mad Druid, visits Grimspear Town and befriends the Lords.
  • The undercity of Arendur is discovered beneath Grimspear Town. Built on the ruins of an ancient, dwarven city, Arendur is a haven for pirates, smugglers, and the more "evilly inclined" races of the Realms. Arendur has remarkably escaped notice from Waterdeep since it's founding 37 winters previous.
  • Arendur and Grimspear Town remain indifferent to eachother.

1363 DR The Year of the Wyvern

  • The raithspahn invade once again, this time with a larger force. The militia is ill-equipt to deal with the situation. With help from Waterdeep, the invasion is repelled, but serious casualties are suffered, the Ecstasy Inn suffers extensive damages, and Grimspear Colliseum is Destroyed.

1364 DR The Year of the Wave

  • The town miraculously recovers from the last invasion and the Colliseum is rebuilt with the help of powerful magics. The Ecstasy Inn is not only rebuilt, but expanded.
  • Grimspear begins construction of city walls. Numerous problems setback and delay construction of the walls.
  • The moldman population explodes.

1365 DR The Year of the Sword

  • Vincent returns from an extended tour of other planes and other spheres. He brings back with him 1000 ex-slaves which he freed from the world of Athas. The Athasians settle in Grimspear Town and repay Vincent by helping with construction on the city walls.
  • The Lords upgrade Grimspear Town's armed forces and comission a small naval/space fleet.
  • Sir Rook and his forces permanently settle in Grimspear Town.

1366 DR The Year of the Staff

  • Relations between Arendur and Grimspear Town worsen.
  • Grimspear Town is plagued by crime.
  • Arendur attempts to subvert Grimspear Town using a variety of methods including powerful magic.

1367 DR The Year of the Shield

  • Bloody conflict erupts between Arendur and Grimspear Town. It's the biggest and most brutal battle the town has ever had. Lord Grimspear is killed and the town is captured by Arendur for a time.
  • Eventually, the Lords of Grimspear are able to take back their town and conquer Arendur. After the battle, Lord Grimspear is ressurected, however, Grimspear Town is devastated and recovery seems impossible.
  • Later in the year, Basa Thunder, the Mad Druid, returns to Grimspear Town, more powerful than before. He summons up armies of elementals to completely rebuild the town.
  • Tired of all the trouble that has befallen the town, Basa and Vincent decide to move it to a safer place. Through the use of True Dweomers, secret techniques, ancient rituals, etc, Basa and Vincent rip Grimspear Town and the earth beneath it (Arendur included) and transform the mass into a flying island. The huge crater left over is fixed by Basa.
  • Lords of Grimspear argue over the new location of their town. Basa shifts the flying isle into the Ethereal Plane hoping to transform it into his own demiplane, but after only a month, the fickle druid returns it to the Realms, positioning it where it floats now.

1368 DR The Year of the Banner

  • The Town of Grimspear becomes the City of Grimspear and is called "City of Wonder" by the wandering sage Volo.
  • The city is too big for the 5 Lords to handle on their own. 7 Magistrates are appointed to each ward to serve the lesser functions which have become too numerous for the Lords.
  • Trade relations are opened up with neighboring cities.
  • Many adventurers are drawn to the flying city, especially spelljammers. This causes a boost in population.
  • Grimspear commisions the construction of a new fleet of custom designed spelljammers for the Grimspearean Navy.
  • The City continues to grow and flourish.

1369 DR The Year of the Gauntlet

  • Basa finances a huge, continuous, month long, city wide celebration which he names "Basafest." The Mad Druid spreads word of Basafest throughout the Realms.
  • Basafest is a huge success and draws hundreds of thousands of adventurers and wealthy tourists. Each night of Basafest is given it's own theme and is made to appeal to different crowds. There is a "Dwarf Night", an "Elf Night", a "Warriors Night", a "Mage Night", etc. The Mad Basa even goes as far as to throw in such nights as "Drow Night", "Red Wizard Night", "Lich Night", "Zhentarim Night" and "Tanar'ri Night!!!" ...although the turnouts of the target audiences for these nights were rather disappointing.
  • Basafest brings about an enormous population explosion.
  • After launching Basafest, the Mad Druid mysteriously disappears, never to be seen again. Basa's grove is left in the care of the druid Kishi Vitar.
  • Vincent mysteriously seals himself up in his tower, never to emerge again. He is forever more considered retired from the Lords of Grimspear.
  • Strange magics begin working on the island. Trans-dimensional portals begin popping up everywhere and small earthquakes plague the city.

1370 DR The Year of the Tankard

  • Basa, The Mad Druid, reveals himself to be a demipower.
  • A massive earthquake rocks the City of Wonder. Miraculously, no one is hurt but the island has grown to roughly 3 miles in length. Undoubtedly, this is the work of Basa, the Mad Demipower.
  • Sir Rook the Long is ordained as one of the Lords of Grimspear, taking the vacant seat of Vincent.
  • "The Knights of Grimspear" are founded by Lord Rook.
  • With the success of the previous Basafest, the Lords decide to make it an annual event. Basafest 2 is thrown.
  • During the Basafest Magefair, several mages declare the Island magically and dimensionally unstable. This doesn't seem to worry the inhabitants or put a stop to Basafest.
  • Construction is finished on the new fleet of spelljammers, the naval forces are upgraded.

1371 DR The Year of the Unstrung Harp

1372 DR The Year of Wild Magic

1373 DR The Year of Rogue Dragons

1374 DR The Year of Lightning Storms

1375 DR The Year of Risen Elfkin

1376 DR The Year of the Bent Blade

1377 DR The Year of the Haunting

On to More Grimspear!