1.4b Baldur’s Gate Background Rumours

Tables of Contents

These are events that don’t directly tie into the main story, or what your PCs are doing, but provide colour and flavour to the setting.

These are the side stories in the newspaper that make them feel more real, or the random conversation in taverns, shops, parties etc.

All of these background events use the Baldur’s Gate gazetteer found at the back of Descent into Avernus. Page numbers refer to their location within the book.

You may find that the PCs decide to investigate these rumours despite their background nature. This can change them into being a Main Event, as the lens of play causes you to expand upon them with additional scenes and complexity, turning them into side quests in their own right.

You may wish to make some of these rumours true, false, or somewhere between the two. In the gazetteer they are considered fact (albeit from 1492 DR, rather than the campaigns year of 1494) , but they don’t have to be in your campaign.

d4Rumour Location
1PCs current location
2Upper City
3Lower City
4Outer City

Upper City Rumours

d20RumourPage
1The Roiling Blue and her entire crew disappeared from the Grey Harbour last night. I heard a Gray Waver say he saw Ol’ Cholms swallow the ship in one gulp!175
2The werewolves in Dusthawk Hill are killing again! I’ve gone and got myself a silver dagger. Cost me a months wages and I’ve had to sell half my shop to Straightstick’s lot, but at least my family will be safe.175
3Beware the Pale Patriar! He brutally murders those out at night in Blackgate before vanishing into the fog. He got the name because of the threadbare patriar’s cloak he uses to hide his ghoulish nature.178
4Distant Shores was vandalised again last night, for the 7th night in a row. The couple that owns the import business say they have received threatening letters, but won’t be intimidated into selling up.179
5The Eomane Sisters have had their third masked revel this month. Lady Dolandre Eomane denies allegations by an anonymous guest, who claims she was forced to stand blindfolded while knives were thrown at her.179
6It’s said that there’s more wealth and magic beneath the Hall of Wonders than in the rest of the city combined. There’s treasure vaults and safes that secure valuables the likes of which you’ve never seen.179
7Ellyn, the owner of Harbreeze Bakery is an eternal gossip. Don’t share anything with her you wouldn’t want the rest of the city hearing about before sundown.179
8The Knights of the Unicorn are the closest thing Baldur’s Gate has to the Hellriders of Elturel. They are unsung heroes of the city!179
9The legendary hero Balduran, who founded the city, left behind his cloak, spyglass, sword and shield. The legends say that they will open the way to his secret stash of magical items from his adventuring days. My money is that it’s to be found under Duskhawk Hill.180
10The High House of Wonders isn’t Gond’s only workshop in the city. There’s a secret facility hidden away from prying eyes where the artificers create inventions even this city wouldn’t legalise!180
11Lady Lutecia Hhune is desperately seeking a family heir. She’s worried that her condition will worsen before a suitable inheritor is found – as she doesn’t want a single copper ending up in the Thione-Hhune’s of Tethyr.180
12My sister was terrorised by her ex-husband daily and the Flaming Fist didn’t want to hear nothing about it. I told a kindly priest at Lady’s Hall who ‘sorted’ the problem… some adventuring sorts showed up that very night. He doesn’t bother her no more.180
13Lorroakan the wizard is looking for adventurers. He purchased Ramazith’s wizard tower a few years ago, but never managed to clear the upper floors. They say Ramazith himself died after selling his soul to a fairy queen.182
14Rillyn’s sword fighting school is a scam. They take your gold but only keep you on if you’re “good enough” for the hack Yvandre to claim your glory. Best swordsmen in the realms? Ha. As if.182
15The Three Old Toads are looking for donations once again, after falling victim to an unnamed con artist. Anyone with funds to spare for the cities most needing, or able to hunt the blackguard down, should head to the Three Old Kegs near The Wide.182
16My grandfather is having his basement turned into a proper wine cellar and he found an entrance to the Undercellar – it runs right through his basement. He always swore the place was haunted!182
17The temple of Oghma, known as the Unrolling Scroll contains a reflecting pool with magical powers. Legends say that bards and artists who study their own reflections in the pool are granted visions by the Lord of Knowledge and go on to create their greatest works.183
18Duke Vanthampur’s manor sits atop an extensive sewer network, which makes sense given her previous position as the Master of Drains and Underways. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s connected to the Undercellar!183
19My uncle was struck down by Lady Caldwell’s for ‘being in her way’. His yells caused the Watch to show up and they took her side, saying he should have crossed the street. The whole bloody Watch only looks out for the patriars.183
20You should have witnessed the story I heard at the Watchful Shield. This rakish fellow, covered in cuts and bruises, tried to claim he got them “Saving an orphan who fell into an open sewer entrance”. When the Helmites asked what attacked them he said “A gigantic three legged creature with more fangs than I can count and three massive tentacles.” Haha, I have to give him credit for his vivid imagination!183

Lower City Rumours

d20RumourPage
1Baldur’s Mouth is getting more political by the day. You’d think the government would stamp down on it, but I heard that the owner is in love to Rilsa Rael, Guild kingpin of Little Calimshan – maybe she’s paying the right people off on his behalf.187
2Poor Lupin. Even since her wife Aurayaun run away she’s lost the plot. Swears blind she’s been receiving parts of the Blade and Stars shield and that they are a mysterious map. I know the shield had a little illusion spell on it, but Aurayaun probably just run away. You know how half-orcs are.187
3Was another brawl in the Mermaid last night. Despite all the ruckus the Flaming Fist did nothing. Smugglers, burglars, ruffians and worse drink there but I guess they’re too deep in the Fist’s pockets.187
4My aunt Jemeyla died last week. Heart gave out, so at least it was peaceful. Yet we didn’t get to say our respects. Those bloody moon elves at Candulhallow’s said the body had been sent to the Shrine of the Suffering early due to ‘clerical error’. What the nine hells does that even mean?! Funny thing is, I told a woman over in the Elfsong Tavern and she said the same thing happened with her husband last tenday.187
5Did you hear about the job some numbskull tried to pull on the Counting House? Apparently one of the stone golems that guard the lower corridors pummelled him so hard they couldn’t even identify the fella’s corpse.188
6Any refugees that want to get out of the city sharpish should speak to Shilvin over at Eastway Expeditions. She’s got connections to Chult and can get you on a boat there sharp. Just don’t buy any of her “Dinosaur repellent spray”, it’s just Chionthar water mixed with peacock droppings!188
7I tried to rent a room in the Elfsong Tavern, but apparently they are all booked up. The owner, Alan Alyth, said that one of his patrons was a sahuagin who just wouldn’t leave or pay her bill – suggested that if I got rid of her I could have her room… and I honestly don’t think he was joking!188
8Don’t tell anyone I told you, but someone managed to steal a massive amount of smokepowder from Felogyr’s Fireworks last tenday. They have enough to blow the High Hall to High Hell! I’m sure he would pay a king’s ransom should someone help recover it before such a travesty occurred. 188
9You should have seen the guy. Seven feet tall, head to toe in mithril plate. Said he was looking for a child or something. I think he was a bounty hunter from the Bannnerless Legion. They’re some of the toughest lot you’ll ever meet.189
10You wouldn’t see me dead in the Harborside Hospital, if you’ll excuse the pun. They say 1 in 20 people who die there end up rising from their beds as zombies and no bugger can figure out why. Lets hope we don’t end up with another ‘dancing croup’ epidemic, or we’ll be done for!189
11The Hissing Stones bathhouse is neutral territory for The Guild and the other crews in Lower City. No one would dare violate Merilyn’s rules. Hells, even the Flaming Fist know to leave their weapons at the door.189
12My employer has tried to get that old dwarf Torimesh to provide his fortune from the Drawing Tree in Insight Park every day for the past month. The old druid wouldn’t do it unless he took some seeds and planted them at the top of Duskhawk Hill, which obviously is a fool’s errand.189
13Jopalin isn’t the smiling teahouse master he appears. His tea is drugged! I managed to sneak out with one of the teacups and had a herbalist look at it. It was laced with sable moonflower, an opiate!190
14The Low Lantern might look nice on the upper deck, but go below and you’ll find all sorts. I heard there’s even a pair of drow in there!190
15Mandorcai’s Mansion is a cursed and haunted place. I know it sounds ridiculous but the whole mansion just appeared one night. Ask anyone! When the wizard Mandorcai suddenly disapeared the whole place went quiet for a few years… that is until people received invitations to visit. Those do so are never seen again.190
16The old Sesker family mansion is owned by Skoond, wizard to the Council of Four. The place is an old smuggler’s den, full of secret passages, hidden rooms and secret entrances and exits. My friend who works in High Hall overheard Skoond say that a rare spellbook known as the Fulminating Treatise lies hidden away in the building, somewhere.192
17The Sewer Keep is headquarters to one of The Guild’s kingpins. The sewers connect the whole city together – and if you want to survive down there you’ll need a guide.192
18Brother Hodges is a good man. Not everyone can afford a proper burial after all. Unfortunately a monster has begun prowling the tomb. He doesn’t have much but Hodges would sure be grateful to whomever slays the beast.192
19Sorcerous Sundries might be the premiere magical shop in the Gate, but it has a dark secret. Numerous people who have purchased items from the shop are robbed or murdered within a tenday. Rivalen Blackhand, the owner, doesn’t seem the sort. Perhaps it is a curse?193
20If you’re looking for a ship out of the city, make sure you stop off at the Water Queen’s House. It’s the local temple to Umberlee… you better pay her respect, and her clergy some coin. Those that don’t are often attacked by sahuagin raiders.193

Outer City Rumours

d12RumourPage
1Did you hear, someone found the Tomb of Balduran once more – but despite their preparations couldn’t enter. They say if you head to Tumbledown and follow the direction the mysterious statue of Baldur gazes, you’ll find the tomb… eventually. I wonder how you get inside?194
(Also Upper City Rumour 9)
2The Gravemakers at the Cliffside Cemetery report an alarming increase in the number of grave robberies. Leone Wen thinks it the work of necromancers in worship of Myrkul and seeks aid in stopping them.196
3I hear that The Faithless, the Guild-gang in Twin Songs wont stop trying to get Mother Aramina of the Church of Last Hope to pay protection money. She’s a Candlekeep scholar, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she was one of the Avowed – powerful mages not to be trifled with!196
4Adventuring sorts should check out Danthelon’s Dancing Axe! The dwarf proprietor was once an adventurer you know? His axe was gifted to him by an elven princess – and now it dances through the shop at night ready to cut down any who would rob the place.196
5Danthelon who runs an adventuring shop apparently got word that a bunch of smugglers disappeared during a run, leaving a chest full of magical items in the Riverveins tunnels. I heard him talking about it to a knight, when I was in there buying some rope.196
6Garynmor and his damned menagerie are a menace upon the folks of Outer City. What if one of his blasted monsters escapes? You think the Flaming Fist are going to stop an owlbear rampaging through Stonyeyes?!197
7They keep it hushed up, but there’s a gang war going on in Little Calimshan. The turf war between The Guild and the Right Pashas battle through the streets and rooftops nightly. Someone needs to put a stop to it!198
8Goodnight is in over his head with debts. The Oasis Theatre may be regarded as the best playhouses in the city, but all the accidents are costing him a fortune. Apparently he is looking for an adventuring party to take part in his latest play – the world’s first live-audience adventure.198
9The Riverveins claim more victims. Lovers from the Upper City explored the maze-like tunnels to meet in secret, but never returned. Some claim Ol’ Cholms, terror of Grey Harbour, lairs amongst the submerged tunnels – could their dalliance have been met with a monstrous end?199
10“Prole” and her mad arcanist Deagle claim to have almost completed their device which will “finally strip away the bonds of capital and free the people to flourish”. They work out of the gnome artist commune in Whitkeep Hostel. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Watch don’t raid the place soon enough.199
11If you need to go over Wyrm’s Crossing, don’t stop. Not even to catch your breath. The place is full of pickpockets, swindlers, robbers and worse. My cousin’s brother told me that there’s a spice shop there ran by a halfling which sells The Guild most of their poisons!200
12I wonder who will replace that thug Skorpin Crane as commander of Wyrm’s Rock? Grand Duke Ravengard never did appoint a successor before he left for Elturel, and now we’re left with that creepy dwarf mage Gardak Horn with his vile homunculus running the show.200

In the next article we will discuss how you can use Baldur’s Gate’s newspaper, Baldur’s Mouth, as a vector for delivering these background rumours alongside the main rumours.

2 comments

  1. Can’t wait for the Baldur’s Mouth stuff! My players are going to reach Baldur’s Gate in a couple of sessions and i hope to have time to use it.

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