In walking about Baldur's Gate roughly a half year after the Siege of the undead Blight and its army, one would see major signs of recovery, relief, and rebuilding. They would additionally notice that while there has been major effort to repair or reconstruct some of the damage done to Baldur's Gate, the manpower, organization, and direction required for rectifying much of the city’s destroyed Farmlands structures and its fortifications remains to be seen. A visual tour of the city and speaking to folk in the various city districts would obviously reveal the following observations and rumors as well as clear continuing themes for the now half-way completed Year of the Dragon, 1352 DR, throughout the Sword Coast, the Western Heartlands, and all of Western Faerun: recovery and repercussions continued.
The Palace District
-The north wall bisecting the Palace District and Northern Farmlands is still heavily damaged with an actual breach in it near the entrance from Northern Farmlands that is only partially repaired. There is still extensive damage to the northern walls, including smashing of most of the wall towers, which is only partially repaired.
-The Palace District outside of the Duchal Palace citadel, including the nearby The Wide trade area, is somewhat repaired, it was previously the most worn down district of the city from the siege. Extensive damage had been done to many of this district's buildings, but this has since been somewhat repaired.
-The Duchal Palace has been entirely repaired.
-The funeral pyres and waste about the district has been entirely cleaned up and removed.
The East Gate District
-The east wall bisecting the Eastern Gate District and Eastern Farmlands is somewhat damaged and only partially reparied. The smashed wall towers on the east wall are still only partially repaired.
-The Northern and Eastern Farmlands left desolated after the siege are only partially repaired, with even the Order of the Radiant Heart compound still largely unusable until repaired and rebuilt, although an effort to do so is underway. It is rumored that that Order members still are present to guard, rebuild, and repopulate the grounds of the damaged compound. It is also said that the orphanage previously of the Order grounds still remains in the city in a building near the Ilmateri temple. It is unclear whether it will permanently return to the Order compound grounds after they are rebuilt or remain inside the city walls.
-The East Gate District has had all damage of the siege repaired, including significant damage from the artillery barrage that killed the Blight. The memorial to the siege and war constructed in this District continues to have war veterans and victims gather from time to time to pay tribute to the fallen. It is said that the Battle of the Trollclaw Fords memorial in the northwest part of the Fields of the Dead also seems to have pilgrims attend it from time to time in memorium.
The Harbor District
-The Harbor District has had all damage repaired and waste removed. Still, a lot of supply crates pile up in it from altruistic supply efforts of adventurers, with significant effort to see them delivered to intended destination as in some cases such as setting up of soup kitchen, but in many cases still not in full, a matter of distribution and not supply. Fair and efficient distribution of these supplies, although improved from months earlier, is still somewhat a source of local complaint. Outside of bastions of order at the Lords' Alliance mission or around the Flaming Fist HQ compound, "regular" law and order still remains lacking in many respects in the Harbor District due to the vacuum created when the guards temporary vacated most of its streets during the siege. Not that law and order was ever a paragon state in the Harbor District, as while the City Watch patrols "regularly" again, in the Harbor District, outside of the heavily fortified areas of the Flaming Fist Headquarters and the Lords' Alliance mission, this peculiarly means somewhat minimal and indifferent "regular" patrolling versus other areas of the city, despite the docks being such a high-traffic area. There are also still heavy rumors of smuggling attempts given the chaotic post-siege environment and the large amount of relief, recovery, and rebuilding goods shipped into the city.
City Wide and Regionally
-Cleanup, recovery, and rebuilding efforts by good samaritan adventurers have shown major effect in Baldur's Gate since the end of the siege of the Blight. Really only the walls of the city, some destroyed or damaged buildings in the Palace District, and much of the destroyed buildings in the Farmlands of Baldur’s Gate remain to be rebuilt, with progress on obtaining materials and labor to do so currently underway by a few adventurer lead organizations. The city overall is back to its peacetime cleanliness, the blighted land of the Farmlands healed, and short term food and consumer supply shortages have been alleviated by multiple adventurer supply initiatives abroad and locally. Still, poverty is abounding in many of the city’s urban and farmland communities, probably it would be even worse without efforts to allay it, although continued efforts such as charitable distribution of food and establishment of permanent soup kitchen may counter this further over time.
- While Baldur’s Gate seems to no longer sit on the edge of a follow-up catastrophe after the siege, it is still far from a return to prosperity of the pre-siege period and certainly even more so before the war with Amn a few years earlier. The local Baldurian economy is still in an overall weak period historically speaking and foreign trade activity with foreign polities lower versus historical norms as well. Trade figures with the major Lords’ Alliance maritime powers are not far from pre-siege levels, nor are they with Amn or Calimshan, although with Amn levels still remain far lower than before the Amn-Gate War without a new trade treaty or positive diplomatic arrangement between the formerly warring powers. Alternatively, trade dominated by land routes with the major western Faerunian trade cities still struggles comparatively as the land trade lanes to cities such as Elutrel, Iriaebor, and Scornubel are now wild and unsafe compared to the months and years before the siege. Trade with the Zhentarim is still altogether banned in Baldur’s Gate, with any initiatives attempting to thaw this status quo yet to bear fruit, perhaps lacking passion, persistence, and strategic carefulness. The Thayan Enclave in Baldur’s Gate, while in a rocky political period with the Grand Dukes of the city due to alleged illegal violence by the Red Wizards on Duchal land and other political conflicts, has seen a significant uptake in trade activity with the city under commercial agreements with locals and the Grand Dukes related to golem labor rebuilding the city’s structures and resupplying nobles, mercenaries, and soldiers with consumable magical goods after they were depleted in the siege.
-Lords' Alliance war camps from the initial post-siege period largely have left the city, with soldiers from only Waterdeep remaining in only one major camp in the Northern Farmlands and in minor tent positions throughout the rest of the city. The still remaining foreign forces still create a feeling of "friendly occupation" and even some tension for some local Baldurians, although not as much with the higher level of forces of months past.
-The refugees of Kheldrivver and Unemployed Volunteers still remain in Baldur's Gate, not yet returning to the Kheldrivver even though their home settlement was recently liberated of post-war occupying trolls by adventurers. The refugees of Scornubel still remain in Elturel and it is said that a supply effort to reach them via Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate have kept them from poverty for now, but may not do so longer than a few more months. Scornubel itself has only partially been rebuilt and resettled, while Elturel has seen its Hellriders stretched in dealing with the leftover chaos after the wars of the past year in trade lanes and wild lands around it. There is rumor also that some Hellriders have been deployed to the north Elturel to keep an eye and watch against the Black Orc tribe of Uruk Lurra, after a request of some adventurers.
-Due to city supply and demand shocks of the post-siege Baldurian and regional economy, trade flow to the south, east, and north of Baldur's Gate by road remains in a significant decline period, although not as bad as earlier in the year. It may bounce back further, merchants with knowledge of regional trade say, given that the economic shocks of the post-siege period could further fade with significant business effort. It is still rumored that many regional trade powers, government-backed or strictly private, still enthusiastically vie for new opportunities in Baldurian markets post-siege amid new chances for profit, legal or illegal, created by the siege's severe economic disruption. It is also said that the distraction of the Lords' Alliance and Baldur's Gate with the siege and major wars with undead, as well as recovering from them, may still produce diplomatic opportunities for other regional political powers or already have. Unrelated or not, it is also said that unusual levels of interest in draconic goods or in dragons themselves has emerged in recent months, with the Duchal Court of Baldur’s Gate even revealing that it has taken on a mysterious draconic lore expert named Velsaert as an advisor. Further, there is rumor of some looking for draconic components on the black markets of Roaringshore and elsewhere, but for what end remains unknown.
-City Watch and Flaming Fist soldiers continue normal post-siege patrols about the city, ordered to exercise extreme vigilance, as an uptick in crime and smuggling is forecasted by Duchal authorities to continue it is said, given the remaining damage, economic poverty, and chaos coming out of the recent siege.
-The visibility of mass graves in the city has been reduced over time as some were made to look less deathly or otherwise relocated.
-The surge of Baldurian patriotism in Baldur’s Gate post-siege can still be noticed among the population as well as a deep appreciation for the Lords' Alliance, who is seen as having honored again in full in aid of the city's defense, but not all share this sentiment. Noting this all, and given its recent dismantling in the previous year, it seems doubtful that any violent or revolutionary resistance to the Dukes, such as a new Virtuous Soil movement, could result again any time soon, but as these feelings die down, perhaps more peaceful movements of resistance to Duchal rule may yet emerge.
-It is still generally accepted on the streets of Baldur’s Gate that undead have been eliminated from all quarters of Baldur's Gate since the siege and that enough medical and public health protections have been setup since the Plague of 1351 to make it seem doubtful to most that a new round of serious plague or undead threats could again threaten the city even after the chaos and damage of the siege.
-The Flaming Fist having seen its worst depletion of military manpower since the Amn-Gate War, losing roughly a third of its active duty strength, looks to continue to rebuild its ranks or otherwise outsource its security requirements as Baldur’s Gate military force to third party mercenary organizations. It also looks to limit foreign deployments outside of efforts that are clearly profitable or vital to Baldurian interests abroad and to commend effort of third party mercenaries to secure the trade lanes going to Baldur’s Gate. Further, after the thousands of civilians in Baldur’s Gate perished in the siege, with only a fraction able to be raised, Baldur’s Gate struggles to repopulate only six months after such a shock, but encourages foreigners willing to assimilate to its laws and values to immigrate in an effort to rebalance its population and economy.
-It is said that in the power vacuum in the Western Heartlands after the siege and wars against the undead, the Zhentarim have seemingly begun to consolidate their position around Darkhold, forming a security cooperation agreement with the village of Corm Orp and eliminating local bandits as a threat to Zhentarim trade and security. Further, it is said that savage humanoids such as the Black Orcs of Uruk Lurra begin to raid the trade lanes between Soubar and Triel for reasons unclear, as well as gather orc pilgrims under the settlement banner and its chief Grimnail. Similarly, savage orcs in the Woods of Sharpteeth are said to squabble for leadership amongst their disparate tribes and occasionally raid civilized folk on the Trade Way. Tiny settlements such as Soubar have sometimes been a microcosm of such power vacuums, with various polities and mercenary companies vying for influence indirectly via proxy conflicts or economic measures out in the open without involving large numbers of soldiers.
-Nobles from Lantan are said to settle for a time in Baldur’s Gate in the temple of Gond and give out work assignments and missions to various Baldurian adventurers. There are forces seemingly arraigned against these Lantans and their Gondian faith, but for what purpose remains to be seen.
Where They Are Now
As almost a half year has passed since the end of the siege and wars against the undead, many speak of where forces and peoples key to these martial events now reside, most unchanged from months earlier:
Flaming Fist Companies – Still re-deployed to Baldur's Gate with no notable foreign deployments since beyond some small patrols of the Trade Way.
Hellriders of Elturel – Still in Elturel, with some patrolling just north of Elturel possibly as a caution against Black Orcs reported near the Trielta Hills between Triel and Soubar.
Crusaders of the Watch – Still disbanded.
Silver Rose Knights and Triage Station – Still Returned to the Silver Rose Keep.
Knights of the Radiant Heart Auxiliary – Still currently within Baldur's Gate, Triadic Temples and Temple of Helm, watching over any remaining Orphans near the temple of Ilmater and the former order grounds until it is rebuilt.
Order of the Aster – Still moved to Beregost to reinforce the Song of the Morning.
People of Kheldrivver – Currently still in Baldur's Gate and not resettled to Kheldrivver, along with their mayor, until a time where they are resettled in Kheldrivver and the settlement rebuilt after its previous occupation by trolls, which adventurers recently expelled.
Kraak Helzak Forces – Still returned to Kraak Helzak. For a time some Kraak Helzak masons were assisting with the reconstructing of Baldur’s Gate’s fortifications, but after a diplomatic dispute where it is said a dwarf delegate to the Duchal Court gravely insulted the Grand Dukes, the masons were withdrawn to Kraak Helzak.
Scornubel Refugees – Still mostly remaining in Elturel, with many yet to be resettled, with supplies delivered by an effort of adventurers earlier in the year still keeping them from abject poverty for the time being.
Army of the New Dawn – Still returned to the East.
Blacktalons Mercenaries – Still returned to Iriaebor.
Lord's Alliance Forces – Still reinforcing Baldur's Gate post-siege though with most having returned home. After the Farmlands and fortifications of the city are rebuilt, they are likely to leave entirely, including their larger martial camp in the Farmlands, except for their peacetime diplomatic mission in the Harbor District.
The Greyfox and the Secomber Militia – Still returned to the North.
Faith in Baldur's Gate
An updated document is produced and circulated through the Duchal Palace. It has been easily leaked and circulated for others to see as was one months earlier.
Of Faith and Morale
This document was prepared for Duchal oversight of the City of Baldur’s Gate in a bi-annual review of faith activity in the city. Temples were monitored and high priests and practitioners questioned.
Ilmater – Still extremely highly increased attendance – Thanks to the relief effort supplied through the temple for recovery and relief efforts post-siege, the activity of the temple’s soup kitchen and the temple’s orphan placement programs as well as its charitable drives, and the general easing of burdens supplied by the faith. There is question of whether this will be sustained once the city is on a better footing and less suffering abound.
Umberlee – Still moderately increase attendance – Only temple in the docks, proselytizing after the siege.
Helm – Somewhat increased attendance – Security initiatives recognized on behalf of local Baldurian trade lanes.
Gond – Somewhat increased attendance – Seemingly due to the public profile of Gondians in rebuilding the city and some publicized interaction with Gondian nobles from Lantan.
Tempus – Regular attendance – attendance returning to normal levels as the battles of the war against the undead and siege subside.
Mystra – Regular attendance
Torm – Regular attendance
Tyr – Regular attendance
Tymora – Regular attendance
Chauntea – Somewhat increased practice – While there is no temple or shrine for this faith, there has been an uptick in worship observed in the process of some efforts on behalf of Chauntea to heal the blighted land around Baldur’s Gate.
Istishia – Somewhat increased practice – While there is no temple or shrine for this faith, there has been an effort to encourage worship of it and establish a shrine in this water god’s name. The initiative will continue to be monitored.
((IMPORTANT OOC NOTES:
-All of the above information can be taken as IC public rumors or common knowledge IC.
-If we by chance missed a public mention of some RP you were involved with IC that you think should be mentioned publicly here IC, please PM the DM team with your suggestions.
-Please feel free to use this thread or the "Rumors" threads to RP in for 1352 metaplot RP.
-The 1351 metaplot was one of the most dynamic and player character choice affecting metaplots in the history of the BGTSCC server, so we are trying to build on this by continuing to have many opportunities for player character choice to affect the 1352 metaplot.
-Otherwise, we encourage all players hoping to get involved to send in player requests that are 1352 metaplot related for the DM team forum group in a private message for us to review. Guidelines on player request submissions are located here: http://bgtscc.net/viewtopic.php?p=613160#p613160. If you previously sent in a player request post-siege for the 1352 metaplot, please send it in again if you have not heard back from the DM team, as we may have missed it in the post-year administrative shuffle or at least need a reminder.
-We look forward to your RP in the continued metaplot year of 1352! Please send the DM team a private message if you have any metaplot related questions!))