The Slumbering Tsar
Established many years ago as a bard’s outpost and way station for travelers between the inner Forest Kingdoms and the port city of Reme, Bard’s Gate has grown into an important crossroads for trade and travel. The city’s banner depicts a silver lyre above a stone gatehouse on a green field.
Bard’s Gate is currently an independent city, allied to the nearby Grand Duchy for mutual defense and prosperity. The Grand Duke’s troops help defend the city against the evil creatures from the Stoneheart Mountains to the north. A liberal and tolerant city, Bard’s Gate welcomes all races.
Bard’s Gate’s population averages 20,000 in winter, and up to 35,000 in the summer when merchant caravans, adventurers, travellers and mercenaries visit the city; over the entire year its average population is about 25,000.
Bard’s Gate boasts a higher population than normal of elves and half-elves, possibly due to its focus on the arts. Normally a race in search of a home, many half-elves find things quite to their liking in this tolerant city. The city, as with most cities, is dominated by humans, however.
Bard’s Gate is a tolerant city and most citizens vary from neutral to Chaotic Good. The city harbors many different races and beliefs, allowing most citizens to do as they please, but also allowing much evil to exist undetected. This is not to say that the city’s inhabitants are tolerant of evil; quite the contrary. Living under the constant threat of invasion from the orcs and gnolls of the north makes the average Bard’s Gate citizen even more determined that good triumph, but their “live and let live” philosophy also gives evil the opportunity to hide itself successfully.
Due to its important trade location, Bard’s Gate is highly prosperous. There is also a huge number of skilled craftsmen in the city, and many outstanding goods are available. Nearly any masterwork item can be purchased here. The only limit on magic items that can be purchased is a practical one: there are few spellcasters over 10th level and thus items requiring higher-level magic are quite rare.