The North Ward is the northernmost district in the city, and a popular destination for locals and travelers alike. While the main avenues contain businesses that cater to travelers, the back streets of the North Ward are spared from most of the visitors. Locals have developed an independent spirit, though they remain welcoming.
Four bridges cross the Banader River, linking the North Ward to the Green Ward to the south and west. The landscape forces the roads downward toward a narrow breach of buildings and streets, constricting access before entering the Lower Ward. When weather is bad or at peak times, the streets become congested with wagons, horses and foot traffic.
An active place, tourists, travelers, mercenaries, merchants and adventurers pass through the North Ward on a regular basis. Shepherds, woodsmen, trappers, farmers and hunters come down from the mountains to sell wares or restock supplies. Those seeking commercial transactions can quickly enter the North Ward, conduct their business, and leave without having to venture into the deeper and more congested portions of the city.
The influx of travelers attracts criminals, troublemakers and thieves to the North Ward. Taverns and inns are popular places for victims. Talons patrol the ward at regular intervals, though these guards are mostly active only from midday to midnight.
Many guild leaders and merchants live here, but the majority of residents are low- to middle-class, such as artisans, laborers, guildsmen and tradesmen. Neighborhoods are relatively free of street gangs, but organized crime and guild thieves are never far away. The influx of travelers and commerce makes land expensive in the North Ward and particularly so along the busiest streets.
Businesses in the North Ward cater to travelers, tourists and merchants arriving from the west to conduct trade. While the Eldan Marketplace in the Lower Ward draws most tourists, shops and smaller markets in the North Ward do a brisk business. Employment is plentiful. Sell-swords spend their treasures in taverns and gambling houses. Mercenary bands eager for new recruits ply the area. A young Baparan eager to make her mark on the world could do worse than starting here.
Pebble Hill Neighborhood
This section of the North Ward is known as Pebble Hill. Before the city was fully formed, this portion of the city served as a staging area for cutting stone used to construct buildings, roadways, and bridges. A nearby quarry (now long gone) provided a seemingly endless supply of granite. It was a dusty, sandy, industrial area that employed many workers. While those times have passed, the moniker has remained.
Pebble Hill evolved into a tight-knit residential neighborhood full of hard-working middle-class and lower-middle-class people. Dozens of businesses catering to the neighborhood are located here. Locals tend to look out for one another and tourists and outsiders are welcomed, as long as their business is brief and doesn’t interfere with the daily lives of the residents.