The City of Skullport is situated directly below Waterdeep, in the Upper Underdark - an extensive and labyrinthine network of mazes and tunnels beneath Faerun. It is a city of rogues and thieves, of murderers and unscrupulous merchants, where profit takes precedence over morals and intelligent creatures of all kinds are traded like cattle. It is a place of boundless profit and ambition; it is a place of infinite danger where aspirations are cut short and lives ended in an instant - and above it all, eldritch and empty eyes survey the streets below. Together, the districts of Lower Skullport, Central Skullport, the Upper Heart, and Skull Island make up this sprawling city.
While there are many things that one must know about Skullport in order to survive, the Skulls are the most important. One could argue that the entire structure of the city's society is as it is entirely because of the presence (and constant threat) of the Skulls. While nobody knows their origins or their reason for being, they are feared by all walks of society, and everyone's business must be conducted around their whims. They are simply a fact of life in Skullport.
The Skulls are unpredictable in reacting to something that they take offence to, though many (sensibly) assume the worst case scenario of their involvement - they will likely respond with the summoning of ghostly figures known as wizshades, which will cause untold and indiscriminate destruction in the area in an attempt to eradicate the offending party. There are two things guaranteed to draw the ire of the Skulls, should they reach their notice:
Open proselytizing or worship of gods. While simply saying the name of a deity or wearing their symbols or heraldry on your person would not result in retribution, they will not tolerate grand gestures such as calls to worship or turning the undead. Places of worship are banned, and as such any who seek to worship their patron must rely on hidden shrines tucked away in alcoves, sewer tunnels, or private estates.
Disruption of trade. Gold flows freely in Skullport, as by the Skull's decree, and anything that could be perceived to be a threat to this could possibly draw their swift attention. As such, any kind of interruptions in the marketplaces by out-of-towners not in the know are brutally put down by the locals, fearing the the retribution to prevent the act more than the act itself. Disruption of trade is a very broad concept, and so what the Skulls consider to breach it has been known to change sporadically.
The people of Skullport, known generally as "Skulkers", are a paranoid and wily lot, as is required by the very place they call home. Often, whether it be for some common goal or simply for mutual survival, they will form into Skulker gangs and establish an area as their turf or a particular aspect of Skullport society as "theirs". These groups constantly rise and fall, and the entire landscape of Skullport can change over as short a time as a month as a result. The biggest and most ambitious of all are the Church of Cyric, though they are far from the first to grasp for power, and it remains to be seen if they can take it.
The slaver consortium known as the Iron Ring dominates the slave trade from their fortress on Skull Island. Iron Ring thugs can be spotted throughout the city, easily recognisable from the iron keyring on their person for which they are named. They serve powerful masters with far-reaching power and inscrutable goals.
While not as great a presence as they would have in one of their own cities, the drow hold great sway within Skullport. The Lolthite house known as House Tanor'Thal claims control over the largest amount of drow within the city, though the existence of the small but growing influence of House Lysaen is something they are weary of, and eager to stamp out. At the Promenade, the Chosen of Eilistraee mobilise for campaigns of sabotage and harassment in the city, eager to strike against the machinations of their corrupted kin and wishing no sentient soul to suffer a life of slavery. The Dark Dagger watch all from the shadows, its Vhaeraunite agents eager for the opportune moment to strike against their hated foes.
Our main lore writer is @Moonsaves , who researched this and many of its subpages!
The official server lore of Skullport and its environs.
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