The City of Glory Revealed at Last!
"Calimport? I'd sooner dive into Undermountain than risk my ship going to that gods-forsaken city!" "Ah - the fabled City of Glory. Its wonders remain unmatched by any other city across Faerun, e'en Waterdeep, for Calimport does not impede anyone's business due to some overbearing morality." "Walking through Calimport, either among the alleys or atop the sabban walls with the nobility, immerses you in danger and corruption, as if you swarm through eels and asps rather than walked its dusty, ill-kept raods."
What can one truly know about a place until he or she has experienced it firsthand? Calimport is a place of many truths, each more disturbing than the last. It is also the most influential trade city in southern Faerun, whether its detractors admit it or not. Building on material from Empires of the Shining Sea, this supplement expands tremendously on what we know about the city that has been the seat of Calishite power since the arrival of the djinni lord Calim eight millennia ago. What can be found inside?
- The history of Calimport on a broad scale, showing the ebb and flow of power surrounding the city across time,
- A sweeping look at the city itself, including all of its landmarks, wards, and sabbans (districts) providing for the first time the key to finding ways through a city of more than two million people,
- A close-up view of the Erare Sabban and its Taorahl Drudach, a waterfront district and nighborhood designed to be a central base for your own Calimport campaigns,
- Numerous magical items and artifacts, many of which hide among Calimport's shadows, from the Battlecloak of Vycaena and the Codex Thealnakkar to the Staff of Shoon and the Tome of Secrets.
Everything you need to know about the peril-riddled alleys, palaces, and underworld of the most dangerous city on Faerun is contained in this 96-page book. Walk the dark paths among the sabbans or fly among the gilded minarets, but know that a thousand eyes and a thousand intrigues swirl about you at any moment! Come explore one of the oldest cities of Faerun. The trip may change your life...
Calimport (1998), by Steven E. Schend, is a sourcebook for the Forgotten Realms. It was published in October 1998.
Origins (I): Expanding the Empires. After Steven Schend came on as assistant manager for the Forgotten Realms, around 1995, he began work on a rather audacious reinvention and expansion of southern Faerûn. It began in Lands of Intrigue (1997), which focused on Tethyr, Amn, and Erlkazar, then continued into the related "Castle Spulzeer" (1997) adventure. Afterward it moved to Empires of the Shining Sea (1998), which centered on Calimshan. Calimport completed the series by detailing the largest city in Faerûn.
Origins (II): A City of Stories. Though Calimport is far off the beaten paths of the Heartlands, it had been well-featured in Realms fiction over the years. That's primarily thanks to R.A. Salvatore, who introduced the city in The Halfling's Gem (1990), when hero Regis was stolen away to Calimport by the assassin Artemis Entreri. In later years, Salvatore would continue the story of Entreri in Calimport in books like The Silent Blade (1998), which was released several months before Calimport.
Origins (III): Classic Cities. By the late '90s there were quite a few city books for D&D, from Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1985) to cities in Al-Qadim, Greyhawk, the Known World, and elsewhere. If anything, the Realms had more than its share of city supplements. That began with FR1: "Waterdeep and the North" (1987) and its companion "City System" (1988), which later were revised as City of Splendors (1994). Thanks to the RPGA, Ravens Bluff got a whole series of supplements (1989-1991), which were updated as The City of Ravens Bluff (1998), also in October 1998. There was even an underground Realms city, Menzoberranzan (1992). So, Calimport was part of a strong tradition, and one that would continue in later years in cities like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter.
City Tropes. Detailing entire cities has always been a challenge for roleplaying supplements. So, how do you detail the biggest city in Faerûn? Calimport provides large-scale overviews of the city and its wards, but also provides specific details on several notable buildings in each ward.
Need to know more about a random building located on the big, big maps? There's a set of building generation random tables for that.
Exploring the Realms. Obviously, Calimport is the major sourcebook for that city in Calimshan, overviewing its history and geography and also providing many smaller details. This expands on material from Empires of the Shining Sea (1998) and before that FR3: "Empires of the Sands" (1988) — though there was some retconning of the oldest material, to better accommodate the admission of Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (1992) into the Realms.
About the Creators. Schend was an assistant manager and continuity director for the Realms in the late '90s. He also wrote numerous RPG books in that time, with other contemporary work including supplements for the Arcane Age line as well as the Hellgate Keep (1998) adventure.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.