Blue Phoenix Faire
A thirteen day celebration held in the outer wards of Baldur’s Gate, drawing visitors of every ilk and creed from lands both near and far.
Officially sanctioned as a merchant’s trade fair by Grand Duke Portyr, Blue Phoenix Faire is marketed as the ultimate showcase for artisans to display their work and sellers to move their goods. It draws many of the best craftsmen, entertainers, and scholars of the land into the economic embrace of Grand Duke Portyr’s fine city, and nearly every shopkeeper depends upon the influx of business to make it through the winter ahead.
These thirteen days are also known far and wide as nights of lawless revelry, and so the faire has also become a pissing match for thugs and criminals of all walks, creating a dangerous environment even for city guards. So dangerous, in fact, that the Flaming Fists (powerful militia of Baldur’s Gate) bar the inner city gates at sundown, leaving the outer wards to virtually fend for themselves. There are groups of guards that patrol close to the gates, but never in groups smaller than five men, and all are seasoned soldiers.
The faire finds its roots in spurratic riots against the dukes of Baldur’s Gate about ten-fifteen years after the Year of Blue Fire. The ruling dukes were taxing those who settled outside the city walls, but neglecting to set aside any monies to administer to the welfare of the newcomers or upkeep of the newly settled area. The series of riots forced the city to address the concerns with token invetments in the new communities. As time grew on, the riots became organized, and evetually turned into a full-fledged uprising about 50 years ago.
The faire draws it’s name from, as folklore tells it: a single man who led a final uprising against the dukes of Baldur’s Gate and gained recognition for the outer wards. It is said that this stealthy hero wielded powerful magic of blue flame, not unlike that which still burned in the plaguelands. People claimed that his powers were the raw energies of Mystra herself, and he would visit the spellplague upon the city if parliament did not embrace its new inhabitants. If there really was a single man involved in the uprising, his identity was either never known, or simply lost to history. Ultimately, the final uprising was successful and the outer wards were brought officially into the fold of Baldur’s Gate. The Dukes, in an attempt to safe face, spun the aforementioned events as a positive gesture by the city to welcome the outer wards and support their economic growth.
The wealthy powers of Baldur’s Gate believe the “blue phoenix” was (and is) simply a code word for a secret, unified effort of merchant houses to leverage the public for power over the duke and parliament. Commoners would rather believe stories of a local folk hero that launched blue flames from his hands and walked between the world’s shadows fighting against oppression. These tales have been fading fast from memory though, and the percentage of the population that has actually heard them is rather small.
The mysterious “Blue Phoenix”, as he was called by locals, was rumored to have had a secret tower loaded with wondrous treasures far beneath the city. Treasure hunters throughout the decades have disappeared looking for this undiscovered location. A venerable dwarvan woman remembers a tinkering dwarf that used to live in the city long ago, and always entertained the idea of him being the mysterious “blue phoenix”. She could not recall his name for sure, but thinks he may have been called “Bearded Rahm”.