Also known as the City of Sails, was a port city at the mouth of the River Mirar on the Sword Coast North. Luskan, despite the presence of the Ten Towns is considered by many to be civilization’s farthest reach.
Although once a bustling city, in the days prior to the Spellplague, the city would suffer greatly at the hands of Arklem Greeth. The resulting disaster would allow the Spellplague to nearly decimate the city, with it having only a fraction of it’s former populace.
As of 1370 DR, the city was split into northern and southern halves by the River Mirar, and these were connected by the bridges Dalath’s Span, Harbor Cross, and the Upstream Span.
The northern section was walled and was almost entirely made up of warehouses.
Mirabar District (also known as the Mirabar Shield) was a fortified compound operated by the merchants of Mirabar, and contained the Throat, the city’s main water tower, which was situated in a grazing area for sheep and heavily guarded.
The Docks on the Northern Bank consisted of Whitesails Harbor, used exclusively for the Luskan Navy, and the unprotected Open Shore, which was situated outside the city walls and was the only place foreign shipping could dock.
The Red Dragon Trading Post, Luskan’s most successful overland trading company as of 1370 DR, was situated on the Northern Bank, as was the North Gate, the portal between the northern and southern banks.
As of 1370 DR, the Southern Bank consisted of a heavily fortified inner section surrounded by caravan compounds. The main portion of the city was on this side of the bank, and the southern wall was semicircular, with over a dozen towers. The two towers flanking the South Gate were named the Twin Teeth.
As of 1372 DR, the city was officially ruled by the five High Captains: Taerl, Baram, Kurth, Suljack and Rethnor, all former pirate lords. The true power in the city resided with the Arcane Brotherhood.
The Arcane Brotherhood also encouraged local traders to treat travelers with disdain and suspicion, due to the possibility that they may be spies for their enemies, often sending low-level agents to follow strangers personally.
Luskan was rumoured to be allied with the Zhentarim but no evidence of this was ever presented.
By 1480 DR there was no functioning government and gangs carved out territories within the city.
Built on the ruins of the ancient and magical orcish city of Illusk, Luskan was a port town frequented by pirates, thieves and other disreputable folk interested in money. Although life within its walls was dangerous, Luskan was a very lucrative city. Pirates brought in their goods to be sold to the black market, northern traders frequented the place as a rest stop on their way to the Ten Towns during the warmer months, ready to buy exotic scrimshander ornaments, several taverns traded in ale and other spirits, the drugs and slave trades were rife (although obviously sublimated) and information brokers and prostitutes plyed their trade during the night-time.
There was a period in Luskan’s history during which dwarves from Mirabar would paint Luskan sheep different colours in acts of defiance, but as of 1370 DR this practice had ended after savage reprisals from the Luskanites.
In the autumn of 1376 DR Luskan was attacked by an army of mercenaries led by Lord Brambleberry of Waterdeep and aided by the famous Captain Deudermont. The attack destroyed the Hosttower and the grateful populace installed Deudermont as their governor. Although he tried to rebuild as many homes as possible before winter set in, supplies were scarce and most food came via Ship Rethnor in the form of a strange tangy meat and edible fungus. People were being murdered every day for this food and those who weren’t prepared to kill for it, starved. When supplies from Waterdeep were sent to aid Deudermont’s new city the land caravans were attacked by bandits paid for by Ship Rethnor and the fleet of trading ships that was supposed to dock was attacked by Arklem Greeth, who had (unknown to all) survived the Hosttower’s destruction. Barely any of the supplies arrived and then Kensidan had Suljack murdered, which sparked off a street war among the hungry masses and guards who had been bribed by Ships Rethnor and Kurth. At the same time Arklem Greeth attacked the Sea Sprite. When Deudermont’s corpse was found, it was all over. The survivors fled the city, leaving the four remaining captains to rule over the place, though Kensidan and Kurth would dominate Baram and Taerl. Luskan would become a free port. A place of trade where absolutely no questions would ever be asked.
Unknown to most, much of the resources and intelligence that led to this outcome were provided by Bregan D’aerthe who, once more led by Jarlaxle wanted to share in the profits the free port would hopefully produce.
In the years after the Spellplague, Luskan fell into ruin. Over the next century, the rulership of the city changed from hand to claw to hand so many times that it would be nigh-impossible to document them in any kind of detail. The result was a mockery of a true city. Most buildings were ruined and murderers and demon-worshipers roamed the streets freely, plying their trade in broad daylight. Wretched tribes of goblins and kobolds skulked in the shadows and the fetid bog that was once the estuary of the River Mirar was infested with aquatic horrors. The place became a haven for escaped criminals who, while escaping punishment for their crimes would likely die on the end of a psychopath’s blade or a monster’s claw.