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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.[8] Other than the Host Tower of the Arcane, the city was dominated by two- and
three-story buildings.[2]

Two inhabited islands sat in the mouth of the river: the island upon which lay the Host
Tower of the Arcane (connected to both sides of the river by bridges) and Closeguard
Island,[9] which housed Ship Kurth (connected to the southern bank by a bridge).[2]

Northern bank
The northern section was walled and was almost entirely made up of warehouses. The
Mirabar District (also known as the Mirabar Shield) was a fortified compound operated
by the merchants of Mirabar, and it contained the Throat, the city's heavily guarded
main water tower, which was situated in a grazing area for sheep.[8] The Red Dragon
Trading Post, Luskan's most successful overland trading company as of 1370 DR (but
no longer in operation in 1483 DR[10]), was situated on the northern bank, as was the
North Gate, the portal between the northern and southern banks.[11]

The docks on the northern bank were on the sea coast (western part of the city) and
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.[11]

Southern bank
As of 1370 DR, the southern bank consisted of a heavily fortified inner section
surrounded by caravan compounds.[8] This area was home to the majority of residents
and shops. The southern wall was semicircular, with over a dozen towers. The two
towers flanking the South Gate were named the Twin Teeth.[12] The southern bank also
housed stables, the Captains' and High Captains' Courts, the Market and the Prisoners'
Carnival, and the town's original harbor, Dragon Beach, a lawless place where even
soldiers feared to tread

As of 1372 DR, the city was officially ruled by the five High Captains, all former pirate
lords and each of which led a faction called a "ship" named after its respective captain:
Ship Taerl, Ship Baram, Ship Kurth, Ship Suljack and Ship Rethnor.[3] The true power
in the city resided with the Arcane Brotherhood.[4]

The High Captains encouraged the harassment of the trading routes of small cities such
as Mirabar, Neverwinter, and Ruathym,[3] and made sure to avoid conflict with
Waterdeep and Amn because they were too powerful.[4]
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.[3]

Luskan was rumored to be allied with the Zhentarim but no evidence of this was ever

By 1480 DR there was no true functioning government and gangs (including the Ships
of the High Captains) carved out territories within the city.[22]

The Host Tower of the Arcane:

Is the home of the Arcane Brotherhood. This magically created stone structure is built to
resemble a giant tree or an open human hand. It is a huge dark structure resembling a
hollowed tree rises into a central spire 50m wide surrounded by four spires at the points
of the compass in a 100m radius around. All are of equal height, and each bristles with
many lesser spires, balconies, and branching turrets.

The first known account of the Host Tower's existence comes from a Northlander oral
tradition recorded in 1237 DR by a loremaster of Waterdeep.

Erected by the netherese arcanist Melathlar in -354 DR to protect Illusk from phaerimm
attack, the effort cost Melathlar his life. Twenty years later, another arcanist, named
Maerin, was involved in creating a magical siphoning system that took seawater from
the Sea of Swords and transported it via roots 'grown' from the Tower to the burgeoning
underground settlement of Gauntlgrym, where elemental magic fuelled by the water
kept the primordial Maegera under control.

In 95 DR, the Tower became home to all of Illusk's wizards as it was a refuge from
Uthgar Gardolfsson's attacks, however they were driven out instead by an upstart from
within Illusk itself. With wizards banned from the city, nobody noticed that the Tower
was still occupied by the former wizard rulers of Illusk, the Grand Cabal, but they
quietly weathered no less than three orc hordes, who failed to enter or damage the

It was not until 806 DR, while resettling the ruins, that Laeral Silverhand entered the
tower and encountered the Cabal, now all liches. She sealed the ancient spellcasters
within the tower for half a millenium until the arrival of Arklem Greeth, who managed
to bypass Laeral's magic and free the remaining members of the Cabal, who helped him
set up the Arcane Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood became the true rulers of the city, now known as Luskan, and based
some of their organization's power structure on the architecture of the Tower. However
Greeth, having become a lich himself, felt the need, in 1376 DR to break his staff of the
magi. The resulting explosion nearly levelled the Tower and killed most of its

By 1479 DR, the Tower was a strange ruin haunted by undead and the locals would not
go near it.[2]

In 1487 DR, an effort is mounted to reconstruct the Host Tower by Catti-brie, Gromph
Baenre, Lady Avelyere, and others via the primordial Maegera, and the root system
connecting to Gauntlgrym. The dwarves of Gauntlegrym marshal numerous raw
materials, including the recovered original stone of the Host Tower, and the primordial
"grows" the structure at the behest of Cattie-brie

The Arcane Brotherhood:

Is a mercantile company and spellcaster's guild. It maintains several safe houses in
Luskan and in other cities of the North, and at least one fortress somewhere in the
mountains north and east of Luskan. The Host Tower, however, is the seat of its

Hard information on the upper echelons of the Arcane Brotherhood is very difficult to
come by. It is clear, though, that some of the senior wizards have recently been
destroyed or trapped in forms from which they can't escape, communicate, or work
magic. Some have been moved behind the scenes, and some have left the Brotherhood
to pursue their own aims lichdom, mastery in other lands or planes of existence, and
so on. Even still, it should be noted that current activities of the Zhentarim, the Cult of
the Dragon, and the Red Wizards of Thay reveal that they haven't managed to place
agents or even spies in any positions of importance within the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood has been known to change with menacing rapidity, as its internal
feuds tend to be deadly. Travelers are advised to avoid even coming to the attention of
this evil, manipulative group.

Arklem Greeth, the original Archmage Arcane of the Brotherhood, first appeared in
Luskan around 1311 DR. Meticulously building a group of powerful and evil mages,
Greeth sought to acquire control of the North by first dominating trade using the far
reaching arm of Luskan. Greeth and the Brotherhood first gained full control of Luskan
(through the High Captains) sometime around 1357 DR. After conquering the island of
Ruathym (on the second attempt) in 1361 DR, Luskan was forced to return it by the
Lords' Alliance.[2]
Greeth then had Luskan embark on a number of disastrous military and naval ventures.
After a botched war against Lantan, Greeth was forced to flee when two of his high
ranking subordinates sought to overthrow him and proceeded to assassinate his
assistant. While in exile, Greeth successfully gained his long-sought immortality by
becoming an undead Lich. Returning to the city sometime in late 1371 DR or early
1372 DR, he used his new-found powers to reclaim the Brotherhood.[2]
After setting the High Captains of Luskan under his heel yet again, Greeth and his
erinyes ally Nyphithys turned their attention to recruiting new mages for their guild and
plotting means to conquer the newly created country of the Silver Marches. It was
during this time that Arabeth Raurym of Mirabar became an Overwizard of the
Around the end of 1376 DR, Luskan was invaded by a group of Waterdhavian lords led
by Captain Deudermont and Lord Brambleberry. The Brotherhood's presence in Luskan
was essentially nullified and a number of wizards killed. Greeth himself fled the city
after causing tremendous damage to invading forces


Arklem Greeth: Ex- Archmage Arcane (Human male, Lich, LE)

Valindra Shadowmantle, Overwizard of the North Tower (Moon elf female, Lich, NE)

Overwizard Ricardo Domine - Responsible for the East Tower

Overwizard Arabeth Raurym - Responsible for the South Tower (Human female,
Sorcerer, CE) eldest daughter of Elastul Raurym, Marchion of Mirabar

Overwizard Blaskar Lauthom - Responsible for the West Tower

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