Baldur's Gate: Vice
The High House of Wonders
Built from the profits of a lucrative technology deal with the city, the High House of Wonders and the Hall ofWonders stand apart in the Upper City, their pillared marble buildings gleaming white in a cityscape ofyellow and gray. Gond’s first priests in the Gate took great pains to make the temple as ostentatious as possible, hiring expert masons from as far away as Chessenta and importing Lantanese sculptures and exterior cornices.
The High House ofWonders serves as a vast work shop for the many crafters and inventors that the temple houses. To enter the building, a person must pass under three great bronze blocks, or doors, that appear to float in midair. In fact, a system of hidden pulleys and counterweights holds them aloft. Great chimes are hidden within each block, and they ring the time at the passing of every hour. Releasing the pulley system would slam down the bronze doors. Anyone and anything caught beneath the massive slabs would be crushed. Since the temple is open to inspiration at all hours, the doors have not been closed in living memory. However, if rioting were to threaten the temple. the Gondsmen would seal the High House ofWonders and open it again only when it appeared safe for the people to return to holy labor.’
Each day, the High House of Wonders rings with the clamor of hammer and saw. Acolytes create the knickknacks that are sold in the Hall of Wonders, crafters of all sorts attend master-taught classes, and inventors experiment alongside priests as they build new projects or tinker with old machines. The House has several huge wings, each devoted to a type of work or a scholarly pursuit related to invention and artifice. Silversmiths toil alongside vats for casting bronze. Everything from ships to siege weap ons is built at full size in the great halls of the High House ofWonders and then is disassembled for trans port. Of course, the faithful of Gond work on repairs for private citizens as well.
The High House ofWonders hosts about one hundred priests and acolytes in its residential wing. By day, up to five times that many faithful fill the temple as people who live in other parts of the city arrive to work and learn.
Most of those who enter the temple every day are long-standing members of the city’s various crafting guilds who come to study, experiment, and teach. Some are would-be apprentices hoping to make connections and show off their talents to prospective masters. A few are individuals of great talent but small means. Too poor to afford the entrance and class fees, such people can sometimes find a patron to pay for their tutelage in return for future indentureship.