Luskan is a seafaring merchant city, home to fierce, proud, and warlike Northmen. This important northern port city is located at the mouth of the unnavigable Mirar River, a swift and icy, cold and rocky, waterway with the Mirar Road paralleling it to Mirabar. The perils of both the coastal High Road and the interior Long Road south from Mirabar relegate most metal trade to ships out of Luskan. Luskan’s structures are tightly packed, standing two and three stories above ground, and they are delved below ground as well.
Although this city of approximately 16,000 humans seeks merchant trade, visitors are few and feel unwelcome. This has much to do with Luskan being a known harbor for northern pirates, if not an outright sponsor of their activities. Inns serving travelers are rare. Visitors are directed to "Keep to the wall. . .The last lane holds the Cutlass." The Arcane Brotherhood keeps a watch on visitors to the city. If one wants to walk freely without spies in tow, it’s advisable to enter by the sewers, in the hold of a Luskanite ship, or in magical disguise.
The Mirar River divides the city into two major parts. The northern section is a walled enclave, consisting almost entirely of warehouses. The southern half of the city is much older. This heavily fortified section of the city is surrounded by outlying walled caravan compounds. There are three bridges that connect the two halves of the city. They are the Harbor Cross, Dalath’s Span, and the Upstream Span. The Harbor Cross is broken into two sections, known as the Short and Long spans. Five major islands crowd the three closest to the the mouth of the Mirar River, and south bank are developed.
When Luskan is officially at peace, its warships act as unsanctioned pirates and the city sponsors pirates who prey on ships and ports along the Sword Coast. The High Captains supply, aid, and direct them, but they pretend they’re independent freebooters, acting in defiance of the laws of Luskan. The pirate warships try to force all shippers to use Luskanite boats and to use Luskan as their only Sword Coast port of trade.
The seafaring merchants of Luskan have always been fierce, proud, and warlike. When patrolling enemies make coastal raids difficult, the warriors of Luskan turn inland, attacking the miners of Mirabar and any Uthgardt barbarians they can find. This is done just to keep their neighbors weak and respectful.
At this time, there are a new crop of rumors in Luskan, hinting at connections between the Zhentarim and the Host Tower of the Arcane; whether true or not, it pays to be alert and conscious of any and all possible dangers within a city like Luskan.