Why does Waterdeep tolerate Blue Alley over 150 years after its creation? Has the City made it safer/ harder to find (as not to needlessly harm kids and commoners)?@benmorrier
The Blue Alley survives because the Watchful Order convinced Open Lord Piergeiron of its usefulness, for reasons the Open Lords since then agree with. These reasons are twofold: 1) it can be used to trap and eliminate, harm, or humble unwanted marauders in the city (visiting or otherwise), and 2) [and this second reason is hardly apparent in the various published mentions of the Blue Alley] it provides “complete healing” for those who dare to try to reach them, by a mechanism deemed too useful by the Order to eliminate, and potentially too dangerous to dismantle: the Alley includes Weave “feedback” areas; small spots in the dungeon visible only as they’re functioning: they glow an eerie blue (we modern real-worlders might say “electric blue”) as they completely heal, regenerate, and restore PCs who enter them or “touch” (impinge upon) any part of them. In other words, the Blue Alley isn’t just a deadly thrill run of waltzing undead and strange conjured images, it can be a ‘bring-the-coinless back from ashes or maimed death to full life’ boon for normal folk who dare to use it for friends, kin, or loved ones. The full Blue Alley has never been published, and sometimes underlying reasons for things, or how they fit into a society or “how things work locally” gets lost that way. To provide another example: Censored out of the published Realms from the outset is a disrespectful peeing statue in Selgaunt of a long-ago would-be local dictator. Although the man’s wealthy descendants are still powerful in the city, the statue remains intact and standing because the enchantments on it purify the pumped seawater it emits, into drinkable fresh water that now gets piped throughout the city. Unlike this statue, the Blue Alley partly survives in print, but with an important reason for why its existence is still tolerated lost. (Heh. This is why I’m still answering Realmslore questions, after fifty-some years.)
And my original Blue Alley IS hard to find; its entrance is completely cloaked by a “solid, dirty city building wall” illusion, and a hired street person lounges watching who approaches. Anyone can walk right into it, IF they can find it.