History of Waterdeep - Age lV, The Return of the Lords:
One day to the Courts of the Lord Magister came two people masked and robes as the Lords of Waterdeep of old. Where they came from no one knew, but they appeared in the Castle's Great Hall where the Courts were, and commanded the Lords Magisters to leave the city forthwith. Laughing, the Lords Magisters refused, whereupon the shorter of the masked intruders (the lady Shilam, apprentice to Aghairon and his undeclared heir as first Lord of the City) blasted them with lightning and fire, and their very thrones were shattered and toppled.
The taller of the intruders (Baeron) then called for the heads of the noble houses to come to them, or leave the city forthwith and forever, if they cared not to come by nightfall. All in the Courts heard, and the news was cried out in the streets.
The surviving nobles came, reluctantly and with bodyguards, excepting such summons to be a trap. Bearon spoke to and the crowd of curious townsfolk that had come also, saying, "this must not happen again." If Waterdeep was to be safe once more, he told them, all must support what he and his fellow Lord now planned, as they had supported Aghairon in the past. The two would choose others to be Lords as before, he said, and they would rule in secret, as before - save fro himself. He removed his mask, and said, "I am Baeron. I would be safe in this my city again." And the folk of Waterdeep agreed. Shilarn, still masked, commanded that the two houses of the Two Lords Magister be Outcast. There was protest, and she raised her hands that had blasted the thrones, and it was still again. And the house of Gildeggh and of Zoar were outcast.
Peace returned to the city, and Waterhavians to their labors. To inhibit discovery of who the Lords were, Baeron selected certain men of character whom he knew well, and appointed them Magisters ("Black Robes", they were soon called, from their robes of office) under the Lords, to judge and apply the laws of Waterdeep in daily affairs. These Magisters he paid well, to raise the from temptation, and gave lodgings to those who feared for safety to dwell among the people. To so serve, he told the city, was a burden, not a proud misuse of authority, and if any wished no longer to no longer serve, or were found wanting, they were not to be vilified, but accorded respect. And over the Magisters the Lords sat in their Court, to correct and overrule the judgements of the Magisters. Bareon told the people that none were to decry or belittle any judgements of Magisters that the Lord saw fit to alter or cast aside. If any thought ill of the offices or those who hled them they could turn back to the rule of the sword and whim, and perish as those before them. Before the Lord's Court Baeron encouraged people to speak freely for the length of a short candle's burning, without fear of chastisement or reproach from the Lords for anything they said, as long as they spoke openly and answered questions or opposing views put to them by any there. Thus, he held, just grievances of folk would be heard, no matter how small the matter or lowly the speaker. And so it was. Slow to take hold, until people knew it for careful justice, but enduring beyond Baeron's time, and beyond Shilarn's time, and beyond the time of their daughter Lhestyn, "The Masked Lady," who wed Zelphar Arunsen of Neverwinter, and was mother to Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsen, a Lord of Waterdeep today, who knows the secrets of long years as Aghairon did. And as the years have passed, Waterdeep has grown in size and variety, flourishing with good trade under the tolerance and protection of strong defenders and good government. The years passed not without troubles, varying from the Godswar (when Waterdeep played host to gods dying and ascending) to such occurrences as a green dragon assailling the Fields of Triumph (part of a plot by the Knights of the Shield to overthrow the Lord's Rule), but the city and her people survived and prevailed against all strife. The Lord's Alliance provided continued safety for all the setttlements of of the northern Sword Coast region and those inland, with Waterdeep as the heart of the alliance. Though it can be matched in size or commerce, there is no city the Realms over that compares to the sheer variety of life and experiences found in fair Waterdeep, Crown of the North.