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I remember reading in some published book (most probably from the 3e era but I'm not sure; surely not from 5e) that in a certain port in the Sword Coast (I'd say Waterdeep, but Neverwinter and Luskan are also possible given where our characters were located at that time) bugbears sometimes look for employment as load workers at the docks, but they often get into trouble because other people around there treat them as stupid just because of their looks.

Bugbears have average intelligence and wisdom, so they're rightfully enraged by the accusation, but they have a bad temper and fights ensue.

Where did I read this piece of lore, and which was the town?

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I know there are bugbears in Skullport, but I've only seen them in the handbooks, not a novel. 'Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage' lists one of the locations as "Bugbear Barracks". In the Skullport 2e handbook, it listed Bugbears and Hobgoblins fighting over sleeping space...but that was in a dungeon. If there is a novel set in Skullport, I would think that is your best bet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It was in a handbook, I've not been reading the novels. I'm also pretty sure it was not Skullport but a city "in the open" \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Mar 14 at 9:17

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