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Neverwinter is a friendly city of craftsmen, who trade extensively via the great merchants of Waterdeep; their water-clocks and multi-hued lamps can be found throughout the Realms. Neverwinter gained its name from the skill of its gardeners, who contrived to keep flowers blooming throughout the months of snow -- a practice they continue with pride.
  — Elminster Aumar[12]

Neverwinter, also known as the City of Skilled Hands and the Jewel of the North, was a multi-racial city-state sitting on the northwestern Sword Coast of Faerûn.[15] Neverwinter was regarded by Volo as the most cosmopolitan and the most civilized city in all of Faerûn. The city was a member in good standing of the Lords' Alliance.[13]

EtymologyEdit

The city was originally named "Eigersstor", which was an Illuskan word. The name "Neverwinter" was the Chondathan translation.[2][note 1]

A number of legends purported to explain where the city's name came from, but they contradicted each other. Some believed that the city was founded by a sun elf named Halueth Never, who led the elves of Iliyanbruen against an Illuskan invasion in -10 DR. Surrounded by his enemies, he chose the site where the river met the sea to make his last stand, naming the place "Never's Winter," believing he would die in the ensuing battle. However, human allies arrived just in time to come to his aid, and together they defeated the Illuskans. Never founded the city, keeping the name. Over the years the name was shortened to "Neverwinter".[16]

Others, such as Volo and Elminster, considered that the name came from its gardens. This was also the source of the city's moniker, "the City of Skilled Hands," for Neverwinter's gardeners were acclaimed throughout the Realms for their ability to keep their gardens growing even through winter.[17]

Locals, however, believed that the name came from the city's unusually warm climate, and how its docks were always ice-free in all but the coldest of winters. It was believed this was because of the Neverwinter River that flowed through the city, as it was heated by fire elementals living under the nearby Mount Hotenow in the Neverwinter Wood.[1] The heat given off from the river created a permanent warm climate in the immediate area.[3]

HistoryEdit

Brief HistoryEdit

The first settlement in the Savage Frontier was an elven city known as Illefarn. Illefarn became a bustling nation after the time of the Crown Wars. Eventually, Illefarn was divided into three nations, of which Iliyanbruen was the most prominent.[18] Iliyanbruen was weakened by orc invasions, which paved the way for Eigersstor, the first multi-racial settlement in the area, which would later be called Neverwinter.[19]

Neverwinter became a center of civilization, peace and culture and was widely viewed as a marvel by visitors. This trend lasted, seemingly unbroken since its founding[20] until 1372 DR when a disease known as the Wailing Death laid low most of the city's inhabitants.[21] Then, in 1385 DR, the Spellplague struck.[22]

The century that followed saw the rise in power of Netheril. Netherese loyalists infiltrated the power structure of the weakened Neverwinter,[20] but their efforts were sidetracked by the eruption of Mount Hotenow in 1451 DR, so powerful that laid the city to waste and killed the ruling royal family.[3]

In 1467 DR, Lord Dagult Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep, seeing an opportunity to add to his financial empire, hired workers to help rebuild the city and Mintarn mercenaries to protect it from monsters and bandits; claiming himself to be a descendant of Neverwinter's former rulers and thus the rightful "Lord Protector" of the city, started the New Neverwinter movement. Lord Neverember invested a great deal of his own personal fortune to rebuild the city's infrastructure, buy the interest of merchants to send their caravans again to Neverwinter, and even ensuring Neverwintan refugees had enough food and gold in hand.[6] By 1491 DR, Neverember's efforts to rebuild the city proved successful, and Neverwinter had slowly being restored as a center of civilization in the Sword Coast North.[23]

GovernmentEdit

As of 1370 DR, the city was ruled fairly and justly by Lord Nasher Alagondar, an aging, veteran adventurer and devout worshiper of Tyr.[24][3] As such, the Neverwintans followed a Tyrran faith that promoted justice and fairness, with greed being frowned upon. Lord Nasher ensured that the city was well defended before his death, both physically and magically, against attacks or infiltration from Luskan, Neverwinter's warlike rival. Maps of the city were not allowed to be made as part of an effort to thwart Luskan spies.[13]

While Lord Nasher was the nominal leader of Neverwinter, the real power in the city was held by the Many-Starred Cloak, an order of good-aligned wizards that supported the rule of Lord Nasher.[24]

Lord Nasher rejected the position of King of Neverwinter for much of his life, accepting the title only in old age, by public acclamation.[3] After his death, he was succeeded by his son Bann Alagondar,[5] who founded the Alagondar royal family. The Alagondar line of kings and queens ruled justly and kept Neverwinter stable and prosperous even in the dark period that followed the Spellplague, until the destruction of Neverwinter after the eruption of Mount Hotenow, when all members of the royal family died in the disaster.[3]

New NeverwinterEdit

Main article: New Neverwinter

As part of his bid to create a mercantile empire in Neverwinter, Dagult Neverember created the title of "Lord Protector of Neverwinter", held by Neverember himself, in 1462 DR. However, it was questioned whether Dagult was the rightful ruler, as many factions vied for Neverwinter and the citizens were divided in loyalties.[3] As he had to fulfill his obligations as Open Lord of Waterdeep, Lord Neverember left the day-to-day running of the city to General Sabine and Mayor Soman Galt.[6]

In 1489 DR, Lord Neverember was exiled from Waterdeep and replaced as Open Lord by Laeral Silverhand.[25] After being ousted of his city and former position, Neverember then focused all of his efforts to his role of Lord Protector of Neverwinter. Due to this commitment and his past accomplishments helping Neverwinter and its citizens, the Neverwintans finally accepted Lord Neverember as their rightful leader.[23] Bitter over being exiled from Waterdeep, however, Neverember became more despotic than ever and enforced heavy-handed laws. He levied heavy taxes to noble families living in Neverwinter, preventing them to gain significant power, while enacting harsh laws that prohibited the formation of new guilds and limited the power of existing ones.[26]

DefensesEdit

Neverwinter cityscape

Neverwinter seen from afar, as of 1479 DR

As of 1372 DR, Neverwinter had a standing army, the Graycloaks,[27] composed of 400 archers and spearmen, that doubled as a city guard and patrolled the High Road from Port Llast to Leilon. If the city's walls were threatened by orcs or Luskan attackers, the defenders could catapult explosive missiles down on the attackers. Both missiles and the specially designed catapults were devised by the best 'skilled hands' of the city's namesake. In desperate situations, Lord Nasher could call upon the wizards of the order of the Many-Starred Cloak for help.[13]

As of 1479 DR, the army of the city, known as the Neverwinter Guard,[12] was composed mostly by the Mintarn mercenaries hired by Lord Neverember, and a few independent militia forces assembled by the citizens also helped to protect the city in times of need. Lord Neverember also hired adventuring bands to deal with threats to the city that the Mintarn mercenaries could not handle.[3]

With the city rebuilding in the late years of the 1480s DR, many of the Sons of Alagondar volunteered themselves to serve in the Neverwinter Guard, making Lord Neverember to depend less on the services of the mercenaries. Lord Neverember still hired a adventurers and mercenaries to help to protect Neverwinter and train the local troops rather than to accept the help of the armies of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, who he felt had betrayed him.[23]

SocietyEdit

As of 1370 DR, Neverwinter was a cosmopolitan and cultured city, and even the merchants from Amn and Calimshan, who had a poor opinion about the cities of the North, considered Neverwinter to be a civilized place. The Neverwintans avoided conflict and controversy, and were considered to be a quiet, mannered, literate, efficient, and hard-working folk, who had great respect for deadlines, as well as the the property and happiness of others.[13] Amid all the weird-following tolerance and variety in the city, there was a great respect for peacefulness, law, and order.[28]

After the foundation of the Alagondar royal family in the late years of the 14th century DR, the Neverwintans became a very patriotic people, proud of their leaders and their city.[3]

After the destruction of the city in 1451 DR, the Neverwintans showed a new facet: stubbornness and determination. Many survivors remained in the city, and ever since had demonstrated the resolution to rebuilt Neverwinter to its former glory and to defend her from many dangers, both mortal and extraplanar alike.[3]

ReligionEdit

The main faiths in Neverwinter in the 14th century were those of Helm, Oghma and Tyr. The temples of the Hall of Justice and House of Knowledge served to cater the faithful of Tyr and Oghma, while the faithful of Helm congregated in nearby Helm's Hold.[9]

With the deaths of Helm and Tyr in the years before the Spellplague, their faiths were replaced by those of Torm and his subordinate deity Bahamut,[8][10] as well as the faith of Selûne, as her followers wanted to bring hope to the peoples of Neverwinter.[11] By 1479 DR, the faith of Asmodeus had become popular as well, and the ashmadai had great influence in the city's politics.[7]

The Neverwintans never stopped to revere Tyr even after his death,[8] and when the god returned to life after the Second Sundering, his faith was quickly accepted again in Neverwinter, and became as popular as it was before.[23][26]

In the late years of the 15th century, as Neverwinter slowly restore itself into a cosmopolitan city, temples of many faiths began to become pretty common in all districts of the city.[23]

Trade and businessEdit

Neverwinter location

Map of Neverwinter on the Sword Coast North.

Around 1370 DR, Neverwinter controlled much of the mining trade from dwarf and gnome outposts from the nearby Underdark by using hidden ways in various warehouses in the city. It also had a large fishing economy, and did good trade in logging from the Neverwinter Wood.[28] Neverwinter traded mostly with the nearby city of Waterdeep.[9]

However, Neverwinter's true assets were its importance as a center of craftwork, learning, and magical innovation.[28] Merchants and crafters usually practiced their works in buildings dedicated for such tasks. Street vendors were rarely seen in Neverwinter.[9]

With the destruction of Neverwinter in 1451 DR, trade came to a total halt in the region.[3]

After 1461 DR, as part of the rebuilding efforts Lord Neverember focused much of his resources to restore trade and to contract crafters to help restore the city's infrastructure.[6] Merchants from the "new" continent of Laerakond began to trade with the Faerûrian cities of the Sword Coast in 1479 DR. In Neverwinter, a group of traders from Tarmalune, one of the Windrise Ports of Laerakond, approached Lord Neverember in hopes to establish permanent trade routes between the two continents.[29]

Around 1491 DR, Neverwinter was a city full of opportunities. As word spread that Neverwinter was being restored, merchants from both the North and the southern lands became interested to trade with the city once again. Likewise, Lord Neverember began to work to forge a trading alliance with the restored Gauntlgrym, in the hopes of increasing the prosperity of both cities, while ensuring his advantage over the nobles and merchants from Waterdeep and Baldur's Gate.[30]

Without guilds to restrict trade or construction, those who wanted to start a business in Neverwinter could simply do so, and those traders who dealt with basic products, such as foodstuff, became wealthy just by selling their goods in the city. Likewise, there was demand for many jobs, and those who wanted to offer their services either as workers or as apprentices had plenty of options despite the high competition.[30]

LayoutEdit

Neverwinter afternoon

Neverwinter in the afternoon

Neverwinter night

Neverwinter at dusk

Before the eruption of Mount Hotenow, Neverwinter was a picturesque city and boasted such sights and edifices that would be noteworthy in other cities, but were fairly common features in the Jewel of the North.[28]

Neverwinter was usually described as being "laid out roughly in the shape of an eye," with the Neverwinter River marking a long axis roughly east and west of its waters. One end of the city was the harbor, and the other end was the Upland Rise, and beyond that the Neverwinter Wood. Four gates were located in its walls, two in the northwestern and the northeastern corners, and two in the southwestern and southeastern corners.[28]

Among its most prominent vistas were its three spectacular, intricately carved bridges: the Dolphin, the Winged Wyvern and the Sleeping Dragon, considered the city's emblems by its inhabitants. Under these, the waters of the Neverwinter River cascaded over small, gentle waterfalls as they coursed into the city's bustling harbor. Its lamps of multi-colored glass, its precision water clocks and exquisite jewelry, and its magnificent gardens (the phrase "The City of Skilled Hands" referred to Neverwinter's accomplished gardeners) ensured the warm winters were colourful and the summers were rich with fresh fruit.[28]

The city was full of beautiful and ingeniously designed buildings, many of which were famous in their own right, such as the House of Knowledge, Neverwinter's tall and many-windowed temple of Oghma; the Hall of Justice, the temple of Tyr and the public office for the rulers of the city; and Castle Never, the castle of the ruler of Neverwinter. In addition, the reputations of such unique taverns as the Moonstone Mask, the Shining Serpent Inn, and the Fallen Tower reached far beyond the city's walls and further added to the city's distinction.[28]

After the Ruining, the city was almost entirely destroyed. Of the three bridges, only the Winged Wyvern remained functional.[15] Much of the southeastern quadrant of the city collapsed into a yawning pit, known as the Chasm, that continually spawned plaguechanged horrors. Many former edifices and homes became martial garrisons to maintain the monsters at bay.[3]

Neverwinter1479

Neverwinter in ruins, around 1479 DR

Although Neverwinter remained in ruins for almost two decades, thanks to Lord Nevermeber's efforts the city began to be repaired to its former glory in the late years of the 1480s DR.[6] Inns like the Driftwood Tavern and the Beached Leviathan became pretty popular across the Sword Coast.[31]

The Chasm was magically sealed around 1484 DR,[23] although at such cost to the city's coffers, that some of its outer walls still lay in ruins and several of its neighborhoods remained abandoned by 1491 DR.[26]

LocationsEdit

As of 1372 DR, Neverwinter was divided in the following districts:

After the war with Luskan, some parts of the city were rebuilt, and the city's layout changed:

  • The Merchant Quarter, located at the center of the city, and built over the remains of the City Core and the Peninsula District.[16]
  • The Blacklake and Docks Districts survived the war with Luskan almost unscathed.[16]

With the eruption of Mount Hontenow in 1451 DR, the city was almost destroyed. When Dagult Neverember started the rebuilding project for the city, the layout was drastically changed:

  • Protector's Enclave, located were the City Core, the Peninsula District and the Merchant Quarter once stood.[33][23]
  • The Blacklake District now was considered to be the northwestern section of the city.[33][23]
  • The Docks District were now part of the Protector's Enclave to the south, and the Blacklake District to the north.[33][23]
  • The Neverdeath Graveyard, was built as the main graveyard of the city.[33]
  • The Arcanist Quarter and the Beggar's Nest were completely destroyed, being replaced by the Chasm.[33][note 2] The Chasm was sealed around 1485 DR.[23][26]
  • The River District, also known as the Towers District, located at the northeastern portion of the city.[33][12]

InhabitantsEdit

As of 1370 DR, Neverwinter was inhabited mostly by humans, half-elves, and a minority of dwarves.[9]

As of 1479 DR, the city became more cosmopolitan, with members of many races living alongside members of the common human and half-elven families. The rare eladrin,[34] and even tieflings were common sights among the citizens.[12] A sizable delegation of dragonborn mercenaries had been hired by Lord Neverember alongside the Mintarn ones.[6][12] The River District was invaded by a tribe of orcs from Many-Arrows,[35] and although most of them left Neverwinter when they were recalled by their compatriots in the north, around 1484 DR,[23] a few orcs and half-orcs were still living in Neverwinter as of 1491 DR.[12]

OrganizationsEdit

The many organizations that operated in Neverwinter took on a more prominent role in 1479 DR and the following years.[36] Among the most important were:

Before their utter defeat in the the late years of the 15th century,[23] a cell of Shadovar agents[42] and a tribe of orcs from Many-Arrows also operated in the city.[35]

TriviaEdit

  • The city of Neverwinter serves as the origin of the phrase "By the clocks of Neverwinter", used when one is solemnly swearing, meaning either a high standard of perfectionism or great honesty; a reference to the precision of its timepieces.[13]
  • The Neverwinter knife owed its name to the city.[13]
  • Neverwinter's broadsheet was named "Neverwinter Nights".[43]

GalleryEdit

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Video gamesEdit

NovelsEdit

Brimstone Angels series

Neverwinter Saga:

AppendixEdit

Further readingEdit

SourcebooksEdit

NotesEdit

  1. While most sources spell the name Eigersstor, Races of Faerûn spells it Eiggerstor.
  2. Based on location.

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 176. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 138. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  4. R.A. Salvatore (October 2011). Neverwinter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 0-7869-5842-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 86. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 140. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Eytan Bernstein (November 2009). “Channel Divinity: Champions of Torm”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dragon #381 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Andrew G. Schneider (August 2011). “Shards of Selûne”. Dungeon #193 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 Cryptic Studios (2013). Jack Emmert and Shane Hensley. NeverwinterPerfect World Entertainment.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 130–131. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  14. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 31–32. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Obsidian Entertainment (2006). Chris AvelloneFerret Baudoin, J.E. Sawyer. Neverwinter Nights 2Atari.
  17. Paul Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  18. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  19. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  21. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  22. Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  23. 23.00 23.01 23.02 23.03 23.04 23.05 23.06 23.07 23.08 23.09 23.10 23.11 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  25. Wizards RPG Team (2014). The Rise of Tiamat. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0786965657.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. In Kim Mohan, Michele Carter eds. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 978-0786966004.
  27. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), pp. 132–134. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  29. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 52–53. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  31. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 BioWare (2002). Trent OsterBrent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter NightsAtari.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  34. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 120. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  36. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  37. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  38. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  39. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 115. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  40. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 117. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  41. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  42. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  43. Ed Greenwood. Ed's Twitter. Retrieved on 2018-02-01.