The Wailing Death was a magical disease that ravaged the city of Neverwinter in Tarsakh and Mirtul of 1372 DR. Most of the citizens of the city were dead or dying within a tenday of the first reported case. Neverwinter did not fully recover from the effects of the disease for an entire decade and it left the city vulnerable to Netherese infiltration.
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The disease started in a region of the city known as the Beggar's Nest, one of the poorer districts. Clerics and healers were dumbfounded at the disease's resilience to both mundane and magical healing and hundreds were dead within days. The city was quickly quarantined to prevent the spread of the disease and a call was put out to brave persons to receive free training in order to create a taskforce of adventurers loyal to the city (or at least to gold) especially meant to combat the plague any way they could. At the same time, Lord Nasher Alagondar petitioned Khelben "Blackstaff" Arunsun to come up with an arcane cure. Nasher's right hand, Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande, spearheaded these efforts with the aid of her fiancée, Fenthick Moss, and Desther Indelayne, the leader of an expedition of Helmite priests from Helm's Hold who were the last people to enter the city before the quarantine.
As the first and best of the newly trained adventurers gathered for a graduation ceremony, several strange mages teleported in with a small army of goblins and undead. Their intention was to steal away the reagents Khelben had sent to the city as the essential parts of the disease's cure. These reagents were the brain of an intellect devourer, the heart of a yuan-ti pureblood, a cockatrice feather, and a lock of a dryad's hair. The plans of the mages were foiled but the reagent creatures all fled into the city at large. The cure was gone and only one academy member out of the entire student body and faculty had survived the attack. The cure was gone and most of the city's hopes with it.
Due to mass riots, the remaining city militia was charged with peacekeeping and the task of finding the reagent creatures fell to that lone survivor. They did not disappoint either. Soon, the cure was back in the hands of the city and several clues had turned up about a Cult of the Eye that might have been behind the attack on the academy.
During the ritual though, a further setback was suffered. Desther revealed himself and his priests to be agents of the Cult of the Eye. He stole the cure and fled through a portal back to Helm's Hold. He was followed though and the cure retaken by the same adventurer who had retrieved them in the first place. That adventurer was named the Hero of Neverwinter.
The plague wasn't completely finished with, however. Later in the quest, the Hero of Neverwinter discovered that Commander Damas of Fort Ilkard had used blankets infected with the Wailing Death to infect the Elk tribe.
The plague was completely cured, but it had done its job. It had weakened Neverwinter to such an extent that Luskan declared war on the city and invaded. Only with the help of the Lords' Alliance and the Hero of Neverwinter did the city repel the Luskan army.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
- ↑ BioWare (2002). Trent Oster, Brent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter Nights. Atari.