“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.” ― George R.R. Martin
- Adabon, 7th Level Wood Elf Fighter
- Vrae’ree Everhurden, 7th Level Drow Elf Wizard
- Tharivol, 7th Level Moon Elf Fighter
- Fo, 7th Level Human Monk
- Brûne, 7th Level Human Paladin
- Deiter, 7th Level Human Fighter
- Abernacky, 5th Level Human Fighter
- Tom, 5th Level Halfling Wizard
Neverwinter is a city-state which was founded by Lord Halueth Never. It sits on the northwestern coast of the subcontinent of Faerûn. The name of the city has its origin in that even though the town is situated in the cold north of Faerûn, the Neverwinter river that flows through it is heated by fire elementals living under the nearby Mount Hotenow in the Neverwinter Wood. The heat given off from the river creates a permanent warm climate in the immediate area; without the elementals, the river, and subsequently the city’s water supply, would freeze over. An alternate explanation for the name is that when the city’s founder (Halueth Never) was hunted to the coast by orcs, he chose the city’s site to make his last stand. Expecting to die in the imminent battle, he named the site “Never’s Winter”. When the orcs were defeated with help from some human allies, Never founded the city, keeping the name. Over the years the name was shortened to “Neverwinter”.
In addition to its unnaturally warm climate, Neverwinter is a rather picturesque city. It founds such sights as its three spectacular, intricately carved bridges: the Dolphin, the Winged Wyvern, and the Sleeping Dragon. Under these, the waters of the Neverwinter River cascade over small, gentle waterfalls as they course into the city’s bustling harbor. Neverwinter’s magnificent gardens make sure the warm winters are colorful and the summers are rich with fresh fruit. The city is replete with beautiful and ingeniously designed buildings, many of which are famous in their own right, such as The House of Knowledge, and Neverwinter’s tall and many-windowed temple of Oghma. In addition, the reputations of such unique taverns as The Moonstone Mask and The Fallen Tower reach far beyond the Neverwinter’s walls. These elements generally make Neverwinter a distinctive city.
Before the Spellplague, the was ruled by Lord Nasher Alagondar, an aging, veteran adventurer and devout worshipper of Tyr. Neverwinter was prosperous, its master-craftsmen making lamps of multi-colored glass, precision water clocks and exquisite jewelry. Its Tyrran faith promoted justice and fairness, and greed was frowned upon.
But that was before the Spellplauge, the Cataclysm, and the Sundering. Now, once famous as the Jewel of the North, Neverwinter rivaled Waterdeep in splendor. Then Mount Hotenow erupted, rocking the city’s foundations and scouring its streets with flame. Nearly five decades later, Neverwinter is within sight of reclaiming its former glory. People have returned, great buildings have been restored to beauty, and a strong ruler reigns—Lord Neverember, a kindly man from Waterdeep.
Despite these advances, Neverwinter faces many challenges. The rivalry between power groups threatens its recovery. Sections of the city lie in ruins, serving as the lair for bandits and monsters. And dangers abound in neighboring lands: Mount Hotenow still rumbles, undead and dark fey stalk Neverwinter Wood, and giants have been seen descending the slopes of the Sword Mountains to the south.
Neverwinter will never know peace and prosperity until the Crown is donned and a true king sits on the throne. The public has urged Lord Protector Neverember to don the crown and take his place on the throne. But for some reason, he continues to wait. Some say it is because he fears the ancient legend that the crown will slay whoever claims the throne if they are not worthy. Neverember is a humble man, despite rumors, and he questions his true ability to rule the city despite being the clear heir to the throne. As he is often heard to say during public meetings, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” However, many know that the throne is in jeopardy because many factions are moving to assassinate Neverember and seize control of the city, including General Sabine, Mayor Soman Galt, and Mordai Vell.
In recent months, a powerful threat arose in the far kingdom of Thay that was to imperil not only the Sword Coast but also all of Faerûn. A great champion of Tiamat rose to prominence within the Cult of the Dragon by the name of Severin. He used his influence to assemble a vast network of allies willing to assist him in releasing Tiamat into the Prime Material Plane from her prison in the Nine Hells.
Severin knew that he could not leave the city of Neverwinter untouched. The city stood as the only bastion of civilization in the area. He and his lieutenants converged on the city from the north, south, and east, devastating the countryside as they came and laying waste to towns along the way. The city was not prepared. There was no official declaration of war. There was simply a sudden attack in the early morning.
Dragons appeared in the skies, working en masse as the initial strike force. Red, Blue, and Green dragons filled the skies raining down death on the city. Orcs from the kingdom of Many Arrows burst forth from their hiding places to assail the walls alongside giants, barbarians, and trolls. Drow emerged from the sewers, tunnels, and caverns below. A vampire riding a dracolich led a legion of zombies and ghouls. Within the city itself, the Cult of Asmodeus came out of hiding to sabotage the defenses and spread chaos throughout the citizens.
Word spread quickly that Lord Protector Neverember had been gravely wounded at the onset of the battle, possibly killed. General Sabine took control of the defending forces, but still, communication broke down and many directions in the field fell to individual officers of the Lord’s Alliance soldiers, and Mintarn Guard.
The siege lasted for fifteen days. Time and time again, the forces of Evil hurled themselves at the already crumbling walls of Neverwinter. Attackers and defenders died by the hundreds. Thankfully, Neverwinter was reinforced on the third day by Dwarven and Elven allies. And on the fourth day, metallic dragons arrived to aid in the battle. For a full ten-day, neither side was able to gain a significant advantage. Fighting was concentrated on the three main causeways serving the city’s gates. For most of the battle, the western sector of the city remained untouched.
A great breach in the walls and a rockslide tore through the northern wall, but the gap was filled with brave men and women willing to defend the city with their lives. The enemy seemed unable to capitalize on the opportunity to storm the city. It was almost as if they wanted to harry the armies of Neverwinter but not actually close in and take the city. Some claimed that they saw both Drizzt Do’Urden and Artemis Entreri fighting on the walls near the Blacklake District, but surely those two would not set foot back in Neverwinter after being banished after the events under Mount Hotenow.
At last, on the twelfth day, news reached the walls that Neverember had been sighted in the western sector of the city and was falling back to Castle Never. Despite the breakdown in communication, all the soldiers knew that Castle Never was the place to make a last stand for the city. News of Lord Neverember’s presence in the city soon spread like wildfire and boosted morale. He was severely injured but had been rescued by a group of heroes, quickly named The Unseen Eight by the public. Inspired by the news, the forces of Neverwinter fought on even with renewed strength.
Three days later, on the morning of the fifteenth day, the siege ended. There was a strange thrumming sound that shook the ground. Many of the Evil creatures started to chant in unison a single word: “Draakhorn!” The chromatic dragons dispersed first, then the others, some moving southward and others retreating northward. The assault ended as quickly as it had begun.
The Company fled the safehouse after defeating the dragon cultists. They were all injured and in need of rest. Following Neverember’s directions, they moved from street to street as quickly as they could, crossing the large bridge that would bring them to Castle Never. There they saw in amazement that an army of spectral creatures, ghosts shimmering with gold light, had surrounded the Castle. As they approached, wondering what would happen next, a ghostly bridge extended to allow them access to the Castle. The ghost warriors parted, granting them access to the bridge. Finally, they entered Castle Never and found refuge.
For three days, they remained in Castle Never with the other wounded and refugees. They received healing from clerics and met the vastly popular cleric named Adon. He counted his story of being imprisoned in Helm’s Hold and helping a group of prisoners combat a green dragon and a war party of Drow. Adon remained in contact with the Company off and on, checking in on them when he would visit the wounded. He and Brûne seemed to have much to talk about, discussing the intricate game of thrones at play due to the Cult of the Dragon. They discussed all the ally and enemy forces, breaking them down into Factions. Brûne seemed to be gathering a lot of information from Adon, and Adon seemed to enjoy providing insight on the recent events. The cleric seemed more of a bard than a holy man.
Once the fighting was finished, the Company was summoned to a meeting with Neverember. They arrived to find that The Prophet Rohini was waiting along with a barbarian man with wild red hair. Two Lord’s Alliance soldiers guarded the doors, armed with sword and shield. They seemed to be wearing ceremonial armor and not battlefield armor. Soon after arriving, the door opened and Soman Galt appeared in the doorway. He called for Rohini to come into the room, waited for the Prophet to enter, and then without even a glance in the direction of the others waiting in the room, he closed the door behind him.
Brûne talked with the barbarian, discovering that he was named Bjorn from the distant island of Chult. When the paladin asked about the strange necklace of teeth around the man’s neck, he told them about the “Thunder Lizards” native to his island. The conversation pulled in Fo, who hails from the Eastern lands of Kara-Tur. Bjorn made it clear that he was frustrated with having to wait so long, having arrived from one of Neverwinter’s teleportation circles. He stalked off after a few minutes of conversation, saying he needed to clear his head.
Before long, they noticed that the conversation in the room had gotten heated. They heard shouting inside and questioned the guards. The guards explained that if Neverember needed them to intervene, he would call for them. They also explained that The Prophet was summoned today to answer to Neverember about the rumors surrounding Helm’s Hold. Apparently, the asylum had been infiltrated and controls for at least a short time by Evil forces including Mindflayers and Drow. Some even rumored that Aboleth were involved. Since Rohini was responsible for the day to day activity in the complex, there was much to explain.
And then there was a shout of “No!’ and loud chanting from inside the room. Vrae’ree acted swiftly, throwing the door open. Everyone saw that Rohini was facing Neverwinter, casting some kind of offensive spell. The guards behind the Lord Protector were moving forward with their shields up, and Neverember was raising his arms in a defensive posture. Vrae’ree quickly intoned the words that would send a volley of Magic Missiles at the other spellcaster. The glowing darts sprung from the Dark Elf’s fingertips, striking The Prophet in the back. The small explosions caused Rohini to cry out in pain, losing concentration on the spell being cast. The Prophet staggered, fell down to her knees, and hit her head on the table in front of her.
Adabon rushed into the room, softly singing a lighthearted Elven song. He withdrew his sword, moving to stand between Neverember and the Prophet. Brûne and Tharivol did the same, moving to a defensive position opposite Abadon on the other side of the table. Fo engaged Rohini directly, hitting the woman while she remained down. His staff scored a solid hit, and then Fo kicked the woman two times to make sure she stayed down.
Neverember shouted that the two guards should take Rohini into custody. They hauled her away roughly, leaving the heroes with Neverember. The other two guards saluted Neverember and took their places at the door again, closing the door. Neverember sighed and recomposed himself. Mayor Galt did the same. After a few moments, Neverember asked everyone to sit down, and thanked them for their intervention against Rohini. “You’ve saved my life for the second time, my friends. Thank you.”
At that point, Brûne informed Neverember that Bjorn was in the waiting room, and had been for some time. The regent looked surprised and gave an annoyed look to the Mayor. The Mayor avoided eye contact and simply looked down. However, the small man seemed to be smiling. Neverember excused himself, and invited Bjorn into the room, apologizing for making him wait. The two seemed to already know each other. They talked very briefly with the regent asking Bjorn if his tribe would be lending support to the movement against the Cult of the Dragon. Bjorn stated that they would, and a delegate would attend the Council of Waterdeep. With that, Bjorn nodded to the heroes and departed. The soldiers outside closed the door once the man was gone.
Neverember returned to his chair and explained that he had called them here today to formally thank them for their deeds during the siege. He also thanked them again for their actions which saved his life, and the lives of the refugees that were inside the safehouse. There was some discussion, and during it, Brûne mentioned that he had sensed that Rohini had some taint of Infernal power. Neverember seemed surprised at this, but the Mayor looked down again, a suspicious look on his face.
Vrae’ree took the situation into his own hands, lunging across the table and grabbing the Mayor by the shirt and shoving a dagger against his neck. The Dark Elf demanded to know what Soman knew based on his reaction. The Mayor started shouting about how everyone knew that Helm’s Hold had been taken over by Drow a ten-day before the siege began. He also started shouting about never trusting a Dark Elf, exclaiming that they had made that mistake in the past by trusting Drizzt Do’Urden. Neverember asked Vrae’ree to back down and then questioned Gult himself, asking why he had not given this information to him until now.
“We have not yet had an official council meeting,” he said snidely. “Such information is Council business only.”
Neverember nodded. “You are right, Mayor.” He gestured towards the door. “And since this is not official council business, you may take your leave of us now.”
The weasely Mayor stood, adjusting his vest and coat, and then huffed indignantly. “I have more important business to see to anyway.” And with that, he stomped off and left the room.
Neverember apologized for the Mayor behavior, explaining that the man has never liked him since he took on the seat of regent in the city. He quickly turned the focus to a large wooden chest that he raised up from the floor and set in the middle of the table. He went on to explain that the city has not had a proper King since the tragedy when the volcano Mount Hotenow erupted, killing not only the royal Alagondar family but also thousands of the city’s citizens. Legend has it that the city will never experience peace until the Crown of Neverwinter is donned by the True Heir. Neverember explained that he is unsure if he should accept the responsibility of becoming King of Neverwinter because he owes allegiance to the Lords of Waterdeep. After all, a man cannot have two masters.
As they discussed this, the door burst open. In the doorway was Elden Vargas and six purple robed Waterdeep marshals. Vargas declared that he was there to arrest Neverember on the word of the Lords of Waterdeep for High Treason. Vargas unfurled a parchment decree and demanded that Neverember surrender right now.
They all noticed Mayor Galt standing in the background, a wide smile on his weasely face.
Fo moved quickly, snatching the paper from Vargas’s hand. Abadon and Vrae’ree shoved the door closed, and Tharivol used his Gauntlets of Ogre Power to hold the door closed. Reading the scroll, they confirmed that it was legit and did call for Neverember to appear before the courts in Waterdeep in a ten-day. However, it did not call for his immediate surrender or arrest.
Tharivol allowed the door to open, and Vargas shouted that they would be arrested for conspiracy if they did not allow him to arrest Neverember. Fo and Vrae’ree both explained that Neverember would not be coming with them today because the summons did not call for the arrest, only an appearance at the trial in a week.
“I will be in Waterdeep in a ten-day, Vargas,” said Neverember. “I will face my accusers.”
Vargas gave the Mayor a dour look, and stalked away, grabbing him by the arm. As the influential merchant left dragging the Mayor behind him, the black and purple Waterdeep marshals turned and followed without a salute or a word.
Vrae’ree narrows his eyes and turned to look at Neverember. “You are Open Lord of Waterdeep, yes?”
Neverember nodded. “Indeed. Last I knew.” He turned with the others, and all saw the same thing at the same time.
At the back of the room stood a Dwarf. He wore chain armor and leathers. His head was partially concealed by a long flowing green cloak. His face was scarred on the left side, and his eyes were bright blue. His beard was long and bright red. In his hands, he held the Crown of Neverwinter, taken from the chest on the table.
The dwarf smiled, holding the Crown up int the air in front of him. “Ambershard wins again!” And with that, the Dwarf stepped through the wall, disappearing before their eyes.