Guide to Neverwinter
Neverwinter is a large city lying on the north coast of Sea of Swords. The settlement is situated between the metropolis of Waterdeep and the Spine of the World mountains, closely embraced by forest and hills. This severe land is only lightly ruled by humans.
Behind the eastern wall of the city spread the waves of green from Neverwinter Wood, the old enchanted forest with a dangerous reputation. Humans and orcs tend to avoid the place, because they are haunted by a strange feeling that the forest could hurt them if it decided to and not just through the animals and monsters that live there. The wood is home to druids that care for the trees and preserve old traditions.
The Crags Hills encroach on the wood further east. What once was a kingdom of dwarves is now battle ground for rival orc tribes, creeping with strange creatures that found a hideout in the ruins of an old city.
To the south of Neverwinter lies the salt marsh called the Mere of Dead Men. Over the centuries the swamps have buried the bodies of thousands of warriors defending their homes against orcs, swallowing their houses, towers and turning castles to ruins. Treasure hunters come here to seek their fortune; many of such adventurers are lost without a trace. The Mere is infested with bullywugs and lizard like creatures; some say that this terrifying place bears the lairs of black dragons.
The Mere is framed by the Sword Mountains in the south whose caps are sharp as blades. In the lap of mountains lies the Old Owl Well, the only place with drinkable water for miles around. This place constantly witnesses battles between orcs and humans that are just passing by or want to settle down here.
To the north, Neverwinter protects the small town Port Llast against the barbarians, Luskanines and other unpleasant visitors. As the High road continues to Luskan the groves of dark green grow silent, showing the remains of Illusk city. No one walks into former homes to find treasures. As the Luskan saying goes "Only the most desperate try to steal from dead of Illusk."
Though the city was built in the cold north of Faerûn, on the savage frontier, it knows no winter. The Neverwinter River that crosses the Neverwinter wood and city is heated by elementals from nearby Mount Hotenow warming all of the surrounding area (like the city lazing on a living volcano). After flowing through city, the river falls into sea in the Bay of Mist. The ports of Neverwinter never freeze. A warm climate and the skilled hands of gardeners allow the trees to bear fruits and flowers to bloom the whole year.
Unlike the rest of Sword Coast North, where depending on the season temperatures jump from -30° F to 80° F ( -34,5 °C to 27°C ), Neverwinter keeps a pleasant 68 °F to 80° F (20°C - 27°C) the whole year. The winter (from Marpenoth to Tarsakh, lasting 7 months) in the city is represented by storms coming off the western sea. The blizzards bring snow and rain along the coastline, but a white blanket never stays long enough to imprison the people in their houses like the rest of the northern settlements. The summer (from Mirtul to Eleint, 5 months) brings high humidity and warm breezes from the southern seas. Sunny days are common though days without clouds are not.
The history of the Sword Coast North is the story of the vanishing of old, nonhuman realms and establishing the rule of humans. The first great realm that rose in this part of Faerûn was Illefarn, a kingdom of elves and dwarves. Old and proud, the realm swung in the cradle of this savage land along with orcs, trolls, hobgoblins and lizardmen; it lasted through all of this til its rulers left to Evermeet, the island of elves. After the fall of the realm, humans in their primitive tribes traveled to the abandoned lands claiming it as a new home.
One such tribe, the Illusk settled down close to Neverwinter. Afraid to venture into the wilderness they posed no threat to the elven people living in the Neverwinter woods. But with time, humans grew stronger and clashed with the inhabitants of the forest. The long lasting defenses of elves turned into an offensive as Lord Halueth Never defeated the Illusk tribes and forced them to retreat to the northern lands (one was later named Luskan). Some believe that this was the start of "friendship" between two cities.
Neverwinter stood as a beacon of hope for nearby people in the next decades, offering protection from orc hordes that ravaged the whole Sword Coast North. Thanks to the walls, a good location and also the help of mighty creatures, the city defended itself against invaders but wasn't able to claim the surrounding area. The lands got under at least some control of humans when the Waterdeep rose to power and drove the orcs back to the Spine of the World.
No orc or barbarian horde can destroy the walled and well protected city of Neverwinter now, though there are other less explicit enemies that try their hand at it. One of evidence was the battle with the powerful warlock called theatrically the King of Shadows and his army. None of the Neverwinter men sent into combat survived the encounter with his minions of the dead. Another was the attack in the form of plague. The magical disease resisted all healing and killed most of the city population.
Most people hope for better days since many bastions of evil have fallen in recent years, and the leaders of the North are trying to unite in mutual defense. But priests and sages talk of evil, of darker times at the doorstep. Beasts once ruled the land and they will rule again.
Much of the North's written history has been destroyed in war, burnt in the flames of riding hordes or lost. Any original documents from previous eras are highly-prized. This creates space for companies like The Birthright Merchant that seek the roots and lineage of paying customers. Libraries such as Nevewinter archives are usually well protected by spells, riddles and guardians preventing people from stealing.
Important events for Neverwinter and surroundings:
-1100 Illefarn's last colonel, Syglaeth Audark, commands a Retreat to Evermeet. One surviving fragment of his realm is elven Iliyanbruen (in Neverwinter Wood).
-335 Dwarves construct the city of Gauntlgrym in the Crags.
-206 The colonel of Illefarn is murdered by drows from Jhachalkyn, a city deep beneath the southeastern Neverwinter Woods.
-12 The elves of Iliyanbruen resist further Illuskan expansion in the south.
-10 Led by Lord Halueth Never, the elves defeat Illusk.
64 Northmen begin settling the Twilit Land - the coastal area between present-day Neverwinter and Waterdeep.
87 (Year of the Hoar Frost) Eigersstor (Neverwinter) is founded.
127 Grath Erlkar founds Grath's Hold (later known as Port Llast).
175 The orcs claim Port Llast. Much of the city's population travels south to Eigersstor for safety.
611 The orc horde erupts from the Spine of the World, pulling the North into war. Illusk is left in ruins, but the Host Tower survives. Neverwinter survives thanks to the aid of an unknown dragon.
631 The black wyrm Chardansearavitriol makes his lair in Uthtower. He soon controls the Mere of Dead Men and much of the surrounding area.
922 The black dragon Chardansearavitriol becomes a dracolich.
927 Orc god Yurtrus causes the Blood plague in the Sword Mountains. The orcs establish the realm of Uruth Ukrypt.
1064 The wizard Melaeth Ashstaff of Neverwinter slays a doppelganger posing as the Grand Prince Galnorn, the ruler of Illusk.
1081 The Red Wizards of Thay lead an assault on the School of Wizardry in Neverwinter. By year's end, the city is engaged in a titanic wizard-war.
1202 The dracolich Chardansearavitriol's physical form is destroyed by the god Myrkul. Followers of Myrkul travel to the Mere of Dead Men to see the act of their god, the Ebondeath Sect (Cult of Dragon) forms.
1301 Sponsored by merchant interests in Waterdeep and Neverwinter, a mercenary army fights the orcs that control Illusk.
1302 Illusk is retaken and rebuilt with aid from Neverwinter, then renamed Luskan.
1325 The Lord's Alliance is established.
1358 Avatar crisis (Godswar)
1372 Wailing Death disease resists magical healing and kills the most Neverwinter population. City engages itself in war with Luskan.
Neverwinter's function is similar to a city-state. It doesn't answer to any kingdom and controls its own economy and defense. The city militia also protects surrounding areas and trade roads. To this day Lord Nasher Alagandar, leader of Neverwinter and former adventurer, keeps his lands in the Lords Alliance, which is an organization that allies good cities and smaller settlements against Luskan, orcs and other warlike groups.
The royal badge of the city is a white swirl - a sideways "M" pointing to the right. It connects three white snowflakes; each flake is different, but all are encircled by silver and blue haloes. Another insignia of city is the oriental looking eye which matches the layout of the Neverwinter. These symbols are worn on the uniforms of the militia and city watch.
Waterdeep and Neverwinter
Waterdeep also called the city of splendors is a dominant metropolis of the Sword Coast North (it has around 133000 inhabitants). This settlement established The Lords' Alliance, which mostly match with Waterdeep's interests. In recent years Waterdeep helped the Neverwinter during the plague, sending researchers and required ingredients to cure the disease.
Luskan and Neverwinter
While the Luskan is for Neverwinter something like an arch enemy, Neverwinter for Luskan is just one spot on a long list of places they would like to control. The city is called the city of sails because of the developed navy which is also used for piracy with the unofficial permission of the High Captains of Luskan. These supposed leaders of city are all former raiders. One of them has a particularly long history with the Lord of Neverwinter as his former companion. It is well known that the true power in the city lies in the hands of the Arcane Brotherhood, an evil mage society. Luskan is daring for a smaller city (it has about 14173 large population) and has made numerous attempts to claim Neverwinter. Recently both cities agreed on the peace, but the tension and general mood is still on knife's edge. Most people believe that the only reason Luskan doesn't harass Neverwinter openly is that Luskan has its own problems with nearby islands, for now.
Neverwinter has a standing army of 400 archers and spearmen. They protect the city walls, the docks and patrol the High Road from Port Llast in north to Leilon in south. The militia has fortress garrisons at the north Merchant district gates and south Beggar nest gates of the city.
Apart from official soldiers, the city has solid support from the Many-Starred Cloak's wizards and can use a large base of mercenaries. Sell swords stay as a power in city due to the practical position between Waterdeep and Luskan.
If the city's walls are threatened by orcs or Luskan, the defenders catapult hails of explosive missiles down on the attackers. Both missiles and the catapults are constructed by the best 'skilled hands' of the city. The city protects itself also by forbidding distribution the Neverwinter maps, making spy work and invasion plans harder.
Trade and travel
Imports: Books, magic items, miners, pottery, spices
Exports: Gems, jewelry, metals, timber, leather goods, mercenaries, clocks, multicolored lamps and glass
Neverwinter nicknames "the City of Skilled Hands" and "the Jewel of the North" refer to the special crafting skills of people that live in the city.
Famous crafts are the waterclocks, which are so accurate that they set the standard for precision across all Faerûn. They are fashionable in the cities and towns of civilized regions. The phrase "by the clocks of Neverwinter" is used to swear at someone's petty perfectionism or to ensure someone of a truth told.
Another characteristic craft of city are multicolored lamps of glass that change hue according the surface. They decorate the streets and are surrounded by the lightning dots of fireflies during summer nights.
The accomplished gardeners of Neverwinter add to the city's reputation. Through their skills the city is filled with colors and the scent of fruits and flowers.
The river and sea provide fish both from the banks and offshore. The warm waters in Neverwinter river are rich with shellfish and finned fish alike.
Through city people don't venture too far into the woods they collect enough timber from their edges. The rangers look to every cut down tree and replace it with a new one.
Minerals and jewels are collected in underground mines. Neverwinter controls the mining trade with dwarves and gnomes who come from the Underdark by hidden ways into the city. Neverwinter also gave its name to the Neverwinter Knife, a tiny, jeweled dagger made to be concealed in a hair comb, belt buckle, or bracelet.
The architecture of the city buildings is astonishing. There are three landmarks which make Neverwintans especially proud - the three main bridges in Neverwinter. All are carved in stone to the likeness of their names: the Dolphin, the Winged Wyvern, and the Sleeping Dragon Bridges. The Wyvern is recognizable for spread wings serving as a perch to seagulls, and as a place to dive into the river for bold youths.
There are fortunes to be made in the North, for those willing to try. The merchants can either choose to endure the bad weather and risk piracy on the waves of the sea or deal with banditry and brigandage on the High road.
Overland travel is crippled by many monsters, where the best option for traveling is to form a large and well armed caravan.
Coinage varies wildly across the realms, but generally the coins are approximately the same weights and metals. In the north, they are called:
Copper (also Nib, Thumb)
Silver (also Shard)
Gold (also Dragon)
Races in city
Neverwinter has the large population of 23,192 people, mostly humans and half elves.
Humans represent the majority of the city population. Many humans have their ancestors in Northmen, a seagoing warlike tribe. Extraordinary is to meet one of the Uthgard barbarians in the city. These folks live in the wilds, considering civilized settlements as targets for raiding. It is rumored to be a bad omen to see one of the Uthgards in the city, especially if you are a spellcaster. The barbarians are very touchy about magic.
Elves (in city mostly moon elves) are also called the Fair Folk. They are respected citizens, partly because of many elven families that live in Neverwinter since its foundation. Humans avow rather to elf Halueth Never as founder of city than to the human tribes. They tend to consider elves exotic and hauntingly beautiful.
Half- elves are one evidence of the bittersweet friendship between humans and elves in Neverwinter. Though a half elf can be born to a loving family, he or she will never belong to either human or elven society. Some elves find half-elves to be ugly abominations.
Dwarves in Neverwinter separate themselves from others in their alley in the Merchant quarter. They are tradesman and crafters, always suspicious of outsiders wanting to steal their precious patents or trying to loot their goods.
Gnomes usually hold contact with dwarves and unless they are merchants, they try to avoid humans. Once a numerous population of wanderers, they were trimmed down by orcs and cold weather until only a few remained in safety of the city.
Halflings are rare to find in the North. The only good standing population is in Waterdeep.
Half-orcs according to raids of orcs in villages, one might expect plenty of halfbreeds of orc and human. But only those most human like have chance to pass through hatred of northern folk alive.
Others there are certain races that are not welcome in city such as orcs, lizardfolk or people from Underdark. Citizens tend to look at these races with fear or suspicion, expecting them to burn down their houses and massacre their family.
Most people speak the "Common" or "Trade" tongue; they also speak the language of their homeland. Dwarves speak Dwarven, Elves know Elven language, etc.
Fearun knows a lot of deities. Each god has the special function and own character that differ him/her from other of his kind. By believing in one god the man believes in every god that exists within realm, but the question of his preference isn't unimportant. Worshipping certain deity usually connects to personality of worshiper, thus the evil character tend to pray to evil god, hoping that this will grant him some sort of the support in his actions, or in special cases lend him the certain powers as gods do to clerics or paladins.
Those that don't believe in any god are called faithless. Not many people choose this way unless person is masochistic or very foolish. The one that doesn't pray to any god is after dead too k to the Wall of Faithless where he/she is forced to collect the souls and note their names or they are thrown into hells to spent the eternity in misery with devils and demons.
While most revere the gods of good or their neutral allies, some choose the evil gods. Worship of evil deities is usually done in secret. Neverwinter built the temples to Tyr, Helm, Lathander and Oghma, but rumors has it that there are also less official places to pray to not so well meaning gods like new Cyric church. In surroundings of Neverwinter, it is common to revere Chauntea, the Earthmother.
Neverwintans tend to be mannered and aspire to cultural values. They appreciate the arts, whether in forms of paintings or literature which many collect if they can. They care no less about listening to music and watching the performances in the Blacklake Theater. It's not unusual to see random street artists showing off their talent in juggling or spell tricks to amuse the audience.
Neverwintans are surrounded by culture just by living in the city of stunning architecture where the streets bustle with lively festivals and rich colors. If the weather is bad the stalls decorated with ribbons and flowers along with wine and good food will move inside where the celebrations continue.
During quiet months there is fun to be found inside the inns and taverns filled with singing of folks in a good mood or hired bards. They sing about orc invasions, heroic defenders and about great hidden treasures. After all the North is plentiful on stories of heroes and villains, so the bardic art truly flourish.
For those who wish to relax and have a bit of privacy, the gates are always open to city parks and gardens, places like Moonstone Mask or Underground Tea House that specialize exactly on this need of citizens and travelers.
People wear a variety of colorful clothes, thus they find it suspicious to see a person wearing for example just black dress. Such a character is more visible in streets than others.
The society is traditionally divided into two basic groups - rich and poor. But luckily Neverwinter has successfully avoided the existence of slums, like ones in Waterdeep. People are not just measured through their family, origin, race and wealth, but also by personal achievements and skills. So to speak even the poor man with no standing can become the knight of Lord Nasher with enough loyalty and bravery shown.
City Watch functions as a police force with the motto "Protect and serve". Through general consensus, they are primarily volunteers and not professional soldiers. People that want to help have more or less open doors, if they are willing to do the job for low salary and go through initial training. Watchfolk are distinctive by blue tabards they wear over chainmail armors bearing the insignia of Neverwinter city.
Militia: is built from professional soldiers that mostly deal with threats on larger scale than civil problems, such as riots, infiltrations, the war, or the orc issue in the Old Owl well. They are responsible for defending the city, protecting the gates, and guarding important citizens and locations. The Militia wears scale or chain shirts under tabards with the symbol of the Neverwinter eye.
Merchant guilds: Whether by sea, overland or just making local deals, merchants keep close together, adjusting prices to provide a fair chance to make profit to every member of guild. The Guild focuses on commercial and professional enterprises as well as on keeping the high quality of merchandise. A merchant that doesn't join the guild is regarded as untrustworthy.
Mercenaries make up a very solid part of Neverwinter. Most of the mercenaries are outsiders that came to the city seeking employment and fortunes. Most of them stay in Trade of Blades tavern where people post their requests for armed help.
Criminal organizations the largest criminal organization in the city is theThieves guild led by the notorious rogue Moire. This group is responsible for extortions, thievery and smuggling. Unlike Luskan criminals, Thieves guild does not deal with slavery.
Casters mages traditionally gather into groups. In Neverwinter the major groups are the Many Starred cloaks which unite wizards and sorcerers of good alignment and the Academy with their students that are interested in lore and spellcraft. They have a common enemy in the Luskan Arcane Brotherhood whose members, even if the cities are in state of peace, can't walk on the grounds of the school, nor into the Many Starred cloaks' tower.
City authorities there are several authorities to look for in the city. Most important is Lord Nasher, the ruler of Neverwinter; the revered judge Oleff Uskar who is also a priest of Tyr and Captain Brelaina, who leads the city watch.
Neverwinter is laid out roughly in the shape of an eye crossed by river. On places where the maze created by houses and gardens are separated by walls rose 5 districts of Neverwinter Blacklake, Merchant district and Peninsula in south of the river; Beggar Nest and Docks north from the river.
Blacklake lies in the Southeast of Neverwinter and is commonly referred to as the noble district. Many of the city's older families live here on estates that have existed nearly since the founding. Property in this district is highly coveted by the wealthy but rarely available, homes passed down family lines or retained by elven elders. The area is named for the lake at its center, so deep it is rumored to have no bottom.
The Rumbottom Estate is owned by Thom Rumbottom, son of the late Sir Reginand Rumbottom. Sir Reginand was a gentleman, known for kind deeds and a fondness for good wine and beautiful women. His son is better known for a quick temper and a gambling habit, but so far has managed to maintain the estate left to him. He can often be found at the Board Laid Bare.
Hodge's Estate is one of the more eccentric estates in Blacklake. The owner is a crafty merchant heavily invested in gnomish devices. Any uninvited guest will find a preview of the newest mechanical traps and get to test them out for the gnomish inventors. Rumors say at one time Master Hodge was in love with Ophala, but if that was true, it is no longer the case. Mentioning her is a sure way to get on this nobleman's bad side.
Meldanen's Estate is a sprawling home owned by a renowned elven wizard. He has not been seen since the plague, but the house is still occupied by his acolytes. Few visit the estate in recent years, preferring to leave the wizards to themselves, though merchants often come by with strange deliveries. Meldanen's home has fallen into some disrepair as well, prompting a few complaints from grumbling neighbors but city administrators are slow to take any action.
Aldanon's Mansion lies down a side path from the central square in the district, a quiet shady spot. His home is packed with books and relics of the past, enough history to make any scholar jealous. Few get to see the inside of manse, but those who have say the rooms are filled with shelves and cases, keeping his treasures in careful order.
The Collector's Mansion is so called because the owner has amassed a large collection of art there. His favorite piece, by far, is an old painting of the ocean. Not that many are ever allowed in to appreciate it. His mistress Vania is more sociable, if you are willing to flatter her. She may even invite you back for a drink, but any visitor there should be cautious. The Collector has many protections in place and does not look kindly on intruders.
Tavorick has a strong liking for parties. Inside his huge house and grand garden people enjoy the warm evenings surrounded by full tables of best meal and drink. All to show how prestigious and important the family is. Sometimes Tavorick invites over special guests, mages, that entertain guests with spells. Lately there was a complaint that one of these jesters seduced Tavorick's wife using a charm spell. Nothing was confirmed.
Tamar's Estate is in one of the older parts of the district. Though his wealth is inherited, he has proven to be a shrewd merchant. Quiet and private, he is rarely seen outside his home. If he has guests, they are as secretive as the noble in their comings and goings.
Watch Seargeant Brockenburn does his best to keep the area secure, though he gets little appreciation for it. He oversees the patrols in Blacklake and handles the myriad of noble complaints . . . too much clanking, too few patrols, too nosy, too forceful, not forceful enough . . . but most days he still has a smile for the casual passerby. Occasionally some noble will note the resemblance between this watchman and the late Sir Reginand, but Brockenburn staunchly denies any relation.
1. Castle Never sits in a crook of the Neverwinter River, guarded west and north by its rushing waters. Though the grounds are not off limits to visitors, the grim expressions of the castle guard tend to ward off the merely curious. The original architecture of the castle is elven in design, but additions and repairs have changed it so much that the fine details are mostly lost. Beneath the castle lie ancient catacombs and it is here they say Haleuth Never's crypt lies, guarded forever by the Neverwinter Nine.
2. Hall of Knowledge, Temple of Oghma is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. Tall columns sit astride a huge carved stone door, made to look like the covers of a bound book. Beyond the doors is a large entrance hall with a grand staircase, carved stone steps worn down in places from the whispering footsteps of acolytes and petitioners. The rooms are filled with shelves, and several serve as classrooms for the faithful. The Temple acts as a repository of knowledge and Oghma's scribes consider it a holy duty to preserve and teach what they can.
3. The Board Laid Bare is Blacklake's only tavern. The décor here is plain, but fine. Wood tables, smooth and polished, worn chairs, leather softened to that perfect comfortable feel. The food and drinks here are exceptional, and though the prices are high, friendly service and sweet barmaids make it well worth your while. Some customers say that there are underground parts of the tavern which includes the gambling area.
4. Maskado's Maps and Legends Bookstore shares a street with the Temple of Oghma. While the other book shops on this row cater to the priests, this one uses its locale to provide adventurers with hard to find information, especially maps based on the ancient texts found in the temple.
5. The Sleeping Dragon Bridge connects this district to the Merchant Quarter, the huge, coiled tail snaking over the grounds of Neverwinter Castle. There are several places along this meandering stone walkway that one can access the bridge, but the tail itself comes nearly to the castle steps.
6. The Hope was established in honor of Hero of Neverwinter. Blacklake hosts the place where rangers take care of animals. For a small fee, Neverwintans can view these creatures as they are nursed back to health. Some are released back to the wild, some adopted out, and others kept at The Hope for their own good. There is also a petting zoo for children to feed and touch less dangerous animals.
7. The Old Graveyard- resting in the shadow of older estates lies the first graveyard of Neverwinter. The names on these stones are worn away, the inscriptions merely a suggestion of patterns on stone. Few visit this crumbling cemetery, the dead mostly forgotten.
8. The Church of Lathander calls Blacklake home. It is a popular faith in the district, both for the beauty of its services and the easy moral code it offers. Pale stone set with huge colored glass windows welcome the faithful in; the central temple has a vast mural of the city on the far wall, a golden sun rising over it. The temple also houses a small number of clerics, and on the rooftop there is a small garden used primarily by the clergy.
9. The Horse in Shoes offers racing. Set into the Gap of Upland Rise(the natural park beyond the Blacklake), the terraced seats descend almost to the bottom. Expensive seats are shaded with colorful cloth and often offer food and drink from the Board. Many vendors sell their goods here, and gambling is a popular past time.
10. The Neverwinter Theatre is easy to find. Set at the end of a wide path, there are several rows of benches set into a hillside. At the bottom, a raised stage of wood and stone sits waiting for the next performer. There are often contests here for Bards and it is not uncommon for skill to be tested.
11. The Neverwinter Archives share a street with Aldanon, a legendary site of knowledge even the clerics of Oghma respect. Many an adventurer seek it out but the Archives are protected. Only one able to bypass the magical traps and trials may use the knowledge contained here.
The Merchant quarter
The Merchant quarter comprises the center of the city, the heart of Neverwinter both literally and figuratively. It was rebuilt after the war with Luskan, returning the city to her former glory. Most merchants operate from this district, especially purveyors of fine goods.
1. The Hall of Justice and Temple of Tyr is presided over by the Honorable Reverend Judge Oleff Uskar. Civil suits are heard here and judgements are passed in the holy name of Tyr, backed by the authority of Lord Nasher. Prior Hlam assists the Judge both with hearing cases and in the training of the devout.
2. The Moonstone Mask is an inn as famous as it is infamous. Run by the indomitable dame Ophala, it lays claim to the title of finest tavern in Neverwinter. The name itself comes from the masks worn by the beautiful serving girls, a black half mask trimmed in moonstones. The women of the Mask are the source of its fame, their beauty displayed behind sheer black gowns. Of course, it is more than looks that garners them the loyalty of their guests they are also known as good friends, worthy gaming opponents, and wise conversationalist. The drinks and lodgings at the Mask are equally fine, the best the Sword Coast has to offer.
3. Cloaktower is home to the Order of the Many Starred Cloaks. It sits at the junction of river and city, standing watch. Rumors abound over what the wizards have hidden away in this tower, but only members of the Order are allowed in. The mages of the Many Starred Cloaks are well respected if not always liked, as much about them and their tower remains shrouded in mystery.
4. The City Gardens were rebuilt when the district was put back together. Some of the original plants were even salvaged. Here, the beauty of Faerun is on display all year round, from night blue winter roses to the brightest Althakan sundrop. Some say if you kiss your beloved on Midsummer Night beside the blossoms of Selune's Blessing, you will never be parted.
5. Shining Knight Arms and Armor sells some of the better equipment in Neverwinter. It is a popular place for the city's mercenaries to find gear and from time to time has been known to take commissions. Marrok, a dwarven blacksmith, creates most of the wares sold here and is known to be an expert craftsman.
6. Jaesor's Fineware sells almost nothing but jewelry. An agreement with the dwarves provides this shop with some of the finest gems. It is a popular spot for the city's wealthy to shop. It would seem a likely target for thieves as well, but it has not been robbed in years. Some rumors suggest the shopkeep has some agreement with the thieves guild, but if so, no one is talking.
7. The Sleeping Dragon Bridge joins Castle Never to the Hall of Justice, a massive and finely carved stone bridge meant to impress. The wide mouth opens onto the Temple of Tyr, one clawed hand extended almost to the steps. The tail curls across the grounds of Never Castle, coming to rest beside the stone doors to Nasher's residence. While not off limits to visitors, it has little traffic on most days, used primarily by Nasher and other dignitaries.
8. The Winged Wyvern Bridge is an impressive sight, huge gaping jaws with curved teeth taller than a Halfling to either side of the walkway. The intricately carved scales shine in the sun as it rests a heavy lidded gaze down Main street. Some say it seems to watch, a wyvern trapped in stone, hungry and waiting.
9. Dolphin Bridge sits near the entrance to the City Gardens, a bright spot of grey and blue where the playful creatures' tail splashes into the stone of Nerverwinter's streets. The wide flipper is surrounded by rippled stone, the water effect enhanced by nearby fountains. Many vendors offer a variety of snacks and trinkets here to take advantage of the traffic between the Merchant district and the Docks.
10. Dannar's Mechanical Marvels offers a variety of contraptions and devices of gnomish design, from self striking flint boxes to musical jewelry cases, dancing dolls, and clockwork dragons. Dannar often seems a bit mad but his work is genius. He seems to have an complete aversion to any kind of violence, perhaps the result of time spent south in Baldur's Gate.
11. The Mute Lute is the home of the half-elven lute maker Rebeth Laereeryn. An odd, octagonal shaped building with a tree growing up from the center, it stands out easily from the other shops of the district. Rebeth is a famed maker of musical instruments; his lutes are the finest of these. The ancient oak in the center of the shop belongs to Rebeth's lover, a dryad. Unlikely as it seems, the bard was able to woo the tree spirit after falling in love with her at first sight.
12. The Great Tree is one of the oldest landmarks of Neverwinter. Some say it stood tall when Haleuth Never first settled the area while others claim he planted it himself, and watered it with the blood of his enemies. Whatever the truth may be, the tree stands proudly as a symbol of the city. Many take refuge beneath its shady expanse on warm days.
13. Trade of Blades is a tavern popular with the city's mercenaries. Cheap drinks and a board for job postings cover most of what the tavern has to offer.
14. City Watch HQ also calls the Merchant District home. Captain Breliana coordinates her forces from this central office. With the Hall of Justice close by, and Nasher as well, it is a perfect spot to see to the disposition of criminals.
The Docks is an odd mix of merchant houses and run down warehouses. It is easily the seediest district of the city, featuring the cheapest tavern and highest crime rate. As the center of smuggling activity in the city, it has a higher crime rate than any other district. Sailors from abroad spend their coin here as well, contributing to the general chaos of the area.
Gate Captain Soren does what he can to contain the violence here. It is no easy task and has taken its toll on him over the years, lining his face and eroding his hair. Despite the corruption of many of the city watch in the Docks, he manages to keep the streets generally safe, at least in daylight hours. By night, the wise or well bribed city watch cluster near their torches and keep their eyes down. The bolder ones rarely last long and Soren is always on the look out for likely volunteers.
The Androd Estate is home to Lord Androd Golden, a very wealthy nobleman. He keeps the estate well guarded and is known to be a patron of Ophala. Between the guard dogs and armed men, surprise visits are not recommended.
1. The Dolphin bridge is built from grey and blue quarry stone, carved to look like its name sake. The Dolphin's playful grin beckons visitors to cross its sleek back. The tail ends in the Merchant District, surrounded by fancifully carved waves. It tends to be a busy bridge by day, full of sailors, merchants, and visitors. It is also a popular spot for bards. It's not uncommon to see an artist or two offering charcoal portraits as well.
2. Twenty in a Quiver has been a part of the Docks for as long as anyone can remember, offering arms and armor at inflated prices to those without the time or sense to look elsewhere. To the merchant's credit, his gear is good and he occasionally carries items with basic enchantments.
3. The Seedy Tavern is a popular spot for sailor, dockworkers, and those with less legitimate professions. It has a small selection of cheap drinks and cheaper food, and offers accommodations for those with little coin. Most nights, you can find a merchant offering a variety of goods at very low prices. It's not wise to ask where they were acquired.
4. Silver Sails Trading Company owns a warehouse and dock in the district and is responsible for a large amount of the imports and exports of Neverwinter. They are always looking for help on their ships, but their contracts are never something to enter into lightly. Rumors circulate that the Silver Sails unofficially sponsors piracy but it has yet to be proven.
5. The Aquaducts empty into the sea here and are a popular spot for street rats to play on hot summer days. The city watch often chases them away from the area both for their safety and the city's convenience. Some say the 'ducts can be used to travel into the city core, but each junction is sealed by a locked grate and the key with Breliana, the city watch Captain.
6. Sewers run under most of the city, but the access and exit to them is in the Docks. The city's waste and other less pleasant things empty to the south of the district where the currents carry it to the Mere of Dead Men. Adventurers daring to explore this area often disappear, leading most Neverwintans to believe it is likely infested with monsters.
7. The City Watch quarters are located in the Docks, a safe haven for the volunteers that try to patrol the district. It also has a few cells, typically used for holding those arrested for drunk or disorderly behavior.
8. The Sunken Flagon is one of the finer taverns in Neverwinter, owned by the half-elf Duncan. A shrewd businessman, it's wise to take care in making any deal with him. The bartender Sal is a large bald man whose fierce appearance belies a friendly nature. He's always happy to chat with guests though his conversation rarely goes beyond the weather or recent events.
9. Hagen's Imports sit right across from the docks and offers many exotic goods. He is often at odds with the Thieves Guild that runs much of the business in the district, refusing to pay protection money. Because of his vocal opposition, many refuse to shop there, but others find his determination appealing.
10. Sand's Shop looks rundown from the outside but inside it houses a variety of magical and alchemical components. By day, the old elf sits behind his counter alternately berating or assisting his customers (he would argue that's it is all the same thing) while his cat Jaral keeps a watchful eye on the place. His shop is one of the few the local thieves avoid.
Beggars Nest lies on the southeast side of Neverwinter, home for the city's poor. Though the citizens in this area lack money, the area is well kept and clean, featuring many popular and important sites. The district is somewhat neglected by the city watch and other administrative groups, but the people here take care of each other.
The most celebrated locale in the Nest is Neverwinter Academy. The school of magic is gated and guarded and takes up a large part of the district. Strange lights and sounds often come from the upper stories and local residents are happy to share tales of student mishaps over an ale in the local tavern.
Gate Captain Ergus heads the city watch in this area and is generally well liked. Though he is not the most effective city watchman, he is not corrupt.
A large warehouse lies on the East side of the Nest. Rumor places ownership in several different hands, suggesting anyone from Nasher to a High Captain of Luskan. Regardless, the building seems mostly unused, though on foggy nights some say you can hear voices from inside, and sometimes see shapes moving in the darkness.
One of the large homes in the area is owned by an odd little man named Jared. Neighbors say he has odd visitors at all hours, but complaints to Guard Captain Ergus have yielded nothing. Jemaine, a long time district resident tells strange stories about that house and its former residents, but it's anyone's guess how much truth is in his tales.
1.The Shining Serpent Inn of Beggars Nest is one of the most popular inns in the city. Callahan keeps the service professional, and while the suites and dining area are plain, it is a clean, safe, comfortable place to stay. It's also easy to find, the only building with a silver serpent on the signpost. There are rumors that the inn plays host to smugglers, and may even be haunted but this has done nothing to dent its popularity.
2. Winged Wyvern Bridge arches over the river like a dragon in flight. The stone path is set on sculpted back, with wings swept in to either side. The toothy maw lies in the Merchant district, while its coiled tail beckons the citizens of the Nest. It is a favorite place for lovers on long warm evenings and has played a part in more than one epic romance.
3. Siril's Bakery is a well known shop near the center of the district. Though old Siril died during the plague, his legacy is carried on by his son. The shop specializes in a variety of breads and also has some sweets like steamed buns and cinnamon pastries.
4. The Temple of Helm still stands in Beggars Nest offering low cost divine healing to those willing to accept Helm's blessing. Though Helm is less popular in Neverwinter, they have worked hard to repair their tarnished reputation and are an important part of life in the district.
5. The Orphanage sits near the temple of Helm, caring for children rounded up by the city watch or left at the temple. In the wake of the plague, they have little room or resources to take in more. While the clerics of Helm own and run the orphanage, most of the staff are volunteers.
6. Thomas Wheelwright Wagon Repair offers services mostly to merchants coming up the North Road. The halfling could open a shop in the city core but prefers the lower cost of the Nest.
7. The Great Graveyard is not very popular but remains the spot nearly every Neverwintan will visit one day or another. Now a peaceful resting place for the dead, in past crises, it was also the site of great evil. Rumor says beneath it lies a vast dungeon and some whispers link it to the evil god Cyric, but these are more likely passing fancies.
8. Not many know the exact location of the Teahouse. The colorful smoke that rose up from Beggar nest are usually assigned to the academy deeds but customers of this establishment know it is the dazing aroma from the inside of Tea house. The unwary are sometimes brought here to work out blackmarket dealings, the sweet smoke making them more agreeable.
The Peninsula lies just to the southwest of Neverwinter and plays host to the city's prison. Most of the homes in this area belong to those that work at the prison. There are a few businesses there as well, mostly serving the guards and other prison staff. It's a shame the district's reputation is completely eclipsed by the prison it's a beautiful area with some of the best ocean views and nicest beaches in the city.
Gate Captain Kipp is nominally the head of security in the area and commands watch activities on the Peninsula. He is often bored and quite talkative as the presence of the Milita and prison guards keep crime in the area very low. His assignment could be seen as a punishment or a privilege, depending on where you stand.
1. Fallen Tower was at one time the home of noted wizard Llomnauvel "Firehands" Oloadhin. He was killed in a raid by the Arcane Brotherhood, but the spell he cast with his dying breath sent every one of the evil mages plunging from his tower to die on the ground below. Today it's one of the most popular taverns in Neverwinter, with buxom wenches, a jovial barkeep, and a midnight show you can't see anywhere else.
2. The Prison itself is a huge stone edifice surrounded by stone walls patrolled by guards at all hours. Few know what lies behind the huge wooden doors and fewer want to.
3. Mizzenmast Mercantile is one of the few shops on the Peninsula and offers a little of everything. While the items are rarely high quality, the prices are excellent. The shop owner began his days in Neverwinter working at the prison, but old age demanded a change in career. If given half a chance, he'll happily talk for hours about the things he saw and did as a guard.
4. The Militia HQ is headed by Sedos Sebile. The Militia has little to do with the prison but finds the locale perfect. It was cheap and large enough to fit their barracks, armory, and a training area. The Militia prides itself on professionalism and duty, an elite fighting force. At times, they recruit from the city watch or prison guards.
5. Sewers run under the Peninsula as they do in most of Neverwinter. There are a few access points and some even lead to the prison, but they all have heavy steel grates and locks. Between that, the monsters, and guard patrols, few ever venture into them.
6. Prison Barracks make up a fair portion of housing in the Peninsula. Compared to most barracks, they are very nice. More space and a better view than the city watch, and a short walk to work. Few visit the barracks unless they know a guard, so it is a fairly quiet area.
7. The Waterclock guild represents all the reasons Neverwinter is called the City of Skilled Hands. Renowned clock maker and mage Lucan Greenharrow founded it with Saborn Rendel. Today it serves as a guild hall and gathering place for fine craftsman and those wishing to apprentice. Rumor has it that beneath the guild lie the graves of Lucan and his friend Saborn Rendel; their secrets protected in death by a vast and deadly dungeon.
Outside the walls
Neverwinter stables horses and other mounts outside the walls of the city at the Bouncing Pony. This establishment takes excellent care of the animals left in their keeping for only a gold each day. They also sell mounts to those in need, though prices for this service vary greatly depending on the situation. In times of conflict, a good mount can be very expensive. The Bouncing Pony is easy to spot when coming up the High Road, marked by a large sign post bearing the image of a grinning pony in mid leap.
The road to Helm's Hold is well traveled and patrolled. The monastery has become a bustling village over the last twenty years, centered on the original fortification built by Dumal Erard in honor of the God of Guardians. They are famous for the invention of the most durable travel bread in all Faerun. Helm's Hold travel bread is sold across the continent and what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in fortitude. The same could easily be said for this little village. Over 700 faithful call Helm's Hold home, and are well known for their willingness to take in any traveler, helping those beset by brigands and monsters.