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The history of Neverwinter covered the many tragedies and great triumphs the city-state of the Sword Coast North experienced over the couse of nearly two thousand years.

Early history[]

Prehistory[]

Thousands of years before the founding of Neverwinter, Queen Morag and some of her followers built a magical device known as the Source Stone to flee to another dimension as an ice age was devastating the world and their race was all but wiped out.[1]

The founding[]

The first settlement in the Savage Frontier was an elven city known as Illefarn. In time, Illefarn became a bustling nation after the time of the Crown Wars, and lasted long enough to see the founding of the dwarven nation of Delzoun, the rise of Netheril, the founding of the original Gauntlgrym, and the harnessing of the primordial Maegera the Inferno beneath its lands. Eventually, Illefarn was divided into three nations, of which Iliyanbruen was the most prominent. Iliyanbruen frequently fought with the city of Illusk, which was a legacy of the Netherese.[2]

In the Year of Burning Glades, −10 DR, Lord Halueth Never, a sun elf hero, led the elves of Iliyanbruen to victory over Illusk.[3] In the site of his victory he commissioned the building of Castle Never.[4]

With the fall of Netheril, Iliyanbruen was weakened by the orc invasions known as the Orc Marches, which paved the way for human settlers from Ruathym to spread to the North.[2][5] One of the first settlements founded by them, in the Year of the Hoar Frost, 87 DR,[6] was Eigersstor,[2] a small settlement built around Castle Never,[7] that eventually grew in importance.[8] Unknowingly to the founders, the city was built above the caves that housed the Source Stone.[1] Some believe Eigersstor was founded by Lord Halueth Never himself.[4]

A century later, in the Year of the Twisted Tree, 187 DR, the now large settlement was renamed Neverwinter,[2] a direct translation of its Illuskan name to the Chondathan language.[9]

The orc invasions became more dangerous over time, and Neverwinter was besieged at least twice, in the Year of the Fanged Horde, 306 DR[10] and in the Year of the Normiir, 611 DR.[11] Luckily for the Neverwintians, they counted with the aid of the gold dragon Palarandusk, who protected the city from the orc hordes and from raiders from the Moonshae Isles. This would not last, however, as, at some point before the Year of the Cold Claws, 940 DR, a group of adventurers attacked Palarandusk's house in Neverwinter and forced the dragon to flee from the city.[12]

Orcgates Affair[]

To put an end to the orc threat, a group of wizards known as the Covenant founded the School of Wizardry in Neverwinter,[13] in the Year of the Unfurled Flag, 457 DR.[14] The wizards then rallied the human nations of the North against the orcs, and were able to stem the tide for a time. However, victory against the orcs that could have ended the threat for good was stolen from the human host when,[13] in the Year of the Telltale Candle, 955 DR,[15] the Red Wizards of Thay transported the orc horde to lands farther south.[13]

That event, known as the Orcgates Affair, triggered a long feud between the Covenant and Thay that erupted in Neverwinter over a century later.[13] Red Wizards slew Aganazzar of the Covenant and destroyed the School of Wizardry[13][16] in the Year of the Disastrous Bauble, 1081 DR, starting a wizardwar of titanic proportions.[17] For the next twenty years, the Red Wizards and members of the Covenant battled each other throughout the North and Thay. The conflict ended when the leaders of the Covenant either left Faerûn or went underground.[13]

The loss of the Covenant proved deadly when the largest orc horde in history swept down from northern lands to attack settlements as far south as Waterdeep.[13] After a long and gruesome campaign, humanity eventually won the war in the Year of the Trumpet, 1301 DR,[18] when the allied armies of Waterdeep, Neverwinter and Port Llast retook the city of Luskan, that was in power of the orcs, crushing the horde at last. But the North had paid a heavy toll and recovery was slow.[13]

Without the orc horde threatening its existence, Neverwinter became a center of civilization, peace and culture and was widely viewed as a marvel by visitors.[13]

Modern History[]

Plague and War[]

Around the Year of the Lost Helm, 1329 DR, the popular adventurer Nasher Alagondar became ruler of the city of Neverwinter. His rule brought prosperity to the city, and was considered uneventful until the Year of Wild Magic, 1372 DR.[19]

A disease known as the Wailing Death, that resisted even magical healing, killed much of the population of Neverwinter.[20] The cure was eventually found but the casualties by that time were catastrophic. It was soon discovered that the Wailing Death was merely the precursor of war between Neverwinter and its longtime rival, the city of Luskan. Although it was the Queen Morag who sponsored the war, as part of her plot to return to Toril, rather than the Host Tower of the Arcane, the fighting (which ended in a stalemate, thanks to a plucky adventurer known only as the Hero of Neverwinter) soured the relationship between the two cities even more.[1]

Then, in the Year of Blue Fire, 1385 DR, the Spellplague struck.[21] Neverwinter was not hit as hard as other settlements in the Sword Coast, and when Lord Nasher died, his son, Bann Alagondar, founded the Alagondar royal family that ruled Neverwinter fair and well, allowing to city to prosper in the hard times after the Spellplague.[19] Unknown to the citizens of Neverwinter, however, was the fact that a small plagueland was formed in the Underdark below the city.[22]

The Ruining[]

Neverwinter after the The Ruining, circa 1451 DR

The Alagondar line of kings and queens ruled their city fairly and well[19] until, at some point before Year of Knowledge Unearthed, 1451 DR, the Lords of Waterdeep put Lord Hugo Babris in charge of the city.[23]

In 1451 DR, Netherese loyalists led by Herzgo Alegni infiltrated the power structure of Neverwinter,[24] trying to take advantage of the situation of the city to locate old Xinlenal.[13] Although they took over the city, they didn't rule it directly, instead allowing Lord Babris to rule the Neverwinter in their stead.[24]

A few months later, a small adventuring party rediscovered ancient Gauntlgrym beneath the nearby Mount Hotenow. The party, consisting of Dahlia Sin'felle, Korvin Dor'crae, Valindra Shadowmantle, Athrogate, and Jarlaxle Baenre, made it all the way to the legendary forges. There, the latter two were betrayed by their Thayan allies, with Athrogate hypnotically forced to activate the forge. This briefly awoke the primordial Maegera, who, in a fit of rage, released a burst of energy so powerful that it forced the eruption of the dormant volcano.[25][26]

The resultant earthquake and combination of pyroclastic flow and lava destroyed much of Neverwinter. A great rift known as the Chasm ripped apart the southeastern quarter of the city, and strange ash zombies and plaguechanged horrors haunted the ruins, being released from the plagueland below Neverwinter.[27] Thousands of citizens died during the cataclysm, including the Alagondar royal family, while many others fled to other cities, leaving only a desperate few to carve out an ill existence among the ruins.[19]

The remaining Neverwintians were determined to survive in spite of the tragedy, however, and put a brave resistance against the plaguechanged horrors. They eventually built the Wall, using debris and other materials, sacrificing the southeastern quadrant but securing the rest of the city. The Blacklake District endured the cataclysm almost unscathed, and for a time it became the center of the city.[28]

In the Year of the Reborn Hero, 1463 DR, Thayans and their Ashmadai allies attacked Neverwinter, hoping to cause enough deaths to fuel a Dread Ring, but their plans were foiled with the help of adventurers and some Netherese agents. Due to the help given by the Netherese, the shadovar attempted a power grab in the city but were driven out when Herzgo Alegni was defeated in combat by Artemis Entreri and Dahlia Sin'felle, which inspired the citizens to revolt against Herzgo's Netherese 'Shadow Guard' and to evict the Netherese from their city.[29]

In the late 1470s DR, a contingent of orcs from Many-Arrows led by Vansi Bloodscar invaded the River District. Although her orders were to explore the ruined city and report back, Vansi defied Obould XVII's orders, seeing an opportunity to take power in Neverwinter as part of a future plan to annex the city to Many-Arrows.[30] Her forces eventually were able to subjugate the entire district.[30][31]

Rebirth[]

See also: New Neverwinter

A rebuilt Neverwinter, circa 1479 DR.

In the Year of Splendors Burning, 1469 DR,[32] Lord Dagult Neverember of Waterdeep, seeing an opportunity to add to his financial empire, proclaimed to be a descendant of Neverwinter's former rulers and thus the rightful "Lord Protector" of the city, starting the New Neverwinter movement. Lord Neverember invested a great deal of his own personal fortune to hire workers to help to rebuild the city's infrastructure, and Mintarn mercenaries to protect it from monsters and bandits; he also began a strong campaign to buy the interest of merchants to send their caravans again to Neverwinter, and even ensured Neverwintian survivors had enough food and gold in hand.[33] Unable to deal with the orc forces from Many-Arrows, Lord Neverember signed a peace treaty with them, declaring The Fallen Tower neutral grounds and the River District off-limits to his forces.[31]

By the Year of the Fourth Circle, 1474 DR, the Sons of Alagondar emerged as an insurgent group that opposed the rule of Lord Neverember.[34]

In the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR, Dagult Neverember also became the Open Lord of Waterdeep,[35] and applied his newfound power to further his ambitions in Neverwinter.[33] That same year, the Harpers cell in Neverwinter suffered a devastating blow. One of their high-ranking members, Cymril, was helping the Sons of Alagondar to oppose the rule of Lord Neverember. However, an ambush by Mintarn mercenaries resulted in her death, and in the revelation that she was also working for Neverember.[36] After her treachery was revealed, the reputation of the Harpers of Neverwinter was greatly damaged in the region, at least for a time.[37]

A cell of the Abolethic Sovereignty was also on the move, investing their efforts to thwart the New Neverwinter movement or to use it to advance their own agenda.[38] Using the Chasm, the aboleths kidnapped many inhabitants of Neverwinter and nearby settlements for their ambitious experiments to improve the dreaded Symphony of Madness.[39]

Likewise, merchants from the "new" continent of Laerakond began to trade with the Faerûrian cities of the Sword Coast. 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.[40]

Despaired while seeing the evil forces surrounding Neverwinter, the goddess Selûne sent three shards to the city to warn her priesthood. Lady Jasmine, the head priestess, recognized the portents and asked a group of adventurers for help. The adventurers were able to retrieve the gems, exposing the evil forces in the city and recovering the Shard of Night in the process.[41]

Taking advantage of the chaos, Valindra Shadowmantle and her forces launched an all-out attack on Neverwinter while soldiers and workers were on the fields outside the city as part of the rebuilding efforts. Valindra's actions sparked the siege of Neverwinter. Several adventurers were thrust into battle as well—while trying to reach the relative safety of Neverwinter's walls, their ship was sunk by a dracolich controlled by Valindra and the survivors joined forces with the defenders. Adventurers and heroes were able to defeat Valindra's undead minions and force her to retreat. Afterward, to celebrate Neverwinter's successes, Lord Neverember declared the Protector's Jubilee. The event drew merchants from up and down the Sword Coast and even Elminster himself came to see the city's renewal for himself. A guest of honor at the Protector's Enclave, Elminster bade adventurers who sought him out to escort merchants through the hostile territory of Blacklake, Ebon Downs, and Whispering Caverns and perform other quests on his behalf.[42]

When presumed heir of the Alagondar royal family showed up and helped the defenders of the city to deal with an attack of plaguechanged creatures in the Protector's Enclave, it caused caused civil unrest. The Sons of Alagondar and those who opposed Neverember's rule wanted the Lord Protector to dismiss his claim to the rulership of Neverwinter in favor of the self-proclaimed heir. Lord Neverember hired a group of adventurers to track down the so-called heir and discover his true intentions. The investigation uncovered a plot devised by Seldra Tylmarande to unseat Lord Neverember. The adventurers were able to foil the plot and dealt with Seldra and the Crown of Neverwinter as they saw fit.[43]

When Mordai Vell, an influential noble and a high ranking member of the Ashmadai, began to extort the wizard Elden Vargas, Elden started to kidnap people from Neverwinter in order to conduct experiments on them to find a cure for his wife, Karis, who had lost her sanity and was interned in Helm's Hold years before. At the same time, Elden tried to frame Mordai's Ashmadai for the kidnappings. When the Ashmadai identified him, they sent a team to kill him, but Elden was unexpectedly saved by an adventuring party that was investigating the kidnapping incidents.[44] Elden eventually found a potential cure for his wife and invaded Helm's Hold with his mind-thrall minions, including the green dragon Chartilifax, to rescue her. Elden performed a ritual on top of Helm's Cathedral in order to cure Karis, but he was tracked down and defeated by the adventurers.[45] For their services, the adventurers were publicly declared the "heroes of Neverwinter."[46]

Around the Year of the Nether Mountain Scrolls, 1486 DR,[47] Neverember's efforts to rebuild the city began to bear fruit, although reconstruction would continue for at least another decade.[48][49][note 1] He ordered the use of magical means to seal the Chasm, although at a huge expense to the city's coffers that other parts of the city were neglected for years.[48] Trade with Waterdeep and other cities of the south was resumed, and Neverwinter was slowly being restored as a center of civilization in the North.[50]

Neverember was expelled from his position as Open Lord of Waterdeep in the Year of the Warrior Princess, 1489 DR,[51] and turned his full attention to Neverwinter.[50] Blaming sycophantic nobles and scheming guildmasters for his political ouster, Neverember taxed the Neverwinter nobility heavily to prevent them from challenging his power, and enacted laws that banned the formation of most guilds.[48] Through the early 1490s DR, Neveremmber would claim that Neverwinter's guilds and aristocracy were responsible for the city's various woes, using them as scapegoats both to rally support among the common folk and to exert more control over the city.[49][52] During this time, he also imposed a steep "devastation tax" on essential goods like food and alcohol.[53] By the Year of the Duplicitous Courtier, 1496 DR, he had begun levying hefty taxes specifically against wealthy merchants and adventuring companies in order to fund further rebuilding efforts.[49][52]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. Canon material does not provide a year for the events described in Acquisitions Incorporated, but Jerry Holkins answered a question via Twitter and stated the year was 1496 DR. Unless a canon source contradicts this assertion, this wiki will use 1496 DR for events related to this sourcebook.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 BioWare (June 2002). Designed by Brent Knowles, James Ohlen. Neverwinter Nights. Atari.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  3. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Obsidian Entertainment (October 2006). Designed by Ferret Baudoin, J.E. Sawyer. Neverwinter Nights 2. Atari.
  5. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 177. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  6. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  7. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 134. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  8. slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 15. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  9. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  10. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  11. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  14. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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  23. Warning: edition not specified for Gauntlgrym
  24. 24.0 24.1 Warning: edition not specified for Gauntlgrym
  25. Warning: edition not specified for Gauntlgrym
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  31. 31.0 31.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
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  33. 33.0 33.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 86–88. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  34. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  35. Ed Greenwood. Ed's Twitter. Retrieved on 2019-01-30.
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  37. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  38. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 90–91. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
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