Neverwinter is a motropolis sitting on the northwestern Sword Coast of Faerûn. The city has been the home locale for the first graphical MMORPG ever created, the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL (1991-1997), which was developed by Stormfront Studios. Bioware later acquired the rights to the title and developed a series of RPGs under the name Neverwinter Nights.
Neverwinter has a population of about 40,000 at last count and is also known as the City of Skilled Hands, or the Jewel of the North. It also serves as the origin of the phrase "by the clocks of Neverwinter", used when one is solemly swearing, a reference to the precision of its timepieces. Neverwinter is regarded by many, including the erudite travel writer Volo, as the most cosmopolitan and the most civilized city in all of Faerûn, quite a reputation, considering the breadth and variety of the continent.
The city is so named because, 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. The city is ruled by Lord Nasher Alagondar, an ageing, veteran adventurer and devout worshipper of Tyr. As such, although Neverwinter is prosperous, its master-craftsmen making lamps of multi-coloured glass, precision water clocks and exquisite jewellery, its Tyrran faith promotes justice and fairness and greed is frowned upon.
In addition to its unnaturally warm climate, Neverwinter is a picturesque city and boasts 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 harbour. Neverwinter's magnificent gardens (the phrase "the City of Skilled Hands" refers to Neverwinter's accomplished gardeners) ensure the warm winters are colourful 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 and further add to the city's distinction.
The city is a member in good standing of the Lord's Alliance and Lord Nasher has ensured that the city is well defended, both physically and magically, against attacks or infiltration from Luskan, Neverwinter's warlike rival. Maps of the city, which has a maze of meandering streets, are not distributed, as part of an effort to thwart Luskan spies.