Expedition to Wave Echo Cavern
Neverwinter, also known as the City of Skilled Hands or the Jewel of the North, is a metropolis sitting on the northwestern Sword Coast of Faerûn. 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 a member in good standing of the Lords’ 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.
The city of Neverwinter 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 Destruction of Most of Neverwinter
In 1451 DR a cataclysm struck Neverwinter as Mount Hotenow erupted which unleashed a pyroclastic flow that left most of Neverwinter in ruins.
The city has made a surprising comeback in the past two decades. Much of Neverwinter has been rebuilt and the city is once again bustling with activity and growing.
In addition to having an 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 of Neverwinter can be roughly divided into four different districts. The inhabitants of these districts clearly differ in social class and status, wealth, prosperity, population and criminality. The Merchant Quarter, Blacklake, The Docks, and Beggar’s Nest.
The Merchant Quarter is the district where most of Neverwinter is governed and controlled. The remnants of Castle of Neverwinter where Lord Nasher Alagondar lived and ruled. The Halls of Justice, a temple to Tyr, is also located in this district. In the middle of the district stands the Cloaktower, a meeting place for mages and sorcerers. The Merchant District is a busy district, populated mostly by middle-class inhabitants and merchants.
The Beggar’s Nest is a district of destitution where most of the poor inhabitants live and work. To the north is a great graveyard, and there has been several records of undead attacks in this district. Under this graveyard there are unexplored tombs and crypts from deceased men. Packed with narrow streets and slum houses, it contains just one tavern and inn aptly named The Shovel and Hammer.
The Blacklake District is the district of the nobles and upper-class inhabitants. Some of the nobles are obliviously paranoid or snobbish, and there are several records of the Blacklakes cutting themselves off from conflicts in the core or other places (by creating a buffer of a gated, small district, sometimes called “No-mans land”). Almost all homes here are prosperous and wealthy, and the entire district is overall quite rich. Streams and small rivers of decorative water flows through the district.
The Docks is the district most prone to criminality. It is ruled mostly by organized criminal leaders and thugs, often leading to black auctions and markets. With the main harbour to the west, many illegal wares are easily smuggled into the district, much because authorities do not have a very strong grip on the contemporal events. The district founds The Golden Apple, an inn, and Twenty in a Quiver, a local warbrand shop.