Lost Mines of Phandelver
Neverwinter, also known as the City of Skilled Hands or the Jewel of the North, was a metropolis sitting on the northwestern Sword Coast of Faerûn. Neverwinter was 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 was a member in good standing of the Lords’ Alliance and Lord Nasher ensured that the city was well defended before his death, both physically and magically, against attacks or infiltration from Luskan, Neverwinter’s warlike rival. Maps of the city, which had a maze of meandering streets, were not distributed, as part of an effort to thwart Luskan spies.
The city of Neverwinter was so named because, even though the town is situated in the cold north of Faerûn, the Neverwinter River that flows through it was 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.
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.
Neverwinter has a standing army of 400 archers and spearmen. It is their job to guard the city walls and the docks and patrol the High Road from Port Llast to Leilon 100 miles south of the city. During peacetime, 60 of these soldiers are assigned to the city watch, 60 are on leave for R&R and 60 are busy retraining. If the city’s walls are threatened by orcs or Luskan the defenders catapult a veritable hail of explosive missiles down on the attackers. Both missiles and the specially designed catapults were devised by the best ‘skilled hands’ of the city’s namesake. In desperate situations, Lord Nasher can call upon the guild of the Many-Starred Cloak’s wizards.
Two decades after the city’s destruction however, Dagult Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep, seeing an opportunity to add to his financial empire, would hire artisans and carpenters to help rebuild the city and mercenaries to protect it from monsters; he would eventually create the title of Lord Protector of Neverwinter, held by Neverember himself. However, it is questioned whether Dagult is the rightful ruler, as many factions vie for Neverwinter and the citizens are divided in loyalties.