I am more than pleased to offer my services and gold to rebuilding this fine center of culture and trade. Through our combined efforts, Neverwinter will be reborn as a bastion of good in the Sword Coast North!
The New Neverwinter movement is gaining a foothold as Lord Dagult Neverember’s hired hands and goons patrol the streets and rebuild the city. Neverember ostensibly takes his role as protector seriously, sending his mercenaries to oust the orcs in the River District, repel plaguechanged monstrosities at the Wall, and otherwise keep the peace. The lord endeavors to lure home and win over Neverwinter’s refugee population. He is focusing on rebuilding the city, maintaining order and trade, and putting silver (if not gold) into residents’ hands.
The New Neverwinter concept is a propaganda tool the Lord Protector is using to stir up nationalistic emotions in the populace. This tactic, combined with the physical improvements to the city, has drawn most residents over to Neverember’s camp. However, some factions within the city consider the idea of a “New Neverwinter” an insult to the city’s sovereignty. The foremost oppositional faction is the Sons of Alagondar, a group that actively opposes Neverember and his plans. Its followers are busy plotting, setting traps, and enlisting whatever aid they can find.
Lord Neverember has many goals in the region, and he can accomplish them all by serving as protector of Neverwinter and ingratiating himself with the people. The regent ultimately would like to build a mercantile empire across the North, but he must first stabilize the region so he can establish solid, reliable trade routes.
Claim the Throne
Running Neverwinter is one thing, wearing its crown is another. For an outsider such as Neverember, the Open Lord of Waterdeep, the difficulty increases tenfold. Most of the refugees who have returned to the city support him for now. But if the regent were to crown himself, N everember’s support would likely dry up as rebels fanned outrage and denounced him as a foreign conqueror attempting to annex Neverwinter.
Therefore, Lord Neverember must move carefully. His plan is simply put: Make the people love him. The process, however, is a bit more complex than that. The regent intends to ensure that Neverwinter citizens are bathed in reasons to feel gratitude to him—new facilities, new market opportunities, access to goods and work, and safety. Then when the time comes for a new king, Neverember envisions the masses asking— nay, begging—him to don the diadem.
Prove a Disputed Heritage
While working heartily toward his goal, Neverember has yet to disclose his plans for the throne to anyone not critically involved in his maneuvering. The protector’s savants have managed to trace the lord’s heritage to the adventurer Vers Never, a supposed bastard son of Lord Nasher Alagondar and younger half-brother to Bann, who succeeded their shared father as king. As Neverember tells it, Vers settled in Waterdeep and married Mirtria Ember, thus forming the “Neverember” name.
The protector knows his word isn’t going to be enough though. So Neverember has purchased, or hired scribes to create, books that link him to the royal line. The regent has also had more than one book committed to flames after their testimonies proved less than helpful.
Protect and Run the City
Lord Neverember has orated at length about his self-proclaimed responsibility to protect Neverwinter’s citizens and keep the city civilized. Beyond establishing common laws and keeping the peace, his mission primarily entails rooting out rebels and ensuring that the city’s defenses are well manned.
Neverember is a natural delegator and cares little for the day-to-day particulars. He leaves the city’s policing, defense, and security operations to his mercenaries’ leader, General Sabine. And he installed as mayor a dwarf named Soman Galt, who oversees tax collection, grants of property, and city files.
Make Hard Coin
Neverember knows his situation in Neverwinter is tenuous, so he goes about his business quietly. He prizes adventurers who can keep a low profile. If the lord’s bid for the throne fails, Neverember intends to ensure that the city’s economic stability is perched squarely on his shoulders, so he can rule from behind the crown. If all else fails, he wants to snag as much gold as he can out of the endeavor.
Neverember recognizes the cultural and economic implications of rediscovering Gauntlgrym and is recruiting adventurers to search for the lost dwarven metropolis. If his seekers find it, the regent plans to rebuild the lost city—an action apt to win over a lot of citizens, especially dwarves.
The Open Lord of Waterdeep is not foolish enough to install a force of soldiers from his home city. Such an act would make his efforts seem like an occupation and would fuel the Sons of Alagondar insurgency. Instead, to avoid the appearance of imperialism, the protector relies on soldiers from the distant island of Mintarn, most of whom are sellswords and former pirates. They operate under a tough-as-nails mercenary named Sabine. She serves as Neverember’s chief enforcer in the city and has come to represent the harsher aspects of his beneficence.
The force—mostly human warriors— patrols the streets in a strict, militaristic rotation. Under Sabine’s leadership, the mercenaries ruthlessly quash disturbances and work to eradicate dangers to Neverwinter and its people.
Maintain Both Positions
As Neverember’s focus on Neverwinter has intensified, he has shifted many of his Waterdeep duties over to the Masked Lords and his trusted seconds. On his irregular trips to Waterdeep, his days are a flurry of much delayed matters of law and state, such as meetings with merchants, public speeches, official events, summary court rulings, and conferences with the Masked Lords.So far, Neverember has managed to keep both pots cooking without boiling over. However, if public opinion in Waterdeep turns on the lord, he’ll find it significantly
more difficult to focus on tasks in Neverwinter.
Embroiled as he is in his many ploys, Neverember is unaware that several of his successes are actually the carefully calculates losses of other regional power players.
Abolethic Sovereignty: The regent has no idea the Abolethic Sovereignty is hard at work far below his beloved Neverwinter, nor that its aboleths are sending minions topside to keep him busy. As far as he knows, the plaguechanged horrors at the Wall— which he finds grotesquely fascinating—are random Spellplague manifestations.
Ashmadai: The secretive Ashmadai cult has made overtures of alliance to Neverember, which he has by and large accepted. The protector knows little about the society—whom its cultists serve, its goals for the region, and so on—and therefore tries to keep his cards close to the vest. He underestimates the Ashmadai, though, assuming he can safely use it for his own purposes.
Meanwhile, the Asmodeus-worshiping cultists are methodically turning the regent’s people to their cause. The Ashmadai controls nearly all the mercenaries assigned to guard the Chasm, and its members are wooing a handful of the regent’s closest retainers. The effort goes all the way to the top: Ashmadai leader Mordai Veil is assiduously pursuing the attentions of Sabine, the leader of Neverember’s mercenaries. Ultimately, the cultists aspire to induct Neverember into their dark society.
Thayans: The protector has received reports that Thayan agents are operating in the city. He has ordered General Sabine to sniff out any truth in the rumors. He is awaiting her Findings.
Netherese: Neverember is ignorant of Netherese interests in the region, and he has in the past unwittingly hired several Shadovar agents to conduct discreet assassinations.