Unlike disease and poison, madness has no specific effect in the 3e rules. For our purposes, madness is best depicted via illusions (for more details on illusions, see the “Illusions and Invisibility” section of this document, p.80). This may involve seeing illusionary monsters when there is really nothing there or seeing more monsters than there actually are in a given battle. Creatures, including fellow party members, may fade into and out of invisibility, cycle through a series of monstrous models, or suddenly burst into flames (or some other visual effect) before the madman’s eyes. He may even hear randomly triggered hotkey voice files from monsters, NPCs, and fellow players. Mad characters will also be haunted by an urgent cacophony of whispers whenever they attempt to rest. Lastly, custom-scripted events can also be linked to madness checks, allowing us to tailor madness to the actual campaign through visions of past characters and other such devices.
Madness exists on a scale of 0-100. Performing madness-inducing acts (such as speaking a Word of Power in our campaign) adds points along this madness scale, which then decay over time. There are no hard-coded game actions that cause madness so all of it must take place through scripting. In our campaign, the separate Words of Power and wearing the amulets of Morag will be the only things that causes madness and the amount of madness they will cause will vary.
Madness is broken into three stages, defined by their current madness value. In the first (a madness value of 1-49) the player will begin to hallucinate immediately after performing a madness-inducing act and for a short time following. The duration and intensity of these hallucinations will increase as the stage develops. In the second stage (a madness value of 51-99), the player will begin to experience spontaneous hallucinations. As the stage develops, these, too, will begin to increase in duration, intensity, and frequency. In the final stage (a madness value of 100), the player goes completely and permanently mad, no longer capable of distinguishing between delusion and reality. This final stage is reserved only for those who perform an excessive amount of madness-inducing acts. Once madness has reached this stage, it no longer decays and can only be reversed through specific scripting (in our case, with the defeat of Morag and the destruction of the Sourcestone). Both the first and second stages of madness are reversible, should the player refrain from performing madness-inducing acts.
For millennia they have waited, the ancient ones, the secret ones, the Old Ones of Luskan. For millennia they have wasted away, sluggish in the cold depths below the northern city of Luskan, biding their time and waiting for the advent of a moment long prophesied: a moment of vengeance, a moment of redemption, a moment of rebirth for their once-great ancestral empire… a moment of warmth in this cold and petty world of mammals. It is a moment that the Old Ones would have last forever. Long ago, that warmth had been theirs. In the Lost Times, their ancestors had crafted the Sourcestone, which radiated its blessed heat throughout the land and generated the magic that had fed them and made them as gods. With their Litanies and Words of Power, with their brethren whom they bound as Wordslaves to the Stone, the civilization of this revered Creator Race had risen to such heights. But then came The Wars, and the world’s molten heart was summoned to the surface in great volcanoes and meteors were drawn out of the sky and the land became battered with such magic that it had become dead and desiccated. And so it was that Morag, greatest of the Lizard-Queens, was driven from the near-lifeless Sourcestone and the lands it had made holy, and exiled to the treacherous northern wilds to wait out the never-ending litany of her days. Before she departed, however, she cast a final spell upon her humbled people, lulling them into a sleep of countless ages that they might never bear witness to their Queen in her time of deprivation.
Not all of Morag’s once-great empire entered into the Sourcestone’s sleep, however. As she fled north, she did so with her royal house. With her came her petty warrior-kings, her high priestesses with their shriveled and fading glory, her loyal servants, her precious Wordslaves. These became the ancient ones, the wretched ones, the exiled Old Ones who took shelter from the cold in the northland’s rocky depths. Meanwhile, to the east rose the human empire of Netheril that drew its very power from the rites and incantations first discovered and scribed by the high priestesses of Morag’s reign. Yet quietly and slowly, the Old Ones had their revenge and they lured the great mages of Netheril to secret schools founded in the west. There, the Old Ones trained them and made them powerful, fattening them for the slaughter. By feeding on the blood of the mages, the Old Ones drank their power, building their own strength and rendering themselves safe from the ravages of time. The centuries passed and Netheril fell to its own vanity and thus was founded the city of Illusk, again a home to great magics on which the Old Ones could feed. Then fell Illusk at the hands of the Elven Lord Halueth Never and so the Old Ones waited patiently until their hunger overtook them. Thus was Luskan founded and the Arcane Brotherhood that is so entangled in its history. Power there, and magic, and under it all, behind a thick veil of terror, are the Old Ones, forgotten but not gone, waiting for their prophesied Awakening.
And now that prophesied time of Awakening is at hand. Morag has felt her strength grow and has felt again in her shriveled womb the pull of the Sourcestone, the pull of her people still asleep within its depths. As with all things prophesied, the Awakening must begin with pestilence and with plague, with death and decimation amongst the mammals who have nestled themselves in the beloved cradle of civilization, in Morag’s abandoned, ancestral Holy Lands. What is more, the mammals shall be played as pawns, the slaves of Luskan turned against their brethren in the abominable city of Neverwinter. Only then, with that petty scar of a city cast in flames, shall the Great Sourcestone be given new life and the Holy Empire be renewed in warmth and glory. Thus shall the Old Ones come to their long-awaited, long-foretold Awakening; thus shall the lizardmen, greatest of Faerûn’s Creator Races, be reborn.
Environment 1: Plague
A virulent plague has struck the city of Neverwinter, rotting the flesh of its citizens and burning them up with its fever. The great city was put under strict quarantine and samples of the virulent plague, encased in stasis globes, were sent to the great mages of Waterdeep, that they might come to understand the disease and work towards a magical cure. It was the famed Khelben ‘Blackstaff’ Arunsun, himself, who struck upon the proper reagents and incantations to quell the gathering plague. The spell he crafted was a complex one, drawing on the very power of the gods, themselves, to fight the disease’s ancient magic. It would require reagents drawn from some of the most dangerous creatures in all Faerûn and, what is more, it would require that they be newly-gathered. So it was, then, that Neverwinter’s agents abroad put out a call to all adventurers capable of stalking these creatures and capturing them. Once gathered there in Waterdeep, the monstrosities were sent, still very much alive, to Neverwinter. There, the priests of Tyr were to extract the necessary reagents and perform the rites that would bring about the cure. But such was not to be. Unknown agents sacked the Waterdhavian caravan once it had passed through the city gates and the imprisoned creatures escaped into the terror of the Neverwinter night.
Aribeth, a Tyrist paladin, and Abbot Fenthick, her lover and immediate superior, have been placed in charge of recovering enough of the Waterdhavian creatures to perform the curative rituals and cleanse the city of the deadly plague. As the maintenance of the quarantine has been very strict, it is almost certain that the creatures have remained within the confines of the city. With that in mind, Aribeth enlists the aid of the city’s adventurers to comb the dungeons and sewers and capture the Waterdhavian creatures, dead or alive. However, as the reagents are extracted, creature by terrible creature, it becomes increasingly apparent that the plague is the work of a man named Desther, leader of a band of false Helmites who, under the guise of providing healing, have actually been spreading the deadly contagion in the city’s Beggar’s Quarter. When this is brought to Fenthick’s attention, the priest refuses to believe the facts – having himself invited Desther into the city and given him lodgings, believing his new friend’s tale of a pilgrimage from the east, halted so abruptly in Neverwinter by the onslaught of the plague. Aribeth forges on, despite Fenthick’s disapproval, and with the players’ help, the evidence soon becomes overwhelming.
After a flight to Helm’s Hold and a showdown in the betrayed fortress, Desther is captured. In the fight, an amulet in the shape of a reptilian eye is torn from his neck, causing him to surrender. With the revelation of Desther’s guilt, it becomes clear that justice must be served. Having exposed the city to untold suffering, Fenthick is sentenced to hang. Under pressure from her superiors, Aribeth is forced to deliver the final guilty judgement. Shocked and horrified by the demands of her god, Aribeth denounces Tyr and the clergy that supports him. Desther and Fenthick are sentenced to death. Fenthick is hung and Desther burns at the stake, a testimony to the hundreds he consigned to the funerary pyres of the plague-struck city. As his own body is consumed by the flames, Desther makes triumphant reference to the prophecies of the Old Ones. A mute witness to these horrible events, Aribeth flees the city, heading for the wilderness and its solace.
Environment 2: Deception
With a cure to the deadly plague found, the quarantine has finally been lifted from the city of Neverwinter. Plenty of evidence links Desther to a Luskan mage by the name of Maugrim Korothir, member of the dreaded Arcane Brotherhood. From his compound in the Host Tower of the Arcane, Maugrim acts as leader of an apocalyptic religious sect within the Brotherhood that worships a mysterious group called the Old Ones. With the cooperation of the independent Mirabar trading district within Luskan, the players are urged to assist Neverwinter’s network of spies and agents in infiltrating the seemingly impermeable Host Tower, that they might capture Korothir’s Book of Prophecy and come to a better understanding of their foe. In their work, the players are to take their orders from Aarin Gend, the talented and charismatic rogue who serves as the network’s young master. He has already determined that the Host Tower of the Arcane is guarded by a series of ancient wards scattered about the hostile city. The players are to destroy and weaken enough of these Tower Wards to grant them access to the compound.
Throughout the course of their time in Luskan, the players encounter Maugrim numerous times. Each time, he is accompanied by a woman named Morag. Though she says little, content to remain in the background, it is clear that Maugrim fears her somehow. Also, a number of the key figures about the city wear amulets that seem modeled after the one torn from Desther, prior to his capture. Any players that obtain such an amulet will notice that it emanates a distinct aura of evil. Any that put it on will find an immediate benefit of one sort or another but will find that they also suffer a severe penalty should they remove it. It is through this amulet that Morag speaks with them and lures them gently towards her evil plan. She encourages the wearers of the amulet to fulfill the each module’s objectives, even though it appears, on the surface, to be contrary to her interests (it isn’t, of course, as she is simply playing pawns against pawns). When encountered in person, Morag will recognize those wearing the amulet and even stay Maugrim’s hands against them on more than one occasion.
Once the wards are sufficiently weakened and the party has at last gained access to the Host Tower of the Arcane, the nature of Korothir’s cult should become clear as will the fact that Desther’s plague was not an isolated incident but rather evidence of a greater aggression. Haedraline, an imprisoned member of the Old Ones, housed in the dungeons below the Host Tower, helps the players escape their incarceration and warns them to beware of Morag, as she holds cunning beyond belief. Haedraline also tells them of the future that may come: An army has been massed in the Ice Lakes region, northeast of Luskan, and is ready to march towards Neverwinter on Korothir’s orders. Aribeth, now a favorite within Maugrim’s harem, is to march before it as the cult leader’s able General. Morag and Maugrim have manipulated her already broken spirit with lies and promises, and Aribeth is now a firm believer in their cult, bent on taking her vengeance on the city that had wronged her. Like Maugrim, she wears the cult’s reptilian-eye amulet upon her breast. In the first of numerous confrontations with this new duo, the players obtain the Book of Prophecy and witness their harried flight from Luskan detailed within its prophetic pages.
Environment 3: War
Still suffering from the aftermath of the plague, Neverwinter is in a vulnerable position. Luskan is girding itself up for war and advance forces are already on the march. The scale of the northern city’s preparations leave no room to doubt the seriousness of their intent: aside from standard army reserves, Luskan has also mobilized Korothir’s powerful adherents, an entire school of powerful mages (the Arcane Brotherhood), a small flight of red and white dragons, and a coffer’s worth of deadly mercenaries (humanoid and otherwise). This dreadful array is led by the tragic and newly empowered figure of Aribeth, General of Generals. Through Maugrim, she seems to have found new faith and is once again receiving powers, though they are different than those granted by Tyr. In a world without justice, she lives only for personal vengeance, not only against the Tyrist church but also against the players who were so instrumental in Fenthick’s untimely demise. All in all, it is an impressive display of power and one that Neverwinter cannot hope to match.
Aarin Gend has called for reinforcements to be sent from Waterdeep but, without heroic effort, they will be unable to reach embattled Neverwinter before the Luskan hordes descend. Advocating harsh guerilla tactics in which small, mobile forces may gain tactical advantage over a larger foe, Aarin entrusts the players with delaying the Luskan juggernaut by whatever means possible. Each time the players score a victory against the Luskan armies, they buy an extra day in which the Waterdhavians might come to the rescue. Meanwhile, Morag keeps in touch with those players wearing her amulet, granting them new powers and causing their alignment to drift ever towards chaos and evil.
The Luskan forces can only be delayed for so long, however, and they surround the city just as the first of the Waterdhavian reinforcements crest the hill. The fight for Neverwinter’s continued freedom is passionate and all is going well until the city is betrayed by Mondelahn Neith, a deeply entrenched spy for the Luskans who had helped Aarin and the players in their earlier escape from Luskan. In his moment of treachery, Mondelahn throws open Neverwinter’s gates to the enemy, allowing them to finally breach its walls and bring their chaos to its streets. In the confusion, the players find and free imprisoned Haedraline from her cultist captors. Lord Nasher, however, dies a noble death in defense of his city and Aarin Gend is captured, his fate unclear. The players escape into the crypts below Castle Never for a final confrontation with Aribeth. In the bowels of the city, with the blood of a former paladin and friend upon their blades, the players live to fight another day.
Environment 4: Resistance
With Neverwinter’s armies destroyed and the city they fought to defend now under foreign occupation, the players inadvertently find themselves at the head of a rebel force beneath the city. On the surface, the Old Ones openly take the throne, content to cast Maugrim, their desperate puppet aside. Morag retains her human form to be their Queen and sets her forces against the weak and hopeless rebel cause. Maugrim and the Old Ones are searching desperately for Haedraline, the last of a long line of ‘Wordslaves’ whose bodies and minds act as keys, as resonators, to the great Sourcestone of Maugrim’s prophecy. Disempowered and alone, Maugrim hopes to kill Haedraline and thereby thwart the schemes of his former mistress. If the players are unable to wrest control of the Sourcestone from the Old Ones, then it shall bask the North in its warmth and return Morag’s people to their former state of absolute power.
The crystalline Sourcestone responds to the recitation of certain Words of Power that must be channeled through Haedraline’s frail body. These Words of Power have long been kept secret from her and her kind. Perhaps they are not even known at all, anymore. Throughout the Environment, the players must seek out these Words of Power in ancient texts, in scrawlings on the walls of the sacred sites of Haedraline’s long-lost civilization. The players may use these ancient Words of Power in their quests but it is a fine balancing act. As Haedraline warns them, each use will drive them closer to the brink of madness.
In the game’s final module, the rebel camp is betrayed by Sedos Sebile in return for the deliverance of her lover, the ill-fated Aarin Gend. Haedraline is captured and spirited away to the Sourcestone, that Morag’s ancient dreams and prophecies might at last come to fruition. By ruse and deception, Maugrim stays behind and offers his selfish assistance to the players’ cause. Meanwhile, Aarin, broken and battered, slowly and methodically attempts to flush out Morag’s spies within the party’s midst. Guided by these two unlikely saviors, the players gain access to the Ancient Lizardman tunnels that lead down towards the buried Sourcestone.
There, Haedraline lies sealed and warded on the Sourcestone’s ritual dais, resonating with the chants and litanies of her kin that are slowly, one by one, bringing about the Awakening. It is here that Morag stands against the players, her remaining amulet-wearers forced to betray the party and fight on her behalf. Drawing on their combat skills and the few Words of Power that they know, the remaining loyalists fight to prevent the rebirth of Morag’s harsh and faded empire.
Where is evil found?
Environment 0: The Tutorials
Each of the tutorials paints an idyllic view of the ‘ordinary world’ of pre-plague Neverwinter. It is a world of daily routines and comfortable stasis that gets suddenly interrupted by signs of danger (a priest’s dead body in the Druid/Ranger tutorial, death and flowers in the Cleric/Paladin tutorial, an evil eye in the kobold camp during the Fighter/Barbarian/Monk tutorial, etc). The idyllic ‘ordinary world’ is shattered and the player experiences his/her first taste of emotional loss (their commander in the Fighter/Barbarian/Monk tutorial, their brother in the Druid/Ranger tutorial, their fellow student in the Wizard/Sorcerer tutorial, etc). The plague is a ‘call to adventure,’ providing evidence of a greater evil to be found. With their comfortable routine disrupted and the threat of disaster ahead, the players take on the mantle of the Hero.
Environment 1: Plague
Environment 1 explores the plague’s disruption of Neverwinter’s ‘ordinary world’ and suggests that perhaps the previous utopia was but a thin veneer over the dystopia that lurks beneath. The Neverwinter militia mans the walls but their weapons are turned against the populace. The oppressive but necessary quarantine prevents the players from answering the plague’s ‘call to adventure’ and forces them to turn against their fellow citizens. Trapped in the city, the players find that they must first cure the plague before they can identify the evil and seek it out in earnest.
Throughout the environment, Lord Nasher, the old adventurer, acts as a mentor, honing in on the central question of ‘Where is evil found?’. On a symbolic level, he is an image of a post-hero, an adventurer who has outlived his legend. He is an image of who the players may become. In Module 199, “The Hung and the Damned,” on his apparent deathbed, Nasher encourages the players to follow evil’s trail, wherever it may lead. Taking his advice, the players overcome the quarantine and locate Desther Indelayne, the creator of the plague and a supposed figure of honor, in Helm’s Hold defiled halls.
Environment 2: Deception
In the second environment, the players are at last allowed to pursue evil to its supposed home in the ‘shadow world’ of Luskan. The players circle around the Host Tower, Maugrim’s locus of power and the purported heart of evil, slowly whittling away its defenses and learning to navigate the city’s many-layered mystery. They do so in secret and through justified deceptions, their story an inversion of Desther’s in the ‘ordinary world’ of Neverwinter. Without realizing it, they are slowly becoming the evil that they seek. Using her amulets, Morag is beginning to lure away members of the party and convert them, even more directly, to her cause.
In Module 299, “Shell Game,” the players physically don the reptilian mask of Maugrim’s cultists in order to gain entrance to the Host Tower. There, they learn that Aribeth, the former paladin and their once-close ally, has betrayed them and is now allied with the enemy. The question of who is good and who is evil is cast into further doubt. For their efforts, the players are rewarded with a gift of knowledge (Maugrim’s Book of Prophecy). However, the reward also shows them that their many deceptions have not only been discovered but have even been foretold and prophesied at every step along the way. With this first indication that they are being played as pawns in a larger game, the players flee back to protect the ‘ordinary world’ of Neverwinter from being overwhelmed by this suddenly darker ‘shadow world.’
Environment 3: War
Throughout Environment 3, the players navigate a ‘no-man’s-land’ between Luskan and Neverwinter. They are exiled from the former because of their treachery and from the latter because they are the Heroes on which the citizens of that ‘ordinary world’ now depend. This foreshadows the Heroes’ future alienation from a rescued Neverwinter. In almost every module, the players are faced with overwhelming odds and their battle is not so much with the evil that faces them as it is with the Ticking Clock represented by the Luskan advance. Timers become an important game mechanic while attempting to hold Black Aspen Pass against the foe, evacuate the community of Port Llast before its capture, and prevent supply caravans from reinvigorating the bunkered Luskan forces. Also, Aribeth’s continued presence and her ongoing attempts to undermine the moral authority of the ‘ordinary world’ keeps the game’s central question at the fore.
Module 399, “A Shield of Swords,” depicts the death of the ‘ordinary world’ as represented by the city of Neverwinter. Falling before the Luskan advance, it is subsumed into the growing ‘shadow world.’ Not only does the city, itself, fall but so do the players’ two mentors: one from the ‘ordinary world,’ and one from the ‘shadow world.’ Lord Nasher (the ordinary mentor), with Commander Never at his side, at last finds the Hero’s death he longed for but it is all for naught. Also, Aarin Gend (the shadow mentor) is captured and engulfed by the Luskan ‘shadow world,’ his fate unknown. These deaths are the result of a betrayal by Mondelahn Neith, again bringing home the idea that evil rests in the hearts of those you trust.
The players also experience their own death. In light of Nasher’s failure, they are forced to abandon the role of Hero and enter the world of the dead, another ‘shadow world’ beneath the city of Neverwinter. On that threshold, and with the aid of a ghost (Lord Halueth Never) who acts as a Guardian between two ‘shadow lands,’ the living and the dead, the players must face Aribeth and either damn or save her soul. For their efforts, they are rewarded with Haedraline’s defection from the Luskan forces and all are buried and sealed behind the safety of Lord Never’s ghostly swords.
Environment 4: Resistance
Like tormented spirits haunting the place and perpetrators of their tragedy, the players spend Environment 4 as agents of the dead in the land of the living. They rise from their subterranean graves only at night and as mythic, inconstant, ethereal figures. Like Environment 2, this, too, is an inversion of the players experiences in the first environment. Emphasizing this inversion is the fact that they are mentored now, not by Lord Nasher, but by Morag’s ancient Wordslave, Haedraline. She teaches them the secret history of both the ‘ordinary’ and the ‘shadow worlds.’ Neverwinter was once the heart of her Mistress’ long-dead empire. The greatly feared Luskan was but a place of exile from which Morag and her Old Ones are now returning. The player’s ‘ordinary’ and ‘shadow worlds’ are a direct parallel to Morag’s. Both seek to restore their ordinary world by purging it of the other’s shadow presence. Evil, then, has its roots at home, in the double homeland of Neverwinter.
Haedraline helps the players navigate this fused, dual world and find in it the Words of the dead that will grant them a rebirth. Module 499, “The Sourcestone’s Heart,” sees the rebirth of the shadow mentor, Aarin Gend, and the defection of the old shadow villain, Maugrim. With their knowledge of the ‘shadow world,’ these two try to help the players by revealing the evil within the party itself (the party’s shadow members who have given their allegiance to Morag). In a world of constant betrayal, where the wall between ordinary and shadow has become fully permeable, the players must choose who to trust. In the end, evil may lie even closer to home than they had imagined. The greatest evil is found not in the Sourcestone’s heart nor that of the lizard queen, Morag, but in the hearts of the party’s own shadow members (who wanted only power, not even a return of an ‘ordinary world’ that was once theirs).
Concluding the Story
In Forgotten Realms lore, the Creator Races (of whom Morag’s Old Ones were a part) had the power to create entire worlds. The Sourcestone lay at the heart of that magic and it was what made such feats possible. It stands as a symbolic representation of our toolset and of the worlds that our players will experience beyond the confines of our campaign.
The party’s shadow members, if victorious, can be seen as having embraced the death represented by the fourth environment. They have found the greatest evil and it is within themselves. Having purged their party of any remaining elements of good and turned on Morag, their Mistress, they now usurp the power of the Sourcestone for themselves. Haedraline is no longer Morag’s Wordslave but their own. They have become Lords of the Shadow World, Lords of the Dead. They are Kings over all they survey and, more importantly, over all the Sourcestone allows them to create.
The true party members, if victorious, are rewarded with a symbolic resurrection from the death represented by the fourth environment. Using the knowledge of the dead, they have purged the shadow elements from their party and, in preventing Morag’s Awakening, have freed both Haedraline and Neverwinter from the clutches of the ‘shadow world.’ Unable to free themselves, however, they must recognize that, in becoming a Hero, they have also become a Monster. Having rejected the ‘shadow world,’ it is still a part of who they are and they bear its mark upon their hearts. There is no place for them in an ‘ordinary world’ that counts them among its dead. No longer a Wordslave, Haedraline offers the Sourcestone’s power to the players that they might create for themselves a ‘new world’ into which they can be reborn.
Environment 0: Tutorials
The story is divided into four environments (Plague, Luskan, War, and Resistance), all focussing on the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy regarding the return to power of one of Faerûn’s ancient and powerful creator races. In the process, Neverwinter is captured and occupied by Luskan forces and the players become part of a resistance movement intent on foiling the prophecy and freeing Neverwinter.
001 – Priest/Paladin Tutorial
As an acolyte at the Halls of Justice, the player accompanies Aribeth and Fenthick in the initial discovery of the plague and assists them in hunting down a priest of Talona, to whom the new disease is wrongfully attributed.
002 – Fighter/Barbarian/Monk Tutorial
A member of the Neverwinter militia, the player is assigned to patrolling the quarantined Slum district and must eventually face his/her benevolent but plague-struck Commander who attempts to break through the quarantine and escape the city.
003 – Rogue/Bard Tutorial
A recent inductee to the Neverwinter Thieves’ Guild, the player is sent to recover a valuable amulet and complete its delivery to a violent and plague-struck contact in the quarantined Slum district.
004 – Druid/Ranger Tutorial
At their rustic home east of Neverwinter, the player stumbles upon the body of a priest from nearby Helm’s Hold. He bears a prophetic message of dire import to the city which the player must deliver in his stead.
005 – Wizard/Sorceror Tutorial
As a student of the Many-Starred Cloak, the player combs the city slums with Saer Bodkin, searching for plague samples to be sent to Waterdeep for analysis.
Environment 1: Plague
The strange creatures sent from Waterdeep, whose blood will serve as an important ingredient in a ritual cure to the plague, have escaped from their well-guarded convoy due to the intervention of an unknown mercenary group. The players are to deliver these Waterdhavian creatures or their blood to Aribeth, that the Tyrists might be able to bring about the cure.
101 – Quill’s Quarantine
Under the influence of one of the Waterdhavian creatures, a plague-struck noble by the name of Quill Lyrinsen attempts to break the quarantine and escape through the sewers. The players are sent to prevent Quill’s escape and capture the Waterdhavian creature.
102 – The Barricades of Blacklake
The citizens of Neverwinter’s secluded Blacklake District appear to have captured one of the Waterdhavian creatures and barricaded themselves off from the rest of the city. The players are to infiltrate the district and escape with the creature.
103 – The Bloodsail Conspiracy
Lord Nasher suspects the plague to be the work of his old pirate nemesis, Vengaul Bloodsail. The players are to seek him out in his retirement and bring him to justice, capturing another Waterdhavian creature in the process.
104 – Of Sons and Fathers
Starving mobs are gathering outside the guarded walls of a wealthy grain merchant’s estate. The merchant has been attempting to cure himself of the plague through evil rituals and the blood of one of the Waterdhavian creatures. The players are to infiltrate the estate and obtain the Waterdhavian blood before it goes to waste.
105 – Lair of the Plague Lord
One of the Waterdhavian creatures has been creating undead minions from the bodies of the plague-lost. With the assistance of an undead hunter named Drake, the players track the Waterdhavian creature through the slums and graveyards to a final showdown in the Plague Lord’s Lair.
106 – The Charlatan
One of the Waterdhavian creatures is marketing placebos of its blood as a quack cure, drawing its magical powers to persuade those who drink of it that it is actually working. The players are to but a stop to the madness and kill the Waterdhavian creature.
199 – The Hung and the Damned
The player distributes Desther’s newly-created cure only to find that it is in truth a deadly poison. On Aribeth’s command, the player pursues Desther to the rural, fortified temple of Helm’s Hold to prove that he is a false Helmite and bring him to justice. In the aftermath, a true cure is created and Aribeth is forced to pronounce a death sentence on both Desther and her own lover, Fenthick. She flees Neverwinter in despair.
Environment 2: Deception
Evidence in Desther’s temple links the false Helmite to a little known cult connected to the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan. The players are sent as spies into the city to destroy the magical wards guarding the Host Tower of the Arcane that they might be able to steal the book of prophecies kept there by the cult’s leader, Maugrim Korothir.
201 – The City of Keys
The Arcane Brotherhood’s High Artificer and Keeper of the Wards is making a trip to one of Maugrim’s archeological digs. The players are to infiltrate the dig and weaken the Wards by killing their keeper.
202 – The High Captain’s Hunt
Infiltrating a grand ball held by Luskan’s High Captains, the players learn of a Tower Ward in the walled hunting grounds of High Captain Kurth, a powerful Maugrim’s loyalist. The players must infiltrate these hunting grounds and destroy the Ward.
203 – Sedos Sebile
One of Neverwinter’s ambassadors was captured under compromising circumstances and must be rescued. She has obtained important information regarding the location of a further Tower Ward, which the players will go on to destroy.
204 – The Devil’s Warder
One of the Tower Wards is actually embedded in the mast of a powerful Luskan dreadnought. By setting up a false lighthouse in the Whitesails Harbor, the players are to lure the fabled Devil’s Warder onto Luskan’s rocky shore where it will be torn asunder.
205 – Thunderbeast, Thunderbeast
The players are to infiltrate the caverns beneath the Winter Palace, Luskan’s temple to Auril, in order to assist a powerful Uthgardt shaman in a ritual to weaken the Tower Wards.
206 – Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Thief
The players are to infiltrate the Luskan Thieves Guild and obtain a map of potential Tower Ward locations from the fileroom. They must determine which of these locations is valid and destroy the Ward.
299 – Shell Game
With the Tower Wards sufficiently weakened, the players are to infiltrate the Host Tower of the Arcane and Maugrim’s cult, that they might at last obtain his book of prophecy and come to an understanding of who they face. Along the way, they encounter Haedraline, Wordslave to the Old Ones, and Aribeth, now a general in Maugrim’s apocalyptic army which already gathers to descend upon Neverwinter.
Environment 3: War
The Luskan forces are on their inevitable march towards Neverwinter. The players are to do everything in their power to slow Aribeth’s frightful army down and give Waterdeep time to send reinforcements.
301 – The Ambassador’s Confidante
Through the manipulations of Luskan merchant, Mondelahn Neith, and high-ranking Arcane Brother, Deltagar Zelhund, kindly Saer Bodkin is framed as a Luskan spy. The players are sent to hunt down this wizard of the Many-Starred Cloak and put him to the sword.
302 – Doombringers
A heavy Luskan convoy escorting the Old Ones’ giant ‘Doombringer’ golems to the battlefront is scheduled to camp next to an abandoned Dwarven mine. The players are to sneak into the Luskan camp using the mines and destroy at least three of the five Doombringers before escaping back into the mine.
303 – The Tenblades’ Stand
The players lead a small band of loyal citizens in holding a critical pass against the Luskan onslaught.
304 – Llast Rites
The players are to manage the emergency evacuation of the loyal outlying community of Port Llast and escort the villagers to the safety of a waiting merchant ship.
305 – Of Maps and Ciphers
An outlying scouting post was captured by hill giants allied to the Luskan cause. The players are to infiltrate the post and escape with the sensitive intelligence information stored there before it falls into the hands of Luskan’s incoming reconnaissance agents.
306 – A Long, Long Rain
The players are to sneak past the battlefront by making their way through the dangerous Neverwinter Woods, then destroy an important supply convoy on its way to the Luskan encampment.
399 – A Shield of Swords
The advance columns of the Waterdhavian reinforcements fight their way through the Luskan horde and into Neverwinter. The city is betrayed, however, and as fighting fills the streets, the retreat to Castle Never where Lord Nasher gathers momentum for his last and tragic charge. The players escape into the bowels of the castle where they face off against Aribeth and at last find a haven from which to lead their resistance against Maugrim and the Old Ones.
Environment 4: Resistance
With the aid of Haedraline, the strange Wordslave of the Old Ones who fell into their keeping during the battle for Neverwinter, the players seek out ancient Words of Power to use against their enemies. These Words had formed the basis of the creator races’ fabled magic and are integral to controlling the ancient Sourcestone, through which the Old Ones hope to bring about their prophesied Awakening.
401 – The Night of Long Knives
The players are to carry out a number of high-profile assassinations in order to draw guards out of the City Core and gain entry to the library of the House of Knowledge. An important treatise on ancient languages rests on its shelves and the hope is that Haedraline can derive a Word of Power from its pages.
402 – An Emerald Tooth
Before his death, Lord Nasher’s battlemage had discovered a node of magical power in the caverns beneath his tower. According to Haedraline, the site was actually an ancient lizardman temple. The players must gain access to the tower and the caverns below and find the ancient temple.
403 – The Traitors’ Tales
Two important books rest in the haunted Cloaktower and now-defiled Hall of Justice. The players must face Mondelahn Neith and Deltagar Zelhund, the two men who framed Saer Bodkin and betrayed Neverwinter in order to obtain them.
404 – A Taste of Freedom
A valued leader of the resistance has been captured while researching another Word of Power and is to be tortured by Morag, the dreaded lizard queen. The players are to learn the Word of Power from their fellow leader and either kill or rescue him.
405 – The Imps’ Master
An emerald dragon, served by a legion of summoned imps, lures the players to his illusionary lair to ascertain their intentions. If they can either win the dragon’s favor or kill him, they are rewarded with a Word of Power in his keeping.
406 – Moonstones by Midnight
The players are to escort Ophala Cheldarstorn, Mistress of the Neverwinter Thieves’ Guild to the rebel camp, that she might deliver one of the Words of Power discovered by her organization to Haedraline.
499 – The Sourcestone’s Heart
The resistance is betrayed by one of its own members and, in the resulting battle, Haedraline is captured and spirited away. Using the Words of Power they have learnt, the players must seek out the ancient Sourcestone, kill Morag, free Haedraline, and finally prevent the prophecy of the Old Ones from coming to fruition.