The Frozen North: the name given to the stark and unforgiving frontier that lies beyond the High Moor of Faerun. A bleak wilderness where barbarian clans and tribes of giants roam the land and fierce dragons rule the skies. But amidst the frozen savagery stands a bastion of civilization of civilization: the City of Neverwinter, Jewel of the North. Behind the city’s high walls, those both hardy and brave carve out an existence under the guidance and protection of the legendary hero, Lord Nasher Alagondar. Yet there are some things that all the courage in the world cannot stand against.
A virulent plague swept through the city, a terrible affliction that began in the Beggar’s Nest. Soon, all of Neverwinter would feel the touch of the Wailing Death. The disease could not be cured. Panic ensued; the streets of Neverwinter erupted into violence. The Jewel of the North was brought to its knees. To save Neverwinter, Lady Arabeth de Tylmarande, Paladin of Tyr and Lord Nasher’s right hand, put forth a call for a champion. A rush of would-be heroes answered her call: some drawn by the promises of grandeur and glory, others by the lure of gold. Those with the greatest potential were initiated into the Academy to train and study under the greatest minds of Neverwinter, all in the hopes a champion might emerge to save the city from the Wailing Death.. and whatever sinister force might be behind it.
Given the experiences you have all been through, you were all accepted without question. Within a short time, you had far surpassed all the others and to the will of your instructors have been granted your final challenges. On the morning of your final challenges you wake and find yourselves in your quarters…
After lighting the curtains of the small commons area ablaze, only to be extinguished by the vigilant guards and their water buckets, the elite group of students descended their tower dormitory to briefly speak with a dwarven weapons merchant at the bottom of the steps. The students followed their orders and completed one challenge of their choice each to graduate:
The melee challengers faced a powerful undergraduate who had bragged to all of being a formidable foe; finding soon that he should not have volunteered lightly for the position that day.
The mage challengers were given three scrolls with which they could imprint one level 1 spell of their choice, and use magic to destroy portrait busts in the likeness of the leader of the challenges.
The cleric challengers were asked by a disgruntled elven cleric to complete a healing challenge on a man at the far corner of the room. The cleric asked them to hastily complete their challenge of healing or in some manner silencing the annoying sod in the corner so his headaches would cease; upon which the man in the corner shouted “I’m not Dead! I’m feeling better! I Feel GIDDY!!” .. and upon healing him, the man wished for the brave healer to escape out the window… yeah, Monty Python and the Holy Grail jokes intended…
Upon the last hero’s completion of their trials, they were allowed into the South Assembly Hall for their graduation ceremony to commence. Lady Arabeth began the ceremony, though was interrupted by the slowly growing sounds of screaming from other corridors. The screaming ceased and a group of goblins and humans burst through the door, though were quickly destroyed.
Lady Arabeth hastily informed the group that she had just returned to Neverwinter with four creatures that held the cure for the Wailing Death, and that the city’s enemies must have somehow tracked her location. With the safety of the Waterdavian Creatures at risk, Lady Arabeth asked the students to find the creatures and protect them. The adventurers tried squeezing through the thin windows and trying to break through the ceiling to create a shortcut, though were unable to break through the ancient walls of the college.
The students sent the guards who had survived out of the room to see if the coast was clear, only to hear the painful screams and clanging of falling armor moments later. Seeing no other way around it, they left the room, finding three goblins digging through the remains of the fallen guards. The goblins fell within the first two rounds. With more cackling coming from the main training hall, the group followed the passages away from the noise; using the key to gain entrance to a series of passages.
Making their way through a storage room (of which one of the mages lit the straw ablaze on the way through), through a small library (leaving the copies of Applied Mathematics for Battlefield Tacticians), and sneaking around a room full of goblins, the group found a room in which a professor lay cold and motionless. At the far corner of the room sat a door leading down a hallway to an oblivious human standing guard outside a room; the hallway making a right angle before the door, leading down and further away.
Quickly convincing and restraining the human, they learned that he was guarding an important room. Half of the adventurers went into the small library, where piles of bones littered the exterior walls. The adventurers were beginning to get a bad feeling, when the rogue among them slammed the stopped outside the doorway, slamming the door with all his might; his allies still in the room. The skeletons retook their original forms and began their attack.
While half the group fought, surrounded by skeletons, the other half of the group went down the hall, confronting the goblins in an adjacent room. Though injured, both groups survived the encounter, meeting up once again at the room of dead goblins.
The group passed through a door at the far end of the room, to find a lavish commons with a pond at the center, surrounded by a row of stone benches. The human at the far end yelled at a goblin “What?! You’ve found them; this is good news! Where? Just through those doors! Go tell the others!”
Noticing the students, his tone changed from joy to disdain as he shouted, “I guess there are still some survivors in this college; though not for long!”
Summoning a group of skeletons and goblins, he yelled “Attack!”
One of the mages cast web on the area, restricting the movements of all in the room. From their comfortable distance, the students tossed lit torches into the webbing, igniting the sticky fibers and severely burning those in the room; taking ranged shots at those still alive.
Beyond the room, the group found the stairwell leading into a large stable. At the bottom of the steps, they find a group of goblins swarming an old human Priest from Helm’s Hold and an elven Priest of Tyr. The group engages the enemies, though believing the human and elf are being protected [instead of swarmed and attacked] by the goblins, one of the mages begins casting offensive spells on the human. From the far end of the stable, four creatures race through the open doors; a dryad yelling in a terrified voice, “No, I don’t want to die here!”
With the goblins soon dealt with, the human [going by the name Desther Indelayne] begins yelling “No, how could this happen! The Creatures are gone! All is lost!”
The ally, Fenthic Moss, tries to calm his ally and ease the tense situation, being unable to put his friend’s mind at ease as Desther storms off into the academy to search for Lady Arabeth. Fenthic apologizes for Desther’s words and asks that the group accompany Boron of the Neverwinter Nine to the Halls of Justice in the Neverwinter City Core for their safety; regrettably having to race off to tell the mages to set up a barrier so the Waterdavian Creatures don’t get beyond the city walls.
In one brutal attack, the promises of those at the academy had been all but snuffed out. Hope disappeared with the Waterdavian Creatures, and the weight of the terrible sickness pressed down on the city once more, Even more chilling, the whispered rumors of enemies seeking to destroy Neverwinter from within had proved true, though the identity of those responsible for the slaughter was yet unknown. Still, a flicker of hope yet remained, for not all had died in the attack. From the bloody carnage at the Academy, a small group of survivors had stepped forward; a group of champions to carry the torch in this darkest hour….
Within the week, the group had reassembled in the Halls of Justice, finding that there was still hope in curing the Wailing Death. After quickly meeting Fenthic and Desther, the group sought Lady Arabeth, who quickly asked an important mission of the group; to seek out the missing Waterdavian Creatures that were still rumored to be within the city walls. The group accepted through their various means and proceeded onward to the main entrance for first sight of the City Core…