The city of Neverwinter. Features, Facts & Timeline (Forgotten Realms)

I’m just about to start DM’ing Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, making a leap over from the Pathfinder universe. We’re hoping to start with the Lost Mines of Phandelver, so the Neverwinter city will be our nearest large city of civilisation. Our motley crew of relatively inexperienced role-players will be new to the Forgotten Realms setting, as will I. To broaden my background knowledge of the city of Neverwinter, I decided to compile some research into this article, Neverwinter facts and features. Below you should also find a short timeline of important key city events.

These facts are for the Neverwinter city based in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, not to be confused with the computer game, which may or may not share these events and features.

This is a working article, so may change as / when I learn new facts about Neverwinter. If I’ve made any mistakes please drop a comment at the bottom.

Neverwinter exists in the Forgotten Realms setting
The city of Neverwinter exists in the Forgotten Realms setting

The city of Neverwinter

Neverwinter, also know as:

  • The City of Skilled Hands‘ due to the unusually large population of trained craftsman and artisans. This was immediately important after the eruption of Mount Hotenow (more below)
  • The Jewel of the North‘, as Neverwinter lies as one of the last significant and civilised cities among the savage cold lands of the North

Neverwinter is situated on the Sword Coast, the western edge of the Faerûn continent. It lies several hundred miles North of the famous city of Baldur’s City, read our Comprehensive City Guide of Baldur’s Gate.

Neverwinter is situated between a nearby mountain (Mount Hotenow), Neverwinter Woods and the Trackless Sea.

Neverwinter Situated Between the Woods and The Sea
Neverwinter situated between the Neverwinter Woods, Mount Hotenow and The Sea

The origin of the cities name has 3 possible sources:

  • The city’s founder, Lord Never, defended and defeated an attack of orcs. The name, Never’s Winter, changed over the years to simply become Neverwinter.
  • The prestigious gardeners can keep the city’s gardens in full bloom, even when a heavy winter hits,
  • The Neverwinter River is heated by fire elementals underneath Mount Hotenow. This produces a warmer climate around the city and its surrounding geographical features. The river and Neverwinter Harbour do not freeze over even in Winter

The five sectors of Neverwinter

Here’s a link to a high resolution map of Neverwinter, without any labels etc.

Neverwinter can be split into roughly the five following sectors / areas:

Neverwinter Split into 5 Sectors
Neverwinter can be split into roughly the five following sectors / areas
  1. The Neverwinter River. This river runs through the heart of the city, dividing it into a northern and a southern side. It brings warm water down from Mount Hotenow out to sea. It opens up into the harbour.
  2. The River District (aka the Tower District). Situated in the North-Eastern sector.
  3. The Blacklake District. Situated in the North-Western sector of the city.
  4. Protector’s Enclave. Situated in the South-Western sector of the city. This sector suffered the least damage from the eruption and the earthquakes. It is now the seat of the Lord Protector of Neverwinter, at the Hall of Justice (previously the temple of Tyr). Has the best and richest markets in Neverwinter.
  5. The Chasm (aka The Rift). Formed by the eruption of Mount Hotenow in 1451 DR. Situated in the South-East sector and magically sealed in 1484 DR. I’m not sure yet what district this is in, unless it’s the Chasm district?

Key Buildings of Neverwinter

  • Three bridges connect the southern part of the city to the north: The Dolphin, the Sleeping Dragon and the Winged Wyvern. Only the latter survived the war and the eruption. I believe the former 2 have been rebuilt.
  • The Clock Tower.
  • The Wall. A long-term ‘temporary’ wall that separates the South-Eastern sector (and the Chasm) from the riches of the South-Western sector, the Protector’s Enclave.
  • Castle Never. Situated on the Western side of the city, between the Blacklake District to the north and the Protectors Enclave to the south.

Neverwinter Campaign Settings

Neverwinter Campaign Setting book from amazon
Neverwinter Campaign Setting book from amazon

A lot of these district details and buildings are written up in huge detail, in the superb official Dungeons and Dragons supplement, ‘Neverwinter Campaign Settings‘ book, authored by Matt Sernet, Erik De Bie and Ari Marmell.

If you’re interested in the history, the characters or the lore of Neverwinter, I’d definitely recommend picking up this D&D supplement.

This book also features a lot of Neverwinter’s factions, foes, character themes and plot hooks.

A worthy purchases if you can afford it.

The graphics inside are pretty cool too. I think I must compile a DM inspirational gallery for D&D cities, similar to my gallery of inspiration for winter campaigns and or my sci-fi space-ship inspiration.

Grab the hardback version of Neverwinter Campaign Settings on Amazon

Timeline of Events in Neverwinter

This is a short, very abridged, version of a timeline. It shows some of the major events that have affected Neverwinter. I feel like I’m missing a lot, so please drop me a comment below with key historical events.

Dates are measured in DR (Dale-Reckoning), which I had no idea about before this research.

  • 87 DR. City is founded
  • 1372 DR. Neverwinter is divided up into regions; only the Blacklake District remains in name.
  • 1451 DR. Mount Hotenow erupts and destroys most of city. A great chasm is torn through the south-eastern sector due to the ensuing earthquake.
  • 1467 DR. City is taken over by Dagult Neverember, Lord of Waterdeep. He is responsible for the rebuilding of Neverwinter to its former glory.
  • 1484 DR. The Chasm was magically sealed; yet almost bankrupts the city
  • ~1491 DR. Current Day?

People of Neverwinter! I am here not as a conqueror but as a protector. The soldiers I bring come to bolster the defences you have struggled to maintain, and to stop the lawlessness that threatens all you’ve already accomplished.

Together, we will do more than rebuild.

We will make a New Neverwinter!

– Dagult Neverember, Lord Protector

Mount Hotenow Erupts over Neverwinter
1452 DR – Mount Hotenow Erupts over Neverwinter

Inhabitants and Population

The population of Neverwinter is said to be approximately 23,200 [Source: Wikipedia]. Due to the bustling and cosmopolitan feel of Neverwinter, most races are found, even if it’s in small numbers.

The majority of the population is split into the following major races:

Tiefling’s aren’t abundant in Neverwinter, but they’re not rare enough to turn heads either
  • Humans
  • Half-elves
  • Dwarves

The following races are found less often, but are in no way rare or surprising in Neverwinter:

  • Tieflings
  • Dragonborn
  • Half-orcs (Minority but not rare)

As far as I know, all races are accepted in Neverwinter. The one exception might by distrust of Orc breeds, due to the wars with the Orc army.

Whats missing?

So this is the research I’ve gleamed from various sources so far.

I need a section on Taverns and maybe the blacksmiths and potion sellers too.

Obviously I’m not trying to compile all of Neverwinters history here, just the key points that can be used to add depth to campaigns.

Plus this is an article I plan to expand with time.

Can you help

What am I missing?

What key buildings crop up time and time again?

Is the political structure or system worth noting?

I definitely need to add some information about religion and maybe a section on laws. What do you think?


You may be interested in the great D&D Neverwinter novel saga.

Rated 4.7 by 800+ people.

Buy Volume 1 for only £6

Please drop me a comment below

7 thoughts on “The city of Neverwinter. Features, Facts & Timeline (Forgotten Realms)”

  1. Hi, thanks for this information! I’m running a short adventure in Neverwinter that will heavily involve the criminal justice system, and I’ve struggled to find any information about it – I’m hoping that the Neverwinter supplement you recommended might have some thing. If not I guess I’ll just make it up! One thing I found, that Neverwinter supplement is selling for over $100 on Amazon but if people are on a budget (like yours truly) you can download the PDF at DM‘s Guild for about $15. So hopefully that is helpful to someone!

  2. the government system is pretty simple in current day Neverwinter. It used to be that a council of wizards supported the leader of Neverwinter but after the spellplauge (1370 something -1480 DR) it pretty much became popular rule. with Neverember as the lord protector after a brief exile (which has lead to him being a bitter ruler). The city itself is also a member of the lords alliance and in good standing with the alliance as of 1491 DR. It’s not a super in-depth political system but as i am about to run a mini adventure myself in Neverwinter (players going where i didn’t expect them too lol) i found it is still an important detail.

  3. Hey Paul, i would like to thank you for this info its very helpful, and after a few hours of searching I too have found nothing about shops or blacksmiths.

  4. Wow, 2 groups must keep you busy!

    Do please let me know if a space opens up. I also run a regular game (just one group though), so if you’re interested in sitting the other side of the screen, or if any of your guys and gals are looking for another game to play in then get in touch.

  5. Hi Paul,
    I couldn’t find an email address for you on your site, so I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch here.
    I’ve been playing & running d&d for a number of years. It looks like you’re based in Swindon – is there any chance of me joining your game? Feel free to email me.

    • Hi David.

      Thanks for taking the time to send me a message.

      I can be found over on Twitter as @JoyceGaming

      Unfortunately I’m just about to start running D&D for 2 groups, so I’m a bit at capacity at the moment. Do you mind if I keep your email address on hand in case a space becomes available in the future? Equally if you have Twitter feel free to follow me as I’d post any free spots on there too.

      Thanks again for posting, hope you liked the article too


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