Encounter Background


The once bustling metropolis of Neverwinter lies mostly in ruins after a century of turmoil. Nearly thirty years ago, a cataclysm created by a waking primordial struck the city, bringing fires earthquakes and and evil portents. But even that event could not kill the city completely. Now, widespread repair efforts have given Neverwinter new life under the stewardship of the Lord Protector, Dagault Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep.

Years before the cataclysm, cultists of Asmodeus calling themselves the Ashmadai (“Messengers of the Raging Fiend”) began working in the region as agents of the Thayan lich, Szass Tam. The exact nature of the bargain between Szass Tam and the cult—or between Szass Tam and Asmodeus himself—remains unclear, but Szass Tam has a powerful magic scepter in his posession that the Ashmadai cultists consider a holy relic.

The Ashmadai ahve split into two factions. One group, led by the dwarf Favrai, is slavishly loay to Asmodeus. The other group, led by a tiefling named Mordai Vell, is manipulative and seeks to wield power, rather than pay homage to it. The first group—older and less intellectual—uses the scepter to serve Thayan interests. The second group is less dedicated to Thay and has orchestrated the Ashmadai’s rise to power in the city through shady deals and manipulation.

Recently, Mordai Vell and his followers have been pushing the cult into the open, marking buildings whose occupants have suffered the wrath of he cult with the mark of Asmodeus. A few weeks ago, Mordai Vell discovered the catacombs of he Waterclock Guild hidden beneath a large mausoleum in Neverwinter’s graveyard. The Waterclock Guild was an organization of artisans famous for buiilding beautiful and intricate waterclocks without the benefit of magic. It also had a hand in designing the mechanisms that the dwarves of Gauntlgrym used to bind the primordial Maegera. Using the records he discovered in the Waterclock Crypts, Mordai Vell has found a path under Mount Hotenow that bypasses Guantlgrym, giving him access to the primordial and its power.

Mordai Vell resents the Asmadai’s forced relationship with the Thayans, and he plots his own rise to power. He plans to fuse the powe of the Nine Hells with the might of the primordial Maegera to create a new scepter in the image of the original, but with greater power. If he succeeds, Neverwinter is doomed.

Lord Neverember’s allies are busy dealing with threats within the city (Events occuring in our Wednesday night D&D Encounters program, The Lost Crown of Neverwinter). For this reason, he has beseeched you to eliminate Mordai Vell, for which he will offer you great rewards. Neverember has put his best wizards to work scrying the cultist, and he has been able to provide you with a map of the complex where Mordai Vell was viewed.

Now, you journey through the tunnels under Mount Hotenow speeding towards the Forge of the Dawn Titan, where the teifling works to complete the scepter…

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Encounter Background

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