Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate Lore Article #6

| 12 Apr 2008 00:56

Ossian Studios developers have posted another in a continuing series of articles concerning the story behind the upcoming adventure pack, Mysteries of Westgate. This time, devs turn their attention to the lore of the area and have included a nice looking screenshot of a dragon statue behind several characters.


One can barely discuss any aspect of Westgate without tangentially mentioning some detail of its mythology, for in the largest and oldest city on the Coast of Dragons, the line between mythology and reality is blurred at nearly every turn.

For example, well documented is that the monarchy was first established in -349 DR by the Halruuan wizard Saldrinar of the Seven Spells after he destroyed Kisonraathiisar, the draconic ruler of the area. But legend has it that Westgate was then expanded and built over the dragon's lair, a tale which, if true, leads to thoughts of a lost dragon hoard buried somewhere beneath the city's foundation and seventeen hundred years of dirt and debris.

In addition, some sages point to the death of Kisonraathiisar as the beginning of a gradual southward migration of black dragons across the Lake of Dragons as the progeny of Thauglorimorgorus the Black Doom sought their own domains. With the great topaz wyrm now gone, the lands around modern-day Westgate were ripe for the taking, and this great influx of dragons, say the sages, eventually gave rise to the name "Dragon Coast" among humankind. Whether this story is true, none can now say, but it makes an interesting icebreaker over cups at any of the city's myriad taverns.

Local lore speaks to no end of subterranean temples, perhaps accessible from the city's extensive sewer system, many of which are said to hold all manner of vile undead monstrosities. Strangely enough, the most famous of these local temples are not found within the city walls at all.

In the Year of the Red Rain (927 DR), in response to the cruel reign of King Gostaraj, who was also a high priest of Garagos, the merchant nobility of Westgate secretly hired an army of mercenaries to overthrow the king and then chose Altarl Campion, the head of a powerful merchant family, as Westgate's next king. As his first official act, King Altarl banned all organized religious activity within the city walls, all existing temples were torn down, and their lands were seized in the name of the new king. The so-called "Templeban Edict" extended beyond the city walls as well, permitting only simple shrines within a day's walk of the city. In the decades that followed, seven rings of standing stones were established on seven hillocks just beyond the last rise west of the city. These rings were established in the name of Moander, Garagos, Ghaunadaur, Jergal, Savras, Silvanus, and one final deity whose name has since been forgotten. Even now, almost four hundred and fifty years later (and well past the revocation of the Templeban Edict), all seven circles still stand, silent monoliths on the western hills overlooking the city. However, local lore claims that, in direct violation of the Templeban Edict, extensive subterranean temples were secretly established beneath most, if not all, of the seven hillocks as well as in the catacombs of the city itself. Should these catacombs exist, any soul brave enough to venture into the accursed tunnels, now fallen to ruin, are sure to find no end of gold, jeweled religious artifacts, and magical items of great power.

Of all Westgate's legends, by far the most enduring - and intriguing - is that of Verovan's lost hoard. King Verovan, the scion of the Eorn/Lorndessar dynasty, was the last in a line of monarchs that stretched back sixteen centuries. His reign, marked by high taxation and royal excess, was brought to an end when he perished in a ship race in the Year of the cockatrice (1248 DR) as the result of Thayan treachery, but his vast riches were never found. There are rumors, eagerly spread through gossip across tavern pints, that the riches were recovered by the now-legendary Alias of the Magic Arm and her comrades-in-arms, though those same rumors mention that not all of it was found... or perhaps what was found was then lost. The one man in town who would know the truth of these tales, Alias' one-time wizard ally, Mintassan "the Magnificent," demurs when asked directly and deftly sidesteps all attempts at deception. And so it is that all that is left of Westgate's last king's fabled treasure are tavern tales.

Folk around the western Inner Sea view Westgate as a cesspool of decadent evil, eager to make financial deals with pirates to leave its ships alone and to attack those from other ports, or to arrange shortages and wars to drive prices up. And these views are right, for the intrigues, secret deals, black markets, murders, skeleton-filled closets, and supposedly hidden treasures of the city are endless. Behind literally every corner exists the opportunity for the crafty and clever to become wealthy... and the gullible and naïve to become dead.

Developer Questions
Russ Davis, Writer (aka Tiberius209): No questions have been submitted.

Next Spotlight: The Quivering Thumb

Stay tuned for next week's installment.

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