The Last Drop
(I assume player knowledge of the events of the Neverwinter Encounters season from 08/11-12-11, and a passing familiarity with the Neverwinter campaign setting.)
Now that the plaguechanged are no longer being controlled directly, life in Neverwinter has shifted focus to rebuilding. Most of the refugees that were camped outside of the city have made their way into the Protectorate District, and many have made their way into the areas beyond.
Lord Neverember‘s forces were stretched thin. Most of his forces in the city have been charged with breaking up riots, settling disputes, and the other burdens that come with a rapidly expanding population of malcontents. Even with this attention, the district sees more than it’s share of murder. The other districts are worse yet – most will not venture out of the Protectorate without a small detachment of bodyguards.
Many noble houses have returned to the Blacklake district. The Thuls and Quates appear to be the strongest houses. Between them they have a standing force of about 700 guards. They have come to an agreement with each other to use their men to protect the smaller houses – for a fee, of course. This means the other nobles must pay to the Thus, the Quates, and Neverember, and they are not pleased with the situation. Most houses maintain a private guard of 25-50 men to protect themselves from the Thuls and Quates, in case they should need to oppose the large alliance in some political debate. Some smaller houses did not weather the catastrophe as well, and they have returned to the city without an attachment. They have been forced to rely on the Thuls and Quates for protection, and must conduct their affairs from a weakened position.
This has worked out well for the most part, until recently. Members of several noble families have started to disappear. General Sabine has been tasked with finding the location of one Edgar Hornblower, a noble of little significance to anyone other than Lord Neverember, who viewed the man as a pet.
Meanwhile, people all over the city have discovered a new drug called ‘D.’ Many of the addicts leave their homes and travel to the River District, where they are never seen or heard from again. Most people think one of the many Orc tribes kill them. A few believe the orcs are somehow involved in the production and distribution of the drug, but they are unable to explain how these brutes would be able to craft craft such a drug, and who would do business with them.