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Lord Neverember's Speech Text
On this day, the annual jubilee celebrating our city's restoration, I greet you as Lord Dagult Neverember, Open Lord of Waterdeep and Protector of Neverwinter.
I'm glad to see all of you here to celebrate our city's return. I see in this crowd people of all walks of life, from all across the world. Nobles and refugees, artisans and merchants, heroes and workmen. Whether you're newly arrived in our city, or were born and raised here, on behalf of all of Neverwinter, I bid you welcome to our celebration!
It was nearly thirty years ago when word reached my ears of the cataclysm which nearly destroyed this great city. Even far to the south in Waterdeep, we'd all seen the fury of Mount Hotenow, and feared for our friends and family living in Neverwinter. And when the first refugees reached the gates of Waterdeep with stories of the cataclysm and all the tragedy which had befallen the Jewel of the North, I swore I would come to the aid of the city, my family's ancestral home.
As more information came back, I knew the enormity of the task, but also knew it was not hopeless, for among the stories were tales of hearty survivors, fighting to keep the city alive. Still, it took fifteen long years to amass the fortune and the forces needed so when I set foot in Neverwinter ten years ago, I'd be able to provide the help Neverwinter would need.
I knew the task of rebuilding the city would not be easily done: For the cataclysm had struck not just the city walls and buildings, but its very heart. And all the wise men from whom I sought advice said Neverwinter was dead, that the restoration I hoped to make was impossible, even with a fortune far greater than all I had.
Those were dark, hopeless days, and yet in this crowd before me, I see some of those brave faces from that dark time. These are the survivors whose steadfast determination defied all convention, who stayed in the city which was their home. The people who saw Neverwinter in ruin, but refused to let their city die.
When my first expedition arrived in Neverwinter, these were the people I met. And when I saw the steel in their eyes, I knew all those so-called wise men were wrong. I knew, with people such as you, Neverwinter could be restored, would be restored, and that Neverwinter will surpass its former glory!
To those who were not there, the restoration of Neverwinter we celebrate today might seem to have been a certainty from the start. They think it inconceivable that the City of Skilled Hands could not have been rebuilt. They see districts of the city reopening, traders and travellers, adventurers and merchants from around the world arriving by road and ship, and think the success of Neverwinter's reconstruction must have been obvious to all from the start.
But citizens of Neverwinter know better. We know the trials and challenges we faced to reach this day. The friends and family we have lost, the battles we have fought, and the privations we faced as we worked to bring our city back to life. No, it was never a certainty. But our citizens never give up.
When the armies of the Many-Arrows orcs were upon the city, nor when the undead were at our gates, we did not yield. When the horrors of the Chasm poured forth, we stood our ground. We fought! We fought for our city as we worked to restore it! We stood at the walls even as we were rebuilding, for we could see the dream of Neverwinter restored in our hearts, shining once more as the Jewel of the North.
We purged the horrors who would sicken us, threw back the orcs who would enslave us, and defied Valindra Shadowmantle, laying her undead armies low at our gates. In doing all these things, we've proven once more that truth must never be forgotten: Citizens of Neverwinter never give up!
Now we stand on this Spring day looking out upon a city which thrives once more. Many would stop here, satisfied with all they accomplished, and consider their job done. But we folk of Neverwinter know, there is so much more we must do, and so much more we can do. Reopening the city was merely the start.
There are still districts to rebuild, and lands to reclaim. Our traders have reopened the route to Icewind Dale, and even contacted the Fey realm of Sharandar. Our armies battle to bring order to land, and take the fight back to Valindra Shadowmantle. In all these tasks, we have done great work. But we are not done.
I pledge to you that we will continue to expand and improve Neverwinter. To bring forth new goods for trade. To open new areas and opportunities. And that we shall bring new people to our city. And in all these things, I promise you: We will not rest until Neverwinter takes its place as the premier destination for one and all.
And so many have come to this city, seeking their fortune. No tale of Neverwinter's restoration is complete without the story of the many heroic adventurers who have made this city their home in the last year. Skilled masters of arms, brave explorers, wise priests, cunning free traders, and learned wizards have all come to Neverwinter.
They've answered the call to arms and come to the city's aid time and again. They've explored jungles in the sky, and plumbed the depths of the Underdark. They've fought to reclaim Helm's Hold, to quell piracy and banditry, and to uncover conspiracies to undermine our city. They've aided our allies from Icespire Peak to Sharandar and beyond, and brought back treasures from all corners of the Sword Coast to fill our markets and auction houses, investing their wealth back into the city.
They've employed legions of craftsmen to create fine goods for all. Far from being the lawless menace many feared they'd become, Neverwinter's adventurers have made this city what it is. And we in turn are thankful for all they've done for us, and our city. People of Neverwinter, let's give a great round of cheers for our heroic adventurers. Long may they come to Neverwinter!
There are so many great things ahead of us in Neverwinter. So many new sights and new adventures. And while we will welcome many new friends and companions, we'll also face many new challenges. Though this is a day of celebration, make no mistake my fellow citizens: There will still be difficult days ahead of us.
And yet, I know that the city and its people will see their way through any difficulty we may face. The reason why I feel so confident is reflected in the eyes of every citizen I see. Neverwinter is not just a city. Yes, it has houses and people, walls and harbours, temples and markets. But it is more than just these things.
Neverwinter is an idea, and an ideal. Neverwinter is not just the Jewel of the North, it's the very soul of the Sword Coast and the beating heart of the North. From its gates come the trade and culture which set the standards that people for a hundred miles aspire to. In Neverwinter, citizens are free to choose their own fate, to craft their own destiny. Find their own adventures, and make their deeds echo on as examples to a thousand more. For Neverwinter is not just a city of skilled hands, but also one of brave minds and steady hearts.
So I say that though challengers may arrive and troubles may come, Neverwinter will stand. For as we know, citizens of Neverwinter never give up!
Before we return to the festivities, I'd like to take a few moments to praise and thank the many members of the city's decorations committee. I ask all of you to spend a moment after my speech to appreciate all their hard work making our city shine for our festivals and holidays. Be it Summer or Simril, Lliira's Night or the Masquerade of Liars, our events team works tirelessly for the enjoyment of all citizens and the beautification of our city. And so, let's have a round of applause, and a hearty 'huzzah' for these fine folk.
Now, friends and neighbours, citizens and travelers, newcomers and natives. I ask you to look out across this beautiful city we've rebuilt with our skilled hands, this Jewel of the North which once more shines like a beacon on the Sword Coast, and raise your voice in cheer and triumph for all we've done this year, and all that's yet to come here in Neverwinter! To Neverwinter!