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Dev blog: Drowned Shore & Reclamation Rock

By Akromatik | Fri 06 Feb 2015 10:00:00 AM PST

Greetings adventurers,

Have you noticed the new Drowned Shore and Reclamation Rock areas on NeverwinterPreview? They will be coming to Neverwinter along with Module 6: Elemental Evil. Some of our developers have given us a bit of back story about these areas, so throw another log on the fire and listen to their tales!

First we have the tale how the Drowned Shore came to be from Neverwinter Content Designer Scott Crawford!

Drowned Shore:

With the defeat of the Blackdagger Bandits, trade along the High Road gradually resumed. Rangers of the Emerald Enclave took it upon themselves to guide merchants and travelers safely through the stretch of coastal forest surrounding the Blackdagger Ruins, while simultaneously keeping watch to prevent the ruins from becoming the home to some other baneful force. Meanwhile, a contingent of Dwarven miners arrived to take up working the abandoned mines in the region, while Lord Neverember assigned a small squad of Neverwinter Guards to garrison the lighthouses at Raven Cliff Beach with orders to prevent those beacons from once again falling into the hands of pirates and wreckers. The Guards were somewhat surprised to find an ornate tower built on the shore. Called the Fountain of Delights, this tower was occupied by followers of Lliira, goddess of joy, who offered visitors relaxing, scented baths. Seeing no harm in this, the guards went about their business. 

But this relative peace was recently shattered when a powerful tidal wave struck the shore at Raven Cliff Beach, destroying the lighthouses and seemingly annihilating the Neverwinter Guard stationed there. In the wake of the disaster a host of aquatic monsters swarmed ashore, driving back the Emerald Enclave’s forces and evicting the dwarves from the mine. Led by hideous sea hags, an army of aquatic trolls and lizardfolk soon established themselves in Blackdagger Keep, proving to be a far deadlier threat then the bandits that preceded them. It wasn't long before Harper and Emerald Enclave scouts began to report the presence of a group of strange cultists moving freely among the aquatic monsters. This collection of sailors, pirates, and rogues devoted to the evil Elemental Princess, Olhydra, quickly proved to be behind the aquatic invasion. Clearly, the tidal wave that struck the coast was no random natural occurrence and if this cult wields such deadly power they must be stopped before they unleash it again. 

Adventurers who return to Blackdagger Ruins - now renamed the “Drowned Shore” in the wake of the disaster - will find themselves joining forces with rangers and druids of the Emerald Enclave. In addition, they will become reacquainted with an old ally: the Harper Xalliana. New alliances will be forged with the Alu'Tel'Quessir - the Sea Elves of legend, who have their own personal vendetta against the Cult of the Crushing Wave. Aquatic humanoids, water elementals, and giant sea creatures stand ready to oppose adventurers at every turn along the Drowned Shore. 

- Scott Crawford, Staff Content Designer 

Next we have another one of our content designers, Brian Gilmore, telling us about the development as well as the lore behind Reclamation Rock!

Reclamation Rock: 

When we chose to revisit Helm's Hold, we had to think about just what would have happened once the Ashmadai had been defeated, and how we could weave the action of the Elemental Evil storyline into a zone many players remember well. The first thing we decided was that the people of Helm's Hold hadn't been standing idly by since their city was liberated, and had begun to rebuild. Working from this idea directed much of the visual changes to the zone. The blasted battlefield has been cleared of debris, and we've added a memorial graveyard to commemorate those lost fighting to retake the city. Helm's Hold itself is now filled with signs of reconstruction, and the Cathedral of Helm has been repurposed as the city council's main hall. The apocalyptic storm that once covered the city is gone, replaced with a beautiful misty dawn. But rising over the Helm's Hold now is the cult fortress of Reclamation Rock.

In each of the Elemental Evil zones, the focal point of the cult's power is a towering elemental beacon. Here, that beacon is the fortress called Reclamation Rock. The Elemental Cult gained entry to the city claiming to be the Black Earth Mercenary Company, but soon turned on the people of Helm's Hold. To cement their hold on the city, the Cult of the Black Earth raised a towering stone spire in a single night with their powerful elemental magic. Adding insult to injury, their fortress burst from the ground right where players originally launched their counter-attack on the Ashmadai. Cultists now patrol the streets of Helm's Hold and stalk the forests. It will be up to the players to thwart their forces, which include armies of soldiers, elementals, and classic D&D monsters like gorgons, the slaadi, and the dreaded bulette. 

There's even more going on in Reclamation Rock than an invasion of elemental cultists. Players will also meet many characters they helped in the battle against the Ashmadai. From Captain Dunfield, who has come back from retirement to coordinate the battle against the cult, to hedge-wizard Nottin who's now taking care of the remaining victims of the Spellplague. And then there's Brother Satarin, the last living priest of the long-dead god Helm. The aged dwarf has started to receive visions from his god, visions which prophesize Helm's return to the world. That is, if our heroes can stop the Cult of the Black Earth from achieving their nefarious ends and save the city from the peril of Reclamation Rock! 

- Brian Gilmore, Staff Content Designer 

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