Neverwinter’s next module is nearly here. Dragonborn Vale comes to the DnD MMORPG’s PC version tomorrow, signalling Valindra Shadowmantle and the Cult of the Dragon’s move to bring “undeath” to dragons across Faerûn and beyond using an ancient artefact that’s come into their possession. The module ushers in the new Adventure Zone, as well as Heroic Encounters, and even a grappling-hook mechanic that lets you traverse around the game’s world in a whole new way – and we’ve now got our first good look at Dragonborn Vale up close.
To fend off the Cult and protect the Sword Coast from its plans, players will need to gather with the allied factions of Protector’s Enclave under the leadership of esteemed wizard Elminster Aumar. A voiceover introduces us to the story’s setting – a mysterious, mountainous region “nestled in plain sight yet high enough to discourage prying eyes”. There are bridges that divide the zone into the Sword Mountains’ four distinctive areas, starting with Wyrmbone Marrows in the south, reaching up through Quellwater Tarn, Scaleblight Summit, and Whetstone Thicket.
Leader Etrion has taken the Emerald Enclave – which players might remember from days of Neverwinter past – to Whetstone Thicket, which lies roughly to the northeast of the region revealed in the clip below. As its name suggests, this is a wooded region home to looming pine trees, stone cliffs, and mist. Think of Skyrim’s yawning, rocky vales and you’ll be close.
Quellwater Tarn, meanwhile, is home to dwarven ruins and crags – along with Sergeant Knox and the Lords’ Alliance, for the time being, who have set up camp there. We can see makeshift barricades flying the faction’s banner overlooked by dwarven heads hewn from the cliffs, streaming waterfalls from their facades into a lake below.
Wyrmbone Marrows, which sits southeast of Quellwater, is playing host to the Order of the Gauntlet with Celeste. This is a spooky region scarred with the remains of fallen dragons – and we can see one animated dragon skeleton slinking through the bones of a much larger creature, so it seems we’ll encounter some of that “undeath” in action there.
Finally, Scaleblight Summit is a “ruinous expanse surrounded by an expanding wall of corruption”. Not much is revealed about this land in the clip – but from the glimpse we get, we can see it’s a dark, foreboding land that seems to be home to some dark power.
Laying the groundwork for the story to come, the clip reveals that the Cult of the Dragon is using “malignant conduits” – some nefarious devices to spread corruption throughout Dragonbone Vale and cause their mischief. In turn, the allies are gathering to “repurpose” their own strange artefacts to cleanse the corruption and beat the Cult back.
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Dragonbone Vale launches on January 11 on PC. The module brings brand-new grappling hook mechanics (specific only to the new region at this time) as well as a faction reputation system that lets you unlock rewards and features by competing faction-specific quests and building yourself a reputation with them. There’s also a new Epic Adventure called the Scaleblight Mythal coming with the module, which will take you to that spooky, mysterious region. This will unlock for PC players on February 8.