In advance of the Guldorand Launch Event this weekend, this article explores the various start locations on Arelith, the roleplay and expectations of each, and a basic introduction of how to log-in and make your first character. Remember this weekend we are offering a free 'normal award' to all players, new and old, which will also be discussed below. First though, to answer a few basic questions about what Arelith actually is...

Well, what is it?

Arelith is one of the Persistant Words created by users of game Neverwinter Nights, it has a history stretching back nearly two decades, and has been home to over twenty thousand players. We operate a traditional RPG experience set within the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition. In many ways emulating a traditional tabletop experience, the game is divided between those actually playing it, and an ever-rotating team of volunteer DMs, there to facilitate the narrative, runnings quests, and overseeing the server.

If you want to read about Arelith in the gaming press, we've also featured in articles from Vice, Engadget & PC Gamer.

Arelith is situated between Lantan, Moonshae and Amn on the continent of Faerûn.

Knowledge of the setting really isn't necessary in order to enjoy the game, and we include a wealth of content on the subject within the actual game world, so it is entirely possible to learn one's way around the setting as one explores. So whilst a little knowledge of Forgotten Realms is certainly useful, knowledge of the setting isn't really neccesary in order to play the game.

Our Players.

Players of Arelith are based around the world, and come from all walks of life and age groups. They operate a strong community both on our forums and Official Discord. We currently have around 2000 regular players, with the server peaking at approximately 300 during peak play hours, or as low as 60 when quieter. Our players drive the narrative in game, and afford us, as developers, the opportunity to build a world around them. None are expected to bring anything other than their time. Like other community servers on Neverwinter Nights there is no commercial aspect to anything we do here.

The Expectations.

One can visit our FAQ or main page here on this site to get details of our rules, but they are somewhat simple. Arelith operates what can broadly be termed a 'T' rated setting. That isn't to say there isn't excessive violence (this is after all a fantasy 'Sword & Sorcery' setting), but we do ask players to avoid explicit content and themes. If you aren't sure what this means, just pick up any regular D&D sourcebook or campaign and you'll quickly get an idea of what we mean here.


With six start locations we aim to not only accommodate different styles of play, but also provide a repeat play potential for our existing players.

Remember, wherever you choose to start on Arelith you can log into any of our 5 servers – the engine will automatically move your character to the correct locations when you have made your character.

The Five Servers

Arelith is spread between 5 different servers so as to ensure better in-game performance for our players. These are not instanced locations or game shards, but together form one large word. Individual characters, as they travel, can expect to move between them based on their current location. Current player-count on each of our servers can be seen on our 'Portal' page, linked at the top of this website.

Arelith Entry

This is the one 'OOC' area of the server, and where all characters start. Here you can choose the available options for your characters, such as gifts, and background, start location, as well as customise your appearance.

Characters on Arelith don't start at level 1, so you'll also get a free level before you proceed.

If you have any questions, you can speak with the NPC at the help desk, or use the DM channel on the chat drop down in bottom corner of the screen to contact a member of staff. If a DM isn't online, messages sent here are automatically sent to our staff offline, so rest assured they always get read.

How to build my character.

Arelith has a wealth of character options, almost all of which draw from various editions, supplements and expansion for Dungeons & Dragons, these include classes otherwise not supported on Neverwinter Nights, such as Cavalier, Hexblade and Shaman.

While we believe Arelith should be playable simply by making these options in game upon character creation, those that want to research their character options may use the extensive player run Arelith Wiki, or ask the players them via the 'Character Build Advice' channel on our official Discord – players here are quick to help, and also offer prefab character builds for those that want to spend as little time as possible creating their own.

If you are still not sure about your character's strengths and weaknesses? We also offer a PGCC (Pretty Good Character Creator) server you can log into, to make and test and character builds before creating them on the main servers.

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, player are also able to spend any outstanding awards during character creation, which is also done in the 'Arelith Entry' area. Outside of this event, these awards are only granted to players as they retire their characters for good (referred to as 'rolling') This is often at level 30, and is a means to ensure a steady turnover in characters.

Not everyone chooses to roll their old characters, but those that do have a chance of earning an award. These can be the option to play a rare race, class, or access certain options or start locations otherwise unavailable. The thinking behind awards isn't just to encourage a turn over character, but also our current means of keeping certain things a rarity so as not to undermine the setting (such as good-aligned monsters and plane-touched races).

Awards can, of course, effect one's available start location, and for the Guldorand event we are launching a whole new one. The 'Mid-Level Guldorand Start', this will allow non-monster races to start the game in the new city at level 14, with increased starting gold. Arelith has been populated by different players over the last fifteen years, with over twenty thousand having played here. Each has a mark on our shared history, and the new Guldorand Start award is an excellent opportunity for new players to be there right from the beginning of this chapter; not to be building upon the legacy of others, but creating that which may shape the city for years to come.

That isn't to say it isn't the only only option available. The award might also be spent to play a rare underdark race, or a feature for a character in one of our other start locations. Some people enjoy that low level adventuring experience, and it's an excellent way to get to grips with our game.

So let's now look at the six start locations available to players....

Cordor (Original Start)

  • Sprawling city
  • Numerous dungeons
  • In Game Advice for New players
  • Low challenge/relative safety
  • Player run government

Cordor is Arelith's primary city, one that has been gradually built on and expanded since the foundation of our server. It is ideally suited to characters that enjoy exploration, and would rather be relatively anonymous during their first levels. It's easy to fade into the background in a large city, but if one prefers the limelight there is an active political scene in the player run government and guard force.

Monster/Underdark races are not permitted in Cordor, but any other race may choose to do so. As a lawful city-state there are limited opportunities for new characters to take part in criminal roleplay, or to align with evil factions.

Characters start at a dock in the government district, and can follow advice of the nearby NPCs to find their footing in the city, which includes a courier quest which will introduce you to many of the key locations.

Cordor is hosted on its own server, alongside many of our supported planes (Cordor & Planes Server)

Andunor (Underdark Start)

  • Thematic setting
  • Extensive city
  • Monster roleplay
  • Numerous dungeons
  • Player-run districts

Situated in the Upperdark, Andunor (At the time of writing) is Arelith's most popular and populated city. Divided into 3 often competing player run districts, it functions as a start location for a number of monster races, in addition to human and half-orc outcasts & Slaves

Based around the central 'Hub', Andunor, despite its size, is a far more condensed start location that Cordor, and one can expect to quickly be drawn into role-play with fellow players.

While in-character, the Underdark is known to be highly dangerous, and full of many opposing races and factions, the players in Arelith's Underdark have a long-standing reputation for offering welcoming and inclusive roleplay experience. If playing alongside others within a clearly defined setting filled with intrigue and conflict is your primary motivation for playing Arelith, then Andunor might be the perfect choice.

It should also be noted, that given the condensed nature of the Hub, the Andunor Start (like the Skal Start below) is well suited players in countries with traditionally 'off-peak' playing hours, such as Australia, Korea and New Zealand, as even when players numbers are overall low on the server, Andunor's Hub remains active throughout the day.

Players start on Andunor arriving on the 'Underferry' from elsewhere in the Underdark, and like Cordor will be invited to complete a courier quest to help them learn their way around the city and its key locations.

Andunor, along with an extensive surrounding underground landscape is situated on the 'Arelith – Underdark Server'

Brogendenstein (Earthkin Start)

  • Condensed start location
  • Unified in-character community
  • Player-run settlement
  • Dungeons divided between surface and underdark

On Arelith, the 'Earthkin Alliance' is an informal partnership of dwarves, halflings and gnomes. Together they populate much land across the centre of the isle, including Bendir Dale,and the mountain city of Brogendenstein.

Halflings, gnomes and dwarves have the option of starting in this location, and will find themselves part of strongly-bound community from the moment they begin, and one which even has its own class available. Every possible requirement for a new player; merchants, henchmen, banks and social spaces, are all tightly packed together, with a number of dungeons close at hand.

Due to the nature of the Earthkin Alliance there is less diversity of characters, and finding common cause, and faction roleplay can present itself almost immediately. It is also the only start location to be equally split between the underdark and surface.

Characters begin in different locations of Brogendeinstein depending on their race, with the gnomish races beginning within the Great Grotto, the halflings at the Hearthhouse, and the dwarves within the Golden Halls.

Brogendenstein is located on the Arelith – Surface server.

Sencliff (Pirate Start)

  • Condensed start location
  • Criminal setting.
  • Immediate access to Arelith's ship system
  • Steep learning curve

Arelith's ship system allows players to join crews (or even obtain their own vessel) and sail the archipelago, experiencing a large variety of encounters, conduct battle with other ships, and visit many otherwise inaccessible locations.

The pirates of Sencliff live at the centre of this world, and characters starting in this location will very soon find themselves with opportunities for sea travel. There are a few local dungeons to help characters get started, and NPC smugglers that can help ferry them to different locations around the central isle.

Due their criminal nature pirates may well be subject to heavy amounts of discrimination elsewhere on Arelith, so characters contemplating this start location should carefully consider whether they would be comfortable with that situation. It is also the least populated of Arelith's start locations, so encountering other PCs is less likely. While this may suit some players, who prefer a solo environment when finding their feet on the server, it can also be prudent for those wishing to find a party to arrange, in advance, to have other players to start alongside. This can be done by joining with a group of friends, or using the 'New-Character-Hook-Up' channel on our official Discord.

Good characters may not select the Sencliff start, and it is located on the Arelith-Surface server.

Skaljard (Enforced Low Level Environment)

  • Condensed start location
  • Party Roleplay
  • Extensive Wilderness
  • Action-focused setting.

The frozen lands of Skal, and the central village of Skaljard were launched on Arelith alongside the Enhanced Edition, both as a means for players new to Neverwinter Nights to experience a more action focused setting, and for our existing players to have a whole new experience to go alongside their purchase of the updated game.

Unlike other areas of Arelith Skal is an enforced low-level environment, with ship travel to the Arelith mainland going only in one direction. With the sea frozen throughout the winter months, the player-owned ships of Arelith can only visit during the thaw, and only after a lengthy period of travel. This ensures that for much of the year low characters have the isle to themselves, which itself stops providing 'enemy' content beyond approximately 15th level.

The central village of Skaljard is the only non-hostile location available to new players, and is extremely small when compared with the cities of Cordor and Andunor, with many of the new characters meeting around a single, central campfire. As a result finding an appropriate party can happen immediately, something which is strongly advised as one heads out to explore the many hostile locations in the tundra beyond the village.

Characters arrive in Skaljard via the village dock, and, when ready to experience the mainland Arelith can return there to book travel to the mainland. There they are taken to the new city of Guldorand, where level range content begins where Skaljard's ends, thus, the Skal start effectively serves as the low level start location for Guldorand. If you wish to experience the new city, but also enjoy the low level experience then the Skal start is ideal.

Skaljard is located on the Arelith – Distant Shores server.

Guldorand (Mid-Level Start)

  • Extensive City
  • New Content
  • Massive dungeon
  • Dangerous setting
  • Player-run Government

Unlike the other large settlements on Arelith Guldorand has not been designed as a starter city, or with low level content. Here, the setting is immediately challenging, requiring at least a level 14 character to survive.

A city state and only rival to Cordor in the south, Guldorand covers not only the city itself, but a large wilderness beyond. This city was developed using the latest content available for NWN, both in terms of the actual buildings and map, but also the creatures, and as such is something of a visual upgrade when compared with much of the older content.

Guldorand also holds the 'Elven Quarter' a separate area of the city under elven control, and as such the city contains not one, but two player run governments, with the latter restricted to members of the elven race.

Character are able to start in Guldorand by spending a 'Normal Award' and will begin in the city's Port Authority Building, where upon completion of their paperwork with the city authorities will be lifted to 14th level and granted 30,000 gold pieces. Nevertheless anyone taking this option should expect a challenge. During our Valentine's Day Launch Weekend we are giving every unique player of NWN their own normal award, so it is the ideal moment to experience this city alongside other players of a similar level.

Guldorand is situated on its own server, newly introduced to Arelith alongside the launch of the city. Arelith – Guldorand.

Remember, however complex Arelith is, a lot of this is optional, and can be learned along the way. While a great many resources exist to learn your way around the game before playing, much can equally be picked up during the in-game experience.

If you have questions for the community in advance of joining the server, the Arelith Official Discord is active day and night. Once in game you may also register on the forums. We can also be found on Twitter, where we share any news regarding Arelith, as well as other NWN related content.