The town of New Dawning can trace its origins back to a congregation of Lathanderites that lived in a commune on the outskirts of Waterdeep. They gathered under the guidance of the pious cleric Shathis and sought to live a better way of life. They wanted to live in a community where everyone was equal, where brother helped brother and none would have to want for anything. For a time their small compound prospered on the outskirts of Waterdeep.
The cleric Shathis was also an adventurer and friends of Grungir Ironfist. He would often join the Dukes band of adventurers and take his fight against evil right into its lair. With the spoils of his successes traveling with the Duke, Shathis funded his commune and ensured that his followers had what they needed. When the Duke brought forth his proposal to relocate near Fishton and establish a castle, Shathis was his biggest supporter.
Before the Duke had even found a suitable place to build his castle, Shathis had scouted out an area for a new community of his own. He went to his followers and preached to them at length of the opportunity that awaited them. Together they would build a new place and way to live free from the influence of outsiders. They would build an idealistic community that lived in harmony, eternally devoted to the teachings of Lathander. His followers rose up in joyous acclaim and eagerly began to make their preparations to travel to their new home.
The pilgrim’s journey was long and the faced many dangers but their faith in Lathander and the guidance of Shathis saw them safely to their new home. In a secluded clearing on the south banks of the Winding Waters miles from the nearest town (Fishton) the group settled into its new home which they named New Dawning.
Shathis spared no expense on his new community. He sunk his entire personal fortune (which also included his churches treasury) into the construction efforts. The isolation of New Dawning made it difficult and expensive to transport the goods need for its construction however. Even with the aid of his sorcerer friend Cesper, Shathis quickly found himself out of funds to continue building. His followers found themselves stranded in the wilderness among half completed structures.
Faced with the stress of his responsibilities to his congregation and his lack of funds to continue construction Shathis began to grow more temperamental. He saw his grand plans facing ruin and he began to blame everyone but himself for their failure. In desperation he petitioned the church of Lathander in Waterdeep for funds to continue building. The main church and Shathis had never agreed on much and they turned down his request for the funds to continue his “Ill advised adventure”. Shathis railed against their decision and denounced the church leaders as greedy and corrupt. He severed all ties with them and promised that he would show all the true glory of Lathander.
A further setback happened while Shathis was away in Waterdeep seeking aid, a group of bugbear raiders attacked New Dawning and destroyed much of what had been built. On his return to New Dawning Shathis found wounded people and burned buildings. With his plans lying in ruins around him Shathis snapped. In a furious sermon to his followers he declared that everyone had conspired against them and longed to see them fail. He said that their enemies had plotted their ruin and were envious of his vision. Shathis vowed that his plans would succeed and that they would see Lathanders glory done no matter what the cost. He beseeched his followers to have faith and continue with their efforts. He promised them that he had a new plan that would see their work completed and all would be as he had envisioned. His followers took heart from his impassioned speech and declared their support.
After setting things to rights in New Dawning, Shathis told his people that he must depart once more to obtain the funds they needed to continue. He told them to keep faith and he would return shortly. Shathis left immediately and alone and was gone for many weeks. In his absence his followers got by the best that they could and they kept faith in their leader. All had confidence that Shathis could resolve their situation.
Weeks passed and finally Shathis returned. He was ragged and disheveled but Shathis carried with him a small fortune in gems, more than enough to see the construction of New Dawning completed. The people rejoiced and once more construction got underway. Lost in the flurry of new building many did not notice the subtle changes in Shathis. Most took his now sullen demeanor as determination to see New Dawning built.
New Dawning turned out to be just as Shathis had planned, a small group of communal buildings dominated by a shining church of Lathander. It was only after the construction was done that people began to notice the changes in Shathis. Under the temple he built an elaborate basement. He warded nearly every inch of this den and he spent most of his time there. None dared to enter for fear of the traps that were set. People grew worried but Shathis would hear no counsel. He even rebuffed the Dukes call for aid when Stormhold was besieged by trolls. In desperation his most loyal followers went to aid the Duke in Shathis’s place and hoped to convince the Duke to aid them after the crisis was over.
When the siege of Stormhold was lifted and the troll forces broken the Duke and his friends agreed to come and check on Shathis. The Dukes party arrived soon after the battle and descended into the basement of the temple. None were sure what happened below the temple but it was many hours and several explosions later before the Duke and his group emerged. With them they brought a baby boy wrapped in swaddling clothes. The Duke told the people a vague story about what had happened. Somehow Shathis had died had heroically protecting the child. In fact the boy was Shathis’s son Delbert. The Duke bid the people to care for the child and choose a new leader from among them. He told them that if they ever needed aid they could call upon him. The people of New Dawning were heart-broken from the death of their visionary leader but continued on in his honor. They vowed to do as the Duke advised them and promised to raise Delbert to assume the leadership of the community.
Years have passed and New Dawning has change little since the day it was founded. Delbert has grown and has been prepared to assume the leadership of New Dawning. The people of New Dawning remain a pious and isolated community. They rely almost solely upon themselves for what they need. They are not opposed to trade but they prefer a simple life. In fact almost everything in New Dawning is not owned by individuals but by the community. All work for the benefit of their neighbors and make certain that no one goes without. The entire town is more like a big family than anything else. The have drawn some new followers, and are always ready to help those in need but they prefer to keep themselves apart from outsiders.
Everything in New Dawning centers on the church. There is no part of daily life that it does not touch. Everyone in New Dawning is a devoted follower of Lathander. The church has even established a small order of protectors to guard their village from the occasional raids of the humanoid tribes in the area. They call themselves The Sons of the Morning Lord. From the time they were founded they have never had to call upon the Duke for defense of their community. The church sees that the people of New Dawning get everything they need.
New Dawning has been largely unaffected by the rapid growth of Galeport. Other than setting up a small shrine in Galeport and trading for a few more luxury goods New Dawning is content to remain as it always has been, rustic and peaceful.