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Site Title

Faerun's Underdark is not a single, continuous cavern system, and even places on the same level may not connetc to each other. The existence of Underdark settlements beneath Waterdeep and Raven's Bluff, for example, does not mean that it is possible to travel from one city to the other underground. In fact, the Underdark consists of a number of discrete domains. A domain is simply a collection of Underdark locales among which underground travel is reasonably easy. In other words, an Underdark domain is something like a large island on the surface, where travel is possible all over the island without having to set out to sea.
There are seven major domains, a dozen or so minor ones, and hundreds of otherwise isolate locales that don't appear to connect to any other Underdark networks. The seven most prominent domains are listed below, along with settlements and sites of interest which reside within their borders.

The Buried Realms


©2006 commissoned art by Julia Stateri
DO NOT TAKE, permission NOT granted!

Beneath the mighty desert of Anauroch lie the Buried Realms, the demesnes of the unspeakable phaerimm. Because the Buried Realms are situated below the ruins of ancient Netheril and its daughter states, they contain many Netherese ruins. The presence of the phaerimm, however, prevents most fortune-seekers from venturing into this portion of the Underdark, and very little is known of any particular sites or cities here.

Settlements

  • Ooltul (Small City, Beholder; Upperdark)
  • Xun'Qoroth (Metroplis*, Beholder; Upperdark)
    • Aixlintar
    • Ginsunlix
    • Qintaroth
    • Viksanmaq
    • Xunqaq

Sites

  • Mines of Tethyamar
  • Tomb Tapper Tomb

The Darklands
In the center of Faerun, beneath the Dragon Coast and portions of the Orsraun Mountains and Turmish, lie the Darklands. This immense domain stretches from Cairnheim(the realm of the Dodkong) in the west to the foul warrens of Traaskl Thorog beneath Chessenta in the east. The most powerful city of the Darklands hasdlong been the great duergar city of Dunspeirrin, but the gray dwarves control only a small portion of this sprawling Underdark domain.

Settlements

  • Cairnheim (Village, Stone Giant; Upperdark)
  • Drik Hargunen (Large City, Duergar; Upperdark)
  • Dunspeirrin (Metropolis, Duergar; Middledark)
  • Dupapn (Village, Aboleth; Lowerdark)
  • Looblishar (Small Town, Kuo-toa; Middledark)
  • Oryndoll (Metropolis, Illithid; Lowerdark)

Sites

  • Cloakerhaven (Lowerdark)
  • Giant's Chalice (Lowerdark)
  • Traaskl Thorog (Middledark)

The Deep Wastes


©2006 commissoned art by Apis Teicher
DO NOT TAKE, permission NOT granted!

East of the Buried Realms lies the small domain known as the Deep Wastes, this runs beneath the Dalelands and the Moonsea. Sparsely populated and largely wild, the Deep Wastes are home to the now-ruined drow city of Maerimydra, which once held Shadowdale as a conquered surface land, the Deep Wastes extent as far as the Earthspur Mountains beneath the Vast. Few easy access points exist, however, so large portions of the domain are poorly explored.

Settlements

  • Blessed Seahaven (Small Town, Kuo-toa; Lowerdark)
  • Brikklext (Hamlet, Goblinoid; Upperdark)

Sites

  • Kuragolomsh (Middledark)
  • Lorosfyr (Lowerdark)
  • Maerimydra (Middledark)

The Earthroot
Far to the east, below the plateau of Thay and the towering rampart of the Sunrise Mountains, lies the vast domain known as the Earthroot. Very little is known about this domain, and since it lies beneath the Unapproachable East, few western folk ever even learn of its existence. The Earthroot is home to most of the drow city of Undrek'Thoz, as well as the duergar realm of Fraaszummdin. In its northerly reaches, it is a frigid area containing numerous ice formations and caves. Its southern portions extend out beneath Raurin, the Dust Desert. Some of the most ancient civilizations of Faerun rose above this portion of the Underdark, and many secrets from the lost empires of Nar, Raumathar, and Imaskar lurk within its unknown reaches. The greatest and best-kept of these secrets is the realm of Deep Imaskar itself, which lies below the Endless Wastes in the easternmost portion of the Earthroot.

Settlements

  • Deep Imaskar (Metropolis, Deep Imaskari; Lowerdark)
  • Fraaszummdin (Large Town, Duergar; Middledark)
  • Sphur Upra (Large City, Gloaming; Middledark)
  • Undrek'Thoz (Metropolis, Drow; Middledark)

Sites

  • The Boneyard (Middledark)

The Glimmersea
Below the Sea of Fallen Stars lies a vast Underdark ocean called the Glimmersea, or sometimes the Sea of Starry Night. The Glimmersea lies 20 miles below the floor of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Its horizontal area overlaps that of the surface ocean for most of its extent, although the Glimmersea extends under some of the land surrounding the Sea of Fallen Stars, such as Altumbel and Aglarond. Similarly, certain portions of the Sea of Fallen Stars, such as the Easting Reach, have not arm of the Glimmersea beneath them. The Glimmersea's waters fill dozens of immense vaults. This waterway is noted for a number of spectacular ribbon-cascades that extend down into it from the cavern ceilings, thousands of feet overhead. In some of the Glimmersea's chambers, luminescent rocks in the ceiling glow like stars in a surface-world night, striking perfect reflections from the still waters of the sea's surface. This effect gives travelers the illusion of sailing amid a sea of stars. Despite its great beauty, few travelers cross the Glimmersea. Several powerful aboleth cities lurk within its starry depths, and in the shallows stand numerous kuo-toa and sahuagin outposts.

Settlements

Sites

  • Holy Mother Cauldron (Lowerdark)

Great Bhaerynden
In the south-central portion of Faerun, below the endless plains of the Shaar, lies the homeland of not one but two Underdark races--Bhaerynden, the great caverns of the south. The first great homeland of the dwarves, Bhaerynden was conquered and occupied long ago by the drow when they first descended into the Underdark. The drow named their new realm Telantiwar, but their kingdom did not last. For some reason that has been forgotten in the intervening centuries, the grat vaults that made up the heart of Telantiwar collapsed, crushing a dozen drow cities and creating the Great Rift in the process. Although the cavern that housed Bhaerynden no longer exists, it was only part of a sprawling network of caves and deep delvings. The gold dwarves now hold the Rift and many of the caverns surrounding it, but several powerful drow cities remain in this vicinity, including Guallidurth, Llurth Dreir, and Tlindhet.

Settlements

  • Deepburrow (Small City, Halfling; Upperdark)
  • Earth's End (Small Town, Earth Genasi; Lowerdark)
  • Fluvenilstra (Small City, Slyth; Lowerdark)
  • Llurth Dreir (Metropolis, Drow; Middledark)
  • T'lindhet (Drow; Middledark)

Sites

  • The Great Rift (Upperdark)

The Northdark
North and east of Waterdeep lays a large and notorious domain called the Northdark. Many of the Underdark's most famous realms lie in this area, including the ruined svirfneblin city of Blingdenstone, the duergar Deepkingdom of Gracklstugh, and Menzoberranzan, City of Spiders. The Northdark is also home to the wreckage of numerous ancient realms, such as Ammarindar, Delzoun, and Netheril (this last one in the form of Skullport). The Buried Realms lie quite near it to the east--in fact, the Northdark meets the Buried Realms beneath the ruins of Ascore. Countless orc-holds, troll-caves, and giant-delvings also lie buried beneath the Spine of the World to the north.

Settlements

  • Ch'Chitl (Small Town, Illithid; Lowerdark)
  • Eryndlyn (Metropolis, Drow; Middledark)
  • Gracklstugh (Metropolis, Duergar; Middledark)
  • Menzoberranzan (Metropolis, Drow; Upperdark)
  • Reeshov (Small Town, Grimlock; Lowerdark)
  • Yathchol (Village, Chitine; Middledark)

Sites

  • Ammarindar (Upperdark)
  • Araumycos (Upperdark)
  • Blingdenstone (Upperdark)
  • Chaulssin (Middledark)
  • Ched Nasad (Middledark)
  • The Darklake (Middledark)
  • Dead Dragon Gorge (Middledark)
  • Dolblunde (Upperdark)
  • The Fardrimm (Upperdark)
  • The Labyrinth (Upperdark and Middledark)
  • Mantol-Derith (Middledark)
  • Nuur Throth (Lowerdark)
  • The Sharnlands (Lowerdark)
  • The Wormwrithings (Upperdark)

Old Shanatar
Extending for hundreds of miles beneath Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan, Old Shanatar was once home to the powerful dwarven realm of Deep Shanatar. Only one of Deep Shanatar's eight kingdoms still stands today; the others have fallen to drow, mind flayers, and duergar. Of the major domains, Old Shanatar contains the most artificial delvings, hall, and passages, including works of tremendous scale. Old Shanater, like the Northdark, has been reasonably well explored.

Settlements

  • Gatchorof (Hamlet, Githyanki; Middledark)
  • Guallidurth (Metropolis, Drow; Middledark)
  • Iltkazar (Small City, Shield Dwarf; Upperdark)
  • Oaxaptupa (Large Town, Stinger; Upperdark)
  • Rringlor Noroth (Large Town, Cloaker; Upperdark)
  • Sloopdilmonpolop (Small City, Kuo-toa; Middledark)

Sites

  • Deep Shanatar (Upperdark)
    • Barakuir
    • Drakkalor
    • Holorarar
    • Korolnor
    • Sondarr
    • Torglor
    • Ultoksamrin
    • Xothaerin
  • Dhalnadar Span (Upperdark)
  • Lake of Radiant Mists (Upperdark)
  • Rift of Dhalnadar (Upperdark)
  • Rrinnoroth (Upperdark)
  • The Spider Stalkings (Upperdark)

Other Domain Sites and Cities

Oghrann
[ Upperdark of the Plains of Tun ]

Sshamath, the City of Dark Weavings
(Metropolis, Drow; Middledark)
[ Beneath the Far Hills ]

Throrgar, the Shrieking Abyss
[ Lowerdark of Chionthar ]

Page Last Updated August 1st, 2006

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