Dungeon master up the stairs to the deck, and find Stanton alone, leaning on the railing. He is both literally, and figurativley, staring off into space. It takes a second to get his attention.
“huh, oh, hey, sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.’ He goes back into a thoughtfull silence, still with the haunted look on his face from earlier.
“You see that star there? That one over there? That’s Toriel my home planet. I was born in the city of waterdeep, you ever hear of it? Great city. Massive,intriguing, wonderfull , the most amazing place anywhere, I thought.’ He chuckles softly ‘ but, the places I’ve seen since leaving…..Where you from again?
he continues on, barely listening….
Let me ask you, you remember any stories from your childhood where you’re from? Monster stories? Not the ones like when the bugbears attacked the city walls, or when the dragon flew over. No, the ones that kept you up at night when you were young, the stories you told your friends when they were over to scare each other. That kind. You remember any of those?
When I was little, my fathers older brother used to tell me about this place, under waterdeep, called the underdark. It was meant to go all around under the city, and further. Some reckon you could get to one side of Toriel to the other through the tunnels.
Adventurers would go down all the time, seeking treasure, adventure, some came back, some didn’t. The ones that made it back would tell tales of what they came across, bad things, dark things…..evil things.
They were one with the darkness, quiet, and deadly, bursting from the shadows without warning, and dragging off compatriots, screaming, never to be seen again. The shadow on their souls was so dark, that it ….changed them. Their skin was dark, darker than any elf ever was, or ever would be. Soulless eyes, teeth and claws like razors. They were horrific, demons in the night.
The people of the surface were scared, and wanted rid of these abominations. They marched as one, all races, all beleifs, all together went down to the underdark, and waged war on them. The battle was fierce, and many great warriors died, and many legends were made, but, in the end, the men of the surface one, and wiped out the evil elfs, chasing them down through their catacombs, to their city, rooting them all out, untill they were all dead. Large parts of the underdark were sealed off, purposely caved in, to purge the memory of these horrid creatures, and, for generations after, and since, there was no more of these creatures. This was the story my uncle told me, and he claimed to have known people who were party to these happenings. When I was young, I believed in these tales, any creak in the house was someone, stealing through the night to carry me away, but, as I grew older, I took these tales to be just that, tales to scare young children around the fire, and paid them no mind.
Until today, when you showed me a fragment of a long forgotten nightmare, uttered a name I had not heard sine I was tiny, held in your hand something I never thought of as real, something long, long gone from this plane. But, they are back, somehow, I know they are back. We elves have our own version of that word, our own name for our lost kin. We called them ‘Drow’. The Drow have returned.And i have fear again.His last words are nearly a whisper, he gives a shiver, and returns below.Ihsahn Wongraven of Ravendark Ihsahn’s brow furrows, you can almost see the gears in his head turning. He turns to Ben Scarman, and speaks to Shadow in slow labouring sentences "Seems a stretch to go from one little hand to some wet nurse’s camp fire tale of evil elves from the depths below.
If the dwarf is as old as he claims to be maybe Thul, will know something of this legend he whispers of. What of you Shadow, have you heard of such a thing in all those books you have wasted your time reading."
Shadow Ihsahn, the fear of Underdark is not something a wizard scribes about lightly.
I have seen this underworld first hand and I assure you, other then serving as an excellent vessel to cure one’s fear of claustrophobia, I would not reason to enter.
The Underdark excretes such a huge magical energy that it still makes me tense hearing it’s name today. The Drow would no doubt be drawn to this energy as are many a foolish wizard. Any wizard would soon feel the dampening of power and would make haste to leave, but the Underdark often has it’s own ideas. The few apprentice wizard’s who do return from such a foolish venture speak of passages ways that turn you around so often that even the most adept trackers couldn’t follow with that level of lighting. The true fear however doesn’t set in until they try to teleport out and find themselves depper in the Underdark.
If that isn’t warning enough one has to only imagine the inhabitants.