The Underdark

Home to Atroa's foulest evils, the Underdark is perhaps the harshest environment one can find. The denizens of the Underdark include; Beholders, Drow, Mind Flayers, Aboleths, Kuo Toa, and countless other horrors. The drow are perhaps the most prevalent, if not only for their harsh society and selective breeding then for their ability to settle large areas of the Underdark. Most cities encountered beneath the surface are drow or duergar, or at least, the most recognizable cities are drow or duergar; Other societies exist in the wilds of the Underdark but they are usually unrecognizable as such to surface dwellers.

Ur'Nauzzrym- The greatest of the drow civilizations in the underdark; Ur'Nauzzrym is zealously devoted to Lolth. Contained within a massive cavern, the city is nearly as big as Fallcrest in size, which for an underground city is fairly impressive. The church's influence within the city is complete and they adhere to the typical drow matriarchal stigma. The various noble drow families, or 'Houses', vie for power over one another. The most powerful house reigns over the others, considered to be in Lolth's favor. The current 'First House' is House Az'Urgga. Matron Fil'Laurrin Az'Urgga is infallible when it comes to all decisions regarding Ur'Nauzzrym. It is believed that the Spider Queen speaks to Fil'Laurrin directly. Those who do not serve Lolth rarely last long within the city. Most heretics are discovered by betrayal long before they are able to gain a foothold. One exception to this rule was House Orzz'Aa. For nearly a century, House Orzz'Aa secretly worshiped the entity known as Tenebrous. In a rare show of solidarity, the entire house kept this secret. The power they received from their patron was great and they guarded it preciously. Eventually they were discovered and the entire house was obliterated in Lolth's unholy fire. House Maerdalynn was another prominent house to successfully deviate from the Spider Queen's influence for a time, keeping their worship of the Raven Queen a secret for five decades. It is rare for drow within Ur'Nauzzrym to even consider worshiping another deity. Those that do tend toward Torog, Vecna, or the Raven Queen.

Drow, while the most prosperous (and dominant) race within the city, are far from the most common. The races they enslave account for more than two thirds of the population of Ur'Nauzzrym. Muls, goblins, duergar, quaggoth, and goliaths are counted among the slaves of the drow metropolis. Other non-slave races also inhabit the city as merchants and crafts-people; shadar-kai from Ikkemu and tieflings from Ckalle are the most common among these. The lower-quarter of the cavern is packed with the classless; the slaves and thieves. The mid-quarter houses the merchants, the military academy, the gladiatorial arena along with other things considered entertainment by the cruel dark elves. The upper-tier contains House Az'Urgga's compound, the massive temple of Lolth and the tower arcane where drow spellcasters are trained. Hanging above the city, carved into the eight massive clusters of stalactites, are eight of the nine noble drow houses. The Noble Houses, in descending order, are as follows;

  • House Az'Urgga
  • House Talnnzaen
  • House Aeffaelinn
  • House Morid'Zan
  • House Il'Daen
  • House Olizz'Far
  • House Llin'Orn
  • House Kafaeth

Each house is headed by a matron mother and usually has its own specialization within the city. House Il'Daen, for example, produces some of the most talented deep druids on Atroa and they oversee much of the fungi farming within the city. While House Morid'Zan is home to some of the most deadly arcane spellcasters and handle much of the magic item trade. House Talnnzaen, the 'Second House' of Ur'Nauzzrym, has a tradition of the finest drow assassins and avengers fervently devoted to Lolth. Their slaves work many of the mines bordering the city. House Az'Urgga, being in Lolth's favor, of course produces a predominant number of female clerics. House Aeffaelinn is known for their Dark Voices; bards in service to the Spider Queen. Kafaeth produces an inordinate number of males and specializes in psionics. House Az'Urgga overlooks these aberrations because of House Kafaeth's utility and proven devotion to Lolth, though they must remain on the bottom rung of the hierarchy. The houses of Llin'Orn and Olizz'Far are relatively new in power having taken the previous positions of Maerdalynn and Orzz'Aa in the last two decades. They have yet to carve their specialized niche in the hierarchy. No house is content with its position, with the obvious exception of Az'Urgga. They are constantly at war with each other and looking for ways to both appease and usurp House Az'Urgga.

Ur'Nauzzrym is located deep below the Old Hills in the Borderlands. Scouting parties from the city regularly raid the farmlands surrounding this area on the surface. Commerce within Ur'Nauzzrym is generally limited to one of two things; slave trade or magic items. Most food is shipped in to the city from other, lesser drow cities. The drow raids conducted by the church are primarily for procuring slaves. Any magic items they find in the process are likewise auctioned off in the mid-quarter. The tower arcane produces a high quantity of magical weapons and trinkets. Any drow showing skill in the Art is inculcated and conscripted into the enchantment of items as soon as possible. The city is irrigated by two underground rivers fed by Lake Nen from the surface. One feeds a reservoir, located in the mid-quarter. The other passes through the city at the border of the lower-quarter, separating it from the caverns that lead to other areas of the underdark. The former is called the Illaurin and its reservoir makes the modest farming of edible fungi possible within the city. The latter, called the River Ur, serves as a form of defense from other denizens of the underdark, its wide berth and swift current prevent most from crossing without using one of the three heavily fortified guarded and tolled bridges. The lower-quarter serves partly as an arrival and departure point for the city, since the main exit caverns border it. Few other tunnels leading out of the city exist, but they are usually smaller and privately owned.


Capitol: None (depends on area)


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