Rise of the Underdark

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Shir'le E. Illios
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Rise of the Underdark

Postby Shir'le E. Illios » Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:01 pm

Ages ago, my children descended into the depths of the earth. This wasn’t exile… Nor was it an escape. It would be foolish for anyone to think of the Underdark as a safe haven. For it has ever been a place filled with deadly creatures and eternal danger.

But the Underdark was never meant to be a home for the drow. It was their crucible.

—Lolth, Queen of Spiders


Yesterday I was reading an article on the Wizards of the Coast website and noticed this image:

Image

I had no idea really what it meant at the time. The page it linked to didn't really explain it either. It did have this neat movie though:

[youtube]f-7vw_pT9tM[/youtube]

But it wasn't until today that I came across this article on The Escapist that I figured out what was going on. Here's some of the key quote:

  • Rise of the Underdark, the latest D&D campaign, gives Dungeon Masters and players the tools and setting necessary to journey into the bowels of Faerûn in the hopes of thwarting the Spider Queen Lolth and her drow minions - or rolling a drow character and playing D&D in a whole new way.

  • Never one to pass up an opportunity, Lolth the Spider Queen, patron goddess of the drow, believes the time is ripe to seize Mystra's throne and overrun Faerûn.

  • There are two primary ways to experience this adventure: D&D Encounters or through the regular sourcebooks.

  • While Wizards remains tight-lipped about further story details, the full campaign will run until December 19, 2012, taking the players on an epic quest for the better part of a year.

  • there's no need to rush out and join Encounters thanks to two upcoming sourcebooks: Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook and Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. The first book focuses on the mechanics of creating and surviving dungeons, particularly those in the Underdark, while the second deals with the layout, architecture, politics, and adventures waiting in "the most infamous dark elf city." Neither one of these books will follow the Lolth story per se, but should give eager DMs and players all the tools they need to descend into the Underdark for adventures of their own.

  • Lindsay suggests that players who would rather join the drow than stand against them will be well served by Rise of the Underdark [...] City of Intrigue and Drow Treachery will provide the tools to help shake things up, encouraging players to "act in a way that is not cohesive to the group."

  • Rise of the Underdark will be a fairly comprehensive transmedia tale. In addition to a slew of novels (including one by fan favorite author R.A. Salvatore), eBooks, and comics, content will seep over into the Heroes of Neverwinter Facebook game and Dungeons & Dragons Online.
With that last comment I can't help but wonder if it'll seep into Neverwinter (Cryptic's new free-to-play MMO) as well.

Overall it's sounding quite interesting and I wonder how things will turn out. In my view, more drow is a good thing and the more drow come to the surface the more we can convert into the dance. ;)

I think this is also a good time to remind people that we've had whisperings of Eilistraee making a return with the City of Intrigue book.

Wizards of the Coast also also posted two wallpapers for the event.


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-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:15 am

This could be a good event, but might lead to a ''disaster'' as well.

I just hope that the drow invasion doesn't turn in more devastated/destroyed nations or that Lolth's possible 'ascension' doesn't trigger some other cataclysmic event.

To be honest, Lolth as goddess of the Weave is a BAD idea IMO. One of the reasons people complained about Midnight-Mystra was her NG alignment, because they thought a neutral aligned deity should've held her place. So, putting Lolth on Mystra's throne would only amplify this issue.

It could be interesting, at least to me, if during her fight to ascend to the position of goddess of magic Lolth somehow split, spawning one ''evil'' version of herself, as we know her, and one neutral aligned entity, which would represent whatever trace of benevolence is left in the Spider Queen and which might be Araushnee the Weaver, as she was before the Seldarine Wars. The latter could be the one to ascend to the position of goddess of the Weave.

In the whisperings we had about Eilistraee's return, it was said that it will be related to her roots: Araushnee and Corellon. I wonder if the name Araushnee was used just to indicate Lolth, or to actually point to the fact that this new Lolth's transformation might bring The Weaver's return with itself and that it could be related to her daughter's (and, hopefully, son's) reappearance. This could lead to an interesting story...
Last edited by Irennan on Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:21 pm

From the WotC site

"Deep in the Abyssal darkness of the Demonweb Pits, the goddess Lolth is spinning a web of deceit, treachery, and ambition. Her goal is to seize control of arcane magic—a position that has lain vacant since the death of Mystra a hundred years ago.

To facilitate this grasp for power, Lolth sent a prophet—Danifae Yauntyrr—to all the cities of the drow. Danifae is a fallen priest, a scoundrel, a seductress, and—if history is any guide—an avatar of Lolth herself. Danifae whispered to the leaders of all the great drow houses, spurring them to gather ancient power to aid Lolth's ascent.

The drow are scouring the world for primordial relics (pieces of a dead or sleeping primordial), seeking out the remains of great wizards, gathering artifacts once sacred to Mystra, and fighting for control of magical locations on the world's surface.

As the drow gather arcane energy and channel it to Lolth, her power grows. Her web extends to cover most of the world, forming a Demon Weave to replace the sundered Weave that Mystra maintained—a new fabric of arcane magic. With that, the priests and wizards who serve Lolth have access to greater power than ever before, and their task becomes to use it.

Across the surface world, Lolth's servitors draw on the Demon Weave to create shrouds of darkness that cover league upon league of surface lands. Under this pall of darkness, the drow can move and fight freely during what would normally be daylight hours. With this aid, they can complete Lolth's transformation and bring the world to ruin."


So, basically, Lolth will actually craft her new weave and her servants will (try to) use it to shroud the world in an eternal night in order bring ruin on it...

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Shir'le E. Illios » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:16 am

Sounds like a drow kind of thing to do... over-extending themselves in plans too grand to have any chance of success. But then, you'd need that kind of villain for heroic players to fight and save the day (in this case quite literally). :)


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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:31 am

Sounds like a drow kind of thing to do... over-extending themselves in plans too grand to have any chance of success.


Yes. This time, however, Lolth is going too far. In order to accomplish her new goal she'd have to face the whole Seldarine (or whatever is left of it in 4e FR), whatever legacy (the probably reforming) Mystra left, Shar and Shade. This is way more than she ever faced.

What I fear is that, as happened before when it came to people's ''unstoppable grand schemes'', all of them, for some reason, will just sit and watch ignoring the (often obvious) puppeteer behind the events thrown in their faces as if they were blind; then they will acknowledge the cause when it is too late and will do something very stupid to stop the grand plan, invariably failing.

But then, you'd need that kind of villain for heroic players to fight and save the day (in this case quite literally). :)


True.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:20 pm

Some maps and art from the Menzo book.

Summoning
Menzoberra the Kinless
Temple of Ghaunadaur
Grotto of Silver and Shadow
Phalinksal
Map of Menzoberranzan

the 4th picture basically screams Eilistraee and Vhaeraun and hints that they chose to have him too alive, which is something I welcome.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Bhaern Quel » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:37 pm

Indeed interesting

Hall of the Masked
Hall of the Dancers
Throne of the Lord and the Lady

Though why the Lord comes in advance of the Lady strikes me as odd.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Why does it strike you odd?

I, for once, am happy that it looks like they allied at last, even tho judging from the ''Feydark'', they will probably be back as Archfeys rather than proper deities. Ah well, it'd be fine anyway, at least for me.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Bhaern Quel » Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:54 pm

Irennan wrote:Why does it strike you odd?

I, for once, am happy that it looks like they allied at last, even tho judging from the ''Feydark'', they will probably be back as Archfeys rather than proper deities. Ah well, it'd be fine anyway, at least for me.


Well if you sort by Title Lady Comes first.

Is the Lord and Lady represent E. and V., a sort of the names E. comes first.

Further there is that fact the Lady defeated the Lord based on what Lore we know, so why would Lord get top billing if this represents the return of the twins?

It struck me as chauvinistic. *shrugs*

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:07 pm

Meh, IMO you're overthinking that. I don't think that the guy who named the image really wanted to give more or less importance to one of the two deities, in fact in the title ''silver'' comes before ''shadow''. Besides we don't know with certainty if someone was actually defeated there, or if there was some kind of deal between 'em, which I deem more likely...

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Bhaern Quel » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:22 pm

Irennan wrote:Meh, IMO you're overthinking that. I don't think that the guy who named the image really wanted to give more or less importance to one of the two deities, in fact in the title ''silver'' comes before ''shadow''. Besides we don't know with certainty if someone was actually defeated there, or if there was some kind of deal between 'em, which I deem more likely...


I do sometimes over think things, however until we get more Lore this is only guesses *G*

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:36 pm

Out of curiosity, what does *G* stand for?

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Bhaern Quel » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:38 pm

Irennan wrote:Out of curiosity, what does *G* stand for?


Where have you been? *G* = *Grin*

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Irennan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:51 pm

Well, I've seen you using *G* and *S* other times, but for some reason I've never asked what they're supposed to mean.

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Re: Rise of the Underdark

Postby Bhaern Quel » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:19 pm

Irennan wrote:Well, I've seen you using *G* and *S* other times, but for some reason I've never asked what they're supposed to mean.


Well that might be my age on the net, also effected by webchat that I found.

Bandwidth was a concern, actually it still is of concern but for different reasons now. The short comments, things like ;) now allowed messages to travel faster. Then images were a problem at times.

The other was webchat role play *text* indicated an action, like casting a spell or slashing with a sword. The High Priestess has forbidden me to use "*" in RP, because forum Role Play is different. So far I have not been forbidden to use system I am used to from other sections.

Oh *S* = *Smiles*

On I might have invented GETE = Grining Ear to Ear , though SETE (Smiling Ear to Ear) far proceeded me *W* (*Wink* ))

Edited on typo.


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