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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1361 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2015 :  19:57:16  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Trying to put some pieces together and I feel guilty about asking another question to the most awesome and busy Ed and THO, figured I'd put this one in the general channel and see how it goes.

Ok, so with Ed's Forging the Realms article: Making the Trains Run on Time we learned that Tharsult is more or less controlled by mind flayers to keep new minds coming in for them to feed upon. With the hint that beholders and maybe even dragons are also involved.

Now in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark, we have the drow city of Maeralyn very close to and practically underneath Tharsult.

In the Menzoberranzan boxed set in the rumors section we have Maeralyn invading and all but destroying (which survives as we have the Jaezred Chaulssin active there after these events and attempting to break the Lolthite rule of the priestesses) the drow city of Jhachalkhyn (located under the south-southeastern edge of Neverwinter Wood.

Attempting to tie all this together so looking for what others think.

Maeralyn:

1. Why hasn't this city rose to war with the local flayers? I'd assume they come from some realm nearby. Unless the city is already enslaved in a similar fashion. Making the Trains Run on Time notes we should question why two realms close together haven't gone to war.

2. Beholders and dragons were mentioned and could serve as a deterrent from such conquest if they already ruled said city.

3. Why would Maeralyn attack Jhachalkhyn when it's half the world away? There's no way they marched, it's simply too far. A portal would work, but we've seen they're generally not ideal for marching armies through.

Taking a look at the spell Plane Shift (2E rules), we see that the caster can take 7 others with them and Illithids can cast this once per round. If the city of Maeralyn was controlled or heavily influenced much like Tharsult, I'm inclined to think Mindflayer led armies were Plane Shifted somewhere (base in the Astral or elsewhere as a staging ground) and dropped off outside (initial wave) and once things get underway, inside the city. Pinpoint accuracy isn't available, otherwise I'd assume they'd be ported right into compounds.

One Illithid needs 4 rounds to transport 7 soldiers to their destination and return to Maeralyn. Even if we say they can only transport one group of 7 every 2 turns, 200 of them should be able to transport an army of about 4,000 inside an hour. Fairly horrifying thought. Of course, I've never heard of Illithids doing this so maybe I'm off here.

The other question being why Maeralyn? There would be plenty of easier targets than a drow city, so some family there must have had something that sparked this invasion. Maeralyn and Jhachalkhyn aren't close enough to have any sort of rivalry hatred deal going on.

I'm half tempted to call Maeralyn the City of Mists. Lava or some form of thermal heat interacting with the cold drippings or cool stone that's underneath the ocean creating a perfect enviroment for the flayers etc.

4. Now how about Beholders? It's never been stated what gods Maeralyn worships. What about a city that worships Beholder god-kings? Jhachalkhyn was noted as all but destroyed (could be rumor), but beholder led armies and dark elven troops with grafts and extra eyes and all that jazz does sound kind of fun too.

Maeralyn might even be able to hold their own against a community of flayers so near to them. Tharsult might be a good place for food and also lots of ceremorphis hosts for the continual war with Maeralyn. The question with this is how did they get to Jhachalkhyn? I like portals and gates, but don't like using them for every answer.

Anyway, curious what others think as I'm just throwing ideas out there. Feel free to let me know your thoughts or how you'd piece this together!

Thanks!

The Masked Mage
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Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  03:18:39  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First - Plane shift is not a teleport spell - you can't plane shift from one place on the Prime Material Plane to another. You also can't plane shift to a specific desired location on a plane, thus casting it twice instead of a teleport without error. Plane shift will take you or a targeted being to the plane - that's all you get. I also do not think spell-like abilities can be used communally - but as DM you could decide that's not true.

A far simpler explanation is there is an active gate that connects the two regions of the Underdark and that it is controlled by Maeralyn.

Second - I can't imagine drow worshipping a beholder - they are too egocentric - and we have seen beholders caged and controlled by mages so unless there are no powerful drow, it just doesnt make sense.

Third - All that remains of Jhachalkhyn is the part that is tucked away in shadows - thus the all but destroyed you mentioned. You can read more about it in the Spider Queen books. One describes the remains of the city, I think the third but can't recall.

Forth - as far as I know there is no known information about the connections between Maerlyn and the surface. There might not be any that connect to Tharsult at all.


All that said - in your own Realms you can do whatever you want - if your ideas make good sense to you, then have at it :P
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Wrigley
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Czech Republic
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Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  18:27:12  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tharsult and Maeralyn could have no direct connection in underdark - you have to go pretty far and then turn downwards to reach Maeralyn. This could easily make them distant enough.

"aren't close enough to have any sort of rivalry hatred deal going on" - you should study drows more carefuly. There is no distance long enough to stop revenge for drows. There is also no time limit. This could be fruit of plan hatched more than century ago by hateful matron mother...

Beholders and dragons as deterent. There is a good reason why this is not usual - drows are too powerful for that. I think that beholders, flyers and drows keep distance from each other as they can win only if they have realy big advantage over other race. Otherwise this will begin long long bloody freud that nobody want to start. Dragons can win localy but cannot defeat a race or city by themselves as they do not usualy cooperate and go solo.
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Eilserus
Master of Realmslore

USA
1361 Posts

Posted - 30 Nov 2015 :  19:37:24  Show Profile Send Eilserus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The spell description does say up to 8, and the section on spell abilities in the DMG states they function as the spell itself (2E). Near the end of the description we have: "Note that pinpoint accuracy is rarely achieved; arriving a random distance from an intended destination is common." The real question is how random a distance. You wouldn't think it would be insanely far, or when you plane shift back to Faerun and provided it's similar to Earth in that most of it is covered in water, 70% of the time you'd end up in the ocean somewhere. Unless that's just how the spell works. There's no note on what happens when you plane shift back, though I suppose you might pop back into place at the original casting. Spell specifics aside, I imagine it's moot in the face of Underdark Faerzress. Otherwise, this would be perfect for mind flayer attacks.

The beholder worshipping drow I wasn't so much thinking straight normal dark elves (I don't see that happening either), more like what would happen to a dark elven city if beholder cults seduced or managed to become the dominant power. Drow that are abominations with tentacles for arms, eye stalk grafts etc. Had this idea that beholder grafts or other forms of surgery warp the minds of the individuals involved. Charm magic doesn't work on elves, so there would have to be some workaround.

Thanks for that, I'll check out the WotSQ novels again, don't remember them mentioning Jhachalkhyn aside from one of the Patron Fathers.

Didn't consider illithids might have to travel overland to get to Tharsult. The Underdark area is noted as Tharsuldeep which may imply a connection. The Serpent Deeps are pretty close to Maeralyn too. I'll have to read up more on my Serpent Kingdoms.

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Markustay
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Posted - 01 Feb 2017 :  04:04:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Casts *** Raise Scroll ***

Didn't want to create a new thread for simple question - anyone have any idea what level Jhachalkhyn would be on? Upper, Middle, or Lower Dark? It appears on the map from DDUGttU, which doesn't give levels, but doesn't appear on the 3e Underdark map, which did.

I only came across this locale while searching the word 'Neverwinter' in the GHotR. I hadn't even known about it before (unless I just forgot - I did do a LOT of Drow research awhile back). This is the entry -
quote:
206 DR Year of Elfsorrows
Syglaeth Audark, last Coronal of Illefarn, is murdered by raiders from Jhachalkyn, a drow city deep beneath the southeastern Neverwinter Woods.

Of course, 'deep' is relative - even the Upper Dark could be considered 'deep'.

quote:
Originally posted by Eilserus

I'm half tempted to call Maeralyn the City of Mists. Lava or some form of thermal heat interacting with the cold drippings or cool stone that's underneath the ocean creating a perfect environment for the flayers etc.
Maybe not for Maeralyn, but t would be interesting to call Jhachalkyn that, considering its proximity to Neverwineter and Mt. Hotenow. If we piece together some of the other stuff the OP brought-up, it could be the Mindflayers were using the troops of Maeralyn to establish an outpost for themselves in The North. There may have been a mutually beneficial deal made there, which would go a long in explaining why such a far-off city would attack Jhachalkhyn.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 01 Feb 2017 04:05:54
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 02 Feb 2017 :  19:39:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nothing, huh?

Guess I'll just compromise and put it in the Middle-Dark then.

I think PF/Golarion had an even deeper layer than the 'Deep Dark' - almost like a 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' kind of thing. Can't recall the details - its been a very long time since I looked through Paizo's stuff.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 02 Feb 2017 19:40:25
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
3395 Posts

Posted - 02 Feb 2017 :  19:56:24  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry I'm in the midst of rewriting my archive, otherwise I'd run right off and check it out.

However my stuff is all over the place so for the next year or two I can't really do any lore checking.

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Kentinal
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Posted - 02 Feb 2017 :  23:32:54  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, Menzoberranzan Boxset is reported as a source.

Some web-searching is appearing to indicate about same level as Menzoberranzan.

I can not aid any more at this time.


"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  00:18:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is a rumor, in the Menzoberranzan boxed set:

quote:
The drow city of Maeralyn, far, far to the south, has invaded the drow city of Jhachalkhyn, a much nearer community where kin (and investments) of House Fey-Branche are - or were; as far as is known, Jhachalkhyn is all but destroyed, and its folk fled or fought in retreat, scattered all over the Underdark. Refugees may come here soon.


I didn't find anything else in my pdfs of the FR Underdark.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 03 Feb 2017 00:19:09
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Abeir
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  19:14:55  Show Profile Send Abeir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know the description in Grand History of the Realms places Jhachalkhyn under the southeastern Neverwinter woods but Karsoluthiyl has portals linking it to shallow caverns in the Crags, so I like to think of it as an upperdark outpost of Karsoluthiyl, similar to how they have Kyorlamshin in the Undermountain.
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Markustay
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  20:51:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm still wondering why Karsoluthyl exists at all - isn't it supposed to just be a 'trading post' of sorts? Thus, Karsoluthyl should NOT be a 'parent city', but rather, one of the 'outposts' of someone else. But who? And its in an awfully weird spot for trading with anyone (except maybe Krakens and/or Aboleths).

And the main reason why I am leaning away from Jhakchalkhyn being at least in the Middle Dark is because other then a single off-hand mention, it has no history at all, and it had NO interaction with The North or anything on the surface. Usually the closer a drow settlement is to the surface, the more interaction there is with it. From its history (or lack there-of), I was actually thinking it should be in the Deep Dark.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Feb 2017 20:54:15
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Abeir
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  22:11:10  Show Profile Send Abeir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I'm still wondering why Karsoluthyl exists at all - isn't it supposed to just be a 'trading post' of sorts? Thus, Karsoluthyl should NOT be a 'parent city', but rather, one of the 'outposts' of someone else. But who? And its in an awfully weird spot for trading with anyone (except maybe Krakens and/or Aboleths).

And the main reason why I am leaning away from Jhakchalkhyn being at least in the Middle Dark is because other then a single off-hand mention, it has no history at all, and it had NO interaction with The North or anything on the surface. Usually the closer a drow settlement is to the surface, the more interaction there is with it. From its history (or lack there-of), I was actually thinking it should be in the Deep Dark.



Actually on the interaction with the surface its interesting that the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide claims most surface Drow adventurers come from either Menzo or Jhachalkhyn (p107).

As far as Karsoluthiyl being a trading hub, I believe it has to do with being located in a way so as to have easier access to the 3 main western Underdark Regions; Northdark, Gauth Grottoes, and Deep Shanatar. The Gauth Grottoes in particular is described elsewhere as not really connecting to the Northdark or Deep Shanatar very well, but does have tunnels connecting it with Karsoluthiyl. Judging by their trade routes and portal locations they at the very least carry on trade with Skullport, Sshamath, Sloopdilmonpolop, and Guallidurth, as well as possibly Eryndlyn before it was destroyed. On the surface they definitely have trade with Ruathym (2 portal locations), and very likely with Baldur's Gate, Najara, and Neverwinter.

They're said to be the largest provider of slaves in Skullport and as I noted in my thread on them very likely are the ones who sell slaves to Najara. My personal take on this has been that they are probably the reason the Ruathym have always been so piratey, buying slaves from pirates if not outright pirating themselves. Also I figure their location favors them being a large producer of seafood.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  22:32:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I'm still wondering why Karsoluthyl exists at all - isn't it supposed to just be a 'trading post' of sorts? Thus, Karsoluthyl should NOT be a 'parent city', but rather, one of the 'outposts' of someone else. But who? And its in an awfully weird spot for trading with anyone (except maybe Krakens and/or Aboleths).

And the main reason why I am leaning away from Jhakchalkhyn being at least in the Middle Dark is because other then a single off-hand mention, it has no history at all, and it had NO interaction with The North or anything on the surface. Usually the closer a drow settlement is to the surface, the more interaction there is with it. From its history (or lack there-of), I was actually thinking it should be in the Deep Dark.




Hmmm, on the purpose of Karsoluthyl being under the ocean. Given that sahuagin are corrupted sea elves who like to hunt sea elves.... I wonder if they might not somehow or other be interacting with sahuagin. I buy that more than them dealing with Kraken and aboleths (both of which are so alien as to be dangerous trade partners). Maybe they have some kind of beef with sea elves and are using sahuagin like they do other lesser races? Not sure if I like it, but its at least a start.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 03 Feb 2017 :  23:10:58  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, who's to say that sea Elves feel as strongly about Drow as Surface Elves do? In a way, both are 'sub-surface' and very alien from the rest of the elven race. They could be trading with sea Elves (or just about any other aquatic race).

quote:
Originally posted by Abeir

Actually on the interaction with the surface its interesting that the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide claims most surface Drow adventurers come from either Menzo or Jhachalkhyn (p107).

Now thats interesting - it was supposed to be "all but destroyed", but instead of simply 'dying out' as was surmised at the time, it seems to have been resettled as of 5e. Thus, during the 'Lost Century', it apparently made some sort of come-back, which would indicate that that particular piece of real-estate is valuable, for some reason.

Personally, I would spin it thats it become the 'Skullport' of The North (or maybe the 'Neverwinter' of the Night Below), but almost entirely for Underdark races (so a drow-run settlement with 'ghettos'/enclaves of other races, that acts as a 'trading hub' for folks from all over and every level of the Underdark. I'd probably place quite a few portals/Gates near it (maybe the Spellplague did something the reactivated ancient gates, or perhaps teleportation magic has simply become easier because the nature of Faerzress as changed (at least, in that area).

So maybe closer to the surface would be more fun.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 03 Feb 2017 23:12:53
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Abeir
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  00:47:41  Show Profile Send Abeir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[/quote]
Now thats interesting - it was supposed to be "all but destroyed", but instead of simply 'dying out' as was surmised at the time, it seems to have been resettled as of 5e. Thus, during the 'Lost Century', it apparently made some sort of come-back, which would indicate that that particular piece of real-estate is valuable, for some reason.

Personally, I would spin it thats it become the 'Skullport' of The North (or maybe the 'Neverwinter' of the Night Below), but almost entirely for Underdark races (so a drow-run settlement with 'ghettos'/enclaves of other races, that acts as a 'trading hub' for folks from all over and every level of the Underdark. I'd probably place quite a few portals/Gates near it (maybe the Spellplague did something the reactivated ancient gates, or perhaps teleportation magic has simply become easier because the nature of Faerzress as changed (at least, in that area).

So maybe closer to the surface would be more fun.
[/quote]

That's kind of why I imagined it as instead being an outpost of Karsoluthiyl since the portals are already there. In my version Karsoluthiyl, Jhachalkhyn, Maeralyn, and the Ruathym locations (I'd use a name from the list of untouched Drow cities) are all linked in an Undrek'Thoz kind of way, with Karsoluthiyl just being the largest. If Maeralyn was part of Karsoluthiyl they could indeed use the Illithids as allies against the Aboleths, and Jhachalkhyn's razing could simply be another example of Drow intrapolity warfare.
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  01:53:03  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Didn't want to create a new thread for simple question - anyone have any idea what level Jhachalkhyn would be on? Upper, Middle, or Lower Dark? It appears on the map from DDUGttU, which doesn't give levels, but doesn't appear on the 3e Underdark map, which did.

Sorry I didn't see this sooner, I didn't think I'd be able to help with a thread about Tharsult!

Jhachalkhyn is in the Upperdark. You can find it on the map for the 5e product "Out of the Abyss", available for purchase from Mike Schley's website.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Markustay
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  03:00:46  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, okay. Problem solved. Thanks for the info. Another case of 4e/5e 'bringing back' a previously 'destroyed' settlement/ruin/culture. LOL


Adventurer: Excuse me sir, would you like us to fight off all the monsters destroying your town?

Farmer: Nah, its okay... it'll all 'grow back' in about a week.


You know, there something very eerie about RPG settings, the way they just 'reset' for the next group. If this happened in RW it would be the basis for a really creepy horror story. "But.. but... I saw you die!"

"Just a flesh wound".

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 Feb 2017 03:01:05
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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  03:13:05  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It makes sense if those settlements were founded in a resource rich area, which many settlements are... but your point stands, it is eerie.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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Abeir
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  03:31:25  Show Profile Send Abeir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So now that Jhachalkhyn is firmly established to be where it is I feel even more confused about the Drow trying to build Q'Xolarrin and the dwarves rebuilding Gauntylgrym without any mention of an extremely nearby pre-existing Drow city.
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KanzenAU
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  04:15:23  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Abeir

So now that Jhachalkhyn is firmly established to be where it is I feel even more confused about the Drow trying to build Q'Xolarrin and the dwarves rebuilding Gauntylgrym without any mention of an extremely nearby pre-existing Drow city.

Not much is known about the current Jhachalkhyn as far as I'm aware. Keep in mind they're over 120 miles away from each other as the crow flies, which could be 3x as long through the Underdark, or have no existing routes as far as we know. We also don't know if Jhach is a Lolth-worshipping city or just a small village of drow settlers. The drow of Menzo trying to rebuild Q'Xolarrin may not have even been aware of Jhach.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North

Edited by - KanzenAU on 04 Feb 2017 04:16:02
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  04:17:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exactly why my thoughts were to 'bury it deeper'.

But canon IS canon {sigh}

Which is why I would also prefer to spin it as a more of a large town-becoming-a-small-city that is maybe 40% Drow, but with other factions present as well, like the Illithids, Svirfneblins, goblinoids, Duergar, etc. Thus, a more 'neutral grounds' kind of place - a 'trade moot' - that tends to lay low and tries to avoid problems with 'pesky surface dwellers'.

And, of course, because its 5e, you'll find a Drow Harper, a Duergar Zhent, a Deep gnome member of the Emerald Enclave, an illithid member of the Order of the Gauntlet, and, ummm... an Orc from many Arrows who's a member of the Lord's Alliance ('cause, 5e, ya' know). They'll all be sharing a room at the Inn (there old frenemies), and they get along fine until they 'clock in' for the day (usually when adventurers arrive).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 Feb 2017 04:18:33
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Abeir
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  04:26:05  Show Profile Send Abeir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU


Not much is known about the current Jhachalkhyn as far as I'm aware. Keep in mind they're over 120 miles away from each other as the crow flies, which could be 3x as long through the Underdark, or have no existing routes as far as we know. We also don't know if Jhach is a Lolth-worshipping city or just a small village of drow settlers. The drow of Menzo trying to rebuild Q'Xolarrin may not have even been aware of Jhach.



Fair enough on the distance.

Tyrants of the Underdark Rulebook P18: The city of Jhachalkhyn was all but destroyed by an attack from the drow city of Maeralyn. It thereafter fell under the control of the Jaezred Chaulssin and their shadow dragon patron.

So probably a merchant/Vhaeraunite dominated city.
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Markustay
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Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  08:47:27  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmph

Not a big fan of the Shades or 'all things shadowy', buuuuut...

It might be fun to dump a 'Shade Enclave' in there. Not like a Netherese one, but something more akin to a Thayan one (like an embassy of sorts). Ya know, have a wee bit of a 'shadow folk' kind of theme going (what were those things called? Dark Stalkers and Dark Creeeprs?)

And now I just made it even creepier.

But picture an Underdark trade-meet that is run more akin to Old Chicago, with the Jaezred Chaulssin being the 'big bosses', and the Shadow dragon being almost like a 'Godfather' kind of figure. So I guess a lot like Skullport, but still different. So you'd have a racial 'boss' figure for each district/ghetto in the town, all getting a 'kick back' from the trade passing through. Humans would probably be the least welcome, and highly suspect (so any surface groups that wanted to deal with those below would probably have to do it through a 3rd party).

So, sort of like a cross between Skullport and Vaerndoun (another 'Underdark trade-moot' below Torsh, but run by illithids).

And whilst looking for the name of that place, I happened to see Angrimm in my notes... A DROW CITY BENEATH NEVERWINTER WOODS. Getting awful crowded around there, me thinks. Not to mention the fallen dwarven settlement of Hammerkeep, once run by the House Arzhoun dwarves of Delzoun, but now inhabited by Derro (so now a derro kingdom). Located in the Northern Neverwinter, BTW, and right near Mt. Hotenow.


Busy, busy place... (the above comes from Ship of Night, in Dungeon Magazine #20).

Yup... crowded indeed.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 Feb 2017 08:51:18
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
741 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  09:00:02  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Shade could work - Clariburnus Tanthul should still be in Xinlenal in the Neverwinter Wood!

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5663 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  15:10:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Hmph

Not a big fan of the Shades or 'all things shadowy', buuuuut...

It might be fun to dump a 'Shade Enclave' in there. Not like a Netherese one, but something more akin to a Thayan one (like an embassy of sorts). Ya know, have a wee bit of a 'shadow folk' kind of theme going (what were those things called? Dark Stalkers and Dark Creeeprs?)

And now I just made it even creepier.

But picture an Underdark trade-meet that is run more akin to Old Chicago, with the Jaezred Chaulssin being the 'big bosses', and the Shadow dragon being almost like a 'Godfather' kind of figure. So I guess a lot like Skullport, but still different. So you'd have a racial 'boss' figure for each district/ghetto in the town, all getting a 'kick back' from the trade passing through. Humans would probably be the least welcome, and highly suspect (so any surface groups that wanted to deal with those below would probably have to do it through a 3rd party).

So, sort of like a cross between Skullport and Vaerndoun (another 'Underdark trade-moot' below Torsh, but run by illithids).

And whilst looking for the name of that place, I happened to see Angrimm in my notes... A DROW CITY BENEATH NEVERWINTER WOODS. Getting awful crowded around there, me thinks. Not to mention the fallen dwarven settlement of Hammerkeep, once run by the House Arzhoun dwarves of Delzoun, but now inhabited by Derro (so now a derro kingdom). Located in the Northern Neverwinter, BTW, and right near Mt. Hotenow.


Busy, busy place... (the above comes from Ship of Night, in Dungeon Magazine #20).

Yup... crowded indeed.



If this is the case, I'd pretty much go with not all cities are CITIES.... maybe some are more like drow outposts on the outskirts of major cities... or maybe they're side caves that belong to a certain family long ago and were named after them but are effectively part of the larger city.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13839 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2017 :  17:29:51  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, here's the thing - we know at least a couple of them are 'trading outpost' type settlements. In another thread, there is some discussion about this as well. Maybe the reason why we never here about the 'parent city' of all these trading-posts is because its a rare Deep Dark Drow city - Angrimm (Dungeon Magazine #20) - that has little to no contact with the surface world, and uses several 'trade moots' to connect with other Underdark settlements (Drow, and otherwise). That could help explain Karsoluthyl as well - Angrimm only has a few tunnels leading away from it, and NONE of them 'up' right from there, so they establish these other outposts which do have more connections. In fact, it may not even be tunnels - it could be they need Gates to get to an from them (which means they've either overcome the limitations of the Faerzress radiation, or have found Gates that do so, which would also explain why some areas of the Underdark are far more 'desirable' (settled) than others.

And the reason why I say Angrimm (sounds dwarvish, no? ) should be the 'hub' of this network is because we know absolutely nothing about it in canon, other than its 'in the vicinity of Neverwinter Woods' (and yet, still far-enough away from other Underdark locales to not ever have been mentioned - thus, a 'secretive' deep dark locale). Its unknown nature lends itself to being the 'missing link' in a lot of conjecture.


EDIT:
Looking over this adventure now: lots of odd lore tidbits and some history, but the one thing that really caught my eye is the 'map' of the Hammerkeep (very original name, no? ) environs - it has south at the top! It never says that anywhere, but it took me a minute to realize all the map symbols were upside down! Thus, if you flipped it over and read it the way the dwarves would have, south would be at the top. NEAT

I recall asking Ed a question about dwarven maps (and why almost none exist), and said that they were extremely secretive about such things. Maybe as part of that, they used different map-conventions than most other races did.

EDIT2: The entrance to Hammerfast is literally right at the bottom of Mt. Hotenow.

The place is right on top of Gauntlgrym, and yet the two have no connection. Thats not just... weird... it should be impossible.

George! Get over here immediately and fix this! Bring Eric! Hurry!


"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 Feb 2017 18:00:47
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