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 How did the Underdark come to be?
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
742 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  06:15:47  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Is there any FR-specific lore about this? Or lore for any world about the Underdark's formation?

I'm aware of the core-4e specific stuff regarding the god Torog and his primordial rival Gargash, but that's it.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  06:52:16  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They were made by the 'maggots' that eat-away at the corpse of Ymir, the First World?

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

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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  06:57:32  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I remember reading somewhere about little kobold-like (but non-draconic) creatures that live in the Underdark and slowly change its tunnels over time, but I can't remember if they were FR-specific, and I can't find the information on them. I have a feeling they were "alterers" rather than builders too.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  09:28:14  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pretty sure the Underdark was a side effect of the elven Sundering that created Evermeet.

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KanzenAU
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Australia
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  10:13:23  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Pretty sure the Underdark was a side effect of the elven Sundering that created Evermeet.


Any idea what source that comes from?

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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
692 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  11:32:44  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reading the 3e Underdark book, it seems like the Underdark was always there since the creation of Abeir-Toril.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 06 Jul 2017 11:33:15
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  12:00:30  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KanzenAU

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Pretty sure the Underdark was a side effect of the elven Sundering that created Evermeet.


Any idea what source that comes from?



I want to say it was the Evermeet novel, but it's been a while since I read it, and I won't swear to that.

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  13:21:27  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd pretty much go with the fact that we have various creatures like purple worms and others tunneling through the earth.... so they created it. It would be something definitely missing from our own world.

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Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
3502 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  19:07:03  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I view the underdark as a natural formation of magic rich worlds.

In the distant past, before the weave, magic was raw and abundant and strong enough to burn lesser creatures on contact. At this time the raw magic was everywhere. The weave was created to allow creatures easy access to lesser magic but it also insulated lesser creatures from raw magic and so life exploded on toril.

So even further back when toril was young (cooling mantle creates the rock surface), what if the raw magic under primordial conditions forms a semi solid plasma like state (like the heavy magic karsus made) which formed huge irregular bubbles in the molten mantle. The mantle cooled with these huge magic bubbles inside. The magic then diffused into everything as conditions became more like modern realms and left behind huge cavern complexes and tunnels etc which were then expanded by lifeforms.

Of course the magic didnt diffuse evenly and thats why there are lots of weird magic phenomena in the underdark and also perhaps the origin of faerzress.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  19:20:15  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Back when I was working on the Kara-Tur project, I created some lore to explain the formation of some new (post-2e, at that time) 'great lakes' down in southern Kara-Tur, to the west of the two big empires, but also bordering both, and Tabot as well (so 'under contention' by several different power-groups). I'll probably include them in some future maps I'm doing (because the FULL FR continental map I am working on DOES go all the way to the coast of Kara-Tur, even though I'm not posting that part of it).

ANYWAY... the lore was that Ibrandul (who I am likening to a more reptilian version of Shub-Niggurth) tunnels everywhere beneath the world, as does his 'spawn'. This creates quite a bit of the Underdark. In the case of those lakes, in ancient times 'the Gods' created the plateau that would become 'the Living Jungle' (Malatra) by borrowing millions of tons of earth from beneath Kara-Tur (where those lakes appeared). Ibrandul was called-upon to help with this, and also use his power to shore-up the massive caverns left behind.

He made that new cavern-complex his main 'lair', and when Shar killed him during the ToT, the cavern caved-in, no longer being supported bu his power. On the surface, this resulted in massive depressions (valleys) that turned into these new 'Great Lakes' (at least one major river back-flowed from the sea for days because of it).

I was rather proud of all that - I made a pretty bare area interesting, tied it to existing lore, and managed to explain-away a few things as well.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I view the underdark as a natural formation of magic rich worlds.

In the distant past, before the weave, magic was raw and abundant and strong enough to burn lesser creatures on contact. At this time the raw magic was everywhere. The weave was created to allow creatures easy access to lesser magic but it also insulated lesser creatures from raw magic and so life exploded on toril.

So even further back when toril was young (cooling mantle creates the rock surface), what if the raw magic under primordial conditions forms a semi solid plasma like state (like the heavy magic karsus made) which formed huge irregular bubbles in the molten mantle. The mantle cooled with these huge magic bubbles inside. The magic then diffused into everything as conditions became more like modern realms and left behind huge cavern complexes and tunnels etc which were then expanded by lifeforms.

Of course the magic didnt diffuse evenly and thats why there are lots of weird magic phenomena in the underdark and also perhaps the origin of faerzress.

Something along these lines would work very well. I'd also link it all to Faerzress and elemental nodes (places that still release magical energies that cause these 'bubbles'). Maye even say the Moonweells/Pools of... are like magical 'pimples' - places where that trapped (raw) magical energy has bubbled to the surface.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Jul 2017 16:12:35
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  20:34:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Grand History of the Realms makes a connection between the elven Sundering and faerzress -- basically, the latter is a result of the destabilization of the Weave that happened when Evermeet was called to the Realms.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  20:38:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmmm... a physical manifestation of a time paradox?

VERY interesting...

Good loring, Wooly.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 06 Jul 2017 :  21:45:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Hmmmm... a physical manifestation of a time paradox?

VERY interesting...

Good loring, Wooly.



I only recalled that because I read it earlier today.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1189 Posts

Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  10:32:01  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like the Ibrandul's Spawn myth for the origins of the Underdark i.e. tunneled by massive earthworms and (by then intelligent) oozes.

Some tectonic and erosion based cavern structures were probably incorporated in the Underdark as a whole, including invasive incursions of the planes (sometimes actively controlled by powers such as Shar/Ibrandul, the gods of Fury and the elemental lords Kossuth, Grumbar, Istishia and Akadi) such as the elemental planes, the Shadowfell and the Far Realms.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
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Posted - 08 Jul 2017 :  15:09:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bladewind

I like the Ibrandul's Spawn myth for the origins of the Underdark i.e. tunneled by massive earthworms and (by then intelligent) oozes.

Some tectonic and erosion based cavern structures were probably incorporated in the Underdark as a whole, including invasive incursions of the planes (sometimes actively controlled by powers such as Shar/Ibrandul, the gods of Fury and the elemental lords Kossuth, Grumbar, Istishia and Akadi) such as the elemental planes, the Shadowfell and the Far Realms.




Same here, at least for the making of the tunnels themselves. The idea of Faerzress, etc... I'm fine with the explanation given of "something to do with the elves"... it would help somewhat explain why they have such an affinity to it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6393 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  08:24:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The (same?) Underdark exists in/under the Greyhawk setting, no? As in, the same D&D/AD&D products, rules, monsters, and maps were used for the Underdark in both Greyhawk and the Realms. I think the Underdark was actually originally set in Greyhawk, the older setting, later "moved" to the Realms, the more popular "flagship" setting.

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Markustay
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USA
14156 Posts

Posted - 09 Jul 2017 :  16:24:48  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, GH had massive tunnel complexes - some that stretch for hundreds of miles - but the concept of the entire planet having an interconnected, subterranean world I believe comes directly from The Forgotten Realms. Although GH had Drow first, they were confined to just that one city (which is why I theorized Erelhei-Cinlu was actually settled by Torillian Dark Elves).

So basically, whereas Oerth has numerous 'dungeons', some quite vast and some connected to others, the idea of the Night Below hadn't coalesced into a D&D staple until 2e and FR (AFAIK).


As for Ibrandul and other world's Underdarks - I already hinted at Ibrandul just being a Realmsian incarnation of Shub-Niggurth, and nearly every world would have one. Perhaps what we never realized is that Ibrandul was actually the Terrasque, and it - and its spawn - 'eat' the raw magical energies that reside within the worlds, like Faerzress and elemental nodes. The literally are the 'maggots' eating the dead carcass of the shattered (Sundered) first World. Of course, the Terrasque is Cosmic entity itself -one of the natural forces of the universe, and much like the Phoenix, it is reborn anew each time it is destroyed (so although Shar ay have dined on Ibrandul during the ToT, it would have regenerated during the Wailing Years, pre-4e).

"The Dwellers in Darkness" are actually a much more primal aspect of darkness and shadow - something from that 'first world' that probably predates Shar herself. The may even have a connection to those Shadvari mentioned in one of the God books (which, come to think of it, also have a humanoid, reptilian aspect... hmmmmmm).

EDIT:
And there is also the concept of the Shadowdark, which is VERY similar to the Underland presented in Beyond Countless Doorways (which I consider D&D/Planescape canon, because of the group it was written by). Basically, it means all the 'Underdarks' are connected through an even deeper, darker plane 'beneath' it - sort of like the Prime Material's cellar. Thats where the true, archtype of 'evil beneath our feet' comes from. Its the Domain of its essence, and it sends aspects of itself out to all the worlds. On (D&D/fictional) Earth we call it 'Godzilla'. You can destroy it, but it just keeps coming back.

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


Edited by - Markustay on 09 Jul 2017 16:32:23
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sleyvas
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USA
5955 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  03:54:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Around the time that D&D came out as well, there were already comic books and novels and such all fascinated with of an entirely new world at the center of this one (basically, the hollow earth idea).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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