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The Sargauth Level made up the third level of Undermountain. It connected to Skullport by way of a tunnel and the River Sargauth. It once held the ancient town of Stromkuhldur, which fell into ruins before the late 15th century. Drow and goblinoid parties sought to gain control of these ruins, previously inhabited by the Netherese and the Melairkyn dwarves.[1]

GeographyEdit

The Sargauth Level was named after the River Sargauth that wound its way through this level of Undermountain.[3]

Broadly, the Sargauth Level could be divided in two big areas. First, ruins that were once a Netherese enclave,[4] as a matter of convenience called the Sargauth Enclave,[5] which suffered a major cave-in. Second, north to the first part was the part that was excavated by Halaster Blackcloak and his apprentices. The latter part took about two-third of the entire Sargauth Level.[4]

EntrancesEdit

During the 14th century DR, a number of ways to enter the Sargauth Level existed, although none were immediately apparent:

Notable LocationsEdit

Cavern of the Throne
The Cavern of the Throne was the destination for people who used one of Halaster's teleport rings. It led to a cavern with a magical throne that was once dedicated to Tempus inhabited by Aragauthos, an imprisoned blue dragon who killed every body who entered the cavern because she was promised freedom from the cave when she killed enough people, the Mad Mage had no intention of keeping the promise, in 1371 DR. The entire situation was more dangerous for entering people than it sounded. The reason was that Halaster's teleport ring was one of Halaster's joke items. On using it, the user lost every possession, including the ring, and arrived into the cavern with no clothes or other equipment.[8]
Hall of Many Pillars
The Hall of Many Pillars, set in the north-west of the Sargauth Level, was a room with thirty pillars, creating five by six rows.[9] By 1371 DR, it was the lair of the vampire Thearyn Shalad. The pillars in this room could fell into either of two categories: magical ones and those that had secret doors, the outermost ones. The former caused living creatures that touched such a pillar to suffer an effect like imprisonment getting out from which was difficult. It required either the mental command of Thearyn, a freedom spell, a limited wish or wish, or forcing the pillar to absorb magic, be it from magic items or spells. When the pillars were exposed to magic, they harmlessly absorbed it and each time they did so, showed an increasing number of glowing letters that formed a word in Thorass. Speaking the word out caused the imprisoned one's release. Technically, there was a fifth method to free the imprisoned by means of physical destruction of a pillar, but this way also caused the death of the person alongside his or her freedom. The second category of pillars had physical secret doors.[10]
Island Temple
The Island Temple was a temple that was run by kuo-toa and dedicated to a giant frog-like entity. By 1371 DR, it was abandoned by the kuo-toa and inhabited by a group of will-o'-wisp.[11]

ExitEdit

The following ways could be used to exit the 'Sargauth Level:

  • In the north part of this level, there was a staircase that went up to level 2, the Arcane Chambers.[12]
  • In the west part of this level, a tunnel led to Skullport. A similar tunnel was in the south-west part of this level.[12]
  • In the north-east part of this level, there was an abyssal circle that led to the Abyss.[12]
  • In a cave[13] in the southern part of this level, an archgate led to level 5, the Wyllowwood Forest.[12]
  • In the ruins of old house[14] in the north-west part of this level, an archgate led to level 6, the Lost Level.[12]
  • The so-called Thundergate was found in the Lost Cavern,[6] a cavern in the north-east of the Sargauth Level.[9] It was a one-way-gate to the Rat Hills that was keyed to female humans, elves, half-elves, and halflings for its activation, except humans members of any sex could activate it. On activation, it remained so for nine minutes but had a peculiarity: it stopped working on the spot for three to eighteen minutes when someone who did not fulfill the activation criteria was the first one to use it. In fact, the name was given by an angry dwarf who got into his emotional state due to discovering the peculiarity.[6]

HistoryEdit

The first people to settle the inside of Mount Waterdeep was a clan of dwarves called Melairkyn. They did so in –1288 DR. They called the mountain Melairbode and their domain the Underhalls.[15] Among other places, they lived in what was later called the Sargauth Level.[1]

A group of Netherese spellcasters came in –750 DR to Mealirbode and founded one of their enclaves inside the mountain. While it was not clear how the initial name of this enclave was, later historians referred to it as the Sargauth Enclave,[5] future Skullport.[16] The casters chose a place that was not yet excavated[5] and lived alongside the dwarves of Clan Melairkyn in a city called Stromkuhldur.[1] This did not mean that the two parties were on good footing. The Netherese excavated the patch of rock and magically established defenses for the newly excavated area against the dwarves so fast that the dwarves could not react fast enough to form meaningful protest.[17]

In –339 DR, Sargauth enclave suffered the effects of Karsus's Folly in the form of partial destruction. Its surviving arcanists became the entities who were later referred to as the Skulls of Skullport.[18]

In 1148 DR, a necromancer called Shradin Mulophor did two things. First, he founded a trading post on the ruins of the Sargauth Enclave. Second, he connected the place both by mundane means like creating canals that connected the River Sargauth with other bodies of water and by magical means like portals, thus creating links to various seas.[16]

InhabitantsEdit

Drow
An expedition from House Auvryndar had captured a section of Stromkuhldur—a former temple dedicated to Dumathoin[2]and before that one dedicated to Eilistraee[19] turned it into a hatchery for giant spiders.[2]
Azrok's Army
Azrok, a hobgoblin warlord, led a legion on this level. He eventually led his forces to Stromkuhldur, ridding the place of troglodytes and grimlocks. He was eventually forced to give up part of his domain when drow attacked him, making many of his subjects turn to the Xanathar's Thieves' Guild.[2]
Sea Hags
Several sea hags dwelt in the River Sargauth.[2]

AppendixEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 43. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  3. Eric L. Boyd, Ed Greenwood, Christopher Lindsay, Sean K. Reynolds (June 2007). Expedition to Undermountain. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 21. ISBN 978-0-7869-4157-5.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 126–127. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 40. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), p. 96. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  7. Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), p. 12. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  8. Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), pp. 103, 119. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Diesel, Steve Beck, and David Sutherland (1991). “Level 3 - North map”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  10. Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), pp. 92–95. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  11. Ed Greenwood (1991). “Campaign Guide to Undermountain”. In Steven E. Schend ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, Inc.), p. 103. ISBN 1-5607-6061-3.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  13. Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  14. Christopher Perkins (November 2018). Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7869-6626-4.
  15. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  17. Eric L. Boyd (June 2005). City of Splendors: Waterdeep. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-3693-2.
  18. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. Ed Greenwood (December 1991). “If You Need Help - Ask the Drow!”. Dragon #176 (TSR, Inc.), p. 16.

ConnectionsEdit