Skullport, also known as the Port of Shadows, was a teeming hive of evil lying deep beneath Waterdeep on the third underground level of Undermountain.[1]

Geographical featuresEdit

Sargauth, Portals, and PortEdit

Skullport lay along the subterranean river Sargauth, which was used as a trade route to the outside world. Over the centuries, several magical portals large enough for entire ships to pass through were built in the cavern walls along this waterway. One such portal, about 400 feet (122 m) east of Skull Island, is only faintly visible as a scratched outline in the stone. Triggering the portal required no special key, just extraordinary confidence on the part of the ship's pilot, since the vessel had to be steered bow-first into the wall. When the bowsprit made contact with the portal, the vessel and all its contents were transported instantly to the middle of the Lapal Sea.[citation needed]

The Keepers were hired mages who raised ships through the magical locks that led from the port to the Sea Caves south of Waterdeep and from there to the open sea. These portals are said to have been established by Halaster. Apparently passage through these locks required permission from the Keepers, although a talented mage could "piggyback" another ship passing through the portal at the same time.[3]


In 1479 DR most control over day-to-day activities was managed by gangs such as the Lowfellows or the Mandible. However, the Skulls of Skullport, magically transformed remnants of the original Netherese mages who settled in the cavern, watched closely over trade within the town. Any activities that interfered with the town drew the attention of the Skulls who would impose seemingly random punishments for minor infractions and enslave or destroy offenders for serious crimes.[2]



Considered part of the Underdark,[citation needed] it was a lawless place of slave traders, pirates, and demi-humans, which trafficked with illithids, drow, beholders and other less savory creatures beneath the surface.[citation needed] Inhabitants of Skullport were known as "Skulkers".[2]

Notable inhabitantsEdit

Notable locationsEdit


Overview of Skullport showing location of the "Snake Pit"

Crookspar Parlor
A gambling den in the highest part of the Crown.[2]
The Crown
The upper tier of Skullport, this area was home to pirate captains and wealthier merchants prior to the city's abandonment after the Spellplague.[2]
The Dredge
The lowest level of Skullport and a dank, lightless slum.[2]
The Grand Hoist
An unfinished, and possibly misguided project to build a hoist to transport goods from Skullport to Waterdeep.[2]
Hall of Mental Splendor
A small stronghold that housed a cadre of psionic spies that worked on contract, led by Vhondryl.[4]
The High Tide
The largest alehouse in Skullport in 1479 DR.[2]
Kreel's Fishery
A group of buildings in the Dredge where fish were processed for sale.[2]
Nine Bells
An enormous warehouse that served as a market for the town in 1479 DR.[2]
Pick and Lantern
Successful tavern in the Venter.[2]
The only eatery in the Dredge.[2]
Snake Pit
The Snake Pit was located in the heart of Skullport's mercantile district. Its walls were carved with images of serpents and scales, and two powerfully muscled, snake-tailed yuan-ti stood guard at its gates. It was the residence of Zstulkk Ssarmn, a prominent slaver of the Iron Ring consortium. The cavern housed the temple where Zstulkk Ssarmn led his yuan-ti brood in worship of Sseth.[citation needed]
The Threads
A series of tunnels north of the main cavern.[2]
The Venter
The middle tier of the cavern that contained most of the town.[2]


Skullport's history dated back centuries to a group of Netherese mages known as the Sargauth Enclave who settled in Skullport's cavern. These mages fashioned the Mantle, a mythal that protected their settlement. When Netheril fell in -339 DR the Mantle was ripped apart by wild magic which killed most of the inhabitants. Thirteen Netherese mages were absorbed by the magic and turned into disembodied skulls.[2]

In 1148 DR Shradin Mulophor obtained permission from Halaster Blackcloak to settle in the ruins of the Netherese enclave. For several centuries Skullport prospered as one of the main trading ports of the Underdark. However, in the late 14th century DR just prior to the Spellplague a slaad named Azriim weakened the Mantle so that it could no longer support the cavern's weight and large sections of the cave collapsed. During the Spellplague in 1385 DR the Mantle shot off bursts of wild magic and then disappeared.[2]

After the Spellplague, most survivors fled Skullport. At some point in the second half of the 15th century DR a young explorer named Miriam Sequora began showing off chunks of mithral she claimed she found in Skullport's ruins. She convinced a small number of miners to join her and soon a few merchants and miscreants settled in the town.[2]


  • The people of Skullport measured time in 'bells' of approximately four hours each.[2]
  • The town is bathed in dim light from phosphorescent fungus known as the Gloam.[2]

Skullport in 1479 DR





Netherese enclaves
Flying enclaves AkintaerAquessirAnauriaAsramDeliaDoubloonEileanarHlaungadathHlondathJethaereJiksidurJocktelegKolthunralLatheryLhaodaMaunatorNegarathNhallothOrbedalPalterPhylornelSpielSakkorsOpusSynodTanathrasThultantharTith TilendrothaelUndrentideXinlenal
Other enclaves CuulmathFarenweyQuaeluuvisQuesseerSargauthWerapan