Archive for the ‘Rise of the Underdark’ Category

The Rise of the Underdark puzzle hunt has gone live on the Drow Hub, check it out here:

Ages ago, Lolth’s children descended into the depths of the earth. There, the dark elves have become mighty… and now they are ready! As the drow move against Faerun, help stand against them by uncovering their war plans and anticipating their dark plots.

Each week, three clues will be provided in various places—such as on the D&D website, through the D&D Facebook page, and on the D&D Twitter channel. Enter the answers to those clues, and if correct you’ll unlock knowledge about the drow (as well as special preview content).

If you’re not able to solve the clues (or don’t catch them in time), it will still be possible for you to solve the puzzles—with some help from your friends who solved it before you!

Shout of Triumph: Announce your success in solving each week’s puzzle across Facebook/Twitter!

Second Wind: Miss out on the clues? In the week following a given puzzle, you’ll be able to ask for help in finding lost clues.

Aid Another: Need more help? Friends that have solved a given puzzle can offer additional assistance two weeks later.

Cookies: If you have cookies disabled, or if you delete cookies from your machine, you will not be able to track your progress.


The guys over at have once again ripped apart their package from WotC and spilt the beans on what to expect (, in a very unspoilerish way. If you’re aiming on coming to the Spider Killer attmept at Mondo Comico on the 9th of June, this might be useful to read…

What happens when you cross one of the UK’s up and coming DM’s on the public play scene, with a convention exclusive adventure, a new season of Encounters, and a mixture of players who might or might not have played said convention adventure…

Well, If you’re Mik, this happens:

Designed as a very quick introduction to the new Encounters season, Web of the Spider Queen, Mik has written an encounter with a backstory that bridges the gap between The Sun Never Rises, and the players meeting Ghessla Silvermane at the Old Skull Inn.

I would tweak one line in the background slightly:

Her Radiance, Dareen Travaskyr, High Priestess at the Temple of Lathander in Daggerdale has called together a band of adventurers that have been resting in town, some of which recently took part in a daring rescue below her own temple which had been raided from below by a force of drow with dwarven mercenaries.

Dareen tells the adventurers she has been having vivid dreams of a drow invasion of the Dalelands, with the symbol of a large white skull prominent. She believes the incursion is going to happen soon and as such, has sent out her acolytes to seek out those in positions of power and deliver this omen of fear. So far none of her acolytes have returned, and Her Radiance is concerned that her word is being suppressed.

She asks the characters to travel to Shadowdale and speak to Ghessla Silvermane, proprietor of the Old Skull Inn. Perhaps from there, they can learn more about the impending invasion, or at least alert the neighbouring dale to the possible threat. Dareen also mentions that if the characters tell Ghessla that Her Radiance sent them, the innkeeper might offer them free meals, free lodging for a night, and, most important, free access to the Underdark.

Heading out of Daggerdale at midmorning the heroes set off on the march to Shadowdale in high spirits.

It’s my intention to continue to use this site as a hub for the Rise of the Underdark storyline and events in the UK. We’ll be posting up homemade drow related material, promoting events in other gaming stores, detailing news about the storyline, and also putting up a guide on how the 3d terrain was made.

The Drowathon, and First Assault are just the first steps into a bigger set of events that will span the next 6 months of D&D 4th Edition.

While we are restricting characters at the Drowathon to pre-gens, if you are aiming on joining the follow-on encounters season at your local gaming store (such as Mondo Comico, Tabletop Tyrants, Chaos City Comics), then we thought you might like to know what the adventure booklet says about character generation.

Character creation

For this season, players can use materials from Heroes of the Fallen LandsHeroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, and Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook to create their characters. In addition, players can use rules presented in Dragon magazine in support of these products.


The race options for this seaon are Dragonborn, Drow, Dwarf, Eladrin, Elf, Goblin*, Half-Elf, Halfling, Half-Orc, Human, Kobold*, Svirfneblin*, and Tiefling.
*new races found in Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survivial Handbook.


Players may choose classes from the above listed handbooks.


Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook offers new character theme options in addition to its class to expand the character.

Themes in Brief:-

  • Bloodsworn: have a vendetta against a particular Underdark race.
  • Deep Delver: knows how to expertly navigate the tunnels of the Underdark.
  • Escaped Thrall: former prisoner of an Underdark race.
  • Treasure Hunter: gems and gold of Underdark creatures call you to action.
  • Trapsmith:knows how to make and disarm traps.
  • Underdark Envoy: an ambassador or diplomat among the races of the Underdark.
  • Underdark Outcast: banished from your home you make your way in the world.


Players in this seaon gain access to on of the following three character backgrounds. When a player selects one of these backgrounds they can select one of the following benefits.

  • Gain a +2 bonus to check with one skill associated with the background.
  • Add one skill associated with the background to that characters class skills for the purpose of choosing trained skills.

You’re a native of Shadowdale, well familiar with the stories of drow invasions from under Old Skull. Your homeland shows few signs that the drow once ruled it. These days, pastoral farmlands stretch out around Old Skull, and the great wizard Elminster protects the area. Or at least he usually does. Elminster is often away, and his magical wards arent as strong as they once were.
Did you grow up in Shadowdale or did you settle in the area later? What close ties to the town do you have? What possessions or people do you feel a need to protect? Have you met Elminster? Have you worked with him in the past or been inspired by him?
Associated skills: Diplomacy or Nature.

Myth Drannor
The eladrin city-state of Myth Drannor seems like a place out of time in comparison to the human dominated settlements of the Dalelands. Though the city’s inhabitants are predominantly eladrin (plus a large minority of elves), they welcome outsiders and participate in th politics of the region. Myth Drannor’s people drove the Jaelre drow into the Underdark in ages past, and they realise how dangerous it would be if they retook Shadowdale.
Did a life among the eladrin instill a hatred of the drow in you? Do you come from Myth Drannor, or the exotic forest of Cormanthor that surrounds it? Do yo serve as an ambassador between Myth Drannor and Shadowdale? If not, what brings you here?
Associated skills: Arcana or Nature.

Deep Wastes
You hail from beneath the Dalelands, born in an area of the Underdark called the Deep Wastes. Though Valan Jealre’s drow have grown in numbers lately, most societies in the sparsely populated tunnels of the Wastes remain small.
How much do yo know about Valan Jealre? What sort of dealings have you had with the drow under Old Skull? Did you suspect the drow might be planning to attack Shadowdale? Why did you ravel to the surface instead of staying in the Underdark?
Associated skills: Dungeoneering or Nature.

Changing Characters

Players can switch characters during the season. If a player wishes to do so the new character starts with xp equal to that of the old character. However the new character can keep neither treasure nor items fro the previous character.

I’ve just noticed this product on the WotC website:

One bit that stands out…

that sends the Sage plummeting into the Underdark as a cloud of ashes. Elminster soon inhabits the body of a fallen dark elf, so that he can begin carrying out Mystra’s orders

OK… Thats got my attention!


As they do for each new Encounters season, have a preview up of the materials that come in the pack. Unlike the UK, where the materials arrive the day before the event starts if you are lucky, in America, they seem to arrive well in advance, so it gives us a chance to check out the maps and rewards from the season.

And the maps look awesome! A nice mix of above ground and below grond, and a nice mix of caves and dungoen rooms. Its a real pity that WotC still enforce the Encounters on Wednesday as I could be lured back to my not so friendly FLGS with this season.

They also show off the Sun Never Rises special treasure, which is an absolute stunning item and will definitely ater the difficultly of the season for those that sucessfully complete the adventure at the Drowathon event.

So check out: