The Underdark was the vast network of underground caverns and tunnels underneath the surface of Abeir-Toril. It was home to a host of evil beings driven deep into the caverns at the end of the age of demons.


There are several strata to the Underdark:

  • World Above
    The surface area of Toril. The name those who live in the Underdark give the surface.
  • Upperdark
    The first three miles below the surface. It was here where the surface dwellers and those in the Underdark most often met.
  • Middledark
    Located three to ten miles below the surface, this layer was where most of the Underdark cities were located.
  • Lowerdark
    Ten miles or more below the surface, the Lowerdark was where even those who knew the Underdark loath to go.


The Underdark was not one giant cavern under Faerûn, but rather, many giant networks of caverns and caves. As a result, it was not always possible to travel from one end of the Underdark to the other. The Underdark was divided into several domains that were similar to continents of the world above. While it was possible to travel from one place to another within a domain, separate domains tended to have very few passages linking them. The major domains of the Underdark were the Buried Realms, the Darklands, the Deep Wastes, the Earthroot, the Glimmersea, Great Bhaerynden, the Northdark and Old Shanatar.


Plant life and animal life could be as varied underground as on the surface. Ranging from small insects to hook horrors or shadow dragons which set up their realms deep down, everything can be expected. Plant life was unable to utilize sunlight as a source for energy, and thus took on strange forms adapted to life underground. Many fungi were also found underground. Being unable to digest normal nutrients most of the time, they relied on absorbing faerzress for their energy.



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