Heroes of Hillsfar
Rumours and Information 7
Information known after Gravenhollow:
- The demon lords were involuntarily summoned into the Underdark when the drow arch wizard Gromph Baenre of the noble house Baenre of Menzoberranzan was tricked by Lolth, the demon queen of spiders, into casting a spell using the power of faerzress to summon just one demon lord. The faerzress made the spell into a chain reaction that spiralled out of control summoning all of the demon lords – except Lolth – into areas of the Underdark.
- Lolth is populating the layers of the Abyss, filled with leaderless demons, with her eggs which will no doubt hatch her minions who will take charge of the various layers to bring the entire Abyss under Lolth’s control.
- The faerzress is a magical energy present in many areas of the Underdark has been tainted by demonic madness and infecting those communities who have made their homes in faerzress rich locations. Powered by the demon lords the faerzress has been expanding, bringing madness with it, including into surface lands.
- The demon lords are in different places in the Underdark. Yeenough and Baphomet, along with all their followers, have taken the opportunity to renew their ancient hostilities and battles between gnolls and minotaurs and their slaves rage through the Labyrinth, a tangled network of tunnels underneath the Dessarin River. Demogorgon is gathering kuo-toa followers in some huge Underdark lake. Orcus has corrupted a community of mindflayers thousands of miles to the east. Graz’zt, as is already known, is in the Deep Wastes, the Underdark region underneath the Moonsea and Dalelands area.
- The Underdark has many layers, broadly categorised into the Upperdark, Middark and Lowerdark.
- The drow and duergar communities who have been powers in the Underdark are reeling from the assault of demons and creatures allied with the demon lords, as well as the madness infecting the Underdark. They have been unable to mount any effective resistance to the demon lords and their minions.
- Those that are mounting effective resistance are those not immediately affected by the madness. One of the main contributors to the resistance against a demonic incursion of the surface lands is the dwarven underground stronghold of Gauntlgrym, ruled by King Bruenor Battlehammer. Gauntlgrym is located near the city of Neverwinter on the Sword Coast.
- Braincap mushrooms can be an effective preventive and cure to madness. They are rare mushrooms that are usually found in areas where a variety of other fungi are present. This means they will never be found in isolated patches in the Underdark. Rather look for large caverns with many fungi present. One such is Sporedome, a large cavern with a lake in the centre. Braincap mushrooms will prevent or cure one instance of madness (same as a greater restoration spell but only in relation to the demonic madness). However the power of the braincap is then spent, and the person is at risk of further madness. Eating more than one braincap mushroom before a long rest risks intoxication (including hallucinations).
- Sporedome is home to myconids – intelligent roughly humanoid shaped fungi – and other creatures. The vision seen during the library showed derro attacking and capturing myconids. Also seen in the vision was a conflict between two groups of myconids, one of which had a bag full of braincap mushrooms.
- The Crimson Trinity are three incubi warlocks who are favoured by Graz’zt. Gheriot is based at Hillsfar, Oromoth is at Maerimydra, and Vheloch is at Szith Morcane. They have created a ritual whereby souls killed in the Hillsfar Arena and the Maerimydra Colosseum are channelled as energy straight to Graz’zt. The actual ritual for this is held at Szith Morcane and maintained by Vheloch. The Crimson Trinity are planning a huge gladiatorial event in both Hillsfar and Maerimydra at the same time where many souls are expected to be released for Graz’zt’s consumption.
- The Gravenhollow library exists outside of time, and people from the past and future can be encountered there, albeit as ghost like images. A future incarnation of Elminster the famous mage of Shadowdale was met and spoken to. He was reluctant to give much away for fear of affecting the future, however he did confirm that in his time the demon lords had been banished back to the Abyss, but declined to say how it was accomplished.
- The writings of the Archives of the Future in Gravenhollow indicate that without intervention, the future of the world of Faerun is bleak as the demon lords will finally break out of the Underdark and lay waste to the surface lands after many years of fighting. Information about the archives reveals that the archives only reflect the likely future as things stand at the moment, and action by anyone could have an effect and the archives would be rewritten.