Echoes in the Depths
Here’s the deal: A while back I started to create a world for my DnD group, the basic set-up of which played off “Magic forces evolution” for lack of better terms. The world had an ambiguous history to it, with the following set in stone: Elves and Dwarves are the two oldest races. Eladrin and Drow are offshoots, created through the elves use and study of magic for Eladrin and the worship of darker entities (Lolth) for the Drow. Eladrin are still around, but no one has heard from the Drow since the last of the Elven Wars some 2000 years prior, when they went deep into the earth and dissappeared. The world has mostly lost contact with the gods, using old rituals to power their divine spells, and the lines between the arcane, the divine and the primal have blurred.
What the players discovered over the unfortunately short campaign: The remnants of the Drow that Lolth has evidently abandoned; a Dwarven city deep within the Underdark cut off from the others of their kind, but able to work the earth and metal with the power granted to them by Moradin himself; the ruined cities of the Drow, seemingly in full retreat into deeper tunnels; and finally that the underdark is a series of caverns of such unknowably great magnitude that it would be quicker to fall from the tallest cliff Topside that it would be to do the same Underside.
The Underdark is a series of caverns, navigated by floating pillars with darkened bridges of obsidian and mist connecting them. It is entirely possible in some places to drop a torch and have it fly up past your head or fall to the side of the cliff in some places, due to the magicks that had been worked there. There are massive shafts that lead for a mile or so from the top of these caverns to the caves on the surface world, appearing as black wells, many meters in diameter. They are magicked to allow travel down the sides, so an army might march the length of it. In the underdark, ruined cities dot the landscape where sight is permitted and there exists at least one pit spanning a mile in diameter, ringed with statues of Driders at the ready, spears pointing into the pit and with stairs lining the walls down.
The dwarven city was built as though on the inside of a cube. The inhabitants are no longer purely flesh and blood; the eldest have turn to statued stone and the middle-aged boast skill at manipulating the stone to do their bidding. There exists a golden stone in the center of the city, with one half of it blackened, allowing a day/night cycle with its rotation. They have had no contact with the outside in years, and indeed believed themselves to be the only surviving dwarves in existance.
The party met an interesting set of humanoids as they entered the Underdark. They were revealed to pale of skin with little hair lining them. The torso had shifted to favor either right or left as the dominant side, with that arm becoming very muscular, the hand melding into a three-toed foot with a sensitive underside. The subordinate side was smaller, but with great mobility and used as a manipulator. The face was decidedly elven, but lacking in eyes. It was noted that they could not detect the wizard on her floating disk, as they used tremorsense to navigate. These were the remnants of the Drow that either rejected Lolth or had not lived up to her favor.