Just after dawn, a long, rolling earthquake shakes the city
awake. Cracks appear in walls and crockery rattles, but no
Uproar ensues. Earthquakes are almost unheard of in the
city. Rumors of disaster soon race through the streets, fueled
by the anguish of people across the city whose heads fi ll with
sharp, sudden mental visions of a screaming bearded man
whose eyes blaze with rage, sorrow, and swimming stars. The
visions shift into scenes of pillars cracking and tumbling,
ceilings collapsing in caverns and dark rooms, and surging
explosions of blue-white sparks. These tides of fearsome force
leave many who receive the visions gasping on their knees,
unharmed but overwhelmed by the sensation of great magical
forces crashing through them. Repeatedly the screaming
face returns, with feelings of strong despair, of something
left unfinished—and swept away in great loss and ruin.
What has happened? A few wizards across the city who
shared the disturbing visions recognize the screaming face
as that of Halaster Blackcloak, the infamous “Mad Mage of
Soon everyone knows that something terrible has happened
in Undermountain. There’s an unknown but exceedingly
dark doom approaching the city and the massive dungeon
beneath it, and Halaster is very upset about it.
Those who have experienced the visions can’t stop thinking
of Undermountain, of walking through its chambers, of
fi nding brightly glowing treasures. They yearn to go there,
to answer Halaster’s urgent call. Undermountain awaits, in
desperate need. Something down there must be repaired, or
renewed, or rescued. Halaster wants something done now,
something vital. A terrible calamity must be set right, or
greater doom will surely come.
That night, wizards, sorcerers, a scattering of adventurers,
and others across the land dream of Undermountain
and a screaming Halaster. They all feel a yearning to enter
the infamous, legendary dungeon and do “something that
must be done.” No one quite knows what that something is,
but many momentarily mind-glimpse strange subterranean
rooms, weird items, and a rushing Halaster struggling to
accomplish various tasks.
Throughout the land, on the morning after the earthquake,
wizards, sages, and all sorts of adventurers start packing. The
trek to Undermountain has begun.