Dark Elf Portals
By Ramon Arjona
The Portal of the Dead Goddess
No deity, not even Lolth, can surpass That Which Lurks in depravity, cruelty, and maliciousness. The immeasurably old Ghaunadaur predates the Crown War and Lolth's fall from the elven pantheon. He may even predate the arrival of the elves in Faerûn. Only the most insane and debased individuals pay homage to Ghaunadaur. In a twisted way, this honors Lolth's own cruelty -- so horrible is the Spider Queen that some of her chosen race turn to the service of That Which Lurks in hope of getting a better deal. These individuals, without exception, find only madness and death.
The portal of the Dead Goddess was not created by Ghaunadaur, though it may be as old as he is. The magic used to create it must have been powerful, for after so long a period of time the portal continues to function perfectly. Ghaunadaur's magic has perverted the portal, however. Through the interference of That Which Lurks, the portal has been given a key. This is an uncommon occurrence since the conditions of a portal's activation cannot normally be changed once the portal has been created, and it certainly required a great expenditure of power on Ghaunadaur's part. Because of the taint placed upon it by That Which Lurks, only slimes and oozes can activate the portal. Once the portal is activated, it stays open for 1 round. After this, the portal reseals itself.
The portal connects a section in the deep Underdark with a small realm in one of the Outer Planes. This realm was once the domain of a goddess who has long since disappeared or died. The goddess may have been a contemporary of Ghaunadaur, and she may even have been his enemy. No being that exists, besides Ghaunadaur himself, knows for certain. The name of the goddess, her portfolio, and all details of her existence have been forgotten, except perhaps by That Which Lurks.
It is certain, however, that the god of oozes has taken an interest in this plane. He has dispatched the oozemaster Kurolaboath Notepirroth, one of his most insane and effective servants, to this plane to search for something in the long-forgotten ruins of the dead goddess' domain. What the oozemaster is looking for, and what he will do with it when he finds it, is a secret known only to the Kurolaboath and his incomprehensible master.
How to Incorporate the Portal of the Dead Goddess Into Your Campaign:
- The Dead Goddess was not the enemy of Ghaunadaur, but his ally. The oozemaster Kurolaboath Notepirroth is searching the plane for a stockpile of artifacts left there eons ago by That Which Lurks. The PCs will have to stop the oozemaster or face the consequences of his success. They may need to seal the portal to do so.
- The dead goddess is not dead, merely sleeping. She comes to one of the PCs in a dream and begs for aid. The PCs must enter the dead goddess' realm and awaken her before Kurolaboath has opportunity to destroy or control her. Having done this, the PCs must then find a way to remove the taint That Which Lurks has placed upon the portal to her realm. If the PCs are successful, they have earned a powerful ally and altered the balance of power among the gods of Faerûn.
- The Dead Goddess was the mortal enemy of Ghaunadaur. While he has survived the passage of time, she has not. However, somewhere within her realm is a major artifact capable of destroying any ooze or slime -- even That Which Lurks. The PCs must locate the artifact before Kurolaboath has the opportunity to destroy it, or they will miss an opportunity to rid Faerûn of one of its most depraved and inhuman deities.