Dark Elf Portals
By Ramon Arjona
The Ched Nasad Portal
As in most drow cities, the worship of Lolth dominates the religious life of those in Ched Nasad. And, as in most drow cities, many have become disaffected with the fetters the Spider Queen places upon her chosen race. Especially dissatisfied with the rule of the Spider Queen are drow males, who are consigned to a subordinate place in society and can hope for little more than a place as a servant to one of the powerful matron mothers. Many drow males want more than this from life and Vhaeraun, the drow deity known as the Masked Lord, offers them this opportunity.
The Ched Nasad portal is a closely held secret of the Masked Lord's clergy. By using it, they can come and go from the city undetected. The portal is hidden in a small tunnel within the city in an area that few drow frequent. Assassins and rogues in the service of the Masked Lord make certain that any who accidentally discover the portal conveniently disappear. The portal is keyed so that only a male drow who cannot cast divine spells can activate it. The portal on the surface can be activated only between sunset and sunrise. The portal in the Underdark can be activated at any time. Once the portal is activated, it stays open for 1 round. After this, the portal seals itself again.
The Ched Nasad portal links with one of the larger surface communities of drow located in the Night Above, in the realm known as the Dalelands. This surface-dwelling community is made up entirely of drow loyal to the Masked Lord, and they devote themselves to promoting his agenda of equality between the sexes and the reconquest of the surface. They split their time between harassing the people of Deepingdale and undermining the matron mothers of Ched Nasad. The portal also allows the servants of the Masked Lord to easily transport weapons and supplies between the Underdark and the Night Above. In this way, the surface-dwelling drow ensure that their allies in the Underdark never want for food or water, while those below supply their surface-dwelling brethren with riding lizards, poisonous fungus, and other materials accessible only in the Underdark. These drow intend to exploit this reciprocal relationship by engineering a shortage of food and water in Ched Nasad. While the followers of Lolth suffer thirst and starvation, followers of Vhaeraun will thrive on their hidden stockpiles. Then, when the Lolth followers are too weak to defend themselves, Vhaeraun's followers will strike against them -- toppling the matron mothers and taking the city for their own.
Vhaeraun's followers are not unopposed, however. A young but powerful priestess named Chalithra Vinn has begun to suspect their activities. Given the time and the appropriate assistance, she may uncover the plotting of the Masked Lord and prevent their assault on the government of Ched Nasad.
How to Incorporate the Ched Nasad Portal Into Your Campaign
- Chalithra Vinn contacts the player characters because she requires their assistance in investigating the activities of Vhaeraun's cult in Ched Nasad. She suspects the existence of a portal connecting Ched Nasad with Deepingdale. The PCs' cooperation will help the drow and Lolth -- but it will also help the people of Deepingdale. If, as Chalithra Vinn suspects, the followers of Vhaeraun intend to topple to government of Ched Nasad, they will certainly attempt the same in Deepingdale once their place in the Underdark is secure.
- Drow raids are increasing in the vicinity of Deepingdale. Many suspect that there is more going on here than the typical drow incursions -- the raids almost seem to be testing Deepingdale's defenses and probing for points of weakness, and the drow are better equipped than most have been in the past. (They were seen riding giant lizards and carrying powerful magic items.) The PCs are engaged to find the source of these raids and eliminate it. The source of the raids is, of course, the drow loyal to Vhaeraun who control the Ched Nasad portal and the PCs may need to seal the portal to eliminate the threat.
- The PCs witness a squad of drow emerging from a portal in the woods near Deepingdale. The PCs may want to kill the drow, but then they are left with knowledge of the portal to Ched Nasad. This presents an interesting entrance to the Underdark, but it will also draw the attention of drow assassins should word of their knowledge ever reach the ears of the Masked Lord's followers.
Dark Elf Portals
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