Out of the Abyss

(Jeff_L) #1


The ad\'enturers need to find a way to cross the
Darklake on the way to their ultimate destination-
out of the Underdark and back to the surface world.
They might attempt to find a guide or hire passage in
Sloobludop, but other possibilities could also present

The adventurers might lind different ways to cross the
Darklake, depending on how long they traverse it and
who or what they encounter along the way.
Since there is no wind in the Underdark. all water
travel involves either rowing at 1112 miles per hour, or
floating with prevailing currents at 1 mile per hour.
Cha racters can work in s hi fts to row more tha n 8
hours per day, but crcwing a boat for longer than tha t is
considered a forced march (see cha pter 8 of the Player's

Most craft navigating the waters of the Darklake are
zurkhwood vessels piloted by the kuo-tua or the duergar.
These boats are equivalent to keelboats (see the
Airborne and Waterborne Vehicles table in chapter 5 of
the Dungeon Master's Guide).

The following features commonly apply to the
Darklake region.
Darkness. True to its name, most of the Darklake exists
in pitch blackness. The only light available is whatever the
characters are able to provide.
Caves and Tunnels. The Darklake is a giant labyrinth of
lakes, waterways, and canals that connect myriad caverns
and chambers. Some of these caverns are massive, with
immeasurably deep water and vaulted ceilings far outside
the range of any light. Others are narrow, with only a few
feet of space between the ceiling and the su rface of the
water. Some are completely su bmerged, n avigable only by
those able to breathe underwater.
Navigation. Without the sky or the stars to navigate
by, any successful passage of the Darklake relies on
one's familiarity with 1ts intricate netv•ork of caverns,
passages, and currents. Experienced navigators know how
to find and read ancient duergar runes carved along the
Darklake's tunnels, though most of these "road signs" are
nearly worn away by the passage of time. Such knowledge
is something that takes years, if not decades, of wandering
the Darklake to acquire.
Those without the skill to navigate the Darklake
(including the adventurers) must employ maps or
guides. If the characters manage to acquire a map, they
can make Wisdom (Survival) checks normally to avoid
becom1ng lost.
Foraging. The characters can forage for food while
traversing the Darklake, primarily by fishing and gathering
edible fungi (see "Fungi of the Underdark" in chapter
2). Much of the water of the Darklake is unsafe to drink,
making it important to seek out springs and other clean
sources of water feeding into it.


Characters ran also construct makeshift rafts using
materials at hand. For example. the cap of a giant
zurkhwood mushroom can be hollowed out to make
a coracle equh·alent to a rowboat. but with half a
rowboat's hit points (see the Airborne and Waterborne
Vehicles table in chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's
Guide). This is a downtime crafting activity requiring
one day's work per raft.
An even more makeshift craft might involve a
character sitting in a floating barrel or other watertight
container. either steering with a paddle or flowing
with the current. Such a vessel has a speed of I mph,
requires a crew of 1, allows for no passengers or cargo,
and has AC II, hp 20, and damage threshold 0.

Swimming in the Darklake is a poor choice given the
number of dangerous c reatures inhabiting it. Check
for a c reature encounter each hour Lhal characters
a re swimming. rat her t ha n every 4 hours of travel.
A swimming character must succeed on a DC 10
Constitution saving t hrow for each hour of swimming or
gain one level of exhaustion.
Characters not actively swimming but simply clinging
to something that floats (including the wreckage of a
boat or raft) can drift with the current at a speed of 1
mph. Check for creature encounters each hour that
characters noat in the water. and call for Constitution
checks against exhaustion for every 8 hours of travel.

Travelers can mix and match modes of travel, and
a sizable party might need multiple boats or rafts.
A c reature with a swimmjng speed (including a
polymorphcd character) can travel without risk of
fatigue for up to 8 hours. and can even serve as a
mount for a creature smaller than it. Water-breathing
(or nonbreathing) creatures can swim underwater or
even walk across the bottom of shallow sections of the
Darkla ke, but need dark vision or a source of light to see.


Every 4 hours lhallhe characters are on the Oarklake,
roll a d20 and consult the Oarklake Random
Encounters table to determine what, if anything, they
encounter. If the characters aren't moving-anchored or
ashore. for example- any encounter is automatically a
creature encounter.

d2 0 Type of Encounter
1-13 No encounter
14 - 15 Terrain (roll a d10 and consult the Darklake Terrain
Encounters table)
16-17 One or more creatures (roll a d12 and consult the
Darklake Creature Encounters table)
18 - 20 Terrain encounter featuring one or more creatures
(roll a d10 and consult the Darklake Terrain
Encounters table, then roll a d12 and consult the
Darklake Creature Encounter table)
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