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The Underdark is a literal underworld to the surface world for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying games. It is a vast subterranean network of interconnected caverns and tunnels stretching beneath entire continents.

The Underdark is a strange alien landscape populated by bizarre creatures and ancient races, nearly all of whom are hostile to surface-dwelling life. The Underdark is featured prominently in the World of Greyhawk (where it was first introduced).


  • Capital: None
  • Population: Unknown (aboleth, cloaker, drow, duergar, illithid, quaggoth, svirfneblin)
  • Government: City-states, each with different government (autocracy, magocracy, matriarchy, monarchy, theocracy, and so on)
  • Religions: Varies, usually racial pantheon
  • Imports: Armor, food, slaves, timber, weapons
  • Exports: Armor, exotic goods, magic, weapons
  • Alignment: N, LE, CE



The Underdark is extremely dangerous, especially to those not native to it. There are the usual dangers associated with caverns: claustrophobia, occasional poor air circulation, and getting lost. There is no light except for occasional patches of fluorescent fungus; most Underdark inhabitants either have highly developed senses other than sight or have developed infravision before the 3rd edition of the game rules). Food can be extremely difficult to find, and much of the natural vegetation is poisonous. In the Forgotten Realms setting the Underdark is permeated with a magical energy the Drow call faerzress, which is used as a source of energy by the native plant life but which interferes with scrying and teleportation spells.

In addition to those dangers, the Underdark is also home to many predators and a wide array of races, most of which are hostile to other races. These races include:


Features and settlements


Central Flanaess

Old Aerdy

Empire of Iuz

Western Oerik

Densac Gulf

Specific prestige classes


  • Cordell, Bruce R., Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick. Underdark. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.
  • Kestral, Gwendolyn F.M. Fane of the Drow. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005.
  • Mobley, Blake, and Timothy B. Brown. Greyhawk Ruins. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1990.
  • Moore, Roger E.. "Legacies of the Suel Imperium." Dragon #241. Renton, WA: TSR, 1997.
  • Niles, Douglas. Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1986.
  • Perry, Chris. "Fungi of the Underdark." Dragon #211. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1994.

External links

  • Underoerth project on Canonfire! [3]