Shadowport
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Shadowport is a dismal and dangerous domain populated by the most vile beings the Underdark has to offer. Mercenaries gather to sell their swords and lives to the highest bidder; Drow move about shading their sensitive eyes from glowing fungus, drift-globes and braziers of glow-worms; and slaves go up on the blocks to feed the human and mind flayer demand for labor (and food!.) In this underworld city far beneath Atharavon, anything and everything can be bought, sold, or traded for a price. Slavers, smugglers, mercenaries, and black-market merchants operate openly in Shadowport. In fact, the economy of the underground Port is dependent upon the despicable practice of buying and selling sentient beings. The enigmatic Dark Maidens rule and maintain order in the city. These powerful female wizards wander about Shadowport, which takes its name from their presence, tending to aims only they can fathom and enforcing their sometimes whimsical and often harsh will through the use of cryptic magical abilities and the help of their Iron Golem guards.

But so long as the actions of a being do not inhibit trade, cause mass destruction, or attempt to wrest control of the Port from the Dark Maidens, his or her actions are ignored by the Dark Maidens and overlooked by the populace of the city. Shadowport is a haven for underworld and illicit activities, especially dangerous ones: Smuggling and smugglers, piracy and pirates, slavery and slavers, drug-running and those who concoct drugs and poison all thrive and dwell cheek by jowl in the Port of Shadow. Most folk in Shadowport are hiding from or trying to avoid the forces of the law of the surface world or are poor folk trapped in this city of darkness because of personal misfortune, sometimes just the misfortune of being born here. Strangely, nearly anyone from Atharavon has heard rumors of an infamous port city far beneath the surface populated with strange beings and catering to the most despicable of trades: slavery. Some parents use the threat of being kidnapped and taken to Shadowport to frighten children into behaving, but the truth is that most surface-dwellers, although intrigued by the possibility of such a lawless place under their very feet, simply dismiss the rumors as tavern talk and little more. Of course, if you leave the vaulted towers and family villas of the Castle Ward, the reality of the Port of Shadows can be confirmed by making cautious inquiries in Dock Ward and Sea Ward dives.

Getting In


Shadowport is relatively easy to penetrate, assuming one knows how to get there or knows someone who does, but this comes with no guarantee of safe passage. Most surface visitors use the Sea caves of Atharavon, walk into town from elsewhere in the Underhalls or the Underdark, or float in on the River Krandar from elsewhere in the Underdark. If one is enslaved or steps through a gate accidentally (or the wrong gate on purpose), it is even quite easy to arrive in Shadowport when one does not want to be in the Port of Shadow at all.

The Seacave
The most reliable method of travel to Shadowport is through a hidden cavern located two miles east of the city of Atharavon, though the existence of this route is not common knowledge in Atharavon or the Lands Above. The City Leaders have taken every step to quash rumors of the existence of Shadowport, including convincing cartographers to permanently erase all mention of the subject on maps of the region. The doubt as to whether the caves exist coupled with the possibility of being dashed against the rocks around the sea side of the mountain is usually more than enough to deter all but the most dedicated of explorers from trying the caves. Still, with a few carefully worded inquiries, one can find safe transport through them, usually onboard a trade vessel.

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The price for passage is usually 10-100 gp per person, and most captains request it in hard currency. However, unscrupulous folk traveling to Shadowport (or who say they are) are the norm, so travelers must use caution. More than one intrepid explorer has ventured on board a vessel headed for Shadowport only to be slapped into chains and sold into slavery by the ship’s captain at the first opportunity. Some folk make a fair living this way, so it might be wise for adventurers to be prepared to leap overboard and swim if they do not want to risk a lifetime in chains. A vessel using the Seacave entrance heads for the largest of the caves on the western facing of the cliffs east of the city. A craft navigating into the cave must be carefully piloted between jagged rocks and swift unpredictable currents to avoid overturning or being crushed against the cliffs. Voracious sharks well versed in attacking terrestrial meals also frequent the waters here.

Once its entrance is cleared, the cave is well over 90 feet in height and a little over half that in width. The interior is unlit day and night, and the only sound one can hear within it is the crashing of waves on its walls and the boulders it contains, which entering ships must avoid. Vessels must provide their own light sources or risk grounding themselves or crashing into the cave walls. From this large cave a series of smaller caves lead far back into the mountain. The cavern walls become more uniform and the sea currents cease altogether as one nears the back of the innermost cave. At the rear of this last cavern is a magical portal the ship must pass through. First you must pay the Gatekeeper, an undead guardian who appears onboard and takes a payment of 100 GP. If the fare is not paid, a vessel is turned away. If for some reason the Gatekeeper believes a ship is hostile, he will swiftly flood the chamber with water in an attempt to force the ship backward and against the jagged wall of rocks. This fate has met more than one vessel, who tried to force of bluff their way through Finarfen's portal.

Once the far is paid, the vessel goes through the portal, and is deposited into a water-filled underground channel, whose currents will lead thre ship onto the Krandar River, which down to Shadowport. The vessel then docks in the Shadowport harbor.