The crust is laced with many extensive cavern systems, some extended for hundreds of kilometers through the land and penetrating many kilometers into the crust. Some of these systems link together with other such cave systems creating an entire underground world with its own geography and ecosystems. The Underworld is the common name given to the wondrous and dynamic world which exists beneath the surface of the land. It is a world of three dimensions where up and down are as important as north and south. It is a world without clouds or rain, a world without stars and moons, a world of vast silent lakes and buried rivers. Bottomless trenches, sheer cliffs, thundering waterfalls and more are all common. The geography and terrain of the underworld is the most difficult to traverse. Anything the surface world has to offer is easy by comparison.
The Underworld, when studied and discussed by Khorasian scholars, is often divided up into four depth categories. Many species of flora and fauna exist only in a particular zone.
Zone 1 extends from the surface down to about 100 meters. It is home to all manner of surface creatures which prefer to use caves as shelters. It is often inhabited by groups of orgs and sometimes an occasional goblin.
Zone 2 extends from 100 meters to 1000 meters. The dwarves, skrell and dythillin are all known to inhabit this zone along with a wide variety of other plants and animals.
Zone 3 extends from 1000 meters to 10,000 meters (1 to 10 kilometers). Sometimes the zone 2 races such as the dwarves and the skrell will venture down into zone 3. But this is rare. Legends tell of terrible beasts the dwell this deep. Many expeditions that go into zone 3 do not return. In addition, geothermic activity results in rocks hot enough to burn exposed flesh, steaming fissures, sudden lava eruptions and spontaneous explosive fragmentation of certain rocks.
Zone 4 refers to anything deeper than 10 kilometers. Few species can withstand the zone four environment. Due to its proximity to the mantle, the temperature is usually too high for plants and animals to survive. Geothermic phenomena similar to zone 3 are present here, but much more common. Beyond this, toxic gases develop at this depth due to heat induced chemical reactions. This is a lethal environment. Even with the aid of magic, expeditions daring to venture down into Zone 4 are usually killed.
The Drellis Effect Underground
Stone in sufficient quantity blocks particles and radiation. This absorption varies with the type of stone and the thickness. In general, the anti-magic effect of the mage curse can not penetrate deeper than 100 meters. In Zone 1, the mage curse is greatly lessened and in Zone 2 and deeper, no anti-magic can penetrate at all and normal magic is unhampered. Several underground races have developed considerable magical power due to this fact. (The dwarves are an exception).
The Abyss is the common name given to an immense and well known trench found in the Underworld. This gorge extends over forty kilometers long and is more than 10 kilometers deep (it begins in zone 2, covers all of zone 3 and pierces into zone 4). It stretches from north to south directly under the Thunder Peaks. Many expeditions that have entered the Abyss have not returned.
A series of trenches through which magma, lava flow and from which gases issue.
The Labyrinth is a vast and complex network of several thousand small caverns and tunnels. No subterranean race has ever successfully mapped the Labyrinth and many parties have been lost within it. Due to large quantities of loadstone, magnetic compasses are useless. Deeply embedded deposits of girrall interferes with many spells which might aid a bold spelunker in finding his way out. This marvel of the Underworld is found in zone 2 under the land between Carrikos and the Falkir Clans.
Also known as the Burning Sea and the Burning Waters by various underworld races. Deep beneath the Sentinel Mountains, there is a huge lake of water. This lake is heavily polluted with oils and is continually fed crude petroleum from a natural underground source. Small areas of the lake surface ignite, burn and douse in continuous cycles.
Many of the subterranean races know of an impossibly huge cavern in which float islands of rock. This levitating stones are called the Floating Isles. Some are absolutely motionless, others drift slowly. Theories have been put forth to explain why these islands float in midair. Magic, most likely. But only the gods know for sure.
Dwarven mythology holds that the upper world is supported by the Underworld, specifically, by a series of great stone columns. These great and ageless shafts of stone reside in a cavern that stretches more than three kilometers. Each is at least one hundred meters in diameter and over 500 meters tall.
A massive bridge that spans the Dothikar Chasm. The bridge is 86 meters wide and is 1042 meters long. It is ancient having been built by the dwarves over 800 years ago. It has withstood dozens of earthquakes... a testament to this feat of engineering.
This website was last updated March 31, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.