On the Spring Equinox of 1380 DR, a long, rolling earthquake shakes the city of Waterdeep awake. Cracks appear in walls and crockery rattles, but no buildings collapse.
An uproar ensues. Earthquakes are unheard of in the city due to the warding efforts of the Watchful Order of Mage Protectors. Rumors of disaster soon race through the streets, fueled by the anguish of people across the city whose heads fill with sharp, sudden mental visions of a screaming bearded man whose eyes blaze with rage, sorrow, and swimming stars. The visions shift into scenes of pillars cracking and tumbling, ceilings collapsing in caverns and dark rooms, and surging explosions of blue-white sparks. These tides of fearsome force leave many who receive the visions gasping and on their knees, unharmed but overwhelmed by the sensation of great magical forces crashing through them. Repeatedly, the screaming face returns, with feelings of strong despair, of something left unfinished – and swept away in great loss and ruin.
What has happened? A few wizards across the city recognize the screaming face as that of Halaster Blackcloak, the infamous “Mad Mage of Undermountain”. Soon everyone knows that something terrible has happened in Undermountain. There’s an unknown but exceedingly dark doom approaching the city and the massive dungeon beneath it, and Halaster is very upset about it.
Those who have experienced the visions can’t stop thinking of Undermountain, of walking through its chambers and tunnels, of finding brightly glowing treasures. They yearn to go there, to answer Halaster’s urgent Call. Undermountain awaits, in desperate need. Something down there must be repaired, or renewed, or rescued. Halaster wants something done now, something vital. A terrible calamity must be set right, or greater doom will surely come.
That night, wizards, sorcerers, a scattering of adventurers and others dream of Undermountain and a screaming Halaster. They all feel a yearning to enter the infamous, legendary dungeon and “do something that must be done”. No one quite knows what that something is, but many momentarily mind-glimpse strange subterranean rooms, weird items, and a rushing Halaster struggling to accomplish various tasks.
Throughout the land, on the morning after the earthquake, wizards, sages, and all manner of adventurers start packing. The trek to Undermountain has begun.
9th of Tarsakh
Cale Rittfield, Dolf Battleborn, and HALO have discovered that they are all among the Called. Seeing as Dolf and HALO have significant battle prowess, but are new to the area, while Cale is highly knowledgeable of both Waterdeep and Undermountain’s upper layers but lacking in staying power, the three decide to join forces and the Fellowship Arkayik is formed. The group meets at the Yawning Portal Inn on the afternoon of the 9th, buys 10 days worth of rations for two (as HALO does not require food), and they set off into the depths.
The Fellowship discovers 2 secret doors before reaching the Hall of Many Columns. While searching, they surprise a Sluggard goblin guard party and manage to drive them backwards into the Hall of Many Columns. They encounter the anti-magic field that eternally cloaks the room and manage to use it to their advantage to defeat the goblin party. They decide to return to the surface to rest and recover from their wounds, and seek more information before heading down again.