Thieves & Kings
The Deep Way
“A huge tunnel boring deeply among the roots of the world, it’s easily wide enough in most places for a pair of trade wagons to pass and tall enough for a giant to walk along and not stoop or brush its head against the ceiling. The crumbled dwarven ruins cannot betray the great age of the route, nor the fact it was carved by giant hands.”
This ancient trade road dates beyond the rise and fall of the local dwarven realm centered on the ancient City of Fountains, Dylvwyllynn. Carved from the bones of the earth, in places the vaulted passage runs 20’-50’ wide and 20’-40’ tall at its apex. Most areas are damp and dripping, often betraying its origins as a water-course. The rock is of all colors, although grays, browns, and yellowish tan are most common. Portions of the route are worked, but most of the road are a natural passage, caves and galleries.
The route always descends over time. Fortunately, the darkness is not total, with patches of phosphorescent lichens, glowing with a deep purple-blue “faerie fire”. Swarms of fire-beetles (both small and monstrous) are common, and the sound of chattering, creaks and groans are commonly heard on the light winds of air that shift back and forth along the tunnels. Now and again, a current of dank, stale air wafts past, usually moving downwards and bearing the musty scent in the corridors of the dismal Underdark.
Travel along these ancient passages is slow. Crevasses and sinkholes remain common, and their passage limits movement and trade. For the most part, however, the entire route of the “Deep Way” remains fairly passable with its rubble, natural hazards and other debris are only something of a passing interest to travellers.
The passages that connect the various caverns and communities of the Underdark, primarily around the region known as the Drow Borderlands are wide, well-traveled (for the Underdark), and of vital importance to trade and commerce of the region. Built in the time before the rise of the dwarven clans to this region, they are believed to have been built by the giants or even primordials, towards some unknown agenda.