With Fables of the Feywild done, I thought I’d go back and work through the game’s very first expansion, Menace of the Underdark. We’re time traveling back to 2012 for this, friends!
I started with “Lords of Dust,” which tasked me with infiltrating a cultist lair. At level 18 elite difficulty, this was a whole lot more challenging than what I’d been doing in the last few weeks. Lots of white-knuckle battles and a few incredibly deadly traps made for slow going. But I persevered and beat a series of bosses to finish it — even though the cult succeeded in opening up a portal to Khyber, wherever that is. Probably nowhere good. I like how the quest ended with earthquakes and rumbling going on as you exit.
Photogenic screenshot moment!
“Servants of the Overlord” sends me on a journey spiraling deeper and deeper underground to find the lair of the Spinner of Shadows. There’s that real uncomfortable feeling of “oh man I can’t go back now” every time I drop through a new hole. It’s a long and winding maze, and I was glad to be done with it by the end.
The final part of the prologue quest chain, “The Spinner of Shadows,” is essentially a protracted boss battle with the titular Arachne. It’s a finnicky battle that requires a lot of running around to fight little spiders, get their crystals, relight wards, and occasionally return to the middle to burn her down. Not impossible, not by a long shot, just time-consuming. At the end, she manages to summon Lolth from another dimension, which apparently is Not Good.
I’m encouraged to blindly enter the dimension-hopping portal left behind. Thanks for considering my well-being, NPC questgivers! This kicks off “Beyond the Rift,” a journey into this strange realm. Here in the Demonweb, I bump into Elminster (D&D Gandalf) who encourages me to meet up with him later on. From there, it’s a long journey through the Demonweb, then through the Underdark, and finally up and out to…
The village of Eveningstar in the Forgotten Realms. I’ll admit, this quest legitimately felt like a true journey between worlds, and the payoff when I arrived felt earned.
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