The 1st edition of D&D introduced the Underdark with the Adventure D1, D2, and D3, later compiled into the Queen of Spiders supermodule. One characteristic feature of the Underdark was that long-range teleportation did not work. (p. 50 QoS):

Beyond the first encounter area, teleportation over any distance greater than 1 /2 mile is impossible.

The original modules D1 says that the PCs will feel strange magnetic forces that will spoil teleportation. D2 says that the PCs know that teleport will not work because of pressure and magnetic forces. By the time these were collected into Queen of Spiders, no explanation is given for this strange behaviour any more. Later faerzress, a weird magical energy suffusing the Underdark was introduced to provide an in-universe explanation. It is described on p. 21 of Out of the Abyss like this:

An unusual magical energy the drow call faerzress pervades much of the Underdark. The origin of this mysterious arcane power is unknown. Legend claims it is an ancient elven magic dating back to the time when the dark elves were first exiled from the world above. The drow and other Underdark creatures use the properties of areas suffused with faerzress to protect their settlements.

and then lists some of its properties, such as such areas being in dim light, creatures in the areas having protection from divination spells, some demonic taint (specific to the adventure), and of course such areas hindering teleportation. (Later on, it even lists an effect that can raise fallen characters from the dead).

Page 117 states:

A number of ancient portals can be found in the Underdark. A functional portal is a magical doorway leading to some other specific location in Faerûn. If the characters' choices during the adventure leave them unable to secure escape with the help of the NPCs they meet, you could place a portal in or near one of the locations explored in chapters 2 through 6. If the portal is damaged, the characters might need to repair it. The characters also need to figure out how to activate the portal, or find the key or spell necessary to activate it. A portal can be one-way only and send the adventurers anywhere you want.

Teleportation via these portals seemingly is not affected by Faerzress, probably because they are more of a plot device. Also, later on, there is a plot stage where a drow archmage is trying to summon demon lords via portals. It says:

When the ritual reaches its conclusion at the end of nine hours, portals of faerzress form. All the demons and demon lords in the Underdark are drawn through those portals, appearing together in the area

Again, creating a surefire teleportation effect. Are these depictions of faerzress as being able to power portals for teleportation effects exclusive to this module (where it provides a convenient matrix to all kinds of magical effects), or is there any other lore, from earlier editions, novels or other official publications like Dragon magazine, that describes the nature of faerzress, and its use to create teleportation portals, when mastered, rather then blocking teleportation?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking about portal specific information or not? Please specify. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 8, 2023 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, primiarily portal effects, because this seems to be the way to get faerzess as a teleportation device. I narrowed it in a bit, in case asking for other effects that can be used and powered by it if mastered is too wide. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2023 at 12:35
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Primarily or specifically? If it’s specifically, please state so. If not, then we can remove the portal tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 8, 2023 at 12:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Specifically, please. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2023 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Re: "No explanation was given at the time for this strange behavior." Right after the no teleportation rule, D1 says that the PC's will feel strange magnetic forces that will spoil teleportation. D2 says that the PCs know that teleport will not work be cause of pressure and magnetic forces. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 8, 2023 at 15:57


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