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I'm writing/running a campaign for a few friends. Right now, they are in Waterdeep. I'd like to guide them to go to Skullport, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to get there. I know it's in the Underdark, and I know it's basically below Waterdeep...is there...like, stairs or something? I read about the Skull Island portal which I can use if that's all I have to work with, but it's not really how I figured they'd get there.

Now that I think about it, the Skull Island portal would be pretty cool, but I'd still like to know my options, and Google has not been helpful in this regard. I'm hoping you guys could help me.

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There are a couple of ways to get there, actually.

Skullport is on the third underground level of the Undermountain complex directly beneath Waterdeep (and Mount Waterdeep), also known as "The Sargauth Level", named after the subterranean river that passes through it (and Skullport is built on). Here are the ways in that I am aware of.

  1. The Castle Corkscrew: This is a passage leading from the cellars of Castle Waterdeep directly to Skullport.
  2. The Grand Hoist: The exact location of this is unknown, but it was intended to be an elevator shaft running from Waterdeep straight to Skullport. It was never technically finished, but what that means is up to you, as DM.
  3. The South Sea Caves: Caves along the western flank of Mount Waterdeep that connects the Sargauth River to the Sea of Swords by means of a series of hoists
  4. Portals: As you mentioned, there is the Skull Island Portal, but it is one of several portals in and out of Skullport. Most of them do not have their exact locations, natures, or where they connect to specified, so feel free to be creative here.
  5. The Hard Way: It is possible to navigate your way down through the layers of Undermountain manually. You take any of the routes into the Dungeon Layer (Top layer), such as the shaft that the Yawning Portal Inn was built over and is the standard route by which Adventurers enter the Undermountain. Then you walk/fight your way down to the third level, and find your way through there to Skullport.

All information drawn from the Forgotten Realms Wiki.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is the Castle Waterdeep cellar open to the public? \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Mar 24 '17 at 22:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe Probably not, but I can't find anything concrete. But, then again, since it runs from a law-abiding castle down to a smuggler's port....I'd be willing to bet people find their way into and through those cellars anyway \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty Mar 27 '17 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't heard about the Corkscrew, and I can't find mention of it in the FR wiki. Perhaps it's another wiki I'm not aware of? Anyway, I wanted to know in what sourcebook it appeared, because I only own the 2E Skullport book and there's no mention of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo May 7 '17 at 21:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Roflo I don't have the original source, but it is on the FR wiki. Just here: forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Undermountain on the Undermountain page, rather than the Skullport page. \$\endgroup\$ – guildsbounty May 8 '17 at 13:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, I found that the 3.5E City of Splendors: Waterdeep supplement mentions the Castle Corkscrew (page 126). \$\endgroup\$ – Roflo May 29 '17 at 17:44

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