Originally a group of large caves, called the Great Caverns, the Netherrealm was discovered in 693 by Frin the Wanderer. Their origin is uncertain. Loremasters say the caves were once part of the Underworld of Maiana, carved by the Urlocs in the War of Wizards. Others say they were once home to a powerful civilization of Elves, long since migrated, or even to a great Wyrm King. What is certain is that the hundreds of miles of caverns and passages are not natural. When the Blessed fled to the caves, they enlarged them, carving giant cities out of the bedrock. Each city became an independant city-state, known as a Grotto. As well as the grottoes, the Netherrealm also comprises many other strange and mysterious geological features, as well as a network of cavern roads, known as the Canyontrail.
Lakes of Shara
Situated near the Grotto of Lenica, the Lakes of Shara are a majestic sight. Comprising six lakes in total, each measuring miles across, the lakes are a sacred site in the Netherrealms. Believed to be a gift from Melina, a glorious source of water in the Underworld, the biggest lake (Mishari) has a number of temples surrounding it. A large statue of Melina, her hands raised high, stands in the midst of the lake. She is surrounded by statues of the Shara, the love-spirits of Melina. The lakes are each named after one of the Shara; Tishari- spirit of peace, Lashar- spirit of lust, Roshar- spirit of friendship, Dyshar- spirit of family love, Shar-li- spirit of self-love, and Mishari- spirit of the all encompassing love of the Goddess. Each lake has a single statue of its namesake spirit in the centre, as well as a variety of giant swans and fountains. The lakes are surrounded by a myriad of farms, who use the fertile soil to grow crops and food. A number of aquaducts and rivers have been built to carry the water from the lakes to the nearby grottoes. No one is sure of the source of the water, but the lakes seem to be fed by an underground river. The lakes are considered a site for pilgrimage, and bathing in the lakes is said to fill you with love, and wash away hate. It is a favoured site for consummation of marriages, and is slowly taking the place of the destroyed Hill of Consummation. Lake Mishari is actually the source for the Springs of Mishari, in the Overrealm.
Forest of Darr
Located near the Grotto of Diana, the forest of Darr is a giant cavern, filled with mushrooms and other fungus. The forest of Darr measures 11 miles at its longest point, and is still not completely explored. Discovered in the early days of Ilmanor by Lokarr, an Ilman explorer, the site was kept a secret for many years, so Loarr could exploit the food, and make a profit. After his death, the site was revealed by his son Darr. Originally harvested without thought, the forest of Darr quickly began to become depleted. In order to preserve the forest, the King has placed a ban on all harvesting for at least a century. Their is a wide variety of different fungus growing in the forest, from herbs and food, to poisons. Most important to the Blessed are the Flar's Seat, a mushroom which excretes a luminous substance. This substance is placed into small glass spheres, and used for lighting for those who are far from the grottoes, and the Sungems. Dominating the forest are the Great Whitecaps, tall mushrooms which can reach a height of 100ft. One Whitecap can feed a hundred men, but due to the ban none have been harvested in years.
The beautiful Diamond Falls are located a few miles east of Lysan. A spectacle to behold, the largest waterfall actually plummets over 400' to a great lake below. Many other, lesser, waterfalls surround it, totalling 15 in total. The grotto they cascade into is permanently filled with mist and foam from the intensity of the falls. The falls get their name from the countless diamonds encrusted in the walls of the cavern, reflecting the light from the water, and creating a magical atmosphere. It is worth noting that the mage-seekers have set up a small academy here, where they attempt to harness the mystical glow of the diamond falls. A small temple is located behind the waterfall.
A giant cavern, encrusted with diamonds, rubies, emeralds, quartz, etc, Awl's tomb is considered on of the most beautiful places in the Netherrealms. Guarded by a small company of Bringers, a massive spire of green flame is kept burning permanently in the centre of the grotto. The light from the fire reflects from the myriad gems, creating a wonderful display of colour in the chamber. Stairs and ledges climb their way around the chamber, to the top. Looking down from this vantage creates a breath-taking spectacle. A small temple is built into the northern wall of the chamber, as the site is considered sacred to Melina, as are all places of beauty. The Tomb was once believed to have belonged to a great Earth-Drake called Awl (hence its name). The Dragon refused to leave the beautiful lair, and eventually starved. No remains of the dragon have been found, and this is widely believed to be a myth.
Awl's tomb is located about 15 miles south of Desre.
Actually a maze of adjoining caverns, this area is avoided by most Ilman. A high population of Tremlors and Giant Earthworms make this network of caves their home. A dangerous area, a few of the Blessed decide to brave the Caverns in order to slay the Tremlors (whose carapace is a strong material, and greatly priced by the Mage-Seekers), or seek the treasure they are rumoured to possess. Very few return. The Wyrmcave is located about thirty miles north of the Bright hills. The entire region above ground is also considered dangerous, due to the emerging Tremlors. However, a few Dark Priests of the Overrealm are attempting to train the Tremlors as steeds of war (with only limited success, thus far.)