Just after dawn, a long, rolling earthquake shakes the city of Waterdeep awake. Cracks appear in walls and crockery rattles, but no buildings collapse.
Uproar ensues. Earthquakes are almost unheard of in the city. Rumors of disaster soon race through the streets, fueled
by the anguish of people across the city whose heads fill with sharp, sudden mental visions of a screaming bearded man
whose eyes blaze with rage, sorrow, and swimming stars.
The visions shift into scenes of pillars cracking and tumbling, ceilings collapsing in caverns and dark rooms, and surging
explosions of blue-white sparks. These tides of fearsome force leave many who receive the visions gasping on their knees,
unharmed but overwhelmed by the sensation of great magical forces crashing through them. Repeatedly the screaming
face returns, with feelings of strong despair, of something left unfinished—and swept away in great loss and ruin.
What has happened? A few wizards across the city who shared the disturbing visions recognize the screaming face
as that of Halaster Blackcloak, the infamous “Mad Mage of Undermountain.”
Soon everyone knows that something terrible has happened in Undermountain. There’s an unknown but exceedingly
dark doom approaching the city and the massive dungeon beneath it, and Halaster is very upset about it.