Belgos and Xal’rym Valphandar, a sorcerer and noble of a minor house, set out from Ched Nasad for the surface. Belgos’s mentor has taken him on this journey several times before but this will be Xal’s first trip to the world of the sun. Aberrations and demons surrounding the tainted city of the drow could not stop these two wielders of the arcane from reaching their goal. Once they acclimated themselves to their new environment Belgos and Xal ventured along a river hoping to find a town where they might restock their supplies. They could not have known they were near the town of Shadowdale, a town whose citizens are no stranger to the evil drow’s surface raids. A hunting party of elves and men are out after a lair of Ettercaps who have settled in the area. They agree to resupply the two drow if they are willing to dispose of the spiderlike creatures. With a bit of reluctance the dark skinned elves agree, but the battle turns bad for Xal’rym. Before the hunting party can catch up to offer aid Xal falls in battle to the poison of a giant spider. After the battle only Belgos and 1 elven archer are left alive. The elf allows Belgos to take the supplies from his dead companions, but recommends he leave the area immediatly. Belgos ventures back upriver and notices a ruined series of fortresses and towers. He makes for these thinking of potential finds in the collapsed stonework. He stumbles upon a large man named Roar, in battle with 3 soldiers. Later Roar explains these were agents of the Zhentarim network, and that these ruins were once thier stronghold but his masters, the shades of netheril, now claim these lands.