Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves' Underdark Explained

"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" certainly gave audiences a delightful tour through the world that has given rise to so many pencil and paper adventures, though there definitely wasn't any dice rolling involved. Starting off in a remote mountaintop prison, "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" quickly sees Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) escape their confines, and soon the duo recruits allies like the sorcerer Simon (Justice Smith) and the druid Doric (Sophia Lillis). However, their mission to rob the vault of Forge (Hugh Grant) runs into an issue that can be easily solved by the Helm of Disjunction.

Unfortunately, finding the Helm of Disjunction requires the help of the paladin Xenk (Regé-Jean Page), who was the last person to know of the magical item, and he has hidden the Helm deep within the Underdark. In the simplest sense, the Underdark is a vast subterranean environment that highlights the general hollowness of the planet. This allows for all sorts of species, cultures, and structures to exist just below the surface. However, the Underdark isn't the most hospitable of places, and even the most seasoned adventurer must take extra precautions while traveling the dark and seemingly endless expanses in the deep places of the earth. So, what is the Underdark really like, and what exactly can be found there?

The Underdark is much more than lava-filled chambers

Though "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" features a brief jaunt into the Underdark to find the Helm of Disjunction, the true Underdark is so much more. In the aforementioned movie, the Underdark appears to be magma filled and pockmarked by jagged rock formations, which one can definitely find in the Underdark, but much like the surface world, there is significantly more variation as one explores further. This is because the Underdark is probably best looked at as a series of caves of varying size that may or may not be connected by tunnels, and due to proximity to thermal vents or other geological structures (or lack thereof), the climate and air quality can fluctuate wildly.

On account of this fact, places in the Underdark can appear as the location in "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," but it also can be cramped, completely dark, and bitterly cold. More often than not, the biggest issues adventurers and denizens of the Underdark come across are the aforementioned air quality and sources of light. Luckily, light can be found in the numerous species of bio-luminescent fungi that grow throughout the Underdark, as well as magical or glowing rocks that dot the foreign landscapes, though the air quality is a completely different issue. Some caves may be so far removed from the surface that the air's quality can be tenuous at best and poisonous to most life at its worst.

The Underdark is full of deadly monsters

Within the varying climates and landscapes of the Underdark, which are just as unique and diverse as the surface world, comes an accompanying collection of lifeforms and species that make the Underdark a dangerous spot to travel for those that aren't well versed in knowledge and skill. Inside the gloom of the Underdark, adventurers, travelers, and permanent inhabitants may come across all manner of horrors and deadly beasts. These include giant spiders that can easily consume a humanoid species, centaur-like dark elf spider hybrids known as Driders, the dangerous oozes known as Black Puddings, and even immense lobster monsters known as Chuul.

In addition to giant spiders, the Underdark contains many other forms of immense mundane creatures like centipedes, trolls, snails, toads, and lizards. However, beyond normal Underdark variations, there are animals that are only found within the darkest of depths, such as the cave-dwelling manta ray-like Cloaker, the squid-inspired Darkmantle, and the beak-with-tentacles animal called Hook Horrors. Aside from cave-specializing predators, the Underdark can also contain the unfortunate and reanimated remains of those that braved the Underdark and didn't survive, so many who follow in their footsteps are often greeted by ghouls, zombies, ghasts, and other tormented souls that seek absolution.

The Underdark is considered home by many sentient species

Though the only sentient foes the heroes of "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" come across are assassins from Thay, the true Underdark is home to many different humanoids and other intelligence races and creatures, but unfortunately most are generally evil and have adapted to the oppressive and often isolating environment of the Underdark, though not all. Much like the animals that call the Underdark their home, intelligent species usually possess traits that allow them to survive and thrive in such foreboding conditions, like the ability to see in absolute darkness and other senses that help navigate caves and tunnels.

When traveling through the Underdark, the sentient species that one might encounter include the generally vicious and hateful Dark Elves, brain-eating Illithids (also known as Mind Flayers), covetous floating eyeball monsters known as Beholders, reclusive Deep Gnomes, industrious Dwarfs, the eel-like aberrations known as Aboleths, powerful (or chubby) dragons, and even the exceptionally evil and insane Kuo-toa (also called Fishmen). Though dwarfs can be encountered throughout the surface world and often act for the forces of good, the other denizens of the Underdark are usually apprehensive of the surface and even other Underdark dwellers at the very least. This means that the sojourn through the Underdark in "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" is merely a small snippet of the vast and often dangerous subterranean world.