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Drow Stronghold

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You'll only be able to reach the Drow Stronghold via Manshoon's Tower, which in turn will require you to visit Zhentil Keep. You'll need to pass through the stronghold on your way to Kalistes' Temple, where you'll find a portal leading to Kalistes' Dimension. Kalistes is one of Bane's lieutenants, and you'll need to defeat her to complete the game.

1 - Dark Wells

These rooms are safe to rest in.

2 - Processing Room

In this room the drow will drag slaves out of their wagons and then inject them with poison to make them docile. If you enter the room, then you'll get attacked by nine Drow Priests followed by seven Enormous Spiders, four Giant Spiders, and five Phase Spiders. These battles will respawn over time, so this is a good room to avoid.

3 - Empty Wagon

If you jump into the wagon here, then the drow will unwittingly return you to Zhentil Keep. Nothing will happen if you wait in the wagon after arriving, but when you eventually get out, you might get spotted and attacked by some drow (which will set off the alarm in the keep).

4 - Fancy Coach

You'll spot a fancy coach here, but the driver won't notice you. If you "attack" or try to "slip by," then you'll end up fighting eight Drow Sorcerers. If you "get in," then you'll find yourself sharing the coach with a drow prince and princess. The coach will then start moving, and you'll have to make another choice. If you "attack," then all of the drow will bail out of the coach, and it will ram into a wall, dealing you some damage. If you "hold hostage" or "parley," then the coach will take you to the Central Hall (#6), where the prince and princess will offer you a ransom. If you accept it, then you'll receive Drow Chain +1, a Drow Long Sword +1, a cursed Light Crossbow -3, 100 platinum, and 10 gems, and you'll be allowed to leave the hall peacefully. If you don't accept the ransom, then you'll have to fight the prince and princess -- a Drow Champion and a Drow Wizard -- followed by all of the drow warriors in the hall.

5 - Traned

At this spot you'll meet Traned the Tragedian, who you might have heard about from Mabril in Zhentil Keep. Traned will offer to join your party, and you'll record this offer as Journal Entry 97. Traned is a level 4/15 halfling fighter/thief with so-so stats and equipment, but she'll add some commentary to your travels, and she's decent enough if you have her use her crossbow. Traned will only stay with you in the Drow Stronghold, Kalistes' Temple, and Manshoon's Tower.

6 - Central Hall

In this hall you'll encounter seven Drow Priests, five Drow Priestesses, two Drow Sorcerers, and a Drow Sorceress. If you enter the hall from the south, then the drow will see you coming and give you the opportunity to leave. If you decide to stay, then the drow will attack you, but they'll start out in three groups, which will make it more difficult for you to disrupt them. But if you enter the hall from the west, then you'll surprise the drow, which will give you the initiative, and you'll find the drow all clumped together, which will make it easier to defeat them.

7 - Shackle Rooms

Sometimes you'll encounter (a lot of) Carrion Crawlers and Umber Hulks in these rooms.

8 - Meeting Room

You'll discover Zhentilar warriors meeting with the drow here. If you try to listen in and then move closer, the meeting will turn into a trap, and you'll get attacked by a Drow Wizard, five Zhentil Mages, and three Zhentil Warriors.

9 - Drow Champions

In this room you'll encounter five Drow Champions -- provided you can get through the uncooperative door. A strong character can "force" the door open, while a small character might be able to "squeeze" through and open it from the other side. If Traned (#5) is in your party and you use her to squeeze through, then she'll attack the drow on the other side, and you'll have to rescue her by defeating the champions.

10 - Drow Blades

Near this spot you'll get attacked by two Drow Champions, five Drow Priestesses, and three Drow Sorcerers.

11 - Drow Abbess

When you enter this room you'll encounter a drow abbess. She'll first send six Drow Sorceresses to attack you, and then she'll attack you herself (as a Drow Wizard) along with five Drow Champions. After the battle you'll find a Composite Long Bow +4, Drow Chain +3, and a Drow Long Sword +3.

12 - Barracks

Inside the barracks, you'll get ambushed by five Drow Sorcerers and three Drow Sorceresses.

Note: If Traned (#5) is with you, then she'll recommend that you look before entering the barracks, but this didn't do anything for us. There doesn't appear to be a way to detect the ambush.

13 - Ladders

When you descend one of these two ladders, the sneaky drow will pull it up behind you, and you'll only be able to escape by using the ladder on the other side of the hallway. If you return to the spot where you descended, then you'll be able to put the ladder back down where it goes. The drow will only pull this trick once.

14 - Winnowing Room

If Traned (#5) is in your party, then when you approach this room she'll recognize that something is wrong, and she'll ask to go investigate. It won't make any difference if you agree to this request or not. Either way, you'll get ambushed, and Traned will get wounded by a drow arrow. After defeating the ambush, which will consist of two Drow Champions and six Drow Sorceresses, you'll find 10 Arrows +3, a Composite Short Bow +4, and 5 pieces of jewelry. Then Traned will get up woozily and offer to escort the slaves in the room to safety. You should allow her go. If you don't then she'll just fall into a trapdoor later (#15). Before the slaves leave, one will tell you Journal Entry 77.

15 - Trapdoors

When you enter these rooms, a trapdoor will open into the abyss. If Traned (#5) is in your party then she'll be taken. Otherwise a random character will have to make a save -- or maybe not. After numerous tries, we've never had a regular character fall into the abyss. This just seems to be a way to guarantee that Traned won't be in your party when you enter the Drow Slave Pits (via Exit C) or Kalistes' Temple (via Exit B).

  1. Stairs up to Manshoon's Tower.
  2. Stairs down to Kalistes' Temple.
  3. Stairs down to the Drow Slave Pits.