Lake Donigarten was a lake in Menzoberranzan.[2] The lake and its island, the Isle of Rothe, were managed by House Hunzrin, which provided rothé cheese and meat to the city.[3]


The lake was located in the eastern end of the great cavern housing Menzoberranzan. The land in and around Donigarten produced most of the agriculture of Menzoberranzan and housed moss fields, giant mushrooms, fungus farms, rothé herds, and fish.[4]

There were nine tunnels between Lake Donigarten and the edge of the Qu'ellarz'orl plateau.[5]

There was a subterranean tributary of the Surbrin flowing into Lake Donigarten.[6] The lake was said to be the source of much treasure but that it was inhabited by dangerous creatures who lurked under the water.[7]

Unbeknownst to all, underneath the lake was a long-abandoned and flooded temple to Ghaunadaur, which was constructed by House Masq'il'yr, one of the founding houses of Menzoberranzan. The house was destroyed and the secret of the temple was lost. However, a number of priests and priestesses of the house were transformed into ghauropers that lurked in the water, guarding the temple.[7]


The lake was dark and fetid, filled with unknown horrors and unimaginable treasures. It was home to eel and fish that provided a food source for the city. Although the fetid water of the lake was used for watering crops and feeding animals and slaves, most drow balked at drinking the water and received their water from a natural aquifer in the Mistrift.[8]

The lake had a central, moss-covered island known as the Isle of Rothé, which was home to a herd of rothé tended to by orc and goblin slaves, who also fished the lake for their drow masters.[9][10]


In the early days of Menzoberranzan, elite drow (main matron mothers) were "buried" in the waters of the lake, all their finery and magic intact and their bodies affixed to adamantite.[7] Because of this, slaves were forbidden from digging into the lake's deeps for fear of finding hidden treasures. Murder victims and slaves continued to be disposed of in the lake.[10][8]

In 1361 DR, the city was still recovering from the chaos caused by the drow's attack on Mithral Hall. There were not enough slaves on the island and there was not enough quality care for the rothe, causing the herds to dwindle. Shakti Hunzrin, on leave from Arach-Tinilith to look after the herds, reported the following dismal numbers:

  • 40 goblins; half of them herders, half of them breeders, but all working as herders at the time.
  • 11 rothe born that season, 2 of them stillborn.[11]





  1. Ed Greenwood (1992). Menzoberranzan (The City). (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 1-5607-6460-0.
  2. Elaine Cunningham (November 2003). Rite of Blood (The Best of the Realms). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-3024-1.
  3. Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 16–18. ISBN 978-0786929290.
  4. Richard Lee Byers (August 2003). Dissolution. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-2944-8.
  5. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 74. ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
  6. Lisa Smedman (February 2005). Extinction. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 0-7869-3596-0.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), pp. 65–66. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Brian R. James, Eric Menge (August 2012). Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80. ISBN 978-0786960361.
  9. Warning: edition not specified for Homeland
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood (1992). Menzoberranzan (The City). (TSR, Inc), pp. 7–8. ISBN 1-5607-6460-0.
  11. Elaine Cunningham (July 2003). Daughter of the Drow (Mass Market Paperback). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 17–19. ISBN 978-0786929290.