The Lands Below is "a sort of other-place" that exists "beneath the earth," where "other races" live. They are distinct from the Lands Beyond in that the Lands Below are, according to Poe, "dangerous and wild...but it is possible to return from there." The Lands Below may be in ways similar to the underworld of Greek mythology.

Before the influx of European wizards to the North American continent, indigenous tribal mages had negotiated treaties with the denizens of the Lands Below, particularly the Generous Ones, who they thought of as the Little People. When European wizards colonized North America, they warred with the indigenous tribes and generally fared poorly due to the incomprehensible magic used by tribal mages. After forming the American Wizarding Confederation, European wizards discovered gateways to the Lands Below, and sent emissaries to offer the Little People pacts to trump their accords with indigenous mages. According to Maximilian King, the nature of those pacts are "the greatest secrets of the Confederation."

After Confederation wizards had stolen the allegiance of the Little People, they sealed off the gateways to the Lands Below. Some of those sealed gateways appear to have been built over with various structures to keep them hidden, including the campus of Charmbridge Academy. King explained to Alexandra Quick that the Lands Below were accessible through a gateway below the deepest basements of the Academy, and the two ventured there in May 2009, securing passage by presenting the elf Em with an obol and invoking an ancient compact.

Immediately beyond the gateway lay a massive antechamber at the bottom of which is a pool guarded by underwater panthers. Ringing the antechamber are various tunnels and caves leading deeper into the Lands Below, which features an "enormous, gray, shadowy landscape" including "hills and rivers"; the topography reminds Alex of "pictures she had seen of the surface of the moon." There she encounters some of the many lifeforms in the Lands Below, including the corn maidens, a deer-woman, the Lagaru, and the Generous Ones.


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