The Down Deep
Twisting, dark, and abyssal.
OverviewWhen the Fifth Floor broke, so too did The Daybreak Mountains. Their slopes crumbled, revealing gaping mouths of darkness; holes into the heart of the mountain. The interior of the mountain had been shown to be a hollow maze of passageways and antechambers. The roots of The Great Tree crisscrossed through the caves, squeezing through tight gaps and clinging to walls of massive openings. These caves came to be known as the Down Deep.
There is currently only two known main entrances to the cave system, on the slopes of the Daybreaks. The first is on the southern slopes of the Daybreaks, at least a mile away from the walls of Stone Castle Invictus. The second is more to the east of the Castle, and much closer to the walls. For this reason, the southern cave entrance is favoured by the denizens of Branch, the city within the boughs of The Great Tree. Immediately upon entry, the first impression of the Down Deep is how dark it is; light from the surface openings seems to die off mere steps into the cave. The intensity of the darkness does not grow the deeper as one goes, as one would expect -- instead the strength of the darkness rises and falls in seemingly random areas. This is due to the prevalence of Dark Root; a root that clings to cave walls, and blankets the surroundings in darkness.
The tainted root of a massive tree, found in a sprawling network of abyssal caves.
Into DarknessThe system of caves is split up into a series of hallways, crevasses, antechambers, and massive rooms. Due to the oppressive darkness within, losing one's way within the caves is deceptively easy. This fact has led frequenters of the cave to claim that the walls themselves will shift while one is inside; the entrance to a room will inexplicably be missing upon return, forcing the explorer to find a new way out.
Take sight of this map o' here. Rrk. Now don' go lettin your bark be seen anywhat's near them red X's. Thems where I heard the ringing of metmen. Thems where I know I'd be gettin felled if I stayed for too long. The metmen have rooted themselves all over down here, so we's gotta keep sight and sound of where's they might be, rrk?
Ringing in the DeepThere are other, more secretive entrances to these caves, used by denizens of Stone Castle Invictus . These tunnels are made by hand, instead of by nature; and most of them appear to avoid the main cave system, instead connecting to secret chambers and chasms. A hollow, echoing ringing sound can often be heard through the stone, as the clockwork horde continues whatever nefarious plan they have below.
Lost ClockworkPerhaps an unintended mistake made by the clockwork horde, or a byproduct of the second Clockwork Forge. Whatever the case, various small clockwork creatures have been found crawling throughout the caves. Most commonly found is a small Clockwork Mole ; about 1' long, and evidently harmless. The autonomous brass mole ignores any and all stimuli, instead burrowing from tunnel to tunnel, leaving behind tiny shafts between the tunnels. Explorers of the Down Deep from the Great Tree have discovered occassional uses for the moles; some play games with the moles, while others use them to find water.
Unchanging AntechamberIn one of the deepest areas of the cave, there lies a massive, unchanging room. Explorers entering this room find that the oppressive darkness recedes, confining its self only to the chasm within this room. The chasm its self is impenetrably dark -- and yet heat radiates from the darkness. An explorer may spend any amount of time they choose in this room, and the entrances will always be in the same place they remember. None choose to stay within this room for very long however, as here is where the sound of ringing metal reverberates strongest -- it echoes from the deep blackness of the chasm.
- Alternative Name(s)
- Abyssal Caves, The Dark
- Cave System
- Location under
- The Daybreaks