The Dark Hollows
The world beneath the surface
The Dark Hollows are a vast network of caves and tunnels spanning the underground of both the continents of Imera and Vraelia. Home to a number of bizarre flora and fauna (which includes such things as glowing fungus and a variety of large insects), many who've ventured down into this place have described it as practically being a whole other world compared to the surface. Thanks to its remoteness from the surface (there are only a few caves up on the surface that lead down to the Hollows), the Dark Hollows have served as home to various races, including the Kobolds, Goblins, and Ratfolk, who have struggled to find a place on the surface. Even with the increased interactions between the Hollows and the surface in the present day, much of this vast underground world still remains a mystery, even to those who've lived there for generations.
The Dark Hollows consist of many rocky caves and tunnels of various sizes and shapes. Some caves can be small enough to hold a single small settlement, while others are large enough to hold large cities with room to spare, and there are even a few that are vastly larger than that. Likewise, the tunnels can be large enough for half a dozen people to walk through side by side at their smallest, or around a hundred at their largest. Within the caves, stalactites hang from the ceiling, and stalagmites sprout up from the ground, and rivers and streams of various sizes flow through them, ending in lakes and springs. In the absolute largest caves, water has collected into a vast ocean, large enough to allow sea travel and the construction of port cities.
While the ecosystem of the Hollows is largely separate from that of the surface, there are some occasions where the two come into contact. Notably, the caves that serve as entrances into the Hollows often become home to animals seeking a place to hibernate during the winter season, like bears. This has the effect of driving creatures native to the Hollows, even some predators, deeper underground in an effort to avoid conflicts.
Fauna & Flora
- Large insects
- Subterranean fish
The Dark Hollows have a rich variety of ores, precious metals and stones, all of which have lead to the development of a thriving mining industry. Additionally, the races that live in the Hollows use the native wildlife for food and materials (clothing from pelts, items from chitin), as well as beasts of burden.
While far from a tourist hot spot, the Hollows do occasionally receive visitors, mainly in the form of adventurous folk who wish to explore this underground world for themselves. These people are most commonly drawn to the larger settlements, bio-luminescent caves, and natural hot springs.
The Hollows, The Deep World
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The whole 'even the locals don't know all' bit has a lot of plothook potential, I like. A sudden quake or collapse might expose a big problem, or an entire area to explore.
Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Thanks! Exploring the unknown is a big theme in this world, so a place like this would be rife with opportunities to do just that.