“Any Kandar scout could tell the difference between the luring lights of a Fae Mists and the glow of an entrance to a Crystal Cavern, they told me. The one they took me to was small and recently scouted, as sometimes strange beasts would make their homes of them and were usually territorial. Great crystals grew out of the walls and formed stalactites, casting a soft blue glow over everything and a chill that made the temperatures inside cooler than anything I’d felt in all my time in Kandar. Small, odd fruits glowed their own colours and they carefully pointed me to the ones that they knew were safe, saying they had not seen the others before as each cavern tended to have their own things unique to them.”
While some portions of an ecosystem tend to be unique to each Cavern, some things remain the same across them. The cold inside gives rise to small, shaggier creatures that often leave at night to hunt prey. Sometimes creatures that are native to the rest of Kandar use the caverns, but these tend to be larger animals and predators that are more at risk of overheating in the hottest days of Kandar. A common find in Crystal Caverns is thinly branched shrubs that grow glowing fruits, though the specifics of the fruit vary from cavern to cavern. According to the , some will make you sick and in a rare few caves the fruits actually give off a little heat, making them handy if you're caught out in the cold night, with the heat seeming to come from the juice. However, most are simply normal fruits, if sometimes with odd flavours.
Crystal Caverns often do see changes - a lot of creatures only stay there during the hottest peaks of a Kandar summer, but others do hibernate there throughout the entire summer and emerge in cooler temperatures.
For whatever reason, Crystal Caverns operate at a constantly chilly temperature no matter what the temperature in the rest of Kandar. The temperature tends to remain a few degrees above freezing. This cold affect seems to come from the blue crystals that grow (and indeed, glow) in these caverns, as the temperature inside will flictuate slightly depending on how close you are to them and how grouped up they are.
The glowing fruits - especially warming ones - and bits of crystal are often taken from the caverns. However, while pieces of crystal will continue to glow, they will cease to emit chill within a few days of being broken off. Similarly, hot fruits will begin to cool over time as the water within evaporates, though Kandar do sometimes gather a number and juice them for celebrations that take part in the evening or night. Some enjoy the hot fruits and the drinks squeezed from them and have attempted to replant fruit from those shrubs in various conditions back in Antaraki. Sadly, none of them ever properly germinated, and attempts continue. In the meantime, a cavern near to has successfully been converted into a sort of farm for the shrubs that were already growing there, increasing their output, and rich Antaraki will often have them harvested and juiced for Water Feasts.
Crystal Caverns are popular sites to visit. Kandar are less wary of letting researchers poke around than in some other areas, so it's been discovered that the crystals are, indeed, magical and are the cause of the cold. As ever with Kandar, the reason for them being there is unknown. However, the movelty of the chill and the flourescent decoration of the cave is often a faovurite for visitors, especially those not used to the heat that can be found in the scorched wastelands.