~Excerpt from the Research Journal of Prof. Lily Caera
"...it was out of desperation and sheer luck that I found this cavern. The remainder of my crew was starving, physically and spiritually, and we needed hope. Due to an unforseen electrical storm, all of our scouting and navigation equipment was fried. It was only when they were no longer of use when we realized how much we relied on them. We were soon very much lost. Not too much longer after, we'd run out of energy to power our two exploration carts, and we were forced to scavenge on foot until we could find help.
I am a geologist. My crew were researchers, scientists. We are not warriors. It wasn't long before we started losing our colleagues to the barren elements, or to packs of roaming monsters. Before long, it was only six of us, huddling together in the powerless cart, hoping nothing would come eat us in the night. No one dared to leave its safety. That is, until our rations were depleted.
I had to do something. So I left. I vowed to find help, or die trying. I'd rather die being brave than as a coward, starving inside a hunk of metal while I wait for help that will never come.
I'd walked for only about an hour when I noticed the shadows circling above me. I knew at once I was in danger, and my reflexes kicked in even before I heard the screech of the pack of winged monsters above me. There was nowhere to hide, save for a mountain's face a short run away.
I was exhausted, tired, and I could have given up right there. but while they were motivated by a meal, I was motivated by my impending death and the fates of my remaining crew. I refused. I ran.
My crew used to make fun of me because of my thin frame. How my breasts were small, and my barely above 5 foot frame could ever be scary. But that saved me that day, because I reached that mountain side, and a tiny sliver of an opening allowed me to escape those gnashing claws and death screeches from above. I felt the hot breath of one of those beasts on my leg as I just barely squeezed through the opening to my safety.
I screamed in defiance. I cursed at those monsters, and shouted in glee. You won't eat me today! I will LIVE, for the sake of my remaining crew. I slumped against the wall, and for the first time gazed upon the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.
I instantly recognized this as what the inside of a geode might look like, however, it was as if this entire mountain was filled with all of the mirrors and diamonds of the entire world. I gazed up to an endless ceiling of reflections and facets. the walls were lined with flowering formations of crystal, as if fireworks were frozen mid explosion and hung up as decoration. It seemed a hum of energy flitted in the air, and that was oddly calming to me, because even though I'd never experienced hearing a rock or mineral create sound without outside interference, it seemed....appropriate in this place.
All of my years of studying the earth and rocks below me, and I'd never recalled finding anything as astonishing as this.
I knew this place was safety. I recognized edible mushrooms all around, and specimens of common crystals we use routinely to charge our everyday gear was here in abundance. There were also a multitude of minerals and rock I'd never seen before...I wanted to get on my knees and inspect it all right at that very moment. But I had people to save. Research can come later.
I stuffed as many mushrooms as I could into my satchel and hoped I could make it to my crew and lead them here. This was my chance to be more than a geologist,