Summer Update 2022: Hollow

Diary of Amaro De Quester.

Day 42

Is it day or night up there on the surface? I wonder. For so many years I have been looking for places that no one dared to dream of. Who would have thought that the strangest of all was underground, in the depths where time is nothing more than an illusion of man.

Joining the new gnomish expedition required no courage. However, descending into a bottomless pit, an unfathomable abyss, was a much bolder step. If it hadn’t been for my curiosity and the help of the gnomes, I might have left.

Far below the surface, the gnomes have discovered a colossal cavern cradling a massive landmass with a giant, rumbling volcano at its center, spewing molten lava, ash, and smoke. They call this place Gnomprona, a dish best served hot and spicy. A huge skull looms over the entrance to the inner chamber of the volcano. I’ve seen such a beast before, staring at me through hollow, wide eye sockets. The exaltation forge; unearthed by the adventurers’ guild with the help of the gnomes.

The abundance of natural resources down here doesn’t tempt me. I am not moved by greed, I came to understand and learn. And yet, I have stopped looking up because there is no infinite sky, no sun to contemplate, no clouds or stars to count. All I see is this strange fog that illuminates the entire place and hides the rough stone ceiling and stalactites of the cavern that could collapse at any moment.

The drops of water fall from the big green leaves and ferns, but none reach the ground, they all evaporate by half. This scorching stifling humidity, it’s suffocating and exhausting. But we need to keep going, for what we found is like beyond anything I could have imagined: Primordial creatures, some of them never seen before while others were believed extinct. Progenitors of species that we know today. And traces of an ancient civilization! Maybe even older than our earliest-known ancestors.

The luscious green scenery around me is bathed in the red glow from lava pools and rivers, spreading from the volcano like veins of blood, pulsing sluggishly, mimicking Tibia’s heartbeat.
A wondrous sight to behold, a treacherous beauty ready to strike, to break free and engulf the world in flames.

El aire ceniciento que respira es pesado, caliente y polvoriento; Estoy ardiendo y empapado al mismo tiempo, apestando a azufre como todo lo demás aquí abajo. El olor a debilitado, quema y persiste. The jungle is full of life, but it is life on the verge of death. Every creature, every plant is in a constant fight for survival, devouring and being devoured, facing and facing nature itself, here in the depths of the bowels of our home.

If this dangerous place is the paradise I’ve been told about, I have to rethink my conception of hell.

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