The megacity of Azarloth forms a vast sarcophagus around a slowly dying world. As its rulers raise new spires and drive tunnels deeper underground others fall into disuse and decay. Large tracts are inhospitable, home to life forms as alien as those once found in remote caves or abyssal ocean depths. In others sentient beings survive but their cultures have grown stranger still.
Where higher civilisation endures so does the fight against entropy: a hopeless struggle, to be sure, but one all the braver for it. Its servants toil endlessly, seeking to excise the rot that gnaws their city’s ancient bones. Some live in near-total darkness, guided only by instinct and the faint luminescence they exude. Many are prematurely lost, but their continued sacrifice buys their overlords more time.
Shaft divers are biomechanical constructs that descend great distances to work in restricted spaces. They hang head downwards, improving their field of view, and carry a range of specialised tools. Two heavy cables link them to machines that raise and lower them, while their leg cams allow finer adjustments and reduce the shock of acceleration or braking. Their masks counter toxic fumes and their hard shells offer some protection from sharp objects, burns and falling debris.
On returning to their maintenance dens, these creatures have shown signs of contact with other forms of sentient life. Some rise from the lightless depths marked with esoteric runes, adorned with simple jewellery, or trailing embalmed fetuses, while others emerge maimed or killed. Some have been sent back with gifts or warnings of retribution, and at times these are returned in a more exotic form. What can be gathered from these acts only raises further questions, and speaks of greater mysteries than the ruling castes dare recognise.