The Cave of the Orsholon
The Cataclysm forced the Urnati people to find extraordinary ways to stay alive. Those who did not perish in the aftermath of the initial blast were soon facing the effects and hardship of a 30-Year Winter, which turned the surface of the world into an icy wasteland that few would survive. The The Torgaro Family was comprised of hardy, hard-working members with an expertise in engineering and mining. They were not only well-versed in the use of advanced Urnati technologies in their mining, but had carried on the traditions of early mining techniques. Rens Torgaro had taken over the mining operations for the family in the Rinzeremel Mountains. On the day of The Cataclysm, Rens was in the mines supervising a new technique for excavating ore veins. His wife had brought him his mid-day meal and was in the mine when the bright blast lit the inside of the mine, and the rush of wind be everyone back off their feet. And then, the dark. The Cataclysm had destroyed all power generation and transmission, leaving the deep mines dark. The Cave of the Orsholon is what remains of that mine. The mine was where Torgaro, his workers, and as many of their families who could reach the mine lived during the 30-Year-Winter. The entrance to the mine was closed off as temperatures dropped and did not reopen again until sunlight was detected outside. At the outset, the mine housed nearly 700 individuals, but many were lost to illness, starvation and age. However, many were born in the mine as well. By the time they emerged into the sunlight, only 276 individuals had survived. During that time, Rens was instrumental in leading the survivors and for his leadership, he was selected as the first King of what became named the Orsholon Kingdom. Not long after they emerged, Rens led the survivors in creating a new Orsholon City upon the ruins of the previous city. Once all the possessions and supplies had been removed from the mine, the entrance was shut down and is now a place of remembrance for the Orsholon people. The mine is still active, but is accessed from a different location, and the areas used during the 30-Year-Winter are now considered hallowed ground and off-limits.
Purpose / Function
Torgaro Mine #12 was the most productive of the Torgaro family mines. It was also one of the deepest and most extensive in the region. The mine crossed multiple ore veins, as well as mineral and gem deposits buried within the Rinzeremel range. These deposits and ore veins made the Torgaro family very wealthy before The Cataclysm. This wealth essentially disappeared after the blast, with vaults buried under rubble and no need for gold or gems while trying to survive. The portion of the mines that has reopened has been instrumental in bringing Orsholon renewed prestige and wealth in the centuries since.
The original entrance to the mine has been closed off with an iron door featuring a plaque engraved in stone:
Beyond this door are the remains of Torgaro Mine #12, which acted as shelter and home for the Orsholon ancestors for 3 decades. We honor their courage, their strength, and their perseverance and have closed the entrance to this hallowed ground. May we all live to honor their legacy.An alternate tunnel has been created to access the ore within the mountains that bypasses the original mone and living spaces, as well as the burial ground within.
The original mine was tunneled using massive Urnati tunneling machines. The entrance to the mine was carved out of the hard rock. Tunnels and passageways within the mine are semi-circular, ranging from 20 to 60 feet in diameter. Rooms within the mine had ceilings bolstered by steel beams that could only have been placed with powerful hydraulic machines that have long since been dismantled, or broken beyond repair.
Torgaro Mine #12 was developed after sub-surface detection methods indicated large ore veins starting 500 feet into the mountain above Urshalin City near the point where the Eastern and Southern ranges of the Rinzeremel Mountains meet. Tunneling began at the 3,000 ft. level of the mountain, excavating at a low pitch until a vein of gold ore was found approximately 2,700 feet in from the surface. Digging continued following that vein, then branching out. By the time of the Cataclysm, more than 70 miles of tunnels had been carved out of the hard rock, to a depth of nearly 5300 ft. from the mine entrance. The older cavities from the first mining operations became the survival space for Rens Torgaro and his workers.
Many travel the long road up the mountain to visit the site and to pay respects to the ancestors who perished. On a good day, the climb up the road from Orsholon City takes about three hours by horseback. Many choose to stay at the top overnight, as the views of Orsholon City and the Kingdom beyond are unmatched.
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