|Abandoned Mines (H)|
After the Shar took up residence in the Otherworld beyond the Veil, they began to build their city. As their magical abilities developed, the Shar gained some ability to control the physical environment of the Otherworld. This ability became an essential part of the building of the Labyrinth that was to be their home. But because their ability wasn't complete, the Shar had to look for other resources to help them build their city.
Unfortunately the Otherworld was lacking in the specific types of rock and metal ore the Shar desired. The Shar Queen sent a few of her bravest back into the world of Hibernia to locate areas where the necessary items could be mined. The Shar searched many a cave until they found the one that contained the necessary items then they returned to their Queen with the location. The Shar Queen used her extensive skills to open a special portal from the Labyrinth directly into the cave. This direct portal would allow the Shar to travel back and forth between their city and the Hibernia in secret since they did not want the Elves to learn of their presence.
With the direct portal, the Shar quickly began to mine the metal ore they needed to help build their Labyrinth. Base structures were built using the refined metal ore and then the land, through the Shar's magical abilities, was molded and shaped around the structures so that it grew into the various parts of the Labyrinth. In some places, the land refused to grow into the desired shapes. Rather than fight the land, the Shar decided to just build their buildings from the ore and rock gathered from their mines.
Because the Shar Queen wanted the Labyrinth to be enormous and magnificent, a great deal of mining was occurring. Soon extensive tunnels were being dug underneath all of Hibernia, unbeknownst to the residents above. But it wasn't until a group of Shar accidentally dug a tunnel to the surface of Silvermine Mountains that they realized the advantage their mines gave them. The Shar Queen realized her people could use the mines as a way of traveling unseen through Hibernia to spy upon their enemies. Soon more tunnels were being dug to accommodate the Queen's desire to spy upon the inhabitants of Hibernia.
Much to the Queen's annoyance, the Shar's advantage did not last long. The people of Hibernia were in an exploration phase, and although the Shar had done a good job of hiding the entrances to their mining caves a few entrances were discovered and small sections of the Shar's mines explored. Fearing that some brave adventurer would one day find the portal between the mines and the Labyrinth, the Shar Queen ordered the tunnels sealed some distance back from the actual entrances, leaving some open space in between. In this open space, she had her Shar use their magic to attract hostile creatures to live there, creating an additional barrier between the tunnels and the entrance.
For some time after the entrances into Hibernia had been sealed, the Shar continued to use the unsealed portions of the mines. But with the Labyrinth almost complete and the Shar's ability to control the land around them growing, the need for the mines diminished. Since the secondary purpose of the mines had been lost, the Shar Queen ordered her people to abandon the mines and closed the portal that linked them to the Otherworld. From time to time the portal would be reopened briefly when metal ore was required, but it was always resealed afterwards. Over time, evil creatures moved into the mines since there were no Shar to drive them away.
When the Shar realized they were in trouble, they reopened the mines as a source of defensive materials. The mines also provide a quick way for the Hibernians to reach the Shar city, although they must be careful of the evil creatures that inhabit the mines.