The Sun, weak and heartless hangs dim in the daytime sky. A once proud star has shed its heat and its light leaving indigenous and alien ruin buried under endless tons of ice. The surface of this water-bound orb has turned amaranthine white and as hard as stone.
Only the most tenacious of things still survive out on the exterior. There is no moon to brighten the bitter night, perhaps it flung itself into the inky darkness of space. With no source of light the nights are aphotic and terrible. With sunset comes such a penetrating cold that it can freeze one solid before he can even take a breath. Some say that just the winds can cut an unlucky wanderer in half. If those things do not kill you then the animals will.
Cerberus Wyrms and the Ur Bears are kings of the ice, but there are other creatures both above and below in the tunnels that are too numerous to list here. There are rumors of sapient and alien cultures that live out there on the surface ice but the rational do not believe such a thing is possible.
There are those that venture out onto the surface to explore and salvage in the sparse ruins that were left behind. Some return with precious metals, stone, and dirt. Some return with artifacts of unknown purpose, still others have come back gibbering with madness.
At its warmest the surface is literally bone chilling. I dare say it may be impossible to measure how cold it gets during the winter. Many have left for the surface and have never found their way home again.
We survive, though, as our kind always has. Warmed by heat drawn up from an immeasurable deepness through The Pipe. This massive network of conduits was here long before our kind came here and will likely remain here after we have frozen to death. No one can say for certain how far this series of ever branching pipework extends, but we uncover more of it every day. Just as some days we lose some. As insane as it sounds the pipe seems to move on its own.
There are vast caverns cradled along these massive lengths of pipe. In some of these caverns we collect the rare earth that pushes it’s way through over the years, in others we make our homes and places of work.
We tap into the pipe as if it were made for us to do so, using the pressure, heat and steam to drive our thermobaric engines and keep us warm down here. We are provided light, pale and blue, by the indigenous phosphorescent bacteria that inhabit the surfaces near pipe outlets.