Charles Wyville, a successful but modestly wealthy farmer of the Valley was enthralled by the notion. Under the offered patents, even a meager success would net him a mere few years the entire sum of his life’s livelihood as a farmer, and anything greater would see himself and his family elevated in stature in perpetuity, a faint and impossible dream to most of his class. Wyville sold his farm, sold his livestock, tools, and home, and set about procuring the needed picks, drills, and workmen.
Instead of ore, Wyville’s men stumbled into a damp cavern, at the time connected to the vast and cavernous aquifer beneath the Valley and home to a massive beast of slime and corruption, a particularly massive shimmering mimic, which set about the slaughter and consumption of the workmen. Despite plaintiff pleas for help from his lords, Wyville was left to address the problem himself; the entire purpose of the generous patents was so the lords need not lift a finger for their share. Without remedy, the mine was abandoned. In time, the slime beast moved on, deeper into the aquifer, and the mine and tunnels collapsed, leavings its chamber sealed and isolated. Now, new life blossoms within, clawed, intelligent beasts in the midst of crisis and ready to be molded by their saviors.