We dug for months, years, an eternity... And we were rewarded with madness!
The Aphotic Grotto is the deepest portion of the mines in Mountain Pass. Chief reasons to visit include the Mine Rescue contract, a boss, and some mining. Relative to the rest of the mine, the mobs here are pretty scary, so watch out! It's also completely dark, so bring a light. The Grotto can be reached from the lower portion of the Mine - follow the river and keep to the East, and there's a climb down. It can also be reached directly from Shoreline! Just head to the Salamander mutation spot and keep following the cave, and it's the first turn north.
- A few cave slugs linger in the northern part of the Grotto. They are identical to their brethren upstairs.
- Monstrosities and chimeras (not to be confused with the Chimaera) are all the same. They alternate between two attacks: waving shoggoth tentacles around and shooting rather high-damage flames. They're moderately tanky across the board, but not strong at any one thing. Most people over around 70,000 XP should handle them fine; they drop 45 XP each until around 100k. These also act like cave slugs and eat stuff on their tile.
- A single grue spawns here, doomed to be bugged forever. He's supposed to attack in the dark and cower in the light, but in practice he seems to register being under the light no matter what, so he's completely harmless. He won't even fight back if you attack.
- Chimaera is a buffed-up monstrosity, and the boss mob of the whole mine - though he's actually not much harder than the other monstrosities. There's a journal and trophy available for killing him. He can also be farmed for two drops: he has a high chance of dropping a cut ruby when killed, and will always have his heart, which can be cut from his corpse and eaten for a frenzy on demand.
- Some tiles are radioactive, and the tiles near Chimaera cause fear, so you'll need rad protection and booze to browse with no trouble.
- There are opportunities for mining here. In the areas marked Dark Tunnel, you can find diamonds, rubies and gold, among other minerals. In the northern Glowing Tunnel tiles, you can score tons of quartz crystals, some rutile (titanium), and borax -- used to make mediguns!
- The escort mob for the Mine Rescue contract spawns here, in the northern part of the Grotto. Escort him back past Salamander to Any Port or the Wide Stance in Slagtown for a win. He can't swim very well, so you may have to babysit him through the water.
- A network of tunnels stretch West, south of the Grotto itself. They don't lead anywhere, but the water there is safe to drink.