The miners had found the bones, and at first, nobody had thought anything of it.
They had been following a newly discovered vein of prime silver, accessible only due to new machines and techniques and so heavily loaded with aether that it seemed to vibrate. They’d cracked open a cave and found further veins of silver running down below the cave, and then their first crack at the ground had revealed bones.
It didn’t take a doctor or an anthropologist to determine that the bones were human; when they called in two of each, what they could say was that the bones were very old indeed, female, and they did not know how she’d died. They could also guess that the bones were from a full-grown adult, although she would have only reached the shoulder of most women.
A lone woman dead in a cave nobody had known about was a mystery, but not so strange as to halt digging of aether-rich silver. The miners had let the doctors and scientists take away the bones, and then they’d begun digging again.
That was when they found the second skeleton. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth, sixth… at ten, the miners threw up their hands in frustration.
By that point, the scientists had begun the serious examination of the first set of bones.
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