Though the waters above were bathed in the light of a noontime sun, the waters at these depths were never any lighter than a purple twilight. Billowing clouds of white soot pumped out from the thermal vent. Slimy mats of bacteria and massive colony of tubeworms huddled around each crack and crevice, and spread out as far as the nutrients absorbed from the caustic brine would let them spread. Which was an awful long way, and out from that colony there were clams, mollusks, snails, and countless other beings looking for their place at the bounty.
Though vital to the food chain, area was too hot, too toxic, for elves to Survive in for longer than a few moments.
Except, of course, for Tidebreak, since she had come into the sheilding power that earned her the new tribe-name she was still getting used to. The heat and acidity no longer bothered her, not so long as she could maintain the protective energy coursing around her. But she want here today to collect food or useful spit-stones for her tribe. She swam away from the vents themselves and leveled out in water that while still very warm and bitter was tolerable.
It was there that she centered herself, floating amongst the bioluminescent shrimp and fish, and performed the trick that she had been teaching herself for weeks. She turned her shield in on itself, and swam far enough away from the vent that she could no longer make out the individual soot-plumes that made up the cloud of expunged debris.
Tidebreak found to her delight that, though away from the singular source of heat, she was still quite warm.
And if I can keep in heat, I can keep in pressure!
A surge of bioluminescent colors running up her arm blared her excitement to the world as she followed the slope of the submerged volcano up, up and up. Past the natural pressure-boundaries that make even an elder sick from 'thin water'. Past the spot where her lost playmate Plomi had died of the bends trying to escape a circle-biter shark. Past everything her kin knew and into a sea of light brighter than any elf alive had ever seen.
There was exploring to do!