Burning Rock is a small village located just south and west of Dragon's Bowl
. Like many similar villages scattered across the tablelands, it does not appear on maps and bears almost no importance beyond the survival of its 70 or so inhabitants.
Burning rock escapes prominence (despite its oasis) due to the fear many travelers have of the Dragon's Bowl and the tall fingers of rock that extend down from the mountains and shelter the village.
See Attack on Burning Village for a description of the impacts on NPCs and the village itself.
Burning Rock earned its name because of the flint scattered throughout the surrounding hills. Flint struck against rock can create a spark. Flint also makes good tools and some weapons. The flint is extracted from the hills.
It is said the first settlers came from the North, perhaps somewhere near Raam. Burning Rock has been around for several generations, but no one seems sure of when it was founded.
The village is roughly elliptical in shape, and perhaps 150' at its narrowest and 300' at its widest. In three areas the natural rocky terrain marks the village boundaries. Most villagers live in old mud brick or rock wall homes, with the backs of the homes helping to form the boundary of the village. A low rock wall fills the gaps with the exception of several small entrances and one that could fit an Inix caravan.
The town does not have formal shops, though an herbalist, toolworker, herder, farmer, and others conduct business out of their homes (primarily using barter). The majority of villagers are laborers or their families.
The town has a large open center used for meetings. A large flat rock is used by the council to address the village. The entire center is currently obscured by makeshift tents to conceal the preparations for the Coming of Age celebration
At the center of the village lies a spring of clear blue water. An underground source, probably from the mountains around Dragon's Bowl, feeds the oasis and shows little variance in size over the seasons. Athimias
shows great care for the oasis, devoting many prayers to it. One of the few points of disagreement in Burning Rock come from those wishing to sell the water to caravans traveling between Raam and Nibenay. Athimias
is adamantly opposed.
Stationed in the town is a single merchant named Itago N'gad
. Every two months a House Inika
caravan arrives, loads up the flint, and the caravan departs. Goods necessary to the village are bartered in exchange.
Governance (before the attack)
Burning Village is led by the wise Athimias
, an aged human and Priest of Water. Athimias
heads a small council of five, though his decisions are seldom questioned.
heads the work details. The short wiry mul claims to be a veteran of Urikite
obsidian mines. He has an uncanny knack for finding new veins of flint.
is a scarred older human who bears a perpetual scowl. He is extremely xenophobic, objecting to any newcomers. He openly pressures the village to find a way to rid itself of anyone that has arrived within the past three-to-five years. His son, Gollnork
, is coming of age.
is a grandfatherly dwarf, said to have been a gladiator. His focus is the safety of the village, though particular aspects can especially grab his attention for periods of time. He designs the competition for the Coming of Age ceremony, held every few years.
is also on the council, though he seldom makes appearances at any meetings or even village events.
Other Inhabitants (before the attack)
is a kind-hearted human beloved by all. He retired from mining flint after he injured his hand and legs in a rockfall. He now makes clothing from animal hides and what cotton and fibers he can obtain from the traders.
is a shift foreman, reporting to Sacric
. She is attractive, but morose. Her son is coming of age.
is the village's old wise woman, knowledgeable in subjects ranging from climate to animals to childbirth. She advises the town on how best to raise some of its few and meager crops despite the difficult growing conditions. Grall cacti are grown for the fruit. Neep is a thick root vegetable eaten with game and other food. Oleracea is grown for nutricious but flavorless leaves. A small orchard of stunted bulis berry bushes are made into wine. Her pride and joy is a single tall Faro cactus. Flowering only once a decade, buds are beginning to form. Grisha
has adopted a skittish elven girl, Rensade
A single tall hut lies a bowshot from Burning Rock. The half-giant Gulg
(PC) lives there, despite many villagers believing he is a defiler and cursed. Lista
's words in his favor and his help repelling an attack by Gith raiders have won him this home, if only temporarily. Many whisper that Nisvitne
will not bear his presence much longer.
is an attractive female human that serves the town as an herbalist and poultice maker. She assists Grisha
with caring for the crops. She maintains a somewhat large home, which often serves as a temporary residence to visiting laborers. She makes a sour cactus drink that is favored by the visiting elven caravan scouts. It is a well-known secret that she is a prostitute. Lista
has a half-elven daughter named Sorscha
(PC), who assists her with chores.
is a young half-elf girl, perhaps as old as seven, that displays the Will. She has been seen levitating stones and, if rumor is believed, starting a fire without using any tools or her hands. Villagers give her and older brother, Yato
, a wide berth. The two manage to tend for themselves, as their parents were killed in a recent attack from elven raiders.
is a kind middle-aged human and constantly finds a way to get drunk and make a spectacle of herself. Some say that only Carom
's watchful eye has kept her alive.
is a towering human and both a bane and a boon to the village. A distiller of several types of cacti, his beverages help celebrate festivals and ceremonies. On the other hand, his booze dulls the mind of many a laborer, causing accidents. Tug
calls his drink Targon, though it is similar to the cheap Blue Cactus ale from the Grall cactus. (See Athasian Food and Beverage
is a vile man. His taking in Theakan
(PC) would be an act of kindness, were he not likely beating his son from the now dead (of disease) Philemona. The scrawny and ugly boy does not speak and is hunched. The villagers have named him chacao
after the desert insect, the chacaoleon bug, which comes out at night to feast on village latrines and refuse heaps.
is a reclusive halfling woman. It is said she came to the Tablelands from forests above the Ringing Mountains, which raises great suspicion. Her strange mannerisms win her no friends, but she has managed to gain minor acceptance for her ability to raise a handful of Erdlu
. The meat is a boon to the village and sold to the trade caravans. Her skill with the beasts improves every year. Her son Took
(PC) helps raise the Erdlu.
Coming of Age Participants