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Slag Heap

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At the edge of town, near the one road that went away from the Sunberth, there was a giant heap of slag, piled there by the mining activity that had dominated the area before the Valterrian. There were several such heaps in the area, varying in color, consistency, and general noxiousness, but this one had one particular characteristic that made it stand out from the crowd:

It was on fire.


It was more a smoldering fire than a raging one, true, but it was definitely a fire, and both the light and the smoke from it were visible at a great distance. This particular heap was made of some sort of powdery black material; no one seemed to know precisely what it was, but it was also true that there was a general lack of inquisitiveness among Sunberth's inhabitants regarding anything having to do with the mines. At any rate, the most important thing about the stuff was that it was highly flammable, and it burned for a long, long time.

Three hundred years, actually, was the best guess as to how long this particular fire had been going on. No one was entirely sure -- it had been burning as long as anyone in Sunberth could remember -- but that seemed to be about the right timeframe. The pile was still at least two hundred feet high, and at this rate, it was going to be burning for several more centuries. The smell was awful, a nearly indescribable combination of garlic, tobacco, and wet dog that threatened to overpower anyone not inured to it.

Most cities would have considered something like this a hazard, but for Sunberth, it was almost a symbol of local pride. It stood for a lack of organization, a disregard for order, safety, and anything else that civilization represented. It was doubtful that the citizenry could have collected itself for long enough to put the fire out, but even if such a thing were possible, no one really wanted it out.

Instead, it was something of a local gathering place. On any given night, the area around it was occupied by scattered groupings of people shooting dice, drinking alcohol, or drunkenly making out. There were a couple of ramshackle buildings, and several tables made out of discarded building materials, into which several decades of teenagers had carved obscenities. Bits of broken glass, pottery shards, and other, less identifiable bits of trash were partially buried in the dirt or blown about aimlessly by the wind.

In other words, for the people of Sunberth, it was probably the most happening spot around.

Informative Threads

Original Thread
The Slag Heap FireThe Slag Heap Fire location thread.