THE BURNING STONES (MAGATHER AND DRAKE EGGS)

APPEARANCE - TERRITORY - USAGES - HISTORY/ORIGIN

"Burning Stones" are ordinary looking stones with magical properties, found only in the vicinity of volcanos. When hit strongly enough they release heat, depending on size, type of the stone and the force it was hit with. They are useful for travellers, especially in regions were other burning material is rare.

Appearance. Burning Stones are coming mainly in two qualities, the light, multicoloured version - these stones seem to have sharp edges all over their entire surface - and the very heavy, deep black, sleek variety. Both are indistinguishable from normal not magical stones and only magically inclined persons can tell them apart.

Both types release their magic, turning it into heat, if hit to a certain basic degree. The harder the hit is, the more heat is released at one time and the quicker the stored magic is exhausted.

The differences between the two stone types are as follows:

An important feature of the Burning Stones is their ability to initiate the release of a stone through the presence of an already ignited "Burning Stone". So if only small stones are available, it is possible to initiate one and just putting the others around it, they will give off their heat with the speed as the first initiated one does. However, smaller stones of the same weight as a bigger stone don‘t contain as much magic as the single stone.

These stones are burning without a flame, the Magather start to lighten up, depending on how much heat they release at a time. They change colour in an unpredictable way, glowing, and it seems as if they get slightly bigger. The Drake Eggs however show no visible effect, just the billowing of the heated air is seen.

Once burnt out, the stones are looking just like normal ones.
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Territory. Burning Stones are only found in the vicinity of volcanos. In Santharia there are only three places known, where they can be found. These are the volcanos Hèckra and Argor in Northern Santharia and the Norong‘Sorno in Southern Santharia.

While near the two northern volcanos mainly the Magather Stones can be found today, and due to agriculture and a thriving land around only on the slopes of the volcanos, the southern Norong‘Sorno and the adjacent Lands of Pain are the place, where nearly all Burning Stones which are sold stem from.

Probably the above is true for all other volcanos found on Caelereth, though the author can‘t affirm this only for the Celeste Mountains. However, it is said, that the stones found there are not of the high quality of those of the higher Norong‘Sorno.
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Usages. "Burning Stones" are traditionally only located by clerics of Foiros or their apprentices. Often a "Gifted One" of that god is discovered because of his ability to find these stones. However, a Ximaxian Fire or Xeuá Mage is probably able to do it as well, but he/she better avoids to be seen while doing it, for it is an old privilege of the cleric.

The Magather Stones are quite common in the areas around the volcanoes, especially the Norong‘Sorno. Great amounts are also shipped to Aeruillin, especially to Shan‘Zarathan and Shan‘Thai. However, because they need to be transported very carefully and accidents where a whole batch goes off are not uncommon, the transport cost surpass soon their value. Drake Eggs however are selling well over the whole of Santharia and to the neighbouring shores, as far as to the Isles of Quios, Denilou and Doranthakar. They are especially welcome in northern lands where the temperatures are low and heating throughout the year is necessary and not few are shipped to the Kanapan Peninsula.

Next to the salt the burning stone represent the main income source for the southern Shendar tribe, who oregularly hire a priest of the temples in Strata or Thalambath to locate for them the stones in the Lands of Pain.

Both varieties are used manifoldly:

History/Origin. Both kinds of stones have their origin in volcanoes. Those found outside have probably formed during an explosion of a volcano an represent ejected fluid material which was still hot when it reached the ground around the volcano.

Clerics of Foiros say, as is the common belief as well, that the magic of Foiros' fire itself is trapped in the stones while they are forming from the fluid lava to their present form, that only as long as they are hot when hitting the ground the magic is conserved.

It is said that whole stone fields on the slopes of volcanoes, formed by lava flowing down a side, have magical properties, but that it is impossible to "harvest" these stones, because any attempt to break pieces loose will result in an immediate release of the heat.

Ximaxian Mages however have their own interpretation. They claim that the fire element within the cár'áll is concentrated in the stones while forming and the earth elements gather in dense formation around it, so that the fire energy can break through when the stone is cracked.
Rumours go, that somewhere in the Manthrian province experiments are going on to "refuel" those stones with magical energy to imprison the fire cár'áll again in the inner part of the stones to an even higher concentration than before. But that would stand in contradiction to the old rights of Foiros priests to gather and sell the Burning Stones, so not much attention should be payed towards this.
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Information provided by Talia Sturmwind View Profile