You notice there's something funny about the stone tablet outside the local fire department house the instant you look at it. It says 'Dedicated to the men and woman who gave their time, effort,' and then there's a blank space right next to that. I asked the town gossips about it, and they told me that when the town was donating the tablet to the department, it was supposed to say 'Dedicated to the men and woman who gave their time, effort, and lives for the District of Fairview.' About halfway through the carving process, Chief Finley looked through the records for the past hundred years. You know, as an afterthought. A few hours after he started, he phoned Mayor Watkins, and a few minutes after that the mayor bolted out of his home, hopped into his car, and drove straight to Rita Jacoby's workshop. What happened at the workshop is between Mayor Watkins, Mrs. Jacoby, and Mrs. Jacoby's canary, but some people say that Mayor Watkins arrived just in time to see Mrs. Jacoby carve in that comma right after 'effort'. He stopped her, thought it over for an hour, then told her to put that space there. Makes the town a little different from others, they say. They're right about that, at least. I went to Chief Finley about it and asked, and he told me that there hadn't been any fire-related deaths for the past century or thereabouts. This didn't strike me as weird or anything. Our fire department's pretty good at what they do, and the people who live here know when they need help. Then Chief Finley told me how many fires had happened in town in the past hundred years and showed me the records. There have been dozens and dozens of fires in the Fairview District. Records showed that there hadn't been a single casualty, which was pretty hard to believe in itself until you got to the notes in the records that say things like 'family members did not show signs of smoke inhalation' and 'the burn unit's been empty for the past 20 months'. Then the lack of casualties becomes a little less believable.
Personality: When you see it, you think that's the end. You think you're going to die in the fire eating your house. You don't know that, somewhere, there might be this deep-rooted desire to not hurt you. It only wants to burn and when it gets what it came for, it leaves or putters out. The fires around town have better manners than most of the people who live here. They may do more damage, but there isn't a person over twenty-five in the town who hasn't mentioned how polite the fires are. It's one of those things you'd never get unless you lived here.
| Weak BELOW normal human strength - |
can bench press 50 pounds (maybe).
|Weak BELOW normal human agility.|
Slow and uncoordinated.
|Weak BELOW normal human endurance. |
Goes down easy and stays there.
|Weak BELOW normal human mental power. |
Not the sharpest tack in the drawer.
It's fire. You'd think there'd be more to it than that, but it really doesn't seem that way. It burns, it consumes what it burns, it releases heat, it spreads, and it extinguishes when cut off from a readily-accessed fuel supply. It sounds just like any other fire, and it is, except for a few very important details that set Fairview's fires apart from the fires in any other nearby districts.
- Power: Fire
- Area Effect This attack causes damage in a large area.
You ever seen smoke blow against wind? It's one of those things you probably wouldn't notice if you didn't look real hard. Smoke's going in one direction, and the fire's pointing the same way, but you see leaves and brush going in the other direction. When you notice that it gets a little mind-boggling, but that's not as mind-boggling as seeing fire part when you walk towards it. That's a sight. A few people around town know what it's like. Carlie Beck knows. A lot of people say she's the 'local pyromaniac', but her parents keep saying she wasn't like that before their house went up. I believe them, now that I've heard the story. The chief said it was an electrical fire. Somebody left a few towels near an open electrical socket, the fire started, and it progressed from there. It took a half-hour to really get going, and after that there was no stopping it. Carlie's parents got out easily. They hung from their bedroom window and dropped to the ground from there, then they went to a neighbor's place and called the fire department. That would've been the end of it, except Carlie was still inside. She had gone to a friend's place for a party, but things got sour and she went home early. By the time the first firetruck arrived, the house was completely in flames. It took a half-hour to get the fire out. A few minutes before that, Carlie Beck walked out the front door with no burns and nothing on her feet. Everybody who saw it said the fires parted for her and closed behind her as she walked out, except the chief. He said it was like watching a stage during a curtain call.
This is Khazan. There are a lot of people here who don't fit the picture of normal human beings. Gods, devils, deities, avatars, all sorts of mystical and powerful beings live here. When you think about it, there might be something behind how the fires in town behave. There are people who say it could be some kind of enchantment, maybe someone with pyrokinetic abilities, or maybe just some unnatural super-strain of luck. I thought it could be some little old lady controlling all the fires in town from her little cottage out near the hills. As it is, most of the explanations involve people with supernatural abilities. We had a telepath come through town once. Carlie Beck begged him to see if the fires think, or at least that's what most people say. In the end, she did somehow convince him to see if the fires were alive. She took him out to an abandoned tool shed on the outskirts of town and set it on fire. She waited until it engulfed the shed and let him work. After a few minutes, he said there was nothing there. He didn't read any thoughts, feelings, instincts, or anything that would suggest someone else was doing it. He went on to say that if there was any kind of thought in those fires, then there was so little of them that they might as well not be there. She was fine with that. She might've liked it less if it were different. The night ended two hours later, when she called the fire department after watching the barn burn down.
There are only two contributions I've made to Fairview's knowledge of it's own fires. The first one is mostly conjecture, so at best it's a guess. You'd think something would be more at home with things like it. Fire and heat everywhere makes for good breeding ground for more fire and heat, don't you think? The thing about a place like the Khazanian Lava Cliffs is that there's hardly any fuel. There's nothing to eat that hasn't already been eaten and digested a bunch of times over. The place thrives on it's own heat. Here, you'd wonder where something would really feel at home. That's a simple question. It likes wood. It likes tinder, leaves, underbrush, anything that sets fire that isn't a living, breathing being. Though, again, this is Khazan. Sometimes things here don't breathe or even live, but I'm pretty sure most of them think at some basic level. They all have needs and sometimes they have wants. A fire needs to eat. These fires don't seem to want to hurt anybody.
Terrain Familiarity: Jungle
Now comes my second contribution, which I have actual facts to back up. The fires of Fairview are slowly moving away from town. There have been no fires on the west side of town for the past four months, but the amount of fires on the east side has nearly doubled. There have been reports of fires past the outskirts on the east side for two weeks. I did a little math on it. At this rate, there might be none of the town's usual fires within the next year. They'll have gone past the district limits. The Friendly Fires of Fairview won't be Fairview's anymore. I'm not sure where they'll go, and neither is Carlie Beck, but I'm pretty sure that one of us is going to try their best to follow them. I can tell you it's not going to be me at least.
that isn't staying here.