The Pools of Flame and Tears
The World as you know it always was – and as far as you know, always will be – the earthen rock walls that encase you. You have never been more than three-hundred paces from the reassuring touch of warm stone walls that define your existence. Caves, hollowed out years ago by architects unknown and long dead form the maps in your head, each almost identical aside from personal craftsmanship – a gentle curve with a ramped slope, or jagged edges and chiseled shelves – and size. In fact, the word “cave” has no meaning to you. The only break in the monotony are the life-giving Pools of Tears down waterway, and the Pools of Flame down fireway.
Life is understandably different in the caves. Thousands of denizens fill the warm, forbidding halls, going about their business. No one knows how the motley selection of sentient creatures came to be, though some of the elders have their own creation myths. Most locals are indifferent – however this life became, it is here now, and there are things to do. Fish must be harvested, Tears seared in Flame, and metals uncovered from the earth. A number of mines occupy the time of the majority of the population, extracting whatever resources available to improve their squalid lives. But it is magic that drives the greatest hopes and fears amongst the people.
Amidst the squalor of every day life, you begin to find yourself thrust into changing times. The old ways cannot last, or doom will befall the people of the Pools.