A Dying Torch
The town of Torch has long enjoyed a singular claim to prosperity—a violet flame that burns atop Black Hill in the heart of the town. This flame burns incredibly hot, and while it’s usually the size of a bonfire, several times a year the fires spew up into the heavens in a brilliant beam of purple violence. These eruptions are presaged by about an hour of soft rumbling, giving nearby smiths a chance to retreat before the fires can consume them. At all other times, the violet energies allow for the smelting of all manner of skymetal. Torch is one of the only locations where skymetal can be worked with relative ease outside of Starfall, and its entire economy has risen around these purple flames, with traveling smiths coming from across Avistan to pay for the opportunity to work with them. Of course, Torch needs all the visiting trade and coin it can gather, for while the town’s distance from Starfall makes it inconvenient for the Technic League to maintain a permanent presence here, the taxes and tariffs it charges the Numerian town on a monthly basis are significant. The town prospers, but the bulk of its income does not belong to it.
Which is why, when the fires atop the hill suddenly go out, the town is in trouble.