fire has a lineage

The symbolic passing of the old god would be enacted, and every fire would be extinguished except for a single firepot guarded by the queen and her family at the temple. (Stalking Darkness, Lynn Flewelling)

This isn’t really explored in the novel, but if every fire is relit from the Queen’s fire, in some sort of cascading olympic torch relay, everyone ends up with a royal fire: a descendant of the fire lit by the Queen herself.

There might be some magic power in it too. Perhaps fires lit by certain kings and priests – and all their children fires – have magical powers. Fire has a lineage. In that case, an ordinary torch might become a magic treasure.

The Lineage of Fire actually strikes me as a decent idea for an entire campaign. There are many families of fire in the world, passed from generation to generation through candles and torches. The different fires may have different powers (the blue necrotic fire of the deeps, the golden radiant fire lit aeons ago by the Sun God, etc). The different lineages of fire war for dominance. The PCs may work for a fire instead of a noble house; and PCs’ torches might be among their most valuable weapons.

All of the fires of the world are united against some evils. This world is a circle of firelight, and hungry things prowl, outside, in the Dark, waiting for the flames to fail.


3 Responses to “fire has a lineage”

  1. Baf says:

    Hm. If the lineage is the important thing, then the powerful fires shouldn’t be rare. Once you a get torch with a pedigree, you could share it with all the other PCs, or even an entire army. It might be desirable to limit this. Perhaps fires are jealous, and dangerous when provoked. Extinguishing a torch so you can relight it with a more powerful fire would be treated like murder by the other fires of the extinguished torch’s lineage, who would then exact vengeance. Perhaps a small adventuring party could coordinate dousing all their torches in unison, before the fire caught on, but something as large as an army or a city wouldn’t dare attempt it.

  2. George Cavender says:

    Interestingly, the idea of the lineage of a fire plays a significant role in Kosher law- A fire is either “Bishul Yisrael”, or “Bishul Akum” (a fire of israel, or a fire of strangers) Observant Jews are supposed to eat only food cooked over a fire of Israel, and as a result, to be kosher, a cooked product requires an observant Jewish to have been involved in the creation of the fire. Rabbinical tradition dictates that as little as a single twig added to the fire by a Jewish satisfies the requirements, and as such in food factories the pilot light for the oven will be lit by the supervising rabbi.

  3. George Cavender says:

    For those happening upon this, the use of the term “a jewish” was the unfortunate result of a freshly wiped cellphone with overzealous autocorrect.

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