Blogisode 2: The Blistrar Mountains

The kingdom of Orisgothia stretched from the great plains of the east to the mountains of the north nearly a days ride.  The mountains are a prized possession of King Orisgoth.  These mountains contain the very ingredient that makes the swords of Orisgothia the envy of other nations.  Slaves from the plains and those who the King hates toil endlessly in great tunnels around the mountains.  Blistrar is known for its strength and durability despite a lighter weight.  The mountains hold their treasure tightly, fiercely fighting the miners with avalanches, cave-ins and poisonous gasses.  Rocks from the Blistrar Mountains contain only small amounts of Blistrar which can only be extracted by heat.  Outside the entrances to the mining tunnels sit massive clay caldrons, each as tall as 4 men and as wide as 2.  Massive fires kept alight by stokers singed any open flesh, the bottoms of each cauldron glowing a bright red from the heat.  Inside boiled liquid rock.  Miners emptied their carts into these monstrous containers while a mechanical crank slowly agitated the molten stone.  A pair of pack horses, encouraged by the whip of a laborer, powered the large wooden spokes that drove the giant agitator.  Each cauldron had its own.

Blistrar, when heated with the stone, would separate itself from the other minerals and float to the top as a translucent liquid.  It could be easily distinguished from the glowing red of the molten rock by its slight blue tint.  The task of removing the blistrar from the top of each cauldron was accomplished by the bravest and lowest of laborer.  Their task included mounting a stone staircase onto a ledge just above the mouth of the boiling rock, a massive clay skim in their hands.  They passed the skim over the surface capturing the blistrar in small bowl like sections of the skim.  How much time they had to scoop the blistrar from the cauldrons was decided by how much of the horrible heat that could be beard.  It took as many as 7 cull mine carts to extract a mere jug of liquid blistrar.  Once extracted it was poured into clay moulds forming small bars about the size of a finger.  These bars, once cooled, were sold to the King’s blacksmiths at great price.  None left the kingdom of Orisgothia, not without the use of great force.

These massive cauldrons and molten rock did serve another purpose aside from blistrar.  Because so much stone resulted in so little blistrar the cauldrons were frequently drained into massive clay moulds, the molten rock cooling into building stones of various sizes and order.  These stones were used by the King for his grand building projects and traded to other kingdoms at great profit.  King Orisgoth and his people had surely tamed the Blistrar Mountains.

Near the center of Orisgothia sat the city of Ositia.    Ositia was a triumph of King Orisgoth and all he had done.  Seated securely in the foothills of the Blistrar Mountains and looking past the lands of Orisgothia into the plains it stood sturdy with great military power.  The peasants of Orisgothia farmed the fields and forests outside of Ositia.  Entrance into the city beyond the first wall was a favor granted to citizens of Orisgothia and was where most came to do their trade.  The first wall was made of roughly cut stone; overgrown with thigh vines and shrubbery.  Nearly four strides wide the top was patrolled by archers and soldiers of the army.  The main gate stood looking directly west, a barracks for soldiers was built into the base of the wall.  Beyond the first wall the city was inhabited by tightly packed homes built from a range of materials.  Dirt coated nearly everything and everyone in this part of Ositia.

Many who lived here had relatives who worked in the mines or had farms outside the wall.  The meager incomes they received went to trading and squabbling for building materials.  The wealthiest among these people used cracked and rejected stones from the mines.  Most used wood from the forests and trees that used to inhabit the ground they lived in.  There was a good distance from the first wall to the second wall.  The first wall had been built by the peasants who lived behind it, tired of being constantly torched and looted by raiding enemy armies.  King Orisgoth, in a rare show of kindness to his people, sent soldiers to man the wall as a token of gratitude.  Secretly he also knew the new wall and the people behind it offered an excellent barrier between his real defenses and raiders.

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