[OSR] Real places in RPG : Eternal Flame Falls
The Eternal Flame Falls is a small waterfall located in the Shale Creek Preserve in Western New York. The grotto emits natural gas which burns quasi continously.
Fire has always been a dual thing for humans. On one hand, it is what has permitted humanity to settle down and survive, and later develop technology, and on the other hand, humanity has always felt an unhealthy fascination for fire, for it's destructive power and potential to hurt.
It is no wonder that a perpetually burning flame is something dreaded and enthralling at the same time.
Water and fire have always been seen as adversaries in antic cosmologies (and often in fantasy), so a place combining those two elements is particularly bewitching.
Ancient European societies (celts, their contemporaries, and other cultures before them) erected structures along what they believed to be places with arcane power.
This is a concept seldom used in RPG, which I find is a shame, since it has a lot of potential.
Birthright uses them as magical power sources and they are an arcane incarnation of the raw magical power of nature and "the land" (which blooded character are attuned to). The more civilized a region gets, the weaker these magical places would get.
Another way to see these leylines is to bind them to an element: Ancient forests would create "wood/nature" leylines, mountains have stone leylines, rivers, lakes and oceans support water leylines, volcanoes contribute to leylines of fire.
Magician would need to tap into these sources of power either to power up rituals or recharge their arcane reserves (with mana, or elemental magic "atoms", to use later on)
What happens when two leylines cross each other? Well, I think the eternal flame falls is the best example of what I would picture for the crossing of a small fire leyline and an equally small water leyline.
Usage in a RPG quest
Using the water and the flame could have interesting alchemical proprieties, for example for a water breathing potion that would also protect from heat, or anything related to steam or steam machines.
Elementally enchanting a blade with the power of fire and water could be difficult, unless you are in an arcane locus saturated with magical energy from both elements.
An eternally burning flame is certainly a symbol of infinite youth... Who knows if drinking the water from the fall heated on the flame would not lend you some part of that immortality?
Thermal sources are renown to these days for their healing capabilities... What kind of ailings do you think this source would be able to heal? Burns, maybe, but what else?
- Untapped power source:
In Birthright, the power sources are all controlled by someone. It is possible to create new sources, though... In a session, I would expect from the player wanting to create a new magical source which he or she strives to control to describe me a fantastical place like this one.
- Doorway to another plane:
Planes of existence are suppose to spill through at places where they are near each other or in contact (like in Sharn in the setting of Eberron). This small grotto could be a doorway to the elemental plane of fire (or just believed to be, or an indication that a portal to the other plane would be easier to open there)
Do you see other usages for this place in a rpg game? What would the place mean to a nature defending Werewolf? What kind of creature would protect this place?
Develop that in the comments !