|The Everburning Horde|
The Everburning Horde is a nomadic group led by the Dunfel.
See also Dunfel
~Log 298, Ninth Year of Service, Dray Blacktail Stormvermin Battlefield Medic
Specimen is unlike anything I've ever seen before. From toe to head it stands taller then seven Stormvermin stacked ontop of each other, with shoulders as wide as four Sympol standing shoulder to shoulder. It's skin resembles obsidian or darkstar iron, hundreds of scales interlocking together as a crude armor. Incredibly coarse to the touch, it's rigid, hodgepodge nature makes it seem more like the side of a mountain then it's true flexible nature. Eyes are completely orange with black irises, seemingly containing some kind of inner flame. Eye socket is large enough to fit a Sympol head inside of (Side note: This is actually how the specimen was discovered, as the right eye of the specimen has gone through severe damage from the gnawing of a Sympol scavenger. Claw marks can be found all across the Specimen, some from Sympol making, and yet others from creatures far too large to exist in Sympolemou proper).
Two horns protrude from the beasts elongated head, massive curling things that continue to burn even after the creature has deceased, discounting the idea that it's life and the fire may somehow be correlated. I will now extinguish one of the horns to observe them while they are not on fire.
(Equipment Log Reminder: 20 Buckets removed from warehouse)
After repeated failed attempts at extinguishing the horn, I have come upon a few conclusions. The first of which is that extinguishing these flames is harder then first anticipated, as it continued to instantly rekindle so long as a spark remained. The second of which is that there are several rings on this horn, layers sliding over one another that seem fresher at the tip then the base. It's hard to conclusively say, but these horns seem analogous to tree rings on the surface.
A continual flow of smoke has been filling my workshop during this operation, and it seems that I now have discovered the source. After managing to flip the beast over, we found several holes in its back that secrete this smoke. Most likely the byproduct of the internal burning that originally lit this creature.
With surface investigations complete, we will now move on to the incision so as to investigate the beasts inner body. Due to my importance in the investigation, I will supervise the operation while my assistants enact my orders. We will now begin the incision.
(Equipment Log Reminder: one broken Scalpel)
The scalpel broke, not surprising given it's rocky exterior, so we will move to more extreme measures of puncturing.
(Equipment Log Reminder: one Broken Sword, Axe, Rapier, Scythe, Greataxe, Bastard Sword. two Broken pickaxes)
The third pickaxe managed to tear a hole in the monsters skin, sadly upon puncturing the skin a jet of fiery liquid (most likely it's equivelant of blood) shot forward and roasted the assistant. After containing the spill, we found that the internal bones were also onfire, and required further dosing. Suffice to say we've taken all the buckets from the supply cache. The monsters anatomy is completely foreign to me, but it seems to have some similarities to the Sympol. It possesses multiple redundant organs, counting three hearts, four stomachs, four Lungs, two Livers, an absolute mess of intestines that will require another investigation to catalogue, multiple miscellaneous organs, protective layering of bones around core organs, and a host of things I've never seen before. It's muscles and tissue are incredibly dense and resistant, leading to delays in removing the organs as chunks of meat must be removed first. One of the more interesting discoveries is an organ lodged above the lungs and connected to them, considering the beasts fire breathing capabilities I assume this must be the source of it's breath attack.
I am apparently being granted permission to name these monsters, as an honor for performing this autopsy. As a child my mother used to tell me stories about horrible monsters that came from the Forest of Bones to eat disobedient runtlings that refused to fight. They haunted my dreams and paralyzed me until I learned how to wield a sword and empower myself. But now, looking at this aberration, I am filled with the same fear I was gripped with as a child, and the name of these story time monsters dances on my lips as I look at it.
See also Cult of the Everburning Pyre
The Dünfel practice a perverted variation of the Lord of Fire religion that they call the Cult of the Everburning Pyre. According to the Dünfel, long ago their race was made by the Lord of Fire himself as a sort of Guardian Angel, warriors that would banish the cold from the world and kindle the sun. When the world was barren and cold the Dünfel struck out, carrying the torch and the whip across the land. When all was said and done, the Lord of Fire deemed that the Dünfel were no longer needed, and sent them beneath the earth to rest and be ready for the day they would be needed again.
Life is an eternal burning flame, with each soul contributing a spark to the total pyre. It is only by stoking this pyre and shining brightly that the Lord of Fire can return to this world. As of such, each follower is instructed to live his life in reflection of his inner flame, to dance and move from place to place, unrooted.
"Only the weak imprison themselves behind walls. We live free under the wind, and our freedom makes us strong." - Fel Malengorious
Followers are encouraged to act based on their heart, to be spontaneous and combust in fits of anger or passion when presented with the opportunity to do so. To love deeply, to stab swiftly, and to crush harshly. The Lord of Fire holds no remorse for the weak or the timid who restrict their inner fire by strictures and fear. As of such, if someone lacks the strength to hold onto what he has earned, he never deserved it in the first place. The exception to this is when trickery is employed, as the Great Emblazoned One frowns on those who rely purely on it to get what they want.
"It's not a matter of deserving. It's a matter of strength. The power to hold versus the power to take." -Excerpt from the Tome of Fire, Holy Book for the Cult of the Everburning Pyre
Furthermore, the Lord of Fire enjoys blood sacrifices, drinking deep of its inner fire, it helps to invigorate him and bring him that much closer to returning to this world in full force. However the Lord of Fire only enjoys drinking the blood of the worthy, those whose sparks burn most brightly before being devoured by him. True believers, martyrs in his name, and zealots are all like the most beautiful delicacies to him. The blood of infidels and heretics however, are like stale bread to him, sufficient to keep him from growing hungry, but not enough to satisfy him or keep him from being angry. The greatest thing a believer can do in the name of the Lord of Fire is to die in a blaze of glory, burning out in the name of their one true fiery god.
For trade, the Everburning Horde carry Tinderbone, and are accompanied by Drechai. The Dunfel excrete salt, which they also trade.