Important Sites of Fiery Creek 23: Fiery Creek Black Market

A lot of people think that, when news anchors say that “cocaine is being sold in the black market”, it means that cocaine is being sold illegally. And though it’s true that cocaine is being sold illegally, this is not what it means. What it actually means is that cocaine is being sold in Fiery Creek, in a place called Black Market.

Black Market is a supermarket in the Revenant District, in the north of Fiery Creek. It basically profits from the unwillingness of citizens – including police officers – to go to the Revenant District to sell all sorts of illegal products and services to whomever needs them. Do you want some drugs? Do you want poison? Do you need a sniper’s rifle to kill your nosy neighbour who is making too many questions about the disappearance of the postman, who had been the same in our neighbourhood for the last 10 years, even at the height of the conflict between cats and dogs, and it’s weird that everyone in the street up to your house had seen the postman the day of his disappearance on the 21st of October, but none of the houses after yours received their mail properly? You can find it in the Black Market up there.

The way it works is pretty simple, you just go there, ask for whatever illegal item or service you need, you pay in regular cash and receive what you have asked for. In fact, it would seem that it is too simple for it to be real, and that illegal items and services should be very common in Fiery Creek. The thing is, actually, illegal items and services are extremely rare in Fiery Creek itself. This is all because of a high level of exports.

Yes, you’ve read right. Exports. The Black Market shop also has a website in the deep web, offering the same goods and services as in the shop. The online shop also works simply: look for the object, place an order, pay for the order, receive the order. Simple, efficient and clean. There are also those who prefer to come to town just to visit the shop, but most of the shop’s activity is now through the website.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 22: The flower garden

There is a flower garden in Fiery Creek, east of Main Square. It is the only place in town – apart from the Orchard and the nun’s abbey, of course – where plants other than cacti have managed to flourish. This remains one of the greatest mysteries in town, over anything else that has ever happened.

The garden appeared long ago, years ago, in the middle of the 10 years war. It was one of the safe havens that many citizens used to protect themselves from the fight that was going on everywhere in town. Somehow, these flowers managed to keep the bullets and the death spells away. In fact, most of the conflicts in town have left the place unaffected.

The thing is, these plants grow healthy in the middle of the desert, which sounds quite unlikely. There have been several theories about a secret gardener, someone who is protecting the wellbeing of the neighbourhood with her caring hand, by maintaining the garden in shape.

Several fingers have pointed towards Amanda Alexander, but nobody has seen her around the place, in fact, not even Doris Waters’ security systems have ever captured her approaching the place. Which brings us to the next point: in Doris’ peak of terror, in which the whole town was under surveillance, her security system was not able to see through the garden. In fact, she has never been able to go in there, either.

A small garden with flowers and a fountain, a simple thing like that, is the proof that not everything is explained out there, that there is mystery even in the commonest of things.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 21: The Arc

Hello! We are back with a new edition of Important Sites of Fiery Creek, and are there news to tell you guys! We had initially thought about publishing a post about the Caliph’s Palace, now that it’s accessible once again, however, we are trapped inside the Arc because of some ‘politically correct alien’ invasion, and there is nowhere else to go, so let’s write about this new place.

The Arc is an underground fortress built by Joana Jauregi, a fairly unknown woman who has, however, managed to efficiently save town from all of the aliens, with no casualties whatsoever. She is part of Amanda Alexander and Vitor Vico’s group, and she is hailed as a hero by all of the townspeople. So, what makes the Arc such an special place that its creator should be admired?

There are two things that make the Arc so unique. The first one is that the Arc has an impressive defensive system. The whole Universe and Reality itself could be destroyed, and the Arc would be left intact, in the middle of the void, holding itself and all of its contained items inside, untouched. We have tried to ask Joana for explanations, but she is extremely elusive, and we could not find her. Engineers and magicians alike all praised her work and gave us some mumbo-jumbo explanation that we are not going to reproduce here, because fuck all of that jargon.

But the second reason why the Arc is incredible is that it nestles a layer of Reality inside it. That means that a completely new and different Multiverse is contained inside the Arc, a peaceful Multiverse in which there are no intelligent life forms, nature is generous and everything makes sense. There was more jargon for this, which we are not going to reproduce, either. It’s just incredible how a will could possibly bend Reality in such a marvelous way.

There is not much more to say. Enjoy the prairies and the mountains, the seas and lakes and rivers. Discover this new Multiverse and make a home here. Just enjoy.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 20: Anna’s Patchwork Shop

ANNOUNCEMENT: this is the 20th issue of this series, after which we are going to go on a short hiatus. Other sections will fill out for this one in that period of time, but don’t fret. We will soon be back to offer you all of the information about the weirdest, most important and most interesting places in town.

But today, we are going to talk about Anna’s Patchwork Shop. This is the only normal place in town, with the only normal people. You might ask: how is this even possible? And some people will probably answer that it’s like the yin and the yang, that in all normal places there is an extremely abnormal thing, and that in all extremely abnormal places there is a perfectly normal thing. But this is total bullshit.

The reality is that Anna’s Patchwork Shop is here due to a horrible magic incident (which, to be fair, applies to most stuff in this town. It is here due to some magic incident that hasn’t had very god consequences). Let’s try to rebuild the whole process of how Anna’s Patchwork Shop got here.

The Shop is located in Faustino Salaberria Street, better known as Metalhead Street by the locals. The nickname of the street started as quite a curious phenomenon in itself. A completely normal bar called The Metal Head opened in the street. The name attracted metalheads to the place, who thought that they would be able to hear to their favourite metal bands in that bar, but found a normal bar instead. With time, several metalheads saw the opportunity to start metal music oriented businesses in that street, and soon there were music shops, t-shirt shops and bars were metal music was the main theme. Due to this, the street came to be known as Metalhead Street.

Understanding this, it’s easy to know what happened next. A metalhead event had the street packed with people headbanging, which produced a turbulent flow of magic in the street. At one point, acknowledging the history of the street, the metalheads headbanged towards The Metal Head, still a normal bar, and the magic was directed in that direction. This transported the bar to another dimension, and brought Anna’s Patchwork Shop to that location, and it all happened with an explosion that killed over 300 people.

Anna, owner of the shop, is extremely confused with the whole thing to this day, as she comes from one of the normal dimensions, where there is no magic and most people do not make blood sacrifices for magic power. We think that she is undergoing a crisis and would be better off if she could go back to her own dimension, but there is no way to reproduce what happened in that metalhead event – and it’s not like we haven’t tried -, so Anna’s Patchwork Shop has turned into a respected part of the metalhead community (respect in the metalhead community is based on the kill count, and Anna’s Shop took the lives of over 300 people, which makes her a high rank member of the metalhead community).

Important Non-Sites of Fiery Creek 19: Banks in Fiery Creek

This is going to be one of the weirdest episodes in this series. Why, you might ask? Well, the reason for that is that there are no banks in Fiery Creek. Thus we are not talking about a place in Fiery Creek, but about a non-place. This might sound a bit pedantic, but it is important to understand why banks have to be called non-places in Fiery Creek, which explains the change in the title of the series, because this is not a real place, and titling it as ‘Important Sites of Fiery Creek 19’ would have been inappropriate.

One of the first things that people look for when they come to Fiery Creek is a bank where they can get some money to spend to obtain goods and services. There is no such thing as a bank in Fiery Creek, which is one of the first things that weirds people out when they get here – even though there is a Town Hall worker that reads the minds of every single being who comes to visit and reminds them that there are no banks and they have to bring cash with them (this probably weirds them out even more, now that we think about it) -, but this is hardly a problem, they think. There’s always ATMs.

Now, here comes the problem with that way of thinking: natural selection, which, in a very rough definition, states that reproduction and survival will be different inside a species according to their phenotypic differences, which will allow them to adapt in different ways to the situation. Natural selection works in two different ways against the usage of ATMs in Fiery Creek:

  1. Some years ago, some citizens brought a couple of toyols with them from southeast Asia. These spirits that steal money and jewellery had their own problems in Fiery Creek, a town full of paranoid magic users, and thus, through natural selection, those who could transform into ATM machines and earn the citizens’ trust had the best chances of survival. This, at the same time, made the people of Fiery Creek extremely paranoid about ATM machines, but the evolutionary process of these toyols has not advanced enough to obtain any observable modifications in their behaviour.
  2. If you were to find an actual ATM (there is one locked in position right next to John Fier’s bar), you should proceed with the utmost care. ATMs are extremely territorial beings, and they can be suspicious and aggressive towards anyone. Sometimes, however, they will not show this, but they will then grab the arm of the ATM user with their powerful jaws and lock it, hack at it and eventually tear it from the shoulder. This has made for quite a few bloody shows, and quite obviously, few of the ATMs victims have survived the blood loss of having their arms torn away. This means that only powerful people can use ATMs.

Seeing this, the need of a bank in Fiery Creek would seem obvious. The reason why there are no banks in Fiery Creek is that they are all doomed from the start because of a hex placed in town over a century ago. This makes all banks that try to settle into town go bankrupt and close business before they even start their businesses here. Thus, the buildings in which these banks were to settle turn into hollow carcasses, and as time goes by these instances turn into ‘flower buds’ that have been infested by a parasite that has laid thousands of eggs. After 50 or so years have passed, the eggs hatch and the carcass gets destroyed, and thousands of monsters come out of the building. There have been four instances in which this has happened, and two non-banks are ‘maturing’ right now and will eventually send a spawn of monsters into town.

We are not proud of this, and not only because it creates ticking time bombs every time a bank considers coming to town. The origin of such hex is also quite controversial. It all started as an anti-semitic thing. Some anti-semitic people assumed that the Jewish owned money and banks, and thus felt the need to stop their businesses. They were not very cultured or intelligent, and thus failed miserably at producing that hex, so instead of cursing Jewish people, they cursed banks and created an inconvenience for all citizens for generations to come.

I guess stupid people in large crowds are to be feared.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 17: Temple of the Author

The Temple of the Author is the single most important place of worship – more like, ‘worship’ but anyway – in Fiery Creek. It is located approximately two kilometres to the south of the town, in a beautiful hill that overlooks the town. Members of the Fiery Creek community first visit the Temple around the age of three, and these visits become a lifelong habit for all members of the community.

The Temple of the Author has been in that position ever since the conception of the universe. History tells us that, when the Author created this universe – or, in this case, this Multiverse -, he also created places of worship that he scattered all around the Multiverse for the people who lived in them to communicate with him and ask for favours in exchange of food and other commodities – it is said that, during the XVth century, he actually got so lazy that he started to give out technology for free in exchange of the grocery shopping.

Many civilizations forgot about their creator and started to worship fake gods that they invented. They destroyed their temples – not a great loss, really, as the Author made all temples in all universes exactly the same – and have not communicated with the Author ever since – which, to be fair, we don’t blame them. The Author is kind of a dick.

There are certain rituals associated with the Temple, mostly related with making offerings to the Author. He asks for food, drinks and other practical stuff, and usually does not accept flowers or other, more symbolic gifts. Rita, for example, spent a year bringing the Author flowers so that the war ended in Texas, with no effect, and when Alba Luca brought the Author some homemade lasagna, all wars ended and there was peace in the world.

Sometimes, however, the Author goes silent, mostly when people start to ask uncomfortable questions like “What is all of the Plan about? Why did this have to be included in the Plan?” or “Wait, do you actually have a plan? Because it looks like you’re improvising to me”.

There might be no explanation for the beginning of the Multiverse, no “Plan” that explains it all and no meaning to our lives, but, overall, the Temple plays quite an important role in the community for granting of mundane wishes and as a point of socialization. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and Diane Vines, oracle of the Town, predicted that the Temple would be destroyed in exactly two months today by some powerful force.

 

What? Were you expecting some lament on the destruction of the Temple? Nah, not like anyone cares much, really.

Important Sites of Fiery Creek 17: The Bottomless Well

Water is scarce in the desert. Luckily, Fiery Creek keeps a steady supply of water from the Bottomless Well that is located right in the centre of Old Town Fiery Creek. There is reason to believe that this Well perforates the inter-dimensional continuum and goes into a water-only dimension. That, or the Well is an absurd infinite construction inside a planet of finite size, a paradox that insults the make-up of reality itself – in exactly the same way in which everything in Fiery Creek insults the make-up of reality.

You might wonder how we know this. Well, there have been several expeditions into the liquid abyss that Well represents. None of them managed to reach the bottom of said well, and those who ventured too deep never returned. Another attempt was made with robots, but the pressure of the water was too much, and the robots never made it back, either, or at least not in one piece. A gigantic pole twelve thousands of kilometers long was inserted into the well, trying to see if it appeared on the other side of the world, but it never did.

The absurdity of this Well has created many myths. These revolve around the creation of this Well, and most of them point out that Mary Clark herself may have created it to provide the town she founded with water. These myths are backed up by the fact that Faeries never drank water, or recorded the presence of such a Well in their Caliphate before Mary Clark arrived, and the zombies of the first six Fiery Creeks that got destroyed did not remember the well, either.

Mary Clark herself has been interviewed many times on this subject, to the point that she is bored about everyone asking her about it. She states that she did not create that well, that it had always been there, and that she did not know where it came from. It had just sort of been there ever since she had arrived at that point in the middle of the desert.

The Well used to be open, but this led to stupid teenagers playing many dares related to it. More than once, they dared each other to dive into the depths of the Well, and every single generation of Fiery Creek citizens has had people who drowned in that Well. In fact, it seems that the kids in this town have been getting more and more stupid ever since the Atomic Bomb Incident in 1991 – which was covered up with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo -, as more and more teenagers have drowned in there. Last year, after a record 37 teenagers died in a single incident, the citizens petitioned the Council to cover the well. The Council, of course, did nothing, so the neighbours finally covered up the Well themselves.

This, however, has not stopped the mystery around the Bottomless Well of Fiery Creek. The Ancient Runes that decorate the Well have yet to be identified, but a research team assures us that they have almost decoded the whole thing. We just hope that they don’t die, like those who had almost understood what the carvings of the Caliph’s Palace said.